Thomas Radford and Obstetrical Teaching

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Thomas Radford spent his working life in Manchester and dedicated much of his time to St Mary’s Hospital for Women and Children and to the teaching of midwifery. He taught at the schools of two of the city’s pioneers of medical education, Joseph Jordan and Thomas Turner, as well as privately from his own practice. Over the years he collected an extensive library and numerous medical specimens, mostly related to the field of midwifery and obstetrics, which he later donated to St Mary’s Hospital.

 

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MMC/2/RadfordT/1/27

The Radford Library was donated to the University in the early 20th century and many of Radford’s manuscripts, both his own and those he collected, form part of the Manchester Medical Manuscripts Collection which was catalogued earlier this year. The University also owns a number of illustrations that formed part of Radford’s collections and will be catalogued in the coming year as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project. The drawings are nearly all obstetrical and vary in their detail. It is clear that a number of them have been produced to assist teaching and illustrate key points whilst others may have been bought by Radford to add to his extensive collections.

 

Captions on the reverse of the drawings explain exactly what they were intended to represent and how they may have been used in teaching:

“Represents a case of double uterus, one of which is gravid”

“Represents a gravid uterus at full period in the cavity of which (flooding having occurred during labour) a large coagulum was found. Specimen of internal flooding.”

Whilst much of the material that forms part of the Manchester Medical Manuscripts Collection has a great deal to offer in terms of the study of early medical teaching in Manchester some of Radford’s manuscripts offer a slightly different perspective. Most of the other lecture notes in the collection were written either by students or professional copyists whereas the surviving notes from Radford’s midwifery lectures  are written in his hand with details of the cases he intended to use to illustrate specific points. Combined with the surviving medical illustrations that filled his museum and served as teaching aids we get a rare insight into early 19th century medical education in Manchester from the perspective of the teacher.

Rehousing the Greek Papyri

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Guest blog by Niki Pantazidou.

As a book and paper conservator I had the great opportunity to work at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library since March 2016. The Library has an important collection of more than 3000 papyri covering different periods, languages and origins. Papyrus, which was made from the plant Cyperous Papyrus, was first used as a writing material around 3000 BC in Egypt. The plant used to grow on the banks of the River Nile. Most inks used for writing on papyrus were black (carbon ink) and red (iron oxide-usually from natural minerals) (Danzing, 2010).

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Black ink on papyrus, viewed through a microscope.

The Greek Papyrus collection in John Rylands Library provides important insights into early Christianity and important documents referring to medicine, taxation, etc. It also includes some fragments written on parchment – animal skin.

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Unnumbered parchment fragment, with drawing of Christian figure.

In August 2016, with funding from the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, the methodical papyri rehousing project was able to commence. The aim was a storage method which allows researchers to handle them safely and more easily. The idea behind the rehousing project came from our conservator, Tim Higson. Many fragments were very fragile, and at risk from a range of issues, including adhesive tapes, creases, folds, dust and dirt deposits.

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Fragment showing tears and creases.

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Fragment showing dirt and dust deposits.

The majority of the fragments were kept in polyester “wallets”, which are unsuitable because of the risks caused by static. Some of the fragments need to be stabilized with “bridges” which are Japanese tissue coated with SCMC. This type of glue is activated with deionized water.We decided to remove fragments from polyester wallets, and place them in archival folders.

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Taking the papyrus out of the polyester wallet.

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Stabilizing a fragment using “bridges”

During the process of the project, we had to leave some of the papyri fragments in their polyester “wallets” due to their fragile condition.

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Fragment to fragile to remove from polyester wallet.

“The regimen I adopt shall be for the respect and the benefit of my monuments according to my ability and judgement, and not for their hurt or for any wrong. I will give no deadly treatment to any, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such, and especially I will not aid to demolish whatever monument I enter. There I will go for its benefit and the benefit of society, refraining from all wrong doing and corruption, and especially from any act of seduction. And I will document and publish every step that I take.”
(Conservator’s vow, “The Venice Charter”, 1964).

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Loose fragments that need a different storage solution!

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Tim Higson’s solution for the storage of loose fragments and seals

Conservators work with archaeologists, curators, papyrologists, chemists and other professionals cooperate to unite the past with the future and bring to light valuable knowledge and information about customs, traditions, and history. I would like to thank the University of Manchester and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust for giving me the opportunity to work on this unique collection of Greek Papyri, and to thank Tim Higson and Dr Roberta Mazza for their support and guidance. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the help and the warm support provided by all my colleagues. It was an exceptional working environment and I feel very grateful about that.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Danzing, R. (2010, September 22). Pigments and Inks Typically used on Papyrus. Retrieved November 29, 2016, from BKM TECH: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere/2010/09/22/pigments-and-inks-typically-used-on-papyrus/

Environmental monitors at the Rylands

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Dennis Batchelor  and Danny Gibbs after the calibration of our monitors

 

 

Today two patient men have calibrated our environmetal monitors all day.

Niki Pantazidou and Gill Birch, two conservators of the collection care team have collected 50 odd monitors distributed across the labyrinthic architecture of the John Rylands library.

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Regular recalibration of our wireless environmental monitoring system is essential to maintain accurate and reliable readings and to make sure our collections are contained in the best environment possible.

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Radium and Radiotherapy in Neurological Cases

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Working through the many patient case files of leading neurosurgeon Geoffrey Jefferson there are a number of particularly significant topics and themes that stand out as being of interest, which I will explore in various blog posts over the coming months beginning this week with the development of radiotherapy and brachytherapy as a therapeutic treatment in Manchester.

 

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MMC/P/205 Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute

Wilhelm Rӧntgen discovered the effect of x-rays in November 1895 and the field of radiography developed very rapidly from this point onwards with investigations into the therapeutic uses of radiation beginning almost immediately. Efforts to treat cancer patients with radiotherapy and radium were experimented with in Manchester very early on, although somewhat tentatively at first, with the Manchester Radium Institute being founded in 1915 within the confines of the Manchester Royal Infirmary. By 1933 the Christie Hospital and the Holt Radium Institute had moved to share new buildings on the outskirts of Manchester. In 1931 James Ralston Kennedy Paterson (1897-1981) had been appointed radium director of both the Holt Radium Institute and the Christie Hospital and was seen to be the driving force behind the uniting of the two facilities and the creation of a centralised and standardised radiotherapy service in Manchester.

 

In the treatment of his patients Jefferson made liberal use of both radiotherapy and brachytherapy, as either complementary to surgical treatment or as an alternative, and in turn made numerous referrals to Paterson at the Radium Institute. A handful of his early cases demonstrate this, and undoubtedly a greater number and variety of cases will emerge as work to catalogue the later files progresses. Various methods were employed, with gold radon seeds implanted in some patients and casts formed to allow the radium to be placed externally at the site of a lesion in others. The economics of treatment come through in discussions of treatment, where initial wishes to apply radium to the whole vault of patient 1931/98’s head was deemed to be far too expensive and a more localised approach taken instead. More interestingly when discussing the possibility of using radiation to reduce salivary secretion in patient 89/1932 Paterson reveals he has tried this therapy experimentally on himself.

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JCN/1/429 Jefferson patient 1932/89

 

The negative side effects of radiation are evident in different ways in two of Jefferson’s cases. Firstly patient 1928/83, a 53 year old woman originally admitted in 1928 for treatment of a spinal tumour, returned to the MRI several years later in 1942 owing to a malignant basal cell carcinoma on her back that had formed as a result of the radiotherapy she received for the spinal tumour. Her file contains correspondence between Jefferson and Paterson discussing the best form of treatment and the benefits of radiotherapy with Jefferson saying “She has had a great deal of x-ray therapy, probably too much … Although x-ray may be the cause of this I think she has to thank radiotherapy for being alive.” Around a similar time, patient 1933/166 was receiving deep x-ray therapy between 1934 and 1943 for a frontal tumour, but following his death his son wrote to Jefferson and commented in an otherwise complimentary letter that “once when he attended Christies he was put under the x-ray lamp without any shield on his head and eyes at all. After that his eyes troubled him a lot.”

 

The University Library also holds administrative records and reports from the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute including numerous reports compiled by Paterson and his colleagues. Together with the illustrative case studies found amongst Jefferson’s patient files there exists a considerable resource for the study of the evolution of a modern radiotherapy department in Manchester, the development of treatments in practice, their efficacy, and patient experiences.

The Manchester Guardian and L.S. Lowry

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My find for this month from the Guardian archive is yet another example of the way in which the newspaper intertwines with the history of its location. It comes in the form of a series of drawings by L.S. Lowry, the Manchester born artist whose figure drawings set against the industrial landscape of Salford and Manchester would become both iconic and instantly recognisable.

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The drawings were published in the paper in 1929-1930, a time at which Lowry’s work was gaining recognition and growing in popularity, and depict the demolition of buildings in High Street, Manchester, a ‘back street’ in Salford, the Charleston Wakes Ground and St George’s church in Salford, and a Lancashire Street Market.

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Two further drawings, which show the Pollard Street and the Every Street Playground in Ancoats, are reproduced to publicise and exhibition of Lowry’s work at the Manchester University Settlement in March 1930.

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Lowry is described, underneath the drawings, as ‘the Manchester artist’, and it was perhaps his association with the area which would in part lead to the continued notices, reviews and support of his work from the Manchester Guardian.

Additional research elicited yet more connections. Lowry was a pupil at the Salford School of Art between 1915 and 1925, where he studied under Bernard D. Taylor, an art teacher, and also an art critic for the Manchester Guardian. Taylor would write a positive review of the first exhibition to which Lowry contributed a selection of paintings in 1921, singling out Lowry for praise. One of the interesting areas in which he would influence Lowry’s work would be to suggest that the figures depicted were too indistinct against a dark background, which led to Lowry’s first use of the white, light backgrounds which would accompany so many of his pictures.

The connection between these two Manchester giants is perhaps best illustrated, however, by a drawing by Lowry of the Manchester Guardian office in Cross Street, illustrating the beginning of work on the extension of the premises to include the newly acquired former offices of the Manchester Examiner in 1931. A letter of thanks for the drawing from E.T. Scott, son of C.P. Scott and current editor of the paper, reads:

‘It is most kind of you and the drawing will always be an agreeable reminder of the change over. Perhaps I may add that I do not as yet recognise the members of staff depicted in the foreground.’

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Sadly, the drawing is not included in the Guardian archive, but a reproduction was printed in Guardian, Biography of a Newspaper by David Ayerst.

Despite the disparity in their political perspectives, it would seem that Lowry and the Manchester Guardian were united by a shared appreciation of the arts, and a mutual investment in Manchester, and its surrounding area.

Keepsakes and Remembrance

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With our thoughts still on commemorations for Remembrance Sunday we have had a poignant find on our shelves of uncatalogued material, 2 boxes labelled as WW1 Memorabilia, which reveal stories of local men from the Military and their families.

The first box contains a small Bible, a copy of The Wembley Torchlight Tattoo Magazine, a small painting of a daffodil signed and dated as a piece of school work and most significantly a collection of personal photographs placed in a McVities Digestive Tin. The tin contains a mixture of postcards and photographs, a few snap shots of family and then many images of the HMS Iron Duke and the life of the sailors on board.

 

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HMS Iron Duke was a dreadnought battleship, the lead ship of her class, named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.  She was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and her keel laid on January 1912.  Launched ten months later, she was commissioned into the Home Fleet in March 1914 as the fleet flagship.  Iron Duke served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet during the First World War, including the Battle of Jutland.

The images include the sailors exercising on board, a visit from the King and a fabulous shot of Jumbo, the ship’s mascot. On the reverse of the card it states that the dog was presented to the crew by Mrs Pearson, [the famous actress?]. Alongside the biscuit box are 3 home-made frames for small photographs, we can only surmise who they might be, presumably family, and who made the frames for the sailor on board the ship.

 

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Teeth shield and shrapnel

The second box highlights the tremendous challenges faced by the military men on their return and one can only wonder at the impact it had on them and their families. It seems rather detached to refer to these items as ephemera as we will do when they have been catalogued. These objects have been reverentially stored and given significance to by the family who saved them in perpetuity; they still have such an impact and resonance on us today. These are a small piece of shrapnel and a rather macabre teeth shield. The donation note reads:

Material relating to my father, who served with the West Yorkshire Regiment.  He sustained shrapnel injuries and was hospitalised.  Part of the shrapnel was removed (enclosed), but some was too near the brain and left. In time it shifted and affected his mental stability.  He was eventually placed in a mental asylum in 1919, where he died in 1927. The clamped teeth were used on him while he was in hospital.

Library acquires major ICI Dyestuffs Division archive

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Dr James Peters writes:

The Library has recently acquired the archive of the former ICI Dyestuffs Division, and its predecessor companies.

ICI was one of the largest and most influential British firms of the twentieth century. Its Dyestuffs Division was a major part of the chemical industry, with close links to the domestic textile industry.

With the acquisition of this archive, the Library can provide access to a key industrial history source for practically the first time: although the archive has been used by ICI-sponsored historians, it has not been available to general researchers. One particularly exciting feature of the archive is that it includes the records of the Victorian predecessors of ICI. Overall, the archive offers researchers the opportunity to cast fresh light on the development of the British chemical industry.

The synthetics dyestuffs industry was one of the most innovative of the Victorian age. Its emergence was unexpected; in 1856, a young chemical researcher, William Perkin, managed to create the first genuinely synthetic dye, a purple dye named mauveine, popularised as ‘mauve’ following its successful commercial exploitation. As a result, a new industry was born, and one which had an immediate impact on the textile industries of northern England. Until then, dyeing had been a small-scale industry based on age-old methods and skills of fixing vegetable dyes to textiles. With synthetic dyes, the focus moved instead to the laboratory and to factory production.

Notable firms included Levinsteins at Blackley, Manchester (where dyeing was long-established), Read Holliday and Sons of Huddersfield, Scottish Dyes Ltd, and the British Alizarine Company, originally of London, but latterly located at Trafford Park, Manchester. Records for all these firms are present in the archive.

These firms remained relatively small concerns. They were soon overtaken by their German competitors, which included the firms of BASF, Bayer, Hoechst and Agfa. The Germans dominated the international dyestuffs market through a combination of skilful marketing, aggressive use of patents and major investment in laboratory-based research and development.

This threatened British dye makers (although British dye users were usually less concerned), and  Ivan Levinstein (1845-1916) became the de facto spokesman for the industry, arguing forcefully for more university-level research, reform of patent laws and most controversially for  economic protection of the industry,  a view which set him apart from the free trade-supporting textiles industry. The First World War raised further concerns about the industry, as many dyestuff chemicals were also used in explosives and chemical warfare agents, and at this point government acknowledged the wider strategic importance of the industry.

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Ivan Levinstein, 1845-1915

In 1920, the government introduced the Dyestuffs (Import Regulation) Act, which restricted most imports of dyes for a period of ten years, and also tentatively encouraged consolidation of the industry. The main stimulus to combination, however, came in 1925 with the creation of the industrial conglomerate IG Farben, which amalgamated the major German chemical firms, and seemed likely to dominate the global chemicals market for the foreseeable future. The British response was swift, and four leading chemical firms, including the British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd (itself a union of Levinsteins and Read Holliday) came together to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Ltd in 1926.

For much of the twentieth century ICI was a household name, exemplifying a modern type of enterprise, based on professional management, a complex, horizontally-integrated organisation, and a global customer base. As ICI’s name suggested, the British Empire was initially very important to the company, as it exploited largely protected markets to source and sell its goods. The archive includes some colourful books of labels, which were used to sell dye products in the important Indian market.

Dyestuffs labels, ICI (India) Ltd

ICI’s Dyestuffs Division had its headquarters at Blackley in north Manchester, in a complex known as the Hexagon, which included its main R & D labs, and an experimental manufacturing plant. There were also major production plants at Huddersfield, Ellesmere Port and Grangemouth in Scotland.

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The Hexagon, Blackley, c.1950

Dyestuffs were complex and diverse products, requiring major investment in research and development.  An army of research chemists was employed at Blackley, where they successfully developed new products such as the phthalocyanine blue  dyes and Procion dyes. ICI’s paints division (Dulux)  provided demand for pigments, and dyes were required for ICI’s expanding interests in synthetic fibres.

There was also growing diversification into areas such as pharmaceuticals, rubber products, synthetic resins and detergents.  As dyes became relatively less important to the Division,  its name changed to the Organics Division in 1972, and latterly to ICI Specialties. Diversification eventually led to the break-up of ICI; its pharmaceuticals division became an independent company, Zeneca, (now AstraZeneca), and other interests were divested. The remaining part of the firm was acquired by AkzoNobel in 2008.

The archive is very wide-ranging. Reference has been made to the records of ICI’s Victorian predecessors, which include minute books and financial records. There are a number of publications relating to the marketing of ICI dyes, and other types of company promotional literature.  There is also good coverage of ICI’s internal manual, reports and subject files. Certain areas including the role of the dyestuffs industry in both world wars is well-covered, as are the negotiations leading to the consolidation of the dyestuffs industry in the 1920s.  Of the ICI sites, Blackley is best represented in the archive, and there is a wealth of photographic material particularly of the Blackley site and its  employees.

We hope that cataloguing of the archive can commence next year to ensure that its potential can be realised for a range of different projects.

Behind the Scenes of an Exhibition: The Art of Visual Communication

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Digitisation activity around our Special Collections exhibitions has become more and more critical over the past few years. Whether that is because we are increasingly an Information Society or because we can now facilitate the process so much more quickly and easily than we could with analogue photography; the result is a pleasingly fluent process that allows us to produce wonderful visual illustrations. Digital images have multiple uses; for exhibition catalogues, to create exhibition panels, to produce facsimiles, as simple reference images, within discrete online exhibitions, for merchandising and for social media, marketing and promotion to name just a few.

What are we trying to say?

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Manchester Students c.1981

The imaging contributes to the overall narrative thread of the exhibition and as such the items to be digitised will usually be selected by the curators.  Sometimes it is necessary to produce facsimile items if we can’t display in the original in a display case, as the size and fragility of original items are common issues with Special Collections material. Alternatively, the images will be used to aid interpretation for material on display in the exhibition, either on panels or in a brochure, or online. It is likely that we will digitise a lot more material than actually makes it into the exhibition cases themselves but these extra images allow for greater range and flexibility as the exhibition develops organically.

Can we, should we?

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Gill, one of our conservators hard at work

There are concerns that always need to be addressed when digitising Special Collections material. It is crucial that the condition has been carefully assessed by a conservator and that everyone involved is comfortable with the handling of delicate material during the digitisation process. Copyright, ownership and intellectual property rights can also present issues. Any images that are ‘published’ whether in print proper or online must be assessed and where necessary, permission must be sought to reproduce images of a work that is in copyright, or a work that may be on deposit with us at the library. Whether to present or represent material can also pose ethical questions to the curator, such as whether to display human hair. The Victorians particularly were fond of using hair as a memento mori or love token, or even collecting hair as a ‘curiosity’. Under The Human Tissue Act of 2004 hair is not classified as constituting human remains but there can be cultural sensitivities around displaying such items.

How do we do it?

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Gwen & Tony, two of our very talented heritage photographers

In our Heritage imaging team we employ what we call an object-centred method of digitisation, which places the conservation and preservation of the material at the centre of the process. We work very closely with curators and our conservation staff to ensure that the items are handled and photographed in a safe and appropriate manner; whilst utilising the creative skills and experience of the photographers to produce visually engaging representations of our collections. See our CHICC blog for more information about our team and what we do.

What do we do with the images?

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GIF of Hubert, the cottage youth, a paper doll from 1812

The images will be used for all the usual practical applications but we are always exploring new ways to use the images that we produce. Our shop will regularly stock exhibition linked products designed using our images and we will curate an online exhibition of images in our Image Collections that will engage with virtual visitors who may not be able to visit the exhibition itself.   Social media allows us to be a little more playful with the way that we use our images and our marketing team works hard on making the look and feel of the exhibition engaging and inviting. Anything quirky or eye-catching like unusual GIF’s are an attractive way to draw people’s attention and bring the exhibitions to life. Below is a selection of images from some of our more recent exhibitions.

 

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All images unless otherwise stated are copyright of the University of Manchester and can be used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike Licence.

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Visitors from Taiwan honour Chinese artist Li Yuan-chia

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Dr Janette Martin writes:

On Monday 17 October 2016 staff at The John Rylands Library were delighted to welcome three researchers from Taipei, Taiwan, who are making a documentary film about the Chinese artist Li Yuan-chia (1929-1994). Our three visitors were Lia I-Ling (Maggie), who will direct the film, Po-Ying Chu (Alfie) who is a photographer,  and  Dr Hu Hui Ju (Ruth) who is an independent researcher currently working  in Germany.

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From left to right: Chu Po-Ying, Lia I-Ling and Hu Hui Ju.

In 2014, Taipei Fine Arts Museum hosted a major exhibition on Li Yuan-chia,  View-Point: A retrospective of Li Yuan-chia. This was the first large-scale exhibition of Li Yuan-chia’s work in Asia. While View Point focused on Li as an artist, it is intended that the film will consider Li the man and have a stronger biographical element.

Born in China in 1929, Li emigrated from Guangxi to Taiwan along with the Chinese Nationalist Government in the aftermath of World War II. He settled in Taipei and received an art education at Taiwan Provincial Normal School. During the 1950s Li Yuan-chia was an early proponent of conceptualism in the Taiwanese abstract art community playing an active role in the Ton Fan Art Group. Yet for decades he was barely known in Taiwan due to restriction on information from abroad during a period of martial law. After leaving Taiwan, Li Yuan-chia’s artistic journey took him to Bologna, London and Cumbria. The film will investigate how these different places shaped his life and art.

When I asked Dr Hu Hui Ju why she found Li’s life so fascinating she replied: Li Yuan-chia proclaimed himself to be “a poet, a sculptor, a thinker, a mathematician, a dreamer. I am everything”. Li devoted his life to a “faith” that continues today.  We are fascinated by his art creations and his legend too.

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Hu Hui Ju and Lia I-Ling examine objects from the Li Yuan-chia archive

Li Yuan-chia has attracted much attention in recent years and his work is currently on show at The Saltoun Gallery in London. A review of Li’swork and the Saltoun exhibition can be read here. Objects from Li Yuan-chia archive held at the John Rylands Library will also feature in a Library exhibition curated by Stella Halkyard, provisionally called Lives of Objects, in the spring of 2017. Watch this space!

The John Rylands Library cares for the archive of Li Yuan-chia. They are, as yet, uncatalogued, so please contact us if you would like further information about them. The Li Yuan-chia Foundation cares for Li Yuan-chia’s works of art.  Highlights from Li Yuan-chia’s diverse artistic range and more details on his life can be found on the Foundation’s website: http://www.lycfoundation.org/.

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Li Yuan-chia. Image by permission of the LYC foundation and The University of Manchester

 

 

C.P. Scott and the Boer War on the 170th Anniversary of his Birth

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John McCrory writes:

On the 170th anniversary of the birth of C.P. Scott, it is appropriate to focus on a period in which Scott’s tireless political advocacy, steadfastness in following his convictions, and intransigence in the face of popular hostility were all demonstrated, the Boer War (1899 – 1902).

His intense opposition to this conflict, which he expressed as editor of the Manchester Guardian, in parliament as the Liberal M.P. for Leigh, as a committee member of the League of Liberals against Aggression and Militarism, and Vice Chairman of the Manchester Transvaal Committee, is reflected in the range in the Scott correspondence in the Guardian archive.

Scott was chiefly occupied as an M.P. at this time and deeply involved in the struggle which consumed the Liberal Party over its attitude to the war; divided between ‘Liberal-Imperialists’ who supported the conflict, the derisively termed ‘Pro-Boers’ who condemned it, and a centrist element represented by the party’s leader, Henry Campbell-Bannerman. A letter sent on 4 October 1899 demonstrates Scott’s willingness to undermine his fellow Liberal M.P.s whose position differed from his on the war.

Writing to L.T. Hobhouse, then a leader writer on the Manchester Guardian, Scott asks his subeditors to find more detailed accounts of a recent speech given by W.H. Holland, the Liberal M.P. for Rotherham. Holland, while insisting on his freedom to criticise the Government’s conduct, believed the time to be importune for doing so, asking that full support be given to British soldiers in South Africa.

Scott demanded this view be challenged:

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Image reproduced courtesy of Guardian News and Media Ltd.

It occurs to me that steps should at once be taken to hold Peace Meetings right through Holland’s constituency, but it would be best that nothing would be done by our own [Manchester] Transvaal Committee in the matter.

Believing Rotherham will be receptive to his message; Scott describes it as a ‘magnificent Radical constituency’ and cites the 3000 majority of its previous incumbent, the Liberal Arthur Acland. Two reasons account for Scott’s reluctance to directly involve the Manchester Transvaal Committee, ‘We have enough on our hands’ being one, Scott adding that:

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Image reproduced courtesy of Guardian News and Media Ltd.

Looking to his… long political connection with me it might seem unfriendly.

Holland had a great many connections with Manchester. He was born in the city, worked there as a textile manufacturer, and had a fine record of public service in the area. Acting as an Alderman from 1888 until 1892, serving as a Liberal member of parliament for North Salford from 1892 to 1895, and as president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce from 1895 to 1899, he was also a leading member of the British Cotton Spinners’ Association.

Having conceded to Hobhouse the difficulties of this operation, Scott resolves to act according to his conscience on this issue:

Still it may be our duty.

While Scott evidently felt opposition to the war overrode any affiliation to his fellow Liberal M.P.s, he also indicates that the party’s stance on South Africa remains a matter for debate:

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Image reproduced courtesy of Guardian News and Media Ltd.

It may [come] to this that men like Holland will have to be opposed. Anyway I don’t think we can allow these sort of opinions to be put forward unchallenged as an expression of the Liberal position at this time.

Not wanting to be directly associated with these protests, he suggests instead that Charles Roberts, a friend of Hobhouse from Marlborough and Oxford, later a Liberal M.P. for Lincoln, ‘take the business up’. Roberts was also the son-in-law of the formidable Lady Carlisle [Rosalind Howard], advocate of the temperance movement and stern opponent of the South African war. Indeed Hobhouse himself had been a frequent visitor to Castle Howard as an undergraduate, one of the family seats of Lady Carlisle, the ‘radical Countess’. Scott concludes this letter:

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Image reproduced courtesy of Guardian News and Media Ltd.

If Lady Carlisle would take Rotherham in hand I think she would be a match for W. H. H. [William Henry Holland].  

While remembering Scott the man of high principle, his determination to act on a cause in which he believed, along with his readiness to deploy the forces available to him, should not be underestimated. The Guardian archive is an invaluable resource for illuminating the many facets of Scott, as we celebrate his 170th birthday.