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Filtering by Tag: Material Witness

Nineteenth-Century Graphic Art and Material Culture


The Royal Holloway Picture Gallery is a hidden treasure-trove of Victoriana. A vast oblong room with an ornate bas-relief ceiling and walls crowded with epic paintings in gilt frames, it conveys an almost obscene sense of ostentatiousness appropriate to the period. As a small group, we were almost swallowed up by the space and were privileged to be granted exclusive use of it for the day. Dwarfed by the epic grandeur, you would be forgiven for assuming that the picture gallery belonged to a palace. Indeed, the Royal Holloway campus is modelled on the Chateau de Chambord.

by Azelina Flint

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First-Nation Artefacts at the British Museum


To the British Museum Ethnographic Store (on a somewhat shabby street in Haggerston, east London) for a day thinking about the histories of First-Nation American artefacts and the social relations involved in their collection. We arrived to find a smorgasbord of objects spread out on the tables, from Inuit model snowshoes to Mayan pottery and Iroquoian wampum garters and belts.

by Jenny Reddish

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Text as Object: Periodicals in the Long Nineteenth Century


The overlap between textual and material cultures is hardly a new concept. From ages past, when the majority of the population was illiterate, objects have been understood to possess a powerful legibility of their own. And with the simultaneous increase in consumer culture and print dissemination, the written word was often accompanied with a price tag. Words are goods, regardless of their quality. This is pertinently true of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century periodicals, and was at the forefront of this workshop’s material and digital witness.

By Christine Davies

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Book History at Canterbury Cathedral Library


I have been studying at Kent now for almost five years and have been to Canterbury Cathedral countless times for research, workshops, seminars, carol concerts, and two graduations; I even see it every morning when I eat my breakfast, but I try not to take this familiarity for granted. Approaching the library and archives via Christchurch Gate is always exciting and as I made my way around the cloisters to the Dean’s steps I thought how fitting it was to be examining the material aspects of the written word within a stone’s throw of the site of the cathedral’s medieval scriptorium.

by Stuart Morrison

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