The enduring appeal of Struwwelpeter

In 1844 a German doctor (and later psychiatrist at a psychiatric hospital in Frankfurt) was looking for a book to give his three year old son for Christmas but couldn’t find anything suitable, considering the books on sale to be too long and moralising. He decided to create something himself instead, being accustomed to sketching pictures to pacify child patients. This was Heinrich Hoffmann and his creation was Struwwelpeter, a short illustrated collection of cautionary tales which graphically demonstrated what would happen to children who misbehaved or disobeyed their parents. His bestselling book is one of the most well-known works for children in Germany, running to more than 700 editions, translated into more than 40 languages and with many imitations and parodies. There is even a museum dedicated to Struwwelpeter and Hoffmann in Frankfurt am Main. In this blog post we explore in more detail the original book and some of the many versions of it. Continue reading

Biblioteca Italiana Zanichelli (“La BIZ”)

ejournals@cambridge

The BIZ (Biblioteca Italiana Zanichelli) is an online collection of over 1,000 texts of Italian literature, ranging from its origins to the early decades of the twentieth century.

Published by Casalini Libri, and available on its “Ubidictionary” platform, the BIZ includes the complete works of the major Italian writers, as well as those of many minor and obscure writers.

Additional multimedia and translation features are available when a personal account is created.

Access the collection via this link on or off campus:

https://ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/login?url=https://u.ubidictionary.com/dashboard/

or via the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z.  Please note that our subscription is limited to 3 simultaneous users, so when you have finished your session please log out.  Thank you.

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Annual Liberation Literature Lecture: Parisian women and the Nazi occupation, 1 November

Originally posted on the Special Collections blog:

We are delighted to announce that the annual Liberation Literature Lecture, held in partnership with Clare Hall, will be delivered by award-winning author Anne Sebba.

Anne’s lecture is entitled “Parisian women and the Nazi occupation: uncovering their lives and their relationships” and is based on her compelling book, Les Parisiennes, published in 2016 (C213.c.2385). She conducted extensive research, including firsthand interviews with women who survived the war in Paris, to bring to light the unknown voices and  stories of women of all ages, classes and nationalities.

Cover of Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba

Reviewing the book, novelist Edmund White commented,

This is a fascinating book I couldn’t stop reading. Anne Sebba knows everything about Paris during the War. She understands everything about the chic, loathsome collaborators and the Holocaust victims, and their stories are told in an irresistible narrative flood.

Madeleine Kingsley in the Jewish Chronicle called it a “tour de force of research and reflection”.

It promises to be an enthralling lecture on an important subject and will be accompanied by an exhibition of books drawn from the Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection 1944-1946. The event takes place in the Richard Eden suite at Clare Hall on Thursday 1 November 2018 at 18:00. The lecture, followed by a wine reception, is free and open to everyone but tickets must be reserved. Click here to book.

The Cartonera collection: hand-made books with cardboard covers

In 2017, Cambridge University Library became a partner in the two-year AHRC project “Cartonera Publishing : Relations, Meaning and Community in Movement.” The Library then agreed to build a collection of 200 items from cardboard publishers (editoriales cartoneras), with a focus on Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Continue reading

“Holocaust Literature” in the Liberation Collection

Everybody knows about Ruth Klüger or Primo Levi; Imre Kertész won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2002, and Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. These authors are famous for their autobiographical texts about the Shoah, which they wrote after having survived the Nazi extermination camps. Their books are well known, they became part of the literary canon and have led to a lot of scholarly research.

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection in Cambridge University Library offers a promising addition to that field of research, because the collection keeps very similar, though much lesser known books. As the Liberation Collection focuses on books published between the Liberation of Paris in August 1944 and the end of 1946, the collection’s accounts of the Holocaust rank among the earliest testimonies of Nazi crimes, deportation and mass murder during the Second World War. These testimonies range from written accounts to documents and even paintings and illustrations. Even for research focused on books about the extermination camp of Auschwitz, the Liberation Collection offers a diversity of genre, tone, biographical background and emphasis.

Continue reading