Here we are at the end of the first week of term – and would you believe, it’s almost exactly a month since Christmas. With so much of January behind us already, we’re looking forward to the rest of the year and I’d like to take the opportunity just to mention some of the excitement we’ve got to come in the next few months.
On Monday, we had our first taught session with the Victorian and Edwardian Theatre students in the reading room. It’s always great to get to meet and talk to researchers, as well as providing materials to inspire them and help them with their discoveries. One of the great things about this module is that each time we’ve run it, all of the second year Drama students are swept up with enthusiasm for the materials and being able to use them in creative ways to explore a topic of their choice. Of course, we’re in the early days so far and tutors Ken Pickering and Mark Woolgar still have plenty of sessions left – covering topics as diverse as pantomime, Henry Irving and votes for women. We’re very much looking forward to getting to know the students and to support their work which leads to a public exhibition in April.
If you’d like to learn more about this module, or see examples of past exhibitions by students of this course, take a look at our Exhibition pages on the website. If you’re interested in setting up teaching opportunities with the collections, please do get in touch with us.
While we’re on the topic of exhibitions, we have a brand new exhibition in the Gallery this term. ‘The Bullet is Stronger than the Ballot‘ is built around the unique holdings on the British Cartoon Archive, and explores the theme of political assassination. This ties in with the Beaney’s season on the theme which features Manet’s ‘The Execution of Maximilian’ and John Opie’s eighteenth century painting, ‘The Murder of Thomas Becket’. More information about our exhibition, which will run until 2 March, is available on our website as well.
If you’re more interested in some mystery and the odd spine-chilling tale, the second lecture in our annual series could be the event for you! Monsters in the Library: M. R. James and bestiaries at Canterbury Cathedral will be presented by Diane Heath, who is an assistant lecturer in History at the University of Kent and also teaches at Canterbury Christ Church University. She will be telling us about her research into mythical monsters and beasts in the Cathedral’s collections, drawn together through the work of scholar and author Montague Rhodes James. I have been told that we may discover, as part of this lecture, the medieval methods for finding unicorns. In any case, it will be an intriguing evening which we hope will not result in any nightmares!
The talk will take place at the AV Theatre, Cathedral Lodge, in the Cathedral Precincts at 6.30 on Wednesday 12 Febuary, with refreshments from 6pm.
And that’s all we have time for this week, although I’m sure I’ll be updating you about all kinds of exciting and interesting aspects of our collections in the next months. I hope that we’ll see you at some of these events, and please do let us know what you think of them!