Explore Your Archive! – Part One

November sees the launch of the Explore Your Archive campaign in archives and records facilities across the country. Intended to promote awareness of archives and the fascinating discoveries that can be made within them, Explore Your Archive also gives facilities like ours the chance to show off some of the best bits from our unique and intriguing collections.

University of Liverpool Appeal Poster: D937

One of our favourite pieces actually concerns a different campaign, one launched in 1920 in an effort to raise £1,000,000 with the aid of 9993 contributors. The appeal poster was created, along with accompanying postcards of scenes from around the University precinct, in order to encourage people to donate to the University and it remains a fitting tribute to the spirit of philanthropy that has always been strong around the University of Liverpool.

The Bulley family are one of the most notable benefactors of the University. Lois Bulley bequeathed Ness Gardens to the University of Liverpool in 1948, on the understanding that they remain open to the public. The Bulley family collection was then deposited with us in 1998, and is full of charming insights into a clearly generous and loving family; from their vast assortment of family photographs to the beautiful letters penned (with illustrations!) by Arthur and Harriet Bulley to their children. Some beautiful watercolour visiting cards for various members of the Bulley family can be seen in our display cabinets throughout the Explore Your Archive campaign.

Bulley Family collection: D693/4

Records relating to The University of Liverpool Guild of Students make up a significant, and one of the most interesting, parts of the University Archive. Everything from the Athletics Union to student publications are covered, and are a fitting tribute to a very active and involved student body. Cloth blazer badges and an abundance of photographs and news cuttings only hint at the wealth of information to be found pertaining to the Athletics Union, whilst copies of the Sphinx, first established as a student magazine in 1893, enable us to access first-hand accounts of what mattered to students in any given decade of the University’s history.

And from the Sphinx, to ancient Egypt… Archaeologist John Garstang was a professor in the School of Archaeology between 1902 and 1941, and his work on the ancient Egyptian cemetery ground of Beni Hasan provides the University Archive with one of our most fascinating records, in the form of his photograph album from the excavation.

Other great discoveries made by University of Liverpool staff include those of Charles Scott Sherrington, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1932 for his work on neurons with his partner Edgar Adrian. The University Archive holds among other articles, his correspondence, lectures and examples of the poetry that Sherrington produced later in his career.

Sydney Jones Library plans: A197/J48   
We are very lucky that the University Archive allows us access to these and so many other great achievements, whilst also offering a very real way to trace the history of this institution.  Whether glancing at the striking architectural plans for the Sydney Jones library, or looking at the portraits of long distinguished staff and alumni, one can be sure that there is plenty more to be discovered in the archives. And there is plenty more to come during the Explore Your Archive campaign, so why not come and see what there is to be learnt. Visit the http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/  website today.

Kate Hawke
Graduate Library Assistant