Archive Volunteer opportunity – bands and live music at the University of Kent

Do you have an interest in folk, jazz and prog rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s?

Did you know that in the early days of the University, we had some amazing visiting bands play on campus! Some of them were big concerts such as Led Zeppelin in the Sports Hall in March 1971, followed by The Kinks in 1973.

Page of a newspaper showing an article titled The Kinks Rock on about a Kinks concert on the University of Kent campus in 1973

Article on The Kinks concert, March 1973, InCant (student newspaper)

Other bands played in Elliot or Rutherford Dining Hall, like The Yardbirds in Eliot Dining Hall in 1967, while The Gulbenkian also hosted some major artists, such as jazz legend Stan Tracey in 1970.  Some gigs were smaller, more intimate affairs, often featuring jazz and folk artists in one of the College Junior Common Rooms.

Canterbury was also an important part of the development of ‘Prog Rock’ (Progressive rock – a genre of rock music associated with experimentation and instrumentation), with the emergence of the Canterbury Scene. Many prog rock bands played on campus including Soft Machine, Caravan, and Hatfield and the North.

Two psychedelic looking figures with distorted faces, with the words Caravan and Juicy Lucy above the, and Keynes Fallout in the bottom left corner.

Poster for Caravan and Juicy Lucy – playing at the Keynes Fallourt concert. (Poster in the University Archives)

There is all this to learn and more in the archives at the University!  In preparation for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the University, we would like to offer a student volunteer placement in 2024 to help us with research in the archives into the bands and live music performances that took place on campus. This will involve looking at contemporary issues of the student newspaper and other sources to log dates, times and places for bands such as Manfred Mann, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.

Do get in touch if you are interested in working with us on this fantastic project.

Email: specialcollections@kent.ac.uk

 

The Theatre of War: Interpreting the First World War in Pantomime

This blog post follows on from the recent post ‘What Did You Do In The War?’ and focuses specifically on the souvenir edition for the performance of Dick Whittington that took place in Salonika during Christmas 1915. In contrast to the First World War programmes for Bluebeard/Gluebeard and the flyer for the pantomime Aladdin, which was performed during the Second World War, which featured in the previous blog post, the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington provides readers with the opportunity to follow the story of the pantomime, examine the dialogues and songs, and see how what troops were experiencing during the First World War became incorporated into the story of the pantomime. In this souvenir edition, Dick Whittington is divided into 3 acts and each section of the blog post focuses on a few examples to demonstrate how the experience of the First World War in Salonika became integrated into this well-known tale.

As well as being a form of humorous and slapstick entertainment, pantomime served as a means of addressing social issues, providing a satirical commentary on serious topics. The pantomime also generally touched upon aspects of everyday life and the experiences of the troops where they were stationed. It is not surprising, then, to see references to the ongoing reality of the First World War within this souvenir edition of Dick Whittington, as well as the context around the First World War more broadly.

Act 1

The below section from Act 1 rather comically refers to the efforts of the 85th Field Ambulance to put on this pantomime in the first place, commending themselves on providing entertainment. Rather than overtly refer to themselves, they cast themselves as ‘Karno’s Ambulance’, who the character Jack says have been conferred by the King ‘the distinction of wearing a scarlet ribbon upon the shoulder in recognition of their valuable services in amusing the other troops’.

Extract from Act 1 – Alderman Fitzwarren’s Store in Chelsea from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

Whilst not overtly stated, calling themselve’s ‘Karno’s Ambulance’ may also be nodding towards the comedian of slapstick and theatre empresario Fred Karno, who was known for his chaos on stage. In fact, disorganised troops of soldiers referred to themselves as ‘Fred Karno’s Army’ during the First World War, perhaps to reflect the chaotic situation in which they found themselves.

The above example also addresses the sorry taste of tea, which Jack complains about to the character Fitzwarren, who tells Jack that it’s the same tea that is sold to the Army. Tea was a staple in the trenches during the First World War and was regularly drank to mask the taste of water, which was transported in petrol tins. Perhaps the tea drank by those in Salonika was not as tasty or as much of a luxury!

Attitudes around recruitment and joining the Army during the First World War are also present, with the character Horlicks attempting to persuade both Fitzwarren and Dick to sign up and ‘pull together’ and ‘rally round the flag and so forth’.

Extract from Act 1 – Alderman Fitzwarren’s Store in Chelsea from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

There were many reasons that men joined the army during the First World War and this idea of patriotism and peer pressure resonates in this discussion between these 3 characters. Like recruitment posters of the time (very much thinking about the 1914 Lord Kitchener Wants You poster), this dialogue taps into the sense of fighting for one’s fatherland and emotional ties to the war, particularly about everyone doing their part towards the war effort.

Blockades causing food rations and shortages – both on the Allied and Axis sides – were a tactic frequently employed during the First World War and hunger was used as a deadly weapon. For example, ships going to Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, were blockaded by the British and French, causing malnutrition and starvation even after the end of the war. Dick Whittington offers a snippet into this reality from the British perspective in the below dialogue between Fitzwarren and Sir Joseph, blaming the gritty texture of jam, which now has ‘hard and sharp pieces’, and its manufacture within Britain because Germany had successfully blockaded their ports.

Extract from Act 1 – Alderman Fitzwarren’s Store in Chelsea from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

Act 2

Whilst this performance of Dick Whittington took place in Salonika, other areas where fighting took place during the First World War are also referenced. As seen in the below exchange between Dick and his love interest Alice in Act 2, Dick refers to his time in Flanders and ‘the awful ear-splitting stuff’ that he put up with whilst there.

Extract from Act 2 –On Board The Good Ship “Passover” from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

Between 1914 and 1918, Flanders suffered heavy bombardment and saw largescale destruction and death, with important cities and villages completely demolished. Notable battles occurred in Flanders, such as the Battle of Passchendaele between July and November 1917, which saw the loss of roughly 275,000 men on the British side and at least 220,000 German soldiers. Dick’s comment may only be a passing reference but still nods towards this devastation.

Interestingly the 85th Field Army are again referred to as ‘Karno’s Field Ambulance’, highlighting the contributions that they made ‘Out of England, with heart aflame,/ For a job “somewhere in France”,/At the dawn of 1915’ and their recognition as ‘Glorious Karno’ by ‘everybody’. Even beyond Flanders, in areas such as Mont Noir, the successes of ‘Glorious Karno’ are showcased.

Extract from Act 2 – On Board The Good Ship “Passover” from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

Act 3

Linked to the discussion about Flanders with the section of this post focusing on Act 2, Ypres is specifically mentioned in the chorus marking the finale of Act 3 and the end of the pantomime.

Extract from Act 3 – Outside Fitzwarren’s Canteen – In The Mists, In The Mountains, “Somewhere In Greece” from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

The first verse is particularly striking and again reflects societal attitudes about joining the war effort. Reminiscent of Jessie Pope’s poem Who’s For The Game, joining the war was treated as a game by the men, who were not scared of ‘dud German shells’. This of course is far from the futile reality of war but again shows how this pantomime performance made recognisable and provided commentary on general attitudes of the context in which it was created.

Even the traditional location of Dick Whittington has been influenced by where the 85th Field Ambulance found themselves during the First World War. Not only are various places in which troops fought mentioned throughout the performance, but, rather than maintain the setting of London for performance of Dick Whittington, as would normally be the case, the pantomime has moved to Greece where the troops have found themselves. This location change was made clear from the very opening of Act 3, in which we see that Fitzwarren’s Canteen is located “Somewhere In Greece”.

Opening of Act 3 – Outside Fitzwarren’s Canteen – In the Mists, On The Mountains, “Somewhere In Greece”, from the souvenir edition of Dick Whittington by Frank Kenchington. Performed in Salonika in 1915.

The myth of Dick Whittington stemmed from the streets of medieval London but, in this performance, it is very much the present and the experience of life in Salonika during the First World War that informs the vision, environment, and trajectory of the pantomime.

Conclusion

Themes and issues relating to life at the front and along the Home Front permeate this performance of Dick Whittington. A ‘Ration Song’ was included and there is even a character called Maconochie, no doubt called this because of the tinned food that troops ate, such as Maconochie beef and vegetable stew. Pantomime did not just provide entertainment and a distraction but, also, allowed troops to deviate from traditional stories and devise a setting in which they should share, laugh about, and understand the world in which they found themselves. These are only a few examples from this souvenir edition but there are many more – come visit us at Special Collections & Archives to check it out to learn more about the First World War and remember the experiences and lives of those who fought during the Great War!

50/50 Exhibition – The 50 Selected Cartoons

The 50/50 Project: Celebrating 50 Years of the British Cartoon Archive

In October 2023 we launched our new co-curated exhibition highlighting 50 cartoons representing 50 years of the British Cartoon Archive. The cartoons were selected and researched by a fabulous team of volunteers and we are extremely grateful to them for their participation in this project. So thank you to Angel Robson, Dr Balasubramanyam Chandramohan, Cameron Matthews, Elizabeth Grimshaw, Hannah Robson, Irene Szmelter, Nadia Davies, and Peter McCullen! 

The full list of the selected cartoons can be found here in this blog – but do remember to come and see the exhibition in person between October 2023 and February 2024!

The 50 cartoons selected represent the vast breadth of artists, subjects and formats found in the British Cartoon Archive. Together they provide a fascinating introduction to the history of cartooning and tell the stories of political events and people discovered by the volunteers throughout their research.  

Themes that emerged in the volunteer research included the history of cartoons, the beginnings of satire, the space race, political events and crises, strikes, the commonwealth, and the cartoons of Carl Giles.

Introduction Panels – Cartoons selected by the British Cartoon Archive staff 

  1. “Cartoon No 1: Substance and Shadow”, Punch, Or, The London Charivari, 1843. Reference: Punch, 15th July 1843

    Cartoon titled Cartoon No 1 Substance and Shadow showing a scene in an art gallery where a group of poor and ragged children and adults are looking at the opulent artworks on the walls which show portraits of people in more wealthy clothing

    Substance and Shadow, Cartoon No. 1, Punch Magazine, 15th July 1843.

  2. Rendezvous, David Low, Evening Standard, 20 September 1939. Reference: LSE2692

 

Satirical Ceramics in Late Georgian Britain and beyond ;The Emergence of Satirical Print; Historians start to take cartoons seriously

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Irene Szmelter:

  1. Pink jug with transfer-prints, Doctor Syntax drawing after nature; Doctor Syntax Disputing his Bill with the Landlady, c.1914-1930s. Reference: Doctor Syntax collection, [uncatalogued]  
  2. Plate with transfer-print, Doctor Syntax reading his tour, c.1920-1980s. Reference: Doctor Syntax collection, [uncatalogued]
    Ceramic plate on a plate stand showing an image of Dr Syntax, a character created by Thomas Rowlandson as a satire of William Gilpin, who was a supporter of the Picturesque movement. In the image Dr Syntax is reading his book to others in a tavern and they look bored and even asleep.

    Plate with transfer-print, Doctor Syntax reading his tour, c.1920-1980s. Reference: Dr Syntax collection, [uncatalogued]

  3. William Combe, The tour of Doctor Syntax, in search of the picturesque : a poem (5th edition, London, 1813) Reference: Derek Schartau Collection PR 3359.C5 
  4. Steve Bell, Fashionable Contrasts in Washington D.C (after James Gillray), 2017 Reference: Steve Bell Digital Collection SBD1772 
  5. Richard T. Godfrey, James Gillray: the art of caricature (London, 2001) Reference: British Cartoon Archive Library LRG NC 1479.G5 GOD
  6. Martin Rowson, The Contrast 2018 (after Thomas Rowlandson), 2018. Reference: Martin Rowson Digital Collection MRD1228 
  7. Dorothy George, English political caricature, 1793-1832 : a study of opinion and propaganda, 1959. Reference: British Cartoon Archive Library, NC 1763.P66 M 
  8. McCreery, The satirical gaze: prints of women in late eighteenth- century England, 2004. Reference: British Cartoon Archive Library NE962.W65

Strikes!

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Angel Robson:

Cartoon showing the door to Number 10, being opened by Boris Johnson holding an umbrella, with buckets of excrement balanced on the top and about to come down on his head. The buckets are labelled 'Inequality', 'Education' and 'NHS'. Keir Starmer is shown hiding just beyond the opening door and is pulling his mask down.

13: “Come on Everyone! Lockdown’s over and everything’s brilliant!” Martin Rowson Digital Collection, MRD 1634, Daily Mirror, 5th April 2021.

  1. Sidney Strube, – And we’re on our way, Daily Express, Undated. Reference: Sidney ‘George’ Strube Collection, Beaverbrook Foundation GS0070 
  2. Jonathon Pugh, “It’s not another eclipse. They’re our rubbish bags”, Daily Mail, 05 September 2017. Reference: Cuttings Collection 106199 
  3. Martin Rowson, [Lockdown’s over and everything’s brilliant], Daily Mirror, 05 April 2021. Reference: Martin Rowson Digital Collection MRD1634 
  4. Peter Brookes, Hoot if You Support Junior Doctors, The Times, 02 September 2016. Reference: Cuttings Collection 104446 
  5. Martin Rowson, [Boris tramples over workers], Daily Mirror, 08 March 2021. Reference: Martin Rowson Digital Collection MRD1622 
  6. Michael Cummings, “It’s the Silly Season and the Loch N.U.M. Monster arrives, as usual, on time!”, Sunday Express, 06 September 1987. Reference: Michael Cummings Collection, Beaverbrook Foundation CU1813 
  7. Deep Digs! Cartoons of the Miners’ Strike, (London, 1985). Reference: British Cartoon Archive Library NC 1763.S87 

 

Censorship and Saucy Postcards

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Nadia Davies: 

Typed card with a postcard stapled to it. The postcard shows a man with a large protruding stomach looking out across a beach. There is a lighthouse in the distance. There is a sandcastle on the sand in front of him, and a small boy ('Willy') sitting in a hole digging in the sand at his feet. He cannot see him over his stomach.

Postcard designed by Bob Wilkin, I wish I could see my little willy?, D E & S Ltd.

Typed card titled 'Proceedings' with hand written entries for several rows and columns. Reads - No 1 Date 3.12.52. Court Rhyl. Defendant 5. Result OD. DPP Ref 3290/52; No 2 Date 27.10.54. Court Margate. Defendant 5. Result OD. DPP Ref 3795/53; No 3 Date 27.4.54. Court Margate QS. Defendant 5. Result OD. DPP Ref 456/54; No 4 Date 15.11.57. Court Southwell. Defendant 5. Result NO. DPP Ref 3409/57.

Typed Card from the Crown Prosecution Service recording the prosecutions for obscene postcards that took place for the card on the reverse – I wish I could see my little willy. Prosecutions took place in Rhyl, Margate and Southwell.

  1. Donald McGill, A stick of rock, cock?, Constance Ltd, Undated. Reference: Crown Prosecution Service Collection CP/0363 
  2. What rosy cheeks you have my dear, Leslie Lester Ltd, Undated. Reference: Crown Prosecution Service Collection CP/0649 
  3. Have you got two big bouncy balls please?, Leslie Lester Ltd, Undated. Reference: Crown Prosecution Service Collection CP/0700 
  4. Bob Wilkin, I wish I could see my little willy?, E & S Ltd, Undated. Reference: Crown Prosecution Service Collection CP/0438  
  5. Dave Brown, Has anyone seen my little willy?, The Independent, 05 Oct 1999. Reference: Cuttings Collection 52292 

Political Events and Crises

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Hannah Robson: 

  1. Brian Adcock, “So you know the so-called “Special Relationship,” well you are gonna love this!”, The Independent, 6 November 2017. Reference: Brian Adcock Digital Collection BAD0485 
  2. Victor Weisz, “McCarthy is dead! Long live McCarthyism!”, Daily Mirror, 7 May 1957. Reference: Vicky [Victor Weisz] Collection, Beaverbrook Foundation VY0890 
  3. Michael Cummings, [no caption], Daily Express, 14 November 1986. Reference: Cuttings Collection 44500 
  4. Christian Adams, Signed in Blood, Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2015. Reference: Cuttings Collection 103278 
  5. Carl Giles, Daily Express Christmas card, c.1947. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/4/1/4/1 (GAC0098) 
Cartoon for a Christmas Card - of a newspaper seller, sitting near a London bus stop looking serious and downcast, with signs propped against a wall showing the headlines of the newspapers including: Evening Atom bomb latest Sunday Complete list of wars Daily Crime waves everywhere Sunday Taxes may be double Daily H bomb on the way Daily Merry Xmas to all our readers

Carl Giles, Daily Express Christmas card, c.1947. Reference – Carl Giles Trust Collection – CG/1/4/1/4/1 (GAC0098)

 

Viewing both England and the University of Kent through an Irish lens

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Peter McCullen: 

  1. Martin Rowson, Backwards, The Guardian, 25 May 2015. Reference: Martin Rowson Digital Collection MRD0654 
  2. Ben Jennings, [no caption], Independent, 01 March 2014. Reference: Ben Jennings Digital Collection BJD0121 
  3. Ben Jennings, [no caption], Independent, 01 March 2014. Reference: Ben Jennings Digital Collection BJD0200 
  4. Carl Giles, “Talking of cheque book journalism, do you think the editor would object to us taking that cab?”, Daily Express, 07 May 1981. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/3002 (GA4259)  
  5. Carl Giles, [no caption], Daily Express, 11 November 1958. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/3824 (GA5503) 
  6. Wally Fawkes, [no caption], Observer, 14 June 1987. Reference: Cuttings Collection 42646 
  7. Tove Jansson, Moomin and Snorkmaiden, Undated. Reference: Tove Jansson Collection TV0002 (Uncatalogued) 
Drawing of two moomins by Tove Janssen. Moomintroll is standing wearing a neck tie with moomins on it, facing Snorkmaiden who is looking and pointing at the tie.

Tove Jansson, Moomin and Snorkmaiden, Undated. Reference: Tove Jansson Collection TV0002 (Uncatalogued)

 

The Space Race 

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Elizabeth Grimshaw 

28. Michael Cummings, Increase of Fares Between London – Mars –Venus – Moon, Daily Express, 27 Jan 1953. Reference: Cummings Collection CU0522

36. Scott Clissold, “Got a spare ticket for the new Star Wars movie, mate?!”, Daily Star, 16 December 2015. Reference: Scott Clissold Digital Collection CLD0549

Colour cartoon of two aliens in a space ship talking to an astronaut on a space walk outside the International Space Station. One of the aliens speaks to the astronaut and says 'Got a spare ticket for the new Star Wars Movie, Mate?!' The astronaut looks confused.

Scott Clissold, “Got a spare ticket for the new Star Wars movie, mate?!”, Daily Star, 16 December 2015. Reference: Scott Clissold Digital Collection CLD0549

37. Osbert Lancaster, “Just think, Gretchen! Halfway to the moon! One day, perhaps, science will be able to tell us how to reach West Berlin!”, Daily Express, 14 Aug 1962. Reference: Cuttings Collection 02019

38. Carl Giles, “Be funny if the Moon Men thought she was an Earth Man and made her their ruler”, Daily Express, 05 Nov 1957. Reference: Carl Giles Trust collection CG/1/4/1/3/12/3 (GAA121419) 

The Commonwealth

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Dr Balasubramanyam Chandramohan:

  1. Margaret Belsky, “After all why shouldn’t the Queen protest – I expect she gets fed up with the rest of the Commonwealth criticising Britain all the time”, The Sun, 08 January 1969. Reference: Cuttings Collection 14577 
  2. Jak [Raymond Jackson], “Je demande que la Grande Bretagne soit chassee du Commonwealth si elle vend des armes a l’Afrique du sud”, Evening Standard, 20 October 1970. Reference: Cuttings Collection 18825 
  3. Michael Cummings , “Really, Mr. Stewart, it might come as a merciful release if Britain could be expelled from the Commonwealth”, Daily Express, 25 June 1965. Reference: Cuttings Collection 07292 
  4. Carl Giles, “And Rajah – be a good chap and control those long rumbling tummy noises during the Commonwealth speeches.”, Daily Express, 24 November 1983. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/3239 (GA4603) 
  5. Will Dyson, Our big brother and the little strangers, Daily Herald, Undated. Reference: Will Dyson Collection WD0597 

Will Dyson, Our big brother and the little strangers, Daily Herald, Undated. Reference: Will Dyson Collection WD0597

Ronald ‘Carl’ Giles

The cartoons for this theme were selected and described by Cam Matthews: 

44. Carl Ronald Giles, “An appeal has been made for every nurse to be off duty during the inquiry into the Nurses v. Hospital Authorities dispute in Guernsey.” Daily Express, 16th July 1957. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/973 (GA1328) 

45. Carl Ronald Giles, “We’ve been thinking about your parrot, Grandma. Supposing we can’t get a turkey for Christmas…” Daily Express, 25th November 1947. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/3787 (GA5454) 

46. Grandma Giles doll made by Dorothy Read, Undated. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/5/3/39 (GAX00058)  

Image of a doll of the character Grandma created by Carl Giles. Grandma is wearing a black hat with a blue trim, and a black dress. She carries a black handbag with a clasp, and an umbrella with a duck head handle, and is also wearing a brown fur stole.

Grandma Giles doll made by Dorothy Read, Undated. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/5/3/39 (GAX00058)

47. Carl Ronald Giles, “I’m jotting down a list of all the ones who aren’t laughing their heads off.” Daily Express, 17th February 1987. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/1/3532 (GA5027) 

48. Police Helmet, Undated. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/4/1/45 (GAX00085) 

49. Ink, paint and paintbrushes from Giles’ studio, Undated. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection (uncatalogued) 

50. Carl Ronald Giles, “Well, well, well, well, well! Man have they got your number!” Sunday Express, 1st March 1970. Reference: Carl Giles Trust Collection CG/1/1/2/802 (GA2779) 

Zines Zines Zines! New exhibition in the Templeman Gallery

Title of exhibition - Zines Zines Zines - written in a DIY ransom note font

Come and see our new exhibition in the Templeman Gallery about the history and development of zines, and featuring zines from the Queer Zine Library – which will be up throughout September 2023.

What are zines?

Zines are do-it-yourself publications – often in the form of photocopied booklets. They are either unique items or have a limited number of copies in circulation. They are cheap to make, require no particular skills to create, and have hugely varied content including art, poetry, cartoons, collage, interviews and commentary. The history of zines is rooted in radical political self-publishing and provide an opportunity for expression of views and perspectives outside of the mainstream press.

What is in the exhibition?

View of an exhibition case with two information boards to the left. The exhibition case contains a range of zines and small press publications with captions alongside.

Display of zines and small press publications from Special Collections and Archives that highlight the history of zine making and self publishing.

The exhibition features examples of zines and small press printing selected from across our collections in Special Collections and Archives – including from the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, the Modern Firsts poetry collection, examples from our artists’ books collection, and our new zine archive donated and collated by Dan Thompson.

These zines provide examples from across the history of zine making from early 18th century pamphlets (such as ‘Common Sense’ by Thomas Paine) to Beat Poetry in the mid 20th century to zines created by comedian Josie Long in her Kindness and Exuberance tour in the 2000s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also delighted to host a selection of zines from the Queer Zine Library – a mobile DIY library celebrating radical LGBTQIA+ zines and selfpublishing. With huge thanks to Holly Callaghan, one of our amazing Divisional Liaison Librarians, who organised the loan of the material from the Queer Zine Library and provided the captions about each item on display.

And finally, we are also delighted to feature some beautiful and moving examples of artists’ books created by participants in the Open Book project, a book-making project organised by the Canterbury Festival offered to those living with dementia to express their experiences both visually and through text. With thanks to Amanda Sefton Hogg at the Canterbury Festival for providing these examples from the project to include in the exhibition.

Get a Free Zine and Make Your Own!

You can pick up a free info-zine about the exhibition, and even have a go at making a zine yourself at the making station. We can’t wait to see your creations! You can share a picture with us by emailing specialcollections@kent.ac.uk.

Image showing table in the exhibition space with three piles of free info-zines for people to take away, some paper and pens for people to make their own zine, and an information board about zines at the University of Kent

The making station in the Templeman Gallery exhibition space where you can make your own zine

Small black and white zine, standing up with the front cover visible showing the text "Zines Zines Zines! Templeman gallery A Block 1st Floor. Aug/Sept 2023. An exhibition about the history and development of zines! Featuring items from Special Collections and Archives AND the Queer Zine Library!" In the background of the image in soft focus are other copies of the zine displayed on the table.

Free info-zine about the exhibition. Come along and take one.

 

50 years of cartoons at the University of Kent, 2023-2025

In 1973 the first cartoons arrived at Kent, in the shape of a large deposit of 20,000 cartoons from the Daily Mail and Evening News. This paved the way for the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature (CSCC), which was formally inaugerated at the University of Kent in October 1975. Dr Graham Thomas, who worked at the university’s Politics Department, was instrumental in it’s founding and, along with colleagues such as Colin Seymour-Ure, built the CSCC into one of the largest and most significant collections of cartoons in the UK. Today we know these collections as the British Cartoon Archive. 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CSCC and the British Cartoon Archive, we’ll be hosting a variety of events and activities from Summer 2023 through to Winter 2025. Information about these events will be posted here.

The 50/50 Project: Celebrating 50 Years of the British Cartoon Archive (June-December 2023)

A photograph of the volunteers working at tables in our reading room. On top of the tables you can see various books and archival materials.

Our volunteers selecting and reviewing material in the Special Collections and Archives Reaing Room.

This is a volunteer-led project aiming to explore and select 50 cartoons from across the British Cartoon Archive collections to feature in an exhibition in the Templeman Gallery. The project took place on Mondays throughout June 2023.  The exhibition will be on display from October 2023 to Febraury 2024.

After an initial tour of the collections the volunteer group got hands-on with cartoons, searching our catalogues, viewing material, and writing captions, before curating the exhibition.

The exhibition has now been installed and can be viewed in the Templeman Gallery space (first floor, A block) until early February 2024.

Cartooning Covid-19 (October-December 2023)

‘Cartooning Covid-19’ was a 10-week volunteering project which aimed to make available cartoons published in national papers during the Covid 19 pandemic between March and December 2020. Through the description and cataloguing of these cartoons, we will ensure that this important period in recent history is captured in the cartoon catalogue of the British Cartoon Archive for use in learning, teaching and research 

The project was carried out using a hybrid model of in-person group sessions and remote virtual cataloguing. Volunteers were provided with full training as part of the project, including sessions from the archive team about the BCA and the work they would carry out to preserve it and make it available, and they were given access to library resources such as newspaper archives and both physical and digital cartoon collections.

Morten Morland, The Times 27 April 2020

 

 

 

One of the project volunteers, Amy, had the following to say about the project:

“I have been volunteering with UKC for the past 3 months and I have found it to be a very rewarding time. Helping to curate the cartooning COVID collection has been eye opening experience on a personal level for me, as this is something which will be discussed in future History lessons but something we are also still trying to adapt to and learn to live with. The experience during this project has been enjoyable as well as challenging, from getting to know a little more about the artists behind the comics, to remembering Boris Johnson’s cabinet and the many reshuffles along the way including the many mixed messages, opinion and unprecedented challenges shared by those around him. Whilst doing this collection its has also pushed my own limits as modern-day politics is not within my normal comfort zone. The special collections and archives have a variety of different projects on going, so I will be looking forward to volunteering again in the new year.”

The project led to almost 400 cartoons being catalogued – search https://archive.cartoons.ac.uk now to find them!

The project will began in October 2023, see https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/specialcollections/2023/09/01/cartooning-covid-19-call-for-volunteer-participants/ for more information.