Manuscripts and Special Collections

Going Global

This exhibition ran between 18th September 2015 and 3rd January 2016.

The exhibition was jointly curated by John Beckett, Professor of English Regional History. Dr Andrew Souter, School of Humanities and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.

Black and white aerial photograph of University Park Campus


University College Nottingham opened in 1881. At a time when free elementary education ended at eleven the aim of its Victorian founders was to provide people in Nottingham access to a University education. Positioned on Shakespeare Street, in the heart of the city, the College had just twenty-two teaching staff. Students could enrol from the age of fourteen. In 1928 Jesse Boot gifted the College part of his estate at Highfields. This became the basis of University Park as we know it today.

This exhibition charted how a University College with a few hundred students grew to become the world’s first truly global University. It drew on material from the University’s own archives to focus on key events in its history, including the granting of a full University charter in 1948 and, in more recent times, the building of the University Hospital and the opening of the Jubilee, China and Malaysia campuses. The exhibition focused on the student experience, using prospectuses, timetables, photographs and uniforms to explore changes in the student way of life from the days of the University College to the experiences of today’s 40,000+ undergraduates and postgraduates. 

Listen again

Lakeside Arts Centre

Listen to audio recordings of the lunchtime talks given by external speakers that accompanied the exhibition.

Exhibition poster

Going global poster 

Click on the image above to see a larger version of the poster

Exhibition themes

The exhibition boards which were displayed in the Weston Gallery are available to download:

The exhibition boards focused on changing aspects of student life throughout the years, including studying, recreation and life away from home. They also looked at some of the iconic features of the Univeristy, including the Trent Building and surrounding campus.

Unfortunately it is not possible to display representations of original archive material which featured in the exhibition cases.

Visitor comments

Outstanding display-brings back many memories

A small exhibition that packs a big punch. Well done.

Excellent exhibition. Brought back lots of memories

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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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