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Borthwick Newsletter - October 2020

Posted on 30 September 2020

Welcome to the Borthwick Institute’s first monthly newsletter! We’ll be keeping you up to date with our new accessions and catalogues, exciting news and discoveries from the archives and the Borthwick in the media.

October in the Archives - delve into our catalogues with this month’s featured description

Copy of charter of Edward I to James of Wandesley: 10 October 1662: copy of: 20 February 1306/7 Charter of Edward I to James of Wandesley granting him a weekly Wednesday market at Wandesley and a 3 day annual fair on the eve, day and morrow of Trinity and free warren in his demesne for his services in Scotland. [Wenlock/1/123]

What’s new?

New Staff

In September we welcomed Natasha MacMahon to the Borthwick team to assist with our probate digitisation services and other related duties.  Before joining the University of York Natasha worked at Durham Cathedral library and museum and completed a graduate traineeship in the library of Pembroke College, Cambridge.  Natasha has an undergraduate degree in Ancient History from the University of Liverpool and her favourite period of study was Classical Greece, in particular its culture and social history.

New Accessions

In September we were generously gifted the archive of John Hurworth Hutchinson, a York based architect and artist who passed away in 2018.  As a student Mr Hutchinson won the 1960 RIBA Tite Prize for his work ‘An Open Air Theatre’ and he went on to work for well known Yorkshire architects George Pace and Ron Sims, whose archive we also hold at the Borthwick.  Mr Hutchinson’s archive dates from the 1950s to 2018 and includes architectural drawings, notebooks, slides, and original artwork.  It is currently being processed and a fonds level description will be added to Borthcat very soon.

The writer and stage director Julia Pascal, founder of the Pascal Theatre Company. has also made a recent addition to her archive here with the deposit of draft scripts for some of her more recent works: ‘As Happy as a God in France’, ‘The Road to Paradise’, and ‘Blueprint Medea’.  Dr Pascal first deposited her archive with us in 2004 and a partial catalogue can be viewed here.

New Catalogues

We’ve recently added the indexes for the first eleven male case books for Clifton Hospital, York, to Borthcat, covering the period 1850-1895.  Indexed patient information includes name, age, marital status, occupation and details of admission and discharge.  The indexing work was carried out by volunteers from the York Family History Society and we’re very grateful for their sterling efforts!

Number of archival descriptions on Borthcat on 1st October 2020: 70,085

If you’d been following our weekly closure updates you would know that the Borthwick has spent a great deal of time since March working on our online catalogue Borthcat, adding full catalogues and new indexes to improve our remote services.  The work seems to have paid off - over the course of 2020 Borthcat has seen a 25% surge in users, working out at 19,000 users from across 117 different countries.

Borthwick Archives in the Media

Dr Peter Mayhew of the Department of Biology here at the University of York has published an article on ‘The Life of William Prest, York Entomologist (1824-1884)’ in The Naturalist journal (145, 2020).  Dr Mayhew made use of the archive of York and District Field Naturalists’ Society and York parish records for his article, which brings together the existing information about the life of a ‘skilled and energetic collector of Lepidoptera and an enthusiastic communicator and compiler of natural history information.’

Poetry from the Borthwick’s Covid 19 archive has been included in ‘Viral Verses’, a new book of poetry from the University of York press which captures the mood and emotions of York residents in the wake of the pandemic.  The book of verse was edited by Professor Stephen Linstead of the York Management School, and his son Nick, and all profits will be donated to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal.

Archive of the Month: The Rowntree Family Papers (RFAM)

What is it?  

The records of 24 different members of the Rowntree family, from Joseph Rowntree Senior who established a grocery shop at 28 Pavement, to Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree whose work played an important role in the creation of the British Welfare State.

Where can I find it?

You can find the full Rowntree Family Papers catalogue on Borthcat, each member of the family has their own subsection.  You can also read about the project to catalogue the Rowntree archives here on our blog, or learn more about the family of Julia Seebohm and her relationship with Joseph Rowntree through additional research by Borthwick staff.

Why is it Archive of the Month? 

Because the catalogue represents the first time all surviving Rowntree family papers collected together at the Borthwick have been listed in one place and there’s so much scope for discovery and research!  You can read the wartime letters of Seebohm Rowntree, delve into the 19th century diary of Sarah Elizabeth Rowntree, or see the growth of the Rowntree company through the eyes of its founder Joseph.

That’s all for this month, we’ll see you in November!