Research

The Project is opening the archive to those interested in the Nichols family, their place in the eighteenth and nineteenth century book trade and their importance in a flourishing network of antiquaries and literary biographers.

  • The database allows us to reconstruct the epistolary conversation of the Nichols family with their friends, clients and wide network of scholars, even though the original letters are scattered among repositories on both sides of the Atlantic or in private hands.
  • Letters that once accompanied contributions to the Gentleman’s Magazine are helping to identify anonymous or pseudonymous contributors.  These are being incorporated by Professor Emily Lorraine de Montluzin of Francis Marion University on her web-site publication ‘Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman’s Magazine’ at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/bsuva/gm2 
  • Letters regarding the production of particular books illustrate the different roles of John Nichols and his son within the office and their relationships with clients.
  • Letters relating to the research and production of John Nichols’ own books show how he used the Gentleman’s Magazine and his wide network of antiquarian and literary friendships to locate manuscripts and rare books for his personal research.
  • Study of travel journals and letters written home by the Nicholses is providing important evidence for their links to the provincial book trade.
    The Nichols Archive includes important collections of autograph letters that were made by members of the Nichols family throughout the nineteenth century.  The formation of these collections is documented in their correspondence and is of considerable interest for the history of collecting.

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