We’ve been asked this question several times over the last week or so. Why? The University of Bradford has been in the news with an archives project that is fascinating journalists, academics, and members of the public. The project, ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones‘, is a Wellcome-funded joint endeavour between Special Collections the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at the University of Bradford.
We are investigating the life and work of, yes, a palaeopathologist, Dr Calvin Wells. A palaeopathologist is a scientist who studies ancient pathologies (injuries, disease). Dr Wells was a pioneer in this discipline, reporting on skeletal finds from many archaeological sites. The people whose remains he studied led often difficult, violent and painful lives – all shown in the growth of and damage to the bones.
Coverage so far includes:
There will be much more to discover as we delve deeper into this rich archive. Keep in touch with project developments via the project blog.
Our Archaeological Sciences colleagues are expert palaeopathologists, using old and new techniques to unlock the secrets of the bones. Which brings me to the pleasant task of welcoming a new colleague, our Project Osteologist, Michelle Williams-Ward. Michelle is working on burials in medieval Norfolk for her PhD student at the University. Her project role involves making sense of the many images of bones in the archive. This requires considerable expertise. Michelle’s insights have already proved most helpful!
Meet James Neill, who has just joined Special Collections as Project Archivist.
James will be with us for 18 months, working on the Wellcome-funded ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones Project’, a collaboration between Special Collections and Archaeological Sciences. Working closely with the rest of the project team, James will be cataloguing, digitising, preserving, and promoting the rich and unique archive of pioneering palaeopathologist Dr Calvin Wells. He will be based in Richmond Building but will also be seen around Special Collections.
James received his archive qualification from the University of Glasgow in 2013. Since then he has worked for all kinds of arts, heritage and academic organisations, including the Mercers’ Company, London Metropolitan Archives and the University of Arts London, and on collections ranging from the Estate Papers of Sir Richard Whittington to the counter-cultural comic books of Robert Crumb. This wide experience will be very helpful in navigating the complications of the Wells material! Find out more about him on his staff webpage.
As in most university libraries, summer is the time for building works and stock moves in the J.B. Priestley Library. The major project this year is the replacement of our antiquated and unreliable passenger lift with a modern and more robust unit. Hooray!
J.B. Priestley Library and ‘Commie’ Building under construction, 1970s (UNI B25)
The works mean taking the lift out of action from 12 June 2017. We anticipate it being unavailable for much of the summer. Visitors who have mobility difficulties should let us know so we can make alternative arrangements for them.
Keep up with the lift’s progress and our other building projects via posts on this blog, our Building Works web page, and our Twitter account.
Graduates! Want to become a librarian? The Library at the University of Bradford is offering a great opportunity to find out more and build your skills. We’re advertising the post of a Graduate Trainee Library Assistant. The post is for one year and is intended for a graduate seeking pre-library school experience. The post-holder gets to experience all areas of academic library work, including Special Collections!
To find out more and to apply via our online system, search for post reference HR0034891-2 on the jobs website: https://jobs.bradford.ac.uk/
OR follow this direct link: https://jobs.bradford.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=HR0034891-2
Closing date: 6 June 2017.
Best of luck to all applicants and I look forward to meeting a lovely new colleague.
Archivists! Would you like to join our small and enthusiastic team? You would be cataloguing the papers of this chap (Dr Calvin Wells), who pioneered palaeopathology (discovering ancient disease and injury from skeletal remains).
Calvin Wells with skull
We’re recruiting an Archivist to work on the Putting Flesh on the Bones Project, funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust and involving work with both Special Collections and Archaeological Sciences. The post is available for 18 months from 1 June 2017 and offers a fantastic chance to collaborate with academics and conservation/museum professionals, as well as Special Collections staff and readers. Find out more on the University’s vacancy webpage. Do contact me (Alison) if you have any queries.