Manuscripts and Special Collections

Weston Gallery Exhibition

Rags to Witches

The grim tale of children's stories

Dates: 4 May - 26 August 2018

Admission free

Once upon a time, fairy tales were not for children.

From a bloodthirsty birth in a sinister European forest, to benign bedtime tales where "Children with their Milk are fed with the Tales of Witches, Hobgoblins, Prophecies and Miracles" this exhibition traces the development of children's literature through the generations.

Company of Wolves


Rags to Witches poster slice

Location and Opening Times

Weston Gallery 
DH Lawrence Pavilion 
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park 

Box Office : 0115 846 7777  

Opening times:

Tuesday to Friday 11am - 4pm

Saturday and Sunday 12 noon - 4pm

Closed Mondays 

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A series of talks and events will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book your tickets with the Box Office on 0115 8467777. See the exhibition page at Lakeside Arts Centre for further details.


Visual Arts Studio 

Storyboarding Picture Books

Wednesday 9 May, 9am - 1pm

£20 (£10 concessions)

For ages 16+

Author-illustrator Carol Adlam will take you through the building blocks of creating a picture book for children, focusing on storyboarding and producing thumbnail layouts for your work. Please come to the workshop with an idea for a picture book, written down in no more than 100 words.

From Pirates to Porcupines: Creating Magical Children's Book Characters

Saturday 4 August, 10am - 1pm

£6 (accompanying adult free)

For ages 5-9

Join us for a celebration of the magical characters that inhabit children's illustrated books in a fun workshop aimed at children and families. We want you to create something funny and perhaps even a little bit scary. Working with two published author/illustrators, Sarah McConnell and Maelle Daub, you will create your own illustrated sequence in a fun imaginative session for everyone. 

Lunchtime talks  

Djanogly Theatre

All talks are 1 - 2 pm and are free to attend

The Uses of Fairy Tales: Enchanting Ideologies and Radical Transformations

Thursday 10 May

Rachel Palfreyman, Associate Professor in German Studies at the University of Nottingham, discusses how fairy tales have been interpreted, ranging from their exploitation for political purposes to Bettelheim's orthodox and much-criticised Freudian approach - and how readers brush ideology aside to return to the stories again and again.

Invisible Storytellers: Cinderella, Pinochio and the remarkable role of translators in the history of British children's literature

Thursday 5 July

When we see a child enjoy the stories of Cinderella and Pinochio, or engrossed in an Asterix album, it is easy to forget the role of a translator in producing English versions of these tales. Gillian Lathey, Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton London, will introduce some of these invisible storytellers and pay homage to their neglected craft. 

Child Readers and Their Books in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Thursday 26 July

Colin Heywood, Emeritus Professor of Modern French History at the University of Nottingham, focuses on the society and culture in which children were raised in the 19th century. This talk will cover the massive increase in the quantity and quality of literature written specifically for children in 19th century Britain, which included a shift in content, from heavily didactic works to those concerned above all with giving pleasure to their readers. It will also analyse the underlying forces at work, notably the growing interest in childhood and education, and the achievement of near-universal literacy.

Film Screening

Djanogly Theatre

The Company of Wolves (Cert 18)

Wednesday 13 June, 7.30pm

1 hour and 35 minutes

£5 (£3 concessions)

A horror-fantasy film based on the werewolf story of the same name in Angela Carter's 1979 short story collection The Bloody Chamber. In her sleep, teenager Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) disobeys the lesson her grandmother (Angela Lansbury) teaches her to never trust strangers, and in doing so rewrites the ending of 'Little Red Riding Hood'.

With an introduction by local performance poet Andrew Graves. 


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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