Two books for learning Spanish in 19th century England

The Spanish language started attracting widespread attention in Britain in the 19th century, when “Great Britain’s attitude to Spain was softening, and former prejudices were giving way to a new understanding” (The emergence and growth of Hispanic studies in British and Irish universities, 2018.11.705).


First issue of Bulletin of Spanish Studies (Dec. 1923) P744.c.6.1

Modern languages were officially introduced in the 19th century in universities such as King’s College London and University College London, and later, in the so-called Redbrick universities (Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol) – the term “redbrick” was coined by an influential English Hispanist, Edgar Allison Peers, Professor at Liverpool and founder of the Bulletin of Spanish studies (1923). These newer universities were more open to the study of modern languages than the historic universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge. Continue reading

Love for three oranges : the November 2018 Slavonic items of the month

The University Library recently received several dozen books from the library of the late Russian drama critic and Cambridge graduate Edward (Ted) Braun.  Professor Braun studied in particular the work of Vsevolod Meierkhol’d, commonly anglicised as Meyerhold.  Meierkhol’d published an influential journal of literary and critical texts called Liubov’ k trem apel’sinam (Love for three oranges) over the course of 1914 to 1916.  The UL had only one volume, so we were delighted to be offered all those collected by Professor Braun.  We now hold all but the first issue.

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80 years ago in the night of November 9-10, 1938 Nazi Germany unleashed terror on its Jewish citizens. The ‘Reichskristallnacht’ marked the beginning of the Nazis’ implementation of their ‘final solution’, the annihilation of the Jewish population and with it the destruction of Jewish culture and civilization. In this post we look at the Soncino-Gesellschaft as an example of the rich Jewish culture which was destroyed by Nazi Germany. Continue reading

Recruitment and update on the Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, 1944-1946

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, 1944-1946, which consists of books and pamphlets in French on the Second World War, the Occupation and the Liberation, has become a major part of the French Special collections at Cambridge University Library. In 2014 the Liberation collection comprised 600 volumes, but it now includes over 3000 items. Over the years, staff from the Collections and Academic Liaison and the Rare Books departments have contributed to the processing, cataloguing and promotion of the collection, including Sophie Defrance, Sophie Dubillot, Josh Hutchinson, David Lowe and Clara Panozzo Zénere. We are now very pleased to be able to recruit a new cataloguer who will be in charge of cataloguing the last 1000 books of the collection!

The collection, donated to Cambridge University Library by Charles Chadwyck-Healey, started in 2001 with the purchase of the photographic album by Jean Éparvier, À Paris, sous la botte des nazis, Éditions Raymond Schall, 1944 (Liberation.a.33), and is very rich in illustrated books. In 2014, for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, the collection was the focus of a Cambridge University Library exhibition: Literature of the Liberation, the French Experience in Print, 1944-1946 (see Cam.b.2014.25).

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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.