Adventures of our 2018 interns part one

Happy July, all! It may be quiet on campus at the moment as our lovely students have gone home for the summer, but as ever Special Collections & Archives is a hive of activity.

This year, we have interns for the first time in ages! Philip and Janee (pictured below) are working with our Maddison collection, cleaning the books and delving into the wonderful world of all things history of science related.

Philip and Janee, our summer 2018 interns, hard at work looking after our Maddison Collection.

Philip and Janee, our summer 2018 interns, hard at work looking after our Maddison Collection.

You’ll be hearing more from Philip and Janee soon, but in the meantime we’ll be showcasing some of their discoveries here! Each week, we’ll summarise some of their favourite things from the Maddison collection – so let’s get stuck in:

Illustration from 'Tyrocinium chymicum' by Jean Beguin, 1669, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 1A21, F10448000)

Illustration from ‘Tyrocinium chymicum’ by Jean Beguin, 1669, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 1A21, F10448000)

Printer's device from 'Theatrum chemicum Britannicum' by Elias Ashmole, 1652, London. (Maddison Collection 1A11, F10444300)

Printer’s device from ‘Theatrum chemicum Britannicum’ by Elias Ashmole, 1652, London. (Maddison Collection 1A11, F10444300)

Robert Boyle - Maddison's primary research subject. From ' The works of the Honourable Robert Boyle : ... epitomiz'd by Richard Boulton', 1699, London. (Maddison Collection 1A25, F10463200)

Robert Boyle – Maddison’s primary research subject. From ‘The works of the Honourable Robert Boyle : … epitomiz’d by Richard Boulton’, 1699, London. (Maddison Collection 1A25, F10463200)

Writing on vellum! ' Tentamina quaedam physiologica : ... conscripta a Roberto Boyle .... Historia fluiditatis et firmitatis', 1668, London. (Maddison Collection 1B4, F10458600)

Writing on vellum! ‘Tentamina quaedam physiologica : … conscripta a Roberto Boyle …. Historia fluiditatis et firmitatis’, 1668, London. (Maddison Collection 1B4, F10458600)

Rebound typescript alert! 'The martyrdom of Theodora, and of Didymus' by Robert Boyle, 1687, London. (Maddison Collection 1B17, F10461600)

Rebound typescript alert! ‘The martyrdom of Theodora, and of Didymus’ by Robert Boyle, 1687, London. (Maddison Collection 1B17, F10461600)

Suggested cures for cramps from ' Medicinal experiments : or, a collection of choice and safe remedies' by Robert Boyle, 1712, London. (Maddison Collection, F10463800)

Suggested cures for cramps from ‘Medicinal experiments : or, a collection of choice and safe remedies’ by Robert Boyle, 1712, London. (Maddison Collection, F10463800)

Ownership marks in 'Occasional reflections : upon several subjects' by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Ownership marks in ‘Occasional reflections : upon several subjects’ by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Book recommendation in 'Occasional reflections : upon several subjects' by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Book recommendation in ‘Occasional reflections : upon several subjects’ by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Quotation in 'Occasional reflections : upon several subjects' by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Quotation in ‘Occasional reflections : upon several subjects’ by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Manuscript hand in 'Occasional reflections : upon several subjects' by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Manuscript hand in ‘Occasional reflections : upon several subjects’ by Robert Boyle, 1848, Oxford and London. (Maddison Collection, F10465800)

Check back here regularly for more Maddison Collection exploration!

Going on a Summer Holiday? 10: long distance shopping

This series is now one of the longest serving on our blog; I wrote several posts ago that I hoped it would not take as long to reveal as the journey which William Harris undertook around Europe between 1821-1823. Well, I have a feeling that I may have already broken that record, but at least it’s given us all a sense of the length of time which this journey from Dover, through France to Italy and then to Sicily actually took!

William continued to number his letters for his father.

William continued to number his letters for his father.

In the last post, William had just scaled Mount Etna with his band of architect friends, and found the undertaking rather easier than he had expected. By August 1822, however, William was lodging in the Franciscan convent of S. Vito, near ‘Grigenti’, alone. From my initial reading of this letter, I got the impression that William had been ill, but a second look shows little evidence of this. The group had intended to stay at a monastery before, at Taormina, but their plans were foiled when they discovered it to be full of priests awaiting the election of the new superior. So the fact that he was alone at a convent could simply be that it was a suitable location for his exploration of the ‘pure’ architectural remains of Sicily. In any case, perhaps he would not like to tell his father, so far away, that he was ill. After all, William Harris Snr., back in Norton Street, London, would wait months to receive the letter and then be unable to do much to help his son.

Of the remaining members of William Junr.’s group (two had left before the ascent of Etna), one certainly was ill: Brooks (who I described in an earlier post as the comedy partner) seems to have had bad sea sickness after the crossing from Catania. Thomas Angell and Mr. Atkinson were, however, made of sterner stuff, and had set out to explore Malta. William’s delight in the architectural remains in Sicily had been his reason, he told his father, for remaining alone. In any case, the friends were expecting to reunite, William thought, around the 21 August.

I suppose one of the other reasons why I suspect that all may not have been well with William is the brevity and directness of this letter. In the past, he had written very eloquent descriptions of places he and his friends had visited, and offered opinions on local habits. This letter, however, offers no description of his surroundings, nor of any of the ‘architectural’ (probably archaeological) sites which he visited.

William sent his letters home via his friend Mr Hunter, who lived in Paris.

William sent his letters home via his friend Mr Hunter, who lived in Paris.

Instead, the letter focuses on news from home, in London, which he had left more than a year earlier. We have already established that William’s mother did not enjoy the best of health; William considered that his parents’ removal to Peckham (at this time outside of London) would offer ‘cheerful society and a change of air’ which he was sure would be ‘very beneficial’. As well as his parents, William had a sister, Margaret, married to another architect, Thomas. In an earlier missive, he had learned that, for reasons of economy, they were removing from their home in order to let it. Because of this, he opens his letter having enclosed a letter for them, too, since he did not know where they could be reached. Again, the realities of the distance between William and his family, in terms of both time and miles, must have been playing on his mind. It had been 16 weeks prior to his sister’s letter since he had heard any news from ‘Old England’, having had no reply from his previous letter (no. 8, from Rome). Of course, he writes, his father may have replied to Naples, expecting William to be there, but the change in his plans meant at least a two month stay at Gingenti, rather than returning straight to Italy.

In spite of his desire to hear from home, time was obviously pressing: “As post time draws nigh I will now proceed to business and fill up the leisure if any remains afterwards”. This business consisted of a shopping list of materials and supplies, which William asked to be sent out to Sicily. Including pencils (from Brockman and Langdon’s, Bloomsbury), paper and watercolours, William explained that such drawing materials were ‘not to be obtained of even tolerable quality on the Continent’. Aside from these artists’ supplies for his sketching of classical ruins, William also requested that his father send out ‘a 2 feet parallel rule’, recalling that he had left it ‘either in my library table…or in the lower closet of the study’, paper ‘for memorandas’ and, from his brother-in-law Thomas, ‘tracings of the Temple of Theseus at Athens’. Finally, he asked for ‘4 day shirts…as those I have with me are nearly worn out.’ Unlike his friend Brooks, who had insisted on trunks of the latest fashions being sent out to Rome, William seems to largely have made do with that he had taken with him. Architecture and adventure seem to have been a much higher priority, for him, than clothes and supplies!

William's shopping list.

William’s shopping list.

This is the first instance of William requesting a significant amount of material from home, although he had previously mentioned in passing the cost of his travels, particularly his own frugality when living off his father’s allowance. Evidently, William had been able to spend some free time looking at his father’s responses, as he adds:

I now subjoin a list of the bills I have drawn on different bankers as they do not appear to agree with the memoranda you forwarded me

Lady Elizabeth Foster (1787)

Lady Elizabeth Foster (1787), Duchess of Devonshire 1809-1824

Although far from home, William clearly moved in circles of society which spanned the whole of Europe. Having previously visited contacts professional and personal, he asks for a letter of introduction from a mutual friend for the Duchess of Devonshire who was to stay in Rome over the winter. This was Elizabeth Christina Cavendish, who had married the fifth Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, in 1809 and retained the title of Duchess after the succession of his son to the title in 1811. The fifth Duke had been married to the celebrated Georgiana, but Elizabeth had lived with them since 1782, having separated from her husband Lord Foster, mystifying polite society. Elizabeth certainly had two children by the Duke prior to their marriage, and some whispered that she was lover to both the Duke and Duchess. In any case, she developed a love for the continent, even accompanying Georgiana during her exile designed to hide her illegitimate pregnancy from polite society. Following the death of the Duke, Elizabeth moved to Italy and developed an interest in antiquities, even financing the excavation of the Forum for eleven years. It is likely that this interest in classical architecture, and the circles in which she moved, were the main draw for William’s hopes of an introduction, but there must still have been a touch of scandal around this 65-year old widow as well.

The tone of this letter seems, to me, to be one of stocking up, preparing to start work again after a period of inactivity. Rather than tell his father about his exploits, as in previous letters, William is anxious to make sure he has the necessary materials to continue his adventure, but is also eager to hear more from home. He mentions ‘Jane’ once more, whom his father had removed from his house in the previous autumn, noting that he had given her the key to the drawer in which his shirts were kept. Perhaps the answer to this mystery is than Jane was a servant, presumably a long term and respected servant, since William had been sorry to hear of her departure. Thinking of home also led William to think of the horses: a favoured mount, Dick, had undergone an operation in the summer of 1821. ‘Pray let me know if Dick has recovered his lameness’, William writes in his closing paragraph.

William had plenty of recourse to bankers during his trip - including to collect his post!

William had plenty of recourse to bankers during his trip – including to collect his post!

In spite of the time it took to journey around Europe in the early 19th century, it was evidently not an insurmountable exercise – at least not for those with the funds to support it. Postage, bankers and even letters of introduction to the seemingly web-like networks of society brought together like-minded individuals right across the Continent. But even with those modern developments, the distance from home could indeed feel great, and leave the intrepid traveller in danger of isolation. Yet William’s thirst for adventure took him still further in his discoveries – right into one of the biggest antiquarian scandals since the exploits of Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin, at the beginning of the century.

A happy 2015 to you all; perhaps this year will see the closure of William Harris’ adventure!

Going on a summer holiday? 9.1: what William did next

The last time I posted on this topic, I’ve discovered, was back in April last year. It’s been more than a year now, and I do feel that I have neglected poor old William Harris, having left him in Rome at the Carnival of 1822. That’s not to say that my Wm Harris Syracuse d sealenthusiasm for discovering more about his journey has diminished; in fact, the other day I was idly glancing through a holiday brochure and saw a package tour around Sicily, covering Mount Etna, Palermo, Siracusa and Taormina and got a bit over excited. No, this isn’t my planned holiday for this year (not at that price!) but this does follow the journey which William and his friends took nearly 200 years ago. In fact, it looks like William was part of the team which undertook some of the earliest work on these now very popular tourist destinations.

For anyone who is new to this series, some time ago (longer than I care to admit) one of our volunteers discovered some correspondence in an uncatalogued tin box which turned out to be letters written by one William Harris Junr. to his father, in Norton Place, during the 1820s. William (the younger) was an architect who had set off around Europe to discover the classical knowledge which was key to his profession, and undertook something of what we’d now call the role of art historian and archaeologist during his trip.Having crossed from Dover to Calais, taken in Paris, Geneva and the towns of northern Italy, William and his friends reached Rome in the autumn of 1821. From there, because of the ongoing wars in Greece, they set out for Sicily, where the journey eventually reached its thrilling conclusion.

If you’re new to this series, do take a look back at the other posts; if you’ve been following the story so far, I do hope that the long delay in this installment hasn’t put you off!

An image of William's letter

William’s letter from Syracuse

While the tourist brochure I was looking at provides much the same route as William took, the early nineteenth century experience of such tourism was rather different to our own. For one thing, the roads were more dangerous; our little group of travellers has already experienced the threat of robbery and kidnap, storms in the mountains and the threat of pestilence at Livorno. In addition, whether it’s particularly true of this group, or whether this applies more widely to travllers at this time, there seems to have been a fasination with getting close to danger. I’ve already related how William descended into a crater, tied to a piece of rope, but found that the heat of the (volcanic) earth scorched through his thick bootsoles in a few minutes. I imagine that, given the dangers inherent in travel, there had to be an element of the daredevil in you to set out on these journeys at all. This letter proves no exception: in June 1822, William and his friends decided to climb Mount Etna.

The missive is one of the longest in the series – not overwritten but put down in tiny handwritng on a large, unfolder sheet. Perhaps this was some of his drawing paper, requisitioned for the purpose, but in any case, for the sake of sanity, I’m going to have to split this letter into two. So, before they got as far as Etna, he and his friends took in the sights of Taormina, learned about local history and ran afoul of a Superior-General’s election.

Of course, being drawn to danger did not necesarilly mean embracing discomfort: William found the lack of roads in Sicily deplorable, claiming that this was a detriment to ‘commerce and improvments of almost every kind’. Apparently, the English had earlier tried to build roads on the island, but their imposition of tolls on the populartion failed, since ‘the toll houses were destroyed in the night’. Since the roads couldn’t support a carriage of any kind, William noted the use of a ‘settiga’ in the locality, which he described as ‘a whimsical sort of horse-sedan…. It resembles somewhat the form of a “Vis-à-vis”…but in the style of a …hackney coach.’ This rather confusing description leads to all kinds of stretching of the imagination, but does show how alien William and his friends found the customs of this country which we now consider only a couple of hours’ distant.

William describes the 'vis-a-vis' contraption

William describes the ‘vis-a-vis’ contraption

Despite the intrigue of the settiga, donkeys were the made method of conveyance for the small band of architects as they set out from Messina on foot. At Palermo, the small group was joined by a Mr. Atkinson, ‘a well informed and agreeable man, about 30’. This gentleman had studied law, but had given up the profession and spent the previous four years travelling the Continent. As you may recall, the rest of William’s travelling companions were all architects (which has led me to wonder whether Europe was awash with young English architects at this point, or whether they just travelled in packs), but Atkinson need not have felt left out. William explains that Atkinson had spent the time travelling with two architects, friends of Thomas Angell, who had joined the group in Paris. The longest serving member of the group, besides William, seems to have been something of the comedy partner. Mr. Brooks arrived late in Dover, so that William considered leaving without him, insisted having packing cases of fashionable clothes sent out from England and appears to have let William add notes to his own letters to assure his family that he was safe. This trek from Messina to Taormina proved no different:

Brooks – who likes to get through the world easily – mounted a donkey at the end of the first 12 miles

The rest of the group, however, continued on foot, reaching Taormina only to discover that their timing had been somewhat unfortunate. While they had hoped to stay at the Benedictine Convent, they found that ‘the place was so full of priests’; 300, in face, who had assembled for the election of a Superior-general. Having reached their goal, the travellers were determined to make the best of it, and lodged at ‘a dirty inferior ‘Locanda’…into a room so filthy that after the first night we determined on sleeping at a tolerable inn 2 miles off and close to the sea shore’. This extra distance appears to have paid off, at least in terms of comfort, but did mean that the architects had to start the ascent to Taormina’s Greek ampitheatre before sunrise, to avoid the ‘fatigue of 2 miles of steep ascent’.

Once a part of the kingdom of Syracuse, the settlement of Taormina was well established by the time the Romans arrived in the third century BC. The town provided plenty ‘antiquities’, and was already popular with antiquarians when William and his friends visited. The theatre proved a point of particular interest for William;

The situation of this theatre is magnificent; placed on the ridge of a fine chain of mountains which run out to the sea, it commands scenery of the grandest description… Angell and myself…determined on measuring it – it proved a work of tedious duration from the difficulty of attaining dimensions, being much ruined

A modern view of the theatre at Taormina

A modern view of the theatre at Taormina

Of the other antiquities in the town, William proved less enamoured, adding that they were ‘generally much dilapidated.’ Perhaps the same could be said of the official to whom they were introduced in Taormina; ‘we immediately found he was an original character’, since he quickly showed them a bundle of materials he was looking to publish when he learned about the reason for their visit. They had further evidence of his status as ‘an original character’ that evening:

he gave us an invitation to attend his public lecture in the ancient Greek theatre in the evening. Several of his friends were present and a young man read aloud his chapter on that monument of antiquity which he interrupted “ever and anon” by his own personal explanations, given with great emphasis and in a strong nasal tone.

On 30 May, the group left Taormina for Nicolasai, where they found the widespread use of lava in buildings and the burnt soil made the place ‘sombre and uninviting’. The better sort of buildings met with more approval from the architects:

the cornices are of black lava and the walls covered with white plaster, a most singular contrast; one may almost call it architecture in mourning.

From there, they learned that a local physician and professor was in the habit of putting up travellers intent on climbing the mountain and, in spite of a rather English mix up over a lack of letters of introduction, William and his friends were welcomed to rest before their ascent the following day. Here, his letter breaks off to explain to his father that he will transcibe directly from his notebook – if this is the case, then he has a wonderful turn of phrase even when busy climbing a mountain!

William’s narrative is so illuminating and detailed that I think it’s best to leave this until another post – or else you’ll be here for another hour at least. But I promise I’ll do better, this time, to finish the tale in good time so that we can take in the last few stops on William’s journey at a leisurely pace. One thing you can be sure of – it won’t be a dull holiday, and there are probably more ‘original characters’ to come!


New exhibitions – Harry Bloom and DocExplore

Harry Bloom (1913-1981)

Harry Bloom (1913-1981)

This year marks the centenary of human rights and anti-apartheid campaigner Harry Bloom’s birth. Harry was a founding member of the Law School at the University of Kent and a key part of the teaching staff. To celebrate his life and the service he gave to the University, Special Collections has put together a small exhibition in the Harry Bloom Room of the Templeman Library, which will be open until 19 November.

Harry was born in South Africa and graduated with a degree in law in 1937. He worked as an advocate in Johannesburg until emigrating to London with his first wife, Beryl, in 1940, where he worked as a war correspondent. After the war, the Blooms moved to Czechoslovakia until the increasing power of the Stalinist regime led them to return to South Africa. There, Harry campaigned against apartheid, advocating equal rights for all. He worked alongside Nelson Mandela during the 1950s. Because of his campaigns, Harry was detained without trial in 1962, after which he returned to London, to work as an academic and journalist. He joined the University in 1966 as a key part of the nascent Law Department.

harrybloomposterOne of Harry’s key interests in the development of the interdisciplinary School of Law was the role of the media and of technology; indeed, he was a leader in this field long before the age of the internet brought the topic to prominence. His teaching also put an emphasis on practical experience as well as passive learning, through research projects. In 1973, Harry was integral in setting up the Unit for Legal Research on Computers and Communications at the University.

The opening of the Harry Bloom Room, 20 December 1991

The opening of the Harry Bloom Room, 20 December 1991

After a long illness, Harry Bloom died in 1981. To celebrates his contribution to Kent and to his uniquely advanced work on computers and communications, Harry’s widow, Mrs Sonia Bloom, gave a generous donation to the Library for the equipping of an IT Suite in the library for students.  The Harry Bloom Room no longer houses computers, but still offers a designated study space for students to work in and to be inspired.

The University organised a celebration to mark the Centenary of Harry Bloom’s birth on November 5th 2013 with a Seminar for his academic friends and colleagues who had worked with him at Kent. This was an opportunity for experts in the field and colleagues to discuss Harry’s work and celebrate his life.  Praise of his work was led by Professor Igor Aleksander, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College and holder of a lifetime achievement medal for contributions to informatics by the UK IEE in 2000.   We are delighted to be able to contribute to these celebrations with this small display. Do pop in to take a look at it if you can.

Not content with just the Harry Bloom display, we are also hosting a new exhibition for the DocExplore project, which has worked to bring digital versions of rare and fragile historical manuscripts to a wider audience. Combining expertise and materials from the University of Kent, the Universite de Rouen and Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives, the project seeks to:

empower…citizens on both sides of the Channel to engage with, explore and study their cultural heritage, as embodied in written and printed documents, in meaningful, informative, accessible and entertaining ways

With interactive touch screen technology and a wealth of information, this exhibition is one not to be missed! Why not pop in when you’re in the Library – it’s in the Gallery, just to the left of the Templeman’s cafe.

And, of course, we do have more exhibitions and displays in the pipeline – but more on those as next time!

Preserved, Assessed and Surveyed

You might have noticed that we were closed for much of last week; if you’ve wandered past the door to the reading room between last Tuesday and Thursday, you might have seen the sign on the door saying that we reopened on Friday morning. This closure was so that the team could focus on starting on two Preservation Assessment Surveys, which will guage the level of care needed in the future to maintain our collections.

The Preservation Assessment Survey was created and is administered by the British Library, which provides the tools for the job, plus endless expertise, encouragement and support. The idea behind the survey (and based on complicated equations) is that a reasonably random sample of around 400 items in a collection can give a snapshot into the preservation needs and state of a collection. Once the statistics have been gathered, the Preservation Assessment Survey team take the data and create a report highlighting issues which need to be addressed.

For our surveys, we also asked to include a measure of whether items were ready to be moved into the new basement store which will be opening with the Templeman extension. This will give us a really good idea of the work which we need to get done in the next couple of years, as well as the next few decades.

Title page of a script for Barnaby Rudge by Charles Selby, 1841

Script of Barnaby Rudge by Charles Selby, 1841

Because our collections are quite diverse, we decided to do one survey for our books and bound items, and another for our archival items. Of course, this wasn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds. We spent some time trying to decide whether published play scripts counted as books and unpublished play manuscripts are archival (answer, for the purposes of this survey: yes), which survey maps should come under (answer: books) and then classifying shelves as archival or book so that we could get our full sample! Thankfully, with help from Julia Foster of the Preservation Assessment Centre, we got the sampling done in just a day and made a start on the survey itself last week.

For each of these 800 items (two surveys of 400 items each, if you were wondering) we have to answer 15 questions on preservation, which include considerations of environment,usage levels and whether or not the item needs boxing. There is then a further set of questions, which detail the condition of the item and whether it has been damaged (by pests, dirt, poor handling etc.). As you can imagine, this provides a pretty comprehensive set of requirements for each of the items, and requires some consistency in answers, since the assessment of damage is quite subjective, and depends on the state of the last item you saw!

It took us a day or so to find our rhythm, working in two teams to start off our survey in the Special Collections Store and the British Cartoon Archive Store respctively. Archives, it turns out, take far longer to survey than books, since they have to be removed from (and returned to) boxes, and the questions take a little more imagination to answer than they do for bound items with titlepages. By the end of the first full day, we were proud to have completed surveying 60 archival objects and 47 books! (In fairness, those 47 books represented to total input of bound items from the British Cartoon Archive, which was quite an achievement).

By the end of the second full day, we had completed around 160 books and a similar number of archival items. Having started intesively, we’re now going to be carrying out the odd hour or so of surveying here and there (without closing the reading room!) to keep up the momentum until the closure of the data gathering section of this project, which should be around the end of August. Then, with our full set of 800 results, we’ll send the information off to Julia at British Library and await the report with great anticiptation.

Dion Boucicault's Deed Box

Bouciault’s deed box forms part of the collections

It really has been an interesting process so far (and we’re not even halfway through!) For one thing, it puts the size of collections into perspective. We ended up sampling just one item from the combined Fawkes and Calthrop Boucicault Collections, which makes up one of only two major collections on the Victorian playwright in the world. In comparison, we sampled several items in our Wind and Watermills Collections, which are used less intensively, perhaps due to the fact that the photographs can all be viewed online.

It has also been great to get to know the book collection slightly better. We still have a fair way to go, but already we’ve picked out some wonderful and occasioanlly eccentric items, amidst the rare editions and the early printed books. One particularly interesting section in our collection is about dialect; as Steve and I were going through the books, we came across a two volume set on The Craven Dialect (London, 1828), an area in North Yorkshire, which seems to have a lot of words specific to cows and their illnesses! Not much further on, I came across a book on Kentish Dialect by Parish and Shaw (Lewes 1888) which ranged from words which are now very familiar:

Blunder (vb) To move awkwardly and noisily about

to the very unfamiliar:

Mabbled (vb) Mixed; confused

This Kentish dialect dictionary has been interleaved with blank pages on the right hand side (recto), on which at some point someone has jotted down their own dialect discoveries, with their meanings, from time to time. It all goes to much our language has changed, even over just 100 years.

I’m sure that we’ll make many more discoveries as we carry on with the survey, which will, in the end, give us a much better understanding of our collections as a whole, and their needs. So thank you for your patience during those closure days; it really was helpful to get a chunk of the survey under our collective belt!

And I’ll let you know how it goes…(with running updates on Twitter – @UoKSpecialColls).