Spotlight on new acquisitions

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Hi all

This is a space for Collecting Cultures grantees to showcase their latest acquisitions through their CC projects- please post here (with images) to highlight a recent purchase…….

View Vanessa Wells's profile Vanessa Wells Aug 7 2015 - 12:02pm
  1. Hello everyone,

    Here's some information about our first acquisition, an 1819 Cruikshank print entitled 'Universal Suffrage or the Scum Uppermost!!', published one month before the Peterloo Massacre.

    The print was June's 'Object of the Month' here are the People's History Museum. You can find more information and images by following this link.





  2. View Harriet Beeforth's profile Harriet Beeforth
    Offline | Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
  3. We have blogged about three items we have purchased so far as part of our joint Collecting Cultures project with the People's History Museum, Voting for Change - 150 years of radical movements, 1819 to 1969. This builds upon the complementary strengths of both collections to acquire material related to movements and campaigns for the franchise, from the build-up to the Peterloo protest in 1819 to the lowering of the voting age in 1969.

    Our items are:

    1832 Reform Act

    Three 1830s reports from the Birmingham Political Union, which was one of the principal organisations involved in the agitation for the reform of Parliament which culminated in the 1832 Reform Act

    A caricature of labour leader George Odger.

    We also had as our Object of the Month for May another Collecting Cultures acquisition, a rare and most unusual archive of election material - from 1835. The material details the expenses of a Lincolnshire Tory candidate, Thomas George Corbett, including amounts spent on alcohol, tobacco and wagons to get his voters to the hustings. Selections from the archive were on display here between April and July, with background information about how elections were run in the 1830s.

    The arrival of the archive just before the General Election was opportune enough. But the library volunteer who researched the background to Corbett's campaign while putting together the exhibition unearthed an even more curious coincidence. Thomas Corbett turns out to be the great-great-great-grandad of none other than Samantha Cameron…

    More information about the archive is here.

    Cheers, Lynette Cawthra, Library Manager, Working Class Movement Library, Salford


    • Corbett archive on display
    • George Odger
  4. View Lynette Cawthra's profile Lynette Cawthra
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
  5. Thanks for posting Harriet and Lynette!

    It's great to see more on your recent acquistions - it's also really nice to have the links to your blogs on those objects too, very interesting reading.


  6. View Vanessa Wells's profile Vanessa Wells
    Offline | Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
  7. Creative Wiltshire & Swindon

    We have now identified over 400 individuals, many of whom can be included in the project, and are busy actively acquiring items on behalf of the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, and some of Wiltshire’s museums (a full list can be found under About on our Creative Wiltshire site).

    Some highlights so far have been…

    A set of 1930s ceramics by Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie. Katharine, of Coleshill House near Swindon and Kilmington, Warminster, was one of the founder members of the Craftsman Potters Association. She was also instrumental in setting up the Crafts Study Centre at Holbourne Museum, Bath. Her glazes are very well documented and have been a source of inspiration and study for many potters ever since.

    An etching by Robin Tanner of Kington Langley, 1930. Robin was not only a unique etcher; he was also influential in bringing art and creativity to the school curriculum and environment with his pioneering work at Ivy Lane School, Chippenham, in the 1930s and later as HM Inspector of schools.

    The Supertramp LP Breakfast in America. The co-founder of the 1970s band is Rick Davies from Swindon. The image on the back cover of the album features Rick pouring sugar onto his copy of the Swindon Advertiser!

    A set of 18th century handmade silver bells from the foundry at Aldbourne with the help of Terry Gilligan (who has been researching the foundry) regarding the authenticity of the items which were on sale in the USA. The bells would originally have been mounted on a leather block to be used on the neck of a cart horse or load pulling ox. Bells produced at Aldbourne have a distinct style of their own for which they have become renowned. The foundry itself can be seen as a ‘technical leader’ in the art of the bell founding method.

    We have also had the pleasure of acquiring some eye-catcing photographs by the talented and award winning wildlife photographer Nick Upton. Nick has lived in Box for 21 years and the photographs we have acquired can be seen as a record of his worldwide travels, and of Wiltshire’s flora and fauna. They are a fantastic record of the creativity of an individual working in our county, and its wonderful to be able to include them in our Wiltshire Print and Photograph Collection, stored safely for perpetuity with free access for all.


    More acquisitions can be viewed on our pinterest page




    • Pleydell-Bouverie pot
    • Tanner print
    • Supertramp vinyl Breakfast in America
    • The Aldbourne Bells
    • Common Blue butterfly on a Wiltshire common, copyright Nick Upton
    • Red Giant Flying Squirrel in Taiwan, copyright Nick Upton
  8. View Julie Davis's profile Julie Davis
    Offline | Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
  9. Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books

    So far Seven Stories have made a number of acquisitions which have been enabled by Collecting Collections grant.  The largest of these acquisitions is the Beverley Naidoo collection which our Archivist and Collections Manager collected from the author’s home in February.

    Beverley Naidoo is a South African children’s author based in England.  Beverley grew up in apartheid South Africa where her first novel ‘Journey to Jo’burg’, published in 1985, was banned until 1991.  However, it wasn’t until her years at the University of Witwatersrand that she came to fully understand the injustice of apartheid and became very involved in the anti-apartheid movement.  Upon leaving the University of Witwatersrand Beverley was detained without trial and later went into exile in Britain where she studied at the University of York, worked as a teacher, education adviser and writer. She received her Ph.D from the University of Southampton for research into white teenagers’ responses to literature and racism and has received a number of honorary doctorates for her fiction for young people.

    Her first novel ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ portrays apartheid through a child’s perspective.  In 2014 it was chosen as one of the Top 50 children’s books celebrating cultural diversity. Beverley’s first novel set outside of South Africa, ‘The Other Side of Truth’, tells the story of two refugee children in London, it won the Carnegie medal in 2000. Throughout her career, Beverley has been nominated for and has received many awards both in the UK and overseas.

    The collection spans Beverley’s career as a writer of non-fiction books, children’s author, short-story and picture book writer as well as an academic. It also demonstrates her involvement in schools and education.

    One of our aims through Collecting Cultures has been to develop our collection in order to showcase cultural and social diversity in children’s literature. The Beverley Naidoo collection is therefore a fantastic addition to the Seven Stories collection and will be a great research resource.  Alongside draft manuscripts, research materials and professional correspondence a large part of the collection consists of letters, lesson plans and worksheets sent to Beverley Naidoo.  These demonstrate a breadth of opinion on the issues of diversity from the late eighties to 2014 and show how education has presented topics of race and diversity through three decades.

    There is also a great potential to use Beverley’s collection for educational projects.  Not long after the acquisition our Education team began a ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ project with a year 8 drama club.  The pupils used copies of original letters and we took some of the collection to them for a white glove sessions.  The students then used the collection to inspire their own play about diversity, 

    For more information on the school project and the Beverley Naidoo collection take a look at our blog:

    Beverley also wrote on her blog about the experience of depositing her material at Seven Stories and about the education drama project:

    The collection is very nearly catalogued, and work will soon start on the second accrual which Beverley kindly donated later in May.


    Thanks, Danielle (Collections and Exhibitions Assistant) 

  10. View Danielle McAloon's profile Danielle McAloon
    Offline | Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
  11. Today is our Open Day at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham and we are pleased to display some of the items purchased as part of the Collecting Cultures project. The images show a David Inshaw print showing the Wiltshire landscape and featuring one of our many white horses, examples of Robert Fournier pottery from Lacock and a blast from the past with some Wiltshire music!


    • Print by David Inshaw of a Wiltshire landscape and one of our many white horses
    • Robert Fournier pottery and one of his signature pebble vases
    • Wiltshire sounds including Gilbert O'Sullivan, Supertramp, XTC and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mitch and Titch
  12. View joy rutter's profile joy rutter
    Offline | Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
  13. Using money from our Voting For Change project funds the Working Class Movement Library has just acquired some material about the extraordinary Northumberland election of 1826. Here's what we wrote up for our blog:

    The History of Parliament Online is a hugely detailed resource for finding out more about the background to Parliamentary elections pre-1832, and it has a lot to tell us about the Northumberland constituency.  The county had not previously seen an election – changes in its representation had since 1774 been determined by aristocratic compromise between the largest landowners. Traditionally they had returned one Tory and one Whig to the two parliamentary seats.

    Thomas Wentworth Beaumont had been a Northumberland county Tory MP since 1818, but  was increasingly viewed as a renegade - he voted with the Whig opposition against the repressive legislation introduced after the Peterloo massacre, and had declared support for parliamentary reform. After his unopposed return in the 1920 general election he had announced that he was joining the Whigs.

    When Charles John Brandling died on 1 February 1826 the Tory seat became unexpectedly vacant, and candidates started jostling for position prior to the general election.  ‘Canvassing in London, at race meetings, the assizes, Newcastle, Shields, Morpeth, Hexham and Alnwick was vital; and, as in neighbouring county Durham, the Tyneside industrialists and ship owners formed an increasingly vociferous electoral lobby’, in the words of the History of Parliament Online.  Only freeholders (landowners) , 'gentlemen' and clergy were entitled to vote at this time.

    Beaumont in the end stood as an Independent, making a virtue of the refusal of the Whig aristocracy to back him.  The contest became a four-way affair and has become famous for becoming costly, protracted and bitter in nature.  Lord Howick, the Whig candidate and son of architect of the 1832 Reform Act Earl Grey, hated Beaumont (who was more radical than him – Beaumont alone advocated the immediate abolition of slavery).  The Tories, Henry Thomas Liddell and Matthew Bell, also hated each other.  There was much cross-voting and many allegations of secret 'coalitions' between the candidates.  The ill feeling came to an extraordinary head during the campaign when Beaumont called Howick supporter John George Lambton liar from the platform of the hustings, and ended up fighting a (bloodless) duel with him on the beach below Bamburgh Castle.

    The Northumberland election generated more publicity than any other in 1826, with the four candidates spending huge amounts of money promoting themselves (and denigrating opponents) using posters, handbills, cartoons etc, and giving mugs and jugs to supporters so they could sup ale when they arrived at the hustings in the county town of Alnwick to cast their vote.  Candidates also provided accommodation and transport for the electors – a poster featured on the BBC 'History of the World' Web site advertises for steam ships and horse-drawn carts to get voters from the south of the county up to Alnwick.

    One of the treasures of our collection is The poll-book of the contested election for the county of Northumberland from June 20th to July 6th, 1826, including a complete collection of the addresses and speeches of the candidates etc…, published in Alnwick in 1827 (shelfmark D41). The items we have now acquired complement this record of ‘official’ publications, as two examples of the vast amount of printed ephemera generated at the time of this election. They are:

    a diatribe published in the name of ‘Ebenezer Holdfast’ aimed at Thomas Bates, a supporter of Liddell, and
    a lengthy anti-Howick pro-Beaumont statement reprinted from an original article in the Tyne Mercury of 30 May 1826.

    Voting took place over 15 days with the count results being announced each day.  At this period there was not one ‘election day’. After receiving a writ (a royal command) for the election to be held, the local returning officer fixed an election timetable. Polling in seats with contested elections could continue for many days. The national election took place between 7 June and 12 July 1826.

    Our poll-book lists all the votes cast, with the names of each of the electors and who they voted for!  Howick withdrew on the twelfth day of the Northumberland contest with 976 votes (don't feel sorry for him, he was swiftly gifted the 'rotten borough' of Winchelsea instead…). The results were (after the fifteenth day, 6 July): Liddell 1,562, Bell 1,380, Beaumont 1,335.  Beaumont had fallen short by just 46 votes and the Tories had taken both seats - at an estimated cost of £90,000 to Liddell and £60,000 to Bell, revised to £30,000 a candidate. Nationally the 1826 general election saw the Tories under the Earl of Liverpool win a substantial and increased majority over the Whigs.

    After all this excitement the next general election in 1830 must have seemed very tame, with Matthew Bell and the persistent Thomas Beaumont elected unopposed. ‘Both confirmed their opposition to colonial slavery, the subject of renewed petitioning that summer, encouraged by the Wesleyan Methodists and the Dissenters; and Beaumont declared for and Bell against parliamentary reform… Bell’s wife was the president of the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society’, says the History of Parliament Online. The same names crop up again with Howick and Beaumont being elected, again unopposed, in May 1831, after Bell retired after much criticism for voting twice against the proposed Reform Act.  Both Members voted for the Reform Bill at its second reading, 6 July 1831.  Whig barrister (and Beaumont family lawyer) James Losh wrote in November 1831:

    We have so far been able to keep the ultra reformers quiet; and by a little management our public meetings in this district have gone off very well. But unless the reform bill be passed very soon, there will be a bursting out of public indignation which nothing can resist in the northern counties. What is called the ‘Northern Political Union’ has done mischief. A few ill judging men (Mr. Attwood, etc.) are the leaders and as they have no real influence themselves they have but too successfully enticed the pitmen and made them more restless and discontented than they were before.  

    The 1832 Reform Act almost doubled the Northumberland electorate by the addition of middle-class householders. The constituency was abolished in 1885.



    • Northumberland 1826 election - response to Thomas Bates
  14. View Lynette Cawthra's profile Lynette Cawthra
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
  15. A second update from the Collecting Cultures Programme at the International Slavery Museum:

    Last month, on Human Rights Day (10 December), the Museum announced the purchase of a copper engraving by the famous British caricaturist James Gillray, published in 1851, depicting an infamous scene of cruelty described during a parliamentary motion for the abolition of the slave trade.

    The engraving shows an English slave driver punishing a young enslaved African because he was too sick to work. The inscription on the engraving describes how he was thrown “into a copper of boiling sugar juice, and after keeping him steeped over head and ears for above three quarters of an hour in the boiling liquid, whipt him with such severity, that it was near six months before he recovered of his wounds & scolding”.

    Stephen Carl-Lokko, Curator, International Slavery Museum said: “The acquisition of this item is a significant opportunity to enhance our collection of objects related to the history of abolition in Britain.

    “The text of the drawing refers to the common, brutal activities that took place on British plantations in the West Indies, as well as referencing the prominent British abolitionist, William Wilberforce.

    “It is hard to look at the engraving, but it gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past, and also reminds us of how human rights continue to be violated and abused everyday in the modern world.

    The engraving is currently undergoing conservation and we hope to have it on display at the Museum in Liverpool later this year.


    • Copper engraving by James Gillray depicting cruelty to a slave
  16. View Alison Sammin's profile Alison Sammin
    Offline | Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
  17. As part of the International Slavery Museum’s Transatlantic and Contemporary Project, a pair of wrought iron shackles of the type used on board slaver ships during the so called ‘Middle Passage’ have now gone on display at the John Hay Library at Brown University in the United States. The shackles are on loan to the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Brown University Library until the end of this year, after which they will return to Liverpool to form part of the Museum’s permanent display.

    Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, said: “The shackles are an important addition to the Museum’s transatlantic slave trade related collections and will eventually be displayed in our Enslavement and the Middle Passage gallery, which looks at the economics of transatlantic slavery and how enslaved Africans were forced to work on plantations in the Americas.

    “The shackles, like many of the Museum’s collections, are difficult to look at and evoke strong emotions. But it is important that they are on public display so that people can tangibly experience the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade.

    “A similar pair of shackles was purchased in Liverpool by the campaigner Thomas Clarkson as evidence against the transatlantic slave trade. They were presented in front of Privy Council in 1788 as part of its enquiry into the transatlantic slave trade. An engraving of the shackles with a detailed description also appeared in Clarkson’s antislavery pamphlet.”

    Professor Anthony Bogues, director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice said that: “these shackles are important because they are the material objects which pressed the flesh of a human being and brings to the fore the violence of slavery. Such material objects are necessary for us to have a full and frank conversation about the character of slavery and the making of our modern world. We at the Center are honoured to be the first American institution to show these shackles and it consolidates our partnership with the International Slavery Museum.”


    • Slavery shackles
  18. View Alison Sammin's profile Alison Sammin
    Offline | Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
  19. A longer version of this piece, linking this new acquisition to items already in our collection, appears on the Working Class Movement Library blog at

    Chronicles of the Second Manchester Election. Manchester: Kiernan, printer, Garden-Street. [1835] Folio broadside, printed in two columns and written in a Biblical style with 35 numbered verses.

    We have been fortunate to acquire this item thanks to our Heritage Lottery Funded-project Voting for Change. This broadside, clearly of a liberal reforming bent, chronicles the General Election in January and February 1835, the second election since the Reform Act which in 1832 had brought Manchester its first two MPs.  Its style seems remarkably similar to today’s long-running Private Eye spoof feature ‘The Book of… ‘, which applies pseudo-Biblical language and imagery to current affairs in the Middle East.

    Verse 1. And it came to pass in the land of Albion, a land flowing with tax and tithe, in the third year of reform…that King Gulielmus did that which was evil in the sight of the people and turned his back on the cause of reform according to all his forefathers had done…

    18. But the people were not dismayed; but roused themselves and were knit together as one - yet calm as a lion in his den.

    19. And they said to the great Duke of Aceldema: Why dost thou seek to enslave us? Why dost thou wish to make us hewers of wood and drawers of water to the oligarchical taskmasters? Are we not men of the same kin - flesh of the same flesh? Have we not traversed the same clime with thee, fought in the same cause, and bled in the same field?

    The anonymous author describes the four candidates for the Manchester constituency who bowed down their heads before the people, and each man said, I am the people’s friend:

    Mark Philips (Whig) – One of the four men stood up before the people, and he had a MARK of honesty on his forehead…

    Charles Poulett Thomson (Whig) Then another stood up before the people, and his name was Toms Son: now he was a Trade Son and a Good Son…

    Benjamin Braidley (Conservative) And a third stood up, one of the tribe of Benjamin, and he sought to deceive the people…

    Sir Charles Wolsey (Whig) Carlo Wholesale – a wholesale man of reform and a friend of the people – and he shouted with a loud voice, I am the man of the people, elect me, who has been engaged in reform one score years and ten; forty years long and more, have ye been saddled with a generation of vipers, for which I swear by the radicals, they shall never have done with my wrath.

    And the people answered and said: Do man! True man! Good man! But the time is not yet come!

    The broadside also includes various puns on the name Peel.  Although Robert Peel was victorious in the election, he could only form a minority Tory government and his term as Prime Minister lasted just over 100 days.  Lord Melbourne subsequently became Prime Minister, forming a Whig government in April 1835.

    Lynette Cawthra, Library Manager


    • Manchester election broadside, 1835
  20. View Lynette Cawthra's profile Lynette Cawthra
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago


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