Connections with the past : provenance and the August Slavonic items of the month


Dedication to Michel Fokine.

Three recent acquisitions – The Russian theatre (New York, 1922), Bonfire : stories out of Soviet Russia (London, 1932), and A history of Russian literature (1927)  – bear marks of provenance that make their addition to the Library’s collections particularly valuable.  The first, for example, contains a lengthy dedication to the Ballets Russes choreographer Michel Fokine from theatre producer Morris Gest.

Oliver M. Sayler’s The Russian theatre is a much-expanded version of an earlier work, The Russian theatre under the Revolution, and covers theatrical work in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia as well as Russian theatre in other countries.  On the flyleaf in our copy (at Syn.5.92.110) is the following text:

To Michel Fokine, To whom America and in fact the whole world is indebted for his great artistry and for his genius which spoke the first word for Russia to America through his great creations of the Ballet Russe. For myself I shall always cherish the moments of our association and always be proud of knowing you! Affectionately, Morris Gest

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A stylish pocket-sized tribute

It was interesting to notice the 1000th volume in the series “La memoria” published by Sellerio editore. Entitled, La memoria di Elvira, it celebrates the series, honouring the woman behind it, Elvira Giorgianni Sellerio (1936-2010).

Cover of the 1000th volume

Cover of the 1000th volume

Elvira Giorgianni and her husband Enzo Sellerio, a renowned photographer, founded the publishing firm of Sellerio editore in 1969 in Palermo, very much with the support and collaboration of the writer Leonardo Sciascia and the anthropologist Antonino Buttitta. In 1979 the series “La memoria” was born, its very title making the reader aware of how memorable these selected authors and texts are. Known as “la Signora”, Elvira was passionate about stories, and became an expert at identifying and gathering stories that she judged right for her series, whether by Italian authors or authors in translation. In 1981 “Diceria dell’untore” by Giovanni Bufalino (741:35.d.95.244) won the prestigious Premio Campiello. When in 1983 the business was divided between Elvira and husband, he took over the art and photography side of the business, while she was left in charge of the narrative side (fiction and essays). Important writers continued to be featured in the series, such as Andrea Camilleri, with his numerous short stories and novels.

A series of little blue books, the “La memoria” series signalled a change in book design. The characteristic deep blue of the covers with a picture in the centre was revolutionary and elegant. The books were small and stylish, designed to fit easily in a jacket pocket.

A selection of volumes from the UL collections.

A selection of volumes from the UL’s collections.

“La memoria di Elvira” (C204.d.1412), with as a centrepiece a photo taken in the late fifties of Elvira working at her desk, is made up of texts by twenty-three authors who contributed to the series over the years: Luisa Adorno, Maria Attanasio, Attilio Brilli, Antonino Buttitta, Andrea Camilleri, Vincenzo Campo, Luciano Canfora, Francesco M. Cataluccio, Remo Ceserani, Masolino d’Amico, Gianfranco Dioguardi, Daria Galateria, Alicia Giménez-Bartlett, Maria José de Lancastre, Alessandra Lavagnino, Salvatore Silvano Nigro, Santo Piazzese, Gianni Puglisi, Francesco Recami, Giuseppe Scaraffia, Adriano Sofri, Sergio Valzania and Piero Violante. It is a fitting tribute to a remarkable woman.

Bettina Rex

Manoel de Oliveira

Manoel de Oliveira (image from Wikipedia)

Manoel de Oliveira (image from Wikipedia)

Very few artists can boast a career spanning more than 80 years and even fewer can claim to have been at their artistic and critical peak when approaching, and indeed reaching, their own centenary. However, both of these things were true of Manoel de Oliveira, arguably Portugal’s greatest filmmaker and unquestionably cinema’s most longstanding director, who passed away on April 2 this year at the age of 106.

Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908, in Porto and began his filmmaking career in 1931 with a 20-minute silent documentary about his home city’s famous river, Douro, faina fluvial. Continue reading

European Journal of International Studies

Originally posted on ejournals@cambridge:

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : European journal of international studies.


From the Budrich Journals website for the journal:

“The European Review of International Studies (ERIS) seeks to be a journal to which those who wish to know what is happening in ‘European’ International Relations can turn. It aims to achieve this goal by an extensive review section of monographs published in European languages and review articles of the literature on substantive themes or significant developments in different European academic communities. Its other principal goal is to publish original articles and from time to time translations of existing major articles not readily available in English.

“ERIS aims:

  • To reflect the European specificities and approaches.
  • To be an outlet in English in particular for non-English language authors but including English language authors.
  • To make the Anglophone world aware of research in other languages.
  • To make non-English language authors aware…

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The picture bible of Ludwig Denig

Immediately after the American War of Independence, Ludwig Denig (1755-1830), a shoemaker living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, created a unique fraktur manuscript book, his picture bible. This is illustrated with 60 full-page watercolour paintings of Biblical scenes and allegories, the latter depicted in an emblematic style using everyday objects and scenes to teach spiritual values. Continue reading

New subscription: CAIRN

Cambridge University Library has just subscribed to a package of journals through CAIRN. These journals are all available via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z, LibrarySearch and LibrarySearch+.  Titles subscribed are those listed below the “Accès abonné” on the page listing CAIRN’s journals.

logo-cairnCAIRN, which is supported by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre national du livre, offers major journals in the various fields of the humanities and social sciences, and the subscription significantly enhances access to French electronic journals in Cambridge. Journals in history, the social sciences, language and literature are all well represented. For each title, the service generally offers all issues published from the beginning of 2001, without any embargo period, although specifics vary from journal to journal. All articles in journals to which we subscribe are available for full-text downloads.

The CAIRN package also makes available many titles for which we have never in the past held a print subscription. There are nearly 50 titles in this category, including Les cahiers de la Shoah, Cahiers Jaurès, Études tsiganes, Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident, Le français aujourd’hui, Napoleonica, Nouvelle revue d’esthétique, Revue française de linguistique appliquée and Le temps des medias.

For a full list of the journals available through our subscription, please see the list here. Please do contact us if you’ve got any comments about this new database.

Josh Hutchinson

Libris Geschiedenis Prijs for 2014 : recent prizewinners on Dutch history

In deciding which Dutch language titles to buy, the Library needs to be very selective, bearing in mind that the audience for such material amongst our readership is small. What we buy in Dutch is a small percentage of Holland’s total publishing output. On the other hand the Library has excellent collections of Dutch material, and providing continuity in our collection development is important. The Dutch language collection currently numbers about 22,000 items, and we add between 200 and 250 new titles each year. Our main focus is on history, fine arts, church history and medieval literature. Contemporary literature is acquired much more selectively.

The annual Libris Geschiedenis Prijs is a useful indicator of important recent titles in Dutch history, and the shortlist is scrutinised carefully. We buy many but not all of the titles featured, restricting our choice to books relating to the Dutch-speaking world. We did not acquire the 2010 winner, for example, a book in Dutch on the history of the Congo by David van Reybrouck, although this later appeared in English translation and was therefore received under legal deposit (649:2.c.201.29).

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