The book’s cover, showing a digital reconstruction of the temple of Allat
In early 2016, a few months after the destruction of much of Palmyra, our former colleague Josh (now at UC Irvine) wrote about Palmyra and Henri Seyrig. A new arrival, unpacked this week and purchased at the request of a researcher in the Classics department, is a good reminder of the Polish contribution to Palmyra research.
The requested book, Palmyra by Michał Gawlikowski, was written in 2010. It is only 131 pages long and well illustrated and provides a general introduction (in Polish) to what was then still a well-maintained site of great importance. The book starts with a history of Polish involvement in the site, dating back to 1959 when Kazimierz Michałowski, the founder and head of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, set up an archaeological team there. The Polish team at Palmyra was later led by Gawlikowski, from 1973, and suspended with the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Palmyra ends with a bibliography, with many entries for Michałowski and Gawlikowski; some of those by the latter were co-written with Khaled al-Asaad, once chief archaeologist of Palmyra, who would be murdered by ISIS in 2015. Continue reading
The centenary this month of the start of the Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1920 provides good grounds for a post about the University Library’s Polish history holdings.
This week has seen the very welcome news that the pilot Polish Studies Programme, launched in 2014, has succeeded in attracting funding which will ensure that Polish will remain in the University academic programme in perpetuity. To celebrate this wonderful development, the July 2017 Slavonic blog post looks at Polish holdings in the University Library.
The UL holds over 25,000 volumes in Polish. The period covered by the Polish-language collections stretches over a span of more than 450 years from the mid-16th century to the current day. Books printed before 1800 are the smallest component, but they include some extremely important and rare items. The earliest book in Polish in the University Library is the first printed translation of the Bible into Polish, which was produced in 1561 in Kraków. The second translation, printed in 1563, is rarer than the first; all but 20 or so copies were destroyed. The University Library is fortunate enough to have two copies each of these first two editions (Young.55 and BSS.232.B61; Young.56 and BSS.232.B63).
Images from the Young.55 copy of the 1561 Polish Bible.
Images from the three featured books
Polish book selection in the University Library focuses on the history and culture of Poland, with art a well-represented subject. This month, we look at 3 recent arrivals, books on Tadeusz Peiper, Bruno Schulz, and Zygmunt Radnicki.
Our first item, ‘Papież awangardy’ (Pope of the avant-garde; S950.c.201.695) was published as a companion volume for the exhibition of the same name held in Warsaw in 2015. The exhibition examined the role played by Tadeusz Peiper in European culture, particularly the Polish and Spanish avant-garde. Peiper was a seriously influential figure in 1920s art and literature, chiefly in his native Poland but also in Spain – where he spent some years – and further afield.
Thursday 14 January sees the first of the Lent term’s CamCREES seminars. This blog post provides a brief bibliographical note of the Michaelmas seminars: Sheila Fitzpatrick’s talk on memoirs and the first three lectures in the joint CamCREES/Department of Slavonic Studies series ‘A Sense of Place, on the Arctic, post-WW2 Eastern Europe, and the Russian graphosphere.