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52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 46: A Marriage of Convenience — The Half-Tone Relief Process

At its core the reproduction of the printed word is usually a process which is based on relief printing. Historically (as things are now different), a cast piece of type when it is set for printing, has the shape of the letter standing proud of the printing block which is subsequently inked and impressed onto…

8 May 2013illustrations Photographic Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 45: Campi Phlegraei (1776-1779)—Hamilton’s “Fields of Flame”

Since my return to this country, in January 1773, I have continued with aſſiduity my obſervations upon Mount Veſuvius, and the many ancient Volcanick productions in this Neighborhood. This week’s Inspiring Illustrations come from the magnificent Campi Phlegraei by Sir William Hamilton and Pietro Fabris, published in three parts (Parts I & II and a…

29 April 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 44: the Family Album

This Inspiring Illustration post on photography is inspired by a wonderful acquisition added to our Photographic Collection this week of a Scottish family’s photographs from the 1920s. Deviating, from talking about a specific photographic process, this post is focused on a particular presentation format, the photo album. Although a certain degree of personal photography took…

22 April 2013illustrations Photographic Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 43: Faces, fauna, flora and St Francis: funny things lurking in a medieval music manuscript

I didn’t intend to write about the gradual at all for this post, I just happened to be looking at it one day when it was out for Tom Wilkinson the chapel organist to see. He is going to conduct the chapel choir in singing one of the Kyrie settings for a celebration service on…

15 April 2013illustrations Manuscript Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 42: Athanasius Kircher’s beautiful Musurgia Universalis (1650)

This week’s selection for the ‘Inspiring Illustrations’ thread speaks for itself and needs very little introduction. We have selected the 1650 printing of Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis, printed in two volumes and illustrated with over 30 leaves of plates and hundreds of in-text engravings. Kircher was a German Jesuit scholar and a true Renaissance man.…

9 April 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 41: All is not as it seems…

For our ‘April Fool’ post, we decided not to attempt the creation of a spoof medieval manuscript or late 14th century Scottish printed book, tempting though it was…. Instead, we offer proof that the old adage that ‘the camera never lies’ is not, and never was, true, even before the days of digital wizardry. From…

1 April 2013illustrations Photographic Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 40: The Photographic Postcard

This week’s Inspiring Illustrations post about photography is on the topic of the somewhat less noble yet very prolific format of the postcard. As a result of two recent projects surrounding our collections my attention has been drawn to this important medium of dissemination for photography. Firstly a group of recent graduates from the University’s…

26 March 2013illustrations Photographic Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 39: Jessie M. King & William Morris’s “The Defence of Guenevere” (1904)

This week sees the anniversary of the birth of both William Morris and Jessie M King, so it seems appropriate to celebrate by devoting the latest Inspiring Illustrations blog post to our 1904 copy of The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems, written by Morris and illustrated by King. The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems,…

19 March 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 38: Angels, Madonnas and Pilgrims — an Ethiopian treasure

These vibrant illustrations of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and angels come from an Ethiopian psalter purchased for Special Collections last summer. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries, having been converted in the 4th c by missionaries from Syria, but then isolated for centuries from other Christian countries. This isolation meant that traditions…

11 March 2013Archives illustrations Manuscript Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 37: the Quincentenary scrolls

This week’s inspiring illustrations are selected from the beautifully crafted presentation addresses from institutions and learned bodies world-wide which were sent to the University of St Andrews in 1911 to commemorate our Quincentenary. They are all individual works of art, evocative of their time: This scroll received from the General Council of the University of…

5 March 2013Archives illustrations Muniments Collection