Manuscripts and Special Collections

The archive chain challenge

March 8th, 2010 at 12:03

As we’ve already blogged, the start of the year has seen a number of new catalogues made available on our website and the work is always on going. I thought it might be a challenge to see if I could make a chain to link two of our new catalogues using just five jumps between five records in the catalogue. The two collections I’ve chosen at random are MS 148 (Papers of Henry Swinnerton) and MS 835 (Photograph Album relating to Staythorpe Power Station).

Jump 1:

Henry Swinnerton (1875-1966) was professor of Geology at University College Nottingham and his papers contain a lot of material relating to the teaching of this subject in Nottingham in the first half of the last century. Amongst his papers there are also nine letters to a man named Henry Howe Bemrose (MS 148/9).

Henry Howe Bemrose , known until 1902 as Henry Arnold Bemrose, was born in Derby in 1857 and attended Denbigh Grammar School before Clare College, Cambridge where he was a senior optime in mathematics. As Secretary of the University Extension Movement in Derby he became interested in geology after attending a course given by Sir Jethro Teall. Upon completion of his degree in 1879 he joined his father’s printing firm, Bemrose and Sons as a director.

Mam Tor postcard

Postcard sent from Bakewell

Jump 2:

Bemrose published over fifteen papers relating to geology and Derbyshire, in particular relating to the Toadstones in the Matlock area of Derbyshire, published in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (1907). Amongst his papers we find a postcard of Mam Tor sent to him from members of the Geologists Association and written in Easter 1932 at Bakewell, Derbyshire.

School bill

School bill for 'Master FitzHerbert'

Jump 3:

Racing back 100 years, Bakewell was the location for a successful school run by the Rev. Francis Hodgson, later provost of Eton (1840-1852). It was attended by, amongst others, Anthony and John Fitzherbert, sons of Sir Henry Fitzherbert of Tissington Hall (1783-1858) and you can see a selection of correspondence from Francis Hodgson to Sir Henry about the education of his sons and an assortment of school bills in the Briggs Collection (B Ed 4).

5th Duke of Newcastle

The 5th Duke of Newcastle

Jump 4:

Later, when at Eton, Francis Hodgson wrote a number of letters to Henry Pelham-Clinton (later 5th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne), objecting to the building of a viaduct for the ‘railway up Romney Mead’ near to the grounds of Eton College. He claimed it would be unsightly and damage the local environment. (ref. Ne C 9114/1-2) 6 Jan. 1846

Jump 5:

Exactly 100 years later another new railway branch line had to be built. This time to transport the vast amount of materials needed to construct a 112 megawatt coalfired power station on the banks of the River Trent. The site, which can be seen from the Nottingham to Lincoln railway line was at Staythorpe and a photograph album in the collection records the construction process.

Staythorpe Power Station

Staythorpe Power Station

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