Artwork from a poster advertising a 1958 issue of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Recent acquisition – Small archive relating to ‘The Jabberwock’

Artwork from a poster advertising a 1958 issue of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Artwork from a poster advertising a 1958 issue of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Assisted by the College, a small but interesting archive of material relating to the Edinburgh University literary review, The Jabberwock, has been acquired by the Centre for Research Collections (Special Collections) for Edinburgh University Library.

Letter-heading from correspondence of the Editorial office of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Letter-heading from correspondence of the Editorial office of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

The Jabberwock was an Edinburgh University literary journal, or review, starting in the 1940s and running to the late-1950s, and its editors have included Iain Ferguson, Ian F. Holroyd, Douglas Henderson, Barbara Macintosh and Alex Neish.

Cartoon describing the arrival of 'The Jabberwock', Edinburgh University.  Coll-1611.

Cartoon describing the arrival of ‘The Jabberwock’, Edinburgh University. Coll-1611.

The archive contains manuscript and typescript work – literary and political – submitted to the title in the 1950s under the editorship of Ian Holroyd by Scottish literary figures such as: C. M. Grieve, or Hugh MacDiarmid; Robert Garioch; Martin Gray; Sydney Goodsir Smith; Bruce Etherington; Alan Riddell; Jonathan Mills; and, other contributors.

Note to the Editor of 'The Jabberwock' from Martin Gray telling about his submissions to the review. Coll-1611.

Note to the Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’ from Martin Gray telling about his submissions to the review. Coll-1611.

Also in the archive, there is correspondence to and from Ian F. Holroyd, posters for various editions of The Jabberwock and other printed ephemera, journal off-prints that would have assisted in the editing of some articles, scribbled accounts and sales figures, art-work, and some Jabberwock Committee Meeting minutes. Some typed lists of Jabberwock shop sales prompt recall of Edinburgh booksellers no longer with us – Thin’s, Baxendine’s, and Bauermeister’s.

Poster advertising the Volume 5. 1958 issue of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Poster advertising the Volume 5. 1958 issue of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Holroyd’s correspondents include, among others: Compton Mackenzie; Sean O’Casey; C. M. Grieve or Hugh MacDiarmid; Edwin Muir; Edith Sitwell; Jonathan Mills; Neil Gunn; and, Martin Gray.

Poster for an edition of 'The Jabberwock' featuring contributions by Compton Mackenzie and Helen Cruickshank. Coll-1611.

Poster for an edition of ‘The Jabberwock’ featuring contributions by Compton Mackenzie and Helen Cruickshank. Coll-1611.

Submissions to The Jabberwock by Hugh MacDiarmid include autograph manuscripts: The Scottish Renaissance: the next step; R.B.Cunninghame Graham; and, The significance of Sydney Goodsir Smith. The archive holds a typescript piece by Compton Mackenzie, at the time aged 70 (so probably from 1953), in which he lauds twenty-somethings, writing ‘that the University magazine of today is a much more interesting production than it was half a century ago […] I find a magazine like Jabberwock much more lively than The Oxford Point of View. I can read it through from cover to cover with pleasure […] I am quite unable to grasp what inspires all this pessimism over modern youth’.

Letter dated 14 April 1952 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock' from Compton Mackenzie promising a contribution. Coll-1611.

Letter dated 14 April 1952 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’ from Compton Mackenzie promising a contribution. Coll-1611.

Letter dated 3 June 1952 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock' from Compton Mackenzie again promising a contribution. Coll-1611.

Letter dated 3 June 1952 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’ from Compton Mackenzie again promising a contribution. Coll-1611.

Signature of Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M.Grieve) on a letter dated 23 November 1950 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Signature of Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M.Grieve) on a letter dated 23 November 1950 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Signature of Edith Sitwell on a letter dated 23 October 1951 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Signature of Edith Sitwell on a letter dated 23 October 1951 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Signature of Sean O'Casey on a letter dated 24 April 1958 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Signature of Sean O’Casey on a letter dated 24 April 1958 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Signature of Neil Gunn on a letter dated 24 April 1958 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of 'The Jabberwock'. Coll-1611.

Signature of Neil Gunn on a letter dated 24 April 1958 to Ian Holroyd, Editor of ‘The Jabberwock’. Coll-1611.

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

Recent acquisition – Sketch-books of Scottish architect Charles Lovett Gill (1880-1960)

Cover to the sketchbook 'British Embassy design 1905', by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Cover to the sketchbook ‘British Embassy design 1905′, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Recently, a group of 13 sketch-books by the Scottish architect Charles Lovett Gill were acquired by the Centre for Research Collections (Special Collections) for Edinburgh University Library. Gill was notable for his long-term architectural partnership with Professor Sir Albert Edward Richardson (1880-1964).

Notes about the ambition for the sketch-book 'British Embassy design 1905', by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Notes about the ambition for the sketch-book ‘British Embassy design 1905′, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Gill was born in 1880. He trained as an architect with E. G. Warren of Exeter, and he studied at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1904 he was the Ashpitel Prizeman (an annual architectural award in the name of Arthur Ashpitel) of the Royal Institute of British architects (RIBA), and he became an Associate of RIBA in 1905, and a Fellow in 1915 in recognition for his contribution to architecture in England.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book 'British Embassy Design 1905' by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book ‘British Embassy Design 1905′ by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Gill started a practice in London in 1908 and did much work in central London. With Professor Sir Albert Richardson he was joint architect for the Duchy of Cornwall estate in Devon. The Richardson & Gill architectural partnership was eventually dissolved in 1939.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book 'British Embassy Design 1905' by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book ‘British Embassy Design 1905′ by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Gill presented a design in the competition for the rebuilding of the Regent Street Quadrant in London, and he was responsible for the facade of the then Regent Street Polytechnic (now part of University of Westminster). Much of his work was in the City of London where he designed Moorgate Hall, Finsbury Pavement and other buildings in Moorgate and elsewhere. Charles Lovett Gill died on 26 March 1960.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book 'British Embassy Design 1905' by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book ‘British Embassy Design 1905′ by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

The recently acquired collection of Gill sketch-books contain pencil and watercolour tinted sketches of various places done between 1904 and 1941. One of the sketchbooks bound in linen is titled British Embassy Design 1905 and it may be a project set by his tutors. It contains sketches of a number of buildings in Paris and London with neatly finished elevations of a planned and very large Beaux-Arts edifice – a British Embassy in a foreign capital – that would dominate any chosen site. It was a grand building which, according to Gill’s notes in the sketch-book, was to ‘face a public park or square’.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book 'British Embassy Design 1905' by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

One of the edifices in the sketch-book ‘British Embassy Design 1905′ by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Other sketch-books contain drawings, sometimes colour tinted, of buildings and architectural features in Paris, London and in other parts of Britain.

Water-colour of Notre Dame, Paris, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Water-colour of Notre Dame, Paris, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

St. Paul's, Covent Garden, London, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, London, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Parish Church of St. Alfege, Greenwich by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Parish Church of St. Alfege, Greenwich by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Gutterings and down-pipes, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Gutterings and down-pipes, by Charles Lovett Gill. Coll-1603.

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

Bicentennial of the birth of Professor Edward Forbes (1815-1854), marine biologist, geologist, natural historian and biogeographer

DRAWING & SKETCHING, STUDYING & RESEARCHING, TRAVELLING & DREDGING, DESCRIBING MOLLUSCS & SHELLFISH, MUSEUM CURATION & PALAEONTOLOGY, PRESIDING OVER SCIENTIFIC BODIES & CLASSIFIYING TERTIARY FORMATIONS, AND LECTURING – ALL IN A SHORT BUT PACKED 39-YEARS… PROFESSOR EDWARD FORBES… ‘A BRILLIANT GENIUS’…

Signature of Forbes on letter, 11 March 1848. Dc.4.101 Forbes.

Signature of Forbes on letter, 11 March 1848. Dc.4.101 Forbes.

12 February 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth in Douglas, Isle of Man, of Edward Forbes the marine biologist, geologist, naturalist and pioneer in the field of biogeography (the study of the geographic distribution of plants and animals). On the Isle of Man, Forbes is most noted for his cataloguing of the marine life inhabiting the island and the neighbouring sea.

Born on 12 February 1815, Edward Forbes received his early education in Douglas and even in those early years he showed a taste for natural history, literature and drawing. His parents were said to have been so impressed with the artistic talent behind the drawings and caricatures on his schoolbooks that they sent him to London to study art with ambitions for a place in the Royal Academy Schools. His artistic talent was not good enough for the Royal Academy however, so in 1831 he entered Edinburgh University as a medical student instead.

Signature of Edward Forbes, from the Isle of Man, Edinburgh University session 1831-32. The signature was written in November 1831, and Forbes was the 115th student to matriculate. Volume 'Matriculation 1829-1846'.

Signature of Edward Forbes, from the Isle of Man, Edinburgh University session 1831-32. The signature was written in November 1831, and Forbes was the 115th student to matriculate. Volume ‘Matriculation 1829-1846′.

His 1832 vacation was spent looking at the natural history of the Isle of Man, and in 1833 he travelled to Norway, sailing on a brig from Ramsey on the Isle of Man to Arendal in Norway. He described his Norwegian trip in a journal – his Journal in Norge – illustrated with his own sketches. Barely four lines into his journal, started on Monday 27 May 1833, we find the first natural history log of the trip, ‘Caught some Gurnards … on one of them were several parasite insects’.

012 Title_from_Journal_in_Norge_Dc.6.91

Title to the journal Edward Forbes wrote on his trip to Norway, 1833. From the ‘Journal in Norge’. Dc.6.91

011b Sketch_from_Journal_in_Norge_Dc.6.91

On Saturday 22 June 1833, Forbes was in the country around Stavanger, ‘hilly but apparently fertile’ where the rock was chiefly gneiss and mica slate. There he found an immense boulder though with ‘neither rule or hammer’ he ‘could obtain neither specimen or correct measurement’. From the ‘Journal in Norge’. Dc.6.91

010 Sketch_from_Journal_in_Norge_Glacier_at_Bondhus_Hardanger_Fjord_Dc.6.91

On Tuesday 3 July 1833, in the evening, Forbes arrived at a little village in the vicinity of the Glacier at Bondhus on Hardanger Fjord. He sat down at ‘a table plentifully supplied with the staple food of the country’. From the ‘Journal in Norge’. Dc.6.91

Other natural history during these years included dredging work in the Irish Sea, and travels in France, Switzerland and Germany. Indeed he spent the winter of 1836-37 in Paris studying at the Le Jardin des Plantes which included attending the lectures of De Blainville (1777-1850) and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844), and looking at the geographical distribution of animals. He then travelled to the south of France and across the Mediterranean to Algeria collecting specimens. A born naturalist rather than a student of medicine, he had earlier – by 1836 – abandoned the notion of a medical degree and instead devoted his studies to science and literature.

Sketch by Forbes of Stavanger, Norway, including Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger domkirke) in his 'Journal in Norge'. Dc.6.91

Sketch by Forbes of Stavanger, Norway, including Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger domkirke) in his ‘Journal in Norge’. Dc.6.91

Sketch by Forbes of Kronborg Castle (Hamlet's Castle) at Helsingør, Denmark, in his 'Journal in Norge'. Dc.6.91

Sketch by Forbes of Kronborg Castle (Hamlet’s Castle) at Helsingør, Denmark, in his ‘Journal in Norge’. Dc.6.91

While at Edinburgh University, Forbes and John Percy were joint publishers of a magazine, called the University Maga, which was published weekly during session 1837-1838. Its frontispiece was sketched by Forbes and contained subjects within it which were similar to those commented on by Sir Archibald Geikie much later on in 1915. Forbes’s animals and figures are ‘in all kinds of comical positions and employments’, said Geikie (quoted from Manx Quarterly, p.329. Vol.V. No.20, 1919).

Detail from the cover of the ‘University Maga’ (pen and ink drawing) is shown here. Dc.4.101 Forbes.

004b Pen_and_Ink_Drawing_for_Maga_1838_Dc.4.101 Forbes005 Pen_and_Ink_Drawing_Detail_Maga_1838_Dc.4.101 Forbes006 Pen_and_Ink_Drawing_Detail_Maga_1838_Dc.4.101 Forbes009 Pen_and_Ink_Drawing_Detail_Maga_1838_Dc.4.101 Forbes

Investigations by Forbes into the natural history of the Isle of Man occupied much of his time, leading to a volume on Manx Mollusca once he was back in Edinburgh. The remainder of the 1830s saw him touring Austria, delivering scientific papers and lecturing in Newcastle, Cupar and St. Andrews and to the Edinburgh Philosophical Association, on subjects such as terrestrial pulmonifera in Europe, the distribution of pulmonary mollusca in the British Isles, and British marine life. In 1839 he obtained a grant for dredging research in the seas around the British Isles, and towards the end of that year he published a paper on British mollusca in which he established a division of the coast into four zones.

The 1840s opened for Forbes with a series of lectures in Liverpool. He also visited London where he met other scientists, and he travelled and did more dredging. In 1841 he published a History of British Starfishes based on his own observations – and many observed for the first time – and that year too he was appointed as naturalist on board HMS Beacon engaged in surveying work in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. He also explored upland Turkey, looking at its antiquities, freshwater mollusca, plants and geology.

Small pen and ink sketch of a ray and reference to membership of the 'ray club' on a letter, showing the signature of Edward Forbes. The 'ray club' may refer to the Ray Society, a scientific text publication society founded in 1844. It was named after John Ray, the 17th-century naturalist. Gen.524.3.

Small pen and ink sketch of a ray and reference to membership of the ‘ray club’ on a letter, showing the signature of Edward Forbes. The ‘ray club’ may refer to the Ray Society, a scientific text publication society founded in 1844. It was named after John Ray, the 17th-century naturalist. Gen.524.3.

Back in Britain again, Forbes took a post as Curator of the museum of the Geological Society, and in 1844 he became Palaeontologist to the Society. He presented a report on his research in the Aegean to the British Association and lectured before the Royal Institution on his studies of the littoral zones and his discoveries in these. Also in 1844 he became a Fellow of the Geological Society and Palaeontologist to the Geological Survey, and in 1845 a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was also voted as a member of the Athenaeum Club. Dredging in Shetland and around the west of Scotland occurred during this period, as did the presentation of a course of lectures at the London Institution and then also at King’s College.

Forbes was instrumental in the founding of the Palaeontological Society in 1847, and in 1849 he was working on the position in geological time-scale of the Purbeck Group (the Purbeck Beds) famous for its fossils of reptiles and early mammals. More dredging occurred, this time in the Hebrides, and more lecturing, and preparation for the on-going co-publication of a History of British Mollusca which appeared 1848-1852. His many dredging excursions contributed to this work. Between 1849 and 1850 he was busy arranging a new geological museum at the Geological Survey premises in Jermyn Street, London, which would open in 1851.  Before that though, more dredging occurred in the western Hebrides, and more lecturing in the Royal Institution.

013 Small_pen_and_ink_sketch_Gen.524.3

014 Small_pen_and_ink_sketch_Gen.524.3 Throughout their work, ‘Memoir of Edward Forbes, F.R.S.’, Macmillan & Co., Cambridge and London, 1861, Archibald Geikie and George Wilson include vignettes and tail-pieces by Edward Forbes at chapter-ends… Probably not unlike these here. Gen.524.3.

015 Small_pen_and_ink_sketch_Gen.524.3016 Small_pen_and_ink_sketch_Gen.524.3

In the summer of 1851, Forbes became Lecturer in Natural History in a new School of Mines (the Government School of Mines and Science Applied to the Arts, later the Royal School of Mines) which had been formed out of the efforts of geologist Sir Henry De La Beche (1796-1855). Indeed the staff of the Geological Survey became the Lecturers and Professors of the School of Mines, and the new School was located in the same Jermyn Street premises as the museum.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

The winter of 1852-1853 saw Forbes working on the classification of the tertiary formations, and still a comparatively young man – in his late-30s – he was elected as President of the Geological Society in 1853. The following year, in 1854, he became Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh University, succeeding Professor Robert Jameson who held the Chair for nearly half a century from 1804 until 1854. In his History of the University of Edinburgh 1883-1933, Arthur Logan Turner would write that Forbes was among ‘a remarkable group of outstanding men’ whose ‘individual influence’ after the mid-19th century would help science become ‘seriously recognised in the University’ – the other remarkables included Lyon Playfair (Chair of Chemistry), P. G. Tait (Chair of Natural Philosophy), and Archibald Geikie (Chair of Geology). Another historian – Sir Alexander Grant – would describe Forbes as ‘a brilliant genius’.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Professor Edward Forbes delivered his inaugural lecture on 15 May 1854 but during the meetings of the Geological section of the British Association held in Liverpool he suffered from a fever. Forbes would not live to see publication of his work on the tertiary formations, and after only a few month’s tenure as Professor – after only a few days into the winter session 1854-1855 – he had to cancel his lectures owing to ill-health. He died shortly afterwards on 18 November 1854 at the age of 39. The brilliant genius ‘was extinguished’, his light ‘having just shown itself above the horizon’, Sir Alexander Grant was to write later.

Professor Edward Forbes was buried in Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

Tabular lists by Forbes. Gen.524.3.

A student of Edward Forbes, James Hector (1834-1907), later Sir James Hector the Scottish geologist, naturalist, and surgeon, would name a mountain after his former Professor. Hector had participated in the Canadian Palliser Expedition to explore new railway routes for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and named the 8th highest peak in the Canadian Rockie Mountains after Forbes. Mount Forbes (3,612 metres) is in Alberta, 18 km southwest of the Saskatchewan River crossing in Banff National Park.

Organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture in partnership with Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society and the Society for the Preservation of the Manx Countryside, the Edward Forbes Bicentenary Marine Science and Conservation Conference will take place 12-14 February 2015 at the Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man. The Museum will also stage pop-up displays on the life and legacy of Edward Forbes during the Conference.

Signature of Forbes on letter, 15 June 1851. Dc.4.101 Forbes.

Signature of Forbes on letter, 15 June 1851. Dc.4.101 Forbes.

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives and Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

Sources:

  • Manx Worthies. Professor Edward Forbes (from the Manx Note Book, by A. W. Moore): Edward Forbes [accessed 2 Feb 2015]
  • Eric L. Mills. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Forbes, Edward (1815-1854), marine biologist, geologist, natural historian [accessed 2 Feb 2015]
  • Grant, Sir Alexander. Story of the University of Edinburgh during its first three hundred years in 2 volumes. London: Longmans Green and Co., 1884. Vol.II., p.434-435.
  • Turner, A. Logan. History of the University of Edinburgh 1883-1933. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1933. p.240.
  • Material contained within Coll-133, Papers of Edward Forbes, Edinburgh University Library (Centre for Research Collections)

The Foundation of Anatomy: Class List of Alexander Monro (primus)

From time to time we ‘rediscover’ items in our collections.  It’s not that we didn’t know we had them; rather that they have not come to anyone’s specific attention within the many, many items we hold.

This is certainly the case with the earliest class list we hold for anatomy students.  It has a comprehensive name index, which is usually what people refer to, seldom asking to see the item itself.  However, when double checking some catalogue references, it was necessary to have a quick look at the original item.  It revealed itself to be far more significant than the index recorded.

It is a volume of principally students’ names and those they were studying under, beginning in 1720, when Alexander Monro primus began giving classes in anatomy in autumn 1720.  Monro had just been appointed Professor of Anatomy. Although the official establishment of the Faculty of Medicine was still six years away, many view the appointment of Monro as the clear starting point.

Page from 1820.  Includes the name of Martin Eccles. (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Died 1778.)

Page from 1820. Includes the name of Martin Eccles. (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Died 1778.)

Monro was educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leiden and learned anatomy under Frederik Ruysch in Amsterdam. He returned to Edinburgh in 1719 and passed the examinations for admission to the Incorporation of Surgeons.  The Professorship of Anatomy had been established by Edinburgh Town Council in 1705 but for Monro, unlike his predecessors, his appointment was clearly defined as a university chair.

Students were apprenticed to masters (surgeons), often boarding with them as well.  Teaching was conducted at Surgeons Hall and not within the precincts of the University until 1725, the move at least partly fuelled by public rioting over accusations of grave robbing.

A random check of names in the volume has as yet failed to yield a match with actual medical graduates, though names of identifiable surgeons and physicians are present, illustrating the fact that the formality of a degree was not mandatory to practice medicine.

The volume was donated to the University Library in 1924 by James Watt, LL.D., W.S., F.F.A., F.R.S.E (1863-1945).  He lived in Craiglockart House, which was built for Monro’s son, Alexander Monro secundus (1733-1817). The volume was found by Watt inn the cistern room of the house.  Fortunately, he was able to recognise its significance and pass it on to the then University Librarian, L. W. Sharp.

Copy of letter from James Watt to Lord Amulree, 1945, sent to Lauriston William Sharp, University Librarian.

Copy of letter from James Watt to Lord Amulree, 1945, sent to Lauriston William Sharp, University Librarian.

Sources:

  • Alexander Monro, class list (1720-1749), Special Collections, EUA GD60 (Dc.5.95)
  • Anita Guerrini, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Monro, Alexander, primus (1697–1767), surgeon and anatomist [accessed 30 Jan 2015]
  • Sir Alexander Grant, The story of the University of Edinburgh during its first three hundred years (1884)

‘Connected Collections’, Library of Innerpeffray, 29 November 2014

WP_20141129_13_18_20_Pro

Last Saturday, I was at the wonderful Library of Innerpeffray, Scotland’s oldest lending library (founded ca. 1680) for ‘Connected Collections’, a workshop organised by Jennifer Barnes and Chris Murray of the University of Dundee. This was designed as a forum for academics, archivists, library and museum professionals, and students to discuss the promotion of creative collections at Scottish universities and work towards potential partnerships and research bids.

WP_20141129_13_58_29_Pro

After my opening talk on ‘Widening Access to Creative Collections at Edinburgh University’, Neil Curtis (Head of Museums, Aberdeen) gave an historical account of collecting and cataloguing policies over the 18th and 19th centuries noting how changing curatorial approaches repurposed and recombined Aberdeen University’s collections, sometimes creating hybrid objects. He stressed too the role of Scottish universities as combined national institutions, rather than regional entities serving only their immediate area.

Karl Magee (University Archivist, University of Stirling) introduced the archive of Stirling-born film-maker Norman McLaren and discussed, in particular, the relationship forged between the University Archives and the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, culminating in the exhibition ‘A Dream of Stirling: Norman McLaren’s Scottish Dawn’.

John Izod (Communications, Media and Culture, Stirling University) told the fascinating tale of Lindsay Anderson’s documentary of Wham!’s 1985 China tour, the first visit to that country by a western pop group. Anderson’s radically different first version, rejected by the group’s management, is in Stirling University’s Lindsay Anderson Archive.

Julie Gardham (Senior Assistant Librarian, Special Collections, University of Glasgow) presented a number of innovative ways of promoting arts and humanities collections, including using archives as inspirational materials for creative writing workshops, pitching under-used and uncatalogued collections at potential researchers at evening receptions, and running a student blogathon, with prizes for the best and most liked posts for items on Special Collections and Archives material.

Gerard Carruthers (Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow) argued that there was a need for a concerted effort to catalogue and explore 18th- and 19th-century poetry archives in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. This was material that had been neglected due to the prevailing misconception that Scottish poetry had descended into sentimental tartanry after Burns. He wished to see a project ‘Scottish Political Poetry and Song, 1832-1918’ researching material in newspapers and periodicals to create an alternative print cultural history.

Caroline Brown (Deputy Archivist, University of Dundee), discussed her university’s promotion of embedded archival teaching, including the award of a prize for the best piece of work using archival materials. She placed particular stress on oral history projects involving Dundee’s jute mills, the publisher D. C. Thomson, and patients and staff at a hospital for people with a learning disability.

Chris Murray (Dundee) discussed the use of archives in Comics Studies courses at Dundee University. These were largely created through building up close relationships with individual comic artists and publishers, many of whom regularly visited Dundee to give talks to the students. Archival materials were also used to inspire students to create their own comics. Dr Murray noted the difficulty in using some recent materials for teaching and research, due to donators’ concerns that materials might be uploaded to the internet.

Finally Brian Hoyle (English and Film Studies, Dundee) introduced Dundee University’s recently acquired archive of the Scottish novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp, and discussed his interest in building an archive of unfilmed cinema scripts (of which there were many first-rate examples in the Sharp Archive).

The day ended with a round-table discussion which gave student delegates a chance to express their own views on the efforts of libraries, archives, and museums to engage with them. A common theme was a desire for easier and more uniform access to collections in institutions other than the student’s own. Archivists also expressed concerns that universities were no longer training students in the skills required (Latin, palaeography) to decipher archival materials.

The day provided an excellent opportunity for forging contacts between academics, library and archive professionals, and students working with creative collections. It was also an invaluable platform for library and archives staff to exchange ideas on outreach and widening participation. It is to be hoped that future ‘Connected Collections’ workshops will be organized to build on the relationships established at Innerpeffray.

 Paul Barnaby, Archives Team, CRC

 

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco ‘meets’ his great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I

Rachel Hosker, Archivist, meets Prince Albert II of Monaco. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian, looks on.

Rachel Hosker, Archivist CRC, meets Prince Albert II of Monaco. Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts CRC, looks on (16 October 2014).

Today, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco visited the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), and met the Director of ECCI and staff from the School of Geosciences at the University’s remodelled Old High School in High School Yards .

The evening before – Thursday 16 October 2014 – a number of items from the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) were displayed before the Prince when he attended a reception at Old College, Edinburgh University.

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian CRC, meets Prince Albert II of Monaco, Rachel Hosker, Archivist CRC, looks on.

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts CRC, meets Prince Albert II of Monaco, Rachel Hosker, Archivist CRC, and Professor David M. Munro look on (16 October 2014).

The Prince was given a private viewing of the display just before the Thursday evening reception and was accompanied by, among others, the University Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, and Professor David M. Munro OBE, Ph.D of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and a member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Prince Albert Foundation.

A sketch by William Speirs Bruce of the survey trawling gear on board 'Princesse Alice', 1898. Gen. 1646.39.1-2

A sketch by William Speirs Bruce of the survey trawling gear on board ‘Princesse Alice’, 1898. Gen. 1646.39.1-2

For the display, items from the William Speirs Bruce collection curated by Special Collections were chosen to reflect the connection between the scientist and explorer William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921) and the Prince’s great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922) who was a renowned oceanographer. Items from Edinburgh University Archives were shown too, and these described the award of an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University to Prince Albert I in 1907.

Ms notes showing temperature and salinity observations made by Bruce from 'Princesse Alice', during July, August and September 1899, and between Tromsø, northern Norway, and the west coast of Spitsbergen. Gen. 1651.101.10

Ms notes showing temperature and salinity observations made by Bruce from ‘Princesse Alice’, during July, August and September 1899, and between Tromsø, northern Norway, and the west coast of Spitsbergen.
Gen. 1651.101.10

William Speirs Bruce led the famed Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904, on his vessel Scotia. Prior to his southern expedition he carried out research in the Arctic. He sailed the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya and Svalbard on the steam yacht Blencathra in May 1898, returning to Tromsø, northern Norway, in July. There he met Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922) and was invited aboard the vessel Princesse Alice which had been constructed for oceanographic research.

In a log-book entry for 13 July 1906, Bruce writes about the improving weather with clouds dispersing so that ‘in the evening the sky was practically cloudless and all the peaks and glaciers clear. At midnight there was brilliant sunshine’. After lunch that day, a party of men went ashore at 3pm ‘when the Prince and the rest of us toasted them’. Gen. 1650.89.3.1-2

In a log-book entry for 13 July 1906, Bruce writes about the improving weather with clouds dispersing so that ‘in the evening the sky was practically cloudless and all the peaks and glaciers clear. At midnight there was brilliant sunshine’. After lunch that day, a party of men went ashore at 3pm ‘when the Prince and the rest of us toasted them’. Gen. 1650.89.3.1-2

Bruce then accompanied the Prince on a hydrographic survey to Spitsbergen, the main island in the Svalbard archipelago. The Prince’s oceanographic research vessel took them to Bear Island as well as Spitsbergen. At the end of the expedition he returned to Edinburgh briefly, before wintering in Monte Carlo and continuing with oceanographic work on the vessel. In 1899 a return expedition was made with the Prince to Spitsbergen, and during the summers of 1906 and 1907 Bruce again visited Spitsbergen. He had been invited by Prince Albert to take part in topographical mapping of Prins Karls Forland off the west coast of the island.

From the Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1905-1908, and recording the decision to award the Honorary LLD. EUA IN1/GOV/SEN/1

From the Minutes of the Senatus Academicus, 1905-1908, and recording the decision to award the Honorary LLD. EUA IN1/GOV/SEN/1

In January 1907, Prince Albert was to be addressing the Royal Scottish Geographical Society but prior to this, at the last meeting of Senatus for 1906, it was intimated that an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) would be awarded to the Prince. This had been recommended to Senatus by the LLD Committee, triggered by information from Professor James Geikie (1893-1915). A Special Graduation Ceremony was planned for the same day as the visit to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society – 17 January 1907. It was around this time too that Bruce established the Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory.

The display set out for Prince Albert II of Monaco included items from the William Speirs Bruce Collection

The display set out for Prince Albert II of Monaco included items from the William Speirs Bruce Collection.

But… fast forward again to October 2014… and to Prince Albert II…

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian CRC, introduces the display to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Professor David M. Munro and the University Principal

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts CRC, introduces the display to Prince Albert II of Monaco, and his party. Rachel Hosker, Archivist CRC, Professor David M. Munro and the University Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea look on (16 October 2014).

Born in 1958, HSH Prince Albert II is the reigning monarch of the Principality of Monaco, and the son of Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005) and Princess Grace of Monaco (1929-1982). He is the great-great-grandson of the oceanographer Prince Albert I and his first wife Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton (1850-1922) daughter of the 11th Duke of Hamilton.

Items illustrating a performance by Princess Grace of Monaco at St Cecilia's Hall in 1976, loaned from the Edinburgh International Festival and from the Herald & Times Group

Items illustrating a performance by Princess Grace of Monaco at St Cecilia’s Hall in 1976, loaned from the Edinburgh International Festival and from the Herald & Times Group.

After a brief introduction to the display given by CRC staff, Professor Munro very eloquently described the collection items to Prince Albert II, as well as the connections between Bruce and Prince Albert I. The Prince was heard to indicate that he hadn’t ever seen the photograph of his great-great-grandfather taken by Herbert Mather Spoor, and which had illustrated the 1907 report in The Student.

'The Student' was a magazine produced by the Students’ Representative Council. It covered student life at the University alongside a broad range of topics thought to be of interest to the student body. The magazine format was later abandoned and 'The Student' today is a newspaper. On 25 Jan 1907 it reported that Prince Albert of Monaco had been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. The article included a photograph taken by medical student Herbert Mather Spoor (1872-1917), MB ChB, 1908. Spoor was later killed at Ypres in 1917. EUA.P.11

‘The Student’ was a magazine produced by the Students’ Representative Council. It covered student life at the University alongside a broad range of topics thought to be of interest to the student body. The magazine format was later abandoned and ‘The Student’ today is a newspaper. On 25 Jan 1907 it reported that Prince Albert of Monaco had been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. The article included a photograph taken by medical student Herbert Mather Spoor (1872-1917), MB ChB, 1908. Spoor was later killed at Ypres in 1917. EUA.P.11

The Prince also observed that when his mother had participated in the poetry recital An American Heritage performed at St. Cecilia’s Hall during the Edinburgh International Festival in 1976, he too had accompanied her on the visit to the city. Princess Grace together with actors Richard Kiley and Richard Pasco had recited poems illustrating American History in four separate performances in the 1976 Festival. Their performance was themed to coincide with the bicentennial of American independence from Great Britain in 1776.

CRC staff in attendance in the Carstares Room, Old College, during the evening agreed that the items selected for the display certainly hit the spot with the Prince and with Professor Munro, and deemed the evening a great success (thanks due, not least, to supporting Conservation and Exhibitions colleagues).

Display set before the Prince... Carstares Room, Old College

Display set before the Prince… Carstares Room and adjoining Raeburn Room, Old College.

Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives and Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

 

All in a name (nearly)

A notice from 1827 reveals certain privileges that were available if:

  • Your name was STEWART
  • Your surname was SIMPSON
  • You were a Highlander acquainted with the Gaelic language

These seem to be the only criteria on offer in terms of access to bursaries. Cash-strapped students could also, with favourable recommendation from their parish Minister, be awarded Gratis Tickets.

Notice of Regulations of the Faculty of Arts, 1827

Notice of Regulations of the Faculty of Arts, 1827

Andrew Brown (1763-1834), who issued this notice and was Dean of Faculty, was born at Biggar, in 1763. He was educated at Glasgow University then he entered the Church and was ordained minister of the Scottish Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1787. Brown returned to Scotland in 1795 and held charges in Lochmaben and at New Greyfriars and Old St. Giles’ in Edinburgh.

In 1801 he became Regius Professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres at Edinburgh University, a post first offered to Sir Walter Scott who turned it down. His appointment proved to be a disaster however, for he was more interested in North American history than in literature and during his term of office the subject he was appointed to teach declined. He made no literary contribution and as a lecturer he was uninspired. He died in 1834.

Wireless telegraph message sent by Leganger H. Hansen (Salvesen manager, Leith Harbour, South Georgia, between 1916 and 1937)

Pipe bombs, hurt sternframes, peas, penguins, stowaways and cookery books: the Salvesen Archive

After the recent BBC whaling documentary produced by KeoFilms / KeoNorth– entitled ‘Britain’s whale hunters: the untold story’ – a spike in enquiries about the archive of the former whaling firm Christian Salvesen & Company of Leith was anticipated. To meet this, some light work has been carried out on the archive, largely to ease the difficulties sometimes encountered when handling the collection. Slightly more expanded listing of the files – beyond those supplied by the Company some decades ago – has revealed interesting aspects of life down in the far Southern Ocean, in the Falkland Islands and on South Georgia.

While the television documentary was very descriptive of how dangerous a whaler’s life could be, both at sea and on the ‘flensing plan’, it is clear that off-duty activities could be dangerous too, if not fatal. A report from Hansen to the Magistrate at Grytviken, South Georgia, relates how two sailors from the whaler ‘Swona’ had gone to the vessel’s powder magazine and taken 10 kilos of gunpowder and a 5 pound tin of ‘granatepowder’. They had then gone ashore in order to make fireworks, putting the 10 kilos of powder into a cast-iron pipe and lighting the powder. One of the sailors was killed when this firework (we would call it a pipe-bomb nowadays) exploded.

Whale-catching vessels could also be ‘hurt’ as shown by this marconigram (wireless telegraph message) from Hansen, again, to the Magistrate at Grytviken. The whale-catcher ‘Sotra’ had lost her propeller and ‘hurt her sternframe’.

Wireless telegraph message sent by Leganger H. Hansen (Salvesen manager, Leith Harbour, South Georgia, between 1916 and 1937)

Wireless telegraph message sent by Leganger H. Hansen (Salvesen manager, Leith Harbour, South Georgia, between 1916 and 1937)

Then there was the difficulty of sending provisions to the whaling stations – inferior goods were often a problem. A letter from the Salvesen offices in Glasgow, 3 December 1912, to a local city supplier refers to the peas supplied to the Company. The Manager of the Whaling Station at South Georgia had written that the peas were of ‘such a bad quality that it is impossible to get them boiled down so as to make pea-soup’.

Letter, 3 December 1912, from the Manager in South Georgia to the Company's offices in Glasgow

Letter, 3 December 1912, from the Salvesen office in Glasgow to a local city supplier, after a complaint from a Manager in South Georgia

Another file shows that in December 1926, the Magistrate at Grytviken granted permission to Salvesen on behalf of the Danish Government to take a selection of 75 penguins for exhibition purposes in Denmark. The permit was conditional upon half of these penguins then being delivered to London Zoo afterwards.

Letter, 1926, from the Magistrate in Grytviken, South Georgia, granting permission to take several dozen penguins to Denmark for exhibition

Letter, 1926, from the Magistrate in Grytviken, South Georgia, granting permission to take several dozen penguins to Denmark for exhibition

In spite of the hard life of the whaler, there were always stowaways willing to bring change to their lives either in the Southern Ocean or in the other parts of the world fished and hunted by Salvesen. This is proved in a 1933 letter from Leganger H. Hansen (the Salvesen manager of the Leith Harbour whaling station, South Georgia, between 1916 and 1937, and almost certainly the same Hansen mentioned in the brief glimpses of whaling life described above). In the letter, Hansen tells how the whale-factory ship ‘Salvestria’ had acquired three stowaways and that they could possibly be ‘landed at Dover’. He did not ‘wish any stowaways to receive either pay or part’, and he believed ‘it best that such men should be transferred to the ‘Coronda’ and placed under the command of Captain Begg, who has assured us that he will make them work’. There was a possibility of stowaways on other Salvesen vessels too – ‘Sourabaya’ and ‘New Sevilla’.

Whale-factory ships 'Coronda' and 'New Sevilla', season 1934-35

Transport ship ‘Coronda’, and whale-factory ship ‘New Sevilla’, season 1934-35

Completely unconnected with the Argentine name for the Islands – Las Malvinas – the ‘Malvina Stores’ was a thriving business on the Falkland Islands in the early years of the 20th century. In 1909, in Stanley, the principal town, ‘Malvina Stores’ sold everything that might be needed, from corsets, cookery books, spare pants and under clothing, fingering yarn, ear syringes, toilet covers, nuns veiling, and bronchitis kettles.

Advertisement for 'Malvina Store', Stanley, Falkland Islands, from 'The Falkland Islands magazine and Church Paper' No.1. Vol.XXI. May 1909

Advertisement for ‘Malvina Store’, Stanley, Falkland Islands, from ‘The Falkland Islands Magazine and Church Paper’ No.1. Vol.XXI. May 1909

Several sections of the archive contain printed matter, including government ordinances. At the opening of 20th century, in an ‘Ordinance relating to Aliens, Destitute Immigrants, and to the Naturalization of Foreign Subjects’ dated 27 July 1900, William Grey-Wilson, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, advised that several South Americans including Uruguayans and an Argentinean had taken the oath of allegiance.

From 'An Ordinance relating to Aliens, Destitute Immigrants, and to the Naturalization of Foreign Subjects', 27 July 1900

From ‘An Ordinance relating to Aliens, Destitute Immigrants, and to the Naturalization of Foreign Subjects’, 27 July 1900

What a difference a century can make !

Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives and Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

 

Whale hunting: New documentary for broadcast on BBC Four

The story of Britain’s whale hunters is to be broadcast across the UK in a new 2-part documentary on BBC Four on Monday 9 June and Monday 16 June. The documentary has been produced by ‘KEO films’, and in the second episode some material from the Salvesen Archive will appear. The collection had been given to us on permanent loan in 1969, and with subsequent additions, and was finally gifted by Christian Salvesen Investments Limited in 2012.

0004110d

Recently a ‘Keo films’ researcher spent some days looking at material from the Salvesen archive before travelling to South Georgia in the South Atlantic to visit the remains of the Salvesen whaling operation there.

Box. 2. No. 1.

In addition to the broadcast in June, the documentary entitled ‘Britain’s Whale hunters: The Untold Story’ will again be transmitted on BBC Two, in Scotland only, later in the year, no date confirmed.

The Salvesen story itself had been an interesting one. In the early decades of the 20th century, the shipping firm Salvesen of Leith, Scotland, led the whaling industry at a time when food oils and other products from the Antarctic were considered an endless resource. Indeed, whaling dominated the Salvesen business. In later years – the 1960s and 1970s – the firm had diversified into the tanker fleet business, shipping steel and coke to Norway for the Norwegian shipbuilding and steel industries, factory fishing trawlers, and then to shore-based cold storage, canning, property development and also to house-building. Then, in October 2007, the French based transport and logistics provider Norbert Dentressangle announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Christian Salvesen.

The images shown here are also from the Salvesen Archive and show the Company vessels ‘Coronda’ and ‘New Sevilla’ at Leith Harbour in South Georgia, and crew on board a prospecting cruise to South Georgia and Antarctica in 1913-1914.

Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts

 

William Soutar’s Caricatures of Hugh MacDiarmid

A few days ago I gave a talk to the Friends of William Soutar in Perth on the friendship between Soutar and his fellow Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid, as illustrated by letters in Edinburgh University Library’s C. M. Grieve Archive (MS 2960.18).

Soutar, confined to bed with a debilitating disease for the last 13 years of his life, adorned some of his letters with affectionate pen-and-ink caricatures of MacDiarmid (whom Soutar always addressed by his real forename ‘Christopher’). On 9 January 1937, he pokes gentle fun at the workaholic MacDiarmid’s idea of ‘taking it easy’, portraying him as a Marxist superman surrounded by piles of manuscripts headed ‘Lyrics’, ‘Autobiog.’, ‘Epic’, and ‘Articles’. When war breaks out, he suggests (19 December 1940) that the drafts of MacDiarmid’s works in progress will make a more than adequate bomb shelter.

IMG_1353IMG_1357

Soutar was an Edinburgh University student, matriculating in 1919, after serving in the Royal Navy during the First World War (an experience that turned him into a pacifist). He began a medical degree, but soon switched to English Literature, where he proved a notoriously difficult student. He refused to study both Anglo-Saxon and novels in general as he considered both irrelevant to his future career as a poet. He did, however, publish early verses in The Student, many of which reappeared in his first published volume Gleanings by an Undergraduate (1923).

For information on our holdings of William Soutar manuscripts and correspondence, see Scottish Literary Papers.

Paul Barnaby, Centre for Research Collections