We are anticipating some building works in the J.B. Priestley Library from late May, as soon as exams are finished, on the upper floors and stair areas. These are fairly small-scale compared to last summer’s works and should have little effect on users of Special Collections.
This summer’s works won’t be quite on this scale! Building J.B. Priestley Library and Communal Building (now Student Central), circa 1973 (UNI X1863 B25).
I’ll post further news when available: here, on our Facebook page, and on the Special Collections Twitter account. See also the Library’s Twitter account for updates on building works and other useful info.
Special Collections will be closed for the Easter Break from Friday 29 March-Tuesday 2 April inclusive. We’re thrilled that J.B. Priestley features at the Bradford Eastercon on the Saturday. In honour of which, here is a detail from the wonderful dustjacket of Priestley’s uncorrected proof copy of Of Time and Stars: the worlds of Arthur C. Clarke (for which Priestley wrote the introduction).
Our reproduction doesn’t do justice to the amazingly purple, pink, orange and yellow original, which also (I think) introduces Clarke’s stories very well as does JBP’s typically quirky and personal introduction.
Whether you’re going to Eastercon or not, we wish you a very happy Easter!
Posted in Bradford, Literature, Priestley, J.B., Service News and Updates
Tagged 1970s, Arthur C. Clarke, Books, Easter, Eastercon, J.B. Priestley, Science Fiction, Special Collections
Introducing Priestley SpecFic
J.B. Priestley was fascinated by the possibilities of time, space, dreams and the fantastic or weird. Alongside the famous time plays, he used these ideas in TV scripts, essays, short stories and novels, ranging from Snoggle, a charming tale of a friendly alien, to the terrifying nuclear war scenario of Level 7. This spring, a convention and a publisher celebrate Priestley’s speculative fiction.
Ghost of Honour
Detail from dustjacket of Benighted by J.B. Priestley (Heinemann)
Priestley will be “Ghost of Honour” at this year’s Eastercon: Eightsquared, in Bradford over the Easter weekend, featuring a lecture by Lee Hanson, Chair of the J.B. Priestley Society. As the Eastercon blog says, “[Priestley's] quietly durable work is well worth a fresh look as modern literary writers increasingly adopt SF ideas and themes. Priestley was doing that decades ago, as well as using elements of the fantastic to address political and social debates …”
Back to the Old Dark House
Detail from cover of The Other Place, by J.B. Priestley (Corgi)
Valancourt Books are issuing two classics of the weird by Priestley: Benighted, the tale of travellers benighted at an “old dark house”, which became a horror classic in its film form, and The Other Place, disquieting short stories, including “The Grey Ones” and “Uncle Phil on TV”.
There’s plenty of good stuff in the latest issue of the J.B. Priestley Society Journal (October 2012, volume 13)
Blue plaque for J.B. Priestley at 34 Mannheim Road, Bradford. The family didn’t move from there straight to Saltburn Place as has traditionally been thought …
- JC Eastwood on Priestley’s family homes in Bradford – clearing up a mystery!
- Professor Maggie Gale of Manchester University on Priestley as a “man of the theatre” – the text of her 2012 Society lecture.
- Priestley’s bibliographer Alan Day on JB’s links with novelist Phyllis Bentley and their opinions of each other’s writings. Alan Day also looks at a series of “short uplift articles” Priestley wrote for Lever Brothers in 1940 as part of a promotion for Sunlight Soap. Fascinating parallels to the Postscripts!
- Trevor Johnson writes about Priestley and Thomas Hardy, in particular the former’s use of Hardy’s poem in the Postscript about the Isle of Wight Volunteers of 16 June 1940.
- Philip Scowcroft surveys music in Priestley’s writings.
There is also a reprint of a Priestley rarity, “The Soul of Revue”, originally published in 1925 and hitherto unknown.
The Journal isn’t available online*, but is sent in print form to all members of the Society and is available in libraries, including ours of course.
*yet, watch this space!
Posted in Literature, Priestley, J.B., Yorkshire
Tagged Bradford, Drama, J.B. Priestley Society, Journals, Music, Phyllis Bentley, Priestley, Theatre, Thomas Hardy, World War II
I was prompted to write this by a recent visit from our graduate trainee Katie Mann. Katie was looking for archive images and inspiration for her exhibition in the Library highlighting LGBT Month. Our archives concerned with peace campaigns and nonviolent protest often overlap with gay and lesbian activism, as in these examples which I showed Katie.
This image is from the Peace News Archive, an immense collection of information and photographs on campaigns, countries and themes of interest to those creating the newspaper, including a file of fantastic photographs of lesbian and gay protests from the early 1980s. This one shows marchers on a Lesbian and Gay Pride March 1985 and is very evocative of the styles and politics of the era.
As in its way is this striking little booklet, from the Archive of Jacquetta Hawkes, part of a file of correspondence concerning her work for the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and the Albany Trust. Throughout her life Jacquetta (like her second husband, J.B. Priestley) campaigned against injustice, using their star power and connections to influence political decisions, in favour of often controversial causes. For instance, the couple played a key role in the creation of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
I suspect that our large collections of peace-related pamphlets and ephemera, which we hope to catalogue this year, will yield further stories and pictures of LGBT campaigns … watch this space!
Posted in Hawkes, Jacquetta, Image of the Month, Images, Peace, Politics, Priestley, J.B.
Tagged 1950s, 1980s, Campaigning, Exhibitions, J.B. Priestley, Jacquetta Hawkes, LGBT Month
Thrilled that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire for the first two stages in July 2014! The route will take in iconic and difficult terrain near Bradford and in the Yorkshire Dales. This image of cyclists on Kex Gill Pass during the 1930s gives a sense of the challenges to be faced, although we hope the weather will be slightly better for the Tour.
Cyclists in the snow, Kex Gill Pass near Blubberhouses, Yorkshire, by Fred Robinson Butterfield, 1930s
This photo was taken by keen cyclist Fred Butterfield: find out more about him and his fascinating Yorkshire photographs in this entry from our 100 Objects series.
Bradford University and the City have a long interest in cycling. Like rambling, it has long been popular in this region, the closeness of incredible landscapes to Yorkshire’s industrial cities allowing workers and students to find themselves in rural and remote settings just a few minutes outside the urban bustle. J.B. Priestley’s writings often show the value he and his contemporaries placed on the Dales as a place for freedom, beauty and adventure.
Here’s the Cycling Club on Richmond Road, just outside the University, in November 1968. It looks rather chilly, and the accompanying news story observes that “the weather this term has not been favourable”, but “the more hardy members have been going out regularly each week”.
It might be cold, but notice the lack of cars on the road – bliss!
The more hardy members of Bradford University Cycling Club, from Javelin 28 November 1968.
Cycling is still really popular at the University: if you’d like to know more, see the University Bicycle Users Group and the Cycling Club websites.