Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Banned Books Week

Alice Bennett explores censorship and banned books with a look at controversial items held in the Minster Library.


September 25th 2016 marked the start of this year's Banned Books Week, an annual event organised by the American Library Association (ALA) which aims to highlight the issue of censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. The event has developed in response to the ALA log of challenges an complaints made about books held in the libraries of their members, including decisions to withdraw certain books from circulation. Although American in outlook, Banned Books Week serves as an international reminder of literary censorship, which remains an important topic today.

York Minster Library’s 1793 printing of
'
The Trial of Thomas Paine' 1
Free political speech is still a right denied to many across the globe. Historically, the printing of anti-government or anti-monarchy works in Britain could be termed an act of sedition - intended to spark the overthrow of the established order and a criminal offence. The political writer, theorist and campaigner Thomas Paine faced prosecution for his work. York Minster Library holds a copy of The trial of Thomas Paine, for certain false, wicked, scandalous and seditious libels inserted in the second part of the Rights of Man, before the Rt. Hon. Lord Kenyon and a special jury, at Guildhall, on Tuesday the 18th December, 1792. Revolutionary ideas such as his were dangerous and their publication and dissemination was treated as a serious offence. His work was banned in Britain for a period following the French Revolution, for fear of inciting similar revolt in the UK. The Rights of Man was also banned following the Decemberist Revolt in Tsarist Russia, over forty years after initial publication.


A 1940 edition of Of Mice and Men 2
Away from the historic tracts and pamphlets, the literature collection of a cathedral library such as York Minster might not be an obvious place to look for contentious works. However, the number of works now considered classics which have been banned may surprise you - maybe more surprising is how recently bans or attempts to suppress works have been made. John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a depiction of migrant workers during the Great Depression which is now celebrated as a literary classic and is a staple of the school literature syllabus in both the UK and the US. First published in 1937, Of Mice and Men has been subject to bans in Ireland and in various counties across different states in America. The ALA records it as one of the most complained about books. Whilst most of the objections concern the language used by characters in the novel, others have included fears that the book might reflect Steinbeck's "anti business attitude" (in 1989) and because it contained "morbid and depressing themes" (in 1992). In 2002, Of Mice and Men was banned in schools in George County, Mississippi on account of "profanity".

Alice conversing with the Cheshire Cat 3
More remarkable are the complaints and bans which have been made against books most would consider utterly inoffensive. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was for a time banned in China. In 1931, the censor decided that the talking animals were raised to the level of humans, which was both insulting and a potential source of confusion for children.

For the ALA, the majority of these challenges to books come from libraries in educational institutions, particularly high schools. A common trend is the parents of students pressurising library and teaching staff to remove various books from the library and the syllabus. Reasons for objecting range from feeling the book is inappropriate for the age group, to the use of swearing, or the inclusion of sexual content. Another common theme is for objections made on religious grounds, both in educational and public libraries.

Religious belief and censorship have a long and uneasy past, reflected in the wide collections of York Minster. York Minster Archives hold a Wycliffite Bible - a rare copy of the New Testament in English, produced before full translations from Latin were sanctioned in Britain. Its rarity is in part due to the fact that any such texts discovered by the authorities were burned. York Minster Library holds a multitude of editions of the Bible, with authorised editions produced by Church and State in conjunction and officially issued to churches. Probably the most famous of these translations is the King James Bible, issued as the authorised Bible for Church of England use in 1611 and remaining a popular and influential translation today.

1611 edition of the King James Bible 4
Religious restrictions on literature are still common in many parts of the world. The Diary of Anne Frank is banned in Lebanon for the positive depiction of Jews. Copies of the Bible remain forbidden in North Korea. In 2013, Russia issued a controversial ban on a new edition of the Quran, which was deemed 'extremist' and from 2015 have also banned the import of publications of any Jehovah's Witness religious material, including an edition of the Bible.

This serves as an important reminder of the ongoing issues of literary censorship. Artists, writers and journalists have been imprisoned this year in Egypt, Iran and Singapore. But not just the authors are at risk - those who work in libraries can also face punishment for maintaining intellectual freedom for their library users. Ukrainian librarian Natalya Sharina has been under house arrest since October 2015, imposed by Russian authorities for introducing supposedly extremist Ukrainian literature to the library. The campaign for her release is ongoing.

Thankfully, the novels highlighted by Banned Books Week are easily accessed in the UK today. We face fewer challenges to library content than our colleagues in the US. Here, literary censorship is largely a thing of the past. But Banned Books Week serves as an important reminder of the historic role of censorship and the high price for free speech still being paid by so many around the world today.



Further detail of the images:

1. Title page of York Minster Library’s 1793 printing of The Trial of Thomas Paine for certain false, wicked, scandalous and seditious libels, inserted in the second part of the Rights of Man. For many, his political ideas were as contentious as the supposed libels.

 2. A 1940 edition of Of Mice and Men, which once belonged to Archbishop Garbett. This work is one of the most complained about novels of the twentieth century.

3. The classic John Tenniel illustration of Alice conversing with the Cheshire Cat - talking with animals being something which angered some Chinese censors. This image is of a 1925 Macmillan edition.

4. The title page of a 1611 edition of the King James Bible, one of many attempts to officially control translation and dissemination of Holy texts.

Monday, 26 September 2016

#UoYTips: Five resources to get you started at York

Ned Potter shares a few tips for new students


Welcome to the University of York! It's great to have you here. We hope you're settling in.

There's a lot to take in in the first few weeks, so we wanted to strip things down to the essentials for this blogpost. Here's five resources to get you started:

1) An interactive map of the library. We've created a map of the Library in Prezi, which will take you on a guided tour of our three main buildings. Just click the 'Start Prezi' box below - you can either navigate through the tour using the arrows, or skip straight to a part of the library you're interested in by clicking on it.

 

2) YorSearch, the library catalogue. You'll be needing books, articles and other materials depending on what degree you're studying. There's a number of ways to get these, starting with the search tool YorSearch which tells you what we have in stock at the Library, as well as linking to hundreds of thousands of online resources. You can find YorSearch on special catalogue PCs around the Morrell Library, or you can go straight to yorsearch.york.ac.uk from any device, put in your keywords and see what we have.

Embedded below are some UoYTips on finding what you need and getting the most out of the system:


Finding what you need with YorSearch: #UoYTips from University of York Library

You may also be directed to resources from the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), via Resource Lists put together by your lecturers which link out to YorSearch and other useful sources.

3) The Subject Guide. Every Department has a Subject Guide. It's a curated collection of information and resources for your subject. Choose your Department from this menu and see what we have that can help you study.

 There are many advantages to using the resources on the Subject Guide. There are often huge collections of online journals or books which you can search all at once with keywords. All the resources are high quality academic sources, the majority of which Google won't be able to find because they're behind a paywall. And we, the Library, have paid to get you through that paywall so you don't have to - just make sure you find the journals and databases via the links on our site, so they ask you to log in with your IT username and password and you get the full access entitled to you as a student at York.



4) The YouTube channel. We have a LOT of useful videos about the Library, IT and Archives on YouTube. But we don't want you to be overwhelmed, so we've created a UoYTips playlist with 6 key videos to start off with: New students start here!

Here's the first video on the playlist, outlining what you can expect at York.



5) The New Students webpage. We've put together a little to-do list on our page aimed at new starters over on the main library website.  Have you written on the walls at the top of the Fairhurst yet?

The final tip on that page is to search for more #UoYTips online. You'll find guidance and advice on the website, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, as well as YouTube and Slideshare as mentioned above. We've also created a special Subject Guide to pull together all the resources we've made - open the UoYTips Subject Guide now and take a look!

We hope you can find useful tips on just about everything, and we'd really like you to add your own across social media. If you've found something that has helped you, let your peers know about it too... Just use the hashtag #UoYTips so others can find it.

Good luck with your first term. If you need help, just ask!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Work experience at the Minster Library

Staff at the Minster Library were recently joined by Sam Rogers, a year 10 student on work experience. We asked him to describe his week for us...


For my work experience I was based at the York Minster Library. I worked there for a week and I did a variety of jobs, involving old collections of books and other items.

For the first two days of the week, I was cataloguing the items - mainly books - from Cage XV in the ante room onto a spreadsheet.

I found many interesting things there, including a list of books in the Minster Library dating from 1687, and an advertisement for services at the York Minster to mark the opening of the South Transept, dating from 1874. What was even more interesting about this advertisement was that it appeared to have been used as rough paper, as it had notes on the back of it.

Left: York Minster programme 1874. Right: The Simmons Bequest
Another thing I found was a bequest by someone named Simmons, dating from 1884. It appears that Simmons was very fond of the Library as he left lots and lots of items on top of a sum of £100! I'm sure that you are aware that £100 pounds would have been a lot of money in those days.

On Wednesday, I was working in the reading room as the ante room and exhibition hall were being used for a private function. I was doing a very similar thing to the days before, in the fact that I was sifting through items in these shelves but by now, I had sorted all of the books, and instead had to tackle the piles of loose sheets that were present.

The catalogue dating from 1687. It was written in Latin and in ornate manuscript text
These were interesting as a lot of them were old shelf registers written in neat manuscript. There were also a lot of things relating to M. Fothergill. I am reliably informed that Fothergill, who was a generous man, ended up donating much of his collection to the Minster Library. This would make sense as, with most dated 1737, there is a large list of items that Fothergill owned, that were then given to the library.

The most interesting thing for me was the York Minster Library visitors book, dating from 1988, that I found on Wednesday. It was fascinating because it showed the reach of the Library with many entries from exotic or far flung countries, such as New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Our visitors book, with people coming from Australia, New Zealand,
New York, Alabama, Warsaw, San Francisco and Doncaster!
Once I had examined and catalogued the items on Wednesday, I had to put them into envelopes and archival boxes. This was to ensure that they could be conserved for longer.

Thursday was different as I was using item details, and then searching for them in the catalogue. I then had to check that all details had been entered into the catalogue, and once I had identified any details that hadn’t been included, put them back into the organised piles.

Overall, I enjoyed my time here. I came across some very interesting books and although some jobs must be tedious at times, they are vital to ensuring that this Library can continue and look forwards into the future. I found looking at older texts, dating before 1780, interesting as it gave me an insight into the history of the Library and how important it was in the past, and also, as said previously, how important it can be for the future.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Before you leave...

Jamie Clark of IT Support explains what you need to do with your IT account when you're leaving the University.



'Goodbye' by woodleywonderworks
used under a Creative Commons licence
If you're leaving the University soon, you might have wondered when you'll lose access to your IT account. This depends on whether you are a member of staff or a student. Students can still access
their IT accounts for 90 days after their official course end date. Staff accounts will close one day after their employment ends (as required by research funders and auditors).


We would encourage anyone leaving the University to think about the data you have stored in your account. You might have data in your University filestore, Google Drive or email account. What will you still need after you leave?

Whilst it's tempting to take everything with you, you need to be aware of the University's Information Security policies. You must ensure that you do not take anything that would be considered restricted or confidential information:
A common query we get from leavers is how to export University emails to a personal Gmail account. We recommend a tool called Got Your Back if you want to keep the labels you've assigned to your emails. Got Your Back is a command line tool, so it looks a bit daunting at first, but we've put together step-by-step instructions. Or you might prefer to use the simpler Google Mail Fetcher method, but keep in mind that this is much less flexible. It can't export a subset of your emails (it will take everything in the All Mail section of your account) or keep any labels.

You also need to think about whether you own any files that will still be needed by your colleagues and transfer these to someone else. We often get requests from people who need to access files in a former colleague's closed account. We can only provide this once we have received the appropriate authorisation. This creates a delay which may cause problems for your colleagues.

The same applies to any non-personal accounts. For example, if your team uses a shared email address you need to make sure you get in touch with us to nominate a new owner. If you don't this account will also close when you leave. Then we can only transfer the account after we receive authorisation and in the meantime your colleagues won't be able to access it.

It's best to start thinking about all this as early as possible and make sure you leave enough time to take care of everything before you leave. Don't put it off until your last few days, as this doesn't give us much opportunity to help you if there are any issues.

For further guidance (including instructions on how to export data from your account) take a look at our website:



Thursday, 16 June 2016

Swedish children's books in the University Library

Ilka Heale browses some of the children's books held in our collections.




Whilst searching through our Literature section, I came across a collection of children's books written in Swedish. Four of the authors were born and lived in Sweden, and the fifth also wrote in Swedish (although she was Finnish).

Why do we have them? Well, the short answer is that I don't know! The Library has over a million books, the majority of which have been bought for teaching and research. However, we also have many books that have been donated over the years and these may have been part of a gift.

Now, I can't read Swedish, but I have read some of these stories by Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson in translation both as a child and as an adult.

Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002) was a writer of fiction and screenplays but she also wrote children's books. Her most famous creation is Pippi Longstocking, a nine-year-old girl who has superhuman strength!

Photograph of an illustration from Pippi Långstrump by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi was named by Lindgren's then nine-year-old daughter, Karin, who requested a get-well story from her mother one day when she was home sick from school. This interview with Karin in 2015, explains how her mother came up with the stories.



Front cover of Mumintrollet no. 4 by Tove Jansson
Tove Jansson (1914– 2001) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author. She is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children. The first book in the series, The Moomins and the Great Flood, appeared in 1945; however it was the next two books, Comet in Moominland (1946) and Finn Family Moomintroll (1948) that brought her fame.

In 1951 Finn Family Moomintroll was translated into English. The book's success caught the attention of Charles Sutton, a London agent who offered Jansson a lucrative deal to produce a Moomin comic strip for London's Evening News newspaper. Jansson agreed to produce six strips a week for seven years, starting in 1954. It was an instant hit, reaching up to 20 million readers daily in over 40 countries.

Along with books on the Moomins in Swedish we also have two biographies, The sculptor's daughter: a childhood memoir and Tove Jansson: life, art, words: the authorised biography.

Extract from Mumintrollet by Tove Jansson
Maria Gripe (1923-2007) was an author of books for children and young adults. Although she wrote stories as a child, Gripe did not publish her first book until she was 31. Her first notable success came in the 1960s with a trilogy of books about two school friends, Hugo and Josephine. Over the course of her career, Gripe wrote 38 books, translated into 30 different languages.

Elsa Beskow (1874–1953) was both an author and an illustrator of children's books. As a child, Beskow loved fairy tales and her stories would combine reality with elements of fantasy from fairy tales. Known as the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia, her illustrations take the reader back to an idyllic, rural Sweden at the turn of the 20th century.

Photograph of the front cover of Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman by Elsa Beskow
Paul Lennart Hellsing (1919–2015) was a writer and translator, particularly known for his nonsense rhymes and word plays. In his books written for children, he experimented with language, playing with words and verb forms. During his career, Hellsing wrote over a hundred books for children and translated and interpreted nearly as many, especially from English.

Photograph of an illustration from Krakel spektakel boken by Lennart Hellsing

To find more books by these authors, along with other material on children's books and illustration, search YorSearch, our Library catalogue.

There is also a small collection of children's literature In the Morrell building. The Peggy Janiurek collection can be found on the first floor, at the end of the Education section. The collection was assembled originally in collaboration with the University's Department of Educational Studies, and named in memory of a former student.

The Library's Special Collections also holds a number of late 18th and 19th century children's literature including books illustrated by Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane among others.

Photograph of the title page of The Golden Staircase : poems and verses for children

Items from the Special Collections can be consulted in the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

The Library has many texts in languages other than English. To find them, search on our Library catalogue and choose the language facets on the left hand side.



All photographs have been taken by Paul Shields, University photographer.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How do you solve a problem like literature searching? Adding professional value to academic skills development.

David Brown discusses how to ensure that professionals in training have the chance to develop academic study skills.



What's the point of developing study skills? For some the answer to that question will be very clear (whatever their feelings), but for many students this presents a difficult challenge. This is especially the case for students on professional programmes, where their ultimate goal is registration for a specific career path. Academic skills can therefore seem like simply a means to an end, rather than in themselves proving professionally beneficial.

This is despite the fact that some professional bodies explicitly expect students to develop exactly those skills during their degree. The Nursing and Midwifery Council's Code for Nurses and Midwives, for example, obliges new registrants to maintain robust and effective literature searching skills in order to "practise in line with the best available evidence". The challenge for practitioners and teachers of study skills is therefore to create a link for students between the academic environment of the university and their end goal of professional registration. How do we demonstrate the relevance and transferability of traditionally academic skills? How do we encourage students to view academic skills as a means to strengthen, rather than distract from, professional skills? This post will explore some of my recent work with students on the BSc Nursing programme in Health Sciences to address these issues.

What was the problem?


Health Sciences students are expected to engage with a range of academic skills from an early stage in their programme. Literature searching in particular is a prominent area of attention, especially so given the discipline's focus on evidence-based practice and the inherent need to find and use literature of sufficient quality and academic rigour. This focus means that students will often be expected to develop skills and knowledge of literature searching very quickly, and likely very much sooner than their peers on other programmes.

On the BSc Nursing programme, students receive a range of guidance on literature searching specifically (and digital literacy more broadly) across the three years of the degree. The first of these classes takes place in a first-term module in year 1: Co-operative Learning Group (CLG) 1. CLG modules are designed to provide an open and inclusive environment for discussion and collaboration; students are allocated into groups which follow through the whole programme. The session is designed as an introduction to basic principles of effective searching, and previously included a range of procedural activities related to searching. It did not, however, tackle the broader professional context or sufficiently explain to students why literature searching was such a key focus of the degree. It was also an issue that students were being asked to focus on relatively basic skills, despite this session being timetabled several weeks into the programme when they arguably should have covered many of those skills already.

What did I do to address it?


In October 2015 the session was changed to adopt a flipped-classroom method. Students were asked to complete exercises and read content in advance through the Health Sciences Subject Guide, including an online activity to search YorSearch, the Library catalogue. This left more time in class for group discussion and active learning activities, which was much more closely aligned to the format of the CLG modules in general.

In the classroom activities, students were asked to watch the video below about the importance of literature searching in a professional context, then to comment on scenarios where literature might be used to inform and add value to interactions with patients.


The aim of these activities was to situate literature searching as holding direct value, both for the students as practitioners and the patients under their care. Literature searching therefore becomes a core skill for the students, rather than an optional, overtly academic extra - at least that was my hope!

There was also time in the session for students to explore relevant online resources and to develop basic literature searching skills, in support of their assignments for upcoming modules.

What was the outcome?


Initial feedback from the students and their interest in class suggests that the session's new approach was broadly successful. The true test will be in how students develop their literature searching skills through the rest of the programme. Subsequent sessions in year 1 and beyond are designed to become gradually more complex, with the intention that students have a solid contextual grounding from this first session. In practice it is often in year 3 of the programme that students truly see the need for advanced literature searching skills, when they have to work on a longer project and evidence their searching methodology.

The success of this session could well be replicated across other programmes, especially those with an overt link to specific career paths or where skills development is mandated by a professional body. Disciplines such as Social Work and Law could therefore benefit from a more contextualised approach to academic skills.

How do you solve a problem like literature searching? The answer, at least in my experience, is to make it relevant to students. Skills with a purely academic end will only ever appeal to a limited group of students, but by emphasising how academic development also aids employability and personal development, we can gradually reach a wider audience and create truly skilled professionals, whatever their discipline.

Monday, 6 June 2016

The History of the York Mystery Plays: part 2

In the second of her two posts about the York Mystery Plays, Ilka Heale uses contemporary texts to learn more about the history and development of the tradition.



There is no record of the first performance of the York Mystery Plays, but they are first recorded celebrating the festival of Corpus Christi in 1376, by which time the use of pageant wagons had already been established.

At least 48 individual plays would be performed in York. According to civic records for 1399, the day began at 4.30 in the morning with parades through the streets on wagons stopping at twelve special places on the streets, designated by the city banners. The route was just over a mile long. It took them down Micklegate where there were four stations, across Ouse Bridge, down Coney Street, up Stonegate and ending at Pavement.

From Eboracum by Francis Drake, 1736, titled 'Extract out an order for the regulation of the play of
Corpus Christi; dated the 7th day of June 1417'.
The extract above from Eboracum: or the history and antiquities of the city of York …. by Francis Drake, 1736 (Appendix, pg xxxii) shows the route of the 1417 Corpus Christi plays. Indeed this map also from his major two volume work on the history of York show the layout of the street pattern has hardly changed since 1417.


The plays were organised, financed (and often performed) by the York Craft Guilds. In medieval England, the word 'mystery' meant 'trade' or 'craft', and it also refers to a religious truth or rite - hence the name Mystery Plays.

Below is a photograph of The oath of the new brethren of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York which is part of the Raymond Burton Yorkshire collection housed in the Library's Special Collections. The collection is centred around Yorkshire and ranges from Edwards of Halifax bindings with fore-edge paintings to early writings about Dick Turpin; and from a fine presentation copy of J. Tickell's, The history of the town and county of Kingston upon Hull (1796) to chapbooks of James Kendrew, an early 19th century York printer.


The inscription at the bottom of the oath reads "Wm. Brown admitted to his Freedom of the Com[pany] of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York. by Servitude this 20th. day of Aprl. 1813. ... [signed] J. Ward Sec[retar]y."

Each guild would perform a play, often one that was most fitting to their members. For example, the marriage of Cana, where Christ turned water into wine, would be acted out by the vintners. More morbid associations included the metal pinners nailing Christ to the cross and the butchers who performed the death of Christ.

Below is an extract from Tomlin's transcript of the Ashburnham Manuscript in the original Middle English. The Guild of Shipwrights performed the building of Noah's Ark


Compare this with the extract below which is a modernised version of the same text.

The opening to the Story of Noah,
performed by the Guild of Shipwrights.

This extract is taken from 'The York cycle of mystery plays: a complete version' by JS Purvis. Cannon Purvis wrote the first modern script for the plays from the original Middle English for the 1951 revival of the York Mystery Plays. This was a shorter version to be performed in under three hours and was published in the same year as 'The York cycle of mystery plays: a shorter version of the ancient cycle'. In 1957, the text was expanded to include a complete version of the plays. From 1953-1963, he was the first Director of the Borthwick Institute and his archive is deposited with the Borthwick Institute for Archives.



This extract from 'The York mystery plays' is the first few lines of the modernised text for the 1951 plays. Found in our collections, there is little information in the book, but we can assume that this is a playscript for the plays written by Cannon Purvis for the York Festival Society. Incidentally, the playscript was donated to the Library from JB Morrell (yes, you are right in thinking that our Morrell Library is named after him. For more details, see the information board by the main entrance).

Along with the text, there are many references to music in the plays.

This is a page of music from The York play: a facsimile of British Library MS Additional 35290: together with a facsimile of the Ordo Paginarum section of the A/Y memorandum book. These six settings of music with Latin texts are to be performed as part of the Weavers pageant of The Assumption of the Virgin.

Music plays an important role but it is used in a different manner to music in modern drama. In contemporary drama, it works as 'incidental music', a way of highlighting the emotional content. However, medieval music has a functional role and is used to convey the beginning or ending of a play, to accompany entrances, exits and processions within a play as well as the spectacular stage effects of ascents and descents. Music is also used for a symbolic purpose. Heaven would be symbolised by the high voices and pure harmonies of the angels, with Hell using dissonance to create the chaos of evil.

For more information on medieval music, see our collection of books and scores in the John Paynter room in the Fairhurst Building, along with Music in the English mystery plays at MA 62 DUT.

York Historic Pageant souvenir by Charles Eyre Pascoe.
Shelfmark: Raymond Burton Yorkshire 12.32
The tradition of pageants and wagons was reintroduced in 1909. The York Historic Pageant included a parade of the banners of the Guilds through the streets, accompanying a wagon representing the Nativity. The York Pageant was a six day dramatic re-enactment of York's history from 800BC to 1644 which took place in the grounds of St Mary's Abbey at York. It was intended that 'the York Pageant represent by dramatic means a continuous history of York from the earliest times down to the siege of York in 1644'.

The York Pageant Music by James Rhoades & T. Tertius Noble.
Shelfmark: Special Collections Quarto LM 25 NOB

Thomas Tertius Noble (1867-1953) was the organist of York Minster from 1898 until 1913. He was responsible for the music in the York Pageant of 1909, composing some of it and directing the performances.

For a list of material on the York Mystery plays, please search YorSearch (the Library catalogue) or browse the shelves in our Literature section for MA 62.4 (the shelfmark for York Mystery Plays). In the Library's AV Collection, there are past performances of the mystery plays on DVD and video.

The books are in the University Library's Special Collections and can be consulted in the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

For books on the history of York, please see Q 42.741. Books on English History from 1558-1603, including the Northern Rebellion are at Q 42.055.

You can also find material related to the York Mystery Plays in the York Digital Library.



All photographs have been taken by our own University photographer, Paul Shields, from the Library's collection of books on York Mystery plays.