Special Collections

Charity begins at home: Helen Bosanquet, the pioneer behind the Charity Organisation Society

Helen%20Bosanquet%20RS.jpgHelen Bosanquet neé Dendy (1860-1926) was born in Manchester on 10 February 1860, the fifth child and youngest daughter in a large middle-class family. After being educated at home by a German governess, she went on to study political economy at Newham College, Cambridge, where she gained first-class honors in the moral sciences tripos in 1889.

5 Sep 2018
Mura Ghosh

Celebrating George Eliot

Ahead of next year’s 250th anniversary of her birth, the inaugural Nineteenth Century Study Week at the Institute of English Studies takes George Eliot as its subject.  To mark this, a small display of material related to Eliot’s life and work will be in the Seng Tee Lee Centre on the 4th floor.  The Display’s features material from across the Library’s collections, including Eliot’s early periodical contributions, first editions and letters.

21 May 2018
Tansy Barton

The Children’s Book that Shaped the Victorian World

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of The Fairchild Family by Mary Martha Sherwood (1775-1851), we take a look at the prolific, didactic, evangelical author, whose writings dominated education for half a century and whose first generation of readers grew up to shape the Victorian world.

13 Apr 2018
Dr Karen Attar

Operation Tiger: Marking 34 years since the raid on Gay's The Word Bookshop

Gay’s the Word, an independent LGBT bookshop at 66 Marchmont Street, is a Bloomsbury institution and features in the film Pride (2014). On 10 April 1984, the shop was raided by UK Customs and Excise, who seized its imported books. What became known as Operation Tiger saw the eventual confiscation of 144 titles consisting of thousands of pounds worth of stock, with works by Jean Genet, Gore Vidal, Djuna Barnes and Jean-Paul Sartre included amongst those deemed obscene.

10 Apr 2018
Leila Kassir

How to become a book collector by Anthony Davis Prize winner Astrid Khoo

I never set out to become a book collector. As a teenager, stories fed my escapist fantasies; back in Melbourne I must have read a good half of the school library. In short I don’t think I ever developed an ‘interest’ for books – as that sounds awfully cold and detached – but rather I fell in love with reading during my formative years, and the natural consequence of that was becoming a book collector. 

20 Mar 2018
Astrid Khoo

Feature of the Month: A Bold Stroke for a Wife

Susanna Centlivre was a leading comic dramatist of the early eighteenth century, and was particularly conspicuous as a female in a male world. Her Bold Stroke for a Wife was first performed in February 1718. Three hundred years later, we commemorate it as our Feature of the Month.

31 Jan 2018
Dr Karen Attar