World Photo Day 2018

This coming weekend sees the return of World Photo Day for 2018. To celebrate, Special Collections and Archives staff have selected one of their favourite photographs from within the collections and explained why it is special.

Jenny Higham, Special Collections and Archives Manager

A147 Harold Cohen Reading Room

“As I’ve found it impossible to pick a favourite across all the collections, I thought I would choose this photograph of the main reading room in the Harold Cohen Library, taken for the firm of its architect, Harold Dod.  A recent deposit from the University’s Facilities, Commercial and Residential Services, the photograph shows the scale and style of the new building, funded by Liverpool businessman Cohen and opened by the former prime minister, Earl Baldwin of Bewdley on May 21st 1938.”

Katy Hooper, Special Collections Librarian

RPXXIIA.1.3

“This beautiful photograph album from the Rathbone papers shows May Rathbone at various young ages; the photographs, which are decorated with Victorian pen-and-ink drawings and/or studio props (from which historic photos can be dated), shows a determined little girl/young woman (the only child in her family to survive childhood), who later went on to become a doctor, mountaineer, and botanist.”

Jo Klett, University Archivist

D361/1/34. © Frank Neubert

“Sister Benn with a pair of forceps in an operating theatre, at Liverpool Royal Infirmary in the early-mid 20th C. What can I say?!”

Andy Sawyer, Science Fiction Librarian

PX8721.B74 1937. ©Harold Godfrey

“These are two of the most iconic photos in Science Fiction history: the first science fiction convention at Leeds Theosophical Hall in 1937.

The “group photo” is most of those attending, including Liverpool’s Eric Frank Russell, then at the very beginning of his writing career. And Les Johnson, Secretary of the Liverpool Science Fiction Group.”

L-R: Walter Gillings, Arthur C. Clarke, J. “Ted” Carnell. PX8721.B74 1937. ©Harold Godfrey

“The three unlikely suspects above are the three most important men in 20th century British Science Fiction.

Left to right: Walter Gillings, founder of the first British fan group who spent many years trying to establish a British science fiction magazine, which he finally did just before the Second World War.
Arthur C. Clarke, almost certainly the most famous British sf writer after H. G. Wells, then writing in fanzines and promoting the British Interplanetary Society. He had just moved to London (1936).
J. “Ted” Carnell, who after the war became editor of the influential NEW WORLDS magazine and later edited a series of “New Writings in Science Fiction” anthologies.

Without these three, it’s doubtful if the British would have had much of a presence in Science Fiction.”

Siân Wilks, Archivist (Cunard)

D42/PR2/1/97/F67

“Choosing just one photograph from the many thousands that can be found within the Cunard archive is an almost impossible task. With this in mind I have selected one of the few colour transparencies that can be found within the collection that show passengers dancing on board RMS Queen Mary. It looks like getting there really was half the fun!”

Niamh Delaney, Assistant Librarian (Special Collections)

P.170

“This image shows a family of Belgian Gypsies – Carlo Basili [or Vasili] and his children, at Barnet, Herts. It was taken by Fred Shaw, a member of the Gypsy Lore Societywho had met and photographed the family two years previously; he therefore had a friendly relationship with the family, and as a fluent speaker of various Romani dialects, was well known by Romany communities. Other examples of Shaw’s work are currently on display in Paris at the exhibition Mondes tsiganes: La fabrique des images (#MondesTsiganes @MNHI; more information can be found online here.)”

Josette Reeves, Archives Cataloguer

D587-1-4 [1912-1915]

“There are lots of photos of various sports teams in the University Archive, and many of them are posed shots of the teams holding their rackets/sticks/etc and looking terribly serious. So I love this one of the men and women’s tennis teams relaxing and drinking tea in Calderstones Park in around 1912 – they all look so happy. And just look at those clothes!”

Robyn Orr, Library Assistant

A241/F

“It was hard to pick just the one, but any photograph including a cat is a winner for me. This particular cat is having an examination of his back leg by the Vets at Leahurst Veterinary School, at some point between the 1960s and 1980s. His little shocked face says it all… You can see more Special Collections and Archives material relating to cats here!”

Michaela Garland, Graduate Library Assistant

D42-PR2-1-95-Q27 © Reuters

“This photo is really striking as it captures a moment in time when the Queen Elizabeth was undertaking her duties as a troopship. Perhaps these men were being transported into the chaos of WWII? It makes me wonder what they were thinking. This is probably also one of the few scenarios where being on the bottom bunk wouldn’t have been the most sought after option. I can’t imagine it being too much fun from the way the men are peeping out from the tiny lower bunks… who knows what would have been scurrying around under them? I also really like how the image is contextually ambiguous in that at first glance it could be just a candid shot of the men relaxing in their quarters, but as the troops are swigging their Pepsi Cola’s and the branding is front and centre, the image also comes across as being a very clever promotional tool.”

All of the above are available to view by appointment at Special Collections and Archives. Happy snapping!

This Week’s War: 211

Aside

“Though one man was just touched here last night, I should have mentioned that no one was really hurt. The shell struck the edge of a trench right under the corner of the building and blew the floor up behind the bar. It was very strange how, occasionally, an isolated shell would drop, as it did here, in a perfectly quiet area…”

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

This Week’s War: 210

Aside

‘I haven’t much to write about here. Wars and rumours of coming Wars, and I am busy putting in some very hard training with my little Squadron. Men are very keen – horses on the thin side but hard, and all is running well.’

Letter from Denis Bates to Percy Bates, dated 5th August 1918 [D641/3/4/13].

This Week’s War: 208

Aside

Active Service Letter Bag

Pte. J. H. Cliffe (Accountants), Labour Company, assures us that “everything out here is going on nicely in spite of old Fritz. For some little time we have been in a backward area, and have had an opportunity to see a little bit more of the Belgian civilians and their ways. Their method of churning milk, the contrivance being worked by a dog is very interesting. It is something after the style of a treadmill, the dog working inside the wheel.”

Extract from Cunard magazine, July1918 issue [D42/PR5/1].

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.