Rare Books – Expect the Unexpected: 2

Satire

This is the second in our series of posts based on the current exhibition in the Library Gallery, and the project by Edinburgh College of Art Illustration students, based on the album of Notgeld, emergency money, from the early 1920s.

Some of the original German Notgeld was satirical, containing harsh commentary on the world which created it. One of the students picked up on this idea, and produced a set of notes commenting on current U.S. politics. Rachel’s puns on the names of politicians, her comment the state of the economy and political institutions are all completely in the spirit of the satire used on the original Notgeld. What she did not know was that one of the other items in the exhibition contains satire just as biting, but four hundred years older.

Rachel Berman: Politics and Hyperinflation


“The starting point for my project bloomed from two persistent themes within the presentation of the authentic Notgeld: Politics and Hyperinflation.
Indeed, as an avid political cartoonist, I was intrigued by these notions and was compelled to apply these elements to the contemporary context.

For this, I imagined a near dystopian futuristic USA (2019 to be precise), in which our current Supreme Leader has rewritten the course of history by converting the US Dollar to the US Donald.  This rookie mistake has resulted in extreme hyperinflation, to the point where 1 Dollar now equates to 100 Donalds.

Furthermore, our Leader-in-Chief has decided to rename the US Penny, the US Pence (after his Vice President Mike Pence) and the US Nickel, the US Kavanickel (after his newly appointed Supreme Court Justice).

Additionally I have played around with several details on each note/bill.

For the Donald, I have altered the numbers to read 007, a reference to James Bond, with whom the President believes he shares a likeness.

For the Pence, I have swapped the ‘United States Federal Reserve System’ with the ‘National Rifle Association’, as the latter bared a strong resemblance with the former and better depicted Mr. Pence’s values.

Finally, for the Kavanickel, I wanted to have this used as a legal acquittal for all ‘past’ offences. For this I modelled the colours after the Monopoly ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. It is no secret that Judge K’s past has been tainted by many credible allegations of sexual assaults. Despite this, however, he, like many other white men, has managed to evade the consequences of his crimes. I wanted to pay particular attention to this white male privilege and illustrate this section of society’s entitlement mentality.

In conclusion, I added a cheeky ‘Made in China’ label to hone in on the blatant fact that our industries are being overrun by the Chinese government, and that despite Trump’s rhetoric, we are NOT number one.”

 

There is another piece of trenchant satire in the exhibition; Robert Parsons’ (sometimes known as Persons) response to the edict of Queen Elizabeth I against the Catholics of England (Cum responsione ad singula capita… Elizabethae, Angliae Reginae, haeresim Calvinam propugnantis, saevissimum in Catholicos sui regni edictum, 1592).

This has much in common with Rachel’s Notgeld, and much of contemporary political satire. Firstly it was calculated to gain the maximum circulation, in this case by being written in Latin and published in several European centres simultaneously.  Latin was then the language for international communication, much as English is today, while the modern means of gaining wide coverage is, of course, to publish online. Parsons’ satire gains its effect by using all the techniques of argument which were appreciated in the sixteenth-century; complex formal rhetoric, references to classical literature and the Bible, and contemporary ideas of the ridiculous. The modern equivalents are the punning jokes, references to contemporary popular culture and vivid images, which Rachel exploits to the full.

The background to Parsons’ book is the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. In the aftermath a proclamation was issued by the English crown, though actually written by the Lord Treasurer, Lord Burghley, accusing English Catholics of being in league with the Spanish against the English state, and English Catholics living abroad as being dissolute criminals. The response was a co-ordinated and sophisticated series of publications from the English Jesuits in Europe, culminating in this.

Parsons avoids attacking the Queen herself, concentrating instead on the ministers who were responsible for the legislation. His style is to make them ridiculous, by interpreting their actions and beliefs as monstrous and re-telling events to make them preposterous (according to some modern commentators his was a more truthful account than the official English version of the story). He points out the ministers’ extra-marital affairs and controversial religious views, as making them unfit to legislate on religious matters. He compares them to evil politicians from English and Biblical history.  This is a very similar approach to Rachel’s satire of contemporary politics, with the exception that it depends on words, rather than images, for its impact.  We live in a much more visual world than the Elizabethans did: easily-transmitted film and photographs give the modern satirist possibilities for visual jokes which depend on the audience recognising the victim.  Rachel exploits this to the full in her Notgeld, but it was something which was not open to Robert Parsons.

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On trial: Age of Exploration

I’m pleased to let you know the Library currently has trial access to Age of Exploration, a digital primary source collection from Adam Matthew Digital. This database allows you to discover through archive material the changing shape of exploration through five centuries, from c.1420-1920.

You can access this digital resource via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 11th February 2019.

Screenshot from ‘Enluminure de Maître d’Egerton: Le Livre des merveilles’. c.1410-1412.

Read More

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New to the Library: TradeLawGuide

New to the library for 2019, TradeLawGuide provides comprehensive and methodical research tools for WTO law.  Its primary document collection includes the WTO agreements and instruments, jurisprudence, dispute settlement procedural documents and negotiating history. Designed to account for the important role of jurisprudence in the development of WTO law, a suite of citators provides comprehensive substantive references to WTO, pre-WTO and Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provisions as well as cross-references within jurisprudence to interpret provisions and update or distinguish jurisprudence.  Annotated Agreements, Treaty Interpretation, Terms & Phrases, Subject Navigator, Dispute Settlement Body Minutes (for policy issues arising in jurisprudence) and Jurisprudence Pending provide additional value-added content.  Sophisticated full-text search functions are provided for all research tools and document collections along with detailed summaries and commentaries on WTO jurisprudence.

Access TradeLawGuide via the main Databases AZ list, Law AZ list, Business and Management AZ list and DiscoverEd.

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Rare Books – Expect the Unexpected. 1

A Sense of Place

If you have been passing the Main Library recently you will have seen the exhibition in the Library Gallery on the ground floor, of some of the more unlikely things to be found in the Library’s Rare Books collections. One exhibit you should not miss is the first thing you come to – the project by students of Illustration from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), based on an album of German “emergency” banknotes from the years after the end of the First World War.

The schedule for printing the exhibition catalogue prevented us from including any of the student work in it, and in the exhibition itself we only had space for a selection of the student work, and none to include their own commentaries on it.

When we saw the students’ projects, one thing which struck us was how many of them  link with items in the exhibition other than the Notgeld.   These are entirely fortuitous connections; none of the group knew what the other exhibits were.

In this series of blog posts we want to showcase the student work, including the ones we couldn’t fit into the exhibtion, and make some of the juxtapositions with other exhibits which struck us when we were assembling it.

 

Notgeld

In Germany many local authorities issued “Notgeld”,  “emergency money” during and immediately after the First World War.  Initially, the diversion of all available metal to the war effort had caused a scarcity of small change.  Locally-issued, low denomination notes, enabled the everyday econonomy to continue to function, even though they had the status only of tokens, and had no national authority behind them.  They continued to be issued after the end of the war, into the early 1920s, when they were no longer strictly needed, but had become collectible.  These notes were generally very attractive, celebrating the history, industry or culture of the locality which issued them, although they were sometimes satirical or contained propaganda or political messages.  In our collections we have two albums full of notes from this late period, from all over Germany.

The ECA third year Illustration students were set a project to design their own Notgeld, exploring the features of the original Notgeld, looking at money and currency more widely, and developing their own ideas.  They had to print their notes, using any printmaking technique available to them; some of these are referred to in their descriptions.  (Risograph is a digital duplication and printing system, which builds up an image with layers of ink in different colours.  The results are similar to screen printing)

 

The celebration of place is a strong theme in the original Notgeld.  This was explored by the students in a number of different ways.

Several used the landscape, landmarks and distinctive features of their home towns.

Celeste John-Wood

My ‘Notgeld’ notes are designed for imagined use on the South Downs Way, a long distance national trail running through the South Downs in Sussex. The wildness and variety in

the environment inspired me to choose this location, and provided a rich resource from which I could develop my imagery and portray some key sites. For my notes, I aspired to create three very different denominations, portraying the contrast in the landscape and present a sense of each place’s distinct history. I have depicted Devil’s Dyke, the Charleston house (home to the Bloomsbury Group) and the Seven Sisters.

Daisy Ness

For my currency inspired by the German Notgeld, I chose my home of the Isle of Wight to create my notes for. I wanted to combine some of the local landmarks, such as Osborne House and the Needles, with the element of nature to create my work. To achieve the clean and precise look I was after, I decided to risoprint my design.

Lydia Leneghan

My inspiration for my notgeld notes was my hometown, Kilkeel, which is a small fishing town in Northern Ireland. My notes feature the most iconic parts of the town: the faerie trees, the harbour, and the legendary fish and chip van which is known across the country.

Philomena Marmion

Kaunas is the second biggest city in Lithuania. Founded in the 14th century, the city has gone through many changes: an important city in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, part of the Russian Empire, the temporary capital of Lithuania during the Interwar period, a city in the Soviet Union. Now Kaunas is in a cultural upheaval preparing for the role of the European Capital of Culture for 2022. All this history has left a mark on Kaunas and made it into the quirky, welcoming city that it is today. This set of Notgeld aims to show the special spirit of Kaunas by including elements unique to it: the green trolleybuses, the bison statue in the Oak Park, and the smiling sundial all with a backdrop of Soviet blocks of flats that make up the suburban areas of Kaunas.

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New to the Library: The Baltimore Afro-American

I’m happy to let you know that the Library now has access to the digital archive of The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) from ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Founded in 1892 it is the most widely circulated black newspaper on the Atlantic coast and the longest-running family-owned African American newspaper in the United States.

You can access The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access the title through DiscoverEd* Read More

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Trial access to Chinese newspapers of modern China

Shanghai Library has provided us with a trial access to the digital archives of 6 modern Chinese newspapers, until 16 Feb 2019. The trial can be accessed on the same database platform as the Late Qing Dynasty Periodical Full-text Database 1833-1911 and Chinese Periodical Full-text Database 1911-1949, both of which are in the Library’s Databases A-Z list and Databases and the Databases by Subject for East Asian Studies list, or simply go directly to http://www.cnbksy.com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/search/advance (EASE login is required).

The six Chinese newspaper archives are:

《小报》The Tabloids (1897~1949)

《新闻报》Sin Wan Pao (1893~1949)

《时报》The Eastern Times (1904~1939)

《大公报》(1902~1949/1952)Ta Kung Pao(1902~1949/1952)

《大陆报》The China Press (1911~1949)

《字林洋行中英文报纸全文数据库》The North-China Daily News & Herald Newspapers and Hong Lists (1850~1951)

Shanghai Library is digitising other Chinese and English newspapers of modern China. We will arrange a free trial when they are ready in 2019.

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New books in the Library for History, Classics and Archaeology

Thanks to recommendations from members of staff and requests via RAB from students the Library is continually adding new books to its collections both online and in print. Here are just a (very) small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in semester one, 2018/19 for the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and these demonstrate the wide range of subjects being taught, studied and researched within School.

–> Find these and more via DiscoverEd.

Agent of change: print culture studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein edited by Sabrina Alcorn Baron, Eric N. Lindquist, and Eleanor F. Shevlin (shelfmark: Z124 Age.)

Preaching in the Patristic Era: sermons, preachers, and audiences in the Latin West edited by Anthony Dupont, Shari Boodts, Gert Partiens, Johan Leemans (e-book).

Pomodoro!: a history of the tomato in Italy by David Gentilcore (shelfmark: TX803.T6 Gen.)

From frontiers to football: an alternative history of Latin America since 1800 by Matthew Brown (shelfmark: F1410 Bro. Also available as e-book).

Neolithic bodies edited by Penny Bickle and Emilie Sibbesson (shelfmark: GN776.2.A1 Neo.) Read More

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Edinburgh hosts international IIIF event

Jointly with the National Library of Scotland, the University hosted the annual IIIF Showcase and Working Meeting from December 3-6. As consortial members, it was a good opportunity for both institutions to raise their profile within this fast-growing community, and for delegates from all over the world to see Edinburgh in winter while making the most of face-to-face discussions regarding recent developments and the future direction of the framework.

The Showcase took place in the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and this reasonably light-touch session offered an introduction to the concepts and tools and for the host institutions to talk about what they’ve produced so far. It was also IIIF’s new managing director Josh Hadro’s first week in the job: a great way for him to see the community in action! The afternoon saw candidates repair to the NLS and Main Library for breakout sessions in key content areas (Archives, Museums, Digital Scholarship) as well as deeply technical and ‘getting started’ sessions. To finish, everyone then made for St Cecilia’s Hall for a round-up of the day; this was an appropriate setting, as we’ve employed IIIF in the museum’s corresponding collections site.

The Working Group meeting ran over the succeeding three days, in the ECCI and Main Library. This was a smaller undertaking than the Showcase, but it still attracted 70 delegates. There were some really meaty discussions about the direction of the framework: cookbooks and use cases; updates to the Mirador viewer; enhancing the APIs and registries (including more work on authentication and various types of search), and looking at the amazing potential of 3D and AV (e.g. subtitle support, musical notation written as a piece plays), which is something we at the University are well placed to start work on. Discussions about the direction of the community and outreach group took place, as well; this session was led by our (until very recently) very own Claire Knowles, now Assistant Director at Leeds University Library. The first meeting of the Technical Review Committee, which rubber-stamps the specs, took place at the event too, in the huge Dining Room at Teviot.

With increasing engagement across the industry, IIIF’s future looks very bright indeed.

Thanks to everyone that helped out over the week, with a particularly big round of applause to IIIF’s Technical Co-ordinator Glen Robson, who is well-known to many people in the Library due to his previous incarnation as Development Manager at the National Library of Wales.

To (self-indulgently) end the post, here is a little hi-res illustration of the work that we have done at Edinburgh with IIIF.

This is heavily annotated! If you click the speech bubbles, you will turn on annotations, some of which link out to relevant websites (links have a dotted line under the text). Also, the Mirador viewer does comparison very well, so if you

  • click the four-square icon in the top left
  • select ‘Add Slot Right’
  • click ‘Add Item’
  • double click the manifest (‘IIIF Highlights…’)
  • select the right image

…you can see the previous version of this picture to see where improvements were made. All of this will go better if you make it full-screen!

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New books in the Library for Social and Political Science

Thanks to recommendations from members of staff and requests via RAB from students the Library is continually adding new books to its collections both online and in print. Here are just a (very) small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in semester one, 2018/19 for the School of Social and Political Science and these demonstrate the wide range of subjects being taught, studied and researched within School.

–> Find these and more via DiscoverEd.

The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide by Gary J. Bass (shelfmark: E855 Bas.)

Where underpants come from: from checkout to cotton field: travels through the new China and into the new global economy by Joe Bennett (shelfmark: HD9736.C62 Ben.)

The European Union’s evolving external engagement: towards new sectoral diplomacies? edited by Chad Damro, Sieglinde Gsteohl and Simon Schunz. (e-book).

Taxing Africa: coercion, reform and development by Mick Moore, Wilson Prichard and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (shelfmark: HJ3021 Moo. Also available as e-book).

Peace for Lebanon?: from war to reconstruction edited by Deirdre Collings (shelfmark: DS87 Pea.)

Town twinning, transnational connections and trans-local citizenship practices in Europe by Andreas Langenohl (e-book). Read More

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Quick Resource Lists checklist for Semester 2

The Library is on working on Semester 2 Resource Lists and we hope to have all lists completed before the festive break. There are now approximately 1800 resource lists published for courses offered in 2018/2019.

Semester 2 Checklist

Course Organisers, in order to make sure your resource list and the library resources on the list are available to students in Semester 2, can you take a few minutes to check the following:

1.If you have been editing your list and would like the Library to purchase any new or additional books or ebooks or provide any copyright compliant scans, please remember to use the ‘Send List’ button at the top of your list. If you don’t send your list, we won’t take any action. Please note, if you’ve not made any changes to your Semester 2 list or don’t want the Library to take action, you don’t need to send your list.

2. If you have recently taken over teaching a course – please check if there is already a resource list available and published. You can do this by going to http://resourcelists.ed.ac.uk and searching by course code or title or by contacting us: Library.Learning@ed.ac.uk 

Course administrators, if you are aware of any changes to courses or Course Organisers, please let us know.

3. Finally, please make sure you enable the link your list on your Learn course– this is how we expect students to access their Resource Lists. There is a ‘Resource List’ link on the menu in Learn, this is not visible to students unless you make it visible.

You can use ‘student preview’ mode to check you’ve enabled the link to your resource list, you’ll be able to follow the link in the menu and see the Resource List link and icon in the content area.

NB you won’t be able to link through to the resource list in student preview mode (this is expected behaviour) but as long as you can see the link, it should be working.

There is guidance on linking from Learn to your Resource List on the Library website here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-teaching-staff/resource-lists/user-guide

If you have any questions or need any help preparing your resource list for Semester 2, please contact Library.Learning@ed.ac.uk

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