The Nichols papers are scattered among over 90 repositories and libraries in the United Kingdom and America and over 20 private collections.  The project aims to compile a database of the surviving papers which will provide scholars with an analytical guide to the range of documentation left by this remarkable and influential family.  It will comprise:

  • a calendar of the family’s unpublished correspondence
  • a synopsis of the published letters
  • a descriptive list of other documents they accumulated.

The calendars are stored on a Microsoft Access database, allowing the original order of the undisturbed private collections to be preserved while permitting indexes to be made of the senders or recipients of letters.

  • Free-text searches also allow groups of letters to, from or mentioning a particular person, or concerning a given topic, to be seen together, even though the originals are held by public repositories on both sides of the Atlantic or are in private hands.
  • There are links from the Nichols Archive Database to full transcripts of diaries, travel journals and other documents.
  • A 525 page ‘Chronology’ traces the principal events in the lives of the family from 1745 to 1873 and includes an itinerary of their travels, details of their research and a checklist of the works they printed or were associated with. 
  • A link to a 316 page Union Index identifies many of the thousands of individuals named in the letters and other documents.

The first stage of the project is the calendaring of the documents in private hands; the second stage, which is already underway, will add calendars of Nichols papers held in repositories around the world.

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