Papers relating to Noel Grudgings (c.1909-1967), pharmacist, 1929-1994

Scope and Content

The collection includes the following items.

  • Notebook containing drafts of poems in the style of Old Norse sagas, later published as'Grimnismal' in 1931. Pencil and ink annotations indicate that the poems were in the late stages ofredrafting. Undated, c.1930 (MS 177/1);
  • Notebook containing prose pieces, including items entitled 'The Masque' and 'Epic and Idyll'.Undated, c.1932 (MS 177/2);
  • Typescript translation of 'The Waking of Angantyr' from Old Norse into English by Noel Grudgings.Undated (MS 177/3);
  • Typescript poem by Arthur Sale about Noel Grudgings entitled 'Order of the Bath or FulfilledUnrenown for N.U.G.'. Undated, c.1994 (MS 177/4);
  • Typescript prose item entitled 'Lodder' by Noel Grudgings. Undated, c.1930 (MS 177/5);
  • Copy of a poem translated from Old English, presumably by Noel Grudgings in about 1930, entitled'The Wanderer'. Undated, c.1998 (MS 177/6);
  • Copies of translated poems in English. The poems are by Grudgings and the copies were made byArthur Sale. Undated, c.1998 (MS 177/7).

Administrative / Biographical History

Noel Upton Grudgings of Desborough, Northamptonshire, was born in about 1909 and was educated atthe grammar school in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He entered University College Nottingham (now theUniversity of Nottingham) in 1929 at the age of 20 to study pharmacy. While at college, he becamedeeply interested in Old Norse and Viking culture. Together with a number of other students helearned Old Norse in classes run by Alice Selby, outside the usual curriculum. He contributed anumber of items to the undergraduate magazine 'The Gong' and in 1931 published a collection ofpoetry, 'Grimnismal', drawing upon his study of the language and saga literature. He left college in1931 after passing the chemists and druggists qualification examination.

Little is known of Grudgings' life after he left Nottingham or his career as a pharmacist in Bathand Melksham, Wiltshire. He retained his interest in Old Norse and built up an extensive library onthe subject.

Arthur Sale, poet and teacher of literature, met Grudgings when they were both students atUniversity College Nottingham. Sale was for a time editor of the student magazine, 'The Gong'. Theirfriendship was maintained, and Sale's memories of Grudgings as a young man and of their time atNottingham form part of the collection. Sale was responsible for the proposal after the death ofNoel Grudgings that his extensive library of Icelandic and Viking literature should be presented tothe University of Nottingham.


The collection has been listed in the order of the accrual of the items by the University.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

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

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

In 1967 the library of Noel Grudgings was incorporated into the University's general libraryholdings, in which it has provided the basis for a considerable strength in Old Norse literature. Anumber of manuscript items were removed to form the present collection. These were added to in lateryears (1994 and 1998) by papers from Arthur Sale in Cambridge, recording work by Grudgings.


  • Noel Grudgings, 'Grimnismal' (1931)