Friends of the Old Library newsletter 2011

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Friends of the Old Library newsletter 2011

Text of Friends of the Old Library newsletter 2011

  • 1

    ItsbeenanotherbusyyearfortheOldLibrary.ThankstotheFriends,theconservationprogrammehascontinuedtoimproveaccesstothecollections.Thecataloguingprojectisalsoongoing,improvingawarenessofChristsrichholdings.Youcanread

    aboutthehighlightsofbothprojectsonpages3and4.

    TwopopularexhibitionsofthecollectionsthisyearhavebeenonTheMeasureoftheHeavensandtheEarth:MathematicalSciencesintheEarlyModernPeriodandChristsatWar:theCollegeanditsMembersduringtheFirstWorldWar.ThelatteristhefocusoftheAutumnFriendseventonSaturday24Septemberandyoucanfindoutmoreaboutitonpage5.Librarystaffhaveworkedhardtoensurethatawidevarietyofaudienceshaveaccesstotheseexhibitions.Thearticleonpage6discussesthebenefits.

    TherewillbenewfacestomeetattheFriendsoftheOldLibraryeventsthisyear.AmelieRoperwillbejoiningusasChristsCollegeLibrarian,fromtheRoyalCollegeofMusic.ThisisfollowingthedepartureofNazlinBhimaniwhomanyofyoumetatlastyearsevents.NazlinistakingupapositionattheInstituteofEducationinLondon.TheLibraryhasalsorecruitedanewGraduateTrainee,ThomasGuest,anEnglishLiteratureGraduatefromYorkUniversity.OurGraduateTrainee2010-11,CharlotteByrneisremainingatChriststotakeupthepostofLibraryAssistant.

    Ilookforwardtowelcomingyoutoeventsin2011-12and,asalways,IencourageFriendsnottohesitatetovisittheOldLibraryonotheroccasionstoo.PleasedolettheLibraryteamknowifyouwouldliketovisitorhaveanyqueriesorsuggestionsabouttheFriendsoftheOldLibraryscheme.MayIextendthanksonbehalfoftheOldLibraryandallthosewhobenefitfromitforyourcontinuedsupportinconservingitsworld-classcollections.

    Dates For Your Diary

    Saturday 24 September 2011Amessagefromthetrenches Christs At War

    AnexhibitionandtalkbasedaroundusingarchivestodiscoverthestoriesofindividualsandinstitutionsduringtheFirstandSecondWorldWars.

    Saturday 10 March 2012RevolutionaryCollegeThe Thomas Hollis Collection in context

    AtalkgivenbyProfessorAllenReddickoftheUniversityofZurichandaccompanyingexhibitionabouttheremarkablepoliticalpropagandist,ThomasHollis(17201774).ThomasHollisreprintedandsentworksofliteraturefromtheseventeenth-centuryrepublicancanontolibrariesacrossBritain,Europeand,latterly,America,inordertokeepthecauseofparliamentaryreformaliveduringadifficultperiod.ChristsCollegewasamongthebeneficiariesofHollisgenerosity,inspiredbytheCollegeslinkwithMilton.ProfessorReddickiscurrentlyworkingonadescriptivebibliographyandanalysisofHollisgiftsthroughouttheworld.

    Welcome to the Friends of the Old Library Newsletter 2011 From Dr Gavin Alexander, Fellow Librarian

  • 2Derek Birch

    1924 - 2011

    How Barbara met Derek

    Many of you will have enjoyed meeting Barbara and Derek Birch at Friends of the Old Library events. Sadly, Derek recently passed away. He will be missed at future events. His wife Barbara kindly took the time to tell Naomi about how they met. It was a romance set in Christs College Library...

    BarbaraandDerekBirchmetbackinthedaywhentheCollegeLibrarywasjoinedtotheBursary.DerekwasstudyingHistoryattheCollege.BarbaraworkedintheLibraryandtheBursary.ForDerek,itwasloveatfirstsight.WhenhesawBarbara,helatertoldher,hethought,Thatsthegirlforme.AfterthathewasoftenintheLibrarychattingtoherandatChristmasheevenbroughtoversomecake.

    BarbaratoldmeabouthowtheLibraryinthe1940swasdifferenttothebuildingIworkinnow.ArthurPeckwastheLibrarian.EventhentheLibraryofferedself-servicebutinsteadofsigningbooksoutonthecomputerastheydonow,studentswouldsignoutthebookonapaperslipandstickitonaspike.ThenstaffwouldtransfertheinformationintotheLibraryspapersystem.

    BarbaralivedoutinLintonsoshehadtogetthebusearlytogettoworkontime.ShewasalwaysthefirstoneintheBursary,comingstraightinthroughthesidegateintoFirstCourt.ShedidnothavetimetohavebreakfastinthemorningbutaladycalledRosie,whoworkedinthekitchen,usedtobringherapieceofbutteredtoast.BarbaraandDerekfinallygottogetheratadanceatTheDorothyBallroomonValentinesDay1947.LivingoutinLinton,Barbarahadtofindothergirlswithwhomtosharetheexpenseofataxitogettothedance.ShehadnottoldDerekshewasplanningtogosohewasverysurprisedtoseeher.Herusheduptoherandsaid,Youdidnttellmeyouweregoingtobehere!.Afterthatdancetheysaweachothernearlyeveryday.

    FindingloveinChristsCollegeLibrarywasnotsucharareoccurrence.MurielSadler,workingintheLibrary/BursarymetandmarriedChristsstudent,JohnBenson.TheBursarcomplainedthatallhisgirlsgotmarriedwhentheystartedtoworkatChrists.ButBarbaraandDerekmightneverhavefoundloveintheLibraryifithadnotbeenforaHistoryMasteratDereksschoolinLeicestershirewhotookhistalentedpupilsonholidaytotheBroadsandencouragedDerek,aged11,toaimforCambridge.

    BarbaraandDerekgotmarriedintheCatholicChurchonHillsRoadonSeptember201950.Theycelebrated60yearsofmarriagelastyear.IdliketothankBarbarafortellingmethisstory.ItsmademelookattheLibraryinanewlight.

  • 3

    A love of conservation

    Since the last newsletter, the Cambridge Conservation Consortium have continued their sterling work, facilitating access to many items in the collection that would otherwise have deteriorated badly when used. Among the many successfully conserved items this year, one stands out as a jewel in Christs collections now that we can open it.

    Thepoet,Keshavadsa(1555-1617)wrotethelongwork,Rasikapriyforhispatronsson,Indrajit.HeseemedalsotohavehadinmindtheentertainmentofreadersofamorousverseasRasikapriyisdevotedtothevariousaspects,conditionsandpossibilitiesoflove.Thepictures(left and right)showanillustrationfromahandwrittenversionofthispoeminChristsspecialcollections.

    ThemanuscriptinChristsCollegeisrecordedinBrownescatalogueas:

    1397. Rashk-i-Pariyn (the Envy of the Fairies), a Gentoo tale in the Hindustani language adorned with paintings, and dated 15 Safar, 1077 / Aug. 17, 1666. Ff. 79 of 27 x 18.6 c. Presented by John Hutton.

    IfthedateiscorrectthenitwascreatedwithinacenturyofKeshavadsasoriginal.Themanuscriptisafineexampleofdelicatecalligraphyandvibrant,detailedilluminations.

    Unfortunately,whenanacademicenquiredtoseethevolume,wefoundthatearlier,unsympatheticrepairworkmadeitdifficulttoopen.Thebookwasalsoinafragilestate;thesewingofthebindingwasbrokenandthepageswerefallingout.Thepictureontherightshowshowthemanuscriptopenedbeforeconservation.

    Theconservatorstookthebindingoffandremovedtheearlierpaperrepairsbygentlyhumidifyingthem.Forthenewrepairs,JapanesepaperwastonedtomatchthecolouroftheoriginalpagesandattachedusingpurifiedJapanesewheat-starchpaste.

    ThepictureontheleftshowsapieceoftonedJapanesepaperreadytobepastedintopositiononadamagedcornerofoneofthepages.Thebindingwasrepairedandresewnandaboxwasmadetogivethemanuscriptfurtherprotection.

    ThankstotheChristsmembershipoftheCambridgeConservationConsortium,thesplendourofthisearlyIndiantextcanbestudiedandenjoyedwithoutfearofdamagingitspages.

  • 4References:Bahadur,K.P.Rasikapriy of Keshavadsa.MotilalBanarsidass:1972.Browne,E.G.Supplementary hand-list of the Muhammadan manuscripts [...] preserved in the libraries of the University and colleges of Cambridge.CambridgeUniversityPress:1922.

    The Old Library Cataloguing Project

    HavingfinishedtheLesinghamSmithCollection,JaneGregoryhasmovedontothenextpartoftheproject.Shedescribesafewofthetreasuresshehascatalogued.

    AtpresentIamworkingontheOldLibraryslargecollectionofBiblesandBiblecommentaries.AninterestingvolumewhichIhavejustcataloguedisafirsteditionoftheBookofRevelationinSyriac,printedinLeidenin1627.Itsornatetitlepageisprintedinredandblack,andthetextisinparallelcolumnsofSyriacandHebrew,withaLatintranslationandtheGreektextbelow.

    AnotherpolyglottextisaversionofHoseaprintedin1621,alsoinLeiden.TheHebrewtextisaccompaniedbytheLatinversionofSanctesPagnini;theAramaicparaphraseisprintedfromthe6thBibliaRabbinica(revisedbyJ.BuxtorfandprintedatBaslein1608-10),withtheLatinversionofthistakenfromtheAntwerpPolyglot.ItalsoincludestheRabbiniccommentariesofRashi,IbnEzraandKimhi,withaLatintranslationbyJohannesMercerus.TheMasorahparvawithaLatinversion(fromR.Stephanusedition)completestheselection.

  • 5

    Christs at War: The College and its members during the First World War

    Charlotte Byrne

    DuringmygraduatetraineeyearIwasluckyenoughtobegiventheopportunitytocurateanexhibitionintheBodleylibraryusingsomeofitsspecialcollections.TheideacametometoputupanexhibitionaboutChristsduringtheFirstWorldWarwhilstIwascataloguingthecorrespondenceofW.H.D.Rouse,aChristsFellow.WhilsthewasheadmasteratthePerseSchool,RousereceivedmanylettersfromoldboyswhowereservingattheFront.TheseletterswerebothfascinatingandmovingandIwantedtofindoutmoreabouttheirauthors.IthenstartedtowonderabouthowChristsCollegewasaffectedbytheWar.

    MyquestforinformationbeganbygoingthroughtheCollegemagazinesforthisperiod.TheygavedetailsaboutthenumberofstudentspastandpresentwhowerefightingonthefrontaswellinformationaboutCollegelifeingeneral.TrawlingthroughthearchivesIfoundphotographs,lettersandartefactsthathelpillustratethehistoryoftheCollegeatthistime.IhopepeoplewillfindthisforgottenperiodoftheCollegeshistoryasfascinatingasIdo.

    DuringtheMichaelmastermof1914halfofChristspromisingyoungmenhadenlistedinthearmyandtheCollegesnumberscontinuedtodiminishasthewarwenton.TheCollegedidntremainemptyforlongthoughasitsoonstartedaccommodatingcompaniesoftrainingofficers.Buglecallat7:15

    becameapartofdailyCollegelifeandtherewasabanonoutsidelightsintheCollege.OnlyafewelectriclightswereusedinHallandtheHighTablewaslitbycandles.

    TheCollegemadeaspecialcontributiontotheWareffortbyfundingaY.M.C.A.HutinYpres.ArthurShipley,MasterofChristsatthetime,raised700forthebuildingwhichprovidedrespiteforsoldierscomingoffthefrontline.

    TheexhibitionalsofeaturesthestoryoftheChristsundergraduatewhowastheinspirationforthemuch-lovedWarMemorialthatstandsonHillsRoadinCambridge,andletterswrittenfromthefrontlinetoW.H.D.Rouse(m.1881)byhisoldpupilsatthePerseSchool.

    Visitorstotheexhibitionhavesaid:

    Very interesting Congratu