Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theology & Religion: Special Collections

A Library Services Subject Guide


Spitfires in the air
The Teaching Resources Collection
The Skinner Building on campus
The Lincolnshire Collection
An historic map of central England
Lincoln Mystery Plays Archive logo

The University Archive

Bishop Grosseteste University was founded in 1862 as a training college for school mistresses and at the time was known as Lincoln Diocesan Training College.  In 1962, on the occasion of its centenary, it was renamed Bishop Grosseteste College, after 13th-century Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste.  The name was changed to Bishop Grosseteste University College in 2007 when the institution was granted degree-awarding powers, and again in 2012, to Bishop Grosseteste University, when the institution was granted University status.  

Records and documents pertaining to BGU's long history are kept in the University Archive (located within the Library) and is maintained by University Archivist. Access to the Archive is by appointment only; please contact Guenever Moyes to arrange a visit. 

The Lincoln Mystery Plays Archive

The Lincoln Mystery Plays Archive (incorporating the Keith Ramsay Collection) was donated to Bishop Grosseteste University by The Lincoln Mystery Plays Trust in July 2014. 

Mystery plays are based on biblical stories.  Popular in medieval Europe, they were often performed in ‘cycles’, with performances spread over several days.  The N-Town cycle, upon which the modern Lincoln Mystery Plays are based, includes 42 plays believed to have been written and first performed in the late fifteenth century in the East Midlands or East Anglia.

The first ‘modern’ mystery play known to have been performed in Lincoln was staged at The Theatre Royal in 1969. In 1978 The Lincoln Mystery Plays Company was formed by Keith Ramsey, then a Senior Drama Lecturer at Bishop Grosseteste College, and productions have been staged on a regular basis ever since, usually every four years. Keith Ramsey directed the Lincoln Mystery Plays until his retirement in 2000.

Made up of ephemera from a variety of performances in Lincoln Cathedral, Southwell Minster and overseas, the Lincoln Mystery Plays Archive incorporates more than 500 photographs, 130 press releases and reviews and 50 items of correspondence, as well as programmes, scripts, working scripts, posters, DVDs of productions, television reports & interviews, music CDs, reference books and Keith Ramsay’s personal scrapbooks.  It is potentially of use to students and researchers of medieval drama, community theatre, site-specific drama, religious drama and theatre production, as well as anyone involved in the staging of mystery plays.

The Teaching Resources Collection

Located close to the Library entrance, the Teaching Resources Collection (TRC) is home to around 24,000 resources primarily aimed at trainee teachers, those working or intending to work in educational settings, and students of children's literature.  The Collection has been developed over many decades and we believe it to be one of the best of its kind in the country. The space is split between teachers' resources and children's resources.

Children's Resources include picture books, fiction and non-fiction books, big books (fiction and non-fiction), dual language books, feature films, audio books, resource packs, artefact boxes, novelty books, puppets, Storysacks® and journals. At its heart is an extensive collection of classic and contemporary children's literature. All major authors and illustrators are represented and demonstrate the development of children's literature over many decades. Though the emphasis is on British literature there is a good selection of American fiction, world fiction and books translated into English from other languages. Poetry books and fairy tales also feature.

Teachers' Resources support teachers and trainee teachers in developing lesson plans and teaching strategies to implement the National Curriculum. The collection includes National Curriculum documents, government reports, reading and phonic schemes, educational textbooks, teaching handbooks and lesson planning guides. All of the teachers' resources are for reference only, allowing students to compare and contrast different educational materials.  

Image attribution

Planes: Spitfires and Hurricanes Flying in Formation Over Lincolnshire by The MInistry of Defence on Flickr under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Creative Commons Licence.
Map: Image from page 566 of "The history of Great Britain : from the first invasion of it by the Romans under Julius Cæsar. Written on a new plan" (1789) by Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr; no known copyright restrictions.
Photographs of the University
©Bishop Grosseteste University.
LMPT Archive logo courtesy of the Lincolnshire Mystery Plays Trust.