Public get chance to discover DMU's archives for 'Explore Your Archive Week'


People will have the chance to see rare artefacts from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s archives at a special public event to celebrate 'Explore Your Archive Week', a national campaign to showcase the best of archives, which launches on Saturday.

On Sunday November 26, DMU’s archives team will open the vaults for three displays of unique collection items in the Heritage Centre, Trinity Chapel and Leicester Castle. And there will be a real family fun feel to the day, with free children’s activities including crafts, a treasure trail and object handling sessions to enjoy.


Members of the public are invited to visit from 11am to 3pm to see the exhibitions, join the children’s activities and chat to our archive team.

The displays will include:

  • Treasures from DMU’s history, from Leicester School of Art, through its time as colleges of art and technology, a polytechnic and a modern university. This display will be held at the Heritage Centre, in DMU’s Hawthorn Building.
  • The story of the Newarke, the ancient precinct upon which DMU campus now stands, and its place in Leicester’s history, in Trinity House.  DMU’s medical collections will also be on display to link to the work of Trinity Hospital, once based there.
  • A showcase of records relating to business and law teaching as well as details of Leicester Castle’s history. It was formerly the city’s crown and magistrates’ courts and is now home to Leicester Castle Business School.

The event has been put together by DMU Archivist, Katharine Short, as part of national Explore Your Archive week, an annual celebration of the stories, people and histories looked after by archivists across the country.

Throughout the week her team will join with other UK archives to share images on social media on different themes including #hairyarchives, #lovearchives and #ediblearchives.


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She said: “The Special Collections team are thrilled to be contributing to the national Explore Your Archive programme and we are taking the opportunity to showcase our fascinating collections. We love our diverse and sometimes quirky range of material – from Civil War era halberds to boxing trophies, theatre programmes to nursing badges – and we love sharing them with our students, colleagues and with the Leicester community.”

During the week, themed displays will be on show tracing the history of the institution and its courses for staff and students.   

DMU’s art, design and fashion archives will be on display in the Vijay Patel foyer on Tuesday 21 November; medical and science collections showcased in Hawthorn Building on Wednesday 22 November and the humanities collections, including scripts and works by playwrights and authors, as well as its sporting archives, on display in Clephan Building on Thursday 23 November.   

Mrs Short and Neil Carter, of DMU’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture, will also be travelling to London’s South Bank on Saturday November 25 to showcase  the England Boxing Archive, which is held at DMU, as part of their Being a Man Festival 2017.

  • The DMU event on Sunday 26 November is part of Leicester’s Heritage Sunday celebrations. There’s no need to book, simply turn up between 11am and 3pm. For more information please call DMU Heritage Centre on 0116 207 8729.
Posted on Friday 17th November 2017

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