Finding your Family

Within the 4 million documents held in Manuscripts and Special Collections are the names of hundreds of thousands of people from Nottinghamshire and the broader East Midlands. Catalogues can never list every person named in documents, so one of the major challenges of family history research is finding which records may refer to your ancestors. …

Throwback to The Gongster

  A collection of student newspapers dating back nearly 120 years is proving to be a rich resource for researchers and staff at The University of Nottingham. Manuscripts and Special Collections has almost a complete run of the University’s student magazine, The Gongster, from its inception in 1939 to its closure in 1978. It was originally created as …

“No Turtle is an Island”

One of the benefits of working in Special Collections is serendipitously finding an intriguing, amusing or surprising book amongst the 50,000 volumes held here. Whilst answering an enquiry recently, a member of staff came across this quirky poem by Melvin Plotinsky. ‘Requiem for a Turtle’ memorialises a turtle (tortoise), killed crossing a road in May …

What are your chances of a job?

Over the past year, Manuscripts & Special Collections has been gradually digitising our early copies of The University of Nottingham’s student newspaper ‘The Gongster’. It makes fascinating reading, comparing student life then and now, but this article from 11th October 1951 about the woes of graduate employment particularly caught my eye, with its relevance to …

Student Union Posters

Manuscripts and Special Collections have recently finished digitising a series of Nottingham Student Union posters advertising gigs and events in the 1970s. The posters were carefully preserved for posterity by alumni John Bailey (Agriculture/Horticulture 1972) and Richard Stark (Chemical Engineering 1971), who were involved in booking bands for the Students Union. It is impressive to …