New Exhibition: Liverpool University Press: ‘Forward-looking for 120 years’

This exhibition celebrates the 120 year anniversary of the conception of the Liverpool University Press (LUP) in 1899. Drawing on archival material held within the Liverpool University Press archive and LUP publications held within Special Collections and Archives and the University Libraries, this exhibition seeks to document and display the key points in the rich history of the Press.

As with the scholarly communities it serves, LUP’s fortunes have waxed and waned over many decades but the unfailing commitment of Press staff, authors and editors, and a wider community of scholars who understood the distinctive and important contribution of university press publishing, have helped to lay the strong foundation on which LUP stands today.

Publishing more than 150 books a year, 34 journals and a number of digital products, and still the only university press to have won both The Bookseller and IPG awards for Academic Publisher of the Year, Liverpool University Press has been widely acclaimed for its willingness to embrace change. To that end, the team at LUP have chosen to celebrate the future as well as the past in 2019 with the strapline ‘Forward-looking for 120 years.’

(reference D80/5/2)

The exhibition is available to view at Special Collections and Archives, Ground Floor Grove Wing, Sydney Jones Library. It will run from September 2019-January 2020. We are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am-4:45pm.

Tweet us at @LivUniSCA & @LivUniPress; alternatively, contact us at scastaff@liverpool.ac.uk for more information.

New Accession: John Sampson archive

John Sampson (1862-1931) was the first full-time librarian at University College (later the University of Liverpool) as well as an ardent Romani scholar. Thanks to various donations over the years, including some from the Sampson family, we have a large and fascinating John Sampson archive. Recently, we were delighted to receive some new additions – they have now been catalogued and should be a fantastic resource for researchers.

SP9/5/2 (153): Sampson caught in one of his more casual moments.

Sampson was also a prolific correspondent, and the new material contains a large amount of correspondence between Sampson and a host of well-known names.

One such name is Theodore Watts-Dunton, the critic and poet who shared Sampson’s passion for gypsy lore and literature; they corresponded enthusiastically on such matters. Watts-Dunton is also known for being the last carer of the great poet, Algernon Swinburne. Due to Swinburne’s poor physical and mental health he lived with Watts-Dunton at ‘The Pines’ in Putney from 1879; he died there in 1909, three days after Watts-Dunton wrote this letter to Sampson. 

SP9/5/1/6 (3): Watts-Dunton warns Sampson against coming to his home, a ‘plague stricken house of doom of the influenza fiend’.

Other correspondents include Joseph Conrad (author of Heart of Darkness), who wrote this letter to Sampson in 1922, respectfully refusing an honorary degree from Liverpool.

SP95/1/11 (1): Determined to remain a non-academic, Joseph Conrad also turned down degrees from the likes of Yale, Oxford and Cambridge.

The new material doesn’t only contain insights into the literati of the time, but to Sampson himself. Thanks to a large amount of material gathered by his family, including his daughter Mary Arnold, we have photographs, personal letters and even more unusual items.

SP9/5/2 (159): One of a few limericks by Sampson, likely sent to his daughter, Mary.
SP9/5/2 (160): The first page of a three-page poem by Sampson, sent to Mary on her 16th birthday, 1922.

The catalogue is now available online (SP9/5). The new material also perfectly complements our huge Gypsy Lore Society archive; Sampson was an active member of this society, serving as president in 1915-1916.

Sport in the University Archive

It’s been a summer full of sport in the UK and around the world, from the Women’s World Cup in June, to Wimbledon and the Tour de France in July, and the Netball World Cup which took place here in Liverpool. Inspired by this, we have been taking a look at some of the sportier items from the University Archive.

Sports at University College Liverpool began with the University College Athletic Club in 1885, which was initially open to male students and consisted of Cricket, Lawn Tennis, Rugby Football, Gymnastics and Cycling. On the creation of the University of Liverpool in 1903, the Athletic Club became a part of the Guild of Undergraduates. The first Annual Athletic Sports took place on 5th May 1894, and featured below are a few of the items from the collections relating to these events over the years.

A104/10 – First Report of Annual Athletic Sports
A104/19 – Poster advertising Sports Day [1986]
A104/19 – Programme for Annual Athletic Sports 1940, with results filled in

For a number of students competing with a sports club is a highlight of university life, with many clubs being formed over the years at the University of Liverpool. Some of these are represented in the University Archive, such as the Liverpool University Women’s Boating Club (D552), which includes an album of compiled photographs and press cuttings relating to the team and the various events they competed at.

D552
D552

The Rugby Football team was one of the original clubs included in the University College Athletic Club, and it was decided in 1918 that an official University Rugby club should be run. The below press cuttings are from a 1931 volume compiled by Thomas L Ellis, a member of the Liverpool Rugby Union Football Club, who acted as Secretary in 1932-1933 and Captain in 1933-1934.

D696

D696

A Netball Club was first established at the University of Liverpool in 1924. The netball kit pictured below belonged to Isabel Harkness, who studied at the university and played for the Netball First VII team between 1932-6, and was the captain of the team for the 1935-6 season. She is identified as the captain in the below team photograph in Liverpool University Athletic Union; the first one hundred years, 1884-1984 by Beryl Furlong (GLD/2/2/1).

D326/25 – 1st VII Netball Team (1935-1936)
D502/2 – Netball kit owned by Isabel Harkness

Also held within Special Collections and Archives is the archive of the British Universities Sports Association (D741) and the various organisations that preceded it. One of these was the Universities’ Athletic Union, formed 100 years ago in 1919 by universities across England and Wales, including the University of Liverpool, to promote inter-university sport competitions across the UK. Initially known as the Inter-Varsity Athletic Board of Great Britain and Ireland, students from different universities came together to compete both at home and as a team at international competitions. The UAU continued until 1994, when it merged with the British Universities Sports Federation to become the British Universities Sports Association.

D741/B38/3 – Athletics photographs
D741/B38/3 – Athletics photographs

International student sports competitions have been and continue to be held across the world, with the International Confederation of Students being established in 1919 and the International University Sports Federation in 1949. Between these organisations, many international student competitions were held, including the summer and winter Universiade. The Universiade celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with the summer games in Napoli and the winter games in Krasnoyarsk, with the first games being held in Turin and Zell am See in 1959.

D741/J8/1 – Programme for the winter games held in Bardonecchia, Italy (1933)
D741/J8/3 – Report on the French team’s performance at the Monaco games (1939)
D741/J8/8 – Regulation booklet for the first Universiade in Turin (1959)

All of these items are available to view in the Special Collections and Archives reading room. Please email us at scastaff@liverpool.ac.uk to book an appointment.

Cunard Archive – New Deposit

This month Special Collections and Archives were pleased to receive a substantial donation to the Cunard Archive from the founder of the Cunard Steamship Society, John Langley.

As a life-long Cunard collector and historian this opportunity is an assurance that much of my life’s work will be preserved for future generations.

John Langley Q.C.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the birthplace of Samuel Cunard, Langley’s passion for maritime history began at a young age. As a boy he was influenced greatly by a family friend, Doug Gordon, who was a prominent Passenger Manager for the Cunard Line in Canada.

After a successful career in Law, Langley has donated much of his time to research and writing on the subject of Cunard history. He is the author of Steam Lion, the definitive biography of Sir Samuel Cunard, and lectures extensively aboard Cunard liners and other cruise ships.

Langley travelled with his collection from Halifax on the Queen Mary 2 and spent a number of days at the University of Liverpool going through the 21 boxes of material.

John Langley’s collection reflects his life-long interest in the the rich history and proud tradition of the Cunard Steamship Company. It largely comprises ephemera dating from the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, with items such as menu cards, cruise leaflets and newspaper cuttings.

The material will be catalogued within the ‘Related Collections’ series and be made available to the public.

More information about the Cunard Archive and how to access it can be found on the University of Liverpool Special Collections and Archives website:https://libguides.liverpool.ac.uk/library/sca/cunardarchive

Natural history in the LRI Library

Beyond the books donated to the Liverpool Royal Institution by Benjamin Gibson, the LRI’s library collection was dominated by material printed in the 19th century, with a particular strength in the natural sciences – the library having been developed primarily as a resource to support the Institution’s Museum of Natural History. The Museum was the jewel in the crown of the Institution’s activities. The first catalogue, drawn up in 1826, boasted 2467 specimens of rocks and minerals, 99 mammals and 826 birds – most of which were obtained through gift or deposit.

From “Index testaceologicus; or A catalogue of shells British and foreign, arranged according to the Linnean system”, by William Wood (SPEC Y82.3.18). The LRI Museum had one of the best collection of shells in the country.

Natural history books in the collection included works by some of the most important figures in the running of the Museum, including:

William Swainson (1789-1855), naturalist and artist, played an important role in organising the collections, as well as providing advice on their preservation. Swainson was best known for his illustrations, and the LRI library held a number of works illustrated by him:

Images from “Zoological illustrations, or, Original figures and descriptions of new, rare or interesting animals, chiefly selected from the classes of ornithology, entomology, and conchology, and arranged on the principles of Cuvier and other modern zoologists” by William Swainson (SPEC Y82.3.503-505).

Thomas Stewart Traill (1781-1862), was a physician and expert in medical jurisprudence. He nurtured a wide range of interests however, as evidenced in his being editor of the eighth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Traill became Keeper of the Museum in 1822, and was responsible for the creation of the first catalogue of its holdings (SPEC R.5.24/B). 

A second Liverpool physician, Joseph Dickinson (d. 1865) made a number of important gifts of botanical specimens to the Museum. Dickinson was also a lecturer in medicine and botany at the Liverpool Medical School, and wrote a work entitled The Flora of Liverpool (SPEC R.5.52/B).

And finally, one of William Roscoe’s many interests was botany. As well as being a key figure in the founding of the LRI, he was also instrumental in the creation of Liverpool Botanic Garden (later Wavertree Botanic Garden). In 1828 he wrote Monandrian Plants of the Order Scitamineae: Chiefly Drawn from Living Specimens in the Botanical Gardens at Liverpool:

References: H.A. Ormerod. The Liverpool Royal Institution: a Record and Retrospect. Liverpool University Press, 1953.

Italian provenance and the LRI Library: Benjamin Gibson’s books

At the heart of the Liverpool Royal Institution’s library was a collection of books bequeathed by the sculptor and antiquary Benjamin Gibson (1811?-1851). Indeed, at around 170 volumes in total, Gibson’s donation represented almost half of the total collection.

A selection of Gibson’s books, many of which are bound in vellum.

Benjamin Gibson was born in Conwy, Wales, and grew up in Liverpool. His early sculptures were displayed at various locations around the city, including at the Academy of the Liverpool Royal Institution. In 1836, after the death of his mother, Gibson moved from Liverpool to join his older brother – John Gibson (1790-1866) – in Rome. John had been forging a successful career there for nearly 20 years already. Having studied under the master Italian Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Cannova (1757-1822), he went on to run a bustling studio in the Via della Fontanella.

In Rome, Benjamin assisted his brother, as well as continuing to create his own works (many of which were commissioned by members of the LRI, and sent back to Liverpool). He also devoted a considerable part of his energies to buying books. Indeed, such was his bibliomania, on his death in 1851 John Gibson is said to have described Benjamin as more of a book collector than a sculptor.

Gibson signed each of his books.

An expert on Greek and Latin literature, Benjamin Gibson amassed a formidable collection Classical texts. Whilst particularly strong in Latin and Greek language and literature and in antiquities, Gibson’s books covered a great wide range of subject areas – from history to maths, through mythology and military science:

Flavius Vegetius Renatus,, “De re militari” (SPEC Y60.3.6), a treatise on Roman warfare and military principles.

The vast majority of Gibson’s books date from before 1800, with nearly half of them printed during the 17th century. Gibson also owned 30 books printed in the 16th century – the earliest work in his collection being a 1532 printing of Giovanni Boccaccio’s (1313-1375) Peri genealogias deorvm (SPEC EP.D11).

A number of Gibson’s books have evidence of prior Roman owners. For example, three of his books bear the stamp “Biblioth: Corsinia vetus”. Founded by Pope Clement XII (1652-1740) – born Lorenzo Corsini – the Corsiniana family library was donated to Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, a science academy in Rome, by his descendant Tommaso Corsini (1835-1919) in 1883. The result of this merger, the Biblioteca dell’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana, is still housed in the rather magnificent Palazzo Corsini.

Ownership marks of the Biblioteca Corsiniana

Another three books are stamped “Libraria Colonna”, having belonged to the Colonna family, another papal noble family of Rome:

Indeed, Gibson’s books are rich in provenance, with previous owners from all over Europe. Other names associated with the collection include Spanish clergyman and intellectual, Jose Sáenz de Aguirre (1630-1699), Italian bishop and biologist Anton Felice Marsili (1651-1710) and French lawyer and journalist Jean-Jacques Lenoir-Laroche (1749-1825).

References:

Roscoe, Ingrid, Emma Hardy and M.G. Sullivan. A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain: 1660-1851. Available at: http://liberty.henry-moore.org/henrymoore/index.php (accessed 31/07/2019).

The Liverpool Royal Institution Library

Introducing our latest newly catalogued collection – the books of the Liverpool Royal Institution (LRI). This is a substantial collection of over 300 titles, published between 1516 and 1887. The LRI books relate chiefly to the Institution’s natural history and art collections, but they are also rich in classical texts, and works of history and politics.

The library and archives, partly destroyed in the bombing of Liverpool in 1941, were transferred to University College, Liverpool in 1894. A “Hand List of Books and Pamphlets of the Liverpool Royal Institution kept at the Tate Library, University College, Liverpool” (Liverpool, 1894) records books transferred to the University, including Gould’s Birds of Australia and Benjamin Gibson’s 1851 bequest of 171 volumes (more on this in our next post). The 1894 transfer was commemorated by a bookplate designed by Robert Anning Bell. A surviving borrowers’ register shows loans made 1859-1893.

Robert Anning Bell bookplate marking the 1894 transfer.

Liverpool Royal Institution was the brainchild of William Roscoe and friends, who published their detailed plan for its activities in 1814. Roscoe was the Chairman of its General Committee in 1814, its first President in 1822, and delivered the 80-page inaugural address at its opening, 25 November 1817.

Liverpool Royal Institution drew on the cultural impetus Roscoe and his circle gave Liverpool during  the late 18th century – founding the town’s Athenaeum, Literary and Philosophical Society, Lyceum (with the Liverpool Library), Liverpool Academy and Botanic Garden – and put it to the service of “promoting the increase and diffusion of Literature, Science and the Arts” (1). The 1814 plan provided for a School, Public Lectures, accommodation for Societies, Collections of Books, Art, and Natural History, a Laboratory and other Apparatus, and meeting rooms for the Proprietors, its financial backers.

19th century watercolour drawing of the Liverpool Royal Institution building on Colquitt Street. Image by courtesy of the Liverpool Records Office.

Writing the LRI’s history in 1953, Henry Ormerod was struck by “how much of the intellectual life of nineteenth century Liverpool was centred in the Royal Institution, and how many of our modern institutions originated either as the direct creation of the Institution itself, or as guests within its walls” (2).

By the end of the 19th century as the LRI’s natural successors, particularly the Public Library and Museum and University College Liverpool, were founded and thriving, the LRI collections were dispersed and its activities curtailed. You can still find its legacy today in the Walker Art Gallery (paintings), Liverpool Museum (natural history), the Victoria Gallery & Museum (minerals), and in the University of Liverpool.

And the LRI archive and Library are both available via Special Collections and Archives, and include lists of subscribers and proprietors; committee minutes; correspondence; legal records; catalogues of the collections; records of gifts; visitors’ books; and financial records.

References:

(1) Detailed plan of Liverpool Institution, as determined upon by the committee – 18. Aug. 1814. Ref: GR.1.2(3) B/8

(2) H.A. Ormerod. The Liverpool Royal Institution: a Record and Retrospect. Liverpool University Press, 1953.

Summer memories: postcards and photographs

In honor of the new SC&A summer exhibition ‘Travels in Europe’, we are showcasing some of the wonderful photographs and postcards in the collections which related to summer holidays and travel, whether that be within the UK or abroad.

We do all enjoy taking photographs during our trips to remember them by, even 119 years ago. Below are some shots from the photograph album owned by Mildred Stimson, the daughter of Frederic Jesup Stimson, the American writer, lawyer, and friend of William Gair Rathbone and his family. It includes many shots towns and natural beauty spots from across England and Scotland.

RPXXV.7.666 – Shakespeare’s House
RP XXV.7.666 – The Thames at Oxford
RP XXV.7.666 – ‘Two lazy dogs and a grinning imp’, being Frederic J. Stimson, William Gair Rathbone and Lorna Stimson (Mildred’s sister).

Students have always made good use of the freedom that summer provides! From the papers of Professor Wilberforce, below is a group photograph of members of the University Physics Society sitting on the grass by the River Dee by rowing boats, dated either June 1925 or 1926.

D349/3 – Front row from left to right (first five persons): J. Castle, Elizabeth Taylor, Professor Wilberforce, N. C. Porter, and Connie Richards. At the end of the third row on the right is Mr. Welch, Chief Laboratory Steward.

Collecting postcards (or, Deltiology) is another popular way of gathering memories of a holiday. Within the papers of Professor Charles Reilly (School of Architecture), there is a large volume containing the all the postcards he collected during his travels in the UK and abroad between 1927 – 1930.

D207/45  – Christchurch Priory, visited Summer 1929
D207/45 – Brussels, visited Summer 1927

The Cunard Archive held here at Special Collections and Archives is an excellent place to find ephemera from travel and holidays been and gone. However, it is important to also remember the staff who worked hard so that others could travel to their destinations. The below postcards are from the papers of Mr John Teather Piper (1874-1915), Chief Officer of the Lusitania on the ship’s final voyage. The collection contains prints and postcards, some of which detail the dates of service Mr Piper undertook on each vessel.

D1126/1 – R.M.S Ultonia
D1126/4 – R.M.S Campania

The below postcard features within the ‘Travels in Europe’ exhibition. It is a postcard featuring comic views of the Swiss Alps, dated Thursday 27th August 1898, from Josephine Butler (1828 -1906) to her grandchildren.

JB 1/1/1898/08/27/2(II) – ‘Sweet Hetha [Lady Hetha Butler]. Here are some funny men & a funny lady for you. Grannie’.

‘Travels in Europe’ is available to view in the Special Collections and Archives exhibition area, Ground Floor Grove Wing, Sydney Jones Library (Monday to Friday, 9:30am until 4:45pm). The exhibition runs until September 2019.

The Cunard Archive. Cunard & the city of Liverpool

As we look forward to the Queen Mary 2 arriving in Liverpool on Tuesday 16 July, we have chosen some items from the Cunard Archive that represent Cunard’s historic connection to the city of Liverpool.

Britannia. Exterior illustration. D42/PR2/1/36a/C1

Cunard’s first ever ship, the 1,156-ton Britannia left Liverpool on 4th July 1840 and arrived on schedule in Halifax just ten days later. Within a year Britannia and her three sister ships were providing the first timetabled weekly steamship service across the Atlantic.

The Mauretania II was the first ship to be built for the newly formed Cunard White Star Line and was laid down on 24 May 1937. Built on the Mersey in Birkenhead by Cammel, Laird & Co. Ltd, it was the largest ship ever to be constructed in an English shipyard at the time.

This booklet commemorates the launch of the Mauretania II at the yard of Cammell Laird & Co Limited, Birkenhead on Thursday 28th July 1938. The naming ceremony was performed by Lady Bates and was watched by spectacular crowds.

Cunard’s headquarters was based in Liverpool from its inception in 1839 until 1967 when it relocated to Southampton. As the company grew so did its administrative requirements meaning its original offices in Water Street were no longer suitable.  Completed in 1917 the Cunard Building on Liverpool’s historic waterfront became known as one of the Three Graces. 

This commemorative publication provides an overview of the design and construction of the building and is supplemented with illustrations.

More information about the Cunard Archive and how to access it can be found on the University of Liverpool Special Collections and Archives website: https://libguides.liverpool.ac.uk/library/sca/cunardarchive

New Accession: Cunard Associated Deposits

Cunard printed W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts tour booklet . D1212/3

D1212 – W. H. Rhodes Educational Trust Canada Tour, 1961

We are pleased to share the news of an interesting new accession of material relating to the W. H. Rhodes Educational Trusts Canada Tour of 1961, now available to consult on request at Special Collections and Archives.

Donated by David Phillips, a member of the 1961 Canada tour group, the collection includes printed information about the W. H. Rhodes 1961 tour, such as booklets and itineraries; material collected during the trip, such as Cunard ephemera and leaflets from places visited; and photographs and news cuttings that document the trip.

D1212/4
The 1961 Tour group. D1212/4 (p.2)

It has been fascinating to learn about the history of the W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts

The first Canada tour took place in 1937, as a result of the vision and generosity of Mr. W. H. Rhodes, C.B.E., Such was the success of this pilot tour that, the following year, Mr. Rhodes founded the W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts, under the terms of which students were selected to visit Canada in 1938, 1939 and every year from 1951 to 1963.

The boys were drawn from secondary schools of the cities in which Mr. Rhodes had business interests.  The 1961 tour included 16 students from London and 8 students each from Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow, and Manchester. The boys, aged on average 18.5 years and at the end of their last year of sixth form, were selected for their academic achievement and good character.

The Foreword to the Report on the 1961 Tour to Canada (archive reference: D1212/4) discusses the great opportunity afforded to those boys chosen:

To be transported at this juncture, from the industrial cities of Great Britain to the heartland of Canada, is a timely and broadening experience; to share in this venture with highly selected companions, in the most formative years of life, is a unique opportunity; to go as “representatives of one country of the Commonwealth visiting another” is an honour […] With the months of careful preparation behind them, they set forth determined to play their full part in helping to realise the high ideals and purpose of our generous founder, “in strengthening those ties of kinship, mutual trust and affection enduring among the countries of the British Commonwealth”.

The tour groups travelled to and from Canada on Cunard ships, accompanied by a representative from the Cunard Company. 

The 1961 tour sailed from Liverpool on R.M.S. Carinthia on 2 August and travelled back to the United Kingdom on the R.M.S. Saxonia, arriving at Southampton on 1 September.

For the outward journey on the Carinthia Cunard printed special W. H. Rhodes luggage tags and created travel booklets that included interesting information about life on board the ship, such as instructions on how to distinguish the rank of an officer on board, and guides to places they were visiting in Canada.

The 1961 tour group visited Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, Sudbury, Temagami and Camp Wanapetei. They had tours of Universities, Civic Buildings, Farms, Businesses and Factories (such as the International Nickel Company and the Queenston Hydro-Electric Project), and were welcomed by City Mayors, Businessmen, Academics and Politicians (including the Prime Minister John Diefenbaker).

The new accession has been added to Cunard Associated Deposits, a collection of items deposited by individuals with personal connections to the shipping company. The full catalogue for the W. H. Rhodes Educational Trusts Canada Tour material is available online.


Other W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts material can be found in the archive at:

  • D371/4/6/3-4: W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts tour to Canada, 1963 – booklet and report. (2 items)
  • D42/PR4/14/8/5: W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts tour to Canada,1952 – booklet. (1 item)