The Borthwick at 60

In 2013 we celebrated our 60th birthday, and to mark the anniversary we mounted an exhibition in our Samuel Storey exhibition space, commemorating our opening in May 1953, and showcasing our history during the last six decades.

So much has happened at the Borthwick during 60 years that any exhibition can only focus on a few selected aspects.

More about the Borthwick's history

To find out more about our story, visit the History of the Borthwick pages.

We chose to tell the story of the role played by the York Civic Trust and Oliver Sheldon in our founding. We also told the story of our first Director, Canon J.S. Purvis and illustrated our premises at St Anthony's Hall from 1953 to 2004.

We looked at how our archives have grown and how our audience has changed and increased.

We also took a brief look at the development of conservation, at the many ways in which we make archives available, at the many aspects of outreach and how the Borthwick is a place of continuity and change.

Blog posts

Read more about the exhibition and our 60th:

The exhibition gave us a chance to display some of our interesting archives and artefacts, including:

  • our first register of searchers
  • the watercolour sketch made by Canon Purvis of the scene inside Buckingham Palace when he received his OBE in 1958
  • the plaques from outside the old Borthwick: the brass plate of 1953 commissioned by York Civic Trust and the nameplate in university blue, giving our opening hours (remember, we used to shut for lunch!)

General view of the exhibition

General view of the exhibition

The first showcase told the story of our founding and the crucial role of Oliver Sheldon

The first showcase told the story of our founding and the crucial role of Oliver Sheldon

Showcase 4 focused on our development and our archives. It showed our first register of searchers and the university nameplate from outside St Anthony’s Hall

Showcase 4 focused on our development and our archives. It showed our first register of searchers and the university nameplate from outside St Anthony’s Hall

The smaller showcases illustrated aspects of our history over the past 60 years. In the foreground: ‘Archives and the Wider Community’

The smaller showcases illustrated aspects of our history over the past 60 years. In the foreground: "Archives and the Wider Community"

We used one of our original showcases to tell the story of our opening in May 1953, not long before the Coronation

We used one of our original showcases from 1953 to tell the story of our opening in May of that year, not long before the Coronation

The second showcase focused on Rev J S Purvis, our first Director. At the bottom: his OBE certificate and his sketch of the scene at Buckingham Palace when he received his OBE in 1958

The second showcase focused on Rev J S Purvis, our first Director. At the bottom: his OBE certificate and his sketch of the scene at Buckingham Palace when he received his OBE in 1958

The showcase on conservation, showing conservation tools

The showcase on conservation, showing conservation tools‌