Library Special Collections

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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 […]

The Dreadful Burning of the City of London

University of Leicester Special Collections.  Front cover of the pamphlet, A True and Faithful Account of the Several Informations Exhibited to the Honourable Committee Appointed by the Parliament to Inquire into the Late Dreadful Burning of the City of London, (London, 1667), SCM 05525.

The atmosphere of London in 1666, before, as well as after, the outbreak of the Great Fire, was febrile – anti-Catholic feeling was potent and rife, portents and prophecies of terrible events abounded, the city had been ravaged by Plague the year before and England was at war with the Dutch, with whom the French […]

The destruction of Old St Paul’s

University of Leicester Special Collections.  A view of Old St Paul’s, before the fire of 1561 from: SCT 00908, William Dugdale, The History of St. Pauls Cathedral in London : From its Foundation Untill these Times …, (London, 1818).

350 years ago this month, during the early hours of Sunday 2 September 1666, the Great Fire of London, which had broken out in the Pudding Lane bakery of Thomas Farynor, began to spread with terrifying speed through the city’s crooked, narrow streets, lined with wooden buildings. One consequence of the Fire, irreparable damage to […]

Desert ‘magick’ and astral bodies – what could they have to do with Special Collections?

SCM 12640, Annie Besant, Annie Besant: an Autobiography, (London, 1908).

Our current exhibition, exploring the experiences and attitudes of the British in India from the early 17th century to the turn of the 20th, features a selection of material from the Union Club Library, purchased by the University in 1964, about which I wrote previously.  But it also draws on the collection of Victor Neuburg.  […]

The Great British Bake-Off, but not as we know it!

The Great British Bake-Off, but not as we know it!

  If rumour proves to be correct, the seventh series of the Great British Bake Off is due to appear on our screens towards the end of August. Fans of the show who were hoping for a repeat of the pattern of previous years will be forced to wait an extra couple of weeks this […]

Beatrix Potter – 150th Anniversary

Beatrix Potter – 150th Anniversary

  Iconic fictional characters of childhood can be attributed to the creativity of Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of the late 19th – early 20th century.       Adult and child alike will be familiar with the mischievous protagonist that is Peter Rabbit; a story which after several rejections was published by Beatrix herself, printing […]

Sherry in the filing-cabinet – and as for the milk-jug …

Sherry in the filing-cabinet – and as for the milk-jug …

Our current exhibition from the Special Collections, ‘”Strangers in the Land”? Impressions of India’, explores the attitudes and reactions of the British in India, from the early 17th century to the turn of the 20th, and the repercussions of a complex and fascinating relationship on the cultures of both countries.  Many of the items displayed […]

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