Papers of Henry Swinnerton, Professor of Geology at University College Nottingham,1902-1954

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Bundle of loose papers recording administrative statistics associated with the Department of Natural Science at University College Nottingham, 1902-1907 (MS 148/1/1).
  • Student lists, 1912-1946 (MS 148/1/2).
  • Account book and loose leaf items formerly enclosed inside, 1913-1946 (MS 148/1/3).
  • Testimonials and references, 1921-1946 (MS 148/1/4).
  • File of office and other instructions, 1924-1944 (MS 148/1/5).
  • Examination results and terminal reports, 1926-1929 (MS 148/1/6).
  • Correspondence and attached papers. Correspondents include members of the British Museum's departments of geology and natural history, 1929-1937 (MS 148/1/7).
  • Papers relating to coal mining at Basford, Nottinghamshire and the concerns of the firms of Messers W.E. Saxby Ltd and Messers George Spencer Ltd who had factories nearby, 1954 (MS 148/1/8).

The collection consists of a small number of academic papers of Professor Swinnerton together with incomplete records from various administrative series from his academic department. It is not a comprehensive archive but provides some coverage for an area and period in the University's teaching history which is otherwise little known. The papers for instance demonstrate the scheduling and popularity of geology at University College Nottingham between the wars.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Hurd Swinnerton initially trained as a zoologist at the Royal College of Science in Londonbut entered the service of University College Nottingham in 1902 as natural science demonstrator atthe age of 27. He was appointed Professor of Geology in 1910 and headed up a newly combinedDepartment of Geology and Geography. Separate departments of Geography and Geology were establishedin 1933-34 and, although he had passed the age of retirement, he continued as head of the departmentduring the second-world war. In addition, he undertook the work of chairman of the Joint RecruitingBoard and for these services was awarded the CBE.

Professor Swinnerton retired from the Chair of Geography in 1946 and was appointed part-timecurator of the University Museum from that date until April 1956. He left Nottingham in 1960 to livein London. In 1961 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by The University of Nottingham, thefirst member of staff to receive such a distinction. He developed an interest in archaeology,particularly of the Lincolnshire coast. His particular strengths lay in palaeontology and incontributions to the study of geomorphology. Emeritus Professor Henry Hurd Swinnerton, DSc, CBE diedon 6th November 1966 at the age of 91.

Obituary notices can be found in the University of Nottingham Gazette (No.57, p 1236,January 1967), The Mercian Geologist (Vol. 2, No 1, University of Nottingham 1967), andThe East Midlands Geographer (Vol. 4, Pt 3, June 1967, p 202).


The collection has been divided into series by document type. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

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

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

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The bulk of the collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department ofManuscripts in December 1962. Other accruals followed in October 1966 and May 1974.

Related Material

The University of Nottingham; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections: papers of geologist and archaeology teacher, Felix Oswald, undated. MS 165