17th September 2010

A treasure trove of books and documents shedding light on the history of Lincolnshire will be made available at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln from this week.

The university library’s Lincolnshire Collection, which will be launched at an invitation-only event on Thursday 18th September, includes a wealth of important items which will be a significant resource for those studying local history.

An official programme from the unveiling in 1922 of Lincoln’s Great War memorial, an 1868 Index to the Lincolnshire Post Office Directory, an early leather-bound White’s History Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire from 1842, five different Victorian editions of White’s Directories and 11 editions of Kelly’s Directories from 1898 to 1975 are just some of the fascinating documents in the collection.

The Lincolnshire Collection was boosted in October last year by the donation of 1,500 items by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (SLHA). Librarians at BGU have spent the past year cataloguing the donation, restoring parts of it and making it available to library users.

By combining various collections the Lincolnshire Collection now has an almost full set of volumes from the Lincoln Records Society running from 1911 to the present day and a set of Lincolnshire Notes and Queries which, although incomplete, is substantial and represents holdings from volume 1 (1888) to volume 24 (1936).

It also features two different programmes from the 1907 Royal Lincolnshire Show on West Common, Lincoln, which was attended by King Edward VII, and Lincolnshire Life magazines from 1960 to the present day.

“The Lincolnshire Collection is now a very important source for the study of local history and we’re proud to be officially launching it next week,” said Susan Rodda, Collections Librarian at Bishop Grosseteste University. “It opens a window on Lincolnshire’s past: local industry from fishing to dry cleaning and gas turbines, Bomber County, flora and fauna, archaeology, town and village histories, soldiers, wars, churches, taxes, wills, enclosures, architecture, town and country planning, personal reminiscences – indeed, the whole history of the city of Lincoln and the county.”

The launch event will take place in the Cornerstone Building at Bishop Grosseteste University at 3pm on Thursday 18th September.

In attendance will be the university’s Vice Chancellor, the Reverend Professor Peter Neil, and members of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. Speakers will include Emma Sansby, Head of Library Services at BGU, and Dr Mick Jones, City of Lincoln Archaeologist and President of the SLHA.

Chris Lester, Chairman of the SLHA, said: “Our library at Jews’ Court in Lincoln had a collection of about a thousand books which was a useful collection, but regrettably very few people made use of it. “Last year we offered our collection of books as an addition to the special local history collection in the library at Bishop Grosseteste University. This arrangement guarantees professional management of the books for the future and also provides excellent access in an appropriate environment. Copies of the books, journals and magazines published by SLHA and its forerunners will remain in Jews’ Court as part of the society’s archive.”

The Lincolnshire Collection will be available to members of the public for reference and those who wish to borrow books can join for an annual fee of £50.

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the launch event. If you would like to attend, or to request photographs after the event, please contact Jez Ashberry at Shooting Star PR on 01522 528540.