Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
From Alison and Martin, Special Collections, University of Bradford
We had fun choosing sturdy green and red books for our Christmas book-tree. The Reading Room looks very festive! Please note that the Special Collections service is closed for the Christmas holidays from 24 December 2015-3 January 2016 inclusive. We hope this won’t cause any inconvenience to our readers.
2016 will be an exciting and busy year: we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University of Bradford. You can find out more and see some lovely images from our archives on the anniversary webpage.
On 5 November Special Collections and our Library colleagues said farewell to our Project Archivist, Emma Burgham. Here we are eating cake (Emma is second from the right).
Emma’s leaving do, 5 November 2015
Emma joined us in July 2014 for the Mitrinovic/New Atlantis Archive cataloguing project. This large archive was created by the philosopher Dmitrije Mitrinovic and his circle and greatly enhances knowledge of inter-war society, politics, culture and ideas. As an experienced archivist, Emma has been able to make sense of this complex collection and create a catalogue which will make it useful to researchers worldwide. Here’s one of our favourite images from the collection, a postcard showing Dubrovnik in the 1920s.
NAF 6-5-3, Postcard of Dubrovnik, c1920s
Emma also organised a wonderful Symposium to share news of discoveries in the archive, and has worked closely with students and other volunteers on transcribing letters and cleaning documents. We are very grateful to Emma for all her hard work and wish her all the best for future. You can find out more about the archive and Emma’s work on the project webpage and the Eleventh Hour blog.
NAF 3-2-3-2, Eleventh Hour flyer
Our project archivist, Emma, found this delightful Christmas card in the Mitrinovic Archive: we hope you like it as much as we do. The pencil annotations are by the philosopher and activist Mitrinovic himself: you can find out more about his ideas and his habit of writing on any piece of paper to hand in Emma’s blog.
We’re closed for the Christmas holidays from 24 December 2014-4 January 2015 inclusive. 2014 has been a fantastic year (highlight being our Accreditation) and we have many exciting events coming up in 2015 (not to mention 2016). Thanks to all our readers and other friends for your support!
We’re advertising for a new colleague to join the Special Collections team: an Archivist to catalogue the Mitrinovic/New Atlantis Archive.
Mitrinovic (in the centre) and his group of followers
The Archive tells the story of an extraordinary man whose life and ideas are intertwined with so many others in early 20th century art, literature, politics and culture. It shows how he built a circle of followers who shared his aspirations towards a better and peaceful Europe. We are thrilled that we will soon be able to make this important collection publicly available.
The post is part time, pro rata, for 16 months, and the key dates are 12 May (closing date) and 3 June for interviews. Note that the post requires a qualified professional archivist with relevant skills and experience. I welcome informal enquiries about the post by email.
I have just re-discovered The Modernist Journals Project, which will be very helpful to those interested in Mitrinovic, his circle, and the ideas of the time. The Project aims to digitise and make freely available via the web important early 20th century magazines, I am most pleased to see New Age! Other famous titles include Blast, and the English Review. The site offers plenty of other useful resources including recent essays and books, and biographies of key individuals. Full text of “The New Age under Orage” by Wallace Martin (1967) is particularly welcome.
A note of caution in using this great site: the journals included are in the public domain under US law where the Project is based. Material may still be in copyright elsewhere so check before download or other use!
We have just finished a project to improve the condition of the New Atlantis Foundation Archive, thanks to a very welcome donation of £5000 earlier this year. This Archive came to us in a damp state, in poor quality boxes and folders which were damaging their contents. We have been able to dry it out somewhat since but it was still very vulnerable.
The funding was used to purchase archival quality boxes, folders, tissue and other materials. The Special Collections Assistant, John Brooker, carried out the laborious work of re-boxing, replacing folders, removing rusty pins, staples and adhesive tape, and crafting individual containers for less straightforward items such as pipes, hats and artworks. Photograph albums were interleaved with tissue.
A basic list of the contents of the Archive should be available later this year, though far more work is required to bring out the connections and richness of this complex Archive. It tells the fascinating story of Dmitrije Mitrinovic, the circle that grew up around him, their ideas, their everyday lives, and how they connected with the intelligentsia, artists and writers of their day. We believe it will be a key resource for scholars researching inter-war ideas and politics.
From this …
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