Sackler 101: Investigating the Haverfield Archive / Part I

Cast your mind back to November 2019. Life seems relatively simple. The coronavirus is about to strike its first victim but it is Brexit that is on everyone’s minds. I was in my third month as a trainee at the Taylor Institution Library and was finishing my day at the Enquiry Desk. Clare Hills-Nova, Italian Literature and Language Librarian at the Taylorian and also Librarian-in-Charge at the Sackler Library, was beginning her evening desk duty and, in the last few minutes before I went home, we were having quite an interesting conversation. At one point in time, we had both worked in rescue archaeology and I was describing how my specialism while I was studying was Roman Britain. It was a lovely conversation as I adore talking about archaeology (to anyone who will listen) and, after wrapping it up, I did not think any more of it.

Setting the scene…(Enquiry Desk, Taylor Institution Library)

 

A few days later, I received an email from Clare about the possibility of doing my trainee project on the Haverfield Archive, housed at the Sackler Library. I responded saying that I was (of course!) interested and we arranged a meeting to view it.

For those of you who are not clued up on the archaeology of Roman Britain, you may have never heard of Francis Haverfield. Haverfield (1860-1919) was Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford and seen as the chief expert on Roman Britain at the start of the 20th century. He was instrumental in persuading the Society of Antiquaries to establish a research fund in support of research excavations focusing on Roman Britain. A pioneer in his field, Haverfield helped to establish archaeology as the discipline that it is today. Indeed, he championed the introduction of Archaeology as a degree subject at Oxford: he helped fund university training excavations; and aimed to improve the methodologies that were developed by antiquarian excavators.

In the world of archaeology, Haverfield has an enduring legacy with his theory of Romanization in Roman Britain. This theory was initially delivered as a lecture and then appeared as a small book in 1912 (Haverfield, F.1912. The Romanization of Roman Britain. Clarendon Press: Oxford). Haverfield sought to elucidate the incorporation of Britain into the Roman Empire, which he viewed as a cultural assimilation rather than enforced acceptance. In CE 43, the full, gradual conquest of Britain began under the Emperor Claudius, ending in CE 87. This certainly was not the first time that Britons had communicated with the Roman Empire, as Julius Caesar described his expeditions in Britain in his Gallic Wars between 55 and 54 BCE (Caesar, Gallic Wars. Translated by Peskett, AG. 2014. Digital Loeb Classical Library).  Haverfield was the first English academic to systematically consider the cultural consequences of the CE 43 Roman invasion through archaeological evidence. To Haverfield, this evidence suggested that Britain fully participated in Roman culture. His Romanization theory challenged previous views — which reflected British early 20th century colonial values — that it was through invasion and colonisation that Britons became more ‘civilised’ and ‘Romanized’. The term ‘Romanization’, therefore, itself indicated a more ongoing and active process.

Romulus and Remus mosaic found at Aldborough. Print from the Archive (Inventory n. 1.4)

 

The Haverfield Archive consists of correspondence, coloured prints, and drawings illustrating mosaic pavements, site plans, publication extracts — an assortment of archaeological paraphernalia! The archive reportedly holds only a tiny fraction of Haverfield’s papers. Haverfield bequeathed his papers and library to the university, and these were housed at the Ashmolean Museum. In 2001, the Archive was transferred to the newly-built Sackler Library. When viewing the archive itself with Clare and the Classics and Classical Archaeology Librarian, Charlotte Goodall, I was astounded by the richness of its content and its potential for future research projects.

From the Archive: Double spread from Henry Ecroyd Smith’s Lithographic Coloured Prints (Inventory n. 2.9))

 

The component of this archive of greatest interest to me is the collection of images illustrating mosaic pavements discovered (mostly) in Britain. Often grouped together and mounted on very large cardboard sheets, the collection is housed in approximately thirty extremely large, transparent hanging folders, each of which contains multiple mosaic pavement illustrations. Sifting through the folders, we were delighted with each new discovery of brilliantly coloured prints and drawings.

According to Clare and Charlotte, while readers occasionally consult Haverfield’s text-based papers the mosaic pavements collection had received little or no attention. The collection would be of great interest to researchers and students, but its sheer vastness and lack of organisational documentation — there is no catalogue detailing its contents — are serious impediments to in-depth research. Therefore, my task for the trainee year appeared to be relatively simple: create an index, recording each document in detail. So that, ultimately its research potential would become clear.

Our second task was highlighted by the large, tired looking, over-full and hence unwieldy hanging folders housing the collection. Some of the folders showed cracks and tears and there was also some concern regarding exposure to light. A new plan chest had been purchased, and it was decided that the sheets would be transferred to the drawers of the plan chest as they were catalogued. New archive-appropriate ‘Melinex’ folders, suitable for horizontal storage, would also be purchased to house each sheet individually. This improved storage solution would ensure the collection’s preservation for years to come!

This will be a series of blog posts. Next time, I will showcase some of the amazing mosaic prints that I came across when creating the index of the archive.

Chloe Bolsover, Graduate Trainee, Taylor Institution Library

References:

Craster, HHE. 1920. Francis Haverfield. The English Historical Review, 63-70

Freeman, PWM. 2007. The Best Training-Ground for Archaeologists. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Millett, M. 2015. Roman Britain since Haverfield. In M. Millett, L. Revell and A. Moore (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press

 

Like@Sac! International Women’s Day – A Virtual Book Display – Women at Oxford 1920-2020

 

 

International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and challenging stereotypes, has been observed on 8 March every year since its inception in 1911.  The organisers of International Women’s Day describe it as “a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”[1]  The fight for women’s equality continues in the UK and around the world, and events like International Women’s Day show how important it is that women and girls are able to reach their full potential and contribute to all areas of our society. Each year, the organisers of International Women’s Day choose a theme as a banner under which everyone’s efforts can be channelled and unified. This year, the theme is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights This theme aligns with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.[2]

 

Image Credit: Katherine Hanlon, Unsplash
Image Credit: Katherine Hanlon, Unsplash

 

International Women’s Day 2020 also marks the start of the social media campaign #EachforEqual:

“An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.  We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.”[3]

Image Credit: Logan Isbell, Unsplash

2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of a historic victory for women at the University of Oxford: in 1920 Mary-Anne Henley was the first to collect her degree in the Sheldonian Theatre.  To mark this centenary and celebrate the contribution of women to Oxford, the University is launching Women Making History: 100 Years of Oxford degrees for women:

“The centenary provides an opportunity to take stock of our progress in promoting women’s education and advancing gender equality and diversity.”

As the website also notes:

“Women Making History will shine a spotlight on the diverse women who have contributed to the University of Oxford, as well as the women who are shaping its future today. In the coming months, we will explore stories of Oxford women as scholars, students, researchers, academics, clinicians, technicians, librarians, archivists, activists, artists and much more.  If you have a story about an Oxford woman that you think should be told, please join the conversation by using the hashtag #womenatoxford.”[4]

To celebrate International Women’s Day — and to mark the 100th anniversary of Oxford degrees for Women — members of the Sackler Reader Services team compiled a Virtual Book Display. (Sadly, visibility of the physical book display was curtailed by the Covid-19 lockdown.)  At the end of this blog post, you will find a list of links to various e-publications, available via SOLO, which focus on women’s accomplishments as they relate to Archaeology, Art, Architecture, Classics and Egyptology – some of the areas of collecting focus at the Sackler Library.

It is wrong to assume that amongst the most celebrated figures in Classics, hardly any women feature.  Of course, there is the Greek poet Sappho.  We have chosen to display Nancy Rabinowitz and Lisa Auanger’s Among Women, which focuses on Sappho’s poetic creativity and erotic themes.  We can never discuss key female figures in Classics without mentioning Hypatia of Alexandria, as discussed by Dora Russell.  The poems of Sulpicia are a rarity.  In comparison with works by other Roman women, Sulpicia’s work has survived intact, rather than existing in fragments.  Her six poems appear in the Augustan poet Tibullus’ corpus of poetry, a translation of which appears in our display.  For those interested in reception theory, James Donaldson’s Woman considers the position of women in Classical and Early Christian societies through the lens of a male academic in Edwardian Britain.

 

Pieere Olivier Joseph Coomans, Sappho at Mitylene, 1876 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

 

“We can also see the contributions of women in Ancient Egypt where, as many may be aware, it was not unknown for women to hold positions of power.  Mary Hamer’s Signs of Cleopatra and Dorothea Arnold’s Royal Women of Amarna discuss two of perhaps the most well-known female figureheads of Egypt: Cleopatra and Nefertiti.  However, another noteworthy addition is the fifth Pharaoh to rule Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty, as discussed in Catherine Roehrig et al.’s Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharoah.  Hatshepsut brought about religious infrastructure and trade reform during her 21-year reign, but all records relating to her activities were systematically destroyed by her successor, Thutmose III.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi (Naples, Museo di Capodimonte), 1612-13 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

It is a pleasure when the female story is celebrated and represented well, as many in the art world have been striving for since gender inequality became part of their consciousness, and since feminist art historians such as Linda Nochlin (“Why there have been no great women artists”, 1971) and Griselda Pollock drew attention to the issue.  Art movements and artists have put visions into visuals, alongside providing the artwork to promote diversity and alternate views to the much discussed male gaze.  Fortunately, for art, there have been many female artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi (as discussed in Keith Christiansen’s Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi or at the now-postponed National Gallery exhibition, Artemisia, in London), who were as successful as their male counterparts during their lifetimes.  This allows us to witness alternative art histories and celebrate historical women artists who worked side-by-side with male artists.  We can also fight for them to be recognised in the archives and great libraries, worldwide, so that we are aware of women who came before us as well as those who are alive today, contributing to the modern art world as we know it — for example, Jenny Saville, whose first solo show in a UK public institution was held at Modern Art Oxford.  For those interested in further exploring the work of women artists during lockdown, Modern Art Oxford’s online exhibition archive is showcasing exhibitions by three artists: Invisible Strategies by Lubaina Himid, Wanderer by Kiki Smith, and Tools For Life by Johanna Unzueta.

The discussion of women’s contribution to the field of architecture is a more is a more complicated one.  Compared with the strides taken in the art world, architecture is much further behind in its recognition of its female figures.  There are few female architects within the pages of the architectural history books that are celebrated in the same way as their male counterparts, which begs the question: what historical examples do we have, if any, of women in the architectural world? Women’s presence in architecture was often suppressed, as was the case with Annie Albers, who was unable to study architecture at the Bauhaus (whose proponents considered that architecture was a men-only professions) and so turned to weaving instead. Her work is noted for its architectural qualities and the innovation she brought to weaving techniques, showing how her interest in architecture and space could not be erased.  (See, for example, her 2018-2019 exhibition at Tate Modern.)

Due to the past elusiveness of female figures in architecture, it is therefore difficult to celebrate qualities of architectural practice which are acknowledged as “feminine”.  Even though a variety of books have been written on the intersection between feminism and architecture, including key works which form much of the basis of gendered architectural theory such as Beatriz Colomina’s Sexuality and Space, women still struggle to identify feminist architecture, what it is, and how it should be practised. Women have often struggled to gain recognition in architecture, leading to the controversial problem of their preferring not to identify as “female architects” or “women architects”.  This is particularly true of high achieving female architects: they do not want their title of architect to be gendered.  This is discussed in Francesca Hughes’ The Architect: Reconstructing Her Practice, one of the few monographs which celebrates the work of women architects.  It is to be understood that women architects believed that if they left out any reference to their gender, then they would be seen and treated as equals.  However, as well meaning as this appears, this provides leverage for the erasure of the narrative of women and the dismissal of the problems and experiences women may have experienced due to gender discrimination within the profession.

Book cover: Maggie Toy, ed. The Architect: Women in Contemporary Architecture (2001)

This can also lead to questions of privilege held by the contributors for them to not have experienced any discrimination; and to the belief that other narratives do not exist or that gender is not a problem. The publication The Architect: Women in Contemporary Architecture, edited by Maggie Toy, is a key source on women in architecture, but the women in question objected to such potential titles for the book as “The Female Architect”.  The best they could do to give a nod towards the representation of women was the subtle adaptation of the Venus sign in the title on the book’s cover.

Venus symbol (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite the issues raised, it is important to recognise the accomplishments of the feminist movement in the fields collected by the Sackler Library.  We hope that the reading list at the end of this post will provide a small insight into what has already been achieved.

If you would like to learn more about women’s history and gender studies in February and March 2020 the Bodleian Libraries provided trial access to a wide range of related informational databases, arranged as part of Changing the Narrative: Championing Inclusive Collection Development, a project led by Helen Worrell, Bodleian Libraries’ Anthropology & Archaeology Subject Librarian. The following databases were available during the trials and, for one of them, we have temporary extended access.  A decision on whether to purchase any of these databases (based on reader feedback) is in the works.

We hope you will enjoy browsing this small selection of our collections, and we hope you will spend some time remembering Women at Oxford 1920-2020.

 

Chloe Bolsover, Graduate Library Trainee
Katherine Day, Library Assistant
Erin McNulty, Graduate Library Trainee
Caroline Walsh, Library Assistant

References

[1][3]https://www.internationalwomensday.com/2020Theme

[2]https://www.un.org/en/observances/womens-day

[4] www.ox.ac.uk/about/oxford-people/women-at-oxford 

Database trials

Women and Social Movements, International

Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.  This digital archive includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century.  It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements.

Women’s Magazine Archive 1 & 2 TEMPORARY ACCESS EXTENDED

Women’s Magazine Archive 1 provides access to the complete archives of the foremost titles of this type, including Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal, which serve as canonical records of evolving assumptions about gender roles and cultural mores. Other titles here focus on narrower topics but deliver valuable source content for specific research areas. Parents, for example, is of particular relevance for research in the fields of children’s education, psychology, and health, as well as reflecting broader social historical trends.  Women’s Magazine Archive 2 features several of the most prominent, high-circulating, and long-running publications in this area, such as Woman’s Day and Town & Country. Collection 2 also, however, complements the first collection by including some titles focusing on more specific audiences and themes. Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, for example, are oriented towards a younger readership, while black women’s interests are represented by Essence. Women’s International Network News differs in being a more political, activist title, with an international dimension.  Topics covered these collections include family life, home economics, health, careers, fashion, culture, and many more; this material serves multiple research areas, from gender studies, social history, and the arts, through to education, politics, and marketing/media history.

Women’s Studies Archive

The Women’s Studies Archive: Issues and Identities will focus on the social, political, and professional achievements of women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Along with providing a closer look at some of the pioneers of women’s movements, this collection offers scholars a deep dive into the issues that have affected women and the many contributions they have made to society.

International Women’s Day – Virtual Book Display: a selection of e-books at Oxford

Aceves Sepúlveda, G., 2019. Women made visible: feminist art and media in post-1968 Mexico City.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph021790974

Anderson, J. & Huneault, K., 2012. Rethinking professionalism: women and art in Canada, 1850-1970.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000924860

Arnold, D., Allen, J.P. & Green, L., 1996. The royal women of Amarna: images of beauty from ancient Egypt.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020320492

Ashton, S.-A., 2008. Cleopatra and Egypt.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000517287

Battista, K., 2019. New York new wave: the legacy of feminist art in emerging practice.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001128694

Battista, K., 2019. Renegotiating the body: feminist art in 1970s London.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001129729

Betterton, R., 2019. Unframed: practices and politics of women’s contemporary painting.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001129730

Broude, N. & Garrard, M.D., 2018. The expanding discourse: feminism and art history.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021680728

Butler, J. 1999. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021627491

Christiansen, K. et al., 2001. Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020320310

Dabakis, M., 2014. A sisterhood of sculptors: American artists in nineteenth-century Rome.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph020970150

Deffebach, N., 2015. María Izquierdo and Frida Kahlo: challenging visions in modern Mexican art.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph000852915

Dekel, T. 2013. Gendered: Art and Feminist Theory.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000814205

Dirgantoro, W., 2017. Feminisms and contemporary art in Indonesia: defining experiences.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph001110690

Dodson, A., 2009. Amarna sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian counter-reformation.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000530537

Donaldson, J., 1907. Woman; her position and influence in ancient Greece and Rome and among the early Christians.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020705571

Fanghanel, A., 2019. Disrupting rape culture: public space, sexuality and revolt.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021733551

Grainger, J. Sulpicia & Tibullus, 1992. A poetical translation of the elegies of Tibullus; and of the poems of Sulpicia.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph020741566

Greene, E., 1996. Reading Sappho: contemporary approaches.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021293990

Hamer, M., 2014. Signs of Cleopatra: reading an icon historically.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020148152

Heynen, H. & Baydar, G., 2005. Negotiating domesticity: spatial productions of gender in modern architecture.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000914883

Horne, V. & Perry, L., 2019. Feminism and art history now: radical critiques of theory and practice.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001127609

Iōannou, Kyriakidou & Christiansen, 2014. Female beauty in art: history, feminism, women artists.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000867093

Isaak, J.A., 1996. Feminism and contemporary art: the revolutionary power of women’s laughter.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000575626

Kelley, L., 2019. Bioart kitchen: art, feminism and technoscience.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001127602

Kleiner, D.E.E., 2005. Cleopatra and Rome.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000519061

Kokoli, A.M., 2016. The feminist uncanny in theory and art practice.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001127848

Liss, A., 2009. Feminist art and the maternal.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph000515481

Martin, B. & Sparke, P., 2003. Women’s places: architecture and design 1860-1960.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000913452

Meskimmon, M., 2003. Women making art: history, subjectivity, aesthetics.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000917653

Miles, M.M., 2011. Cleopatra: a sphinx revisited.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000546249

Murray, E. & Varnedoe, K., 1995. Elizabeth Murray, modern women: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 20-August 22, 1995.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph021140275

Nochlin, L., 2018. Women, art, and power: and other essays.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021284529

Pollock, G., 1999. Differencing the canon: feminist desire and the writing of art’s histories.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021274805

Pollock, G., 2003. Vision and difference: feminism, femininity and the histories of art.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph019861020

Rabinowitz, N.S. & Auanger, L., 2002. Among women: from the homosocial to the homoerotic in the ancient world.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph016911858

Rendell, J., Penner, B. & Borden, I., 2000. Gender space architecture: an interdisciplinary introduction.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000481765

Reynolds, L., 2019. Women artists, feminism and the moving image: contexts and practices.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001128859

Richlin, A. 2014. Arguments with Silence: Writing the History of Roman Women.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph000768250

Robinson, H. & Buszek, M.E., 2019. A companion to feminist art.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021790990

Roehrig, C. H., Dreyfus, R., and Keller, C. A. 2006. Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020320021

Roller, D.W., 2010. Cleopatra: a biography.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000579312

Russell, D., 1976. Hypatia: or, Woman and knowledge.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph020705536

Sappho, Rayor, Diane J. & Lardinois, A. P. M. H., 2014. Sappho: a new translation of the complete works.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph020611304

Shonfield, K., 2000. Walls have feelings: architecture, film, and the city.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph000484227

Skelly, J., 2020. Radical decadence: excess in contemporary feminist textiles and craft.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001130353

Solomon-Godeau, A. & Parsons, S., 2017. Photography after photography: gender, genre, and history.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph021157235

Souter, G., 2015. Frida Kahlo: beneath the mirror.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001003107

Walsh, M. & Throp, M., 2019. Twenty years of MAKE magazine: back to the future of women’s art.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/10tg26t/oxfaleph001125669

Wark, J., 2006. Radical gestures: feminism and performance art in North America.

http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/permalink/f/kb750l/oxfaleph000584817

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Sackler 101: 25th ICOM General Conference and CIPEG Annual Meeting in Kyoto (Japan), 2019

 

One of the important ways of keeping up to date with developments in the fields of study that Bodleian Libraries subject librarians support is through international conference attendance, where they have the opportunity of finding out about current as well as new research beyond the ‘Oxford bubble’.

The 25th General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), an NGO with 44,600 members representing over 20,000 museums in c. 140 countries, took place 1-7 September 2019 in Kyoto, Japan. With 4,000+ participants, this was the best attended General Conference in the history of ICOM.

 

Entrance to the International Conference Center, Kyoto (Photo credit: Susanne Woodhouse)

 

Entitled “Museums as Cultural Hubs: the future of tradition”, the participants discussed the role of museums in the age of multiculturalism and disasters. In particular, four plenary sessions explored:

-How museums can support societies in their search for a sustainable future
-ICOM’s commission on a new definition of the word “Museum”
-Museum disaster management
-Asian art museums and collections

The main focus however was on the new museum definition which had sent ripples through the museum world prior to the conference for two reasons. Firstly it had been launched without consulting the organisation’s 119 National Committees; secondly its content and wording was deemed by members to be inappropriate or incorrect. The last day of the conference saw the decision of the General Assembly to postpone the vote on this new museum definition approved by 70.4% of the participants.

 

Main Hall of the International Conference Center: Plenary session on the definition of museums (Photo credit: Susanne Woodhouse)

 

ICOM’s 30 International Committees, representing specialisations across the museum sector, held their Annual Meetings throughout the week at the Conference Center and at satellite venues. As Subject Librarian for Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies I am a member of the Comité International pour l’Égyptologie (CIPEG). The Committee was in for a treat as our Japanese colleagues had arranged an extraordinary symposium about their conservation project in the Grand Egyptian Museum (Cairo). During the following three days CIPEG members presented 37 papers on all aspects of Ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections world-wide.

My paper focused on the history of the former private library of the first Professor of Egyptology in Oxford, Francis Llewellyn Griffith (1862-1934), in its time the world’s most comprehensive private library for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (including Egyptology). Francis Griffith and his wife Nora left this library to the University of Oxford, together with a very considerable fortune, to build and endow a permanent centre for the teaching of and research in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (including Egyptology). The Griffith Institute opened in January 1939 and, as intended by F.L. Griffith, it was situated adjacent to the Ashmolean Museum. The Griffith Library formed part of the Griffith Institute, a Department with independent status by Statute within the Ashmolean Museum. In 1966 the Museum’s staffing structure underwent a review, resulting in the Brunt Report (named after the Chairman of the review committee, Professor P.A. Brunt) which amongst others highlighted the top-class libraries integral to the various Museum Departments. The recommended amalgamation of these departmental libraries under a principal librarian took place in 1969, resulting in the separately governed Ashmolean Library. The Ashmolean Library, from then on, administered the Griffith Institute Library, the collection of which continued to be housed in the Griffith Institute. With the Ashmolean Library and the Griffith Library bursting at their seams, however, a new accommodation had to be sought but it was not until 30 years later that their collections were finally transferred to their new home, the Sackler Library, which opened in 2001. The holdings of this library derive from a number of separately housed collections and are the embodiment of Griffith’s vision of a research tool promoting interdisciplinary research.

Some contemporary “witnesses” are irreplaceable and therefore housed in the Sackler’s Rare Books Room. They include as Griffith’s personal copy of the 1st edition of the Egyptian Grammar (1927), authored by his famous pupil Alan H Gardiner (1879–1963). This copy contains Gardiner’s little-known hieroglyphic dedication to his teacher, a testimony of “the humble servant’s” huge veneration for Griffith. The Griffith Institute agreed to include a facsimile of the dedication in this year’s reprint of Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar.

 

Hieroglyphic dedication by A H Gardiner to F L Griffith (© Griffith Institute, University of Oxford)

 

In between plenary sessions, lectures and workshops participants took the opportunity to explore the stalls of the c. 150 exhibitors which made up the Museums Fair and Expo Forum. Amongst others there was a “shaky van” in which one could experience an earthquake with and without seismic isolation; the virtual reality stall was always busy; producers of replicas and facsimiles displayed their work carried out for museums and temples alike; publishers of exquisite art books attracted visitors with their dazzling reproduction of colours; and the publisher Routledge/Taylor & Francis showcased its publishing partnership with ICOM.

 

Having been asked to touch the replica of the National Treasure “Wind and Thunder God Screens” by Tawaraya Sotatsu (17th c, Kenninji Temple, now Kyoto National Museum), I could feel the joints of the gold leaves and the texture of the paint (Photo credit: Susanne Woodhouse)

 

Every evening delegates attended social events, ranging from a superb opening party which closed with a magnificent fireworks display, to a reception at Nijo Castle, the palace of which is a National Treasure from the early Edo period, and at the Kyoto National Museum. The organisation of this international conference ran like clockwork and the stakes are high indeed for the 26th General Conference, which will take place in 2022 in Prague.

 

Reception at Kyoto National Museum: Diane Bergman (right) the previous Griffith Librarian at the Sackler Library, Dåg Bergman (Diane’s husband), and myself (Diane’s successor in the post) (Photo credit: Susanne Woodhouse)

 

As subject librarian for Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, part of my mandate is to support the curatorial research needs of Ashmolean Museum staff. This conference, therefore, enabled me to put my work into a wider context by providing information on current challenges in the museum world, on the latest trends such as the attempt to redefine what a museum should stand for in the 21st century, and on new technologies used to preserve or reproduce cultural heritage for future generations.

Attending the subject-specific CIPEG meeting was an opportunity to keep abreast with academic and publishing developments as well as to promote the Sackler Library (and the Bodleian Libraries) and its holdings to the international community. At the same time my presentation constituted a contribution to the international scholarly discourse of the history of collections within Egyptology.

I would like to thank the Bodleian Libraries for the generous support that enabled me to attend this hugely informative conference.

Susanne Woodhouse
Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies Librarian (Griffith Librarian)
Sackler Library

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Sackler 101: Keeping the University reading: How we are supporting Sackler readers’ research, study and teaching

The Bodleian Libraries’ (and the Sackler Library’s) approach is to prioritise the safety of our staff and readers, whilst working hard to make it possible to ‘Keep the University reading’.

Library buildings
All library sites and reading rooms are closed to readers until further notice.

Library services
Our physical services are suspended, whilst we both continue and expand our digital services.

  • eResources. The Bodleian Libraries provide access to over 118k eJournals, and over 1.4m eBooks. Our priority is to maintain access to these, and to add to the eResources that we provide for the Oxford community. All accessible via SOLO. More details here.

****Don’t forget Sackler reader relevant e-books and e-resources available via other platforms:

  • The Getty Research Portal  Multilingual and multicultural union catalogue providing FREE download capabilities for publications on art, architecture, archaeology, material culture, and related fields.
    • Currently at 143,954 (20/06/2020) digitised titles. The number of volumes on this site is growing on a near-daily basis.
    • Most publications on this site are copyright-free (and hence older), with more recent publications also included.
  • The National Art Library (at the V&A) has compiled a lengthy list of free art and design e-resources here.

 

 

 

  • Scan-and-deliver. This service provides scanned materials for readers from collections housed at the Book Storage Facility. Access via SOLO:  free for all Bodleian Libraries library card holders.
    A new service, ‘Scan-and-deliver+‘ (access here) provides scans of material in Oxford library locations. Please note: The Sackler Library is both short-staffed and also experiencing a high volume of such requests. We are doing our very best to deliver a good service ask for your patience and understanding during this rapidly-evolving situation.
  • Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO). The ORLO service provides students with online reading lists linked to library and open access resources and can be used in Canvas or through its own user interface. ORLO currently holds 1,000+ lists for the current academic year in support of 22+ departments from across the academic divisions. We are instigating a rapid roll-out to other courses. More details here.
  • Loans. All Bodleian Libraries books currently on loan are auto-renewed until 19 June 2020. Please hold on to books you have out; do not return them. Any fines will be waived.
  • Inter-Library-Loans (ILL). Electronic delivery will soon be available free of charge (access here). Physical ILL is suspended.
  • Oxford University Research Archive (ORA). The ORA service (access here) will continue in support of open access to Oxford research, and in support of REF 2021 [link: https://www.ref.ac.uk/].
  • eReference/enquiries. The expanded Live Chat service will be available 9am–7pm every day from Monday 23 March. Access routes here: website, LibGuides,  SOLO.  Remote assistance from expert library staff is available by emailing reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk (staffed weekdays, 9am–5pm).

While we are working hard to ensure we can maintain our digital services, and expand them where possible, we will be able to do this only when it does not compromise the health and safety of our staff.

Note: Many digital services, like our catalogue SOLO or ORA are accessible to all, while some of the services and resources noted above are restricted to Bodleian Libraries card holders (Single Sign On required).

(Credit: Adapted from http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/archivesandmanuscripts/2020/03/20/keeping-the-university-reading/, by Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian.)

Sackler 101: Interactive Floorplans

 

As any reader at the Sackler Library can attest, the library presents some navigational challenges. Thanks to the combination of a confusing circular layout and the large number of different shelfmark schemes in use, it can often be difficult to find the book you’re looking for without spending an eternity wandering in circles – even for staff!

 

Image credit: Chantal van den Berg

 

In response to these navigational challenges, I began work on an interactive floor plan website in November 2018, which built upon the foundation of our existing paper floorplans – the Sackler is a five-floor library.  Through the combination of the existing (though much cleaned-up) SVG files for the paper floorplans, a hand-gathered file of shelf content information, and bit of JavaScript to weld the two together, version 1.0 was born. This early version, released for staff use in January 2019, allowed one to virtually browse the shelfmark ranges present on each shelf (and there was much rejoicing). However, as useful as this prototype was, it was clear from the very beginning that browsing alone was not enough: the floorplan had to be searchable.

This next part was rather more involved. To write a programme that could reliably identify SIX (!) different shelfmark schemes was one thing, but to account for every possible variation and error present in the library was quite another. After weeks of poring over spreadsheets of shelfmarks and endless tests of the pattern matching code, I created a system that could reliably identify any Sackler shelfmark entered and break it down into its constituent parts. This also allowed for the automatic identification of all the weird and incorrect shelfmarks hiding throughout the library, leading to hundreds of corrections. Bonus!

Now able to identify shelfmarks, the system needed to be able to locate them within the library. This actually took the most time to implement, firstly since every individual shelf had to have its shelfmark range recorded; and also because each shelfmark scheme needed to be handled differently (special prize for the shelfmarks that use Roman numerals). In summary: when a shelfmark is entered, it is broken down into elements (e.g. NA/680/.5/A45/PAL/2005), which are then compared against each shelfmark range (also broken down in the same way) recorded in the shelf content data file already created for version 1.0. When a matching range is found, the shelf associated with that range is highlighted on the map

 

 

Version 2.0 is very capable: the vast majority of Sackler Library material is searchable, including folios and pamphlets, allowing readers and staff to instantly find the exact location of any shelfmark within the library. After a period of internal use, the website was launched to readers back in Michaelmas term 2019: it can be found at floorplan.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/sackler and can be used on mobile devices. There are still refinements planned, so all feedback and suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Ben Gable,
Library Assistant
Sackler Library

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Like @ Sac! Book Display: Celebrating LBGT+ History Month at the Sackler Library

 

February marks LGBT+ History Month in the UK, which aims to educate people about and increase visibility of the accomplishments of LGBT+ identifying people, and the contributions they have made and continue to make to society. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and asexual people, as well as people of other gender, sexual and romantic minority groups, have been present in the arts, the sciences and daily life from ancient times to the modern day. The Sackler Library has chosen to celebrate the rich history and diversity of the LGBT+ community by means of a book display highlighting the contribution of LGBT+ people to the areas of study within the remit of the Sackler Library.

 

The display in place on the Ground Floor of the Sackler Library Image. Credit: Erin McNulty

 

In terms of Classical literature, our display highlights the work of Sappho, e.g. in Rayor and Lardinois’ Sappho: a new translation of the complete works (2014). Sappho was a prolific lyric poet from the Archaic Greek era[1]. Her poetry was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, and she was among the canon of nine lyric poets most highly esteemed by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. She is also the subject of some scholarly debate, but it is generally thought amongst modern scholars that her work portrays evidence of love and desire between women[2]. Indeed, the modern use of the word ‘lesbian’ is derived from the name of her home island of Lesbos.

We can also see the contributions of LGBT+ people in the field of Egyptology, namely through Amelia Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile, a best-selling travelogue published in 1877. Edwards, born in 1831, was an English novelist, journal-writer, and traveller, and contributed greatly to Egyptological Studies, co-founding the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882[4]. She was also the founder of the Edwards Chair of Egyptology at University College London. Edwards died in 1892 from influenza, and was buried alongside her partner, Ellen Drew Braysher. In 2016, her grave  in Bristol was designated as Grade II listed by Historic England, and is celebrated as a landmark of English LGBT+ history[5].

 

The cover, an illustration, and author’s signature from an 1877 edition of Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile (Sackler Library, Special Collections)
To view Special Collections materials, please enquire at the Sackler Issue Desk
Image(s) Credit: Erin McNulty

 

We have also highlighted the relevance of LGBT+ studies to the study of architecture by including Betsky’s Queer space: architecture and same-sex desire (1997). This work discusses how same-sex desire is creating an entirely new design process. Vincent’s LGBT people and the UK cultural sector: the response of libraries, museums, archives and heritage since 1950 (2014) also deals with LGBT+ influences in the library and heritage sector specifically.

Image Credit: Erin McNulty

Works on art also form a substantial part of the Sackler’s collections. Both of these disciplines benefit greatly from the contributions of the LGBT+ community. Davis’ Gay and lesbian studies in art history (1994) gives an overview of this. We have also chosen to showcase art books dealing with LGBTQ+ themes from earlier periods, such as Mills’ Seeing sodomy in the Middle Ages (2015), to the more modern, e.g. David Wojnarowicz: history keeps me awake at night and Robert Mapplethorpe: the Archive.

A library’s collections can tell the story of a community, such as the LGBT+ community, and it changes as new works are acquired. How the Sackler, as well as many other libraries across the Bodleian, tells these stories will be reviewed by the upcoming project Changing the Narrative: Championing Inclusive Collection Development. This project, led by Helen Worrell, “will champion diversifying our collection development across the Social Sciences and Humanities Libraries, with the aim of enhancing collections in areas such as LGBTIQ+ Studies, Disability Studies, Indigenous Studies, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Studies and the intersections between these identities. This will enable us to think critically about the collections we currently hold so that we are aware of the gaps and the narrative these collections tell.”[5] Keep an eye out on the Sackler blog for upcoming posts regarding this project, or head to the LibGuide for more information.

Our book display also ties in to the theme of 2020’s LGBT+ History Month, launched at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford: Poetry, Prose and Plays. We showcase works by all four featured authors: Dawn Langley Simmons’ Man into woman: a transsexual autobiography (1970), E. M. Forster’s Collected short stories (1947), Lorraine Hansberry’s A raisin in the sun (2011), and William Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1945 edition). We have also featured the work of ancient authors, such as Plutarch, Virgil, and Petronius, who are now thought by some scholars to have been LGBT+[6]. You can visit the LBGT+ History Month website for more information and resources.

An image of the display, showing Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20, which is thought to have been written about a man. Image Credit: Erin McNulty

We hope you enjoy browsing the books we have on offer on our display. However, these are only a small sample of the resources the Sackler, and the University of Oxford as a whole, has to offer for anyone interested in LGBT+ studies. For example, TORCH’s Queer Studies Network meets weekly for lectures, reading groups, seminars, workshops and events. The Bodleian Libraries are also currently trialling several informational databases, accessible through SOLO, e.g.:

Archives of Sexuality and Gender (Gale Cengage)

This resource spans the sixteenth to twentieth centuries and is the largest digital collection of historical primary source publications relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, and gender research and gender studies research. Documentation covering disciplines such as social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBT communities around the world is included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality.

LGBT Magazine Archive (Proquest LLC)

Includes the archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this genre.  For example, the complete backfile of the US publication, The Advocate, one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, is made available digitally for the first time.  Other titles include the UK’s Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

LGBT Life Full Text (EBSCO)

Provides scholarly and popular LGBT+ publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines and newspapers. It also includes a specialised LGBT+ thesaurus containing thousands of terms, 140+ full-text journals, approaching 160 full-text books and reference materials, 260+ abstracted and indexed journals and more than 350+ abstracted and indexed books and reference works.

Also, don’t miss other LGBT+ projects at the University of Oxford! For example, the Pitt Rivers Museum’s project, Beyond the Binary, due to launch this month, will work with local, national and international partners to explore the global diversity of sexual and gender identities. The project will challenge historical interpretations of the museum’s collections so that all visitors can understand humanity better. It will also include a community-focused acquisition programme for LGBT+ cultural and historical artefacts. Objects will be collected from British communities and across the globe that highlight traditions of gender non-conformity, bringing British LGBT+ heritage into conversation with global LGBT+ material culture.

We hope that you will join us in celebration of LGBT+ History Month, and that you have a fantastic February!

Erin McNulty,
Graduate Library Trainee

 

References

[1] Campbell, D. A. (ed.) (1982). Greek Lyric 1: Sappho and Alcaeus (Loeb Classical Library No. 142). Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass

[2] Rayor, Diane; Lardinois, André (2014). Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3] Rees, Joan (1998). Amelia Edwards: Traveller, Novelist and Egyptologist. London: Rubicon Press.

[4] Queer history’ landmarks celebrated by Historic England”. BBC News. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.

[5] https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/changingthenarrative

[6] Claude J. Summers, ed., The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage: A Reader’s Companion to the Writers and Their Works, from Antiquity to the Present (New York: Henry Holt, 1995)

 

Book Display Bibliography

Benson, M., 1901. The soul of a cat, and other stories. London.

Betsky, A., 1997. Queer space: architecture and same-sex desire, New York.

Boehringer, S., 2007. L’homosexualité féminine dans l’antiquité grecque et romaine, Paris.

Breslin, D., Kiehl, D., & Wojnarowicz, D. (2018). David Wojnarowicz : History Keeps Me Awake at Night.

Cook, M. & Oram, A., 2017. Prejudice & pride: celebrating LGBTQ heritage, Warrington.

Davidson, J. N., 2007. The Greeks and Greek love: a radical reappraisal of homosexuality in ancient Greece, London

Davis, W., 1994. Gay and lesbian studies in art history, New York.

Dedichen, H. & Butin, H., 2013. Warhol’s queens. Ostfildern.

Dover, K. J., 1978. Greek homosexuality, London.

DuBois, P., 2015. Sappho. London; New York.

Edwards, A.B., 1982. A thousand miles up the Nile. London.

Forster, E.M., 1947. Collected short stories of E.M. Forster. London.

Hansberry, L., 2011. A raisin in the sun. London.

Horace & Bennett, Charles E, 1960. The Odes and Epodes. London.

Mapplethorpe, R., Martineau, P., & Salvesen, B., 2016. Robert Mapplethorpe: the photographs, Los Angeles.

Mapplethorpe, R., Terpak, F., Brunnick, M., Smith, P., & Weinberg, J., 2016. Robert Mapplethorpe: the archive, Los Angeles.

Meyer, R., 2003. Outlaw representation: censorship & homosexuality in twentieth-century American art, Boston.

Mills, R., 2015. Seeing sodomy in the Middle Ages, Chicago.

Parkinson, R. B., 2013. A little gay history: desire and diversity across the world, London.

Petronius Arbiter & Brown, Andrew, 2009. Satyricon. Richmond.

Plutarch, Romm, James S & Mensch, Pamela, 2012. Plutarch: lives that made Greek history. Indianapolis.

Sappho, Rayor, Diane J. & Lardinois, A. P. M. H., 2014. Sappho: a new translation of the complete works. Cambridge.

Rorato, L., 2014. Caravaggio in film and literature: popular culture’s appropriation of a baroque genius, London.

Rothbauer, P. Locating the library as place among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer patrons, in eds. Buschman, J., & Leckie, G. J., 2007. The library as place: history, community, and culture, Westport; London.

Shakespeare, W. & Bullen, A.H., 1945. The sonnets of William Shakespeare. Oxford.

Simmons, D.L., 1970. Man into woman: a transsexual autobiography. London.

Spike, J. T., Brown, D. A., Joannides, P., De Groft, A. H., Rogers, M., & Bisogniero, C., 2015. Leonardo da Vinci and the idea of beauty, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Vicinus, M., 2004. Intimate friends: women who loved women, 1778-1928. Chicago.

Vincent, J., 2014. LGBT people and the UK cultural sector: the response of libraries, museums, archives and heritage since 1950. Farnham.

Virgil, Dryden, John & Keener, Frederick M., 1997. Virgil’s Aeneid. London.

Warhol, A., Feldman, F., & Defendi, C., 2003. Andy Warhol prints: a catalogue raisonné: 1962-1987, New York.

Wasserman, N., 2016. Akkadian love literature of the third and second millennium BCE. Weisbaden.

Weinberg, J., 1993. Speaking for vice: homosexuality in the art of Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, and the first American avant-garde, New Haven; London.

Weinberg, J., 2004. Male desire: the homoerotic in American art, New York.

Williams, C. A., 1999. Roman homosexuality: ideologies of masculinity in classical antiquity, New York; Oxford.

Williamson, M., 1995. Sappho’s immortal daughters. Cambridge, Mass.; London

Wojnarowicz, D., 2018. The waterfront journals. London

 

 

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Sackler 101: The Trials and Tribulations of Cataloguing the Sackler’s Historic Sales Catalogues

 

 So the other night I was down at the library cataloguer bar (The Unauthorised Heading: you wouldn’t know it, it’s not in a part of town where nice people go) and because we hadn’t had a good scrap for yonks, I decided to mix things up by sounding off on sales documentation – meaning auction or sales catalogues – to get a rise out of some out-of-towners I didn’t like the look of.

I began in a loud voice, “Literally every art library in Britain holds a collection of sale catalogues, and…”

[A clamour of angry voices rose in disagreement: the mood became as fraught as that infamous night when the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access announced that its mission was no longer to create “AACR3,” but rather something entirely new… and I scarcely need to remind you how that kicked off.]

I stared down the room. “You heard me! Every. Single. Art. Library in…”

[whoosh!] The red-bound house copy of Library of Congress Subject Headings (25th ed., 2002), v. 5 (the thick one, and yes, I mean “S-Z”), flew within a few millimetres of my left ear and [smash!] shattered twenty two- litre bottles containing 140 proof grain alcohol and splattering the motley assembly with cheap hooch.

While many of the assembled ruffians rushed to lap up the flowing spirits, spitting out those shards of jagged glass too large even for a hardened technical services specialist to swallow, a few voices rose clearly in challenge. “Alright, then. Let’s see the bibliographic records!”

I straightened my cardigan, wrapped a weighted book snake around one fist while tightening my grasp on a 45cm ruler in the other – “bibs.? I don’t have to show you any stinking bibs.” – and leapt in swinging.

*   *   *

 

Here’s the thing about sales documentation: while I admit that I cannot prove the truth of its postulated ubiquity, neither can I nor anyone else exactly disprove it. And this is because, while a very large number of historic libraries do in fact have extensive holdings of sales cats., very few of those libraries have ever committed the time and effort to catalogue them to the same standards as the rest of their textual resources. The library catalogues of many libraries show little or no meaningful presence of sales documentation.

It’s not difficult to explain this fact. Sales catalogues bring a whole lot of weirdness to the table.

For one thing, it’s the way that sales cats. enter library collections. Libraries have frequently acquired runs of sales catalogues on subscription or standing order, which gives the sense that they were essentially a periodical/serial/continuing resource, and that it’s a simple matter just to file each in the next space on the shelf and slowly back away. But while catalogues are issued in series, and obviously carry forward many fundamental details consistently from one to the next, it is the very differences between individual sales that are essential to record: What is the specific nature of the materials being sold? Whose collections were they? When and where does a sale occur?

Historic sales documentation, meanwhile, often reaches libraries through consolidation of collections within a larger organisation (as with sales catalogues that entered the Sackler from the Ashmolean, for example), or through donation. Gifts from donors interested in the arts or material culture frequently include sales catalogues among the rest of the resources. Such catalogues are often the last resources to receive a cataloguer’s attention, being as they are frequently very slight, or sometimes bundled, or even bound, together with other catalogues (or pamphlets or offprints or ephemera…). Sales catalogues are essential resources in the study of provenance, and yet their own provenance is frequently murky.

 

 

In addition, the titles of sales catalogues can simultaneously be very long, very convoluted, and very samey, one to another, and offer a test to the patience. Anyone for “Sale of a Collection of the choicest Engravings after the Masters of European Schools, as Flemish, French, Spanish, the cities of Italy, & c., assembled by a Known Dilettante in his Seat in Somersetshire, and now offered for sale by Messrs. Christie, Manson and Woods, at their Premises in St James’s?” How about twelve sales all titled: “Modern British pictures?” Without a conscious effort by the library cataloguer to be explicit – and to remain awake – a library catalogue record sometimes fails to make transparently evident the essential nature of the resource – a listing of material objects changing ownership, changing physical location – that it describes.

In general, then, suffice it to say that almost no cataloguer thinks, “Great! An auction catalogue!” when working their way through a stack of resources. To address sales catalogues individually can be labour-intensive.

Hence, obstacles to access to the national distributed collection of sales documentation are considerable because its management has not been, and continues not to be, a priority either for the auction houses themselves, or for individual libraries. Books are exciting! Books are substantial! Books are durable! Books are big enough that they reveal visible progress as they shift through the workflow! Books books books. It’s all about books. As a consequence of under-documentation, in contrast, the extent, scope and security of sales documentation is indeterminate, relative to other published materials, and potential risk of loss to significant intellectual content exists.

This has long concerned the library community. (You’re welcome.) A project initiated c. 2002 and based at the Courtauld Institute [‘HOGARTH’] encouraged retrospective cataloguing projects, but failed to address the issue significantly, and the HOGARTH portal has now disappeared. The most useful attempt by the profession to improve (international) bibliographic control of sales documentation has been the SCIPIO project.

 

 

 

SCIPIO (originally “Sales Catalog Index Project Input Online,” which seems a bit forced but maybe HANNIBAL was already taken) encourages and standardises library cataloguing, delineating an input standard that addresses the idiosyncrasies of the form. And one advantage of the continuity between sales catalogues is that they lend themselves to systematic cataloguing using templates incorporating SCIPIO.

I quite like cataloguing sales documentation. Would I want to do it all day, every day? Umm… well… that is certainly an interesting question (is the Boss listening?). But do I think it is important that sales catalogues be catalogued individually, in records that consistently record the same data in a consistent manner, and that both local and union catalogues need to become more reliable? Absolutely. At their most basic, sales catalogues offer a unique insight into material culture. And many historic sales catalogues display significant intellectual intervention from previous owners, for example in the recording the identity of buyers, prices realized, or both, often comprehensively. They are highly valuable resources.

 

Auction catalogues offer valuable information for research in material culture and social history

 

I began this blog post because the Sackler holds a small collection of approximately 700 under-catalogued historic sales catalogues in its Rare Book Room. We briefly examined a sample of these during my project looking at resources held in the RBR, and found that only about 6% were catalogued individually in Solo, while more than a third appeared to be unrecorded in Scipio or WorldCat. (I used the word “appeared” because the SCIPIO database includes many unenhanced and frankly obsolete records, with the result that the SCIPIO standard is not applied consistently even within the SCIPIO file, and duplicate records evidently abound.)  But what I didn’t realize at first is that this collection represents only a tiny proportion of sales documentation present in the Sackler and wider Bodleian collections. I found more and more records in Solo, some very good indeed. But it remains difficult to get a clear picture of what is held, and where it is.

And so I repeat: “Every art library in Britain holds a collection of sales catalogues. You have a problem with that?” Well, you’d be justified. The problem is trying to determine how much is recorded, and how much more is not?

To learn more about sales documentation held in the Bodleian Libraries (and especially the Sackler Library) and for highly useful guidance on locating the resources you need, please see the Art & Architecture Research Guide’s pages on Sales Catalogues: https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/art-architecture/auctions-sales

Joseph Ripp
Special Collections Cataloguing Consultant, Sackler Library

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Like @ Sac! Season’s Readings! A Festive Book Display at the Sackler Library

 

The Sackler staff are getting into the holiday spirit, so we decided to put up a book display in honour of the festivities. We drew on books from various areas in our collection to illustrate links between our ancient past and how we celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays today.

 

Pictured: The book display installed in the Sackler Library. Image Credit: Erin McNulty

 

Midwinter festivals have been celebrated in Western Europe and beyond since at least the Neolithic period. Archaeological sites in Britain and Ireland may show evidence of such festivities taking place, one of the most famous of these being Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, constructed from around 3000 BCE to 2000 BCE. Find out more about Stonehenge by reading Chippindale’s Stonehenge Complete (1983; 4th ed., 2012). There are many theories about why Stonehenge was constructed, but recent evidence hints that it was a gathering place for a festival held around the winter solstice (21st December). This is because the stones are aligned in such a way that the sun at dawn on the winter solstice is aligned with the central aisle, indicating that the site may have functioned partly as a timekeeping device for our ancient ancestors.

The same is true of other Neolithic sites, such as Maeshowe on Orkney, and Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) in Ireland. The latter site is constructed so that the dawn sun on the first few minutes of the winter solstice illuminates a carved spiral on the very back wall of the chamber, the meaning of which remains a mystery. Prendergast’s Houses of the Gods (2017) explains more about the role of such sites in terms of archaeoastronomy.

 

Pictured: Dawn sun illuminating the passage tomb at Brú na Bóinne, Co. Meath on the Winter Solstice. Image Credit: Seán Doran

 

It seems that this time of year has been important to people for a long time. No wonder, then, that, after the Christianisation of the Roman Empire, many local traditions were incorporated into Christmas festivities, such as the British/Irish midwinter feast, or the German hanging decorations on the branches of a tree, traditions which we still celebrate to this day. Evans’ Christmas is Coming (2009) explores the origins of some of our wintertime festive traditions.

Although it incorporates ancient festivities, the midwinter celebration as an explicitly Christian festival, which would become known as Christmas, is a much newer tradition. People who follow a Christian faith believe that Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, with event celebrated on 25th December in many countries. Hence Bethlehem has been regarded as an important religious site since the founding of Christianity. However, it is also an important archaeological and historical site, with evidence of human habitation from as early as 2200 BCE. Studying such sites can give us clues as to how people in the Near and Middle East lived thousands of years ago. For more information about Bethlehem in ancient history, see Harvey’s The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem (1910) and Kihlman’s The Star of Bethlehem and Babylonian Astrology (2017).

The subject of Christmas has been, and remains, a theme often covered in art. The traditional Christmas story has many iconic moments from which Western artists have drawn inspiration. According to the story, angels acted as messengers announcing the birth of the baby Jesus. Selby et al.’s The Angel Tree (2011) and Ward and Steed’s Angels: a Glorious Celebration of Angels in Art (2005) showcase representations of angels in art from ancient times to the modern day. Similarly, the arrival of the ‘Three Kings’ with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh has been reinterpreted by many artists, as detailed in Beer’s The Magi: Legend, Art and Cult (2014).

 

Pictured: Cover of Selby et al.’s The Angel Tree (2011). Image Credit: Erin McNulty

 

The theme of the Nativity is also often a subject in East European art. The Eastern Orthodox Church operates in some East European countries, Russia, and Greece, among others. People who follow Eastern Orthodox Christianity celebrate Christmas on 7th January, as their liturgical year follows the Julian calendar rather than the Western, Gregorian calendar. The Sackler has many books on art reflecting Eastern Orthodox traditions, some of which exemplify Christmas scenes. We have chosen to showcase books on the art of Byzantium and Greece, such as Bratziōtē et al.’s Icons Itinerant (1994), which shows art from Corfu, and Petsopoulos’ East Christian Art (1987).

Of course, Christmas is not the only religious festival to take place in December. In ancient Rome, Saturnalia was celebrated. As the name suggests, this festival honoured the Roman god Saturn, and took place on 17th – 23rd December. It involved gift-giving, partying, a public banquet, as well as a celebratory sacrifice. Saturnalia was also a time for the inversion of societal roles and social norms, with slaves being waited on by their masters over the festival period. Macrobius’ Saturnalia describes the festivities that took place at this time of year during the Roman era.

People of Jewish faith celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, around late November to late December. This festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, during the reign of Antiochus in 175 BCE. According to the story, what little remaining oil there was in the sacked Temple miraculously kept the candles burning for eight days while the Temple was being restored. Viewed as a celebration of religious freedom, Jewish people mark this miracle by the gradual lighting of the Menorah. These religious artefacts can also have immense artistic value. Braunstein’s Luminous Art (2004) shows the collection of Menorahs in the Jewish Museum in New York.

 

Pictured: Cover of Braunstein’s Luminous Art (2004). Image Credit: Erin McNulty

 

More recently, Yuletide festivities have also included more secular forms of celebration, with the rise in popularity of figures such as Father Christmas, or the American Santa Claus, who is said to bring children gifts on the night before Christmas. Christmas celebrations around the world often include such a figure, such as the French Père Noël or the Dutch Sinterklaas. The name ‘Santa Claus’ is believed to have its origins in ‘St. Nicholas’, one of the figures who evolved over time into the jolly character we know today. St Nicholas was a 4th century bishop, and during the Middle Ages, children would receive gifts in his honour on the evening of 5th December, which may have contributed to our modern gift-giving traditions. Sinterklaas travels to the Netherlands each year from Spain via steam boat with his helpers, an event that is broadcast on national television. On the evening of 5th December, a sack of presents is delivered to well behaved children, and children are told that badly behaved children will be taken back to Spain in a sack. English’s The saint who would be Santa Claus (2012) discusses the contribution of stories about St. Nicholas to the origins of the modern Santa Claus figure.

Whatever you choose to celebrate, if anything, this December, we hope that you have a joyful and restful vacation, and return in the New Year with renewed vigour. Have fun browsing the book display, and Season’s Greetings from everyone here at the Sackler Library!

Erin McNulty
Graduate Library Trainee

 

References:

“Stonehenge”. Science. 133 (3460): 1216–22.

“Stonehenge druids ‘mark wrong solstice'”. The Daily Telegraph.

Jazombek, M. A Global History of Architecture. Cambridge, Mass., MIT. Online Lecture Series. Last consulted 28/11/19.

“Sí an Bhrú /Newgrange”. logainm.ie.

O’Kelly, M. J. (1982). Newgrange: Archaeology, Art and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson.

“Ancient Burial Ground with 100 Tombs Found Near Biblical Bethlehem”. LiveScience.

Miller, J. F. (2010). Roman Festivals. In “The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome”. Oxford: OUP.

“Santa Claus: The real man behind the myth”. NBC News.

 

Further reading:

Asmussen, H. (1955). Weihnachten; farbige Buchmalerei aus der Zeit der Ottonen. Hamburg: F. Wittig.

Bacci, M. (2017). The mystic cave: a history of the Nativity church at Bethlehem. Brno: Masaryk University; Roma: Viella

Beckwith, J. (1966). The adoration of the Magi in whalebone. London: H.M.Stationery Off.

Beckwith, J. (1970). Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Beer, M. (2014). The Magi: legend, art and cult. Cologne: Museum Schnütgen.

Boucher, B. et al. (2012). Bartolo di Fredi: the Adoration of the Magi, a masterpiece reconstructed. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Art Museum.

Bratziōtē, P. et al. (1994). Icons Itinerant: Corfu, 14th-18th century: June-September 1994, Church of Saint George in the Old Fortress, Corfu. Athens: Ministry of Culture, Directorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities.

Braunstein, S.L. (2004). Luminous art: Hanukkah menorahs of the Jewish Museum. New York: Jewish Museum; New Haven; London: Yale University Press.

Braunstein, S. L. (2005). Five centuries of Hanukkah lamps from the Jewish Museum: a catalogue raisonné. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press.

Chippindale, C. (1983). Stonehenge Complete. London: Thames and Hudson.

Demus, O. (1970). Byzantine Art and the West. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson.

Ebon, M. (1975). Saint Nicholas: Life and Legend. New York: Harper & Row.

English, A. C. (2012). The saint who would be Santa Claus: the true life and trials of Nicholas of Myra. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press.

Evans, A. J. Christmas and ancestor worship in the Black Mountain.

Evans, M. (2009). Christmas is coming: the origins of our Christmas traditions and some of the stories and legends which surround them. Brighton: Pen Press.

Hamilton, R. W. (1939). A guide to Bethlehem. Jerusalem: Azriel Press.

Harvey, W. et al. (1910). The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. London: published on behalf of the Fund by B. T. Batsford.

Hodne, L. (2012). The virginity of the Virgin: a study in Marian iconography. Roma: Scienze e Lettere.

Kaster, R. A. (2011). Macrobius: Saturnalia. Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press.

Kihlman, D. (2017). The star of Bethlehem and Babylonian Astrology: astronomy and revelation 12 reveal what the magi saw. Trollhättan, Sweden: Kihlman.

Lawson-Jones, M. (2011). Why was the partridge in the pear tree?: The history of Christmas carols. Stroud: History.

Johnson, A. (2008). Solving Stonehenge: the new key to an ancient enigma. London: Thames & Hudson.

Matthews, J. (1998). The winter solstice: the sacred traditions of Christmas. London: Thorsons.

Miles, C. A. (1912). Christmas in Ritual and Tradition: Christian and Pagan. London; Leipzig: T. Fisher Unwin.

Northrup, M. (1966). The Christmas story from the Gospels of Matthew & Luke. Greenwich, Conn.: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Petsopoulos, Y. (1987). East Christian Art. London: Axia.

Prendergast, K. (2017). Houses of the gods: neolithic monuments and astronomy at the Brú na Bóinne in Ireland and beyond. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Rice, D. T. (1959). The Art of Byzantium. London: Thames and Hudson.

Rockland, M. S. (1976). The Hanukkah Book. New York: Schocken Books.

Selby, L. H. et al. (2011). The angel tree: celebrating Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: the Loretta Hines Howard collection of eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche figures. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Abrams.

Scarre, C. (2007). The Megalithic Monuments of Britain and Ireland. London: Thames and Hudson.

Snyder, P. V. (1977). The Christmas tree book: the history of the Christmas tree and antique Christmas tree ornaments. Harmondsworth; New York: Penguin Books.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2004). Letters from Father Christmas. London: HarperCollins.

Tyndale, W. (1996). A medieval Christmas. London: Frances Lincoln in association with the British Library.

Vasilakē, M. et al. (2000). Mother of God: representations of the Virgin in Byzantine art. Milano: Skira; New York: Distributed in North America and Latin America by Abbeville.

Verdon, T. and Ross, F. (2005). Mary in Western art. New York: in association with Hudson Mills Press.

Ward, L. and Steeds, W. (2005). Angels: a glorious celebration of angels in art. London: Carlton.

Vikan, G. (2003). Sacred Images and Sacred Power in Byzantium. Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum.

Ziadé, R. (2017). Chrétiens d’Orient: 2000 ans d’histoire. Paris: Gallimard.

 

 

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Like @ Sac! Disability History Month 2019

Sackler Library Book Display

The theme for the 2019 Disability History Month festivities in the United Kingdom is ‘Disability: Leadership, Resistance and Culture‘. To explore some important questions opened up by this focus, this reflection proposes three encouragements to further teaching and student research in disability history: displays of books held by the Bodleian Libraries at both the Sackler Library and the Continuing Education Library throughout Disability History Month (22 November to 22 December 2019); a presentation for the Disability History Workshop (Friday 22 November 2019, 9:00-13:00 in the History Faculty — all members of the University are welcome to attend the workshop and join us for lunch [please sign up here]); and an Oxford Reading Lists Online (‘ORLO’) site collating digital links to scholarship and media about how disability history is evidenced through design, visual cultures and historic environments.

Book Display, Sackler Library. Until 22 December 2019. (Image: Erin McNulty)

 

As a historian of nineteenth- to twenty-first century design, it would be hubristic to extend my suggestions for prospective researchers in disability history much beyond in this period. That said, it is important to celebrate, as the 2013 BBC podcast series ‘Disability: A New History’ by Peter White advised by Professor David Turner of Swansea University eloquently did, the burgeoning field of historians assessing the documentation of medieval and early modern charitable institutions through the lens of disability history. Isabel Holowaty, Bodleian History Librarian, is collaborating with History Faculty colleagues in these earlier periods to develop a Disability History research guide (‘LibGuide’) addressing a wider chronological scope. 

Enabling Histories of Design for Disability

Culture operates as both leadership and resistance. This discussion delves first into advocacy by disability activists witnessed in oral histories and archives. A brief stroll through some of the wealth of historical scholarship about designed objects and environments for disability ensues which hopes to facilitate new research.

Primary Sources: Advocacy

J. Robert Atkinson, founder of Universal Braille Press, holding two Braille books in Los Angeles, Calif., 1929. Los Angeles Times Photograph Collection, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

Three eighteenth- and nineteenth-century voices helped to identify the core thematics of this meditation: William Hay MP (1695-1755), Thérèse-Adèle Husson (1803-31) and Hyppolite van Landeghem (fl.1860s). Parliamentarian for Glyndebourne and Christ Church man, William Hay contested problematic Enlightenment equations of moral virtue with physical health and beauty in his 1754 essay ‘On Deformity’. Despite his use of the uncomfortable contemporary terminology of ‘deformity’, referencing an earlier essay by Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Hay embraced his own bodily difference as an ‘advantage’, as he perceived it, because his spinal condition and stature activated his aptitude for education and sensibility. Author of numerous children’s novels, Thérèse-Adèle Husson underlined the importance of attending to and capturing the perspectives of creative self-advocates. The hand-written manuscript of Husson’s extraordinary autobiography, Reflections: The Life and Writings of a Young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France, was sent to the Director of the Quinze-Vingts Hospital for the Blind, Paris in 1825, remaining neglected until recuperated by Professor Zina Weygand of the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers Paris in 2004 (Une jeune aveugle dans la France du XIXe siècle). Husson’s testimony of living with disability amidst a climate of social turmoil and resistance was translated by Weygand and Catherine Kudlick of San Francisco State University and is available as an e-book here. The polemical Victorian rhetoric of Hyppolite van Landeghem’s 1864 treatise on ‘Exile Schools’ has perhaps led to the neglect of the text’s evocation of the tensions between disempowering charity, isolation and community in designed environments for disability, a theme writ large in its ungainly title: Charity Mis-applied. When Restored to Society, after Having Been Immured for Several Years in Exile Schools, the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb Are Found to Be Incapable of Self-support. Why? The Question Considered and Answered.

These themes of advocacy, practice and representation also resonate in the archival traces of twentieth-century civil rights activists who played a vital role in securing the legislative requirements and commercial incentives that underpin design for disability. The commitment of Edward V Roberts (1939-95) to secure equity of intellectual and physical access to education and work was achieved through both civil disobedience and municipal council motions that implemented disabled-student university accommodation, ‘curb cuts’ throughout the road network and the formation of the first Center for Independent Living (Berkeley, California), all documented in the archives of the University of California at Berkeley. In the United Kingdom, Paddy Masefield OBE (1943-2012) is just one of many advocates documented in the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) at Buckinghamshire New University. His energy in advising government and cultural institutions generated ground-breaking apprenticeship and employment initiatives, as well as the foundation of influential and remunerative annual prizes to promote creativity for disability. The Masefield Award promotes ‘outstanding communication through art by a disabled person’.

Recent Scholarship: Histories of Design for Disability

‘Accessible Icon’ re-designed with self-advocates by Tim Fergusson Sauder, Brian Glenney and Sara Hendren 2009-11 http://accessibleicon.org/

Famous designers and powerful cultural institutions have engaged with design for disability in multiple ways. A vodcast of the keynote lecture for the Annual Design History Conference convened at the Department for Continuing Education in 2014, ‘How Disabled Design Changed the History of Modernismby Professor David Serlin of the University of San Diego, captures perspectives and case studies from disability history which remain rarely considered within most University curricula. How often does Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent’s 1948 commission for an accessible Usonian-hemicycle house from Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) figure in modern architectural histories?

Objects and Exhibitions

Displays of collections of work by disabled practitioners have promoted both empowerment and stigma. Art produced by mental health patients collected by the art historian and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn (1886-1933) at the University of Heidelberg was both admired in Surrealist circles and denigrated in the 1938 Nazi Degenerate Art exhibition. In her Learning from madness: Brazilian modernism and global contemporary art, Kaira M. Cabañas of the University of Florida has revealed how in this interwar period the psychiatrists Osório César (1895-1979) and Nise da Silveira (1905-99) and the art critic Mário Pedrosa (1900-81) also championed the generative relationships between their disciplines collaborating and exhibiting the artwork of mental health patients in Brazil. The exhibition ‘Design for Independent Living’ at the Museum of Modern Art in 1988 brought innovative design for disability emerging in Scandinavia, the United States and the United Kingdom to a wider audience. The MoMA 2012 exhibition ‘Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000’ celebrated pedagogic toys at the heart of the special education systems devised by Friedrich Fröebel (1782-1952) and Maria Montessori (1870-1952). As the researchers and Royal College of Art student participants interviewed by Chris Ledgard for his 2015 BBC podcast ‘The Art of Walking Into Doors’ suggested, the complex relationships between dyslexia, dyspraxia and acuity in three-dimensional design are only just revealing themselves. In 2018, ‘Access + Ability’ organized by Cara McCarty and Rochelle Steiner and then ‘The Senses: Design Beyond Vision’ organized by Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York demonstrated these innovative design strategies and debates have now entered the digital age.

The Sackler Library book display also includes exhibition catalogues which show the vibrant presence of makers and museum audiences with disabilitity across the globe. The braille-embossed cover of the bi-lingual catalogue for the 1969 Sculpture for the Blind exhibition held at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town and the 1983 Please touch: animal sculpture exhibition at the British Museum exemplify how curatorial and museum interpretation teams have been engaging with under-represented communities for many years. The affirmation of the word ‘Unlimited’ used in the title of exhibitions both at the Edinburgh City Art Centre in 1981 and at the Southbank Centre in 2012 signals institutional activism. Richard Sandell’s, Jocelyn Dodd’s and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s thoughtful 2010 anthology, Re-presenting disability: activism and agency in the museum, considers strategies for enhancing such cultural leadership through museum interpretation strategies and collections. The quiet activism of the 2018 ‘Museum Benches’ project devised by the designer Shannon Finnegan critiques the limited accessibility actually afforded in cultural institutions, reminding us much still remains to be done. Digital app projects such as ‘LOLA’, conceived by Seth Truman and the non-profit technology firm Tech Kids Unlimited, engage with and for autistic children. In the ‘House of Memories, National Museums Liverpool are raising awareness and creating collaborative networks between people living with dementia, care professionals and museums, demonstrating the direct social impact of culture so easily under-recognized and under-funded in the ongoing age of austerity.

As a canon of histories of design for disability emerges, scholarly research has constellated around the themes of symbolic representation, universal design and sensorial history. In her Designing disability: symbols, space and society, Elizabeth Guffey of Purchase College, State University of New York has examined the graphic design and historical agency of the ‘International Symbol of Access’. Aimi Hamraie of Vanderbilt University in Nashville assessed the theoretical and practical complexities of attempting to build according to ‘Universal Design’ principles (Building access: Universal Design and the politics of disability). Graham Pullin of the University of Dundee (Design meets disability) explored a set of design case studies for sensoriality, mobility and communication. In their Culture – theory – disability, Anne Waldschmidt, Hanjo Berressem and Moritz Ingwersen of the University of Cologne brought together the methodological challenge of calibrating social and cultural models of disability across the senses. Bess Williamson of the Art Institute of Chicago focused on how innovation in everyday industrial design was spurred on by accessibility activism in post-war America (Accessible America: a history of disability and design). Further book chapters and journal articles linked into my ORLO list afford thought-provoking case studies of design typologies from invalid and wheel chairs, hearing aids, ‘talking book’ shellac record discs, ‘disabled’ GI Joe and Barbie dolls and therapeutic amateur craft.

Visual Culture and Representation

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90). Garden, St Paul Hospital, December 1889. Oil on canvas: 71.5 x 90.5 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

A vast spectrum of representational positions from empathetic portraiture to horror film stereotyping or graphic-novel fantasy can be investigated through visual culture. Art History has delved deep into the analysis of the portraits of court ‘jesters’ by Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velazquez (1599-1660) and mental health by Théodore Géricault (1791-1824). The pathetic fallacy expressed by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90) in his nature studies undertaken whilst a patient at the St Paul Asylum in Saint Rémy have become part of our cultural mythology. The perceived porous boundary between creativity and physical-cognitive diversity has dominated the choice of subjects for biographical films about artists, from iconic subjects such as Van Gogh, Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Camille Claudel (1865-1943) and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901) to the ‘discovery’ of Séraphine Louis of Senlis (1864-1942) and Christy Brown (1932-81). The intersectionality of design and film histories has enhanced the analysis of the 1932 film ‘Freaks’ directed by Tod Browning (1880-1962). Banned by the British Board of Film Certification ‘because it exploited for commercial reasons the [sic] deformed people that it claimed to dignify’ the film, as been argued by Angela Smith, can be read as enacting resistant counter-narratives within the interwar eugenicist context of its production.

Spaces: Isolation/Community  

Disability history inhabits a plethora of historic environments. In her Medicine by design: the architect and the modern hospital Annemarie Adams of McGill University argued for the agency of hospitals’ architectural design in shaping modern medical treatments, sociability and technologies. Clare Hickman (Therapeutic landscapes) of the University of Chester established landscape design as a historical therapeutic practice within medical institutions. Leslie Topp of Birkbeck College University of London demonstrated the foundational place of Viennese sanatoria in histories of design for cognitive diversity (Freedom and the cage: modern architecture and psychiatry in Central Europe, 1890-1914). Robin Jackson’s Discovering Camphill focussed on how the special needs educational environments of the transnational Camphill Movement originated in Aberdeen in the 1930s. Claire Edington (Beyond the asylum) of UC San Diego opened up colonial and global perspectives in her analysis of mental illness in French Colonial Vietnam. Design cultures of place impacts upon well-being, often subjugating and isolating, at times creating a sense of belonging and community.  

Disabled soldiers making toys at General Hospital Number 3, Colonia, New Jersey in 1917-8. US National Archives and Records Administration 45498513

 

Postgraduate research: MSt in the History of Design Dissertations and Conference Papers

Sustaining the leitmotif of design for disability across the syllabus for the MSt in the History of Design has facilitated exciting postgraduate research. Student essays have uncovered business histories of glass-eye manufacture in Germany (Liz Dotzauer MSt HoD 2013) and prosthetics in Britain (Richard Hefford-Hobbs MSt HoD 2019) during the First World War as well as the identity politics of visual cultures around running blades and Paralympians in the twenty-first century (Bry Leighton MSt HoD 2017). The Design History Society awarded Karen Price (MSt HoD 2017) a student grant to research her dissertation, which investigated archives and collections in the Orkney and Shetland Islands to assess the mental health amidst conflict evidenced through exhibitions of Second World War Servicemen’s toy craft [https://www.designhistorysociety.org/blog/view/report-dhs-student-travel-award-by-karen-price]. This project (and all MSt in the History of Design dissertations) are available in the Continuing Education Bodleian Library. Karen presented this research at an academic conference at University of Edinburgh in 2017. Whither next?….

 Our abilities, physical and cognitive, are infinitely diverse and variable across our lifetimes. In attending to how the design of the material world and its cultural representation activates or hinders the expression of these abilities, these meditations have hoped to engage more scholars in continuing to forge the history of design for disability.

My thanks to Bodleian Libraries colleagues, Angela Carritt, Grace Brown, Clare Hills-Nova, Erin McNulty and Chantal van den Berg for their help in orchestrating both physical and virtual resources and to Jeannie Scott in the History Faculty for inviting me to join the Disability History Work Group.

Claire O’Mahony, PhD
Associate Professor in the History of Art and Design
Course Director of the MSt in the History of Design
Chair of the Design History Society

Further resources (textual, visual, audio)

History of Disability, Oxford Reading Lists Online (Please note: E-texts referenced in this blog and in the 'ORLO' reading list may be accessed by members of the University only. Hard copy versions of texts may also be found by searching SOLO.)

Extended Reading List

Introductions to Disability History and Modern Visual/Material/Spatial Cultures

Boys, J., (ed.) (2017). Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader. London: Routledge.

Boys, J., (2014). Doing Disability Differently: An alternative handbook on architecture, disability and designing for everyday life. London: Routledge.

Fraser, B., 2018. Cognitive disability aesthetics : visual culture, disability representations, and the (in)visibility of cognitive difference.

Guffey, E., (2017). Designing disability: Symbols, space and society. London: Bloomsbury.

Hamraie, A. (2017). Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability. University of Minnesota Press.

Humphries, S.; Gordon, P., (eds.) (1992). Out of Sight: The Experience of Disability 1900-1950. Northcote House.

Kitchin, R., (2000). Disability, space and society, Sheffield: Geographical Association.

Kuppers, P., (2019). Disability Arts and Culture : methods and approaches. Bristol: Intellect.

Kuppers, P., (2014). Studying disability arts and culture : an introduction. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.

Masefield, P., 2006. Strength : broadsides from disability on the arts, Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books.

Pullin, G., (2011). Design meets Disability. MIT Press.

Siebers, T., 2010. Disability aesthetics. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press.

Waldschmidt, A., Berressem, H. & Ingwersen, M., 2017. Culture - theory - disability : encounters between disability studies and cultural studies, Bielefeld.

Sensory-specific histories

Kleege, G., (2018). More than meets the eye : what blindness brings to art. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lindgren, K.A.; DeLuca, D.; Napoli, D.J., (2008). Signs and voices : deaf culture, identity, language, and arts. Washington, D.C. : Gallaudet University Press.

Mirzoeff, N., (1995). Silent poetry: deafness, sign, and visual culture in modern France. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

Shaw, C.L., (2017). Deaf in the USSR : marginality, community, and Soviet identity, 1917-1991, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Designed Environments for Disability

Adams, A., (2008). Medicine by design : the architect and the modern hospital, 1893-1943, Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press.

Barlett, P.; Weight, D., (eds.). Outside the walls of the asylum: The history of care in the community 1750-2000. Athlone Press.

Cook, G.C., (2004). Victorian incurables : a history of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney, Spennymoor: Memoir Club.

Dale, P.; Melling, J., (2006). Mental illness and learning disability since 1850 : finding a place for mental disorder in the United Kingdom. London : Routledge.

Edington, C., (2019). Beyond the Asylum: Mental Illness in French Colonial Vietnam. New York: Cornell University Press.

Hickman, C., (2013). Therapeutic landscapes : a history of English hospital gardens since 1800, Manchester ; New York: Manchester University Press.

Jackson, R., (ed.) (2011). Discovering Camphill: new perspectives, research and developments. Floris Books.

Melling, J.; Forsythe, B., (1999). Insanity, institutions, and society, 1800-1914 : a social history of madness in comparative perspective, London: Routledge.

Topp, L.; Moran, J.; Andrews, J., (eds.) (2006). Madness, Architecture and the Built Environment: Psychiatric Spaces in Historical Context. London: Routledge.

Tupling, K. ; De Lange, A., 2018. Worship and disability : a kingdom for all. Cambridge: Grove Books.

Disability and Exhibitions

Anon, 2012. Unlimited : extraordinary new work by deaf and disabled artists, London: Southbank Centre.

Biggs, B. & Williamson, A., (2014). Art of the lived experiment. Liverpool: The Bluecoat.

Bordin, G. ; Polo D'Ambrosio, L. ; Hyams, J., (2010). Medicine in art, Los Angeles: J P Getty Museum.

Borensztein, L. & MacGregor, J.M., (2004). One is Adam, one is Superman : the outsider artists of Creative Growth. Published in conjunction with the exhibition "Leon Borensztein and his friends: portraits of artists with disabilities," organized by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Brown, C., (1954). My left foot. London: Secker & Warburg.

Coles, P., (1984). Please touch : an evaluation of the 'Please touch' exhibition at the British Museum 31st March to 8th May 1983, Dunfermline: Committee of Inquiry into the Arts and Disabled People.

Crawshaw, G., 2016. Shoddy : disability rights, textiles, recycling, history and fightback, Leeds: Gill Crawshaw.

Delin, A., Wright, S. & Prest, M., 2001. Adorn, equip : a national touring exhibition originated by The City Gallery, Leicester. Leicester: The City Gallery.

Eccles, T. & Jenkins, B., 1991. Attitude : [a project ability exhibition]. Glasgow: Project Ability.

Edinburgh City Art Centre, (1981). Artists unlimited : selected works by disabled artists & craftsmen. Edinburgh: City Art Centre.

Hayward Gallery, (1996). Beyond reason : art and psychosis : works from the Prinzhorn Collection, London: Hayward Gallery.

Jones, S. & Ritchie, E., 2007. The Studio Project : opening art practice. published in conjunction with the Different spaces exhibition, Studio Voltaire, London 22nd June - 8th July 2007 London : Intoart Projects.

McCarty, C., (1988). Designs for independent living : the Museum of Modern Art, New York, April 16-June 7, 1988., New York: The Museum.

Nolan, G., (1997). Designing exhibitions to include people with disabilities : a practical guide, Edinburgh: NMS Publishing.

Pearson, A. & Hughes, K., (1983). Please touch : animal sculpture ; catalogue of an exhibition at the British Museum, 31 March - 8 May 1983, London: British Museum.

Sandell, R., Dodd, J. & Garland-Thomson, R., 2010. Re-presenting disability : activism and agency in the museum, London: Routledge.

Shea, J., (1993). Defiance : art confronting disability, Stoke-on-Trent: City Museum & Art Gallery.

South African National Gallery, (1969). Sculpture for the blind, 1969 = Beeldhoukuns vir Blindes, Cape Town: s.n.

Live Arts

Goodley, D. & Moore, M., (2002). Disability arts against exclusion : people with learning difficulties and their performing arts, Kidderminster: BILD.

Keidan, L., Mitchell, C.J. & Vason, M., 2012. Access all areas : live art and disability. London: Live Art Development Agency.

Kuppers, P., (2003). Disability and contemporary performance : bodies on edge, New York ; London: Routledge.

Kuppers, P., (2013). Disability culture and community performance : find a strange and twisted shape. Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan.

Graphic Cultures

Alaniz, J. & Halverson, P.D., 2014. Death, disability, and the superhero : the silver age and beyond. Jackson, Mississippi : University Press of Mississippi.

Ellis, K., (2015). Disability and popular culture : focusing passion, creating community and expressing defiance, Burlington.

Foss, C.; Gray, J.W.; Whalen, Z., (2016). Disability in comic books and graphic narratives, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Raabe-Webber, T.; Plant, A., (2016). The incorrigibles : perspectives on disability visual arts in the 20th and 21st centuries, Birmingham: mac Birmingham.

Visual Culture and Cognitive/Mental Health

Blackshaw, G. & Topp, L., 2009. Madness and modernity : mental illness and the visual arts in Vienna 1900, Farnham: Lund Humphries.

Cabañas, K.M., (2019). Learning from madness : Brazilian modernism and global contemporary art, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cross, S., 2010. Mediating madness : mental distress and cultural representation. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.

Davies, F. & González, L., (2013). Madness, women and the power of art. Oxford : Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Groom, G.L., 2016. Van Gogh's Bedrooms. Chicago : Art Institute of Chicago.

Lapper, A. & Feldman, G., (2006). My life in my hands, London: Pocket.

MacGregor, J.M., (1989). The discovery of the art of the insane, Princeton ; Guildford: Princeton University Press.

Miller, E., (2008). The girl who spoke with pictures : autism through art, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Mullins, E. & Gogh, V. van, 2015. Van Gogh : the asylum year, London: Unicorn Press.

Nuss, P. et al., 2005. Journey into the heart of bipolarity : an artistic point of view. Montrouge, France : John Libbey Eurotext Publishing.

Prinzhorn, H.; Black, C., (2011). The art of insanity : an analysis of ten schizophrenic artists, Washington, D.C.?: Solar.

Schildkraut, J.J. & Otero, A., 1996. Depression and the spiritual in modern art : homage to Miró. Chichester: John Wiley.

Shoham, S.G., (2002). Art, crime, & madness : Gesualdo, Caravaggio, Genet, Van Gogh, Artaud, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.

Snell, R., (2017). Portraits of the insane : Théodore Géricault and the subject of psychotherapy, London: Karnac.

Tromans, N., 2011. Richard Dadd : the artist and the asylum, London: Tate Publishing.

Film

Bodammer, E. & Schillmeier, M.W.J., (2010). Disability in German literature, film, and theater, Rochester, NY: Camden House.

Fraser, B., (2016). Cultures of representation: disability in world cinema contexts. E-book

Fraser, B., (2013). Disability Studies and Spanish Culture: Films, Novels, the Comic and the Public Exhibition, Liverpool University Press.

Kaes, A., (2009). Shell shock cinema: Weimar culture and the wounds of war. New York, NY.: Princeton University Press

Siddique, S.; Raphael, R., (2016). Transnational horror cinema : bodies of excess and the global grotesque.

Smith, A.M., (2011). Hideous progeny : disability, eugenics, and classic horror cinema, New York: Columbia University Press.

 Sculpture

Niestorowicz, E.A., (2017). The world in the mind and sculpture of deafblind people, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Disability after Conflict

Alberti, S.J.M.M;, Tonks, H.; Midgley, J., (2014). War, art and surgery: the work of Henry Tonks & Julia Midgley. London : Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Anderson J., (2011). War, disability and rehabilitation in Britain: Soul of a Nation. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Bourke, J., (1996). Dismembering the male: men's bodies, Britain and the Great War. Chicago, IL.: University of Chicago Press.

Hutchinson, R., (2011). The silent weaver : the extraordinary life and work of Angus MacPhee, Edinburgh: Birlinn.

Ott, K., (ed.). (2002). Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics. London: New York University Press.

Reznick, J., (2004). Healing the nation: soldiers and the culture of caregiving in Britain during the Great War. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Serlin, D., (2004). Replaceable You: Engineering the Body in Postwar America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Scruton, J., (1998). Stoke Mandeville Road to the Paralympics: fifty years of history. Brill: Peterhouse.

Taliaferro, W., (ed.). (1944). Medicine and the war. Chicago, Ill.: The University of Chicago Press.

Wheatcroft, S., (2013). Worth saving : disabled children during the Second World War. Manchester : Manchester University Press.

We welcome suggestions for future blog contributions from our readers.
Please contact Clare Hills-Nova (clare.hills-nova@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and/or Chantal van den Berg (chantal.vandenberg@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) if you would like propose a topic.

Like @ Sac! 2019 Black History Month Book Display

 

Studying Black and Visual Culture: An Ever-Evolving Addendum

A Book Display at the Sackler Library

Building on the Sackler’s 2018 Black History Month Book Display, we would like to extend the possibilities of study further, offering additional sources and consideration. (Please see Further reading at the end of this blog post.) As Ben Gable noted, Black History Month in the United Kingdom has its origins in the work of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a renowned African American historian. In 1926, Woodson proposed a week-long concentration on African American contributions to history and culture and established the Journal of Negro History to ensure critical scholarship and awareness of the African Diaspora. With an increasing interest in Black Studies, in 1976 the United States extended the week to a month-long focus, encouraging other countries to consider the opportunity to engage and address the history of the African Diaspora that has shaped global consciousness. At the forefront of the campaigns against institutional racism in the UK and the apartheid regimes in Southern Africa, Ghanaian political refugee Akyaaba Addai-Sebo worked with others to adapt the idea with a special focus on inspiring black youth. Black History month in the UK was established in 1987 with the intention of extending a broader global awareness.

To that end, we would like to offer an addendum to the excellent resources aleady assembled by the Sackler, calling out a wide array of writers and artists who continue to define and challenge our understanding of the African Diaspora. We are especially keen to emphasise the global character of this diaspora even while singling out titles from the literature published for English-speaking audiences. The primary setting of the slave trade, the Atlantic Ocean featured prominently in the creation of a diasporic Black consciousness. Books such as Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic and Characters of Blood: Black Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination reflect this history, continuing an intellectual tradition that privileges the idea of movement over that of national identity. Moving into the present, Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu’s Contemporary African Art Since 1980 reflects the growing ascendency of the African continent on the global art market, while Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria offers a case study that decenters the modernist canon beyond its Anglo-European axis. Indeed, the historic lacunae of the western art canon continues to be addressed by recent monographs and exhibition catalogues such as Richard Powell’s Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist and Jeffreen Hayes’s Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, demonstrating the ways that these influential figures shaped transatlantic modernism.

 

Photo credit: Erin McNulty

 

Similarly, the formation of a Black visual culture in Britain is indebted to centuries of migrations across the British Empire and later the Commonwealth of Nations. Victorian Jamaica and An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque examine the conflicts as well as the innovations that resulted from British ways of seeing being forcibly imported into the colonial Caribbean. In contrast, Black Britain: A Photographic History documents the lives of those who emigrated to the ‘motherland’ in the aftermath of the Second World War, as British territories across Africa and the Caribbean gained independence. The 1980s and 1990s witnessed the emergence of a new generation of Black British citizens who were born and raised in the UK. Frustrated with persistent racism and emboldened by the ideology of Black Power, they fought back. Artists like Eddie Chambers, author of Black Artists in British Art: A History Since the 1950s to the Present, embraced the separatist tactics championed by the Black Arts Movement in the US. In Britain, however, the term ‘Blackness’ had wider applications than in the United States, often accommodating strategic coalitions between artists of both African and Asian descent. The essays included in Shades of Black: Assembling Black Art in 1980s Britain are testament to a time when the very notion of ‘Blackness’ was dissected as part of the formation of an emerging postcolonial consciousness. Contemporary practitioners engage in a critical race theory as demonstrated by Huey Copeland in Bound to Appear, in which he considers how contemporary practitioners reframe strategies of representation and how blackness might be imagined and felt long after the end of the “peculiar institution” of slavery.

The artists involved in these foundational debates are only now receiving the recognition they deserve. Our display reflects this by including the recently published monograph on the Lubaina Himid CBE, who in 2017 was the first black woman artist to win the Turner Prize. We also include a monograph on Frank Bowling OBE RA, the British Guyanese painter who arrived in London in 1953 and whose tremendous achievements were celebrated last summer with a retrospective at Tate Britain.

We hope that this display will inspire staff and students alike, highlighting both the achievements of individual black artists and the influence of the African diaspora on Western culture more widely.  Furthermore, we hope that it illuminates some of the ways in which race plays a part in the subject areas covered by the Sackler’s collections.  The display will run until the end of the month, but the bibliography will remain accessible on this blog post.

Dr. Amy M. Mooney
Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art
Department of the History of Art
Oxford University
amy.mooney@history.ox.ac.uk 

and

Dr. Giulia Smith
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Ruskin School of Art
University of Oxford
giulia.smith@rsa.ox.ac.uk

Further reading

(NB: Please also consult the list compiled for 2018)

Abdul Alkalimat, Romi Crawford and Rebecca Zorach, eds. The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s. Chicago, 2017.

Baker A., Houston, Manthia Diawara and Ruth H. Lindeborg, eds. Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader. London; Chicago, 1996.

Barringer, Tim and Wayne Modest, eds. Victorian Jamaica. Durham, 2018.

Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert, eds. W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America: The Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. New York, 2018.

Bernier, Celeste-Marie. Characters of Blood: Black Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination. Charlottesville; London, 2012.

Bindman, David, ed. The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art. Cambridge, MA, 2017.

Boyce, Sonia and others, eds. Shades of Black: Assembling Black Art in 1980s Britain. Durham, 2005.

Buick, Kirsten P.  Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject. Durham, 2010.

Campt, Tina M. Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe. Durham, 2012.

Chambers, Eddie. Black Artists in British Art: A History Since the 1950s to the Present. London; New York, 2014.

Chang, Andrea, ed. Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art. Durham, 2018.

Cleveland, Kimberly L. Black Art in Brazil: Expressions of Identity. Gainesville, FL, 2013.

Copeland, Huey. Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America. Chicago, 2013.

DuBois Shaw, Gwendolyn. Portraits of a People: Picturing American Americans in the Nineteenth Century, Andover, MA; London, 2006.

Enwezor, Okwui and Chika Okeke-Agulu. Contemporary African Art Since 1980. Bologna, 2010.

Frances, Jacqueline. Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America. Seattle, 2015.

Fracchia, Carmen. ‘Black but Human’ Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480-1700. Oxford, 2019.

Finley, Cheryl. Committed to Memory: the Art of the Slave Ship Icon. Princeton, 2018.

Fox-Amato, Matthew. Exposing Slavery: Photograph, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America. Oxford, 2019.

Gilroy, Paul. Black Britain: A Photographic History. London, 2007.

Godfrey, Mark and Zoé Whitely, eds. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.  London, 2017.

Gooding, Mel. Frank Bowling. London, 2015.

Hayes, Jeffreen, ed. Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman. Jackson, Florida; London, 2018.

Jay, Martin and Sumathi Ramaswamy, eds. Empires of Vision. Durham, 2014.

Jones, Kelli. South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s. Durham, 2016.

Lungo-Ortiz, Agnes and Angela Rosenthal, eds. Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic. Cambridge, 2013.

Mercer, Kobena. Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. London, 1994.

Mercer, Kobena, ed. Annotating Art’s Histories: Cross-Cultural Perspectives in the Visual Arts (4 vols.). Cambridge, MA; London, 2005-2008.

Mercer, Kobena.  Travel and See: Black Diaspora Art Practices Since the 1980s. Durham, 2016.

Miller, Monica L. Slaves to Fashion. Durham, 2009.

Murrell, Denise. Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet to Matisse to Today. New Haven, 2018.

Okeke-Agulu, Chika. Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria. Durham, 2015.

Pantin Malin Stahl, Lisa, ed. Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual. London, 2019.

Patton, Pamela A. Envisioning Others: Race, Color, and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America. Leiden, 2015.

Powell, Richard J., ed. Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist. Durham, 2014.

Thompson, Krista. An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque, Durham, 2006.

Thompson, Krista.  Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice. Durham, 2015.

Walker, Hamza, ed. Black Is, Black Ain’t. Chicago, 2013.

Wallace, Maurice O., and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds. Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity. Durham, 2012.

Walmsley, Anne. The Caribbean Artists Movement, 1966–72: A Literary and Cultural History. London, 1992.

Wainwright, Leon. Art and the Transnational Caribbean. Manchester, 2011.

Wainwright, Leon. Phenomenal Difference: A Philosophy of Black British Art. Liverpool, 2019.

Williams, Lyneise. Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 1852-1932. London, 2019.

Willis, Deborah. Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present. New York; London, 2000.