Holodomor Memorial Day : the November 2022 Slavonic items of the month

The fourth Saturday of November is Holodomor Memorial Day, which marks the loss of millions of Ukrainians in the man-made famine of 1932/33.  Today, of course, the day of remembrance occurs during another man-made horror in Ukraine, as Russia’s war continues to take a terrible toll on Ukraine and Ukrainians.

We marked the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor in 2013 with a blog post about one particular book (here) and wrote again about the Holodomor in 2019, when the libraries put on a pop-up exhibition to tie in with a Cambridge Ukrainian Studies screening of the film ‘Mr Jones’ about the Welsh journalist whose unflinching reports of the horrors he saw were too easily ignored (blog post here). Continue reading

Simon Armitage on Ukraine : a new acquisition

This week, our blog post about Ukraine and library collections comes from Liam Sims of the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Department of the University Library.  RBEM occasionally buy modern material such as private press publications, and they recently bought the Solmentes Press book Resistance by poet Simon Armitage.  Read Liam’s post here: https://specialcollections-blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/?p=23530 

Italian literary prizewinners 2022

As the year 2022 draws to a close we take a look at the Italian literary prizes awarded during the course of the year.

Strega prize 2022:

This was awarded to Mario Desiati for his novel Spatriati. This psychological novel, or coming-of-age story, can be found in the UL at C217.c.3730.

Bagutta prize 2022:

The Bagutta prize is not restricted to any particular literary genre. This year it was awarded to Benedetta Craveri for her work La contessa, a biography of Virginia Verasis di Castiglione, a cousin of Count Camillo di Cavour. Continue reading

New CAIRN Francophone ebooks available through Cambridge University Library

CAIRN is a Francophone online platform originally founded by four French and Belgian publishers: Belin, De Boeck, La Découverte and Erès, focusing on social sciences and humanities periodicals. More recent partners include the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the University of Liège and the Centre National du Livre. In the past few years, especially since COVID (when the platform offered the library free access to all their ebooks for the month of May 2020), we started acquiring CAIRN ebooks, as well as receiving statistics about our readers’ attempts to access ebook titles on the platform.

CAIRN ebooks

Based on these information, and in order to continue diversifying the range of French and Francophone material available to our readers, while also taking into account the pricing of the ebooks, we recently made a bulk purchase of more than 200 titles selected from the Cairn catalogue, including both new and older publications that we did not already have in print. Members of Cambridge University Library now have access to about 450 CAIRN ebooks titles, available through Raven, either on iDiscover, or directly on the CAIRN platform and other websites, if you use the Lean library plugin. We are now in the process of upgrading online catalogue records for the newly acquired ebooks, which includes adding subject headings.  Continue reading

A new acquisition: the Panorama of the Franco-Prussian war by Percy Cruikshank (1870)

We are delighted to be able to shed light on the recent purchase by Cambridge University Library Special Collections of a satirical Panorama of the Franco-Prussian war. Illustrated by Percy Cruikshank, it probably dates from the end of 1870. It relates to both the exhibition of the Cambridge collection of 1870-71 caricatures held at the University Library this spring, and the academic conference on the Memory of 1870-71 held at Wolfson College by Marion Glaumaud-Carbonnier and Nick White last month.

Unfolded panorama in the Rare books reading roomThe Panorama of the Franco-Prussian war, published in London by F. Platts & Mann Nephews, was “painted by PC from the sketches of Messrs. Smith, Brown, Jones & Robinson”. The full signature of Percy Cruikshank (1817-1880) appears repeatedly within the images themselves. Percy came from an illustrious family of caricaturists: he was the son of Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856), the nephew of George Cruikshank (1792-1878), and the grandson of Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811). He contributed caricatures of the Franco-Prussian war to the British satirical humour magazine Judy or the London Serio-Comic Journal (named after Punch and Judy). The highly collaborative nature of the panorama is interesting given the reference to no less than four sketchers. Continue reading