This LibGuide provides a simple overview of digitally available material from the University of Exeter Heritage Collections. Each box below describes a different collection or online exhibition and contains links through which you can access the digitised material. Further images from our collections can be found by visiting us on Twitter or on our Blog.
Please note that digital copies of University of Exeter Special Collections material are for educational purposes only and are subject to copyright. They may not be reproduced without the permission of the relevant copyright holder and the University of Exeter Special Collections. If you are interested in reproducing any images from our collections, please send an enquiry to email@example.com. More information about this process can be found on our webpages.
Ronald Duncan (1914-1982) was a productive West Country author whose literary career encompassed journalism, fiction, poetry, libretti, film scripts and plays. He is best known as the playwright of This Way to the Tomb (1946), his epic poem Man (The Complete Cantos, 1980) and as the librettist for The Rape of Lucretia (1946), an opera he co-wrote with Benjamin Britten. He was also a farmer, horse breeder and wartime pacifist who lived and worked most of his life in North Devon.
Duncan left the legacy of a fascinating archive of literary and personal papers, The Ronald Duncan Collection, which was donated to Special Collections at the University of Exeter in 2016.
This exhibition helps shed light on this often overlooked writer and the treasures held within the Ronald Duncan Collection.
In the course of Syon Abbey's 596 years of existence (1415-2011), hundreds of women entered the monastery. Each of these women contributed to the continuation of Syon Abbey's tradition and their lives are woven into the fabric of the community's history.
Although Syon Abbey is no longer active, the community’s archive, manuscripts and printed books remain together and are now housed at the University of Exeter Special Collections. Collectively they form an invaluable resource through which to delve into Syon Abbey's history.
This exhibition focuses on one particular Syon nun - Sister Catherine 'Kitty' Witham - and what an exploration of the monastery's archive, manuscripts and books can reveal about her.
The Letters of John Jarmain (EUL MS 413) comprise 120 manuscript letters from the poet John Jarmain, which were sent to his wife Beryl Jarmain whilst he was serving with the 51st Highland Division in North Africa and South Italy during the Second World War (June 1942 to November 1943). The collection also includes a copy of a letter sent by John Jarmain from France the night before he was killed at Saint Honorine la Chardonne on 26 June 1944. Some of the letters include drafts of the poems, which provide an insight into his poetry and the context which inspired it.
The Al-Falaj al-Malki manuscript notebook (EUL MS 119/4/1) relates to water and tribal settlement in Izki, Oman. It records the names and holdings of the owners of the water shares over a period of approximately 50 years (c 1825-1875). The pages include a few marginal notes by J. C. Wilkinson.
This notebook is part of the Research papers and Omani manuscripts of John Craven Wilkinson relating to Oman. The notebook has been fully digitised and is available to browse via the Digital Collections website of the University of Exeter Special Collections.
The University of Exeter photograph archive (EUL UA/P) comprises photographs of the University of Exeter and its predecessor institutions including the Exeter Technical and University Extension College, Royal Albert Memorial College, University College of the South West and St. Luke's College.
The Ronald Duncan Collection (EUL MS 397) is the largest source of Duncan documentation in existence. It provides a resource for research on mid 1900's literary culture, the cultural heritage of the South West, including Duncan's farming experiments, the establishment of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, the composition of opera, modernist poetry, artistic connections, literary criticism and literary/artistic relationships. It consists of manuscripts, librettos, letters, artworks and personal papers, including photographs and diaries.
The Japanese WW2 anti-British propaganda cartoons EUL MS 33 comprise five printed items of Japanese propaganda, presumably designed to incite Anti-British feeling in India during the Second World War.
The Imperial Institute was an educational and cultural organisation founded in London in 1887, which promoted and collected information about industrial and commercial developments in the British Empire. The archive comprises glass plate negatives and photographs from the Library of the Imperial Institute (EUL MS 41) and sets of photographic cards and leaflets (EUL MS 61 add. 1).
A small selection of items from this collection have been digitised and are available to browse via the Open Research Exeter Portal.
In addition, images of more than 2,000 items from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum are available to browse via the Open Research Exeter Portal.
The Syon Abbey Collection is formed of the Syon Abbey archive (EUL MS 389), the Syon Abbey Medieval and Modern Manuscript Collection (EUL MS 262), and the Syon Abbey Library Collection, as well as several smaller collections relating to Syon Abbey. This collection provides a unique and invaluable resource for research into six centuries of the monastic community's history.
In 2015, the Syon at 600 project took place at the University of Exeter, led by Professor Eddie Jones (Head of English). A small number of items from the Syon Abbey Archive and Manuscript Collection relating to the community's exile in Lisbon were digitised and are available to view on the project website. Please note that these items were digitised prior to cataloguing and the reference numbers have since changed. The new reference numbers can be identified by copying the reference number given by the website into the 'Alt Ref No' field on the Advanced Search page of our online archives catalogue.
The Jack Clemo literary and personal papers (EUL MS 68) is the complete literary and personal archive of the Cornish poet Jack Clemo. Included are all his manuscript notebooks and typescripts for prose work as well as poetry. The collection also includes personal letters, diaries, photographs, reviews, newcuttings and files of correspondence with readers, together with a small library of his printed books.
A selection of items from this archive have been digitised and are available to browse via the Open Research Exeter Portal.
A selection of pages from these periodicals have been digitised and are available to browse via the Open Research Exeter Portal. Please note that the periodicals were digitised in 2009 and digitsation was not undertaken by the Special Collections team. As a result, in some cases important metadata - such as titles and reference numbers - is missing or is not clearly visible. If you require more information about the source of an image, please contact the Special Collections team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View digital images according to periodical title: Black and White, The Captain: A Magazine for Boys & 'Old Boys', The English Illustrated Magazine, The Family Herald, The Girl's Own Paper, The Graphic, The Harmsworth London Magazine, Household Words, Illustrated London News, The Ladies' Treasury, Leisure Hour, The Penny Magazine, Punch, or The London Charivari, The New Penny Magazine, The Mothers' Treasury, Sunday at Home, The Queen, The Quiver, The Woman at Home, The Young Ladies Journal
Rare printed books (19th-20th century) in the Chris Brooks Collection and John Betjeman Library can be used as a starting point to explore Victorian and Edwardian attitudes towards animals, childhood, class, colonialism, commercialisation, the environment, gender (including gender stereotypes and the role of women, especially in the domestic space), globalisation, the Great Exhibition, indigenous peoples, medicine, militarism, music, race (including racial stereotypes and racism), religion, science, travel, and technology.
A selection of covers and pages of books have been digitised and are available to browse via the Open Research Exeter Portal. Please note that the books were digitised in 2009 and digitsation was not undertaken by the Special Collections team. As a result, in some cases important metadata - such as authors, titles and reference numbers - is missing or is not clearly visible. If you require more information about the source of an image, please contact the Special Collections team at email@example.com.
The Hypatia Collection is a rich and diverse collection of books and journals by or about women, collected by Dr Melissa Hardie. Chiefly nineteenth to twentieth-century, the collection is strongest on biography, social life, occupations and history, as well as on literature (especially fiction) and the arts. Titles can be browsed on the Library's classic catalogue by performing a 'local classmark' search on 'Hypatia' (books) and 'Hypatia Jou' (journals).
In 2017, more than 50 student volunteers worked on the Hypatia Project in order to create a digital showcase of highlights from the collection. The project was coordinated by Dr Sarah Jones (Associate Research Fellow in the Department of History) and Dr Christine Faunch (Head of Heritage Collections), alongside colleagues from Exeter's Digital Humanities Lab.
If you require digital copies of material that is not currently available to access online, please contact the Special Collections team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests for copies of Special Collections material are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and are dependent on the condition of the item and copyright restrictions. Please note that we are a small team and it may not be possible to accommodate urgent requests, but we will always try to assist you as best we can. More information on requesting digital copies of Special Collections material can be found on our webpages.