Universal Virtues: Humanity, Compassion, Patience, Tolerance

“We can live together peacefully only when we control our intolerance” Sebastian Castellio c. 1550
Our worth is intrinsic to who we are and not dependent on biological irrelevancies such as ethnicity, skin colour or race” Desmond Tutu 2014
Humanity, compassion, toleration, and equality are not new concepts.  They have been with us forever, although their interpretation and application change in response to circumstance and context. The current library exhibition on the ground floor of the Harry Fairhurst building reflects the expression of these values over time. The items selected are from the Mirfield collection which belongs to the Community of the Resurrection, and is on long term loan to the University Library. 
Tolerance and compassion have always been central tenets of the Community.  Through their missionary work they offered support to those engaged in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. More contemporary material exhibited from the main library collections explores th…

Happy birthday, Mr. Eliot!

Dr Nicoletta Asciuto, Associate Lecturer in English Literature, writes about T.S Eliot who was born 129 years ago this month.

‘Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future, / And time future contained in time past.’ (I, ll. 1-3). Of Four Quartets, I have always found ‘Burnt Norton’, where these lines are taken from, the most soothing one. Written before the outbreak of World War II (1935-36), ‘Burnt Norton’, the first of the four quartets, carries the rewarding promise that our past lives, present experiences, and future hopes all merge into one fluid experience of personal time, where nothing is lost and everything redeemed, pointing to ‘one end, which is always present’ (l. 10). No other Eliot poem, I feel, expresses such fluidity in a more serene, peaceful way. Memories from his American childhood and his most recent British life mingle with preoccupations about the future, breaking through during the poet’s walk in the rose garden of Burnt Norton. He visited…

Albert Moore and the University’s art collection

To coincide with a major exhibition of York-born artist Albert Joseph Moore’s work running at York Art Gallery Ilka Heale, Metadata Specialist, links the artist to the University’s art collection.
York Art Gallery currently has a major exhibition of the York-born artist Albert Joseph Moore’s work. This is the first exhibition of his work since the one held in 1894 to commemorate his death a year earlier.

The Department of History of Art at the University collaborated with the art gallery to set up the exhibition. Earlier in the summer the Department hosted the conference Rethinking Albert Moore and speakers included Professor Liz Prettejohn from the Department who has authored many books on Victorian painting and Aestheticism.

Born in York in 1841, Albert Moore was one of the leading artists of the Aesthetic movement in the late 19th century alongside J.M. Whistler, Edward Burne-Jones, G.F. Watts and Frederic, Lord Leighton. Believing in “art for art’s sake”, these artists emphasise…

Writing in the library

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

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

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’

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…