Tag Archives: Archives

Season’s Greetings from Special Collections

Christmas Calvin

Special Collections staff (Alison, Martin and James) would like to wish all our users, colleagues, and other friends a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2018.  Our seasonal image highlights our Putting Flesh on the Bones project, which will make a wonderful archive available to researchers and the public.  If this intrigues you, check out the project blog.

Please note that we are closed for the Christmas break from 22 December to 2 January.  We look forward to sharing more archive adventures with you in 2018!


Work with us!: Vacancy for a Project Conservator


We’re looking for a Conservator to join the Putting Flesh on the Bones Project Team.

The post of Project Conservator is central to the delivery of the project, which aims to make the hidden and scattered Calvin Wells Archive fully available to the public.  Funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources grant, PFOTB is a collaboration between Special Collections and the Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC) at the University of Bradford.

Discover more about Dr Wells and his work via the Putting Flesh on the Bones project blog.

The Conservator will take the lead on all aspects of collections care within the project, including repairs, remedial conservation, secondary packaging and digitisation preparation activities.  There will also be the opportunity to help improve collections care throughout the Special Collections service.

We are looking for a qualified conservator with specialist knowledge and work-based experience relevant to the project.  They will also need excellent communication skills and be able to manage their own workload.  More about the role and our requirements on the University’s job website.

Post reference: HR0048513.

The post is part-time for 12 months.

Closing date: 1 November 2017.

So, what is a palaeopathologist?

We’ve been asked this question several times over the last week or so.  Why?  The University of Bradford has been in the news with an archives project that is fascinating journalists, academics, and members of the public.  The project, ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones‘, is a Wellcome-funded joint endeavour between Special Collections the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at the University of Bradford.

male and female brow images m7

We are investigating the life and work of, yes, a palaeopathologist,   Dr Calvin Wells.  A palaeopathologist is a scientist who studies ancient pathologies (injuries, disease).  Dr Wells was a pioneer in this discipline, reporting on skeletal finds from many archaeological sites.  The people whose remains he studied led often difficult, violent and painful lives – all shown in the growth of and damage to the bones.

Coverage so far includes:

There will be much more to discover as we delve deeper into this rich archive.  Keep in touch with project developments via the project blog.

Our Archaeological Sciences colleagues are expert palaeopathologists, using old and new techniques to unlock the secrets of the bones.  Which brings me to the pleasant task of welcoming a new colleague, our Project Osteologist, Michelle Williams-Ward.  Michelle is working on burials in medieval Norfolk for her PhD student at the University. Her project role involves making sense of the many images of bones in the archive.  This requires considerable expertise.  Michelle’s insights have already proved most helpful!

A Blog of Bones

Discover a world of bones, bodies and diseases in our new blog, created by Project Archivist James Neill …

calvin-wells-m110 cr

‘Putting Flesh on the Bones’ is a collaboration between the University of Bradford’s Special Collections and Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC). With generous support from the Wellcome Trust, the project will undertake the cataloguing, digitisation and promotion of the Calvin Wells Archive Collection. It is intended that the collection will become a valuable resource for […]

via An Introduction — Putting Flesh on the Bones

Welcome to our new Archivist!

Meet James Neill, who has just joined Special Collections as Project Archivist.


James will be with us for 18 months, working on the Wellcome-funded ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones Project’, a collaboration between Special Collections and Archaeological Sciences.  Working closely with the rest of the project team, James will be cataloguing, digitising, preserving, and promoting the rich and unique archive of pioneering palaeopathologist Dr Calvin Wells.  He will be based in Richmond Building but will also be seen around Special Collections.

James received his archive qualification from the University of Glasgow in 2013.  Since then he has worked for all kinds of arts, heritage and academic organisations,  including the Mercers’ Company, London Metropolitan Archives and the University of Arts London, and on collections ranging from the Estate Papers of Sir Richard Whittington to the counter-cultural comic books of Robert Crumb.  This wide experience will be very helpful in navigating the complications of the Wells material!  Find out more about him on his staff webpage.

People Power: Fighting for Peace

2017 offers a very rare chance to see the original sketches of the ‘peace symbol’.  Special Collections and the Trustees of the Commonweal Collection are lending them to a major exhibition at the IWM, People Power: Fighting for Peace.

Sketch of nuclear disarmament symbol,by Gerald Holtom. Copyright: Commonweal Collection.

Sketch of nuclear disarmament symbol,by Gerald Holtom. Copyright: Commonweal Collection.

Artist Gerald Holtom created the symbol in 1958  for the first Aldermaston March (organised by the Direct Action Committee); it was later adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and many other groups and campaigns working for peace, making it one of the most recognisable and powerful designs ever created.  Holtom’s original sketches are very fragile and so can rarely be shown to the public. This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for us to display them to great numbers of people for the first time.

People Power explores 100 years of anti-war campaigning in Britain through 300 objects: banners, posters, flyers, leaflets, paintings, letters … Many have never been exhibited before. In addition to the sketches, we are lending a pencil drawing of Peace Pledge Union founder Dick Sheppard by activist and artist Peggy Smith and a range of letters and ephemera relating to the anti-nuclear campaigns of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

People Power is on show at the IWM London, 23 March-28 August 2017.  Find out more on the IWM’s website.

Bradvent Calendar, part 1

We’re counting down to Christmas!  Follow @100objectsbrad on Twitter to see a new seasonal object daily. From exquisite illustrations to 1930s Christmas cards to 1980s student humour, there’s always more to discover in Special Collections.  Here’s a round-up of the first twelve.

Day 1


Ice is nice!  The Universal Glaciarium, 184 Lord Street, Southport, Holden Papers.

Day 2


Season’s Greetings from the Co-op, Bradford Pioneer, 1935.

Day 3


In the bleak midwinter … snow on the “Amp”, University of Bradford, December 2009

Day 4


Our Book Tree, 2015

Day 5


Our 2015 book tree was so popular we did another in 2016!

Day 6


Pretty poinsettia Christmas card, Mitrinovic Archive

Day 7


Brrr!  Cyclists on Kex Gill, photographed by Fred Robinson Butterfield

Day 8


Christmas has been too much for this sheep!  Fleece, number 11, December 1983

Day 9


Revenge of the Turkeys!  Shep, number 2, December 1988

Day 10


Common Ivy, from Beautiful Leaved Plants, one of our favourite books!

Day 11


Holly, from Flowering Plants of Great Britain, 1855

Day 12


Star sticker, Women for Life on Earth STAR marches, 1983, Annie Tunnicliffe Archive