Category Archives: Printed Collections

Travel journals: South and Central America

This week we continue our travel theme with a visit to South and Central America. This post draws on sources from our rare book stock – including accounts collected by John Pinkerton – as well as the diaries of the explorer William Mogg and correspondence of commercial traveller, Alfred Salinger.

Tropaeolum Majus, Greater Indian Cress or Nasturtium, a native of Peru and first brought to Europe in 1684 Curtis’s Botanical magazine vol. 1 [Rare Book per Q]

John Pinkerton was a Scottish cartographer and historian. He was not a great traveller himself, but collected and translated the accounts of others. His “general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world” includes a volume devoted to South America containing Captain’s Betagh’s observations on Peru; Alonso de Ovalle’s history of Chile; M. Bouguer’s voyage to Peru; an account of Don Antonio de Ulloa’s visit to South America and John Nieuhoff’s travels in Brazil.

‘View of Buenos Ayres’ from vol. 14 South America (1813): John Pinkerton A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world; many of which are now first translated into English (London, 1808-14) [Rare Books G 161]

The engraving of Buenos Aires by John Byrne was used to illustrate the account of Don Antonio de Ulloa’s time in South America at the command of the King of Spain. Ulloa gives his impressions of the city:

He [Don Pedro de Mendoza] gave it the name of Buenos Ayres, on account of the extreme salubrity of the air. The city is built on a large plain, gently rising from the little river. It is far from being small, having at least three thousand houses […] The city is surrounded by a spacious and pleasant country, free from any obstruction to the sight.

Ulloa’s voyage to South America p.642-3 from vol. 14 South America (1813): John Pinkerton, A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world; many of which are now first translated into English, (London, 1808-14) [Rare Books G 161]
Island of St Thomas John Pinkerton, A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world; many of which are now first translated into English, (London, 1808-14) [Rare Books G 161]

The view of the St Thomas [now part of the Virgin Islands] illustrates John Nieuhoff’s account of his nine year stay in Brazil in the 1640s. He was clearly not on the pay-roll of their tourist board!

It is very fertile in black sugar and ginger; the sugar-fields being continually moistened by the melted snow that falls down from the mountains. There were at that time above sixty sugar mills there; but the air is the most unwholesome in the world, no foreigner daring to stay so much as one night ashore, without running the hazard of his life; because by the heat of the sun beams such venomous vapors are drawn from the earth, as are unsupportable to strangers.

Voyages and travels into Brazil by John Nieuhoff from John Pinkerton, A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels in all parts of the world; many of which are now first translated into English, (London, 1808-14) [Rare Books G 161]

The Special Collections hold the papers of William Mogg. The third volume of his illustrated journals covers his time in South American waters, with accounts and illustrations from his voyage on the Beagle with Charles Darwin 1821-33. It was the observations that Darwin made during these expeditions that led him to formulate his theory of evolution.

‘Condor’: from the private journal of William Mogg, 1821–33 [MS 45 AO183/3]

William Mogg gives an account of the “metropolis of Brazil”, Rio de Janeiro:

In the environs of the city, are many beautiful situations; and while enjoying delightful rides amidst the richest, and most varied scenery, or resting in the shade of a veranda, refreshed by the sea-breeze, and overlooking a prospect hardly to be surpassed in any part of the world

William Mogg’s private journal, vol. 3 [MS 45 AO183/3]
Mole Palace and Cathedral, Rio de Janeiro from William Mogg’s private journal, vol. 3 [MS 45 AO183/3]

Mogg describes “Boto Fogo” as the Brighton of Rio and “from its situation exposed to the sea breeze, nothing more delightful can be wished for than this charming spot.” He goes on to say:

Many of the marine villas have egress to the sea for bathing, but in this fertile climate teaming with life, the attractions are so great, more especially to those fond of natural history, that he is scarcely able to walk at all.

William Mogg’s private journal, volume 3 [MS 45 AO183/3]

It all sounds quite delightful!

Cactus Flagelliformis which grows “spontaneously in South America and the West Indies”. Curtis’s Botanical magazine volume 1 [Rare Book per Q]

The Special Collections holds the papers of the Salinger family, including Morris and Harriet’s fifth child, Alfred (1867-1951). He spent two years at the City of London School and then began work for a firm of clothiers. Through family influence he went to work in Uruguay as a clerk in a firm constructing railways. This venture was terminated when he was invalided back to Britain after a bout of typhoid. He was not put off travelling, however, as Salinger later became a traveller for Vinolia Soap, visiting both Argentina and South Africa.

I am now on my way down to B Aires from Paraguay where I have been for the last 3 or 4 weeks. During Holy week (Easter) I accepted an invitation from a friend of mine in Asuncion to visit his estate and as one cannot do any business during that week on account of the religious observances which include burning effigies of Judas Iscariot and other ancient notabilities in the principal streets besides other religious processions, I thought I could not do better than accept his invitation to get clear of all the troublesome fanaticism of a properly observed Easter in one of the S American countries. My friend is a very good fellow, son-in-law of the British Consul in Asuncion and we had an excellent time together. We left Asuncion by train on Thursday March 26, arrived in Villa Rica at 3pm where I visited a customer, an N American who has been nearly 30 years in Paraguay [f.2] and has a very flourishing drug store there the only one outside of Asuncion of any importance. There is also an English Dr, Bottrill by name, who came out from Blackheath about 7 or 8 yrs ago for his health and is so satisfied with the climate that he has remained there with his wife, an English lady, and they are an excellent couple, young and very hospitable. Next day, 27th, we continued our journey as far as the railway goes to a spot called Piropo, taking with us only saddle and saddle bags, with the few necessaries for our stay at the estate, and guns etc. At Piropo an Indian servant was waiting for us with the horses, but the whistle of the railway engine had frightened them and after eating a little at a ranch near by the station we found when we were ready to saddle up that they had cleared away. So after duly cursing the Indian for not tying them more securely we sent him after them on a spare horse and at 11pm he came back with them having stopped them at a river about 5 miles off, which one has to cross on the way to the ‘Estancia’ as they call the estates here. Being a moonlight night we did not waste any time but saddled up and got away at once….

Letter from Alfred Salinger to his younger brother, Samuel, describing a journey from Paraguay to Buenos Aires to visit the estate of a friend, 17 April 1896 [MS 209 A810/1/3]
Bank note from Argentina from the wallet of Alfred Salinger, a commercial traveller for Vinolia Soap [MS 209 A810/1/8]

Join us for our next travel blog post, where the destination will be Europe!

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Mapping the way

As we move into August and thoughts turn to summer holidays, over the next few weeks the Special Collections will be featuring a series of blogs celebrating the theme of travel and voyages. And to help you on your way to your destination, we start with a look at the development of western traditions of maps and map-making from the sixteenth century onwards.

Detail from chart in John Sellar’s Atlas maritimus (London, 1675) [Rare Books ff. G1059]

The production of maps and of maritime charts often went hand in hand with exploration and trade. The full extent of the continent of Africa, for instance, was not known to Europeans until Bartholomew Diaz reached the southern cape in 1487. The first maps based on a knowledge of the African coastline only began to appear in the sixteenth century. Western maps of Asia, the earliest and best of which were produced in the Low Countries, drew on accounts of Portuguese traders as well as missionaries and Spanish and Dutch voyages of discovery.

Translated into English as The mariners mirror in 1588, Lucas Jansson Waghenaer’s Spieghel der Zeevaerdt (Leiden, 1584), a guide for navigators which contained a combination of earlier maritime ‘route books’ or rutters, and coastal charts, was to exert an enormous influence. John Sellar was to publish the first English pilots a century later. His Atlas maritimus (London, 1675) was a collection of maritime charts describing sea-coasts “in most of the known parts of the world collected from the latest and best discoveries that have been made by divers able and experienced navigators of our English nation”. Copies varied considerably in content and were probably made up to suit each purchaser. The volume at Southampton has 40 maps and one set of coloured plates.

John Sellar Atlas maritimus (London, 1675) [Rare Books ff. G1059]

For travellers wishing to journey nearer to home, local topographical maps were not common until the sixteenth century. Prior to that most descriptions of the countryside were verbal rather than visual. The growth in the sixteenth century was linked to technological developments enabling means of surveying and producing accurate representations and also to a new curiosity for knowledge about the world.

The principal influences behind the creation of this new iconography were threefold. Firstly, practical: many of the earliest maps had a military purpose as well as being extensively used in legal disputes or for setting out boundaries. Secondly, visual: they were a potent form of display. From the sixteenth century, maps were hung on the walls of houses and palaces, showing ancestral estates, kingdoms or the strength of a regional identity. Thirdly, the development of printing, with the use of engraved copper plates, provided a ready way of making these images available.

The first widespread cartographic depictions of Europe date from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The work of Christopher Saxton, who surveyed the UK in the 1570s, was considered a high point in topographical description.

Christopher Saxton’s map of Caernarvonshire [Rare Books quarto G5750]

Saxton maps were small-scale, in that they covered large areas with little detail. Maps of counties at a large scale, which covered small geographical areas in great detail, were the product of the eighteenth century, arising from Enlightenment interest in scientific representation.

J.Cary Cary’s new universal atlas (London, 1808) [Rare Books ff. G1019]

 The Ordnance Survey of Britain was under way in the 1790s marking an approach to topography on a national basis. Although the Ordnance Survey was not finally undertaken in Ireland until 1824, work on mapping counties had begun, under the auspices of grand juries, in the 1770s. Neville Bath, for instance, had been engaged to produce maps for Counties Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Limerick which were bought up by the Irish government in 1808 during the time when the Duke of Wellington was Chief Secretary for Ireland.

So when you are next embarking on a journey instead of turning to your satnav why not try out using a map instead?

Highfield Campus 100: 1970s

“The University has been a happy place, despite the dashing of our hopes for improved financial support, and I am confident that it will remain so.” [Professor L.C.B. Gower, Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, pp.12-13.]

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower replaced Professor Kenneth Mather as Vice-Chancellor of the University at a time when the country was suffering financial plight, in particular with the 1973 oil crisis, high inflation, high interest rates, and a steady slump in government funding of higher education.

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower [University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, p.7]

Professor Lawrence Cecil Bartlett (Jim) Gower [University of Southampton Annual Report 1972-3, p.7]

4,534 full-time students registered at the University in October 1971, of whom 903 were postgraduates, distributed over the Faculties. While Southampton was expected to increase its student body by a further 2000 by 1980, there was a restriction on government money for new buildings. Student accommodation was affected by this the most. For most students a place in a hall of residence or some university property was their first choice, but the steady rise in student numbers meant that there was not enough of this accommodation for everybody.

MS1_Phot_22_7_4_30_SouthStonehamHouse_1970

South Stoneham House Halls of Residence, 1970 [MS1/Phot/22/7/4/30]

In 1971, the financing of new student accommodation was helped by a gift of £136,000 from the Brunei Government, to commemorate the first royal visit to Brunei, but also because the first Brunei Government Scholar and graduate, Pehin Isa Bin Ibrahim, had been a student in Southampton’s Faculty of Law. Other funding for accommodation had to be borrowed, of which Gower proved a talented negotiator.

Brunei House Halls of Residence, 1974 [MS1/Phot/11/23]

Brunei House Halls of Residence, 1974 [MS1/Phot/11/23]

During Gower’s time as Vice-Chancellor, the University managed to increase student accommodation by the same amount that student numbers rose through their large expansion of Montefiore House, where 420 rooms were added. Over half its students were first years and so the House was given some features of the older halls, such as a common room, bar, games room, and television room. Though it remained a self-catering hall, instead of 20 students sharing a kitchen as in the earlier blocks, the new block consisted of so-called flats shared by seven.

Montefiore House Halls of Residence under construction, 1977 [MS1/Phot/22/4/1/2]

Montefiore House Halls of Residence under construction, 1977 [MS1/Phot/22/4/1/2]

All of the halls of residences also became unisex, and in 1975 all freshers were provided the opportunity to spend their first year in a hall. This allowed them to become familiar with Southampton and become more successful when they needed to find their own accommodation. This led to 1976-1977 becoming the first session to start with no homeless students. A Hall newspaper was also developed called “Hot Eyre” which appeared every fortnight. This was established as a valuable aid of news, argument and internal advertising.

Hot Eyre Magazine, February 1986 No.1 [LF789.6G5 Univ.Coll]

Hot Eyre Magazine, February 1986 No.1

In January 1979, another accommodation block named Clarkson House opened. The small two-storey building sited just south of the Administration Building was designed to take 25 students, including some with disabilities. It had been funded jointly by the British Council for the Disabled and the Clarkson Foundation with the Department of Health and Social Security. Two years later the University received a Commendation under the Building for Disabled 1981 Scheme.

Clarkson House under construction, 1978 [MS1/Phot/22/4/2/26]

Clarkson House under construction, 1978 [MS1/Phot/22/4/2/26]

Even when appeals had successfully changed the cuts proposed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for 1973, the University calculated that in 1974 the Medical Faculty would be in deficit by £400,000 and the rest of the University by £500,000. The Government suggested that it could solve this financial issue by increasing the proportion of Arts to Science students, by decreasing its postgraduates and by economies resulting from expanding certain activities.

The responses by the University included transferring responsibility for spending to faculties, with the aim of producing flexibility if not economies. The University also turned increasingly to research, which would bring direct grants from research councils, foundations and government departments.

Gower had been warned before he came to Southampton that he would be faced with disruption. This was evidenced by students occupying the Administration Building for 48 hours on 14-15 November 1973 in support of the National Union Students’ campaign for grants, which kept pace with inflation, a cause which the University sympathised with but was in no power of changing.

Wessex News, November 1973 [LF789.9 Univ Coll]

Wessex News, November 1973

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Student Union supported national, and international causes with increasing strength, with direct action such as sit-ins and boycotts.

In 1971, the Student Union, in protest against the shortage of University accommodation, voted for the organisation of three indefinite squats in derelict or vacant houses in the centre of Southampton. Other sit-ins included one from 1-11 March 1970 at the Nuffield Theatre, which related to the controversy around the appointment of Dr W.A. Coupe as Professor of German. The Senate ratified Coupe’s appointment. In response on 15 February 1971 students of the German Department occupied building Arts 1 for 24 hours. Subsequently, students occupied the Nuffield Theatre for 10 days, after failing to enter the locked Administration Building.

With Dr Coupe’s appointment confirmed by Council and the University authorities were able to claim that they had successfully defended the procedures which governed (and should govern) the making of appointments. In 1972 the Senate and Council ruled that students would not serve on appointment committees, that the University was responsible for changes in the direction of a Department’s activities rather than the Department, and that appointment committees should not be made up of a majority of departmental representatives.

Sit-in at Southampton: The Fact-Finding Committee report, Feb 1970 [MS 224/7]

Sit-in at Southampton: The Fact-Finding Committee report, Feb 1970 [MS 224/7]

In 1971 the University established a Staff Consultative Group and its periodical, Viewpoint not long after the ten-day Nuffield sit-in, as part of its forward-looking and self-examining culture. Viewpoint provided the opportunity for staff to voice their opinions on university matters before decisions were made by Senate or Council, making staff feel more informed and closer to the decision-making of the University. The newssheet was issued five times during the Summer Term and was made available to staff and others in the University. The editorial board consisted of members of staff from the various parts in the University and the publication was printed by the Central Printing Unit.

Viewpoint, April 1971, No.1 [LF789.9 Univ. Coll]

Viewpoint, April 1971, No.1

To solve the University’s financial problems, and to enable the University to help students who suffered hardship following the Government’s plan to increase tuition fees, the Union devised a way to make political donations, which it was forbidden to make as an educational charity. In 1979, it formed a Union Club, to which it let a room in the Union Building for £1 a year. Here the Club installed pinball tables, football machines and a jukebox, which raised large sums of money. Since it was an independent body, the club was entitled to spend these as it chose. In November 1979, it invited members to propose to a club meeting how it should spend £900, a decent amount of money at the time. The club survives, but now uses it funds mainly for loans to needy students.

Other successes of the Student Union involved the field of community services and entertainments in 1970-71. Community Service was involving more students than ever before and was tackling more ambitious projects. The Union staged a free concert in the Summer, which was a great success. As students showed a deeper interest in the conditions of their university it became clear that the role of the Student Union was no longer just an organising body for sports and social facilities.

Student Union, 1975 [MS1/Phot/22/3/2]

Student Union, 1975 [MS1/Phot/22/3/2]

As always, sports and athletics preoccupied some students. In 1970-71 key sports achievements included the retention of the UAU table tennis cup, and the individual achievements of Jack Lane coming 10th in the European Games 10,000 metres and achieving a silver medal at the World Student Games 5,000 metres. In 1974, Mike Beresford (Commonwealth gold medallist) began to coach at the University boat club and continued to do so for the rest of the century. While 1976-7 was a notable year for the archery, badminton, swimming, water-polo, netball, and women’s hockey clubs, women’s lacrosse and men’s squash were the outstanding clubs of 1979-80. New clubs were also established, such as the canoeing club and sub-aqua club.

University Boat Club 2nd VIII, 1971 [MS310/46 A2075/3]

University Boat Club 2nd VIII, 1971 [MS310/46 A2075/3]

Following the Royal Commission on Medical Education’s advice to the Government in 1967 that there should be a new medical school established in Southampton, the Board of the Faculty of Medicine came into being in 1970, and met regularly during the session. The Medical School’s first students arrived in October 1971. Due to accommodation problems arising from the delay in completion of the relevant buildings, the intake was 40 instead of 65 as originally envisaged.

July 1976 graduation ceremonies involved the University’s first medical students. To mark the occasion, honorary medical degrees were conferred on two distinguished practitioners who had played a prominent role in the establishment of the Medical School: Mr John Barron, Director of Plastic Surgery at Odstock Hospital (Master of Surgery) and Dr William Macleod, Senior Consultant Physician and Physician to the Thoracic Unit Southampton (Doctor of Medicine).

Aerial view of the Medical and Biological Sciences Building under construction, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/11/24/1]

Aerial view of the Medical and Biological Sciences Building under construction, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/11/24/1]

Although the Nuffield Theatre catered well for drama, it did not serve so well for music, particularly with its acoustics. Fortunately in 1967, Miss Margaret Grassam Sims left the University a bequest of about £30,000, to be used specifically for a hall, theatre, or building of like purpose. After much discussion it was agreed that a small hall should be built to be named the Turner Sims Concert Hall, with the one condition that it have a flat floor to house University examinations. This condition was later refused by the advisory committee. Additional monies were still required to fund the construction of the hall, to which Gower solved by negotiating a loan from the City Council. Some argue that for this reason, the Turner Sims Hall is also a memorial to Jim Gower, and also to Peter Evans, the University’s first Professor of Music, for it was the Music Department that encouraged Gower to attempt to get the loan.

The acoustics for the new hall, much valued by the BBC for recording, were designed by staff from the Institution of Sound and Vibration Research. The Turner Sims Concert Hall was completed in the 1973-4 session and the opening concert took place on 19 November 1974. The Hall hosted 77 events during the 1974-5 session, of which 50 were lunchtime recitals.

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1970s [MS373 A3048/4/1]

Construction of Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1970s [MS373 A3048/4/1]

Other arts facilities that were built included the Fine Art Gallery, which opened at Boldrewood in 1972, and a Photographic Gallery that opened in 1973. In its first year the Photographic Gallery held 11 exhibitions, covering a wide range of subjects, including “Stravinsky’s last rehearsal”, Salisbury Playhouse”, “Lewis Carroll at Southampton”, and “Old Southampton”.

University Photographic Gallery, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/37/22]

University Photographic Gallery, c.1970 [MS1/Phot/37/22]

In 1978, the University decided to demolish the Civil Engineering departments ‘tidal model of Southampton Water and the Solent’, and transform the building into the John Hansard Gallery.

Booklet ‘John Hansard Gallery Appeal – A New Centre for the Visual Arts in the South’ [MS1/Phot/22/1/19]

Booklet ‘John Hansard Gallery Appeal – A New Centre for the Visual Arts in the South’ [MS1/Phot/22/1/19]

In terms of library developments, the Parliamentary Papers Library opened on 7 July 1971, originally brought to the University by Professor Percy Ford and his wife Dr Grace Ford. During the 1972-3 session, Special Collections received the Southampton and District Gardeners’ Society library of horticultural books and periodicals. Another notable accession, and of the greatest importance to the Department of Music, was the gift by Anna Mahler of music scores by her father Gustav Mahler and other eminent composers.

Donald Mitchell, Anna Mahler, Laurence Cecil Bartlett Gower (Vioce-Chancellor), Peter Evans (Professor of Music), looking at a volume from the Mahler Papers, 1973 [MS1/Phot/17/1]

Donald Mitchell, Anna Mahler, Laurence Cecil Bartlett Gower (Vice-Chancellor), Peter Evans (Professor of Music), looking at a volume from the Mahler Papers, 1973 [MS1/Phot/17/1]

Gower retired at the end of the 1979 summer term. He was considered by many to have been ‘the first democratic Vice-Chancellor’.

John Roberts was Gower’s successor, who was Vice-Chancellor for the University of Southampton from 1979 to 1985. He came from Merton College, Oxford, and was a historian.

Find out what Roberts did for the University as Vice-Chancellor in our next Highfield Campus 100 blog post, which will focus on the 1980s.

University press release regarding the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, 1979 [MS1 A4092/4]

University press release regarding the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, 1979 [MS1 A4092/4]

“While you are in England…”: refugees in Britain in the twentieth century

A particular strength of our holdings is collections relating to refugees; in this blog post we will focus on our twentieth century material. The bulk of our material concerns Jewish refugees from the Second World War period. However, there is also material from the turn of the century relative to individuals fleeing Eastern Europe plus more recent collections which sheds light on Spanish children evacuated during the civil war.

Documents created by the Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Jewish Poor relate to the immigration of Jews from Russian and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Photograph from a file relating to the adoption of orphaned immigrant children from Russia. Their names (starting at the back on the left) are: Zipporah Pokotilow, Sische Charitanski, Hannah Levene, Rebecca Katz, Bejamin Charitanski, Hyman Schneier, Hyman Borodkin, Dora Katz, Boris Pokosilow, Aron Katz, Isaac Levene, Boris Levene, Mendel Schneier, Isaac Borodkin, Bessie Levene, Fanny Levene, Eva Schneier and Sarah Charitanski [MS 173/1/5/6]

This material is now part of the Jewish Care collection. A significant portion of the minute books concern emigration and the administration of relief. The Russo-Jewish and Jewish Board of Guardians conjoint committee was formed in 1891, on the exhaustion of the Mansion House Fund for the victims of Russian persecution, that had been established approximately ten years earlier. The collection contains five editions of the periodical Darkest Russia: a record of persecution from 1891 plus press cuttings about Jewry in Russia for 1904-9.

A related collection, the papers of Carl Stettauer, give details of pogroms against Jewish communities in Russia during this period.

The collections of archives relating to Jewish refugees in the 1930s and 1940s vary considerably in size and scope, from simply one file to hundreds of boxes. Examples of smaller collections include minute books of the Board of Management of the Christian Council of Refugees from Germany, 1940-51.

Notes on “refugee pastors and their families” from September 1945 [MS 65/1/1]

The Council of Refugees was part of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ). This was founded in 1942 to combat religious and racial intolerance and to promote mutual understanding and good-will between Christians and Jews, especially in connection with the conditions created by the war.

Another collection of interest is the papers of Diana Silberstein, a native of Sarajevo (formerly part of Yugoslavia and now Bosnia and Herzegovina), who came to Britain as a refugee via Germany. Her papers include official documents and correspondence dating from 1936-46.

Silberstein
A copy of a letter from Diana Silberstein to the Home Office requesting permission to work [MS 93]

We have a personal account in the form of the typescript autobiography of Dr D.Fuerst, a refugee dentist from Nazi Austria. The following account gives some details of his reception in the UK:

The Refugee Committee in Bloomsbury House and later in Woburn House was a blessing to us. The mostly voluntary worker did an admirable job and no praise is high enough to appreciate the patient and sympathetic way in which they managed to deal with us. We were not easy customers. The variety of our problems were incredible and all of them were urgent and very important. The first person who found her feet was our daughter Lilian. I had to take her the day after we arrived to the nearest primary school in Salisbury Road, Kilburn. She was very happy there and made some friends. At the end of the school year in June she was at the top of the class. Her teacher talked to us about scholarships in the future but we could not make it out what she meant until some years later. (She is a University professor and author of several books).

[MS 116/68]

Cissi Z.Rosenfelder was honorary secretary of the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash Refugee Aid Committee in 1938 and 1939. Her papers include lists of children from Germany and correspondence with refugee committees.

Rosenfelder
Jakob Israel (aged 4), Johanna Israel (aged 6) and Gustav Israel (aged 5) [MS116/157]

This photograph was enclosed with a letter from Frederich Israel, a Jewish doctor living in Germany, dated August 1939, asking for help in placing his children in a liberal Jewish or Christian home in the UK to enable him to prepare for emigration to the U.S.A. He explained how it was necessary for his family to move from Germany as he was now only permitted to treat a part of the Jewish population which was not sufficient to get even a moderate income.

Cecil and Joan Stott, of Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire, assisted Jewish refugees during the Second World War, including Sigmund Adler (brother of the psychologist, Alfred Adler) and his sons, Kurt and Ernst, from Vienna.

stott
Ernst and Trudi Adler with Trudi’s mother and other Jewish refugees, settled in Australia [MS 293 A1015/3]

Their papers include correspondence with the German Jewish Aid Committee and the Germany Emergency Committee as well as letters about and with the Adler family and about other refugees.

Larger collections held by the Archives and Manuscripts include the papers of the Polish Jewish Refugee Fund. This archive is composed of case files relating to several hundred individuals and provides details of individual’s name, place of birth, family, address in Great Britain, date of arrival in the Great Britain and their place of origin, education and qualifications.

advice booklet
Excerpt from While you are in England: helpful information and guidance for every refugee issued by the German Jewish Aid Committee and the Jewish Board of Deputies [MS 293 A1015/8]

The Chief Rabbi’s Religious Emergency Council was an organisation of the Orthodox Jewish community. The archive contains a great deal on the administration and organisation of its work in the field of both the rescue and support of refugees, particularly child refugees, 1938-49. Amongst the papers are numerous lists of refugees (from Central and Eastern Europe) compiled by the Council, working closely with other relief organisations. These include not just lists of refugees present in Central and Eastern Europe, but of those brought over to Great Britain by the Council, of those given accommodation and assistance by the Council, and of those given assistance to emigrate from Great Britain by the Council. These often quite detailed lists contain much more information besides the names of individuals, such as their date and place of birth, their address, family details and, in some cases, their occupation.

Post-war Kinder, c. 1946-7 [MS 183/1006/1/2]

For refugees brought over to Great Britain by the Council, further information can be found in the form of photographs, biographical profiles, correspondence and refugee fund assistance cards. Landing cards and identity cards complement the block passport and other mass travel documents which exist for child refugees who travelled with the Council. After the arrival of refugees in Great Britain, there are further Council papers relating to their support, such as refugee fund assistance cards or a file of registration forms for the North London Refugee Home, 1938-40. Finally, there are lists, forms, photographs and travel documents relating to those who emigrated from Great Britain.

The Archives and Manuscripts also holds audio-visual material relative to refugees and Holocaust survivors. The Fortunoff Video Collection is a small collection of filmed testimonials of Holocaust survivors from the collection at Yale University.

Refugee Voices is an electronic resource consisting of a collection of 150 filmed interviews with Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors who made their home in Great Britain. The refugees describe their experiences prior to coming to this country and the ways in which they adapted to life in Britain. It was created by the Association of Jewish Refugees.

Photograph from the ‘colony’ of Basque child refugees at Cambria House, Caerleon in South Wales c. 1937-9 [MS 370/3 A3046/16]

The Archives has more recently acquired collections relating to the Basque evacuee children from the Spanish Civil War including oral testimonials and interviews of Los Niños. You can learn more about these collections in last week’s blog by Dr Edward Packard.

A second more recent acquisition are transcripts of interviews conducted by Tony Kusher and Katherine Knox in the mid-1990s with refugees from Chile, Czechoslovakie, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Uganda and Vietman. [MS 401]

We feel privileged to house these collections in our strongrooms. The stories they tell – while sometimes difficult – are important to preserve and make available for future generations.

Researching and remembering the Basque refugee children of 1937 in the Special Collections

This week Dr Edward Packard, Lecturer in History at University of Suffolk and Trustee of BCA’37: The Association for the UK Basque Children, discusses his use of the University’s collections relating to Basque child refugees as part of a research project on the Basque colonies that existed in Suffolk between 1937 and 1939.

MS404_A4171_4_6_boat_r_0001

The Habana arrives at Southampton [MS404 A4164/4/6]

“Following a turbulent crossing of the Bay of Biscay, four thousand children from the Basque Country disembarked from the overcrowded liner SS Habana at Southampton on 23 May 1937. These niños vascos were refugees from the Spanish Civil War and were initially accommodated in a temporary reception camp at North Stoneham, near Eastleigh, before being dispersed in groups to approximately eighty ‘colonies’ across England, Wales, and Scotland. The government refused to provide any financial assistance for the young refugees, who instead relied on donations and other forms of support from private individuals, groups, and organisations. Most of the niños had been repatriated by the start of the Second World War, but around 250 settled permanently in the UK rather than returning to the dictatorship established in Spain by General Franco following his victory in the Civil War.

North Stoneham Camp [MS404/A4164/2/24]

North Stoneham Camp [MS404 A4164/2/24]

The remarkable history of the Basque refugee children and the vast public effort to support them is not as well-known in the UK as the subsequent Kindertransport, or the internal migration of evacuees during the Second World War. However, since the start of the twenty-first century, public awareness of the niños vascos has been boosted by the activities of BCA’37: The Association for the UK Basque Children. The Association was founded in 2002 by Natalia Benjamin, whose parents taught and cared for some of the children, and Manuel Moreno, the son of a niña vasca, owing to their concerns that archival material related to the children was at risk of being lost. By developing a network of surviving niños, their family members, and others with an interest in the Basque refugees, the Association accumulated a wide range of written and visual sources about the children’s experiences in the 1930s and since. These were passed to the University of Southampton Special Collections in 2016 to ensure their preservation and to facilitate access for researchers.

BCA’37: The Association for the UK Basque Children 70 Years Commemoration Event Programme [MS404/A4164/1/2]

BCA’37: The Association for the UK Basque Children 70 Years Commemoration Event Programme [MS404 A4164/1/2]

The archive, catalogued as MS404 (A4164 and A4171), is especially intriguing as it contains not only original and facsimile historical documents pertaining to the Basque children, many of which have not featured in published work to date, but also includes administrative papers and correspondence related to the Association’s activities. Besides gathering documentation, the Association has also been involved in numerous events, including exhibitions and educational work. Given that the memory and memorialisation of the Spanish Civil War remains controversial and contested in the present, these materials offer insights into the ways in which a specific organisation has been involved in the construction of the public memory of the niños.

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Children and adults at North Stoneham Camp [MS404 A4164/2/24]

My own research focuses on the Basque colonies that existed in the county of Suffolk between 1937 and 1939, and I am also interested in the different ways that the history of the niños vascos has been told, and what remains untold. It is often difficult to research local case studies connected to the Basque refugees, owing to the impermanence of the colonies and the fragmentary nature of the surviving historical record. I found that the materials held at Southampton, which include further collections of relevant papers catalogued at MS370, helped me to fill some of the gaps and add texture to the history of the Suffolk colonies and the local experiences of the niños. For instance, while I considered myself very familiar with the history of the Wickham Market colony, which was located in a decommissioned workhouse, file MS404 A4164/2/13 contained several photographs that I had not seen before, including the children eating a meal inside the workhouse, and a striking image of some of the Basque boys with bicycles. While these subjects might sound mundane, the photographs help to convey a sense of the children’s experiences of colony life.

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Basque boys with bicycles [MS404 A4164/2/13/5]

Among the other highlights of my visit to Special Collections was viewing an original souvenir programme for an ‘All Spanish Concert by the Spanish Refugee Children from Wherstead Park, and West-End Spanish Artistes’ held at Ipswich in December 1937 (MS370/8 A4110/1). Such entertainments were a crucial part of the fundraising activity required to maintain individual colonies, although the participation of ‘West-End Artistes’ was unusual – the songs and dances were usually performed exclusively by the children.

Souvenir programme for an 'All Spanish Concert by the Spanish Refugee Children from Wherstead Park, and West-End Spanish Artistes’ held at Ipswich in December 1937 [MS 370/8 A4110/1]

Souvenir programme for an ‘All Spanish Concert by the Spanish Refugee Children from Wherstead Park, and West-End Spanish Artistes’ held at Ipswich in December 1937 [MS370/8 A4110/1]

The enduring and poignant connection between some of the Basque refugees and those who cared for them is highlighted in a short letter, dated 1 January 1988 (MS404 A4171/2/3/1/5), by Poppy Vulliamy, then in her eighties, who had established a series of colonies, including in Suffolk and Norfolk, for a group of fifty older Basque boys in 1937 and 1938. She was writing to one of these ‘boys’, Rafael de Barrutia, now a man approaching retirement age, thanking him for a Christmas card. Poppy signed off ‘From your friend who never forgets you.’ The preservation of memory is a key theme that runs through the BCA’37 archive and influences its continuing activities in the present. These include an undergraduate dissertation prize, for which the Special Collections at University of Southampton are likely to prove an important resource.

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Part of letter by Poppy Vulliamy, 1 January 1988 [MS404 A4171/2/3/1/5]

After spending much of my research trip to the Hartley Library pondering the relationship between historical experiences and the ways in which they are remembered, it seemed appropriate to head back to Southampton railway station via the Civic Centre to visit the plaque commemorating the arrival of the Habana over eighty years ago. I also reflected again that, while the Basque refugee archive at Southampton is inevitably incomplete, it offers significant glimpses into local refugee experiences. With the number of surviving niños vascos declining each year, these documents will only become more valuable in preserving the memory of this crucial part of Britain’s refugee history.”

Commemorative plaque of the arrival of the Basque refugees at the Southampton Civic Centre

Commemorative plaque of the arrival of the Basque refugees at the Southampton Civic Centre

Cesspits and Salubrity in Southampton

Philip Brannon’s Picture of Southampton, a guidebook published in 1850, presents Southampton as an attractive place to visit, its fine streets and amenities on display in the book’s many engravings.

The High Street from Philip Brannon The Picture of Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 03.5 1850

Although the arrival of the railway and development of the docks meant that the town’s commercial life was increasingly important, the guide emphasises Southampton’s longstanding claim to be a health resort. According to Brannon, as a result of the beneficial climate, there were cases where ‘incipient consumption has been arrested … and asthma of longstanding cured’. Going on to classify different areas of the town according to their ‘climatal characteristics’, he described Bedford Place as elevated and airy, whilst Cranbury Place was bracing.

Subtitle from Philip Brannon The Picture of Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 03.5 1850

Brannon also wrote that when cholera appeared it was mild and ‘seldom attended with loss of life’ a surprising claim given that 239 people had died from the disease during the summer and early autumn of 1849. Those most badly affected were the poor who lived in the squalid courts and alleys behind the main streets, where the water supply was inadequate and sewers rare. Such insanitary conditions were alluded to by Brannon though they could ‘only remotely affect the visitor, as these portions are seldom, if ever, dwelt in by those who resort hither for health or pleasure’. He did however feel obliged to suggest that some areas of the shore were best avoided by invalids, particularly in warm weather at low tide.

River Itchen and Floating Bridge from Philip Brannon The Picture of Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 03.5 1850

The reason for this becomes apparent in the very different picture of Southampton presented in  the Report of the General Board of Health on the Sanitary Condition of Southampton, also published in 1850. The author, William Ranger, was the inspector assigned to the town as part of the process of establishing a Local Board of Health, which it was hoped would improve the situation. Ranger visited in January 1850, taking the testimony of witnesses, many of them local doctors and clergy, and touring the areas where most deaths had occurred.

Courts and alleys behind the High Street from a copy of the 1846 map of Southampton Rare Books Cope cf SOU 90.5 1846

The Report provides a detailed account of the living conditions of those who rarely feature in publications on Southampton. The doctor, Francis Cooper, wrote ‘I have seen and visited paupers in their illness, who have lain in hovels not fit for pigs, and where pigs would infallibly have died for want of air’. In the courts and alleys, some as narrow as two or three feet, ‘light and air are in a great measure excluded and where drainage and sewerage are wanting and where ventilation is impossible, fumes of a malarious kind are perpetually given off by cesspools, dung-heaps and filthy privies’.

Ranger also included tables providing further evidence of the insanitary and overcrowded conditions:

Table showing access to a water supply from William Ranger’s Report to the General Board of Health … on Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 61

Among the many problems were twenty slaughter houses within the town, privies unemptied for 10 years, only one public lavatory and no public baths. Out of 5,482 houses only 1,750 had a water supply, sewers where they existed were inadequate and outfalls on the shores insufficient, a problem particularly noted at the Floating Bridge and West Quay. Overcrowding was common, especially in the lodging houses found mainly in Blue Anchor Lane, Simnel Street, West Street and St Michael’s Square, where people were accommodated at the cost of three pence a night for part of a bed. The burial grounds within the town walls were also overcrowded.

Table showing access to toilets from William Ranger’s Report to the General Board of Health … on Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 61

Ranger’s proposals to improve public health included providing a pure water supply to every house, extending and improving the sewers and prohibiting their discharge on the foreshore. Dead end alleys were to be opened up, the backstreets paved and cleaned and where possible ventilation increased in back to back houses. Burials within the town were to be prohibited as were slaughterhouses. Ranger suggested that the costs of such works would in part be offset by the savings achieved by improved public health.

Steps were taken to improve conditions but as time passed the impetus to carry out the proposals receded and in the mid-1860s cholera returned to the same areas killing 100 people, including Francis Cooper. Conditions described in the Detailed Report of Delapidated and Unhealthy Houses in the Borough of Southampton of 1893 showed that little had changed by the end of the nineteenth century.

Brannon’s engravings of Southampton show the town at its best, but Ranger’s report is a reminder of conditions just out of sight beyond the main streets, and raise the question of whether the walks along the shore would have been quite as pleasant as they might appear.

Blechynden from Philip Brannon The Picture of Southampton (1850) Rare Books Cope SOU 03.5 1850

Conditions in mid-19th century Southampton were by no means exceptional, the cholera epidemic of 1848/49 was nationwide. General Board of Health  inspectors visited 414 towns and villages between 1848 and 1857 and their reports are available on microfiche in the Hartley Library.

Highfield Campus 100: 1960s

And so we move to the “swinging sixties”, a decade of significant growth and expansion for the University. Projections made at the beginning of the 1960s were that Southampton would reach a total of 4,000 students by 1980. However, in 1963 the Robbins Report was published. This proposed great expansion in higher education and recommended that the number of students at English Universities should rise from 150,000 to 170,000. Southampton seized this opportunity and offered to increase its students to 4,000 by 1967.

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Aerial view of the Highfield site, c. 1959 [MS 1/Phot/11/5] University Road runs past the ‘main building’ [now the Hartley Library]

In the 1963-4 session, seven new chairs were created and about 50 new appointments made, within 15 departments. The following year 135 appointments were made in four departments. The decade also saw a remarkable number of new buildings.

Key to the 1960s was architect Sir Basil Spence who had been charged the previous decade with creating a “master plan” for the Highfield Campus and all the major buildings of this period were designed by him.

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[MS 1/Phot/39 ph3375]

In 1966 the University was graced by a visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She saw an exhibition of Kinetic art, the Nuffield Theatre and various displays in the Senior Common room.

The Arts 

In the pre-war era Arts had been a small part of what was primarily a science, engineering and teacher training college. In the 1960s, the General Degree was replaced with a new Combined Honours Degree. The following year, 1963, the Arts 1 Building was completed as part of the “Nuffield complex”; this building is now used by the Law School.

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Arts I, 1969 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The faculty was, at last, united! The new building allowed the faculty to leave the “main building”, i.e. Library, for the first time and to expand. A one-year MA programme was launched in 1966.

The Department of Archaeology was established in 1966. The chair was given to Barry Cunliffe who, aged 26, was believed to be the youngest professor the college or university had ever appointed. The Modern Languages Department transferred its teaching of languages for non-specialists to a new language centre under Tom Carter, with two language laboratories. The Library hold some records of the Modern Language Society in MS 1 A308.

Nuffield and Arts II

Arts II and the Nuffield Theatre [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The Arts II building (Management and Music since 1996) was built in 1968. This was to accommodate, among other departments, Geography. As well as lecture rooms, it provided a cartographic studio and laboratories.

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Arts II [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The poet F.T.Prince was Professor of English from 1957 to 1974: he is probably best remembered for his collection Soldiers Bathing (1954), the title poem of which is one of the most anthologised poems of the Second World War.

In 1961 Peter Evans was appointed first Professor of Music since 1928. He engineered the virtual creation of a Music Department involved in the academic study of music as well as a huge expansion of live performance.

Science

The Science Faculty had 1,522 applicants for admission in October 1960; it was only permitted to take 160. As a result of the Robbins Report, the University appointed 11 Professors to the Faculty: four to arrive 1967-8 and the other seven the following year.

To help with expansion, new accommodation was built for the Chemistry department in 1960-1. It was later to be named after Graham Hill, Chair of Chemistry for some 18 years.

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Graham Hill building [MS 1/Phot/37/7]

Hill was appointed to the University in 1962. Under his leadership the Chemistry Department grew to become one of the most distinguished in Britain concentrating on electro-chemistry, chemical physics, organic chemistry and inorganic spectroscopy.

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Chemistry department teaching laboratory, 1969 [MS 1/Phot/12/11]

An extension was added to the Hill building in 1965. An international summer school in electro-chemistry was launched in 1969.

Oceanography had its origins in the Department of Zoology. As an embryonic department it was promoted with enthusiasm by Professor John Raymont: he started researching the marine biology of coastal waters using Zoology’s first boat Aurelia. Oceanography became a separate department in October 1964 and John Raymont became Professor of Biological Oceanography. A new building north of the campus on Burgess Road was completed in 1965; designed in brick by the Sheppard Robson Partnership. Since 1996 this has housed part of Electronics and Computer Science.

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Construction of the Oceanography Building, October 1964 [MS 1/Phot/22/1/3/16]

The Botany and Geology building (later renamed the Shackleton building) was completed in 1966. The architect was again Basil Spence. Since 1996, it has housed Geography and Psychology.

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Construction of the Shackleton building, April 1966 [MS 1/Phot/22/1/2/23]

George Hutchinson was appointed to the second chair in Physics in 1960. The Department became increasingly interested in cryogenics, surface physics and solar-terrestrial physics. It received a new building in 1966 complete with an observatory. A further two Chairs were appointed: Eric Lee who worked on fundamental solid-state studies in magnetism and John Taylor who specialised in theoretical particle physics.

Physics with mathematics

Physics building with the Mathematics building in the background, late 1960s [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

Engineering and Applied Science

The Lanchester and Tizard buildings for Engineering, Electronics and Aerospace studies were opened in May 1960. They were located on the north of ‘Engineering square’ and connected to the pre-existing engineering facilities.

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Lanchester Building from the South East [MS 1/Phot22/1/3]

The Lanchester building, housing Electronics, aeronautics, electrical engineering and hydraulics, is named after alumnus F.W.Lanchester.

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Main lecture theatre in the Lanchester Building [MS 1/Phot22/1/3]

Famous for his contributions to aeronautical, automobile and other branches of engineering, Lanchester had been a student at the Hartley Institution. The Tizard building replaced the old aeronautics laboratory and housed the wind-tunnels plus the mechanical department. The wind tunnel had been a gift from Vickers Supermarine at Swindon (originally located in Southampton) and a second large working section was added for helicopter rotor, industrial aerodynamics and yacht sail research. Among other achievements, Sir Henry Tizard helped develop radar during World War Two; he was also one of the University’s first pro-Chancellors.

Lanchester MS1_Phot_39_ph3200_r

Official opening of the Lanchester building in May 1960. L-R: Vice Chancellor, Mrs D.Lanchester (widow), Mr. Lanchester (brother), Sir George Edwards, Lady Tizard, Lady Edards, Mrs James and Dr Tizard [MS 1/Phot/39 ph3200]

Despite growth in student numbers during its first dozen years, the Engineering Faculty was unable to find enough good applicants to expand as fast as other Faculties. To help remedy this, it founded the Southampton Engineering and Applied Science Forum in 1967 with Bob Gammon, then Head of Science at Richard Taunton’s College, as the first Director, and Professor Ron Bell as the first Chairman. This brought together representatives of schools, universities and industry, its aim to devise ways of persuading more young people to choose careers in applied science.

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Engineering department [MS 1/Phot/22/2/1/3]

The Faraday Tower, designed by Basil Spence, was built between 1960 and 1963 also to house the Engineering Faculty. The Electrical Engineering Department had proposed that the new building should be named the Maxwell Building, after James Clerk Maxwell who had formulated the basic equations of electromagnetism. The Dean of the Faculty was not keen on that proposal in case people thought the University was linked with the publisher Robert Maxwell and so Faraday – after Michael Faraday, famed for his work with electromagnetism and electrochemistry – was chosen instead. It consisted of a ten-storey tower for Electrical Engineering and a large laboratory block for Civil Engineering.

The faculty received an extension in 1968 with the Wolfson and Raleigh buildings.

Lanchester building and Faraday tower

View of Lanchester Building and Faraday Tower, 1970 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2156]

In November 1961 the University Senate had approved that an Advisory Committee on Vibration and Noise Studies be set up as a sub-committee of the Board of the Faculty of Engineering under Professor Elfyn J.Richards as Chairman. Two years later, in 1963, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) was established by Professor Richards.  He was given the title Professor of Industrial Acoustics in 1964. Through the sixties, it worked on an expanding range of problems, for example using lasers to predict failure in heavy machinery of the sort used in ships or drilling rigs. In 1966 an “Advisory Service for Industry” was established within the Institute.

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Fan noise measurement at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, c. 1960s or 1970s [MS 1/Phot/11/29]

Philip Doak had been recruited to Southampton by Richards in 1962. On his arrival he was asked to design acoustic laboratories for the new Institute, and also to assist with establishing the Journal of Sound and Vibration. The first issue of the journal appeared in January 1964.

Phot.11.31 computation laboratory

Computation laboratory, 1961 [MS 1/Phot/11/31]

In the early 1960s, there were remarkable developments in solid-state electronics: microelectronics had arrived! Undergraduate courses concentrating on electronics were needed to enable students to study this challenging subject in more breadth and depth. Southampton was the first department in Britain to respond to this need, by launching a new BSc course in Electronics in October 1959, in the Faculty of Science. In the 1963-4 academic session the department had 9 academic staff; by 1969-70 this had risen to 28.  Professor Geoffrey Sims headed the  Department of Electronics between 1963 and 1974, replacing Professor Eric Zepler.

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Memory store for Pegasus computer, 1961 [MS 1/Phot/11/31]

In 1963 the Department was housed within the new Lanchester Building. Separate space was found for microelectronics work with the top two floors of the newly built Faraday building given over for offices and laboratory space. Towards the end of the decade Southampton had the first professional standard clean room in any university in the country, enabling us to process silicon technology and devices.

Medicine

The University had a medicine-related Department of Physiology and Biochemistry. In 1967, the Royal Commission on Medical Education advised the Government that there was a strong case for establishing a new medical school in Southampton.  The previous year it had established that there needed to be an immediate and substantial increase in the number of doctors. Sir Kenneth Mather, (Vice Chancellor 1965-71) whose specialism was genetics, had been an enthusiastic supporter of the project.

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Sketch of the proposed Medical and Biological Sciences building from the south, c. 1960s [MS 1/Phot/39 ph3228]

Professor Donald Acheson arrived in October 1968 to be the foundation Dean and the first intake of students arrived two years later, in 1971.

Social Sciences

Economics was transformed into the Faculty of Social Sciences in 1962. It was divided into 5 departments: Economics, Sociology and Social Studies, Politics, Economic Statistics and Commerce and Accounting.

The Mathematics tower was built in 1963-5 by Ronald H Sims in the “brutalist style” with exposed concrete.

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Photograph of the Maths building at the Highfield site, c. 1965-70 [MS 1/Phot/11/10]

During this decade, Mathematics devised and promoted the School Mathematics Project (SMP), a new way to teach Mathematics in secondary schools which aimed to make it more fun and more relevant to contemporary needs.

Examination papers from the period are preserved in our strongrooms: do you think you would pass?

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Mathematics examination paper, 1960s [MS 1 A2060]

Halls of residence

As a consequence of growth, the percentage of students living in halls of residence had fallen from 46 percent to 37 percent. Long-standing Council member, James Matthews, had convinced the University that the growing student body would require more accommodation and set about acquiring the first essential: land. The University bought 4 acres of land at the junction of Burgess Road and the Avenue and were also given the right to acquire some 200 houses on or near the campus, all for subsequent demolition to release their sites.

ChamberlainHall MS1.Phot22.1.1.8

The East Wing of Chamberlain Hall [MS 1/Phot22/1/1/8]

One wing of Chamberlain Hall was open for the 1959-60 session enabling 60 students to take up residence and a further 90 places became available in the summer of 1960. This new hall of residence for female students was possible due to a gift from the late Miss Mary Chamberlain and the late Miss Charlotte Chamberlain. The adjacent South Hill, formerly a self-contained residence for 30 students also became part of Chamberlain Hall.

ChamberlainHall2MS1.Phot22.1.1.8

The Junior Common Room of Chamberlain Hall [MS 1/Phot22/1/1/8]

South Stoneham House, Montefiore and Connaught Hall make up what is now known at the Wessex Lane complex.  The stables and servants’ quarters at South Stoneham House were demolished in 1961 and in 1964 a concrete tower extension was added to the hall, incorporating a bar and dining hall area.

SSh.phot.11.20

Construction of South Stoneham House, May 1962 [MS 1/Phot/11/20]

The tower contains 180 student rooms over its 17 floors and is 48.7 metres high; it wast the 10th-tallest building in Southampton as of December 2017!

Montefiore House (often referred to as ‘Monte’) as a hall of residence was opened in 1966, built on the grounds of the sports field.

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Construction of Montefiore House Blocks A and B, 1964-5 [MS 1/Phot/22/1/7]

These original structures are now known as Montefiore A and B. They housed approximately three hundred students in study bedrooms on individual corridor flats, with shared kitchens and other facilities, ranged over 5 floors.

New Court at Glen Eyre with people

New Court at Glen Eyre Hall of Residence, 1969 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/3]

Chilworth Manor was purchased in 1964 and made into a hall of residence for about 60 first year students.

Professional Support Services: the Library, Computing Services and Administration

At this time, the ‘Main Building’ housed not only the Library, but also Administration and provided classrooms for several faculties. The Gurney-Dixon link had opened at the very end of the last decade, December 1959.  This provided a large extension to the original pre-war building. At the start of the decade there was space for 250,000 books and periodicals and 550 readers.

MS1_Phot_39_ph3262_r

Level four of the Gurney-Dixon link, looking west showing card catalogues and Library counter staff with Mrs S.Bell, Library Assistant; Miss E.Fitzpayne; Miss M.Cooper, Senior Library Assistant and Miss A.Player, August 1966 [MS 1/Phot/39 ph3262]

In May 1962, the Library Committee carried out a survey of students attitudes to the Library, the first survey of its kind to be undertaken in the UK. At this time there were 1417 undergraduates at the University and a random sample of 200 was chosen:

The proportion of students using the Main Library much for borrowing (2 or more books a week) ranged from 52% in Arts to 0% in Engineering; Economics, with 19%, had the second highest proportion. […] In all faculties the proportion of students using the Main Library for working with their own books was high […] and 21%  used it for “other purposes” (e.g. letter writing).

28% of the sample used the catalogues as a first resort, 13% never used them if they could help it.

65% found the Library staff always ready to help, 22% helpful but not always available, and 3% not helpful […]It had never occured to over half the students that the staff could help them with a subject inquiry […]

MS 1/5/239/129

A great coup for the University was the acquisition of the Parkes Library.  It was originally the private library of Revd. Dr James Parkes (1896-1981) who devoted his life to investigating and combating the problem of anti-Semitism.  Parkes began collecting books whilst working for the International Student Service in Europe during the 1930s. On his return to Britain in 1935, following an attempt on his life by the Nazis, he made the collection available to other scholars at his home in Barley near Cambridge.

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The official opening of the Parkes Library showing an exhibition in the Turner Sims Library, 23 June 1965 [MS 1/Phot/39 ph3513]

By the time Parkes’ library was transferred to University of Southampton Library in 1964 it amounted to over 4,000 books, 2,000 pamphlets and 140 journals.

It was in the 1964-5 session that Geoff Hampson was appointed Assistant Librarian in charge of the Special Collections and Archives; at the same time, a “suitable repository” was established for the material. In addition, the Library was also one of the first in the country to introduce a computer-based issue system, using punched cards.

In 1967 the Computing Services was set up as a service operation outside the Mathematics Department: not for research into computing as a science, but for serving the University. The University had acquired its first computer the previous decade.

The department moved from the Library to its own purpose-built building in 1969: it was already too small to accommodate the growing number of staff.

The Arts

The Union organised the first Arts Festival, opened in March 1961 by Sir Basil Spence. In 1962-3 the Theatre Group’s Volpone was one of 5 finalists in The Sunday Times drama festival.

Mikado.jpg

University of Southampton Operatic Society production of The Mikado in the University Assembly Hall in February 1960 [MS 1/7/198/1]

In 1963, with support from the Nuffield Foundation, the University of Southampton built a theatre on its campus for the people of Southampton: the Nuffield Theatre.

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The Nuffield Theatre

The Nuffield Theatre was designed by Basil Spence and officially opened by Dame Sybil Thorndike on 2 March 1964.

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Nuffield Theatre and sculpture in ornamental pond [MS 1/Phot/22/1/2/15]

The Music Department pioneered a scheme sponsored by its major benefactor the Radcliffe Trust, which each year brought the Allegri String Quartet to the University for short periods of residence. The University also gave contracts to a succession of distinguished young players and ensembles to enable them to reside for a number of years, giving regular performances and teaching their instruments. So professionals and students each presented weekly lunchtime recital series and the madrigal choir (under David Brown for more than two decades), the chamber orchestra and the symphony orchestra gave regular concerts.

In 1967, John Sweetman was appointed first lecturer in Fine Art. He had three responsibilities: to organise art exhibitions, to manage the University’s permanent art collection and to lecture on the history of art. The gallery in the Nuffield was far from satisfactory, with windows on three sides which had to be blacked out, but Sweetman managed to organise three exhibitions a term. From 1967 a succession of Fine Arts Fellows (among them Ned Hoskins and Ray Smith) spent periods at the University where they were given studios and provided general support to its cultural life.

Student life

By 1960-1 the Union had expanded into almost the whole of the “West Building” – the Old Union Building – dating back to the 1940s, in red brick style. By 1967 the new Students’ Union building was completed, in the Basil Spence masterplan, offering on-site catering, shopping, indoor sports and a debating chamber for the first time. The two buildings were connected by an underground tunnel.

Bar in Union.jpg

The bar in the Students’ Union, c. 1970 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The Old Union Building over three floors housed, among other facilities, a TV room, Radio Club room and Wessex News office, the club and society meetings rooms and a second-hand book and records exchange.

Refectory

The refectory in the new Union building, c. 1970 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The new Union building included a refectory to seat 475, ballroom and bar. It also provided a debating chamber which could also accommodate musical performances. The sports facilities included provisions for squash, badminton, basketball, fencing, cricket, and tennis practice as well as gymnastics, a billiards room, table tennis room, and a judo room. Other facilities less commonly provided today included a laundry and ironing room, a hair washing room, bath and shower cubicles as well as a pottery and painting studio.

Gymn and sports hall

Gymnasium and sports hall, 1970 [MS 1/Phot/22/3/2]

The Union was required to cancel the 1960 RAG, after the University threatened disciplinary action against it.  It was resurrected in 1963. The annual Union dinner was regularly criticized as elitist, but remained an annual event.

Radio Goblio RAG 1964 MS 310.80 A4150

“Radio Goblio” RAG, 1964 [MS 310/80 A4150]

The 1960s saw the beginnings of student protest. These varied from a boycott of the refectory due to the quality of the food to support for national and international causes. These included support for were protesting students in Berlin (June 1967), French students and workers opposing the Gaullist regime (May 1968) and imprisoned Russian intellectuals (June 1968). Among the British causes it supported were the right of Sikhs to wear turbans when employed by Wolverhampton Corporation and Ford workers in their strike at wide Lane.  In 1969 it voted to ban Enoch Powell from Union premises.

Gordon Walter Protest SCR 19 May 1965 MS 310.80 A4150.jpg

George Walker protest SCR, 19 May 1965 [MS 310/80 A4150]

The first unofficial sit-in took place 3-4 February 1968 when about 50 students occupied the Administration’s offices in the main building for 24 hours in support of London School of Economics students. No damage was done, though the occupation put the University’s telephone exchange out of action. 17 months later (30 June to 2 July 1969) there was a 48-hour official occupation of the same offices by about 60 students, protesting at the number of students required to resit examinations that year. The sit-ins continued into the 1970 about which you can read in our next post.

This period also saw the establishment of a student health centre with a sick bay at Chamberlain Hall.

Sport

The University boat club was one of the many sporting activities in which Southampton students could choose to partake in this decade. Others included rugby, basketball, hockey, lacrosse and squash.

students in boat

The first VIII at Cobden Bridge, March 1961 [MS 310/46 A2075]

In 1963 Bruce Tulloh, a former Botany student, broke the British two-, three- and six-mile records and won a gold medal at the World Games. In 1969 he was to run from Los Angeles to New York in 64 days, 20 hours, breaking the previous record by 8 days.

As we draw this long post to a close, it is obvious that so much was achieved during this decade. The University saw incredible expansion in the sixties: the institution truly seized the opportunities offered by the Robbins report with both hands. Look out for our next post to read the next chapter in the University’s history and learn about the challenges and opportunities brought by the 1970s.

Aeriel view 1970.11.8.jpg

Aerial view of the Highfield site in 1970 [MS 1/Phot/11/8]. Compare this view to the one at the start of the post: the University saw incredible expansion in just 10 years!

Celebrating British beer

15 June is officially `Beer Day Britain’, which has been celebrated annually since 2015. This date is significant as it was when the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Ale is mentioned in clause 35 of the great charter:

Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely the London quarter.

Over the past few years there has been a renaissance in home-brewing, micro-breweries and beer culture generally, as drinkers explore new styles and experiment with new recipes as an antidote to the standardised fare on offer from the large breweries. In honour of ‘Beer Day Britain’, we brewed a beer to accompany this blog post, inspired by a recipe from the University of Southampton’s Special Collections.

Malt

In earlier times home-brewing was just one small part of a more self-sufficient culture wherein people supplied many of their own daily needs, before the rise of mass markets and modern commercial society. In some respects beer culture has come full-circle with the resurgence of home-brewing and the smaller craft-breweries, although it remains to be seen whether home-brewing will ever move beyond a dilettante pastime and supplant the mass produced beverage entirely!

The University of Southampton’s Special Collections has a number of sources on home-brewing including William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy published in 1822. Cobbett, a radical journalist and polemicist who sympathised with the plight of the rural English in the face of the industrial revolution, applauded what he saw as the imminent resurgence of home-brewing by the masses:

The paper-money is fast losing its destructive power; and things are, with regard to the labourers, coming back to what they were forty years ago, and therefore we may prepare for the making of beer in our own houses, and take leave of the poisonous stuff served out to us by common brewers.

In addition to helpful tips and recipes for home-brewing Cobbett’s Cottage Economy also offered its readers advice on animal husbandry, bread-baking and bee-keeping. However, modern readers partial to a cup of tea should beware; Cobbett has nothing positive to say about tea-drinking, which he views as having supplanted the comparatively weak ‘small beers’ that often accompanied a hard day’s labour in agrarian economies:

The drink which has come to supply the place of beer has, in general, been tea. It is notorious that tea has no useful strength in it; that it contains nothing nutritious; that it, besides being good for nothing, has badness in it, because it is well known to produce want of sleep in many cases, and in all cases, to shake and weaken the nerves. It is, in fact, a weaker kind of laudanum, which enlivens for the moment and deadens afterwards. At any rate it communicates no strength to the body; it does not, in any degree, assist in affording what labour demands. It is then, of no use.

In addition to its alleged lack of nutritional value and the concomitant ill health effects, Cobbett goes on to dismiss tea-drinking as a time-consuming and expensive habit as well as ‘an engenderer of effeminacy and laziness’ [p.18]; as fatal to pigs where a bushel of malt is not (‘it is impossible to doubt in such a case’) [p.19]; as responsible for leading young men to idleness with young girls faring no better as the ‘gossip of the tea table is no bad preparatory school for the brothel [p.20]’. Thankfully for our sakes, having revealed the nefarious effects of tea-drinking, Cobbett goes on to provide the ingredients and the recipe required for the home-brewing of beer. Those interested in Cobbett’s recipe can find a modern recreation published online.

Our beer was brewed using a source from Southampton’s Special Collections: The Complete Family Piece published in 1739 by George Faulkner, Containing good and useful instruction for brewing fine, strong, good, wholesome, and palatable Drinks, as Beers, Ales &c. in small Quantities, and at easy Rates, for the Use of all private families. The four basic ingredients of malted barley, hops, yeast and water included in most beers of today have been used in Britain since at least the late 1300s and they form the basis of this recipe from 1739. Modern drinkers may be rather astonished, however, to find this recipe advocating the addition of ingredients such as ivory shavings in the ‘wort’ to keep it from going stale. This particular ingredient may be harder to come by nowadays and was not included in our beer, brewed by the author and his brother; we named our version ‘Family Piece’, honouring both our brotherhood and the source of our inspiration.

It would be fair to say that we did not recreate this beer, rather we produced our own, inspired by elements of this 1739 recipe. Neither did we use the rather large quantities of barley-malt included in the 1739 recipe nor did we ‘put in a Pint of whole Wheat and 6 Eggs; then stop it up: and Let it stand a Year, and then bottle it.’ We did, however, adopt the time-consuming technique of mashing our grains three times in order to produce a stronger beer with a final estimated ABV of 6.8%. We also included the handful of rosemary flowers from the 1739 recipe, although floral notes were not evident in the final product.

Rosemary flowers

Ingredients for 4.5 L (1 gallon):

1.5kg of Malt. (We used a lager malt but would have preferred to use Golden Promise. Our malt was probably more finely crushed than eighteenth century malts would have been, which may lead to more efficiency in the brewing process and a higher final ABV).

8g of Target hops (home grown).

1 g of Rosemary Flowers.

Saison yeast (mixed house culture).

5.2 litres of liquor (‘Liquor’ is just a brewer’s term for water. We added a few millilitres of a chemical solution know as AMS, which is used by modern home-brewers to transform their hard tap water into soft water, closer to the kind of pond water or spring water favoured by traditional brewers).

OG: 1.054

FG: 1.003

Final ABV was 6.8%.

Bitterness: 25 IBUs (estimated)

SRM (colour): 4

Hops and rosemary added to mash at 90 minutes

Hops

Recipe:

Throw a handful of malt into 2.8 litres of liquor (treated with AMS) and then bring to 80°C.

Place 1.5 kg of Malt in a bag into the mash-tun with the liquor (The 1739 recipe states that you should wait until the steam has cleared, thus we put the malt in the liquor at 50°C – this stage is known as ‘mashing in’ and the typical mashing temperature used by modern brewers is about 60°C).

We added another litre of liquor with AMS because we weren’t happy with our liquor to grain ratio at this stage (there was too little water).

Leave to ‘Mash’ for 2 hours at 50°C – our temperature was 56°C after 2 hours. (This first or ‘primary mash’ is usually all modern brewers will do, but we also cooked the malt another two times as per the 1739 recipe).

After 3.8 litres of liquor in we got 2.1 litres of ‘wort’ from the primary mash – the wort is the liquid extracted from the mashing process – which we then boiled for 1 hour 30 mins.

Add 8 grams of Target Hops and 1 gram of rosemary flowers at 90 mins into the boil.

Put the malt bag back into the mash tun and add another 2.8 litres of liquor with AMS at 60°C into the mash tun with the malt to begin secondary mash for 1 hour 50 mins.

Put 2nd wort into 1st wort for boil.

Add 1.4 litres of liquor to the mash tun for 3rd mash.

When your mash has cooled down, siphon off into a demijohn and add your Saison Yeast.

Ferment in the demi-john for 15 days.

After approx. 2 weeks of fermentation you can then bottle the beer, add ½ tsp of sugar per 500 ml bottle to aid further fermentation in the bottle.

Bottle condition for a further 2-4 weeks. Then Enjoy!

Bottles of beer

It should be borne in mind that home-brewing by modern dilettantes typically involves the production of much smaller quantities of beer compared with that described by the 1739 recipe in The Complete Family Piece. In those days people were home-brewing beer in quantities sufficient to last for the entire year or a larger part thereof, just as a self-sufficient farmer might only deem it worthwhile his time and energy to produce a crop sufficient to last a season or a year. Additionally, agricultural labourers would often consume weaker ‘small beers’ throughout the day, whereas nowadays we tend to rely on tea or coffee to power us through the working day and we partake of beer, if at all, in the evenings and on the weekends only.

It should also be pointed out that the June 15th date for Britain’s National Beer Day taken from the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 refers more precisely to ale rather than beer. Traditionally, a distinction was made between ale (un-hopped) and beer (hopped) and it wasn’t until the later fourteenth century that the English began brewing with hops, thanks to immigrants from the Low Countries who brought their hoppy beers with them. Although the story of a Parliamentary ban on hops may be apocryphal (Henry VIII had both ale brewers and beer brewers in his royal household), there was nonetheless a strong distinction between the two styles for a few hundred years in the early modern period.

The Country Housewife’s Family Companion (London, 1750) [Perkins TX151]

Another source from Special Collections’ Perkins Library, the Country Housewife’s Family Companion, published in 1750 by a Hertfordshire farmer named W. Ellis, includes a recipe for October or March stout beers. It warns the home brewer to beware of whools, weevils and other insect infestations amongst the malted barley, which can ruin a good beer:

…wevilly Malt will cause the Beer to give its Drinker a Sickness, and when many of these stinking poisonous Insects are among it, a very panick Sickness indeed. The Londoners have no Notion of this; and that in some Country Towns, where are several Malt-Kilns, they are never free from Wevils all the Year.

Modern home brewers, besides avoiding insect infestations, should take great care in ensuring their ingredients and materials are kept clean and sanitised. The author of the Country Housewife’s Family Companion also advises those suffering from Gout or Gravel to ‘put some Treacle into the Copper when he puts in his Malt Wort to boil; this opens the Pores, and promotes perspiration, to the great relief of the Body.’ Whatever the actual medicinal qualities of beer, it surely has its effects! We advise all June 15th revellers to enjoy their beverages in moderation, whether home-brewed or not, and to drink responsibly… Cheers!

Highfield Campus 100: 1950s

It’s a University!

The 1950s saw the move for Southampton obtaining university status gain ground more rapidly than anticipated.  In 1952 Southampton became the first university to be created in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, receiving its royal charter on 29 April of that year.

Blazer with badge of the University crest, 1950s [MS310/26 A1073]

In announcing that the University had come into existence, Sir Samuel Gurney-Dixon noted to the Council “those who in the past had worked long and hard to create the tradition and the conditions which had made this possible, in particular Dr Claude Montefiore, Alderman J.S.Furley and the late Principal, Mr Kenneth Vickers”.

The Duke of Wellington was appointed as the first Chancellor of the University, with Sir Robert Wood its first Vice Chancellor and Professor Forsey Deputy Vice Chancellor.  The University of Southampton Act which transferred all rights to the newly created University, received its Royal Assent on 6 May 1953. On 3 July the ceremonious installation of new Chancellor, the Duke of Wellington, took place at the Guildhall in Southampton.

Part of a congratulatory letter from the University of Manitoba

As well as representatives of many overseas universities attending the event, delegates from various universities presented their addresses of congratulations to the Chancellor at Connaught Hall.  A garden party was held at South Stoneham House –  at which a message carried in relay by members of the Southampton Athletics Union from the Chancellor of the University of London was presented to the Duke of Wellington – and in the evening the Chancellor hosted a dinner for the first honorary graduands of the University.

A message from the Chancellor of the University of London to the Duke of Wellington presented by Peter Holdstock of the Athletics Union at the garden party, 3 July 1953 [MS1/7/291/22/4]

It could be said that the decade started quietly with no major developments; yet by the end of the 1950s Southampton had embarked on a major expansion which was to continue well into the next decade. In 1952/1953, the number of students at the University was 935, rising to over 1,300 by the end of the decade. As it became apparent that a permanent increase in a university population could be expected, and that provincial universities would need to expand to take these increased numbers, the University began to proceed with its building programme and planning for future developments over the period 1957-67. Sir Basil Spence, the designer of Coventry Cathedral, was the consultant architect for the layout of the expanded University and for a number of buildings constructed  in this period.

The main building projects in the early part of the decade were the completion of the remaining blocks of Glen Eyre Hall in October 1954 and the conversion of a purchased site into the botanic gardens, supported by a donation from the former Mathematics’ lecturer Miss Annie Trout. By the late 1950s a number of building projects were in hand, some to be completed in 1960 onwards. The new Economics block was opened by Emeritus Professor Percy Ford in October 1959, whilst in December of that year Sir Samuel Gurney-Dixon opened the Library extension, the Gurney-Dixon building to extend library space to 400 user places and to accommodate 150,000 books.

Gurney-Dixon Library extension, 1959

With the acquisition of University status in 1952/3, changes were introduced to departmental structures and to courses as the University began to  issue its own degrees. In 1953, the Department of Legal Studies became the Faculty of Law, offering University degrees rather than preparation for Law Society examinations.

During the decade a number of new chairs were created: for German (Dr W.I.Lucas) and Geography (Dr F.J.Monkhouse) in 1953; in 1957 in Engineering as Dr P.B.Morice became Professor of Civil Engineering; in 1958 for Economic Theory and Geology; and in 1959 in Modern History (J.S.Bromley), Theoretical Mechanics (Dr Bryan Thwaites) and Engineering (Dr L.G.A.Sims).

Other staff changes saw the departure of some long serving members of the University. Professor George Frank Forsey, resigned as Chair of Classics in 1954: he was replaced by Professor H.C.Baldry. Professor Neil Kensington Adam who had been responsible for development of the Chemistry Department stepped down after nearly twenty years service. And in 1957 Frank Templeton Prince, who was a reader in the Department of English, was appointed as Chair of English to replace Professor B.A.Wright.

Whilst it has been observed that there was more of a gender balance of male and female students at Southampton than some other universities, this was not reflected across all of the university.  There were, for instance, as one student recalls, no female post-graduate students in chemistry at Southampton during the period 1955-8. Indeed there was only one female member of staff in Chemistry at that time – Dr Ishbel Campbell.

Department of History graduates, 1959 [MS310/23 A1048]

Student life was still governed by a certain formality in this period. Students at Glen Eyre halls of residence were expected to attend dinner in the dining hall at 7pm on weekdays and for lunch at 1pm on Sundays. A former student noted that  “it was still an era when all students were required to wear a black academic gown at dinner in the evening”.

Signed programme for the University College Drama Society’s production of Hamlet, 1950 [MS416/15 A4311]

The Students’ Union was to be the hub of most student activities. Student societies encompassed a range of faculty and departmental societies, including Engineering, Law and Geography, alongside union societies such as the Camera Club, Choral, Debating, Jazz and Operatic Societies, the Organ Club, the Scottish and Old Time Dance Society and the Theatre Group. The Athletics Union supported clubs ranging from athletics, cross country, fencing, lacrosse to mountaineering, rugby, sailing and tennis.

Scottish and Old Time Dance Society, 1951 [MS224/16 A943/1]

Held on Shrove Tuesday each year, the annual Rag Day included a procession of tableaux on lorries, with a trophy awarded to the winning hall or society.

Rag day procession, 1957 [MS310/23 A1048]

As former student Peter Smith recalls: “The annual Rag Day was a highlight of the Winter term … Somehow the townsfolk tolerated generously the antics of the students in fancy dress out collecting money, including in the afternoon a procession of decorated floats on lorries lent by local firms… The Engineers were always very prominent during Rag – they were often accompanied by their human skeleton mascot “Kelly”…. There was always an annual Rag Ball … at the Guildhall and a revue format.”

Engineers Society with the mascot “Kelly”, 1956 [MS224/14 A941]

There were a wide range of other activities on offer in the student calendar. Dances ranged from the regular Saturday night dances at the Union called “hops”, to the formal Union ball at the Guildhall in Southampton in February, featuring a dance programme of quicksteps, waltzes and foxtrots. Societies produced performances and production of plays and shows and at Glen Eyre halls of residence the annual Christmas pantomime was written and produced by students.

The Union Ball, 1959 [MS310/23 A1048]

As the University moved into the 1960s it was already embarked on its ambitious programme of expansion, leading to a new and exciting phase in its development. To find out more about life at the University in the 1960s look out for the next blog in June.

Queen Victoria’s 200th Anniversary: Our Items on the Queen and Empress

To mark the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth on 24 May, we look at some of the Special Collections that we hold relating to the monarch known as the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India.

Princess Victoria and her favourite dog [Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes, F.S.A, Rare Books Quarto DA 554 1897]

Princess Victoria and her favourite dog, Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes (1897) Rare Books Quarto DA 554

The most notable material is a cache of several hundred letters between Queen Victoria and Lord Palmerston, 1837-65, which is part of the Broadlands Archive. This provides an insight into the duties of being queen. Early letters seek Palmerston’s advice on matters such as diplomatic protocol, but from the 1840s it focuses more fully with foreign affairs, especially with regard to Europe. The letters discuss matters such as unrest in France, developments in Spain and Italy and diplomatic appointments.

Letter from Queen Victoria to third Viscount Palmerston, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 26 Feb 1848 [MS 62 PP/RC/F/350]

Letter from Queen Victoria to third Viscount Palmerston, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 26 Feb 1848 [MS 62 PP/RC/F/350]

Speeches of Queen Victoria can also be found amongst this correspondence, such as one written in the hand of Lord Melbourne on the Treaty of London and relations between Britain and France.

Other informative items in the Palmerston Papers include a letter from Sir G.C. Lewis to Lord Palmerston, regarding allocation of an allowance to the Princess Royal, dating 25 May 1857, and a letter discussing arrangements for security for the Queen’s home in the Isle of Wight, Osborne House. In Lord Palmerston’s miscellaneous and patronage correspondence, we are applications for appointments to the Queen, such as to be performer to her at Brighton, or to be her perfumer or hairdresser.

Application to Lord Palmerston for appointment of perfumer or hairdresser to Queen Victoria, 2 September 1837 [MS PP/MPC/574]

Application to Lord Palmerston for appointment of perfumer or hairdresser to Queen Victoria, 2 September 1837 [MS 62 PP/MPC/574]

The First Duke of Wellington Papers include bundles of papers from the Duchess of Kent discussing Queen Victoria’s education, correspondence discussing the preparations for the Queen’s confinement with her second child, her speeches and addresses, and her visits to European countries such as France and Belgium.

The Special Collections contains material on various events relating to Victoria’s reign from her accession to a golden jubilee visit in 1887.

Title page of The Progress of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman [Rare Books Quarto DA 555]

Title page of The Progress of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman [Rare Books Quarto DA 555]

In Lord Palmerston‘s papers as Foreign Secretary, for instance, are copies of letters from foreign diplomats in London to their respective courts announcing the occasion of Victoria’s accession.

Letter from foreign diplomat Chevalier de Moiran to his respective court, Counte de la Marguérite, announcing Queen Victoria’s accession, 1837 [MS 62 BR FO/I/1]

Letter from foreign diplomat Chevalier de Moiran to his respective court, Counte de la Marguérite, announcing Queen Victoria’s accession, 1837 [MS 62 BR FO/I/1]

Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes, F.S.A., who was Librarian to the Queen, contains illustrations of the Queen’s First Council, and provides interesting information about her accession, such as quotes from letters of congratulations from correspondents such as Queen Victoria’s cousin, and future husband, Prince Albert:

“My dearest cousin – I must write you a few lines to present you my sincerest felicitations on that great change which has taken place in your life. Now you are the Queen of the mightiest land of Europe, in your hand lies the happiness of millions.” [Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes, F.S.A., p.48]

The Queen’s First Council [Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes, F.S.A, , Rare Books Quarto DA 554 1897]

The Queen’s First Council, Queen Victoria by Richard R. Holmes

While The Progresses of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman (1844) provides illustrations and descriptions of the visits by the Queen and her husband made in the 1840s.

Queen Victoria passing through Ostend, Belgium [The Progress of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman, Rare Books Quarto DA 555]

Queen Victoria passing through Ostend, Belgium [The Progress of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman, Rare Books Quarto DA 555]

For her coronation, there is  correspondence between Lord Palmerston relative to the coronation and we hold rare books in our printed collections which describe the event. In the 1838 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine, the crown is given particular attention:

“The new State Crown, made for her Majesty by Messrs. Rundell and Bridge, is exceedingly costly and elegant. The old crown, made for George IV. weighed upwards of seven pounds, and was much too large for the head of her present Majesty. The new crown weights little more than three pounds. It is composed of hoops of silver, enclosing a cap of deep purple, or rather blue velvet; the hoops are completely covered with precious stones, surmounted with a ball, covered with small diamonds, and having a Maltese cross of brilliants on the top of it.” [The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1838, p.200]

We also hold the publication released by Queen Victoria’s printers that details the form and order of the coronation. The volume goes into great detail, with chapters on the ‘investing with the Royal Robe’ and the ‘putting on of the Crown’.

The form and order of the service that is to be performed, and of the ceremonies that are to be observed, in the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, on Thursday, the 28th of June, 1838, p.B [Rare Books DA 112]

The form and order of the service that is to be performed, and of the ceremonies that are to be observed, in the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, on Thursday, the 28th of June, 1838, p.B Rare Books DA 112

Material relating to Queen Victoria can also be found in the Wellington Pamphlets, such as “a letter to the people of Great Britain” relating to the Queen’s marriage to Prince Albert. The letter concludes with urging the reader to welcome Prince Albert, and to treat him “with that consideration… the Queen’s Consort is entitled to expect from her people.” [The marriage of the Queen to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg: considered, in a letter to the people of Great Britain by Fair play (1840) Rare Books Well. Pamph. 1201/7, p.23.]

We also hold items referring to Queen Victoria’s visit to Southampton and celebrations that took place in the city to mark the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887. Here is a quote describing the Queen’s visit to Southampton:

“The Queen and Prince Albert, in a carriage-and-four, and escorted by a detachment of the 7th Hussars, proceeded to the town. An immense assemblage had congregated outside the railway station, and when her Majesty and the Prince issued from it, they were received with a loud burst of cheers from the persons assembled. Throughout the whole line of route the streets were decked with flags and banners, and upon entering High Street from Above-Bar the sight was very splendid.” [The Progresses of her Majesty Queen Victoria and his Royal Highness Prince Albert in France, Belgium, and England with One Hundred Engravings by William Frederick Wakeman, p. 3]

Form of special service held in St. Mary's church, Southampton, in commemoration of the Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Victoria: June 19th 1887 by St Mary’s Church (Southampton) [Cope cabinet SOU 22]

Form of special service held in St. Mary’s church, Southampton, in commemoration of the Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Victoria: June 19th 1887 by St Mary’s Church (Southampton) [Cope cabinet SOU 22]

As we now celebrate another anniversary – this time the bicentenary since the birth of Queen Victoria – there are many events being planned, including at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. We wish you a very happy birthday Queen Victoria!