New exhibition - The Borthwick at 60

Posted on 12 November 2013

While the University has been celebrating its 50th anniversary year, the Borthwick Institute is commemorating its 60th birthday.

Norah Gurney Borthwick 60

An exhibition to celebrate our 60 years runs from 1 November 2013 to 31 January 2014 in our main exhibition area, the Storey Exhibition Gallery.

Opened in 1953, the Borthwick was part of the campaign to attract a university to York. When the university opened in 1963, it became one of its founding departments. The image from our exhibition poster, above, shows Norah Gurney in 1957, newly arrived as assistant archivist and pictured in one of the original Borthwick strongrooms (this was state of the art shelving in 1953!). Mrs Gurney later became Borthwick Director.

The exhibition explores the origins of the Borthwick, showcases the first Director, Canon Purvis (who became well known for writing the script for the newly revived York Mystery Plays in 1951) and shows pictures of the Borthwick at St Anthony’s Hall (our home for 51 years). The first Borthwick visitors’ book is on display, and the exhibition reflects on the varied work of the Borthwick past and present – teaching, publishing, conserving archives and making them as widely available for everyone as possible. If you have always wanted to know why we are called the ‘Borthwick’ institute, and why our logo is a pig, come and find the answers!

For more on The Borthwick at 60 exhibition, see our blog post.