Posted on 17 April 2020
A belated Happy Easter to those who celebrate, we hope that those of you who could take time off were able to spend it enjoyably. The Borthwick was closed over the long Easter weekend giving us all the chance to take a break from our computers and enjoy some sunshine but we are now back at work, answering customer queries, working on our online catalogues and hospital index databases, and launching our new York COVID-19 archive project.
In the past week we have added three new complete catalogues to Borthcat with a total of 548 additional archival descriptions. The archives of York’s Blue Coat and Grey Coat charity schools are a significant addition, complimenting as they do the complete catalogues of York Charity Schools and the Blue and Grey Coat Children’s Home which were made available previously. You might be interested to know that the Blue Coat School has an unusual link to the Borthwick - it was founded in 1705 in St Anthony’s Hall in Peasholme Green which was also the home of the Borthwick Institute from 1953-2005!
We’ve also added the full catalogue of J. W. Knowles and Sons, a firm of glass painters, restorers and church decorators based on Stonegate in York. The work of the business led first by John Ward Knowles and then by his son John Alder Knowles can be seen throughout the city, including in St Lawrence’s Church and in York Minster itself where the firm worked on the St William and St Cuthbert windows. John Alder Knowles had an abiding research interest in the lives and works of earlier glass painters such as William Peckitt. The archive includes his research papers on Peckitt, including some original documents belonging to Peckitt and his family. The Borthwick was fortunate enough to recently acquire the notebook of William Peckitt, adding further to our knowledge of this celebrated glass painter.
Finally, we launched our COVID-19 archive project just before the Easter weekend and will be promoting it further in the coming weeks. You can find out more information about the project on our website, but in the meantime we would like to ask anyone who might wish to take part to begin recording your thoughts and feelings and events around you and in your community so that we can begin to create a lasting collective memory of the impact of the coronavirus on York and its residents. In the years to come we hope that such an archive will prove a valuable and important resource for researchers and for our own understanding of this crisis.