Cunard ‘Old’ and ‘New’

On Monday 23rd July visitors to Liverpool’s waterfront will have the opportunity to see Cunard’s youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth as she makes her seventh visit to the city. This particular visit will celebrate an historic date for the company, that of the 80th anniversary of the launch of the Mauretania II, one of Cunard’s most famous ships. The occasion is being marked with a “sail away show” that will take place at Princes Dock at 16.30.

Constructed at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead, the Mauretania II was the largest ship ever to be constructed in an English shipyard at the time. Huge crowds of tens of thousands of people came to see the launch which was carried out on 28th July 1938 by Lady Bates, wife of the Cunard chairman Percy Bates.

Mauretania II launch at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead (D42/PR1/14/147)

The Mauretania II made its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on 17th June 1939 but was soon hired by the government for use in the war effort. During the early stages of the war the ship transported Australian troops to Suez, India and Singapore but later it mainly served in the north Atlantic. After the war the Mauretania II served on the Southampton to New York route but it was also used as a cruise ship to destinations such as the West Indies.

1953 brochure advertising cruises on the Mauretania II (D42/PR4/17/1/7/1)

The Cunard Archive contains many records relating to the history of Mauretania II which can be found within the Accounts Department, Chairman’s Papers, General Manager’s Office and Public Relations files. There are also records within the Cunard Associated Deposits, a collection of records donated by members of the public. Further information about the Cunard Archive can be found on our website.

This Week’s War: 207

Aside

‘Morning at 202. All my windows blown in. Left a man in the ditch for dead and he was only wounded. Ashamed, ashamed. Should have stopped, but he seemed too smashed for not dead.’

Diary of Olaf Stapledon, entry dated Monday 15th July 1918 [OS/A1/20].

This Week’s War: 206

Aside

“We are going to make another move to-day, though only about five miles, and not nearer to the horrid Hun. There is far too much of the ‘circuit’ system in army life; we never get settled but we move.”

Entry dated July 15th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 205

Aside

‘Much running. Civilians and their baggage going from all the villages of Sainte-Menehould. Midnight alerte[?]. Whole convoy ready to clearout, engines running…’

Diary of Olaf Stapledon, entry dated Friday 5th July [OS/A1/20].

New accession: Professor Dilling’s archive

Our University Archives were recently enhanced by the welcome addition of a collection of papers previously belonging to Professor Walter Dilling (1886-1950), pharmacology professor at the University of Liverpool.

Dilling was born in Aberdeen and went on to attend the city’s university, graduating in 1907. As Carnegie research scholar he studied and worked in Germany at the University of Rostock, before returning to Scotland to take up a lectureship at the University of Aberdeen; here he delivered a course on experimental pharmacology for medical students, the first of its kind in Britain. He moved to the University of Glasgow in 1914 and in 1920 became a lecturer in pharmacology at Liverpool, rising to Associate Professor before his appointment to the newly created Chair of Pharmacology in 1930.

Professor Dilling, 1936

Dilling’s archive reflects his varied professional and personal interests. There are research papers and lecture notes on everything from the origin and development of girdles, to modern drugs in dental surgery, to the treatment of various diseases throughout history.

A keen music lover, Dilling served as Chairman of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society and was an ardent admirer of opera, particularly Wagner. The text of many of the lectures he delivered to the Young People’s Opera Circle (of which he was chairman) can be found in the archive.

Score for Wagner’s ‘Die Feen’ (‘The Fairies’)

The collection also contains a large amount of correspondence, mostly comprising letters between Dilling, his parents, his beloved wife Vida, and their two children, Nancy and Eva. There is also a small section of items belonging to Vida, including a diary covering her time in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.

Both Walter and Vida undertook vital work during the wars. During the First World War Vida served for a time as registrar at the Scottish National Red Cross Hospital in Bellahouston, Glasgow, while Walter utilised his medical knowledge in the Royal Army Medical Corps. During the Second World War he commanded the medical company of the University Senior Training Corps, working alongside student stretcher bearers to receive casualties at the railway terminus.

Dilling initially volunteered in the Royal Army Medical Corps between 1903-1905 and returned during the First World War, becoming an officer in 1916

We also hold around 70 books formerly belonging to Dilling, most of which were transferred to SC&A from the old Pharmacology Library in 2010. A previous blog post highlighted these items, which can be located on the library catalogue.

Cataloguing of the archive is currently underway; it will be accessible later this year.

This Week’s War: 204

Aside

“It will always be a disappointment to me as regards this war (I cannot answer for the next), that I never was in any actual fighting. The ordinary risks of the trenches troubled me so little that (though I strongly object to the idea of being killed, and have no wish even for the ‘cushiest’ wound), I should like to have carried my experiences a step further – merely for the sake of experience.”

Entry dated June 30th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 203

Aside

‘Things are much as they were, the Hun is preparing another blow in France and has already struck in Italy. I think he is failing there.’

Personal diary of Percy Bates, entry dated 19th June 1918 [D641/2/1/5].

This Week’s War: 202

Aside

“It’s the soldier we worry about; he has been shrapnelled, […] shell-shocked, and gassed, but is still hard at it as adjutant. But he is tired, though cheerful.”

Extract from a letter dated 14th June 1918, from Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh to Robert Andrew Scott Macfie, who was serving abroad in the Army, [GLS E1/1/22].

‘Seeing Euclid’ at the Harold Cohen Library

Euclid’s Elements of Geography is the subject of a new display in the Harold Cohen Library. Throughout the summer, a network of exhibitions – ‘Seeing Euclid’ – will highlight the legacy of Euclid’s work in Early Modern Britain and Ireland, with displays of books and other artefacts from the first two hundred years of Euclid in print. Organised as part of the University of Oxford’s AHRC funded research project ‘Reading Euclid’, the exhibition is a collaboration between nearly thirty institutions across Britain and Ireland.

Written around 300BCE, Euclidean geometry has held sway in Europe for nearly two and a half thousand years. It has been used by surveyors to map fields and architects to design buildings, as well as being critically important to the teaching of mathematics at many different times and in many different places. Early thinkers turned to it as a source of philosophy, whilst later readers saw in it a monument to the genius of the Greeks, or an exercise for improving the mind. Nearly three hundred editions of the text appeared between 1482 and 1700 – with a particular resurgence in the seventeenth century – and more than 1900 copies of these editions survive in libraries and repositories across Britain and Ireland. As a consequence, this text represents an important meeting point in the history of mathematics, the history of ideas, the history of practice, and the history of the book.

The ‘Seeing Euclid’ website includes details of the displays at each of the participating institutions. The display at the Harold Cohen Library runs until the 15th July and is open to external visitors as well as members of the University, Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm.

 

Items on display:

Contenta. Euclidis Megarensis Geometricorum eleme[n]torum libri… XV.

Paris: Henri Estienne, 1516

This is the earliest edition of Euclid’s Elements held by the University of Liverpool, and the first to be printed in France. Our copy was part of a British Museum duplicates sale of 1787.

Euclidis Megarensis, philosophi & mathematici excellentissimi, Sex libri priores, de geometricis principiis, Graeci & Latini

Basel: Johannes Herwagen, 1550

This item has been owned by a number of interesting characters, including royalty.

 

The elements of geometrie of the most auncient philosopher Euclide of Megara. Faithfully (now first) translated into the Englishe toung, by H. Billingsley, citizen of London.

London: John Day, 1570

This was the first English translation of Euclid. The edition boasts striking engravings, and a number of pop-up diagrams – which give the book a 3D, interactive aspect.

 

Euclides metaphysicus, sive, De principiis sapientiae, stoecheidea E.

White, Thomas

London: John Martyn, James Allestry and Thomas Dicas, 1658

This copy of a work by Thomas White (1593-1676) – English priest and scholar – contains an inscription by Dr. Sir Charles Scarburgh (1615-1694), physician to Charles II, James II, William III and Prince George of Denmark. Scarburgh was working on an edition of Euclid at his death, which was completed by his son in 1705.

More information about each of these items is available on the ‘Seeing Euclid’ website, and in the physical display.

 

Other works of Euclid at the University of Liverpool include:

Euclidis Elementorum libri XV. breviter demonstrati, opera Is. Barrow, Cantabrigiensis, Coll. Trin. Soc. Et prioribus mendis typographicis nunc demum purgati.

London: Abel Swall, 1687

This pocket-sized Latin edition, issued by English mathematician Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), contains the inscription of William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882), a Liverpool-born economist and logician. On the title-page are two further inscriptions: G. Stinton, E. Coll. Reg. Oxon, and Matt Walls.

 

Evclidis elementorvm libri XV. Græce et latine, quibus, cum ad omnem mathematicæ scientiæ partem, tum ad quamlibet geometriæ tractionem, facilis comparatur aditus.

Cologne: Maternus Cholinus, 1564

This early, compact edition has a number of ownership marks, many of which have been obscured – or in the case of a bookplate, torn out. There is also a pencil drawing of a building on one of the endleaves.

 

Euclid’s Elements of geometry. In XV. books: with a supplement of divers propositions and corollaries….Published by the care and industry of John Leeke and George Serle, students in the mathematicks.

London: George Sawbridge, 1661

This was the third complete edition of Euclid in English, and includes a reprint of the John Dee preface that first appeared in the 1570 translation. The edition also contains the first English printing of Euclid’s Data. With an engraved frontispiece portrait of Euclid and verse by G. Wharton: