Friday 27 April 2012

It's Palm Friday

This week's feature in the 101 Treasures series is our beautiful eighteenth-century Burmese palm leaf manuscript. Palm leaves served as the paper of the ancient world for thousands of years, and were bound and decorated to create exquisiste manuscripts. Find out more on the website.

Friday 20 April 2012

Swan upmanship

This week's treasure in the 101 Treasures series is a beautiful hand-coloured manuscript book of swan identification marks dating from the sixteenth century. Every summer, the beaks of swans on the river Thames are marked to show ownership, a custom which still takes place today. Read more on the website.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Where's Fred?

He's at Chetham's!

For those of you outside the North West, Fred Talbot is the Granada TV weatherman. Each week he makes a lighthearted short film about a place of interest in the region and viewers are invited to guess his whereabouts.

Hopefully we are not giving too much away by revealing that last week he visited the buildings here at Chetham's - you can view the film here.

Friday 13 April 2012

Papal Prayers

This week's treasure is the beautifully illuminated book of prayers for Pope Alexander VII as he prepared himself for his enthronement. This recently featured in our 'Curios and Curiosities' exhibition and is well worth a look if you missed the exhibition. Click here to see the feature.

The Yattendon Hymnal

We are delighted to announce that we have recently acquired a copy of the Yattendon Hymnal, one of the most significant contributions to English church music. This has been generously given as a permanent loan - along with some other works associated with the church in Yattendon, Oxfordshire - by the Rev Tony Lynn, Team Vicar in Yattendon.

Hymns: The Yattendon Hymnal was compiled by the poet and scholar Robert Bridges (1844-1930) who later became Poet Laureate. Bridges was associated with many notable musicians and music scholars including John Stainer, Charles Villers Stanford, Hubert Parry, Frank Bridge and Gustav Holst. The hymnal, which was brought out in part form before being published as a single volume in 1899, was elegantly produced using red as well as black stave-lines, a distinctive typeface in an archaic style introduced by Bishop John Fell, and musical notation by Peter Walpergen. The high quality of the publication set the Yattendon Hymnal apart from the spate of other hymnals, including Hymns Ancient and Modern, that appeared in the late nineteenth century, but the book was expensive and not a financial success. It remains nonetheless one of the great English hymnals, a bridge between the Victorian hymnody of the last half of the 19th century and the modern hymnody of the early 20th century.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Another famous communist visits Chetham's Library

It was a pleasure to welcome elder statesman of left-wing comedy Alexei Sayle to the Library this week. He is pictured here with his friend Daniel Constantinou at the well-known alcove desk where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels famously worked together in the nineteenth century. Thanks to Daniel for the photograph.