‘Counter Archive’: Black Lives in the Archives

by Devika

Peter Brathwaite FRSA is a British baritone, broadcaster, theatre artist, music columnist and a developer of music programming. Read more here. His photographic book project Rediscovering Black Portraiture highlights Black individuals in the history of visual arts, and in a similar but more personal vein Brathwaite has undertaken research to uncover Black histories in archives.

At a workshop with the Bodleian Libraries project ‘We Are Our History’ 24 October 2023, held at the Weston Library for Special Collections, Brathwaite led participants on a journey through archives connected with Codrington College, Barbados, and other historical documents of Britain’s Caribbean colonies during enslavement. For Brathwaite there were familial connections: he found his ancestors Edward/Addo and Margaret Brathwaite, as well as his enslaver ancestor John Brathwaite, referenced in the records.

A key part of the workshop was the ‘counter-archive’ of material that Brathwaite brought into the Library, curated by himself, in the form of photographs, maps, a Bible, and song. The group sang ‘The Breadfruit Song’ together, with Brathwaite prompting participants to think about the vitality of singing compared to the loss of magic, aura, materiality and perhaps of reality when dealing with words on paper. While singing in the Bodleian sounds impossible and almost sacrilegious, music, as Brathwaite explained, is a critical experience and archive. An archive created by the disempowered. When denied their identity beyond being owned as property on paper, the traditional archive, music communicates that experience instead. Traditional archives thus necessitate the use of counter-archives especially in contexts where historically people have been denied inclusion in official records.

Bringing expertise to archival research, including familial and community memories preserved outside of archival sources, was an important theme of the workshop. Brathwaite gave the example of spotting specific words in documents whose significance might be missed by individuals unfamiliar with the relevant context. He pointed out that historical records referred to rebellions by enslaved individuals as ‘mischief’.  Mischief was a shorthand for living, he declared, especially for the enslaved. Words like ‘mischief’ could be used to connote the infantilization of the body of colour, to justify regimes of control.

The workshop led to a very well-attended lecture by Peter Brathwaite … which led to a short film … which led to the temporary display mentioned below.

Collaboration with artists, storytellers, academics and more, as part of the ‘We Are Our History’ project, goes beyond one off events. We are keen on helping researchers discover and work with the archives. This facilitates relationships with the archives, especially beyond traditional treatments, as in this case, that help both the Bodleian and researchers learn from these narratives, stories, unconventional treatments and counter archives. For the library, the learning is about being more inclusive of stories traditionally not told, and more aware of practices that sedimented a lack of inclusion–and how we can change those practices to be more inclusive in the future. Working with artists like Peter Brathwaite is an incredible learning experience for those involved in the initiatives but also for the library as a whole, and that is the purpose of these collaborations as opposed to performative checks.

The temporary display, ‘Mischief in the Archives,’ at the Weston Library until 7 April, draws out the themes of Peter Brathwaite’s archival research.  https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/mischief-in-the-archives

For more on this story see: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/features/hearing-through-overwhelming-silence-enslaved-ancestors-found-bodleian-archives-opera

Peter Brathwaite at the Bodleian LibraryAlso watch the short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVQU7El6EqI


Collage Comparison: A Case Study of Comparison and Juxtaposition in Archives

Collage Comparison poster, detail. Collage Comparison Symposium and Julia Utreras

by Devika

Methods of reading and understanding archives are constantly evolving. The question of ‘whose voices?’ are heard in archival materials has encouraged attention to gaps and silences. With the project ‘We Are Our History,’ the Bodleian Libraries have found guidance from researchers inside and outside academia on new approaches to archives. The symposium ‘Collage Comparison,’ (September 29-30, 2023, St Anne’s College Oxford and Bodleian Libraries) was devised by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) Research Centre, using collage as a method of bringing archival materials into dialogue with each other. The two-day symposium brought together artists, practitioners, and scholars from a range of disciplines within Oxford and beyond—from English, Modern Languages, and History of Art to Ethnomusicology, Visual Anthropology, and Curatorial Studies.

Organisers Dr Joseph Hankinson, Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Dr Georgia Nasseh explored how collage, conceptually and practically, can provide a new and decolonised rhetoric for understanding translation and archival work.

 Understanding Archives Differently with Collage

On the first day, the group was guided in creative collage-making by artist Sofia Yalla. The session led by Yalla explored how professional archives relate to personal archives, with participants being given either a ‘construction’ or a ‘deconstruction’ kit, having to connect and collaborate in these two processes of selecting and building an archive.

The choice of collage as the focal point for exploration was deeply rooted in its historical ties to the African continent and its diaspora. With its delicate balance of appropriation and expropriation, fragmentation, and juxtaposition, collage played a pivotal role in the artistic expressions of writers like Kojo Laing and M. NourbeSe Philip. From the start, the symposium used the potential of collage as a model, with participants’ self-introductions woven into a conversation ‘performed’ by all the participants, rather than standing as separate, individual statements.

On the second day, the symposium worked with an archive held in the Bodleian, the archive of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. In this workshop hosted by Dr Mushakavanahu,  it was fascinating to observe the different creations by individuals interacting with the same document. Participants sitting side-by-side and creating collage (from photographs of the archival materials) became a true example of diversity: difference, similarity, and juxtaposition of perspectives in the archives. The need to understand how one set of texts could mean something entirely different for different communities–multiple understandings of the same texts–is an advantage, not a limitation.

 Digital Collage and Future Accessibility

Discussion during the symposium explored how academic work informed the aesthetics of collage and considered future accessibility to the created material. The Zine created by attendees as part of their final morning in the Symposium will be available on the Collage Comparison website. The Zine exemplifies many of the ideas discussed above; most importantly, the potential collage holds as a technique towards interacting with archives – digitally or in person.

See Collage Comparison for description of the symposium aims and images of the workshop in progress.

For the Bodleian Libraries,  Collage Comparison provided a model of collaborative working and showed the alchemy in archives placed in a new relationship with researchers. See the ‘We Are Our History’ project website. https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/about/libraries/our-work/we-are-our-history

Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu will lecture on ‘Cut/Copy/Paste: Collage as a form of reading and writing the archive’, on Tuesday 24 January at 1 pm, in the Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford. Registration required: https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/waoh-conversations

Rediscovery of a 17th-century miscellany of Asian scripts

guest post by Dr Katja Triplett (Marburg/Leipzig)

Original Manchu and Tibetan manuscripts, the models for two engraved plates in Thomas Hyde’s celebrated History of Religion of the Old Persians (1700), have been rediscovered in the Bodleian Library.

Sample of handwriting MS. Or. Polygl. c. 1, fol. 5r.
Sample of handwriting in Manchu (MS. Or. Polygl. c. 1, fol. 5r.). This is the original manuscript on which table XV in Hyde’s monograph is based.

The Bodleian Library is home to some of the earliest books printed with a European letter press on Japanese soil. Bodley’s Librarian and Laudian Professor of Arabic Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) added a provenance note to one of these books, a Japanese translation of the “Imitation of Christ”, printed at a secret location near Nagasaki in 1596 (Arch. B e.42). The note states that the book was “the gift of a Reverend man lately brought back from India, Mr. John Evans, 1695”. Researching the provenance of the Bodleian copy, one of only three extant, I took a closer look at Anglican minister John Evans (c. 1652–1724), later bishop of Bangor, and his collaboration with Thomas Hyde. How did Evans get hold of this translation created by the Jesuit mission press in Japan and why did he donate it to the Library?

A first trace led to two additional gifts bestowed to the Library by Evans in 1695. One was a scroll with a birthday calculator in Bengali (now deemed lost); the other (MS. Or. Polyg. c. 1) [see a summary record for the Or. Polyglot manuscripts], which was brought to my attention by Dr Alessandro Bianchi, is a most significant miscellany with specimens of Asian scripts and official correspondence. The newly rediscovered miscellany provides an unexpected opportunity to explore transnational networks involving Asia and Europe.

The miscellany contains samples of scripts from China, Bhutan, from the Manchu people and from continental Southeast Asia, in addition to a Bengali syllabary. The letters appear to be copies. The samples also contain dates (some not conforming to official dynastic chronology), place names and personal names and titles. My analysis of the watermarks suggests that the miscellany was assembled not much before or in 1693, the year Evans returned to England from Bengal.

The nature of Evans’s miscellany and its possible uses in South Asia clearly points to its trade connection. It contains, for example, a sample of a Japanese letter and the cover of a Chinese letter issued by the “Chief Surveillance Bureau”.

Most exciting was the discovery that a Manchu text sample and a Tibetan safe-travel document (lam-yig) issued in 1688 to an Armenian merchant are the originals of two engraved plates in Thomas Hyde’s 1700 pioneering study on the history of Persian religion. The work includes comparisons of various Asian languages as well, illustrated with plates of Asian scripts engraved by Michael Burghers (c. 1647/8–1727). Until the discovery of the miscellany, Hyde’s plate with the Tibetan passport counted as one of the earliest witnesses of Tibetan writing in the West.

The sources on John Evans suggest that his office in India as well as his clandestine trade business took him to different places in Bengal and the Coromandel Coast where the Portuguese had been present from the 1530s onward. Evans may have got hold of a Jesuit mission press book from Japan at one of the Portuguese settlements in India. Since his friend Thomas Hyde seemed to have been keen on studying Asian languages, a field of study in its infancy, Evans gifted the three items from his Bengal days to the Library.

*Because of the polyglot nature of the miscellany, various specialists were consulted, notably Alessandro Bianchi, Ryūji Hiraoka, Ana Carolina Hosne, Jana Igunma, Nicholas Kontovas, Peter Kornicki, Charles Manson, Sven Osterkamp, Johannes Reckel, and Dagmar Schwerk. A more thorough investigation which is currently being undertaken will be published in the near future.

Dr Katja Triplett is Affiliate Professor of the Study of Religions, Marburg University, and senior research fellow at Leipzig University with a project on religion and translation in the Early Modern period, funded by the German Research Council (DFG). 

BOOKNESS with Ron King, coming soon…

As we enter the final week of the Bodleian’s Alphabet’s Alive! exhibition we wanted to share a taster of what’s to come in our next BOOKNESS podcast.

In the summer Alice and Jo were very lucky to speak to artist and founder of Circle Press, Ron King, who has multiple alphabet inspired works in the exhibition.

Alphabets Alive! is on at the Weston Library until 21st January 2024. Photo credit: Ian Wallman
‘ABC Paperweights’ and ‘Alphabeta concertina majuscule’ on display in the Weston Library

You have until 21st January to visit the exhibition which is spread cross the Bodleian’s Weston Library exhibition space and the Proscholium display (located in the entrance of the Old Library), and you can find Ron’s work in both parts of the exhibition.

So if you are in Oxford this week make sure you pop by and see the pieces for yourselves, and listen out for the next episode of BOOKNESS, featuring our conversation with Ron, which is on its way soon…

‘Alphabet Poster II’ in the Bodleian’s Proscholium display case

Useful links:

Colonial Connections of the Early Bodleian Library

Book open at a map of the world
Jean Matal’s atlas from 1600: America, sive Novus orbis, tabulis æneis delineatus. I. Matalius. Shelfmark: H 7.2(3) Art.

by Dr Anna-Lujz Gilbert

When Thomas Bodley re-founded Oxford University’s library in 1598, he knew he would need the help of a “great store of honourable friends” for the project to be a success. He asked people he knew to donate to the Library and, as an encouragement, he had the names of donors written into an ornate Register of Benefactors.  Shaping Scholarship is an AHRC-funded project at UCL, in collaboration with the Bodleian, which uses that Benefactors’ Register to examine cultures of library donation in early seventeenth-century England, and their impact on the Bodleian’s book collections. The early Bodleian Library had many colonial connections, and the public database of the early donations to the Library (c. 1600–1620) which we are producing for this project will help further research in this area.

Page of the Benefactor's Book of the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Records b. 903, Registrum Donatorum, the Benefactors’ Register

The Bodleian Library was established at a time when England was striving to become an imperial power. Many of the Library’s donors were statesmen, civil servants, soldiers, and courtiers—the kinds of people who were likely to be involved in overseas affairs of different kinds. Some donors were directly involved in colonial activities, such as Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?-1618), who led expeditions to the Americas, and who gifted the library £50 in 1603 (worth over £8,000 today). Others were involved in these activities from afar. Donor Sir Walter Cope (1553?–1614), for example, invested in and energetically raised funds for new merchant companies set up to promote international trade through colonising practices. Companies like the Virginia Company, which established England’s first North American colonies, made substantial losses. To raise money for these colonial ventures, they presented investment as a public-spirited act for the good of the nation. This context can inform how we understand donation to the early Bodleian Library as a similarly public-spirited act.

Overseas conquest, as well as trade and embassy, facilitated the movement of books into the Library. In the 1610s, for example, the Bodleian acquired a manuscript catechism  which had been produced by Jesuits in Brazil to help convert indigenous people. It was written in Tupi, a now extinct indigenous language. [See an online edition of this manuscript at the link here.] It was gifted to the Bodleian by English author Thomas Lodge, who had taken it from a Jesuit library during an English raid on a Portuguese settlement in Brazil. [see footnote 1]  (Lodge’s gift was, however, considered to be too small to be included in the Benefactors’ Register).

Exploration and colonisation helped to expand Western knowledge, and this was reflected in the content of some of the books purchased by the Bodleian. The 1603 gift of Henry Brooke, Baron Cobham, for instance, paid for the acquisition of Jean Matal’s [Johannes Matalius] atlas of the world with its new maps of America.

The Bodleian collected books in non-European languages in the hope that these too would be used to advance Western knowledge, even if, for some of these languages, there was no-one in England who could read them at the time.

By looking at who was donating to the early Bodleian Library and what books were acquired, we can ask how this seventeenth-century project to encompass knowledge was aligned with English and wider European activities to compass the globe itself. Lines of enquiry include examining the colonial activities of donors, the acquisition of books produced outside of Europe, and the kinds of knowledge represented in the books acquired.

footnote 1: See: Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá and Caroline Egan, ‘Translation and prolepsis: the Jesuit origins of a Tupi Christian doctrine,’ in Cultural Worlds of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America, edited by Linda A. Newson (London: University of London Press, 2020), 189–206.

Anna-Lujz Gilbert is a postdoctoral research fellow on the ‘Shaping Scholarship’ project at UCL. For this project, she is leading the construction of a database of donations made to the Bodleian Library in its first twenty years, c. 1600–1620, which will be published as a free online resource. Her wider research interests are in the movement to establish semi-public libraries in early modern England.

For more information about the Shaping Scholarship project, see the project website at: http://www.livesandletters.ac.uk/projects/shaping-scholarship 

This blogpost is one of a series exploring the Bodleian’s colonial and imperial connections, as part of the ‘We Are Our History’ project in 2022-24.

BOOKNESS speaks to Kevin Steele

For the latest episode of BOOKNESS, the Bodleian team speaks to graphic designer, book artist and paper engineer Kevin Steele about his work The Movable Book of Letterforms, which is currently on display in the Bodleian’s Alphabets Alive! exhibition.

You can find the episode wherever you get your podcasts (University Podcast website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts).

The opening currently on display in the Bodleian’s Alphabets Alive! exhibition

I’m always fascinated by the performance of movable books, especially when that actual movement is communicating something, so it’s not just about the final display when everything is open, but it has something to do with the movement

One of the book’s precising constructed pop-up spreads

As somebody that likes things precise… it is sometimes hard to see things change over time… but I guess that is just inevitable that things change like that beyond your control… And it would make me very happy if looking in the future I saw the book was very well used and worn and read

Watch The Movable Book of Letterforms in action below:

Useful links and glossary checks in this episode:

The First Folio: a compositor speaks

Re-setting of The Tempest in 2023

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, the Bodleian Bibliographical Press offers a type reproduction of the first page of the first play in that book, The Tempest. Two modern typesetters have reproduced the page hand-set in type, recreating the habits, faults and foibles of the original compositors of the First Folio. Below are reflections on the experiment. The printed Tempest sheets are on sale in the Bodleian Shop. Members of the public will have a chance to print their own on Sunday Nov. 19 at the Weston Library; see Event listings for details.

Michael Daniell writes:

‘The Tempest’, the first play in the folio, also happened to be one of 19 Shakespeare plays for which there was probably not an earlier printed version. So one would have expected it to be designed and typeset with great care. As Richard Lawrence and I proceeded with the typesetting, I soon came to realize that what passed for acceptable in 1623 London would not pass muster today.

There is erratic spacing around punctuation and there is no sign that its purpose was to fill out the length of a line. Casting an eye down the left-hand margin of each column showed that there was no consistency in the space used to indent a speaker’s name. Sometimes this seemed to have been so that a word did not have to be broken at the end of the line, but often there was no apparent reason for what we would regard as poor alignment of text. There were instances of awkward work breaks at line ends: en-ter, e-nough, ma-ster, roa-rers, han-ging, drow-ning.

It is known that there were four stages of correction made to this page while it was on the press, the first stage being the correction of the initial letter which had been positioned upside-down. (See Charlton Hinman, The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, 1963). The correction of such an obvious mistake suggests that there may have been earlier stages of correction to the main body of the text in galley before it was made up into a page. It is perhaps significant that the other three stages of correction that we know about involved the larger 24-point display lines such as the Act heading, that might have been added last.

After working on the setting of ‘The Tempest’ at the Bodleian Bibliographical Press, I decided to print a further folio page on my own press. I’d read that the first page of ‘The Tempest’ had been set by a particular compositor, identified as Compositor B, who set almost half the pages in the First Folio. I wanted to print a page associated with Compositor A, who only set a quarter of the book. My choice was the first page of ‘1 Henry VI’ as it was distinguished by an elegant tapered block of stage directions. It also had a fine headpiece ornament that was also used to introduce 12 other plays in the book. I checked that my play was also one of the ones that had not been printed previously in quarto, and so might be a fair comparison with the work of Compositor B.

In my typesetting of the ‘1 Henry VI’ page, I found that there were no word breaks, though there were some very tight lines, in one of which Compositor A had resorted to the use of an ampersand. There was the same irregular spacing around punctuation, and the same irregular use of swash italic letters. As these italic letters occur in the speech headings, any inconsistency is particularly conspicuous. Other features of Compositor A’s setting included more frequent use of capital letters introducing nouns, and slightly more consistent indentation of speech headings.

A check of the other plays in the folio showed the same inconsistency in the use of swash italic letters but there were fewer awkward word breaks and the spacing of punctuation points was more as we would expect today. This was also the case when I looked at two other books printed on the Jaggard presses in 1622, William Burton, The Description of Leicestershire and the third edition of Thomas Wilson, A Christian Dictionarie.

The aim of typesetting two pages from the First Folio had been to reproduce the 1622-23 printing as closely as possible.  We used 14-point Caslon cast by the typefounder Stephenson Blake, a typeface that comes close in appearance and size to the type used to set the original First Folio. We followed the 17th-century practice of setting the lines without interlinear leading, a process that presents challenges when making corrections or moving lines once they are set as the individual pieces of type all too easily slip from one line to another.  The format of the First Folio followed the Golden Mean, 1:1.61. Because of the different size of the type, our efforts were necessarily wider, 1:1.52, but the effect was still striking and I hope would have met with some approval from the original compositors and printers.

Good and bad printing

Francesca Galligan, Assistant Librarian, Rare Books, Bodleian Libraries

Each autumn, university students and members of the public embark on their type-setting and printing journeys in the Bodleian’s letterpress printing workshop. To inspire novice printers with the great typographical achievements of the past, we have chosen examples of fine and ambitious printing from the Bodleian’s Rare Books collections.  The selection also includes some ‘bad’ printing, with missing words and upside-down illustrations, also carefully preserved in the library.

An example of ‘good’ printing is an edition of Caesar’s Gallic war printed in 1471 by Nicholas Jenson. The type designed by Jenson, a French printer based in Venice, has been widely admired ever since.   Bodleian Library, Byw. adds. 6

Bodleian Library, Byw. adds. 6

Four centuries after Jenson, type designed for the Doves Press in London in 1899 was based directly on Nicholas Jenson’s work. The Doves Press was a private press producing fine books according to the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, a reaction to industrialisation and mass-market printing. Bodleian Library, Arch. C c.3

Bodleian Library, Arch. C c.3

The 1481 Florence edition of Dante’s Comedia is in many ways an example of good printing, although it was an ambitious project that was beset by problems. The unfortunate upside-down orientation of this engraving in the Bodleian copy puts this item in the middle, between examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ printing. Bodleian Library, Auct. 2Q 1.11

Bodleian Library, Auct. 2Q 1.11

In the next example, shown below, the editor has evidently demanded that the printers explain why the page on the right contained none of the text of this work, Pastregicus’s On the origins of things (Venice, 1547). The half-page of text explains, in Latin, that there was an error on the part of the printer in dividing up the text before starting to print (‘Calcographi omisit enim dividendo’) and reassures the reader that there is nothing missing (‘operi vero nihil deest’). Bodleian Library, Byw. Q 8.24 Making the text fit the intended number of pages is a skill all printers need to acquire.

Bodleian Library, Byw. Q 8.24

This translation of Aristophanes’ Greek plays into Latin shows an unusually careful correction, a word added in type to the margin. The sentence was meant to read: ‘…the whole of which had previously been Greek,’ with ‘graeca’ to be read where the caret symbol indicates. The book was printed by Angelo Ugoleto in Venice in 1501. Bodleian Library, Byw. J 7.25 Mistakes happen, and corrections can be a sign of care as much as of carelessness.

Bodleian Library, Byw. J 7.25

Below, a sixteenth-century edition of meditational poems on the cross demonstrates creative problem-solving and a real challenge to printers. These shape or puzzle poems were first composed in the 9th century by Rhabanus Maurus and at that time, before the invention of printing with moveable type, they circulated as beautiful and lavish manuscripts, allowing the poems within poems to be easily discerned. Thomas Anshelm decided in 1503 that it would be an excellent thing to reproduce the text in print. Attempting to achieve a similar effect to the manuscripts, he used an unusual combination of metal type and xylographic (wood-carved) letters. The black letters nearest to the images are carved into the woodblock. Bodleian Library, Douce M 114

Bodleian Library, Douce M 114
Bodleian Library, Douce M 114

BOOKNESS speaks to Paul Johnson

In the first episode of the second series of BOOKNESS, the Bodleian team speaks to book artist Paul Johnson about his work Dies Natalis.

Listen to the episode here.

If you take a conventional book… the pages don’t change… but when you come to pop-up engineering… it’s rather like being in a theatre… there are all these different changing viewpoints with the book which is quite unique

Paul’s pop-up gift to the Bodleian, ‘Dies Natalis’, which is on display in the Gifts & Books exhibition until 29th October 2023.

A book is designed to be held… if we think of a book as being  conceptually a form of art… I can’t think of any other art form that only really functions when you hold it directly in your hands and your fingers interact with the object

‘Dies Natalis’ opened showing both covers, the spine, and the pages opening up beyond.

And some conservation in action! Paul visited us back in May 2023 to work with our conservation team on some of his other books we have in the Bodleian’s collection, to assess their condition and carry out a few minor repairs.

Paul Johnson in the Bodleian conservation studio making repairs to his work ‘Serenade to Chaucer’ (Rec. a.45).

My books have thousands of individual little parts, and the risk is that one or two of them are going to fall off in transit… and this is always a problem, little pieces coming loose… when we first talked about bits probably falling off, I probably said to you stick it back on anywhere you like!

Paul Johnson and Bodleian conservator Alice Evans discussing the condition of his book ‘From Babylon to Ithaca’ (Rec. a.80).

Useful links and glossary checks in this episode:

  • Listen to the episode on the University of Oxford Podcasts website here (also available via Spotify and Apple Podcasts)
  • Find out more about Paul’s work here
  • Visit the Gifts & Books exhibition at the Bodleian’s Weston Library in Oxford until 29th October 2023

BOOKNESS is back for series 2!

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has books. Lots of books. But also books that don’t look like books. Books that self-destruct. Books that decay.

Join librarian Jo Maddocks and conservator Alice Evans for a second series of our podcast BOOKNESS where we continue to explore the wonderful world of the Bodleian’s artists’ books and discover what makes a book a book.

In this series Jo and Alice will talking to book artists, print makers and paper engineers who currently have works on display in the Bodleian’s Gifts & Books and Alphabets Alive! exhibitions, focussing on their books that have pop-up and moveable elements…

This podcast is for book lovers, book nerds and book makers.

First up Jo and Alice talk to book artist Paul Johnson about his spectacular pop-up creation Dies Natalis. 

You can listen to this episode on the University of Oxford Podcasts website, as well as Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

‘Dies Natalis’ by Paul Johnson

Useful links: