Library Special Collections

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The Lord of Misrule and his band of ‘lusty guts’

6.	University of Leicester Special Collections.  The Christmas revels at Crystal Palace in 1859 from: Illustrated London News, (London, 8 January 1859), OVERSIZE PER 050 I1195.

Behaving badly at the Christmas festivities and doing something you would really rather not remember is not an exclusively modern phenomenon, as a trawl through our Special Collections reveals – although in the 16th and 17th centuries the scene of your shame, rather than being the office party, might have been one of the many […]

An interview with Nora Waddington

The first group of 9 students with staff. Back row: R. Bennett, W. Bates, M. Nevitt, M. Webb, G. K. Smalley. Middle row: E. Capey, Miss C. E. C. Measham, Dr. R. F. Rattray, W. G. Gibbs, N. Bonser. Front row: D. Ough, D Gilbert.

During the 1980s an oral history project was undertaken by the Leicester Oral history Archive.  These interviews are now held by the East Midlands Oral History Archives at the University of Leicester. I am currently working on a project to increase the number of these interviews that are available online (check out the current collection […]

Frank, the Double Duchesse

University of Leicester Special Collections.  Miniature of Frances Stuart (née Howard), Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, from the Fairclough Collection

Amongst the contents of the Fairclough Collection of engraved portraits, relating to political and social history in 17th century Britain, we have recently discovered this delicately executed miniature of Frances Stuart (née Howard), Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, who died in 1639.  The oval appears to have been cut from a larger composition (in watercolour […]

A story to … awaken thrilling horror

University of Leicester Special Collections.  Frontispiece to the first illustrated edition of Frankenstein, drawn by Theodor von Holst and engraved by W. Chevalier.  From: SCS 01395, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, (London, 1831).

In the fabulously Gothic frontispiece of the first illustrated edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus, published in 1831, the monster, dramatically lit by the moon, lies in a medieval chamber, complete with grinning skeleton.  The artist, Theodor von Holst, has chosen to show the moment, when Victor, overcome with horror at the […]

Scrapbook exhibition

Scrapbook exhibition

The latest exhibition in the Special Collections programme is on the theme of scrapbooks. We hold a number of different types of scrapbook and it’s been quite a challenge to decide which ones to select for the exhibition. In the end we (that’s my colleague Ian Swirles and I) have opted for a selection which […]

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