Manuscripts and Special Collections

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From Foreign Cultures

Over the centuries, many people from other countries have come to visit England or to settle here. Bringing their different cultural perspectives, they have influenced the communities where they worked or lived in a variety of ways. Many types of archives contain evidence of such travellers.

George Africanus is a notable figure in Nottingham's black history. He came to England as a child slave from Sierra Leone, was educated and made free, and became a freeholder and businessman in Nottingham, where he died in 1834.

The record of George's application to marry Esther Shaw of St Mary's parish is preserved in the Archdeaconry of Nottingham archives.

In 1863 the visit of a group of senior Maori figures to England was arranged. It included ten chiefs and four women. The Duke of Newcastle, then Chief Secretary for the Colonies, was kept informed.

Newcastle's papers provide many instances of the official contacts between Britain and other cultures in the mid-19th century.

Janko Lavrin (1887-1986), a native of Slovenia, was another visitor who made his home in England. He came to Nottingham to teach Slavonic languages at University College, after the Russian revolution began when he was in London.

During the 2nd World War, Lavrin made broadcasts in Slovene for the BBC.

Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.

Marriage Bond Zoom in

Marriage Bond

Maori visit Zoom in

Maori visit

Janko Lavrin Zoom in

Janko Lavrin

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