The Book That Changed My Life: Discovering the Archive behind the Gentleman’s Magazine – Julian Pooley – February 2023 Webinar Posted 11 January 2023 by Julie GoucherThe Guild is delighted to welcome Julian Pooley to our webinar series for February. Julian is going share the fascinating story of, The Book That Changed My Life: Discovering the Archive behind the Gentleman’s Magazine Daniel Maclise’s portrait of ‘The Children of John Bowyer Nichols’ painted in the garden of their house in Clapham in 1831 – Used with permission This talk tells the story of how the purchase of an anonymous pocket diary in a London bookshop led Julian Pooley to discover extensive and previously unknown archives of John Nichols (1745 to 1826). Nichols was one of Georgian London’s most prominent printers and a leading antiquary whose History and Antiquities of the Town and County of Leicester 4 vols (1795 to 1815) transformed the way that English local history was written and illustrated. For three generations he and his family edited and printed the Gentleman’s Magazine. The vast archive of family and business papers which he and his successors accumulated inspired his granddaughter to form her own collection of autograph letters, augmented by exchange with other collectors and by purchases in the London and Paris salerooms. This internationally significant collection, which includes many documents relating to Surrey, is now part of the 20,000 Nichols papers calendared and accessible via the Nichols Archive Database which is available via appointment at Surrey History Centre. This is a nice case study of how research on a single document and family behind it can showcase the relevance of a focussed research project for the wider genealogical community. The fact that today’s family historians are so indebted to the Nicholses for the very materials that they use for their research is of added interest: John Nichols pioneered the study of wills, was central to the collection of anecdotes and literary biography that preserved details of so many lives for us to today and, through the Gentleman’s Magazine may be regarded as the father of the modern obituary; John Bowyer Nichols acted as printing and publication midwife to the large Georgian county histories that include family histories and genealogies that are still used by family historians today; and John Gough Nichols was instrumental in the founding of topographical and record publishing societies that printed many of the source materials so vital for today’s researchers. About the speaker Julian Pooley FSA is Public Services and Engagement Manager at Surrey History Centre and Honorary Visiting Fellow of the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. He is preparing an analytical guide to the papers of the Nichols family of printers, genealogists and antiquaries between the time of John Nichols (1745-1826) and the death of his grandson, John Gough Nichols, in 1873, the core of which is a database of over 20,000 calendared letters that map their vast network of correspondents. He has published numerous articles on the Nichols family and is currently preparing a series of volumes on Surrey in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ for Surrey Record Society. This webinar is available FREE (registration is required), to members of the public, Guild members and members of the genealogical and local history community, so why not share the information and join us on: 8 February 2023 at 7.30pm GMT – Register HERE The recording will be available to public for one month, after which it will become a members benefit.