University Library


31 Jan 2023

Materials donated to Loughborough University Archive

Back in 2020, our archivist of 40 years retired, in the midst of lockdowns and uncertainties as to what the future of archival work at Loughborough university would look like at the end of that long tunnel that was the pandemic. Two years and a bit later, a new Archivist – Camille Moret – was hired and while the role is now part-time, the mission and service delivery of the Loughborough University Archive (LUA) is changing and evolving to adapt to current needs.


A lot of work will be required to bring LUA up to speed (with a new catalogue, narrowed focus on acquisition and access practices) and wake the service up after its long slumber, but we will get there! While we are getting reacquainted with the collections and what we have to offer the Loughborough University communities as a service, we took time to take stock and revel in the many surprises LUA presents. Some of them were the accumulated acquisitions that awaited the new Archivist. And, while consultations and research were far and few between during 2022, donations and transfers both from external well-wishers and University departments kept trickling in.


Some of them struck our imagination or picked our curiosity, enough that they made it onto the top list to share with the Loughborough University communities.


A personal favourite, “Toby” the teddy bear made a grand entrance into our archival collections via the Alumni Office. We were lucky that it came with its own proof of provenance, mainly some photographs of the water polo team to which it was a mascot in the 1940s. Unfortunately, it’s missing its scarf and we wonder: would anyone know what colours it should be (our guess is probably that purple)? Some of the Library staff are avid knitters and crocheters, so recreating Toby’ scarf might not prove so difficult.


Awaiting the new Archivist was also a package containing this lovely typescript, Three Craftsmen by Raymond J. Hunt. Containing actual black and white photographs and carefully hand-drawn (and coloured!) illustrations, this dissertation was written in 1956, lovingly preserved and proudly presented by the author’s son.


Another generous donor sent us a copy of a mathematics textbook we believe was once owned and used by Dorothea Travers. She inscribed it with her name and potentially some equation work. Dorothea Travers was one of the four first women engineers in training at the University of Loughborough in 1919. A strong mathematician, she was a long-time friend of the famous Claudia Parsons and the two would go camping around Britain, travelling on Dorothea’s Morgan motorcycle, which she repaired herself!


Finally, we are always grateful for textual records that help us document the University of Loughborough (and predecessors) at institutional level but having other sources of information that provide us with a “feel” of what it was like is welcome too! Such was the series of dinner menus and invitations that a kind alumni sent to the Archive via the Alumni Office over last summer.


These were the highlights of 2022 for us. A more complete list of acquisitions follows:

  • Alumni Office memorabilia and records, covering approximately the years 1940 to 2017; extent: 9 boxes.
  • M A Reed papers regarding the Department of Information Science, [1960-1989]; extent: 1 box.
  • J R Fairley papers, [1940-1990]; extent: 7 boxes.
  • Three craftsmen, typescript dissertation by Raymond J. hunt, 1956.
  • Calculus made easy by Sylvanus P Thompson (annotated by Dorothea travers), [1921].
  • Limited editions of "Victoria" Vil 3 and "Victorya Nantitat", c. 2000; extent: 3 magazines.
  • International Centre (Loughborough) Ltd. Records, 1967-2011; extent: 1 box.
  • Student Outreach Starters kit, 2009.
  • Loughborough University administrative records and publications, unknown dates; extent: 2 boxes.
  • Colburn/Barnes donation of photographic materials (mostly colour) documenting PE at the University of Loughborough, unknown dates; extent: 2 boxes.
  • Photographic and AV materials, undated; extent: 3 boxes.
  • Press cuttings, undated; extent: 2 boxes.
  • Misc. artefacts and textiles, undated; extent: 3 boxes.
  • Ian Keil addendum to previous donation, consisting of press cuttings covering the period 1967-2002, and private papers, covering the period 1960-2009, as well as artefact, undated; extent: 2 boxes.
  • LCA Admin documents, 1992-1998; extent: 1 box.