Category Archives: Images

Images of the Month: Lesbian and Gay Activists in the Archives

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.

CwlPN11_81 L&GYouthFestanon 001

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.

HAW13_11 Pamphlet

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!

Season’s Greetings from Special Collections

Xmas 2012 a_Page_1 cr

HOL3_1_5 Glaciarum2 cr

This image is one of my favourites!  Seasonal skating fun!  It was found in the Holden Papers and nicely illustrates the riches in this wonderful archive that we are now discovering thanks to our Untangling the Holdens Project.  There’s more about the Southport Glaciarium here.

Christmas Greeting also available as an A5 card, to print out, if you like: Xmas 2012.

Special Collections is closed for the festive break from 20 December to 2 January, inclusive.  We would like to thank all our users, volunteers, friends and supporters for their involvement in 2012 and to wish everyone all the very best for Christmas and the coming year.

Immortalising Sir Isaac

Fascinated to discover this website by Steve Lightfoot which is full of detail about the world of Victorian photographers of Leeds and Bradford.  In particular, there is an invaluable page about Albert Sachs, who photographed Sir Isaac Holden, offering a personal and technological perspective on a relatively unexplored aspect of the wonderful Holden Papers.

And here is one of Sachs’ images of Sir Isaac:

Sir Isaac Holden, a permanent chromotype, by Albert Sachs

Sir Isaac Holden, a permanent chromotype, by Albert Sachs

Season’s Greetings!


Yule card 10

More info about this e-card.
Special Collections vacation hours.

Season’s Greetings – the credits

More detail about the Special Collections 2010 e-card.

Santa: detail from advertisement p.1 in The Bradford Pioneer, 13 December 1935.
Ivy: “Hedera helix” detail from plate 57 of Beautiful leaved plants / by E.J. Lowe and W. Howard. London : Nimmo, 1891 (Mitrinovic Library).
Digitisation: John Brooker.
Design: Alison Cullingford.

Goodbye Communal Building! Images of the month

Over the past year, a major building project has transformed Communal “Commie” Building at the University of Bradford into a space better suited to students and staff now: Student Central.

Communal Building opened in 1976, to offer facilities for staff and students, encouraging them to socialise, hence the title of the original publicity flyer: Togetherness!

Togetherness! flyer for opening of Communal Building

Togetherness! flyer for opening of Communal Building

Togetherness! is one of my favourite documents in the University Archive as it shows what student life was like (or was considered to be like by the Management Committee), and is unenthusiastic, sarcastic or candid about what the building has to offer.  The new bar is damned with faint praise: “a fair improvement on the present one, although if one is a steady drinker, one doesn’t look much at the decor.  The main feature of this is the ventilation pipes in the far corner”.

The original layout of Commie included a disco, bar and cafe on floor 02. Floor 01 offered rooms for hobbies including sewing, craft, metal and woodwork and photography, table tennis and board games, a shop, and the “quiet bar”, shown in this image from Togetherness!. The text reads, “At last! A place where you can bring your spouse/companion/parents to have a quiet drink in comfortable and pleasant surroundings”.

The "quiet bar", from Togetherness! flyer

The "quiet bar", from Togetherness! flyer

Floor 0 contained offices, plus TV rooms – one per channel. The uses of individual rooms changed over the years – the hobby rooms are no more (I rather regret the sewing/craft spaces!).

Commie unfortunately illustrated the worst features of 1970s building design.  In dingy concrete, flat-roofed, with multiple confusing entrances and hidden staircases, the building lacked focus, was hard to understand and hard to love.

Communal Building

Communal Building

I am probably being unfair in showing this particularly depressing image; however, the University Archive contains remarkably few images of Commie, presumably because it was not used for the sort of events that generated Archive photos.  No doubt individual students and the Students’ Union will have more cheerful ones of this building e.g. as a venue for Friday Night Discos.

The University’s flickr stream shows some more recent views of Commie in glorious (?) colour and great views of the transformed building.

I’ll add some links as I find them.

I am delighted that the building has been retained but brought into the 21st century, and hope that staff and students will enjoy using it.  More information about and photos of Student Central on the UBU (University of Bradford Union) website.

Party for the new building

From Togetherness! flyer

Images of the Month: le Tour de Yorkshire (via Cambridge)

As July is the month of the Tour De France, a selection of photographs with a bicycling theme for you to enjoy.

Bicycles in the bleak midwinter

Cyclists on a snowy day at Kex Gill Pass, Blubberhouses. Brr! The photo comes from a wonderful album of photographs of the Yorkshire Dales, taken by keen cyclist and photographer Frederick Robinson Butterfield during the 1930s on days out in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Hopkins family plus bicycle

A bicycle takes pride of place in this photo, in the Hopkins family garden in Cambridge circa 1912. Jacquetta Hopkins (later Hawkes) is in front, with her siblings Frederick and Barbara behind. We do not know who the smaller boy was. This image is one of a new batch of Hopkins photographs just received from a family member, many showing Jacquetta as a cute but determined toddler.

Trying out electric bicycles

And finally, a favourite from the University Archive: the Department of Mechanical Engineering with innovative electric bicycles in 1982.

Gandhi and the Viceroy

The creation of Commonweal Collection and thus the  Commonweal Archives owe much to Gandhi’s ideas on non-violence.  So we are always interested to find new images or documents relating to him.  See a note from Gandhi to Lord Mountbatten, in which he explained on the back of an envelope that he could not speak because he was keeping a day of silence, and a photo of them having tea at the Viceroy’s house in a new online exhibition of the Broadlands Archives at the University of Southampton.

The Mountbatten papers within this immense and important collection (4500 boxes!)  tell the story of the birth of modern India and Pakistan.   Southampton University is currently fundraising to secure this vital archive for the nation.

PS June 2010 – great news, this archive has been saved thanks to a £2 million grant.

Autumn 2009 SC News

The Autumn 2009 issue of our e-newsletter Special Collections News is now available, including several stories first glimpsed on this blog.

  • JBP delights again.
  • Darwin in Bradford.
  • New Atlantis preserved: part 2.
  • Ephemera forever.
  • Dales icons.
  • 1930s PR for Priestley.

Collections of the Month: November 2009.

What has a 1970s guide to Bolton Abbey

Info about Bolton Abbey

in common with a scrapbook of 1980s press cuttings about anti-nuclear activities in Cambridge?

Press cuttings collection

They are part of our new collections of ephemera.  Such items can be fascinating and important primary historical sources and link us directly to the ideas and opinions of their creators in a way that more formal documents may not do.  This is particularly true of pressure groups such as those campaigning for nuclear disarmament, who use leaflets, posters and other informal sources to reach out and spread their message.

Some of our ephemera belongs to individual archives, for instance, the J.B. Priestley Archive is rich in programmes, playbills and posters for performances of Priestley plays.  But much of it does not fit into a particular archive, so we have decided to create distinct ephemera collections for key subject areas:

PEACE.  Organised using the Commonweal classification (ref: Eph PAC).  Mainly relating to nuclear disarmament campaigning in the UK, 1980s camps at Molesworth and Greenham, but all sorts of other interesting items are appearing.  Supplementing our extensive peace-related collections of books and archives.

YORKSHIRE, particularly our special interests, the Dales and the West Riding. (ref: Eph YOR). Organised by Dale or town.  Guides to towns, walks or caves, the story of a holiday cottage in Dentdale, mini maps.  Supplementing our Yorkshire collections.

Former YUGOSLAVIA and the Balkans (ref: Eph YUG). Historically, the University has had close links with this region, and the Library specialises in its social and economic history.  Hence interesting materials will come our way!  The first chunk is a collection of manifestos and other papers relating to elections in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.