French graphic novels in the UL

Recent graphic novel acquisitions.

Recent graphic novel acquisitions.

Graphic novels are a well-established aspect of French literature. 32 million were sold in 2012. A glance around any large French bookshop will find not just the famous French comic books – Largo Winch and Adèle Blanc-sec, Astérix and Tintin —but also works on political scandals, international politics and adaptations of novels. The University Library, however, does not have a consistent policy regarding acquisition of such material.

The Culturethèque (“the digital platform of the Institut français du Royaume-Uni”) offers a variety of ‘comic books’ available to read online to users in the UK. This type of material is not generally acquired by the UL. As with popular fiction, the UL has been unsure of which bandes dessinées to buy, and how to complement the University’s teaching and research needs.

The UL has recently purchased a number of graphic novels in French, among them : Continue reading

Art Nexus

Cambridge University Library is happy to announce its recent subscription to the Colombian magazine Art Nexus.

Recent issue of Art Nexus

Recent issue of Art Nexus (no. 93, June 2014)

Art Nexus was originally published in 1976 as Arte en Colombia. In 1992 it changed its name to Art Nexus in order to raise awareness of Colombian and Latin American art worldwide. The magazine, published quarterly in English and Spanish, is a leading publication on Latin American and Caribbean art, with an emphasis on Colombia. Along with the portal, the journal has helped to draw attention to Latin American art and its impact on the global art scene. Continue reading

José María Gutiérrez Alba in Colombia

Jose Maria Gutierrez Alba 1

Diario ilustrado de viajes por Colombia (S950.a.201.2298)

The UL recently acquired a beautiful book (S950.a.201.2298) that compiles the complete Colombian diaries and paintings of a 19th Century Andalucian poet and dramatist named José María Gutiérrez Alba. The backstory behind these is as fascinating as the diaries themselves.

José María Gutiérrez Alba travelled to Colombia in 1870, ostensibly to work as a bookseller. However, the real purpose of his arrival was to secretly provide information to the Spanish government that might help them to build commercial relations with Colombia. Gutiérrez Alba did not have much success selling books and Spain soon lost interest in his “mission”, but he ended up staying in Colombia for another 13 years, becoming heavily involved with the country’s agriculture and founding the journal El Cachaco.


Some of Gutiérrez Alba’s diaries and an extract of his writing.

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European Drama and Performance Studies

European drama and performance image

European Drama and Performance Studies

The Library has recently taken out a subscription to a new peer-reviewed print journal, European drama and performance studies, devoted to the study of the history of the performing arts. Current issues are kept in pigeonhole 384, and back numbers at L415.c.418. Although the journal’s title suggests very general coverage, the first two issues have concentrated exclusively on French drama. However, it is intended that the coverage will eventually include all periods and areas, and interdisciplinary and comparative subjects will feature prominently. Continue reading

One thing leads to another : Vercors’ Le silence de la mer

Prominent amongst the exhibits in the Literature of the Liberation exhibition are two editions of Vercors’ novella Le silence de la mer. The story is of a German officer billeted with a French family. A Francophile disillusioned with Nazi propaganda, he is eventually sent to the Eastern Front. Set between November 1940 and July 1941, the novella was completed in September or October 1941, and first published clandestinely by Éditions de Minuit in February 1942. The text was in wide circulation by the summer of 1943.

Jahan's 1944 photograph

Jahan’s 1944 photograph

The exhibition copy of the 1942 edition is inscribed and dedicated by Vercors to Gilberte Chapuis, who as a young girl cycled round Paris distributing copies of the novella. The University Library’s copy of this edition is a later printing, which stands at 1994.7.597. Also displayed is a 1944 photograph by Pierre Jahan showing Le silence de la mer concealed behind another row of books in his apartment. On the back of the picture he writes

Aucune cachette ne survit à une bonne perquisition … il était pourtant plus prudent de glisser les “Éditions de Minuit” dans la seconde rangée de sa bibliothèque!

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Contemporary Italian Politics


As well as our online subscription to Contemporary Italian Politics, the UL has a print subscription, which can be consulted at L576.c.99 [p/hole: T.228 for the most recent issues]. This journal runs from vol. 5 (2013) and follows the Bulletin of Italian Politics which ran 2009-2012 (vols. 1-4), all issues of which may be consulted online.

Originally posted on ejournals@cambridge:

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Contemporary Italian Politics.


From the Taylor & Francis website for the journal:

Contemporary Italian Politics , formerly Bulletin of Italian Politics , is a political science journal aimed at academics and policy makers as well as others with a professional or intellectual interest in the politics of Italy. The journal has two main aims:

“Firstly, to provide rigorous analysis, in the English language, about the politics of what is one of the European Union’s four largest states in terms of population and Gross Domestic Product. We seek to do this aware that too often those in the English-speaking world looking for incisive analysis and insight into the latest trends and developments in Italian politics are likely to be stymied by two contrasting difficulties. On the one hand, they can turn to the daily and weekly print media. Here they will find information on the…

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Le Tre Corone

Originally posted on ejournals@cambridge:

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Le Tre Corone: rivista internazionale di studi su Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio


From the LibraWeb website for the journal:

“The remit of the journal is largely obvious from its title and subtitle, «Le tre corone. Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio», though this of course extends to studies of the reception and influence of the three authors. The aim is to publish original articles of a high intellectual and academic quality without regard to the critical method employed. Indeed, «Le tre corone» showcases a broad range of critical perspectives and approaches. The journal is peer-reviewed, and each article submitted is read by at least three expert referees. «Le tre corone» aims to serve as a genuinely international forum where medievalists and others working on Italy’s three major writers and coming from different academic and intellectual traditions can exchange views.”

Now available to the…

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