A new film on the Cambridge caricatures of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune (1870-71)!

The digitised collection of Cambridge caricatures of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune (KF.3.9-14) is the subject of a new film featuring the University Library’s historical printing presses and produced by the Digital Content Unit.

Look out for the forthcoming exhibition on the first floor of the University Library!

It will feature satirical representations of the defeated French Emperor Napoleon III, and of the victorious German Emperor Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Explore the collection

Irène Fabry-Tehranchi

Frantsysk Skaryna and 500 years of Belarusian printing : the September 2017 Slavonic item(s) of the month

Earlier this month, the National Library of Belarus (NLB) held a conference to celebrate the history of Belarusian printing, marking the 500th anniversary of Frantsysk Skaryna’s publication of the Psalter – one of many Belarusian initiatives to celebrate Skaryna’s legacy.  Both the UL and Trinity College have contributed to another of NLB’s projects, to draw together as comprehensive as possible a database of scanned copies of all original Skaryna material.  Cambridge has provided digital copies of:

  • a fragment of Skaryna’s 1518 First Book of Kings (1 Samuel); exactly the same fragment is held by both Trinity and the UL (the latter at F151.c.7.10)
  • Skaryna’s 1522 Malaia podorozhnaia knizhitsa (Small travel book) Psalter (UL: F152.e.14.1)

Continue reading

Between Cambridge and Deventer

The extent of holdings of Dutch imprints in the University Library represents the hectic printing activity in the Netherlands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Books were printed in a variety of languages dominated by Latin and French. The Dutch were also masters in early Oriental and Arabic printing (Arabic is the only living language to have been taught almost continuously in the Netherlands for more than four centuries). In 1696, Dutchman Cornelius Cornefelt [Crownfield] was appointed manager of the newly established Cambridge University Press (he retired as late as 1740). He selected types that probably came from a foundry in Delft run by the widow of Jan Jacobsz Schipper and additional types may have been purchased from Dick Vosken’s widow. Both Presses (Oxford and Cambridge) profited from Low Country specialisation in Hebrew, Greek and Oriental types which did much to enrich scholarship at the universities.

Continue reading

The cyclist as hero: Harry Graf Kessler and private press books (Special Collections blog)

This post, written by guest author Dr Jaap Harskamp (formerly Curator of Dutch & Flemish collections at the British Library, who is now working on the University Library’s early Dutch books) celebrates the coming of the Tour de France to Cambridge.  It concerns Harry Graf Kessler and the connections between cycling and private press books.

The Eclogues of Vergil, in the original Latin. Edition limited to 264 copies [Weimar: Cranach Press, 1927], classmark Broxbourne.a.17 (p. [1])

The Eclogues of Vergil, in the original Latin. Edition limited to 264 copies [Weimar: Cranach Press, 1927], classmark Broxbourne.a.17 (p. [1])

The Library holds a number of collections of both printed and archival material of typographical interest such as the outstanding Stanley Morrison collection of books and papers, the Broxbourne collection, and others. It also has a considerable collection of printing artefacts associated with private presses (the Golden Cockerel Press, Eragny Press, and Ashendene Press amongst them) – including the punches, matrices and bookbinders’ tools from Harry Kessler’s Cranach Press.

Continue reading