Hair today, gone tomorrow…

We’ve now completed Batch 8 which contained over 25,000 images.

One surprise from that batch found in a folded piece of paper was this lock of hair. Unfortunately there is no date or explanation.

“From Dublin

Sent by Brother Frederick(?)


Father Superiors hair”



Jamie signing over the rehoused Batch 8 for Batch 9. Batch8a


Kilpeck Church

This week we digitised pages from George Lewis’ illustrated book of Kilpeck Church in Herefordshire. The Lithographs are by Day & Haghe.

Cardinal Newman is mentioned in the list of Subscribers on the 7th page.

The cropped images below are a small selection of the pages loose in a folder of Batch 8.


South East View






Elaborate West Window carvings




Arched South Doorway


Columns of the Chancel Arch


Carved Stoup


The Symbols of the Evangelists in the Holy of Holies


View of Pilbeck from Dippers Moor


Another interesting web page with further photographs about Kilpeck Church can be found here.










Laus Deo

A curious find in Batch 8, from this day 149 years ago:


Historical weather forecast records for Oxfordshire for June 1866, from the Met Office website:

  yyyy    mn  tmax    tmin     af    rain     sun
              degC    degC    days    mm      hours
   1866   6   21.9    11.1       0    81.7     ---


Thankfully the weather in Oxfordshire today is glorious, for which we’re sure the sheep are truly thankful!

Batch 7b complete

Last week we completed Batch 7b, sent the boxes back to Birmingham Oratory and received Batch 8. The running total of images generated, to date, is 155,000.Batch 7b

Mary Jo, Daniel, Cerys and Jamie were on hand to load and unload the truck.



Digitisation on batch 8 started immediately, and is already presenting its own challenges:


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We are sometimes puzzled by the documents and articles we receive for digitisation within the Newman Project, in the most recent batch are two tin boxes full of duplicate letters. The text reads;

(Page One)

Dear Sir,

As my hand is rather weak, I hope you will excuse me if I leave your letter unanswered.

I am, Dear Sir, yours faithfully

John H Newman


(Page 2)

You are one of those friends and well wishers, who have so kindly addressed to me letters of congratulation on my birthday, – letters for which touched me much, and for your share in which I hereby offer you my sincere thanks.

Feb 24



There are multiple copies of this letter kept in two tin boxes:



As photocopiers had not been invented at the time this letter was composed, and each letter is an exact copy, we assume they hadn’t been copied by hand, so we were a little confused as to how these were made. This led us to look further into Letter Copy Presses and Hectographs, something Cerys had fun researching. If anyone can shed some light on the process that may have been used to produce these copies, then please drop us a comment below.


As the Newman Project comes to the end of its initial two year period of digitisation, we are pleased to announce that the digitisation process will continue until 2016.

Box 147 contains a beautiful hand painted card of congratulations to Cardinal Newman from School Sisters of Notre Dame:


Newman’s elevation to the rank of cardinal took place on 12 May 1879, making him Cardinal-Deacon of San Giorgio al Velabro.


Your Eminence,

My Lord Cardinal.

Uniting ourselves with so many thousands

of English Catholics who rejoice in Your

Eminence’s elevation to the Cardinalate.

we beg humbly to offer our most hearty congrat

ulations for this august occasion.

we need scarcely clothe