Manuscripts and Special Collections

Category: From the collections

This category contains 40 posts

Royal weddings of the past

April 28th, 2011 at 08:04

Tomorrow’s festivities involving Prince William and Kate Middleton have prompted us to look into our collections to find references to previous royal weddings. Many of us will have examples of royal memorabilia at home, such as mugs, plates or coins. A rather more unusual item produced in 1981 to commemorate the marriage of William’s parents, [...]

An Easter Feast

April 20th, 2011 at 10:04

The following menu comes from the household account book of William Vane, Viscount Vane (d. 1734) part of the Portland Literary Collection (Pw V 118). It describes the food to be eaten at an Easter feast in 1732. As well as the main dinner, separate but still sumptuous meals were to be served on the [...]

Lace pattern books

April 5th, 2011 at 08:04

A recent enquiry asked about one of our lace pattern books held here at Manuscripts and Special Collections. The books comes from the collection of Cookson, Haseldine and Manderfield, lace manufacturers of Stoney Street, Nottingham. Evidence of the company has all but disappeared and there are only mentions of them in trades directories from 1891. [...]

April Fool!

April 1st, 2011 at 08:04

This bank note includes enough clues to its fake nature that it is doubtful it could have fooled anyone, but it is an entertaining example of an April Fool practical joke from 1847. It was sent anonymously to C. Brinsley Marlay on 31 March 1847 and is now part of the Marlay collection (My 2484/2). [...]

On this day in the archives…

March 26th, 2011 at 12:03

March 26th marks the hundreth anniversary of the birth of the American playwright Tennessee Williams. Born Thomas Lanier Williams, he changed his name to Tennessee in 1939 after the state in which his father was born. Williams is justifiably best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning plays, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and [...]

Helpful advice on letter writing

March 21st, 2011 at 12:03

A fascinating little book was recently donated to Special Collections, consisting of examples of letters covering a range of social and business circumstances

How to write a bestseller, watch the races and fleece your tenants, in Manuscripts and Special Collections

March 12th, 2011 at 11:03

Laurence has been volunteering for us in Manuscripts and Special Collections, gaining some pre-course experience to become a librarian or archivist. In this post he gives us his thoughts on archives and cataloguing. Do you want to know how to wring every shilling out of 17th Century tenants? The best way to watch the races [...]

Effie Ruskin in the Marlay Collection

March 7th, 2011 at 08:03

In a previous blog posting I described the early-19th century correspondence of the Countess of Charleville with many female authors. The late 19th-century papers in the Marlay Collection are focused around the Countess’s daughter, Catherine Louisa Marlay, née Tisdall (1796-1882), and her son Charles Brinsley Marlay (1829-1912). Like the Countess of Charleville, they moved in [...]

William Booth’s diary, 1812

March 4th, 2011 at 08:03

Descriptions of a collection of documents with local interest to Nottingham and Lincolnshire, apparently collected by Bernard B. Granger, 1700-1943 (MS 839), have just released on the online catalogue. One intriguing item within the collection is a diary kept by William Booth (MS 839/7/1). William Booth was born in 1768 and died in 1836, and [...]

The Marlay Collection

February 24th, 2011 at 08:02

The Marlay papers have been owned by the University Library since 1943, but are perhaps not as well known to researchers as they should be. The collection is named after Charles Brinsley Marlay (1829-1912), owner of an estate at Belvedere in Westmeath, Ireland. Marlay was a conscientious landlord, but also a wealthy man of leisure [...]