17 February 2011

Guest Post: Exhibition & Acquisition News, University of Otago Special Collections

Current Exhibition
'Faces of Authorship: Constructing the Author in Medieval and Early Modern Books' comes to a close on 25 March. If by any chance you are visiting Dunedin within the next month or so, please do call in. Dr Simone Celine Marshall, English Department, has done an excellent job selecting & writing on the exhibition books and manuscripts. An article on the exhibition appeared in the Otago Daily Times.

Upcoming Exhibition
On the headstone that marks a grave at Deyá, Marjorca, there is the simple: ‘Robert Graves Poeta 1895-1985’. And it was this aspect that attracted Charles Brasch, editor, patron and poet, to the works of Graves, calling him ‘among the finest English poets of our time, one of the few who is likely to be remembered as a poet’. Indeed, not only did Brasch collect his own first editions volumes written by Graves, he also encouraged the University of Otago Library to buy more. Thanks to Brasch, Special Collections now has an extensive collection of works (poetry, novels, essays, children’s books) by Graves.

The upcoming exhibition ‘Forging a Magical Landscape: The Works of Robert Graves, Poet’, which runs from 1 April to 17 June, reveals the scope and range of topics that Graves covered as well as his sheer industry. One moves from the trenches, Roman bath-houses and the American War of Independence, to life with John Milton, Jesus, and the poisoner Dr William Palmer. First and second editions, signed limited publications, reprints, illustrative editions, translations, contributions to the work of others, and children’s books feature as too do early influences and friends such as Edward Marsh, Siegfried Sassoon, and T. E. Lawrence. And then there is the all-important poetry, at first about the war, then to the three loves of his life: Nancy Nicholson, Laura Riding, and Beryl Pritchard. The works of (and critical analysis by) Laura Riding, American poet and Graves's collaborator for 13 years, also feature here.

Recent Acquisition
Late last year, Special Collections acquired the full colour facsimile of the Hereford World Map, made about 1300, and the largest Mappa Mundi in existence. The facsimile was produced by the Folio Society in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. After the rush from Summer School, the map will be on display for all to see.

Please contact Donald Kerr for further information on any of the above. Phone: 03.479.8330; email: donald.kerr@otago.ac.nz.

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