A Collection of Farming and Rural Records primarily from the East Midlands,1706-1951

Scope and Content

The collection is dominated by accounts recording expenditure and the earnings of individuals ortheir rural businesses. These accounts provide a useful primary source for studying the costs offarm produce, machinery and labour during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The collection alsocontains personal memoranda books (diaries) that were kept in the 18th century by Jonathan Ash, afarmer in Ireland and Rev. Seth Ellis Stevenson, a rector and headmaster of Retford,Nottinghamshire.

The collection is defined by the subject matter of nine smaller collections which all in some wayconcern farming or rural life of the East Midlands (with the exception of one item which has anIrish provenance, Fr 74). Although some of these smaller collections include significant entriesabout individual farmers or the business of particular farms, the majority represent only a singlevolume or a few documents. The value for research of these smaller collections is increased by theirassociation with other records of a similar type.

Administrative / Biographical History

This artificial collection brings together small groups of records and individual items whichconcern farming or rural history of the East Midlands. It grew out of a collection compiled by staffof The University of Nottingham's School of Agriculture, but a number of items were givenindependently to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.Further items are added if they fit the subject matter criteria.


The intention in creating this collection was to bring small groups of records and scattereditems relating to farming and rural life together as a subject based collection. Groups within thecollection retain distinctions based on their separate provenance.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers. Fragilematerial is currently restricted pending repair.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • In the Reading Room, The University of Nottingham Library:Typescript Catalogue, 7ff
  • At the National Register of Archives, London:Typescript Catalogue, 7ff

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must besought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and SpecialCollections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult andresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The records contained in this collection came from a variety of sources and were acquired by TheUniversity of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections between 1951 and1989.

Related Material

  • The University of Nottingham; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections: family papers and historical notes of Frank Hays, 1882-1943. MS 163 (formerly Fr 62-64)