Tag Archives: Explore Your Archive

2016: Year in review

In this week’s blog post we take a look back at some of the highlights of 2016.

The bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo meant that 2015 was a big year for Special Collections. While we were not involved in anything quite on the same scale in 2016, it was still a highly productive year for the division.

Items from the exhibition The Book The Object in the Special Collections Gallery

Items from the exhibition The Book The Object in the Special Collections Gallery

As a result of the recent building project taking place in the Hartley Library, the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery was host to only one exhibition during 2016. The Book The Object ran from February to May and celebrated the culture, the manufacture and the artistry of the book, from the 15th to the 21st century. We are now happy to confirm that, after a hiatus of almost a year, the Special Collections Gallery will be reopening this spring with an exciting line up of new exhibitions on the way!

The neighbouring Level 4 Gallery was host to three exhibitions over the course of the past year. Re: Making, which ran from February to March, was a documentary exhibition of three PhD seminars at Winchester School of Art. The following month saw Proof, an exhibition providing a snapshot of work produced within the Publisher Hub since its conception in 2015. Finally, the autumn brought Archive Senses, an exhibition looking at Archives as a part of the wide-ranging conversation around materiality, and emphasising the continuing importance of the archive object — not just as a less accessible alternative to the digital object as sometimes perceived, but as a critical resource that runs alongside and underpins the digital.

Image from Archives Sense in the Level 4 Gallery

Image from Archives Sense in the Level 4 Gallery

Archive Senses is currently on an extended run so be sure to drop by and have a look. You can also view Elastic System, an interactive artwork produced by Richard Wright whilst he was Artist in Residence at the British Library, which is currently on display in the foyer of the Hartley Library.

Special Collections continued its series of Explore Your Archive events in 2016. The first of these took place in April and focused on philanthropic sources among the collections. The event included a talk by David Brown, Professor of Modern History at the University of Southampton, discussing his work on the diaries of the great Victorian social reformer and philanthropist, the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury (which form part of the Broadlands archives). Later in the year, to tie in with the official launch of the 2016 Explore Your Archive campaign, there was a series of three open afternoons from October to December. The first of these took place ahead of the 28th Wellington Lecture, delivered by Bernard Cornwell, and focused on the papers of the first Duke of Wellington. The following month’s event focused on health and welfare sources and included a talk by Dr Brenda Phillips discussing her research on the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley. The final Explore Your Archives event focused on the Arts – specifically music, theatre and the visual arts – and included a talk from Eloise Rose from the John Hansard Gallery.

Visitors at the Exploring the Wellington Archive event

Visitors at the Exploring the Wellington Archive event

2016 was a big year for the Arts in Southampton. Activities taking place at the University and across the city included the launch of Arts at University of Southampton; the coming of British Art Show 8 to the John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery; and the development of Studio 144, Southampton’s new arts complex in Guildhall Square. To mark the occasion, Special Collections also launched an online exhibition looking at some of the key developments in the history the Arts at the University.

As part of our ongoing outreach and student engagement activities Special Collections continued to hold a series of sessions for students eager to learn about our collections and services. In addition, a number of this year’s second year history group projects focused on subjects relating to the collections, including Jewish immigration, Catholic emancipation, the Duke of Wellington, the Mountbattens and the travels of William Mogg. The division was also involved in the Parkes Institute’s 1st International Workshop on Jewish Heritage which ran from 11 to 13 July.

Cataloguing material from the Broadlands archives

Cataloguing material from the Broadlands archives

Cataloguing continues to be a key activity of the Archives with cataloguing projects over the past year focusing on a broad range of material from across the collections. Blog posts highlighting recent cataloguing activities focus on Sir William Temple, Jewish Friendly Societies, Ian Karten, S.G.P. Ward and the Peninsular War, the Cope Handbills, the World Archaeological Congress, and the Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non-Proliferation.

Other blog posts from the past year mark a range of anniversaries which tied in with the collections. These including: the first flight of the Spitfire; the 1916 Easter Rising; the end of the Crimean War; the General Strike of 1926; the Battle of Jutland; the beginning of the Spanish Civil War; the Suez Crisis of 1956; and the Battle of Cable Street. 2016 also saw celebrations taking place across the country for the Queen’s 90th birthday; Shakespeare’s quarter-centenary; and the 300th birthday of Lancelot “Capability” Brown.

Hops and Hopping from the Perkins Agricultural Library

Hops and Hopping from the Perkins Agricultural Library

Material from Special Collections recently digitised by the Library Digitisation Unit include parts of the Perkins Agricultural Library and the Gladstone collection of music. Also digitised were audio recordings from the archive of Revd James Parkes which are now available to access in the Archives and Manuscripts reading room.

Additional activities during the year included the launch of the Special Collections Facebook page; filming material from the Mountbatten Papers for an upcoming documentary on 100 years of the Windsors; and providing photographs of material for Hull’s UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations.

2017 looks set to be another busy year. So keep an eye out for details of all upcoming Special Collections activities and events!

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Upcoming Explore Your Archive events


Following the success of our recent Exploring the Wellington Archive event, Special Collections will be hosting two more open afternoons as part of our current series of Explore Your Archive drop-in sessions.

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Exploring health and welfare resource in the Special Collections
On Wednesday 16 November 2016, Special Collections will be hosting an open afternoon focusing on health and welfare, allowing visitors the opportunity to view material from the collections and meet the curators.

The afternoon will include a talk by Dr Brenda Phillips discussing her research on the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley.

Space is limited. To reserve a place, please go to:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-health-and-welfare-resources-in-the-special-collections-tickets-29018256386

Programme:
1600-1715: Opportunity to view resources from the Special Collections: Archives and Manuscripts reading room, Level 4, Hartley Library

1730-1800: Talk by Dr Brenda Phillips: Library Conference Room, Level 4, Hartley Library


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Exploring Arts in the Archives
On Wednesday, 14 December 2016, Special Collections will be hosting an open afternoon focusing on music, theatre and the visual arts, allowing visitors the opportunity to view material from the collections and meet the curators.

The afternoon will conclude with a talk by Eloise Rose from the John Hansard Gallery.

This event will mark the exciting range of arts related activities taking place at the University and across the city, including: the launch of the new Arts at University of Southampton website; the coming of British Art Show 8 to the John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery; and the opening of Studio 144, Southampton’s new arts complex in Guildhall Square.

Space is limited. To reserve a place, please go to:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-arts-in-the-archives-tickets-29214641780

Programme:
1615-1715: Opportunity to view resources from the Special Collections: Archives and Manuscripts reading room, Level 4, Hartley Library

1730-1800: Talk by Eloise Rose: Library Conference Room, Level 4, Hartley Library

During the same week we will be launching our ‘Arts in the Archives’ online exhibition which will draw on material from the archives to look at some of the key developments in the history the arts at the University.

To view samples of images from the exhibition, visit our Facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/hartleyspecialcolls/

The 28th Wellington Lecture and Explore Your Archive events

bernard-cornwell

28th Wellington Lecture
This year’s Wellington Lecture, titled ‘Wellington, a Storied Life’, will be delivered by Bernard Cornwell, the most successful and prolific historical novelist writing today. He is the author of over 50 novels published in 30 countries and in 28 languages and has sold over 20 million books around the world. His non-fiction account of the battle of Waterloo was a number one bestseller and received rave reviews.

Date: Wednesday 19 October 2016 | 18:00, teas & coffees will be served from 17:30

Venue: Building 32/Room 1015 (Triple EEE Lecture Theatre)

For further information and to register for the lecture go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/28th-wellington-lecture-tickets-26900535225


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Explore Your Archive events
To mark this year’s Wellington Lecture, Special Collections will be hosting a free open afternoon allowing visitors to view material from the Wellington Archive and meet the curators.

While tickets have recently sold out for this event, we will be hosting two further Explore Your Archive events in November and December, focusing on medicine and the arts respectively.

Further details will be post the Special Collections blog, Facebook page and Events Calendar in the coming weeks.

Food and reflection

As we settle into 2016 we reflect on recent activities from the past year…

Over the holiday season many of us have indulged in a range of winter comfort foods and festive treats, from turkey and sprouts to mince pies and puddings. In the lead up to the Christmas break visitors were invited to Special Collections for our third and final Explore Your Archives event of the year, with the focus of the afternoon being (somewhat appropriately) food! The material on display covered areas such as the cultivation of food, food preparation, household management, food supplies, consumption of food (including some fine dining), and food relief.

Lankester & Crook price lists for the Christmas Season on display for the 'Food, Glorious Food' open afternoon

Lankester & Crook price lists for the Christmas Season on display for the ‘Food, Glorious Food’ open afternoon

Beginning with a section on cultivation, one of the first items was a plan and catalogue for trees in the kitchen gardens at Broadlands from 1769 which, incidentally, coincided with work done on the estate by ‘Capability’ Brown whose 300th anniversary will be celebrated later in the year. This was followed by a selection of material relating to the management of crops and livestock.

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, with the aim being to “promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers, be they large scale farms or small land holders.” As the planet’s population continues to increase, pulses such as beans, lentils and peas, are recognised as a sustainable crop which provide a low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

The Perkins Agricultural Library, which primarily supports research on the general practice and improvement of agriculture in the 18th and 19th centuries, also holds a range of material focusing on areas such as household management. On display was William Ellis’ The country housewife’s family companion (London, 1750) which contains the following useful tips for preserving broad beans and peas: “To preserve broad beans and pease dry: take them out of their pods before they are ripe and while their skin is green strip them of their skin and dry them thoroughly in the sun; rub them all over with winter-savory, and barrel them up in straw or chaff, or without either, provided you keep the air from them. In winter or spring, or when they are wanted, soak them six hours in warm water, and then boil them for eating…” [Perkins TX 151]

A highlight from the selection of cook books and recipes was Florence Greenberg’s classic Jewish Cookery Book. First published in 1947, the book proved hugely popular with post war Anglo-Jewish households, bringing a mix of British and continental cooking. She described the Jewish influences as being seen clearly in the fish dishes, sauces and puddings.

There were also many examples of fine dining drawn from the papers of third Viscount Palmerston, Lady Swaythling, Lord Mountbatten, and W.W.Ashley and Cunard cruise ships, including menus, dinner books, and letters reporting on dinner parties and social gatherings. In contrast, somewhat less savoury culinary descriptions were to be found among the journals of William Mogg. Written during his time on Captain Edward Parry’s expeditions to the Arctic in the 1820s, Mogg describes methods used to thaw the crew’s frozen supplies — leaving them in a fire hole for three days — as well as the Christmas festivities enjoyed by the crew.

Chris Woolgar giving his talk on food related resources

Chris Woolgar giving his talk on food related resources

The visit to Special Collections was followed by a talk by Chris Woolgar who provided a highly engaging and comprehensive analysis of a number of the items on display. The evening was then rounded off with some tea and seasonal treats!

As we plan events for the year ahead we would like to thank everyone who attended our open afternoons over the past few months. Details of forthcoming events will be announced on our blog and website in the near future.

We hope to see you in Archives soon!

Food, Glorious Food: culinary resources in the Hartley Library Special Collections

On Wednesday 9 December, the Special Collections, Hartley Library, will hold the next in its series of open afternoons, allowing visitors to explore material from the holdings and to meet the curators.

explore_food

The theme for this open afternoon will be food. Material will range across the cultivation of food, food preparation, household management, food supplies and the consumption of food. Come and find out how what was on the menu for the Patagonians visited by William Mogg during his voyage on the Beagle in the early nineteenth century.

The visit to Special Collections will be followed by a talk given by Professor Chris Woolgar and rounded off by tea.

Programme:

1530-1700: Visit to Special Collections

1730-1830: Talk by Professor Chris Woolgar, Professor of History and Archival Studies, whose latest book The Culture of Food in England 1200-1500 will be published by Yale University Press in the spring of 2016. The talk will be followed by tea.

Visitors exploring material relating to the natural world during our last open afternoon

Visitors exploring material relating to the natural world during our last open afternoon

We would be very pleased to see you at this free event; please book your place using Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-glorious-food-culinary-resources-in-the-hartley-library-special-collections-tickets-19186450189?aff=ebrowse

“The poetry of the earth”: exploring the natural world in the Hartley Library Special Collections

Next week we will be following the success of our Exploring the Wellington Archive afternoon with a free open afternoon enabling visitors to discover some of our lesser known delights.

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From 1530-1700 on Wednesday 18 November 2015, visitors will have the opportunity to view manuscript and printed material focusing on the theme of the natural world and to meet the curators. On display will be an array of material from across the collections, including on agriculture, botany, meteorology, environmental management and entomology.

The visit to Special Collections will be followed by a short presentation on the Historic River Data and Freshwaters Archive titled Looking Back for the Future of the Worlds Rivers: “The use of historic data for predicting the future of river quality and ecology” by Terry Langford, Visiting Professor, Centre for Environmental Sciences.

Visitors exploring material from the Wellington Archive

Visitors exploring material from the Wellington Archive

To book a place for the presentation please visit our Eventbrite page at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-poetry-of-the-earth-exploring-the-natural-world-in-the-hartley-library-special-collections-tickets-19183713002?utm_term=eventurl_text

We hope to see you then!

Whatever the weather…

As November begins, winter arrives, and we wonder what the weather will bring this season: storm, gale and flood – frost and snow and fun?! This month as part of the Explore Your Archive campaign we will be exploring the earth and the natural world through our Special Collections.

Rough Sea at Clarence Pier, Southsea (pc954)

Rough Sea at Clarence Pier, Southsea (pc954)

We cannot control the weather, but it rules our environment, affects our moods, safety, travel, communication, crops and health. No wonder man has tried to understand and predict it for centuries!

Here in Special Collections we can trace this fascination – both scientific and popular – for natural phenomena, through monographs and private correspondence, scientific periodicals and encyclopaedias. The latter brought observations and explanations of the natural world to a wider audience. Descriptions of events such as meteors and great storms were popular, such as Daniel Defoe’s account of the ‘Late Dreadful Tempest’ of 26th November 1703 [published in 1713, Rare Books PR 3404]. Incidental references to the weather appear in diaries and letters – there are many throughout the Wellington Papers [MS 61] and the Palmerston Papers [MS 62] – which contribute to a study of the weather over time.

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Archives have also been left behind by explorers and interested amateurs whose approach was more scientific. William Mogg of Woolston, Southampton, took part in survey expeditions to the Artic in HMS Hecla, in 1821-2, and HMS Fury, in 1824-5; abstracts from the ships’ meteorological journals and notes on environmental conditions during these journeys survive in our collections [MS 45 A0187].

R.C. Hankinson’s weather diary, with charts, open to the page for September 1869 [MS 6/9 (A56)]

R.C. Hankinson’s weather diary, with charts, open to the page for September 1869 [MS 6/9 (A56)]

R.C.Hankinson’s meteorological observations, with charts, were made at Shirley Warren, Southampton from 1863-77. A Southampton banker and JP, he was born in Norfolk in 1824, and had lived in Derbyshire before coming to Hampshire by 1865. The volume includes meteorological observations for all three places. Each right-hand page records the weather for a calendar month, with daily entries for pressure, temperature, wind direction, and rainfall. From 1866, Hankinson drew temperature charts in red and black ink on the left-hand page. He often added notes on subjects that interested him: the growth of fruit and vegetables, flowers and crops, birds, the prevalence of disease locally such as scarlet fever and cholera, as well as meteorological matters: sirocco winds, gales, storms (and shipwrecks), comets, the aurora borealis, sun spots and eclipse. In September 1869 he notes:

“Equinoctial gales for 10th [September] to 19th”;

“18th [September] Storm gales. Much loss in every place. ‘Volante’ yacht wrecked off Ryde. ‘Gensa’ yacht Cherbourg.”

“20th [September] frost in grass.”

This is a fascinating record of our local environment 150 years ago.

Exploring the Wellington Archive

This year the Explore Your Archive campaign will run from 14-22 November 2015. To tie in with the campaign, Special Collections will be hosting a number of open afternoons allowing visitors to view material from our holdings and to meet the curators.

Explore Your Archive

The first open afternoon will take place from 3.30pm on Wednesday 28 October 2015 and will provide an opportunity to explore material from the Wellington Archive. The event has been arranged in conjunction with the 27th Wellington Lecture “Wellington Portrayed” which will be given by the 9th Duke of Wellington and is scheduled to take place at 6.30pm the same evening.

The University holds the principal collection of the papers of Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington: it contains approximately 100,000 items, political, military, official and diplomatic papers covering all aspects of his career. On display will be material relating to Wellington’s military career from India to Waterloo, as well as papers relating to local and national politics and much, much more. Discover whether the Duke really did use the phrase “scum of the earth” after the Battle of Vitoria, see the death threat sent by Captain Swing and the nautilus shell engraved by C.H.Wood depicting the Duke on one side and St George slaying the dragon on the other.

For the week of the Explore Your Archive campaign we will be hosting an open afternoon on Wednesday 18 November 2015 focusing on material relating nature and the environment, with a third open afternoon focusing on food set to take place on Wednesday 9 December 2015. Both of these events will be followed by a lecture relating to the topic. More details are to follow!

To register for the Exploring the Wellington Archive please go to: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-the-wellington-archive-university-of-southampton-tickets-18286477346

To register for the 27th Wellington Lecture please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/27th-wellington-lecture-tickets-18286288782

We hope to see you in the Archives soon!