Between 1939 and 1946, Senate House, designed by the architect Charles Holden, was occupied by the Ministry of Information (MOI), a government department tasked with justifying Britain's case during the Second World War to a global audience.
The MOI also had the job of sustaining the morale of the British people, and by necessity, had to find a host of new ways to communicate with a wide range of people.
During its years in operation, the MOI produced a huge volume of material, from popular paperbacks and magazines, to radio broadcasts, films, and millions of posters – including the famous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster.
In this year’s Charles Holden Lecture, Professor Simon Eliot will explore Senate House and the work of the MOI. In his lecture, entitled 'Insulting the Autumnal Sky': Senate House and the work of the Ministry of Information 1939-1946', Professor Eliot will examine how the Holden’s early work for the London Underground combined new typography and new mapping with architecture, and will argue that seen in this context, Senate House, and the MOI, can be seen as making new forms of communication concrete.
The annual Charles Holden Lecture is organised by the Friends of Senate House Library. Previous Charles Holden Lecture speakers have included the Senate House Library Librarian, Jackie Marfleet, and the former Librarian of Trinity College Cambridge, Professor David McKitterick.
Charles Holden Lecture 2017 with Professor Simon Eliot – 'Insulting the Autumnal Sky': Senate House and the work of the Ministry of Information 1939-1946'
Date: Thursday 2 February 2017
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Location: Chancellor's Hall, Senate House
This lecture is free and open to all. For more information and to book, please visit our events pages.