23rd December – ‘A Very Pretty Little Christmas Carol’

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'A Very Pretty Little Christmas Carol' from A Garland of Christmas Carols (Chapbooks 821.89 GAR)

‘A Very Pretty Little Christmas Carol’ from A Garland of Christmas Carols (Chapbooks 821.89 GAR)

Chistmas day is growing near so here’s a little carol to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This carol is from A Garland of Christmas Carols chapbook, which consists of many other Christmas Carols. A Chapbook is an early type of popular literature. They were produced cheaply, were commonly small paper-covered booklets that were usually printed on a single sheet and folded into books with 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages.

If you would like to view this Chapbook, you can request to view it our Special Collections reading room.

22nd December – ‘Making the perfect Christmas dinner’ from the Courier

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Making the perfect Christmas dinner

‘Making the perfect Christmas dinner’ from the Courier, 2011

Looks yummy doesn’t it? What will you be having for dinner on Christmas day? Will you use these ‘coping’ mechanisims to ‘survive’ Christmas?

Page taken from a Christmas special of the Courier, dated 12th December 2011.

Editorial from the Courier:
“Coping with Christmas
Sometimes it isn’t always all carolling out in the snow. Here’s what to do when festive spirit runs low, reality takes a bite and there isn’t a treble close at hand…”

The Courier is Newcastle University’s student newspaper and has always been a voice for students to express their news, views, and opinions relating to campus life and the operation of the University. Its first issue was released in 1948, when the University was still known as King’s College (Kings College later split into Newcastle Universtiy and the University of Durham in 1963). The Courier is still being published today.

To find out more about the history of the Courier, visit here.

Click here to view this December 2011 article in full. The Courier archive has also been digitised and is available online here.

21st December – The Fig Tree

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The Fig Tree

‘The Fig Tree’ illustration from Elizabeth Blackwell’s Herbal Vol. 1

Plate 125. The Fig Tree. Ficus.

It seldome grows to be a Tree of any great Bigness in England; the Leaves are a grass Green and the Fruit when ripe of a brownish Green; it beareth no visible Flowers, which makes it believed they are hid in the Fruit.

Its Native soils are Turky, Spain and Portugal; and its time of Bearing is in Spring and Autumn; the Figs are cured by dipping them in scalding hot Lye, made of ye Ashes of the Guttings of the Tree, and afterwards they dry them carefully in the Sun.

Figs are esteem’d cooling and moistning, good for coughs, shortness of Breath, and all Diseases of the Breast; as also the Stone and Gravel, – and the small Pox and Measels, which they drive out. – Outwardly they are dissolving and ripening, good for Imposthumations and Swellings; and pestilential buboes.

Latin, Ficus. Spanish, Igos. Italian, Fichi: French, Figues. German, Fengen. Dutch Uygen.

Taken from Volume 1 of Elizabeth Blackwell’s Herbals found in our Rare Books Collection available here.

19th December – Professor Duff 25th December 1942 Diary Entry

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25th December 1942

25th December 1942 diary extract from Professor Duff

Extract from Professor Duff’s 1942 diary entry. Professor Duff explains what he did on Christmas day and of the assassination of admiral Darlan during World War II.

FRIDAY 25           Christmas Day – Bank Holiday in U.K.

“Sunday” bells allowed to ring for Christmas everywhere. We exchanged presents and greetings. Damp most of the day. Another considerable mail came to us. At a short Xmas service Dr. Bacon addressed his congregation on the significance of the shepherds going to Bethlehem, Luke 2.15

Christmas midday dinner at the grand Hotel. 2-3 Wireless greetings to and from allies all over the world & “peeps” into Christmas parties. 3pm. The King spoke urging brotherhood. He was much less hesitating than usual. We made an early black-out, & by 3.45 we all four were at the Anderstones for tea. Home again n time for 6 o’clock news – chief item this morning at 9 a.m. was the assassination in Algiers of admiral Darlan who came over recently to the allied side though had unfairly at an earlier time slandered Britain as hostile to them the “generous” Hitler!!

This diary is part of Professor John Wight Duff Diaries Collection. Find out more here.

17th December – ‘Mountain Expedition’ in the snow

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Mountain expedition 1966

Mountain expedition 1966 (NUA/033561-3)

‘Mountain expedition’ in the snow photograph dated 7th July 1966. Expedition is possibly by the Mountaineering Society.

This photograph is from the University Archives. View other photographs from the University Archives on Collections Captured.

16th December – ‘Marley’s Ghost’ from A Christmas Carol

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'Marley's Ghost'

‘Marley’s Ghost’ illustration from A Christmas Carol: in prose, by Charles Dickens (19th Century Collection 823.83 DIC

Extract and image are taken from A Christmas Carol: in prose: being a ghost story of Christmas.

“How now!” said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever. “What do you want with me?”
    “Much!” – Marley’s voice, no doubt about it.
    “Who are you?”
    “Ask me who I was.”
    “Who were you then?” said Scrooge, raising his voice. “You’re particular – for a shade.” He was going to say “to a shade,” but substituted this, as more appropriate.
    “In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.”

Jacob Marley is a ghost who appears in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He is Scrooge’s deceased business partner, now a chained a tormented ghost, given as punishment in the afterlife for his greedy, selfish and uncaring attitude when he was living. Marley arranges three spirits to visit Scrooge (Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future), offering him and opportunity for redemption.

Find the book for yourself through Library Search.
Check out other items from the 19th Century Collection here.

15th December – Thomas Sopwith 26th December 1867 Diary Extract

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26th December 1867 diary entry

26th December diary entry from Thomas Sopwith’s 1867 diary

The image and extract are taken from 26th December 1867 diary entry page from Thomas Sopwith’s diary.

Dec. 26th 1867
In the finenoon Mr. John Weightson called and I had a very agreable communication with him on several subjects. In the evening my daughters and a few of their young friends had a dress rehearsal of a little drawing room drama “The Duchess of Mansfelt.” – for which some frame work, a curtain and lights had been skillyfully arranged during the day. The servants, workmen and others formed the audience and the performance passed off very well. I then exhibited in the lobby a new toy called the “Wheel of Life” and a number of photographic and other pictures with all which they were gratified and the evening therefore partook of a cheerful character worthy of Christmas time._,,_,,_,,_,,

The diaries of Thomas Sopwith (1803-1879), mining engineer, land surveyor and philanthropist in the north-east of England, cover the period 1828-1879. They form a meticulous account of the professional life of Sopwith, detailing his work, projects and his travels both for business and for enjoyment. The diaries also include sketches and illustrations of people, views, and buildings and often include descriptions of lectures and conversations with people Sopwith met on his travels.

Click here, to find out more about the Thomas Sopwith Diaries.

14th December – 17th Century Cake Bread Recipe

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Cake Bread recipe

Cake Bread recipe from Jane Lorraine’s recipe book (Miscellaneous Manuscripts 5)

Image and transcription (below) are taken from a page of Jane Lorraine’s recipe book. The recipe book contains lots of different recipe and was written in the 17th century by a woman called Jane Lorraine.

Jane Lorraine lived in Northumberland. She is likely to have been the wife of Nicholas Loraine and probably a member of the Fenwick family (John James Fenwick in 1882 opened the shop Fenwicks which exists on a larger scale down Northumberland Street, Newcastle today).

The recipe book is a collaboration between many different people. We can see that many different people contributed their recipes to it as there are mentions of different individuals within it (a total of 67 people), in addition to six different handwriting being identified within the text. Jane Lorraine put together the recipes by different individuals into one big recipe book.

27. Cake Bread
Take a peck of very fine flower two pound of sweat butter
six pound of currants to a quarter of an ounce of mace
a quarter of an ounce of synomond five nutmugs one
pound and a half of fine sugar let your spices and
sugar be very finely beaten your currants washed picked
and dryed put your spices into your flower a little salt
mingled well together, put your butter in thin slices put in
your Corants and sugar mingle them well togeather put
in two spounfuls of rose water a pinte of good ale yest
put in as much Cold cream that is thick and sweat as will
make it into a past work it very well when you have done
put your paste into a hot lining Cloth set it a while before
the fire mould it upon a table take a broad wooden peall lay
a sheat of broade paper strow it with flower lay your paste
on fashon it into a Cake prick it with a bodkin let it goe
down into the bottom then with a fether anoynt the kake
with melted butter strow good sugar finely beaten upon
it set it in an oven that will not scorch

This recipe book is part of Miscellaneous Manscripts

13th December – Mediaeval Breviary

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Page from Breviary

Page from 15th Century Medieval Breviary (Mediaeval Manuscripts 8)

Highly decorated page from a medieval breviary, a service book from the Middle Ages that contains all the text needed for a church service. Decorated in gold with flowers, a peacock, magpie and squirrel surrounding the text. The breviary is Flemish and produced in the 15th century.

Page taken from Mediaeval Manuscript no. 8, which is found in our Mediaeval Manuscripts collection.