Manuscripts and Special Collections

Water-Related Collections at Nottingham University Library

Manuscripts and Special Collections at Nottingham University has held water-related collections since 1951, when the Trent River Board transferred the Hatfield Chase Corporation records into the University Library's custody.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, a number of transfers of Trent River Authority records were made, along with the records of the Brigg Court of Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers and the Trent Navigation Company.

In 1974-1975, following the abolition of the Trent River Authority, it was decided to transfer to the University Library the bulk of the remaining records relating to the Authority's historic activities in the Trent basin. These were augmented in the 1970s and 1980s by further large accruals, plus more records of the Hatfield Chase Corporation, records from the Hucknall Road Office of the Severn Trent Water Authority (mostly Nottingham Corporation Waterworks records), the records of Stoke Bardolph Sewage works and Bulcote Model Farm, and minutes and plans of the Derwent Valley Water Board. The research papers of hydrologist H.R. Potter, who worked for the Trent River Authority, have subsequently been acquired. A small selection of photographic material and files created by the Severn Trent Water Authority and the privatised Severn Trent Water, which were being stored at Swithland Pumping Station, are now also in the University's custody.


List of water collections

The records held in Manuscripts and Special Collections include minutes, files, maps, plans, blueprints, and photographs relating to rivers, drainage, hydrology, water supply and sewerage.

Below is a list of the principal water-related collections held by the University. These link to pages of more detailed further information about each company and its records (these pages are also listed in the left-hand menu), and each item is also followed by a link to its entry in the online catalogue:

  • Trent River Catchment Board; Trent River Board; and Trent River Authority, in existence 1931-1974. Responsible for drainage, river navigation and flood prevention (more information)
    Arranged into the following divisions: 
  • Trent Fishery Board amalgamated into the Trent River Board in 1951 (catalogue record )
  • Court of Sewers for the Level of Hatfield Chase; and The Hatfield Chase Corporation , in existence 1626-1941. Responsible for drainage and flood prevention (more information | catalogue record )  
  • Brigg Court of Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers , in existence from at least 1725-1940. Responsible for drainage and flood prevention (more information | catalogue record )  
  • Trent Navigation Company , in existence 1783-1940. Responsible for river navigation (more information | catalogue record )  
  • Minute book of the Northern Waterworks Company, one of the original water supply companies for the city of Nottingham, 1827-1846 (more information | catalogue record)
  • Records of the City of Nottingham Water Department, and other material relating to water supply and sewerage in Nottinghamshire, 1852-1978. Responsible for the supply of water to the city of Nottingham and surrounding areas (more information | catalogue record )  
  • Stoke Bardolph Sewage works and Bulcote Model Farm, 1892-1975. Responsible for processing sewage from the city of Nottingham and surrounding areas (more information | catalogue record )
  • Plans of Papplewick Pumping Station, Nottinghamshire, 1879-1947  (more information | catalogue record )
  • Derwent Valley Water Board, in existence from 1899-1974  (more information | catalogue record )
  • Severn Trent Water Authority, in existence from 1974-1989. Took over responsibility for the entire cycle of water management from the Trent River Authority and City of Nottingham Water Department (more information | catalogue record
  • Severn Trent Water, 1989 onwards. The privatised water service company owned by Severn Trent Plc. (more information | catalogue record)
  • Papers of hydrologist H.R. Potter (c.1925-2000). Worked for the Trent River Authority (and its predecessors) from 1950 to 1975 and later was Senior Research Fellow with Nottingham Trent Polytechnic (more information | catalogue record )


Manuscripts and Special Collections also holds a number of water-related records in other collections, especially the papers of aristocratic families and landed estates. There are more details about these records in the following pages:

A diagram explains the sometimes complex relationships between the main water companies in the Nottingham area.


Next page:  Trent River Authority and predecessors, 1931-1974


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651