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John Howard Nodal Papers

Date range: 1850–1909.

John Howard Nodal (1831–1909) combined a career in journalism with a passionate interest in dialect.

He was editor of the Manchester City News from 1871 to 1904, greatly expanding its coverage and turning it into a campaigning newspaper. He was also the first President of the Manchester Literary Club and Chairman of the Manchester Arts Club.

Nodal was an enthusiastic advocate of the recording and preservation of regional dialect speech. Between 1874 and 1896 he acted as Honorary Secretary and Director of the English Dialect Society. He also published a number of works on dialect speech.

This small archive principally comprises 130 letters sent to Nodal.

Among the many correspondents are:

  • the authors Mrs Linnaeus Banks, William Harrison Ainsworth, Edwin Waugh, Bram Stoker, Sir (Thomas Henry) Hall Caine, Alexander Ireland, Sydney Grundy and Francis Espinasse
  • the actor Henry Irving; the artists Randolph Caldecott and Frederic Shields
  • the philologist and founder of the English Dialect Society, Walter Skeat
  • the scholars and bibliophiles Richard Copley Christie and J.P. Earwaker

The archive has relevance for research into regional journalism, the literary and artistic communities of north-west England, the revival of interest in recording and preserving regional dialect speech, and local government in Manchester during the late nineteenth century.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Box list of later accession.

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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