Cambridge University Library has recently acquired a copy of O império da visão: fotografia no contexto colonial português (1860-1960), a volume organised by Dr. Filipa Lowndes Vicente, researcher at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) of the University of Lisbon.
Dr. Vicente’s interest in photography started while researching Portuguese and British colonial India. Since its development in the second half of the nineteenth century, photography became a major form of visual communication and a powerful agent of social change. Recent research has shown that the study of colonialism requires photography to illustrate written sources. In the nineteenth century, photography helped increase the visibility of the colonies abroad. Continue reading
Visa issued to Clinch (‘Klinch Gerbert’) by the Soviet Embassy in London (MS Add.9996/6/7).
Eighty years ago, a group of British trade unionists and co-operative members travelled to the Soviet Union for a 4,000-mile tour around European Russia and Ukraine. The archive of one delegate, Herbert Clinch, a printer from Kent, was presented to the University Library three years ago and is this month’s Slavonic item of the month.
The archive contains photographs, postcards, and notes from the Soviet Union, and additional ephemeral material such as money, cigarettes, and a poster advertising a talk Clinch gave on what he had seen. Two articles by Clinch are also preserved in the archive: a piece he wrote for the Kent messenger in June 1935, shortly after his return, and one for the August 1935 edition of the Typographical circular. In these, he expressed sincere admiration of the Soviet Union’s achievements. His Kent messenger article starts:
It is not easy for me, a worker with my hands, to set down all that I saw in this marvellous country, where they do things on a scale so vast that it staggers the imagination.
Last week’s fire at the Basilique Saint-Donatien in Nantes (excellent photo gallery) provides a good opportunity to talk about the series La grâce d’une cathédrale, and the associated La grâce d’une basilique. Published by La nuée bleue in Strasbourg, these are large format works focused on individual cathedrals and basilicas in France. The full list of published and forthcoming works is available on the series website—each of the extant volumes is available in the UL, and we will purchase the volumes once they are published.
One of the advantages of working in European Collections and Cataloguing is the opportunity to see new exhibition catalogues shortly after publication, which can be very useful when planning a visit to a European capital. When the workflow is at its most efficient, the catalogue’s acquisition can coincide with the opening of the exhibition, often the case when the volume is supplied under the terms of one of the Library’s approval plans.
In the middle of May I spent a long weekend in Paris, and before departure had the chance to look through two catalogues of exhibitions I was visiting – Poussin et Dieu (S950.a.201.3164) at the Louvre, and Velázquez at the Grand Palais (S950.a.201.3127). It was particularly interesting in the latter case to be able to compare the range of paintings exhibited with those presented at the National Gallery exhibition in 2006. Both the Paris catalogues are very substantial publications, presenting the latest research on the artists in question, but it is hard to imagine anyone actually carrying the books round and consulting them whilst in the exhibition.
A lecture will be given by journalist and biographer Ian Thomson on Pierpaolo Pasolini on Monday 29th June.
A touring exhibition about Germans in Britain by the Migration Museum Project opened last Sunday in Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. The exhibition runs until June 28th and focuses not only on specific German immigrants to Britain, but also on general influences some Germans have had on British life in various fields. The exhibition will also be accompanied by two public talks on June 18th and June 23rd. More information on the exhibition can be found on the Migration Museum Projects’s Homepage or on Murray Edwards College’s page. The topic of Germans in Britain has, of course, been widely discussed for decades and especially gained popularity in the aftermath of the World Championship in 2006. It is therefore not surprising that the UL holds a variety of books on the topic as well. Continue reading