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Showing posts from August, 2017

Writing in the library

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This is a guest post from Dave Beer, Reader in Sociology, reblogged from his own Medium page with permission. All the images are by Dave too.



I’m working on a book at the moment. It’s largely drafted and I’m trying to work it into shape. I always find it a bit of a slog when I’m having to read my own words back, again and again. I keep the writing and editing stages very seperate, which means that I’m often working with an extremely rough draft that need lots of work over several months. It’s a slow process. This is when I tend to turn to the library. When it comes to the trickier bits of writing and editing — whether it’s books, chapters or articles I’m working on — I’ve found that relocating to the library can help a little. The slog is the same, but being surrounded by books seems to give the work a little bit of an encouraging nudge.





The library is a bit of a bubble. I use it more in the gaps between terms. In the ebb and flow of the academic year — described beautifully in Les Bac…

The Ralph Vaughan Williams Collection

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To mark the 59th anniversary of his death on Saturday 26 August, Olivia Else, Academic Liaison Librarian for Music, explores the set of scores that originally belonged to Ralph Vaughan Williams that are now housed in the Library's Rare Books collection.
As the Academic Liaison Librarian for Music at the University of York I am proud to oversee the excellent collection of scores and academic texts that are housed in the John Paynter Music Library, as well as the large selection of music related DVDs and CDs, microfiche and electronic resources held elsewhere in the building, or online.

One of the lesser known parts of the Library’s Rare Books collection includes a set of 81 scores bound together in 21 volumes that were originally owned by the eminent British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).

The scores were gifted to the Library by the Department of Music’s Professor Nicola LeFanu, an internationally recognised composer in her own right, and she in turn received them fro…

Creating the Story

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In the second of his two blog posts regarding the IPUP internship, Alex Jubb tells us more about Clement Attlee's Indian Books.

There is certainly an air of mystery surrounding Clement Attlee's relationship with the University of York. The presence of books donated by Attlee reflects two major questions; why did he have these books in the first place? And secondly, how have they ended up in the University's collection? The internship, brought about by the seventieth anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan, has contributed to bringing both Attlee's involvement in the early history of the University to the surface, in addition to the wider knowledge of the accessions book; a source rarely known about outside of the Rare Books Department within the University.

Attlee's interest in Indian and Pakistani affairs was recognised by a great number of Indian authors. He had been a member of a number of influential commissions, including the Indian Statutory Com…

Clement Attlee's ‘Indian Books’

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In the first of two posts to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence, Alex Jubb explains how his internship led to him learning about the Library's collection of books once owned by Clement Attlee.

This will be the first of two blogs written about an internship undertaken with the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP). The first post will discuss how this internship came about, the first stages of the internship, and the internship's successes. The second post will develop the narrative that I have unearthed whilst progressing through the internship.

Every summer, IPUP offer part-time internships 'intended to give graduate History students an
opportunity to develop their skills, experience and CVs in various employment contexts.' I was lucky enough to be offered an internship closely associated with the History Department and the University Library's Special Collections. The University Library holds a vast array of hidden wonders withi…

Philip Larkin’s connections to the City of Culture

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Kyra Piperides, a PhD student in the Department of English and Related Literature, looks at Larkin’s connections to Hull including the recent preservation of his flat in the city by Historic England.

As a researcher studying Philip Larkin’s poetry, I am frequently confronted with the comment: “I remember his poem about… you know… what your parents do to you!” In 2015 Professor Edwin Dawes, chair of the Philip Larkin Society, remarked that “[Larkin’s] words are quoted more frequently than those of any of his poetic contemporaries”. While the often allusively rephrased first lines of This Be The Verse roll so easily off the tongues of so many, it is the closing line of An Arundel Tomb that demonstrates the poet’s continuing relevance. A quick Twitter and Instagram search shows that #WhatWillSurviveOfUsIsLove has become associated with such diverse topics as LGBT+ rights, war and random acts of kindness. It is easy to see why Larkin became known as the country’s unofficial laureate.

In …