This Week’s War: 199

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“We are fed-up with aeroplanes here, and even if I hear a ‘battle in the air’ overhead I cannot be bothered to look at it. There is plenty of bombing by enemy planes on clear nights in the neighbourhood, but it has never yet got very close to us.”

Entry dated May 27th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 198

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‘Visited LONE FARM and Machine Gun Emplacements. Captain R. CARR, M. C., R. E. received orders to report to R.A.F., and handed over to new Adjutant – Captain G. S. HALLAS, M. C., R.E.’

War Diary / Intelligence Summary of University of Liverpool graduate J. H. Forshaw, Captain and Adjutant of the 55th Divisional Royal Engineers, entry dated 14th May 1918 [D113/1/2].

Exhibition: “…don’t forget the photos, it’s very important…” The National Socialist Persecution of Central German Sinti and Roma

Having previously been displayed in Dessau-Roßlau (for the 2018 annual commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz), the exhibition titled “…don’t forget the photos, it’s very important…” The National Socialist Persecution of Central German Sinti and Roma is currently being displayed at the Liverpool Central Library until 26th May 2018. Many of the photographs used in the exhibition originate from the Georg Althaus Photographs here at Special Collections and Archives.

The exhibition presents case studies of the persecution of German Sinti and Roma (‘Gypsy’) families under National Socialism between the 1930s and 1945. Most of the images are photographs of members of nine Sinti and Roma families, which were taken by the photo-journalist Hanns Weltzel (1902-1952) in and around his home town of Dessau-Roßlau. The exhibition coincides with the 75th anniversary of the mass deportation of Germany’s Sinti and Roma (‘Gypsies’) to Auschwitz concentration camp, which included many of the individuals featured within the photographs.

For the launch of the Liverpool leg of the exhibition, Radio Django Berlin (a Gypsy-Jazz string band led by Janko Lauenberger, grandson of a Sinto Holocaust survivor who figures in the exhibition) performed music described as “the original sound of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli meets 21st-century Gypsy-Jazz”. Prior to this, co-curators Eve Rosenhaft (Professor of German Historical Studies, University of Liverpool), and Jana Müller (Alternatives Jugendzentrum Dessau) presented the stories of the victims and survivors captured in the photographs. The event took place as part of the Writing On The Wall Fest (WOW Fest) – a snippet of the musical performance and photographs of the event are available on the WOW Fest Instagram.

For more information on the exhibition and guided tours led by Professor Eve Rosenhaft, please do see the WOW Fest website. Information on the Gypsy Lore Society Collections and related material can be found on our webpages.

This Week’s War: 197

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Two Years in India

Pte. E. J. Nelis (Costing Department) Manchester Regiment, writes to inform us that he has now completed two years service in India. He much appreciates the parcels which he receives from time to time from the Comrades’ Fund.

Extract from Cunard magazine May 1918 issue [D42/PR5/1].

New Exhibition: Puzzles, Poetry and Playground Games

This week sees the launch of a new SC&A exhibition highlighting some of the more unusual items from our collections: those relating to games and pastimes, for children and adults, from the 18th-20th centuries.

D958: Queen Mary jigsaw puzzle [1936]

Included in the display are a huge range of games – some designed purely for fun, others intended to be more educative and improving, particularly for young, developing minds. We have, for example, jigsaw puzzles (depicting Cunard ships such as the Queen Mary, as above); activities which encouraged participants to try their hand at poetry; as well as illustrated guides to various playground and parlour games, many of which have now been forgotten (“Hunt the Slipper”, anyone?).

Noble D6.26: Kate Greenaway’s Book of Games (1889)

Also included are photographs from our Cunard collection which show passengers enjoying a variety of onboard activities, including bottle pushing, shuffleboard, “chalking the pig’s eye”, tug of war, and potato racing, from the 1920s-1960s.

The exhibition will run until September and is situated on the Ground Floor Grove Wing SC&A exhibition area.

This Week’s War: 196

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“You would quite enjoy it here; not only have we our own band to play to us in the evening at guard-mounting, which takes place within a few yards of where I work, but in addition the Divisional Band plays each night in the field adjoining – it is quite like Sefton Park!”

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

This Week’s War: 194

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‘April 21. R. R. R. arrived at midnight for final leave. Very well.’

Entry from the diary of Hugh Reynolds and Emily Evelyn Rathbone [RP XVA.3.172].

Reference round-up

A review of some recent additions to the Special Collections & Archives reference collection held in the SC&A reading room gives a snapshot of some of the research taking place at the tables there. It include works engaged with, or illustrated from, collections as diverse as the Cunard Archive, 18th- and 19th-century Liverpool writings, the papers of David Owen, and illustrated editions of Homer.

Marc-Antoine Bombail and Michael Gallagher, The fleet book (2017)

The fleet book by Marc-Antoine Bombail and Michael Gallagher gives,

A complete and detailed list of all the Cunard ships that have served with the company since 1840. Each vessel is classified in chronological order of entry into Cunard service, and has a brief description, and history, while the majority of them are accompanied by a photograph.

The book uses many illustrations from the Cunard Archive.

David Owen, Cabinet’s finest hour (2016)

David Owen’s Cabinet’s finest hour adds to the section of the SC&A reference collection devoted to the David Owen Archive, which was deposited at the University following on  Lord Owen’s tenure as Chancellor, 1996 – 2008.

Special issues of La questione romantica on Edward Rushton’s bicentenary (2017)

The two special issues La questione romantica on the bicentenary of Edward Rushton (1756-1814) cover many of the activities and participants celebrating one of Liverpool’s forgotten heroes. They draw on early printed editions of Rushton’s works from Special Collections and include wide-ranging essays on his career as poet, abolitionist, founder of the Liverpool Blind School and on the wider contemporary culture of Liverpool.

One aspect of that culture was the thriving ceramic industry, which also features in the most recent addition to the reference collections:

Dick Henrywood, Transferware Recorder 4 (2018)

The volume includes reproductions of John Flaxman’s designs for The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer from William Sotheby’s 1834 edition in the Homer collection of illustrated editions. The designs appeared on soup tureens, vegetable dishes, sugar boxes, teapots, wash jugs, and sauceboats.