Friday 26 July 2013
Whilst looking for something else (the usual story), we came across this striking image by the Dutch cartoonist Louis Raemaekers (1869-1956). During World War One, Raemaekers produced a series of fiercely anti-German political cartoons which were picked up for distribution by the British government in a series of propaganda pamphlets.
The Germans attempted to have Raemaekers arrested (the Netherlands were neutral during the War), and the Kaiser put a bounty on his head. In the face of a series of threats, Raemaekers relocated to England where his cartoons were syndicated across the world.
The German Tango ('From East to West and West to East I Dance with Thee'), depicts a young woman with braided hair wearing the Imperial Crown of Germany dancing with a skeleton. The idea is that in a fit of racial pride, death has been welcomed as an ally. Once begun, there is no stopping the dance, which goes on for ever across the world.
This week's 101 Treasures page looks at the Genoa Quadruplex Psalter, famous not only for being the first multilingual version of the Psalms but also the first printed reference to Christopher Columbus, whose expeditions to the New World were perceived as the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. Read more on the website.
Wednesday 24 July 2013
Hidden Treasures Special Event: Friday 23 and Saturday 24 August 2013Chetham's Library is proud to be taking part in this year's Hidden Treasures initiative run by Collections Trust and the Independent newspaper. Over August Bank Holiday weekend 2013, over 70 museums and galleries nationwide will be offering a unique opportunity to see collections not usually on public display.
Join Librarian Michael Powell behind the scenes to take a closer look at the Library's collection of printed material, including single-sheet ballads and broadsides. There will also be a chance to work with letterpress printer Graham Moss on the seventeenth-century common press, learning about early printing techniques and helping to reprint a ballad written in celebration of a visit to Chetham's in the early nineteenth century.
The free workshop is suitable for all ages, although you would probably need to be over about eight years old to get the most from the afternoon. Access is via a short flight of stairs and is regrettably unsuitable for wheelchair users.
There are two bookable sessions from 2pm-4pm each day, with 20 places available on each. To book, please email the Librarian or phone us during office hours on 0161 834 7961
Phase Two of the Reading Room works has now been completed and we are well on the way to being able to replace the floorboards. The long grooves made by Jamie and his chainsaw have been filled with four carbon fibre plates, and then sealed and filled with resin which has hardened overnight to strengthen and reinforce the beam. Thirteen large tubs of resin, each containing 7.5 litres, were used to complete the job. Before the resin hardened, Jamie placed a penny in the top of the beam, showing the date of the work, although historians of the future please note that he didn't have a 2013 coin so had to use one from last year.
Friday 19 July 2013
Thursday 18 July 2013
In 1607 Heribert Rosweyde conceived an extraordinary project that would not only take the rest of his life, but another three hundred and fifty years' work by numerous scholars - and still not be possible to complete. Have a closer look at the Acta Sanctorum, the incredible work of the Bollandists, on the 101 Treasures page this week.
Wednesday 17 July 2013
Here's another picture of Jamie from TRAC Structural Ltd who is working on the medieval beam in the Reading Room. The noise, dust and smoke from the chainsaw is quite a change from the usual calm and cerebral atmosphere!
The image below shows the view from the Audit Room, underneath where Jamie is working. The extent of the damage can clearly be seen, along with the horsehair and plaster which has been used in previous botched repair jobs.
Here's some footage of Jamie from TRAC Structural Ltd sawing into one of the medieval beams ready to strengthen it with carbon fibre. To our knowledge this is the third time in the building's history that there has been any work on this beam. The first time was in the 1650s when three large iron pins were inserted to support it. The second was in the inter war period when steel plates were bolted to the sides of the beam.
Monday 15 July 2013
Friday 12 July 2013
This week's 101 Treasures page features William Hulme's 1753 plan of his home near Shudehill and the land immediately around it. It is an amazing glimpse into a small town before the arrival of mills and chimneys and shuttles and noise, and even features a beautiful small orchard where there now stands shops, carparks, hotels and a bus station. You can read more about this forgotten world on the blog.
We have been asked for information about Humphrey Chetham's coat of arms and thought it might be of interest to our readers...
Humphrey Chetham was a member of the Crumpsall branch of the Chetham family, who were minor gentry and were not entitled to bear arms. When he became High Sheriff in 1635, Humphrey Chetham required a coat of arms, which he secured from the Cheshire Herald and genealogist Randle Holme. Unfortunately these turned out to belong to another branch of the family, the Chethams of Nuthurst, a minor difficulty which was resolved by the payment of a small fine.
It was at the same time as this that Humphrey Chetham standardised the spelling of his name, deciding on the use of two h's and one long e. He had previously spelt it in a variety of different ways, as was common in the seventeenth century. After this, all papers and official documents use the modern spelling.
For those interested in heraldry, the Chetham arms are described as follows: 'Quarterly 1 and 4 argent, a griffin segreant gules, within a bordure, sable, bezantee. 2 Argent a chevron between three cramp-irons, gules. 3 Gules a cross double-crossed, or'.
Thursday 11 July 2013
Wednesday 10 July 2013
The Manchester International Festival production of Shelley's epic political poem The Masque of Anarchy begins on Friday, performed by Maxine Peake. The poem was written in response to the Peterloo Massacre which took place on 16 August 1819, perhaps the most scandalous episode in Manchester's history.
One of our most recent acquisitions relates directly to the Peterloo Massacre and is a satirical etching by George Cruikshank entitled 'Preachee and Floggy too! Or hot & cold, with the same breath-exemplified in the clerical magistrate!' The hand-coloured etching comments on the behaviour of clerical magistrates, and in particular one Charles Wicksted Ethelston, who was responsible for the reading of the Riot Act at the gathering at St Peter's Fields.
In nineteenth-century Manchester, magistrates played a significant part in law enforcement, and were given the power to call upon the militia to deal with perceived social unrest. Magistrates came from established landowning families and were known for their intolerance of reform. A number of magistrates were clergy, including Ethelston. Cruikshank's etching portrays him delivering a sermon at the Collegiate Church on the left hand side, and sitting in his magistrate's chair on the right.
For more on Peterloo, see our 101 Treasures page, and for a SaveList of some of the Library's holdings on the subject, click here.
Thursday 4 July 2013
On leaving school he was apprenticed to Robert Holden, printer of Bolton, but then set up his own business as a printer, publisher and editor. He went into partnership with the Tillotson family and it was from his office that the Bolton Evening News, one of the most important of regional newspapers, originated.
Staton was a popular journalist and humourist. His main achievement, The Bowton Loominary, tumfowt telegraph, un Lankishire lookin-glass, was brought out between 1853 to 1864 (it became the Lankishire Loominary in 1862). Staton used the dialect journal as a campaigning weapon, dealing with industrial subjects and satirising the Bolton politicians and factory owners. In addition he wrote a long dialect account of the Luddite attack on the Westhoughton factory in 1812 called 'Luddites un Blackfaces' which he serialised in the paper.
Like other dialect writers Staton used a stock character he called 'Bobby Shuttle' of 'Turn Fowt' (Tonge Fold, Bolton). 'Bobby' had predictable adventures, including a trip to the Great Exhibition and a visit to the Grand Review in Yetton Park. For these he was accompanied and kept in check by his wife Sayroh.
Staton’s Loominary was one of the more unusual casualties of the US Civil War. The Union blockade of the confederate ports, which resulted in the Lancashire cotton famine, meant that people could simply not afford to buy a dialect newspaper of purely local interest. Following its closure Staton was taken on by Tillotsons as a sub-editor of the Bolton Evening News and editor of the Farnworth Journal, before he took up a post with the publisher John Heywood in Manchester. At Heywoods he brought out a series of comic recitations, many of which were collected in Rays fro th' loominary, a selection of comic Lancashire tales adapted for public reading or reciting.
In addition to the large collection of Staton's work at Bolton Archives and Local Studies, a good representation of Staton's work is held here at Chetham's, which forms part of a larger collection of dialect material including Waugh, Brierley, Laycock and John Collier, aka Tim Bobbin. We are always interested in adding to our collection and would be very interested to hear from anybody with relevant material.