LMH has a small but fascinating rare books collection, which has been built up by donations from alumni and friends of the College like John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, and Jane Morris. Our library assistant Tom Cook has curated a new exhibition that highlights some of LMH's literary treasures. He tells us more about the exhibition and what you can expect below.
Trinity Term is a busy time, for students and staff alike. In the library, books pile up on tables, highlighters and notes multiply in every nook and cranny, and everyone does their best to power through. You’d be forgiven, then, for not noticing what’s new in the display cases dotted around the entrance floor, hidden under thick red fabric.
James and I have been busy behind the scenes, too. The Briggs Room – known to most readers as that locked, slightly forbidding-looking door at the top of the gallery stairs – is home to a wealth of LMH treasures, donated to the library over the years by generous staff and alumni of the college. In the past we’ve exhibited books by pioneering female authors – Aphra Benn, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen – and last term wheeled out the strange, scary and fascinating world of demonology.
For Trinity, I’m showcasing some of our literary gems. In addition to early editions of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary and John Donne’s sermons, we have works by Tennyson (including a letter from the poet), Hardy, Yeats and T. S. Eliot. There are also books by our distinguished alumni Caryl Churchill and Antonia Fraser, as well as unique signed editions of Robert Graves and Stevie Smith.
This Thursday, 27 April, we’re hosting a launch for the new exhibition up in the Old Library room, which has already sold out! Simon Armitage (Professor of Poetry), Noreen Masud (scholar of Stevie Smith’s work) and I will give a brief talk each, then it’s across to the Library itself for a guided tour, where James and I will be on hand to answer questions about the treasures. See you there!