Show and Tell: Buccaneers and Buried Gold: Treasure from the Lighting the Past Project

speccoll
Friday 29 April 2016

Image of Show and Tell 001_1On Wednesday the 20th of April we held a Show and Tell in the Martyrs Kirk New Park Seminar Room – “Buccaneers and Buried Gold: Treasure from the Lighting the Past Project”.

The aim of the event was to give people a chance to see some of the interesting finds that the student-staffed Lighting the Past team have made over the past four years. We’ve picked out a few of these items below for those who were unable to make it on the day:

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Raoul-Auger Feuillet, For the Furthur Improvement of Dancing, A Treatis of Chrography or ye Art of Dancing Country Dances after A New Character. London, publisher not identified, 1710 s AC900.P119
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Raoul-Auger Feuillet, For the Furthur Improvement of Dancing.

This short item is an early eighteenth-century instruction manual on group dancing. The first half decodes the complex signs and symbols which make up the elements of choreography. Each plate is designed as the floorplan of a rectangular room so that the reader may practice the steps with the book in his or her hand and never become disoriented.

The manual is the last item in a volume bound with more sober works, including an English-Latin grammar and a treatise on the management of landed estates. We might imagine that the volume belonged to an eighteenth-century gentleman, striving to improve himself in more ways than one!

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Robert Louis Stevenson, Prayers written at Vailima. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910. r PR5888.P8
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Robert Louis Stevenson, Prayers written at Vailima. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910. r PR5888.P8

For the last four years of his life (1890-1894) the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) made his home at his plantation in Vailima, Samoa, beautifully situated 600 feet above sea-level, on the mountainside among thick woods, with fine views of the Pacific. These prayers were written for his household, both the family and Samoan people who shared his home, where prayers were said every evening, this being an integral part of Samoan life.

In layout the work instantly evokes mediaeval books of hours or psalters, with its beautiful illuminations. This is quite deliberate, the work being designed, written out, and decorated by Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932), an illuminator and calligrapher who specialised in illuminated manuscripts.

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John Speed, The genealogies recorded in the Sacred Scriptvres, according to euery family and tribe: with the line of Ovr Saviovr Iesvs Christ, observed from Adam to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Great Britain?: Publisher not identified, 16—. Low BS569.S7

Have you ever read the biblical book of Genesis and felt desperately confused as to who all of those people are, which names belong where, and who exactly was the son of whom? Hopefully this volume might be able to clear it up a little! Renowned 16th-17th century cartographer John Speed is best known for his History of Great Britain (1611), but this smaller volume was also published in the same year.

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John Speed, The genealogies recorded in the Sacred Scriptvres, according to euery family and tribe.

Speed charts visually the biblical genealogies in over 30 diagrams, all painstakingly mapped out from Adam to Christ. It features not only the ancestors of Israel, but also many of the other Ancient Near Eastern nations mentioned in the biblical account. Speed’s efforts proved enormously popular, and by 1640 there were no less than thirty-three editions of his genealogical charts!

Thanks to the Lighting the Past team for putting together the Show and Tell, and in particular to Emily Savage for her research in to Feuillet’s For the Furthur Improvement of Dancing, and Kieran Cressy for his research in to Speed’s The genealogies recorded in the Sacred Scriptvre.

If you want to keep up with the activities of the Lighting the Past team, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we often post images of books catalogued by the team.

If you would like to come to one of our Show and Tells, the next event will be held in the Martyrs New Park Seminar Room at 2pm on 18 May, titled “Early Birds: A Selection of Bird Books and Resources”.

M Pilar Gil
Lead Cataloguer, Lighting the Past Team

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2 thoughts on "Show and Tell: Buccaneers and Buried Gold: Treasure from the Lighting the Past Project"

  • […] mid-May we held our final Show and Tell of the semester, following on from our previous event about treasures discovered by the Lighting the Past […]

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  • […] During the project students who worked on LtP helped to promote the material they had catalogued via blog posts, Facebook, and Twitter. Some blog posts focused upon a specific collection, such as those on the Crombie and Donaldson Collections – although as it turns out, at the time a large part of the Donaldson Collection was awaiting classification, the completion of which featured in another blog post. Others focused upon individual items. Typifying how LtP worked together as a team, some blogs were co-authored, such as that on how to read minds, and another on a 16th-century sammelband. In April 2016 residents and visitors to St Andrews had the opportunity to see some of the items first hand when books catalogued by LtP were the focus of a Special Collections ‘show and tell’, entitled “Buccaneers and Buried Gold: Treasure from the Lighting the Past Project”. […]

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