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52 Weeks of Reading the Collections: Visual Index and Reflections

52 weeks of Reading the Collections has come to an end – thanks to everyone who contributed, read, and shared our posts over the past year! We’re ending the series with our traditional visual index:                                        …

17 March 2016Reading the Collections

Reading the Collections, Week 35: Douglas Dunn’s Elegies notebooks

Douglas Dunn published Elegies in 1985 – a collection of 39 poems written after the death of his first wife, Lesley Balfour Dunn, who died in 1981, aged 37, from melanoma of the eye. It was awarded the Whitbread Book of the Year prize. Dunn and Lesley were living in Hull at the time, where…

4 November 2015Manuscript Collection Reading the Collections

Reading the Collections, Week 34: Kellie Law

This small manuscript, entitled Kellie Law, was chosen by the winner of the JD Forbes book collecting prize as her choice to join the collections (read the full version here). It forms a eulogy on the beauty of the East Neuk of Fife (neuk meaning nook, corner or hidden out of the way spot in…

28 October 2015Manuscript Collection Reading the Collections

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s: Reflections and Visual Index

It all started with a scruffy manuscript recipe book from the 1830s and a few reckless comments about what fun it would be to have a go at trying some of the recipes. I doubt Maia realised that her casual remarks would be the spark that kindled the great flame that was 52 Weeks of…

6 November 2014How-To's

TREASURES OF THE LIBRARY PODCAST: Dr Margaret Connolly describes the Roll of Kings

In the summer of 2013, the University Library set out to capture the reactions of academic and library staff when encountering their favourite items from the Special Collections Division. For this project, authors for articles for Treasures of St Andrews University Library (London, 2010) were asked to speak about the item or collection they highlighted in this publication.…

24 March 2014Archives Manuscript Collection Treasures of the Library

Introducing this year’s blog theme: 52 weeks of Historical How-To’s!

Over the past couple of years we’ve had themes for weekly blog posts throughout the year, beginning with the very popular 52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, and followed by 52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations. While we were musing about what theme to choose for the next series, our Manuscript Archivist Maia Sheridan was cataloguing a…

30 October 2013Archives collections highlights How-To's Manuscript Collection Muniments Collection Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 52: the St Andrews Psalter

For the final inspiring illustration of this 52-week series, it could be argued that we have saved the best for the last. This is a book of Psalms (with a liturgical calendar of Sarum (or Salisbury) use), which was written in England, probably near London, in the mid-15th century (St Andrews msBX2033.A00). It would have…

15 July 2013Archives illustrations

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 31: John Anderson’s tortoises and turtles

These beautiful hand-painted pictures of tortoises and turtles were created by Scottish naturalist John Anderson (1833-1900). They feature reptiles found in India, Ceylon and Burma, including the Indian star tortoise, Northern river terrapin and black pond turtle. They were drawn from life or from specimens between 1870 and 1874. Anderson was a distinguished scholar who…

21 January 2013Archives illustrations Manuscript Collection

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: artist’s life celebrated

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the renowned Scottish abstract artist, has been attracting a lot of attention this year, with several recent events to celebrate the centenary of her birth. She was born here in St Andrews on 8 June 1912, into a family connected to the landed gentry in both Fife and Stirlingshire. Despite opposition from her father, she pursued her…

7 December 2012Archives Events Manuscript Collection