The records are a crucial part of Warwick's economic and industrial heritage and a testament to the entrepreneurial and engineering expertise of the local area. The company played a ground-breaking role in British motor design and sporting success. The archive's unique research value though is in the building of a brand and high quality marque synonymous with British style. The elegance of the design of Healey cars as well as the company's contributions to motor-racing and speed record breaking attempts are key parts of the collection's appeal. The high status of the collection and strong local connections will bring new audiences to heritage and there will be opportunities to use the collection for income generation activities, which will help improve the sustainability of Warwickshire County Record Office.
The archive includes drawings; business, legal, research and development correspondence and files; photographs; sales and promotional material; and press cuttings.
The Marchmont Manuscript of the key Scottish legal text Regiam Majestatem is written in Lowland Scots. The manuscript is signed and dated 18 October 1548 by the scribe Robert Ewyn, presented to the poet Alexander Hume by his maternal uncle, Alexander Hume of Manderston, in 1582, and bears the heraldic bookplate of Patrick Hume, first Earl of Marchmont, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, 1702.
A small but significant collection of letters between Shetland antiquary Edwyn Seymour Reid Tait (1885-1960) and Horace Alexander Duncan, always called Barry Duncan (1909-1985), a native of Lerwick who had eventually become an artist and antiquarian bookseller in London.
This important archive of Heston Aerodrome, Middlesex, documents the construction and early operating of Britain’s first private airport. It consists of approximately 160 letters, 20 photographs, 65 drawings, 2 brochures and press cuttings.
Heston Air Park was conceived by fellow pilots and aircraft co-owners Nigel Norman and Alan Muntz in 1928, and constructed by their new company, Airwork Ltd. However it was all designed by Leslie Magnus Austin ARIBA (1896-1975). The Archive contains the correspondence between Norman and Muntz at Airwork and Austin from the initial stages in 1928 to 1931. It covers the purchase of land, construction, architecture and everything needed to build an airport, as well as recording a major disagreement regarding who should get the credit for the design of the new airport.
Sylvia Lynd played an important role in 20th-century literary culture as a judge for the Book Society (the British equivalent of the American Book-of-the-Month Club) and the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize. The Hampstead home that she shared with her husband, the writer and journalist Robert Wilson Lynd, was a notable literary meeting place, and the Lynds’ circle included many publishers, literary journalists and writers, including Victor and Ruth Gollancz, J.B. Priestley, Rose Macauley, and Hugh Walpole. Other guests at their home included James Joyce (who held his wedding reception there) and W.B. Yeats. In her own right Lynd was a significant pastoral poet, but will perhaps be best remembered for her prominent role as a literary tastemaker and influential female judge on the new book clubs and literary prizes formed during the interwar years.
The University of Reading holds the Archive of British Publishing and Printing, along with related book trade material, including the Mark Longman Library (formerly the library of the National Book League). It also holds several collections of the papers and literary manuscripts of 20th century authors, with a notable focus on modern poets and Irish writers. With this in mind, the Special Collections at Reading is a natural home for the papers of Sylvia Lynd.
The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading purchase of twenty-two rare agricultural pamphlets from the mid-19th century, which relate to the agricultural innovations and economics of the period, enhancing its existing collection strengths in British agricultural history. The collection includes rare works on early applications of agricultural chemistry, studies of production and demand, and farmers’ reports on the use of new agricultural equipment. They provide a unique insight into the economic and technological developments in British agriculture in the mid-19th century, a pivotal period that marked the final stages of the British Agricultural Revolution.
In September 2016, the Norfolk Record Office purchased a wide range of documents sold at auction in the Morningthorpe Manor Country House Sale. A keen local collector had accumulated this eclectic array of documents over a number of decades. It ranged in date from the 15th to the 20th century and included diaries, deeds, maps, photographs, playbills, manorial records, estate records, travel journals, business records and political broadsheets. However, there was one strong theme linking everything together: Norfolk. It was estimated that the Record Office would require about £30,000 to secure the items of clear significance to the county’s heritage. However, the Record Office did not have purchase funds available – it needed to raise money and to do so very quickly.
A major contribution was made by the Friends of the National Libraries who not only provided a grant of £5,000, but also were able to make a decision extremely quickly. This meant that the £5,000 could be used as a seed of a campaign from which the Record Office’s fundraising partner, NORAH (the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation) was able to secure an additional £25,000. Having reached its target the Record Office was able to secure 86 lots at the sale.
The book was written by Virginia Woolf for her lover Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962), who was born and brought up at Knole. It tells the story of the house through the life of Orlando, a character whose life spans the 400–year history of Knole and who mysteriously changes sex half way through. The book was published the year Vita’s father died and Knole passed to her uncle, Major Charles Sackville-West (Edward Sackville-West’s father), thus cutting Vita’s ties with her childhood home. When Woolf wrote Orlando she sought to capture in fiction Vita’s feelings for Knole and her aristocratic heritage. The character Orlando was effectively a mythologised portrait of Vita.
An important letter from poet and artist David Jones (1895-1974), author of In Parenthesis, to novelist Anthony Powell. The letter was bought for the National Library of Wales with the aid of a grant of £650 from the Friends of the National Libraries.
The letter, which is dated 10-11 July 1967, discusses Welsh history and genealogy, topics on which these two men of letters - both of Welsh descent - shared a common interest. The National Library of Wales’ extensive David Jones Archive - the most complete archive of the artist-poet’s work in existence - contains two associated letters from Powell to Jones, dated 8 and 16 July 1967 respectively (NLW, David Jones Papers, CT2/2). It also contains a draft of a letter from Jones to Powell, dated 15 July 1967, but in fact responding to Powell’s letter of 16 July (NLW, David Jones Papers, CF1/12, f. 12).
The 38 letters of Robert Louis Stevenson to Anne Jenkin are published in the comprehensive Yale edition of his letters, but of the 15 which Fanny sent to Anne, only the heart-rending letter written the day after Stevenson’s death is known to be published. It is therefore in Fanny’s letters that the research value of the collection probably lies.
Anne was the widow of Fleeming Jenkin, Professor of Engineering at Edinburgh University. In that capacity he taught Stevenson, and though the latter showed little aptitude or interest in the subject, the two became close friends and Stevenson enjoyed visiting the Jenkin family in Edinburgh. Like Stevenson, the Jenkins were fond of amateur dramatics, and with their three young sons Stevenson must have been in his boyish element. Fleeming Jenkin died very suddenly in 1885 aged 52, and this correspondence begins when Anne asks Stevenson to write a memoir of her husband. A postscript to the earliest Stevenson letter in the collection reads ‘Dear me, what happiness I owe to both of you!’