Among the February 1918-related exhibits soon to be added to the University Library’s Revolution exhibition is a letter from Leon Trotsky. The letter came to the Library as part of the papers of the Conservative politician, Sir Samuel John Gurney Hoare (1880-1959), second Baronet, and first and last Viscount Templewood. Hoare was in Russia as an intelligence officer in 1916, and his interest in the country continued long after his departure. Quite how this letter, which is dated 27 February 1918 and refers to the work of the agent Bruce Lockhart, came to be amongst Hoare’s papers is only one of its mysteries.
In late 2017, we announced on this blog the start of Revolution : the First Bolshevik Year, a new online exhibition at the University Library tracking the dramatic events unfolding one hundred years ago. Since then, two new batches of items have been added. Most recently, six pieces have gone up which link to developments in December 1917 and January 1918 (this doubling up will cease with the next month’s batch, since the Soviet adoption of the Gregorian calendar took place in February 1918). Stamps, books, music, and a satirical cartoon, the new items relate to the formation of the Red Army and the increasing activity of the White movement, revolution and the arts, and the short-lived Constituent Assembly.
The preceding batch looked at the December 1917 armistice for the Eastern Front, the rapidly unravelling situation in Ukraine, and the introduction of revolutionary economy.
Full captions for all the items featured in this post can be found on the exhibition site.
Before long, the most exciting stage of work on the exhibition – the involvement of undergraduates as co-curators – is due to begin. A further report on progress will appear on this blog before long.
A couple of weeks ago I heard a piece on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row (still available here) about an exhibition at Tate Liverpool, on until March next year, which highlights the surrealist movement in Egypt and the associated Art et Liberté group.
Our copy of the related exhibition catalogue is in French (Art et Liberté: rupture, guerre et surréalisme en Égypte (1938-1948) – S950.a.201.5158) as the exhibition started off last year at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This major exhibition took six years to bring together and features 130 artworks by 37 painters, along with 200 archival documents. By August next year it will have been seen in five different locations: Paris, Madrid, Düsseldorf, Liverpool and Stockholm. The exhibition catalogue has been produced in five languages, French, Spanish, German, English and Arabic, but not Swedish (I think Stockholm was perhaps a later addition to the tour as it is not included in the itinerary given in the catalogue). Continue reading
This week saw the launch of Revolution : the First Bolshevik Year, a year-long online exhibition which will grow on a monthly basis and will be co-curated with undergraduates. The first month’s exhibits are also on physical display to readers and the public in the Library’s Entrance Hall for today and tomorrow – Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2017.
This exhibition will look at the events of the October Revolution and the year that followed, using a wide range of material from the University Library’s collections to illustrate the dramatic 1917-1918 timeline. In future months, we will see students from various faculties and departments get involved in the project, giving them the chance to curate books and objects from the Library’s fascinating revolution-era collections.
The first month’s worth of exhibits consists of 11 items in 8 online groups, telling the story of the 27 October/7 November start of the revolution, with postcards of Moscow showing buildings altered by the fighting that took place and foreign accounts of the tumultuous events in Petrograd and beyond, before taking an initial look at the impact of the revolution on the arts. Regular readers of this blog will be unsurprised to hear that several of these first exhibits (and more of those to come) are from the Catherine Cooke collection. It is a pleasure to be able to look out items there and further afield in the Library for the exhibition, and I hope that students will feel similarly inspired as they handle this remarkable material. Monthly updates to the online exhibition will be flagged by further blog posts.
This guest post by Helena Sanson (Clare College, Cambridge) and Francesco Lucioli (University College Dublin) has been written to accompany the book display in the North Front corridor of the University Library, organised by them in collaboration with Anna-Luise Wagner (Selwyn College, Cambridge)
2016 marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of one of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance literature, and world literature more broadly: the Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto (Reggio Emilia 1474 – Ferrara 1533). As a contribution towards the celebrations of this anniversary that has seen conferences and events taking place all over the world, a book display of Orlando furioso editions held in Cambridge University Library will be held between 7 November and 3 December. On Friday 18 November, there will also be an event in Clare College entitled The Fortunes of the Orlando furioso, 1516-2016, which is free and open to the general public. The event includes public lectures by Renaissance specialists on the fortunes of the poem in literature, art and music (Clare College, Latimer room, 3-5 pm), followed by a concert of arias inspired across the centuries by this magnificent poem (Clare College Chapel, 6 pm). More details on the event and on how to register can be found here: http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/italian/news/Fortunes-of-the-Orlando-Furioso. Continue reading