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Library News

Special Collections and Archives' Upcoming Exhibitions

by University of Liverpool Library on 2022-02-08T12:21:00+00:00 | Comments

‘The Gentlemans Calling’, a late 17th century black goatskin binding featured in the exhibition.


The University of Liverpool Special Collections & Archives has two exciting upcoming exhibitions. The first exhibition is online and showcases the art of bookbinding. From Monday 14th February there will be an in-person exhibition in the SJL and HCL on the history of illustrated Children's books, with contributions from English Literature students.

Special Collections & Archives curates and cares for the University's collection of historic printed and archive materials. This includes books, pamphlets and manuscripts dating from as early as the 12th century, and includes Europe's largest catalogued collection of Science Fiction works.  

Find out more information about the University’s collections.

Peninsula of Pictures: Children’s Books from the Oldham Collection 

An illustration depicting the ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhyme.

Image 1: An illustration depicting the ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhyme.

‘Peninsula of Pictures’ is a new exhibition coming to the Sydney Jones Library’s Special Collections & Archives area. The Harold Cohen Library is also putting together a small display of Children’s books on natural history and science.  

The exhibition will display the University’s Oldham collection of Children’s books. The collection contains tracts and booklets showing fairy tales, myths and legends. This includes illustrations by some of the most notable illustrators of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Kate Greenaway.

The exhibition's name draws on the collection’s local links to Liverpool and the Wirral Peninsula. The university acquired Mr. and Mrs Oldham of Birkenhead’s collection in 1973. Local works include those illustrated by Walter Crane (born in Liverpool) and Randolph Caldecott (born in Chester). 

The exhibition coincides with the judging season for the UK’s Kate Greenaway Medal. This award is presented each year for exceptional illustrations in Children’s books.

Location: Special Collections & Archives, Ground Floor, Sydney Jones Library

Date: Monday 14th February onwards

The Hornby Bindings Virtual Exhibition

‘The Gentlemans Calling’, a late 17th century black goatskin binding.

Image 2: ‘The Gentlemans Calling’, a late 17th century black goatskin binding featured in the exhibition

The University of Liverpool Special Collections & Archives has launched a new digital exhibition celebrating the intricate beauty and craftsmanship of bookbinding.  

The books on display were bound in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Several prominent bookbinding styles and bookbinders exist within the collection.

The University purchased the books between 1939 and 1941 using funds provided by local schoolteacher Mrs Clara Hornby. Mrs Hornby was the wife of Frank Hornby, who invented popular children's toys like Hornby trains.

The exhibition showcases some of the most accomplished bookbinding created in pre-industrial Britain. Within a few clicks, you can see high quality images of each book alongside short descriptions with more information.  

Visit the online exhibition

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