Manuscripts and Special Collections

Weston Gallery Exhibition

Going Global!
A History of The University of Nottingham

Dates: Friday 18 September to Sunday 3 January 2016

Admission free

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.

Black and white aerial photograph of University Park Campus


This exhibition charts how a University College with a few hundred students grew to become the world’s first truly global University. It draws 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 focuses 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.
Students sitting on the wall outside Trent


The exhibition has been jointly curated by Professor John Beckett (School of Humanities), Dr Andy Souter and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.

Location and Opening Times

Weston Gallery
DH Lawrence Pavilion
Nottingham Lakeside Arts
University Park

Box Office: 0115 8467777

Opening times:

Monday to Friday 11am-4pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays noon-4pm.

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Lunchtime Talks

1PM – 2PM



A series of talks will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777

Jesse Boot, the Highfields Estate, and the creation of University Park, 1928
5 October 201
Professor John Beckett looks at how the Nottingham entrepreneur Jesse Boot facilitated the move which took the University College from cramped headquarters in Nottingham, to a new campus and a new College building, in the 1920s. The Trent Building, as it is now called, with its iconic clock tower, remains a symbol of the University, and is now replicated on the campuses in China and Malaysia.

Photographing University Park
2 November 2015

Dr Andy Souter, one of the co-curators of the exhibition, not only had the task of selecting from a huge range of original historic photographs, but also of spotting gaps and filling them himself. In doing so, he visited the University’s UK campuses and environs, and found many hidden gems that reflect the University and student life. Dr Souter explores the variety of challenges faced in addition to his inspiration and discoveries made during his work on the project.

From Modest Beginnings to Global Institution
7 December 2015

Emeritus Professor Malcolm Jones has been linked with the University since he arrived as an undergraduate in 1958. Over the years which followed he was a student, a lecturer and a professor. He also became Dean of the Arts Faculty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Honorary President of Convocation. In his talk he offers fascinating glimpses into the ways in which the University has developed and changed since the 1950s, combining institutional history with personal reflections.

Special Events

Please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777.

Join us on two guided walks around the University Park campus, led by Professor John Beckett, co-curator of the Going Global! exhibition.

The walks are free but places are limited and booking is essential. Call the box office on 0115 846 7777 to reserve your place.

Both walks will start in the Weston Gallery.

The Jesse Boot Gift
Wednesday 30 September, 4.30
(90 min)
Focussing on University Park’s unique heritage, looking at the land and buildings which were given by Jesse Boot to the University.

The Student Experience
Sunday 11 October, 2.30
(2 hrs)
A circular walk looking at the history and architecture of student accommodation on University Park campus, from former family homes to purpose built halls of residence. Any ex-students joining the walk will be encouraged to point out the room in which they once resided!


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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