Library Special Collections


Digging Out the Past – the legacy of Alan McWhirr

The first collection we have finished digitising for the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH) project is a monthly radio series about archaeology, Digging Out the Past. This ran from 1979 – 1989 and was produced and presented by the archaeologist Alan McWhirr for BBC Radio Leicester. The series covered some important events, such as the 1988/9 […]

The latest adventures of MS 210

MS210 playing for the photogrammetry cameras

In a follow-up to his previous blog post, The Beast in Me, Museum Studies PhD student Armand De Filippo reports on the most recent adventures of our “Ethiopic Manuscript”, MS 210. Armand’s latest article reflects on the experience of conducting cutting-edge digital imaging work with the manuscript at the British Library, in collaboration with Mnemoscene and […]

Leicester in 1945 – the British Council & Harold White

Leicester in 1945 – the British Council & Harold White

A few years ago, when I was working at the East Midlands Oral History Archive, I planned an oral history project that would record people’s memories of the immediate post-war years in Leicester. During preliminary work for the project, I discovered a collection of high quality, large, mounted black and white photos of Leicester taken […]

Literary Archives

Literary Archives

  The Secret Mystery of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾   Working in the archives, I often roll my eyes at newspaper headlines which report on archive material being ‘newly discovered’, suddenly ‘unearthed’, and ‘never before seen’ – as quite often the document has been sitting in the archive store for years, has a catalogue […]

Holiday Memories

As part of the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH) project we have been training volunteers in how to archive and use sound recordings. One of the projects we are working on is creating sound clips that can be used in reminiscence work, and one of the topics we are looking at is holidays.   The […]

A celebration of 100 years ago today, by Caroline Wessel

ULA/HIS/FOU/2, Memorial Portraits: Thomas Fielding Johnson []

On Friday 4 April 1919 Mr Thomas Fielding Johnson purchased the 36-acre site of Leicester’s 5th Northern Base Hospital, where nearly 75,000 injured First World War soldiers had been nursed, as a gift to house the proposed new Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College. When Dr Astley Clarke, a prime mover in the cause of establishing […]

Starting the UOSH Midlands Hub

It now seems like a long time ago that we became aware of the British Library’s ambitious plans for a national project that will preserve nearly half a million ‘at risk’ audio recordings. Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH) is the audio preservation and access strand of a larger project called Save Our Sounds, which is […]

Sue Townsend’s Fan Mail

ST/16/5/3 Folder 2 (17) Letter from a school pupil thanking Sue Townsend for teaching him during a school visit to take time to think and do his best. 01/03//1996

  Guest Post from Helen Ward, Library Assistant in Archives and Special Collections. To aid researchers, I have been adding details to our catalogue describing the content of individual letters from the correspondence series (reference: ST/16/5) within the Sue Townsend Collection. I have found many of these letters to be charming and worthy of being […]

Unveiling Women’s History at the University of Leicester

Unveiling Women’s History at the University of Leicester

  About the University of Leicester Established in 1921 as a memorial to those who served in the First World War, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College had humble origins. Higher education was provided for 15 students during the first year, in one building, and with a small number of subjects offered. In our first decade, women made […]

Happy World Digital Preservation Day 2018!

Happy World Digital Preservation Day 2018!

                      I seem to be blogging on a theme of particular days here so far –  but in case you hadn’t already guessed from the title, today is World Digital Preservation Day!   I thought it would be a good excuse to talk a little […]

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