This recent post from Miranda Lewis, in the Cultures of Knowledge blog, delves into the history of the Index of Literary Correspondence. Kept in Duke Humfrey’s Library, this card index of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence in Bodleian collections became a core dataset for Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO), a union catalogue of correspondence from the early modern period.
Ghosts in the Machine: (Re)Constructing the Bodleian’s Index of Literary Correspondence, 1927-1963
A one-day symposium exploring the Gothic Revival in eighteenth-century Britain. Organized by Oliver Cox (Oxford) and Peter Lindfield (University of Kassel)
Call for papers poster [PDF]
Registration will open in July [see webpage]
This symposium corresponds with co-organiser Peter Lindfield’s tenure of the Dunscombe Colt visiting fellowship at the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book. Supported by the Bodleian Library, the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Georgian Group, this fellowship will facilitate a thorough examination of Oxford’s MSS concerned with eighteenth-century Gothic Revival architecture and related historical perspectives.
Peter Lindfield writes,
Receiving the inaugural Dunscombe Colt research fellowship for the study of eighteenth-century British architecture is a tremendous privilege. I conducted research at the University of Oxford whilst completing my PhD (Art History, University of St Andrews), so I know the quality and breadth of treasures awaiting me.
My research centres upon the artistic, architectural and historiographical manifestations of the Gothic aesthetic in Britain c.1700–1840. Co-running a symposium on the eighteenth-century Gothic Revival at Oxford ties in perfectly with the theme of my fellowship. It also capitalises upon Oxford’s place within the history of the Gothic Revival, the University’s colleges being major patrons of collegiate Gothic. The symposium also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Georgian Group’s Gothick symposium held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. I look forward, along with my co-organiser, Oliver Cox (University College Oxford), to welcoming scholars of the eighteenth-century Gothick Revival to Oxford on the 7th August 2013.
Keeper of Special Collections Chris Fletcher writes in the Spectator blog about the commonplace album kept by Lord Byron’s friends, the Parkyns family, Bodleian MS. Eng. c. 7967 …
Over 300 paintings in the Bodleian Libraries can now be viewed online at the BBC website, Your Paintings. The digital images were made by the Public Catalogue Foundation, a charity dedicated to making the art owned and held in public collections more accessible.
The paintings in Bodleian collections are principally portraits. They depict authors of some of the library’s treasured books and manuscripts, as well as the founder Thomas Bodley (1545-1613) himself, donors and librarians and the all-important reader of books.
Others portrayed in Bodleian paintings include:
Explorer and privateer Martin Frobisher (1535?-1594)
in Bodleian collections: Letter of, in papers of the Herrick Family: Summary Catalogue 39669.
Author Mary Shelley (1797-1851)
in Bodleian collections: A draft manuscript of Frankenstein
see the list of Mary Shelley’s Correspondence and papers in the Abinger Collection
Composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
in Bodleian collections: Schilflied manuscript with watercolour by the composer
Most of the paintings housed in the Bodleian Library are currently accessible to visitors only by appointment. Visitors wishing to see an individual painting should apply to:
Bodleian Libraries Exhibitions Section
Images from the Your Paintings site can be downloaded for personal research use. See the FAQ ‘What can I do with the images on the Your Paintings site?’ for information about using images from the BBC Your Paintings website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/about/
High-resolution digital images may be ordered from Bodleian Library Imaging Services, (see order form), giving the Accession Number (available in the Additional Information about each painting).
Dr Anders Ingram (National University of Ireland, Hakluyt Edition Project) used copies of the second edition of Hakluyt’s Principle Navigations (1598-1600) to explore the nature of censorship in Elizabethan England. At issue was the passage describing the Cadiz Expedition of 1596, led by the Earl of Essex and Lord Howard, during which English and Dutch troops sacked the Spanish city.
But the failure to capture the Spanish treasure fleet, and the conduct of the leaders, including the distribution of the booty, led to royal suppression of Essex’s own account of his actions. Two years later, Hakluyt included in his Navigations a “brief description” written by the doctor who travelled on the Ark Royal. The pages containing this episode were later excised from many copies of the work, and a new title page was produced omitting mention of the Cadiz expedition. Examining the physical evidence in three copies of Hakluyt’s Navigations from Bodleian collections, Dr Ingram showed that these represented different variants, and called into question the reason for the removal of these leaves: was this censorship, or action by the publishers in advance of the appearance of Hakluyt’s second volume, printed in 1599, which had found a sponsor in Robert Cecil, one of the examiners of the costs of the expedition during the controversy?
The copies examined contained: (1) The edition intact with the Cadiz episode as originally printed and a title page dated 1598; (2) The Cadiz leaves intact, but with a new title page dated 1599; (3) The leaves containing the description of the Cadiz episode replaced with a later (c. 1720) reprint, in different type and differently set.
The death of Abel, an English version by Mary Collyer (d. 1763) of the work by Salomon Gessner (1730-1788). [Vet. A5 f.4209]
This unassuming eighteenth-century book is notable for the binding, half calf with marbled paper apparently made from a lawyer’s bill. The colours do not entirely obscure the handwritten items relating to deeds and trusts.
This “new edition” of The Death of Abel (the first edition of Collyer’s English version was in 1761) was printed in 1779 “for a company of booksellers”. An advertisement at the end of the book shows that a variety of entertaining and improving works – some illustrated with copper plates – could be had cheaply from Thomas Moore, Stationer, at 33 Paternoster Row. The diverse group includes educational books for children, and shows what publishers offered to a larger reading market after the 1774 House of Lords decision against perpetual copyright. The selection represents what William St Clair calls “the old canon”: editions of fiction, conduct literature and poetry — Milton, Pope, and the enormously popular and melancholic “Night Thoughts” by Edward Young — mostly in small octavo or duodecimo editions. To quote Young’s poem:
… “War, famine, pest, volcano, storm, and fire,
Intestine broils, oppression, with her heart
Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind.
God’s image disinherited of day,…”
For any other “intestine broils”, the facing page offers of patent medicines including Scotch Pills and Daffy’s Elixir. Medicines were a common alternative source of income for stationers.
The bookplate of Thomas Woodward on the front paste-down of this item bears a poem, popular for use on bookplates in the nineteenth century, with good advice to all readers:
“If thou art borrowed by a Friend,
Right welcome shall he be,
To read, to study, not to lend,
But to return to me.
Not that imparted knowledge doth
Diminish learning’s store,
But Books, I find, if often lent,
Return to me no more.
Read slowly – Pause frequently –
Think Seriously – Keep cleanly –
Keeper of Special Collections Chris Fletcher writes in The Spectator blog about the recent acquisition of an album recording botanizing travels around Surrey, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight in the 1790s by a still-anonymous compiler. “…[T]he volume may just contain the first reference to freely growing Oxford Ragwort, recently escaped from the confines of the University’s Botanical gardens to find a welcoming home on the bountiful supply of college walls. It clings on still.”
Gabriele Balbi (USI) delivered the 2013 Byrne-Bussey Marconi Lecture on Marconi Day, 20 April, on the subject of why the Marconi Company was apparently slow to appreciate the broadcasting option of wireless. From the first development of wireless communication, the technology had advantages over the wired telegraph. Yet wireless point-to-point communications were subject to some seeming deficiencies: a lack of privacy and the potential for disruption, as anyone with a wireless set might pick up and listen to messages, or even disrupt them, as occurred at a 1903 demonstration of wireless at the Royal Institution in London.
Some individuals in the Marconi Company recognized that this apparent failure in fact heralded a new era of mass communication: the birth of broadcasting. But the company’s business model, and political relationships with the Post Office which regulated wireless and new technologies like the point-to-point wireless telephone that the Company wanted to exploit, meant that it was the 1920s before the Marconi Company fully engaged with the broadcasting option.
Ernesto Gomez (Bodleian Library) writes:
Marconi Day 2013 was celebrated by the Oxford and District Amateur Radio Society with a special Radio Club Station set up in the Museum of History of Science to communicate with radio amateurs around the world. The Oxford radio amateurs used the call sign GB4HMS. Amazingly one of the earliest contacts of the day was with Newfoundland, the historical place well remembered for being the first to receive a transatlantic message in 1901.”
This year around 63 clubs from different latitudes managed to commemorate the Marconi achievements in the field of radio transmissions.
In 2013 the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book welcomes the following visiting researchers:
Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellows, 2013
Jaume Navarro (Universidad del País Vasco) A conceptual and cultural history of the demise of the ether
Michael Weatherburn (Imperial College) Workplace Experiments and Work Study in the British Electrical Industry, c.1900-1950
Humfrey Wanley Fellows, 2013
Kasper Van Ommen (University of Leiden Library) Scaliger and Oxford: Early Modern Oriental collections
Jonathan Wainwright (University of York, Faculty of Music) A catalogue of the Music School collection of the Bodleian Library
British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies / Bodleian Fellow, 2013
Rachel Schneider (University of Texas at Austin) Contesting Fragments: Print, Politics, and Graphic Design in Eighteenth-Century England
The Dunscombe-Colt Research Fellow 2013 (The Georgian Group and BSECS)
Peter Lindfield (Post-Doctoral Tutor at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews and Visiting Lecturer, Kunsthochschule, University of Kassel) Gothic Histories and Buildings of the Long Eighteenth Century
The Renaissance Society of America Bodleian Visiting Fellow, 2013
Katherine Larson (University of Toronto) Embodying Song in Early Modern England
More about Visiting Fellowships at the CSB: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/csb/fellowships