A generous bequest to the Library

We have a new printed special and named collection available to consult in our Special Collections Reading Room: the Peter Sharratt Collection. This is a selection of 153 volumes from the library of the late Dr. Peter Sharratt (d. 2014), a former lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who specialised in the French Renaissance and […]

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Sun-pictures and beyond

Scotland and the photographically illustrated book 1845-1900 In October 1844 Henry Talbot, the inventor of the calotype negative (Talbotype) process of photography travelled to Scotland along with Nicolaas Henneman, his former valet who was now running his own Talbotype establishment in Reading. Talbot, with the aid of Henneman, was planning to take photographs to illustrate […]

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Election fever 1880s-style

Voters in Scotland went to the polls last week to elect a new Scottish Parliament; a recent Library purchase of satirical cartoons of Liberal politician William Ewart Gladstone gives us a humorous view of political campaigning over 130 years ago. This was a time when politicians could not use social media, or TV and radio […]

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Just who was the Wandering Piper?

A recent purchase of an unrecorded broadside, printed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1833, provides a few tantalising clues as to the identity of the ‘Wandering Piper‘, who roamed throughout Britain and Ireland in the 1820 and 1830s. There are several contemporary accounts of the piper in provincial newspapers, one of which, from the Bury & Norwich […]

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