Rare books collection

To celebrate the completion of our work with our rare books, we want to provide an introduction to this remarkable collection.

First of all, just how “rare” are these books? Some which have found their way into this collection are more commonplace, such as Charles Booth’s Life and Labour, which has been reprinted many times and is a social study of poverty- the one in our collection is a 2nd edition copy. And then there are volumes such as Oeuvres morales et meslees, a translation in French of Plutarch’s essays about morals which was originally written in Greek. This latter item is from the 16th century, and has subsequently been rebound due to its age.

The topics these books cover include art, history, sculpture, photography, religion, architecture and engineering. The dates of publishing range from the 1500s to the 1900s and some are first editions as well as some which are facsimiles- a copy of a book that is supposed to emulate the original. There are scrapbooks, manuscripts, printed texts and musical scores. Here you can see a small sample of what lies within the pages.

The books themselves can be visually astounding, with covers featuring antique designs and the pages within featuring illustrations. One of my favourites was Great Flower Books 1700 – 1900: A Bibliographical Record of Two Centuries of Finely-Illustrated Flower Books which is a heavily illustrated book featuring a variety of flora. Here we can see a classic marbled book cover, the prominence of the use of the colour gold for decoration and text and the lack of titles being printed on the cover.

The purpose of our recent work was to make this collection accessible to the public. The work undertaken by our Archive Assistants included preservation tasks, e.g. cleaning the books and arranging them to avoid further damage to spines, and sorting the list we had of the books, which detailed publication dates and authors, so that this can be added to the catalogue. If you wish to take a look at the collection search for HUD/LB/2/9/3 in the reference box at https://heritagequay.org/archives or click this link https://heritagequay.org/archives/HUD/LB/2/9/3/. And if you want to see one of these books in person, email us to book an appointment.

Archivist’s Toolbox-Palaeography

The focus of this blog is the tradition of palaeography, i.e. the study of historical handwriting. This skill is important for transcription of ancient, medieval and post-medieval texts and for understanding the development of writing itself. This blog attempts to introduce the topic by covering some of the key ideas that are relevant to palaeographers as they attempt to decipher a post-medieval text.

Throughout the centuries different styles of handwriting have become popularised. The modern handwriting style was founded with the italic style in the 14th to 16th centuries. This image shows some of the ways in which letters have been written in different styles of handwriting. This expresses why palaeography is a learned skill, since without knowledge of these letter shapes their presentation might be quite confusing to someone trying to read a document.

From looking at handwriting we can often see stylistic flairs that it helps to learn when interpreting an individual writer’s text. This example from our gas company collection (20th century) demonstrates that the scribe often joins words together and exhibits the different ways they write the letter ‘t’. Whilst it is useful to familiarise yourself with a writer’s style, it is also important to recognise that it may change throughout their life. Therefore, alongside learning the popular styles of the time, it is helpful to also pay close attention to specific individuals and the way they write.

Spelling could also differ, e.g. said being spelt sayd, and scribes often used abbreviations to shorten words, e.g. ‘wch’ for ‘which’ uses superscript letters. It is these historic ways of writing that have fallen out of fashion. If we consider modern language we notice that it changes all the time, whether that is the invention of a new slang term, a word to describe a scientific idea or abbreviations popularised via social media.

Transcribing a text can often feel like solving a puzzle. Making decisions about what handwriting style, date and individual letters are present discloses the content and, occasionally, context of historical documents, allowing you to glimpse aspects of life from centuries ago. We run palaeography courses here at Heritage Quay for students and researchers, so if you are interested please send us an email at archives@hud.ac.uk. If you want to read more about the topic and practice some examples, check out The National Archives pages at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/default.htm.

If you fancy having an attempt at transcribing, make sense of the image below from a 17th century Indenture which is one of the earliest legal documents we have at our archive. This is just a snippet of the document so the sentences aren’t complete. The answer will be in the comments below so don’t scroll till you’ve had a go.

If you’re a University of Huddersfield student the archive runs regular classes on how to pick up skills in palaeography 1500-2000! Just contact the archive for more information – archives@hud.ac.uk

New Ted Hughes exhibition

This month saw the launch of a new exhibition at Heritage Quay: ‘Ted Hughes: You Are Who You Choose To Be’ which runs until the beginning of July.

Like many of the displays we have in the archives, this exhibition wasn’t curated by us. This time we worked with staff in the English Literature department here at the University. Between us we supported Third Year English Literature students to select archival documents and objects that explore the Yorkshire roots of Hughes’s work, as well as his family life and professional collaborators. The displays include many newer additions to the archives here at Heritage Quay, including the Ted Hughes Network archive and the Donald Crossley archive both of which are available to researchers, although not fully catalogued yet. There are also some items on loan from a private collector.

The process of working on the exhibition with the students was really interesting. As any gallery or museum curator will tell you, curation (both selection of objects and text writing) is a delicate art. There are plenty of decisions to be made from the story you’d like to tell, to the depth of description. There will be physical constraints to deal with, including the need to minimise any damage to the objects on show, and the amount of display space available.

Our students came along for a teaching session with Public Engagement Office David Smith, who presented the relevant archives and rare books to the group, and gave them an introduction to curating an exhibition. The students were then divided into groups and had the opportunity to come and get to know the collections better in our Searchroom. These research sessions produced plenty of animated discussion!

Each group came up with proposals for each of our six cases, with tutors choosing the best ideas to become the final exhibition. The students then worked together to produce the finished layout and captions. The new exhibition was then officially launched as part of the Huddersfield Literature Festival, complete with a reading of the poem ‘Six Young Men’ by Huddersfield’s own David Rudrum, and a comedy set from poet, comedian, actor and director, Owen O’Neill.

We are delighted with the final exhibition, and have been receiving really positive responses from our visitors. We’re just as pleased to have had the chance to take some of our students through the whole process of creating an exhibition, from brainstorming ideas to launch party!

Key Collections Series: Women’s history

Many of the collections in Heritage Quay demonstrate the ways that women sought opportunities to acquire education and build more independent and prosperous lives for themselves. From the early part of the 19th century the records of the Huddersfield Female Educational Institute and subsequent incarnations of the Technical Colleges demonstrate how education for women transformed from the traditional ‘female’ skills of cookery and needlework, to more academic and industrial courses and how opportunities to pursue technical and higher education increasingly began to open up to them.

Photograph from the School & University records of the Scholes Monaghan Archive, pre 1917.
Photograph from the School & University records of the Scholes Monaghan Archive, pre 1917.

Midwifery students, Ruby Ward Archive, c1940s.
Midwifery students, Ruby Ward Archive, c1940s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The experience of women in employment can be examined through the oral histories of nurses gathered in the Graham Thurgood archive, and documents relating to women’s employment in nursing and midwifery (Huddersfield Royal Infirmary archive; Ruby Ward archive). Women as advocates, both politically and for social causes, e.g. pensioners rights, can be traced through the records of women’s groups in political parties (Colne Valley, Denby Dale and Huddersfield Labour Parties) or in individual collections (Noreen Logan archive). While the extensive arts and music collections at Heritage Quay (British Music Collection, Mikron Theatre Company, Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society…) contain an immeasurable number of stories that reveal the lives, careers and influence of women on the national and international cultural landscape.

Mikron Theatre Company production poster for A Woman's Place, 2003
Mikron Theatre Company production poster for A Woman’s Place, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Catalogued Collections

Graham Thurgood Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/GT/

Noreen Logan Archive (Relating to Huddersfield Labour Party) – https://heritagequay.org/archives/NL/

Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire) – https://heritagequay.org/archives/WHS/

 

Uncatalogued Collections

University of Huddersfield Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/HUD/

Scholes-Monaghan Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=Scholes+Monaghan

Ruby Ward Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=ward+ruby

 

 

Pursue your own research using the collections

Find out about our events exploring the collections- many free

 

Key Collections Series: Sport

The Rugby Football League (RFL) was founded in Huddersfield in 1895, so it is fitting that the archives of the RFL, the Huddersfield Past Players Association, the Up and Under oral history project and the papers of MEP Terry Wynn, can be accessed in Heritage Quay.

 

Harold Wagstaff leads out Huddersfield Rugby League team, 1909.
Harold Wagstaff leads out Huddersfield Rugby League team, 1909.

Yorkshire Senior Competition Shield, 1892
Yorkshire Senior Competition Shield, 1892

 Know the game rugby league football, c1950.
Know the game rugby league football, c1950.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rugby league collections present an unmatched history of the sport through unique documents such as minute books, player registers and correspondence. There is also the opportunity to get close to rare match programmes, photographs, tickets and one-of-a-kind shirts, caps and balls.

 

Photograph of 1968 Challenge Cup Final between Leeds & Wakefield Trinity which became known as the 'Watersplash Final'.
Photograph of 1968 Challenge Cup Final between Leeds & Wakefield Trinity which became known as the ‘Watersplash Final’.

A photograph of women’s Rugby League, c1990s-2000s, which we are keen to identify. Can you help?
A photograph of women’s Rugby League, c1990s-2000s, which we are keen to identify. Can you help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The archives offer a fascinating insight into social history from the late 19th century to the present day. At Heritage Quay you can explore the history and identity of the working classes; understand the importance of gender and regional identity in the sport; and discover the international reach of a sport born in Huddersfield.

Smaller collections on cricket are also held, including a full set of Wisden.

 

Catalogued Collections

Printed Cricket Collection – https://heritagequay.org/archives/CRI/

Hodgson Cricket Collection Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/DH/

Rugby Football League Archive https://heritagequay.org/archives/RFL/

Terry Wynn, MEP Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/TW/

 

You can browse through and download a hard copy version of these catalogues on our ISSUU profile here: https://issuu.com/heritagequay/docs/heritage_quay_sports_collections_ca

 

Uncatalogued Collections

Huddersfield Rugby League Players Association Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/HPA/

Up and Under Project Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=Up+and+under+project

Wombwell and Oxford Authentics Cricket Club Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=authentics

 

Pursue your own research using the collections

Find out about our events exploring the collections- many free

 

Key Collections Series: Politics

Huddersfield’s fascinating political history is brought to life in Heritage Quay by the extensive range of collections that document the area’s 20th and 21st century political story. The overarching influence of the labour movement and the Labour Party on this narrative is keenly reflected through the collections. From the emergence and development of the Party’s grass roots (Huddersfield Labour Party Archive, Colne Valley Labour Party Archive and the Denby Dale Labour Party Archive) to the upper echelons of Westminster (J H Whitley, MP and Speaker of the House of Commons and JPW Mallalieu, MP Archives; Robert Blatchford Collections) and New Labour politics (Mick Clapham, MP Archive).

 

Signed photograph of Victor Grayson speaking a rally, c1907
Signed photograph of Victor Grayson speaking a rally, c1907

William Glenvil Hall, Colne Valley MP, 1939-1962.
William Glenvil Hall, Colne Valley MP, 1939-1962.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These collections reveal the local realities of the national party political system, and how this system has been informed and influenced by the unique character of Huddersfield’s political landscape. The library of famous statistician G.H. Wood covers economic and social history, education, health, housing and women’s history during the late 19th and early 20th century, and complement more contemporary left-wing publications including the Left Book Club and modern periodicals.

 

JPW Mallalieu, General Election leaflet, 1959.
JPW Mallalieu, General Election leaflet, 1959.

JPW Mallalieu canvassing, 1970s.
JPW Mallalieu canvassing, 1970s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catalogued Collections

Library of Arthur Gardiner – https://heritagequay.org/archives/AG/

Library of Alistair Wilson – https://heritagequay.org/archives/AWI/

Robert Blatchford Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/BLA/

Colne Valley Labour Party Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/CVL/

Denby Dale Labour Party Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/DDL

George Henry Wood Collection – https://heritagequay.org/archives/GHW/

Garth Pratt Co-operative Society Library – https://heritagequay.org/archives/GPC/

J H Whitley Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/JHW/

Sir Joseph Percival William Mallalieu, MP Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/JPM/

Noreen Logan Archive (Relating to Huddersfield Labour Party) – https://heritagequay.org/archives/NL/

 

You can browse through and download a hard copy version of these catalogues on our ISSUU profile here: https://issuu.com/heritagequay/docs/heritage_quay_politics_collections_

 
Uncatalogued Collections

Bow Group Publications Library – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=bow+group

Huddersfield Labour Party Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/HLP/

Independent Labour Party Pamphlets – https://heritagequay.org/archives/ILP/

Left Book Club Publications Library – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=left+book+club

Mick Clapham, MP Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=Clapham%2C+Mick

 

Pursue your own research using the collections

Find out about our events exploring the collections- many free

 

Key Collections Series: Non-Conformity

The largest collection charting the history of non-conformity is that of the Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire Branch). This collection which is still actively accruing material, covers circuit plans, leaflets, books and supporting historical material (such as centenary and anniversary brochures for chapels) for Wesleyan Methodist chapels across Yorkshire. It is an equally interesting collection for genealogists as it is for researchers of Methodist history. The history of chapels can be traced, as can the careers of preachers and the involvement of local individuals and families in the history of a particular place. A supplementary reference library also exists to complement the archival collection, which contains original books from the nineteenth century and books providing historical context and analysis of Methodist history, magazines and conference proceedings. The Lumbutts Sunday School Archive is an example of a library collection removed intact from a chapel and transferred to the archives which speaks to the methods used at the time to teach young children, and the type of literature deemed most appropriate at that time.

 

Print of a painting of John Wesley by Frank Salisbury, c1932.
Print of a painting of John Wesley by Frank Salisbury, c1932.

Illuminated certificate presented to Mr George Allen, Leeds First Primitive Methodist Circuit, 1887.
Illuminated certificate presented to Mr George Allen, Leeds First Primitive Methodist Circuit, 1887.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scholes-Monaghan Collection is an archive of the history of a family involved in Wesleyan Methodist missionary work throughout the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These contain personal accounts of journeys to and missionary work in China, and ephemera collected during their time abroad. The collection also reflects the history of a family, with photographs and accounts of journeys through Europe, diaries, educational and family documents and correspondence. The Guest collection is another family archive deeply rooted in the Methodist tradition.

 

Summer Bridge Chapel, Easter Tuesday 1894 meeting poster
Summer Bridge Chapel, Easter Tuesday 1894 meeting poster

Huddersfield Mission Annual Report, 1961.
Huddersfield Mission Annual Report, 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also a number of smaller collections reflecting the history of non-conformity across the past two centuries. The Randerson collection contains Wesleyan Class Tickets from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Pacey Sermons contain transcripts of early twentieth century sermons, whilst a collection of books in the John Lancaster collection chart the history of Christadelphianism and the Leonard Smith collection contains books on Unitarianism.

 

Catalogued Collections

Randerson Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/RAN/

Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire) – https://heritagequay.org/archives/WHS/

 

Uncatalogued Collections

Scholes-Monaghan Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=Scholes+Monaghan

Guest Family History Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=Guest+family

Pacey Sermons Archive – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=pacey

John Lancaster Collection – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=john+lancaster

Leonard Smith Collection – https://heritagequay.org/archives/?keyword=smith+leonard

 

 

Pursue your own research using the collections

Find out about our events exploring the collections- many free