Happy #LGBTHM22 everyone! If you have picked up some of the books in our library displays, you might have noticed that a number of them are about queer histories. The way these stories are told has changed over time, but a plethora of gender identities and expressions, and experiences of sexuality and identity, are a constant of human history. In other words, queer people have always existed. History books like Sapphistries or The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes depend on a wide array of sources, particularly what historians call primary sources, which are materials–diaries, documents, drawings, and more–made by someone who lived through or experienced a particular time, place or event. Historians often think of primary sources as texts but they aren’t always–comics in a zine like Not Trans Enough could be something historians use to understand the lives and experiences of trans people in the 2010s, in the same way that a Pride flag facemask will be a primary source to a scholar looking back on the 2020s.
By Sarah Lewis
During LGBTQI+ History Month, the Library is blogging and sharing resources on social media to further shed light on the content we have which may be of use in research or for general interest purposes. In preparation for this, we conducted a brief survey of our databases and, in particular, I wanted to see if some of our less obvious databases also contained pertinent content on LGBTQI+ subjects and issues.
Welcome to a visual feast of the king of the beasts, as seen in manuscripts and printed books of Lincoln Cathedral Library. Some of the images are realistic and some less so but still evidence of our long term fascination with the magnificent animal found at the top of the food chain.
One of our oldest lion’s is the 12th century decorated initial in a manuscript of Peter Lombard’s Sentences (specifically, Psalm 52), described by Rodney Thomson as ‘white lions on square, coloured grounds edged with green’. Can you see them? Look closely!
This lonely lion in a 13th century initial from Ivo of Chartres’ Decretum is much easier to spot!
Another 12th century depiction illustrates genealogies of the Counts of Flanders and Kings of France with a lion rampant.
It’s interesting to compare the medieval lions to each other!
Early Modern Lions
Swiss physician Conrad Gesner is often considered to be the father of modern zoology. His three volume History of Animals was the first comprehensive reference work on the subject, covering quadrupeds, fish, and birds. Illustrated throughout with fine hand-coloured woodcuts, this work attempted to include all the available information on each animal. Although it was intended to be factual, there are many wondrous and mythical creatures scattered throughout each book, including a unicorn. This was the first attempt by anyone to describe the animals and their habitats accurately. If you are visiting Lincoln please do not miss the new exhibition space at the Cathedral. An animated version of Gesner’s rhinoceros will be there in 2022!
The story of the church father Jerome and the lion is a delightful story of a saintly scholar coming to the rescue of a limping lion, removing a thorn from his paw. The lion repaid his kindness by remaining by his side until his death around 420 CE and appears in many paintings with St Jerome. The cathedral owns a beautiful drawing of this story, a hand-coloured illustration with no provenance but visible pin holes where it has been displayed in the past.
The earliest printed book held in the Cathedral Library is a copy of Jerome’s Epistles printed in 1468.
Lions of the Nineteenth Century
Oliver Goldsmith’s History of the Earth and Animated Nature was first published in 1774, describing the history of the earth, geographical features and many species of animals in eight volumes. The Cathedral has a two volume abridged version, which appeared in 1853. It is mentioned in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, read and enjoyed by Maggie Tulliver.
Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873) was not enamoured of the artist’s impression of him being attacked in by a lion, which was published in ‘Missionary travels and researches in South Africa; including a sketch of sixteen years’ residence in the interior of Africa’ in 1857 and tried to have it banned. The attack took place in 1844 during a journey to Mabotsa, Livingstone survived the encounter but the lion did not.
The cathedral library also holds a letter from Livingstone addressed to Col Winyard in 1862, detailing the trials and tribulations of travel in Africa at that time, which featured in Lincoln’s Black History Trail in October’s Black History Month, as part of the University of Lincoln’s Reimagining Lincolnshire project. You can learn more at https://reimagininglincs.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk
Throughout the cathedral’s history, lions have sparked the imagination and interest of the people who illustrated, wrote, and collected its books. We hope you have enjoyed getting to know the lions of Lincoln Cathedral Library.
Images shared with the permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral. Blog written by Claire Arrand with help from Hope Williard.
Its near the end of LGBTQ+ History month so we are focussing on LGBTQ+ mental health and wellbeing research in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
February is LGTBQ+ history month in the UK and library blog is celebrating by featuring posts about resources for exploring LGTBQ+ lives in the past, present, and future. This first post in our series is about one of our online archives. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.
Adam Matthews Explorer (AM Explorer), is one of the library’s newer databases, and contains a huge range of online archives organised around a wide range of themes. Queer histories A collection that might be of particular interest for exploring LGTBQ+ histories in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries centuries is Sex and Sexuality. The archive collects the research papers, notes, and interviews of people who have researched sex, sexual behaviour, sexuality from an academic and medical perspective, such as Alfred Kinsey and Norman Haire; and archival collections which focus on lived experiences of individual people.
You can do a keyword search within the archives represented in the collection (the take a tour page gives you a good overview of the collection as a whole) or browse specific parts of it. One particular part of the collection lets you explore the diaries of Anne Lister, a nineteenth century gentlewoman who wrote about her relationships with women and travels across Europe. An introductory essay offers some context and background on who Anne Lister was and her importance in lesbian history. You can also explore the papers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century gay rights advocate Edward Carpenter. To explore twentieth century gay and lesbian history, you can explore the responses given by participants in the National Gay and Lesbian Survey.
The Sex and Sexuality archive also focuses on a wide range of collections from specific libraries, such as the Kinsey Institute, which has collected a large library and archive of material relating to sex and sexuality–you can explore collections ranging from romantic and erotic pulp fiction to an archive of materials on cross-dressing in the nineteenth century and much more besides. You can also explore collections from the ONE Archive at the University of Southern California Libraries, including papers, photographs and letters which provide a firsthand view of queer lives, relationships and advocacy in twentieth century America. On the other side of the pond, archivists have collected a huge range of material from the UK’s National Archives relating to sex and sexuality–you can see some of the highlights here
Even if you have some experience researching for your studies, working with an online archive can sometimes be overwhelming! There are a range of ways to explore the collection in order to find material you are looking for or interested in. You can search for specific names or keywords–if you are searching for particular words and phrases keep in mind that our vocabulary around sex and sexuality has changed a lot (and continues to do so), so you might find it helpful to take a look at the research tools section for ideas. If you are interested in browsing specific topics, like gender identities or art and literature, there’s a feature that lets you browse by topic. And if you struggle to locate material that is relevant to your research or interests, do contact your subject librarian–we’re here to help!
Library staff are participating in History Day 2020, a set of interactive events which allow students, researchers, and lovers of history to explore archival, museum, and library collections that tell us more about the past. Our contribution takes the form of two blog posts–links and more details below!
In ‘Silencing the Music‘, Special Collections Librarian Claire Arrand and music librarian Hope Williard reflect on the delay coronavirus has caused for a joint research project with two undergraduate students, Valerie Arinda and Megan Lomas. Our project, ‘Distant Music: Uncovering the Music of Lincoln Cathedral Library’, will involve investigating Lincoln Cathedral’s incompletely catalogued manuscript and printed sacred music. Due to the pandemic, and the impossibility of conducting socially distanced or online research, the project has been put on hold, but we hope you enjoy reading about it, and getting a sneak peek at some of the cathedral’s musical treasures.
Librarians can give you many reasons why our resources are considered preferable to those you might find on the open web – such as the resource’s reliability, relevance and the review process, to name a few.
While, yes, we librarians love to extol the virtues of the Library and would prefer our students, staff and researchers make use of our wonderful (and not inexpensive) print and electronic resources, we are aware that many people find using Google for their research easier and, dare we say it, quicker!
March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. Our second post in our series is by Rebecca Norman, a third year student on the BA History course. She explains the topic of her dissertation and how it helps us understand the lives of lower and middle class British women. Thank you for writing for us, Rebecca! This post has been guest edited by School of History and Heritage administrator, Emily Hanson. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at email@example.com, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.
When my grandpa found out I was writing my undergraduate dissertation on Denise Robins’ popular romance fiction, he commented that:
‘You don’t need to be paying to read that rubbish at University, your grandma has plenty on her kindle!’
Somehow, in his initial pride that his granddaughter was studying a ‘proper’ subject like History at university, he had not envisioned me carrying out a research project on what is widely regarded as ‘trashy’ fiction; but I’m about to finish off 10,000 words on the gender identities constructed and communicated in popular romance novels of the 1930s.
October is Black History Month and Black history happens every day. To celebrate this, the library has put together a list of 365 books by authors of colour from our catalogue and e-book collections. The list was inspired by the website Black History 365 and the list of 365 Books By Women put together for International Women’s Day by the New York Public Library. It has been assembled through searches inspired by the Black British Writers wikipedia category page, as well as the African-American writers catalogue page. It also draws lists of books by Black and BAME writers published online, such as this one from Stylist. We hope you find it interesting!
Our More Books service is open for students and staff to request the purchase of items we do not have in our collections, so please do get in touch if you notice any errors or omissions.
This year has been the first year the University of Lincoln Library has participated in Erasmus+ International Staff Training Week programmes for librarians. It’s been absolutely wonderful to read and hear about the fantastic experiences my colleagues Oonagh and Ella had on their staff exchange trips! This is the third and final post in our series about GCW librarians’ experiences of Erasmus programmes around Europe.
My Erasmus programme, ‘Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing’, took place at the Freie Universität Berlin, a large and prestigious research university, with 11 departments, around 38,000 students and 336 professors. The Freie Universität (Free University) was founded in 1948 by students and staff who felt they could not learn and teach as they wished in the Soviet sector of the city. The programme consisted of a general day of introduction, three days of sessions and activities specific to the four international programmes running concurrently (libraries, career services, personnel development, and internationalisation), and a final morning of wrap-up and goodbye. It was an extraordinary week and I am delighted to share it with you.
Welcome: 17 June 2019
Tucked away in one of the university buildings on Otto-von-Stimson Straβe is the Ristorante Galileo, where all participants in the international programme were treated to a welcome and an excellent lunch. Dr Herbet Grieshop, head of the Office of International Affairs, introduced us to the international scope of the Freie Universität. I was impressed by the way the university prioritises the internationalisation of non-academic staff, providing them with a package of training and external activities including intercultural training, language instruction, and staff exchanges which leads to a certificate and formal recognition by the university. Continue reading “Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing”