Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Angus secures HLF Funding

Oxford’s Regent’s Park College has received £488k from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and The Baptist Union Newington Court Fund (BUGB) to provide opportunities for people to learn about the important part Baptists played in the history of the United Kingdom and the world. The project will also safeguard this unique and important part of nation’s heritage.

This funding will enable us to catalogue, conserve and provide opportunities for more people to learn from and participate in the heritage contained in the collection in the following ways:.
  • Write and distribute image rich lesson-starters and in-depth teaching resources for young people studying history at Secondary School (KS3 and 4)
  • Work with IntoUniversity to develop year 10 and 11 Archive Taster Sessions to enable students from disadvantaged backgrounds aspiring to go to University to learn how to use a range of original documents in a archive setting
  • Hold biennial lectures and exhibitions linked to national events like Fair Trade Fortnight, Black History Month and International Women’s Day
  • Fully catalogue the collection and make it searchable online
  • Digitise the BMS World Mission missionary paper archives and make them available online
  • Work with churches to run a programme of training courses which will highlight the need for simple best practice archiving of church records and artefacts so that these important documents are preserved for future generations
  • Run courses on writing church histories so that congregations can record their histories and tell the story of their church
We will recruit and train volunteers as part of delivering all these exciting activities and if people are interested in getting involved in the project they should contact Emma Walsh, College Librarian.

Emma Walsh, College Librarian at Regent’s Park College

“This grant will help us to realise the dream of helping more people discover and engage with the unique riches that are held in The Angus. 400 years ago the first Baptist community settled in Spitalfields, London. It is exciting that in the year that this anniversary has been celebrated we can start a new phase of helping people engage with another aspect of the nation's shared history”

Dr Robert Ellis, College Principal

“We are privileged to have The Angus Library and Archive at Regent’s Park College where it can be accessed alongside the unrivalled resources of the University of Oxford. The College’s Governing Body is delighted that the HLF and BUGB are enabling us to further improve accessibility to and awareness of its unique contents.

These grants are essential if the College is to ensure the collection is catalogued, conserved and that access to it is extended. However, funding for higher education has never been more precarious and The College’s reliance on donations from alumni, friends and churches remains.”
Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said:

“Saving our historic archives is so important - they are a valuable resource for anyone wanting to explore their past. The Angus is bursting with stories and facts that give us clues as to what Baptist life was like and how that has shaped us into what we are today.”

Further Information:
If you’d like more information, or to schedule an interview with Emma Walsh, College Librarian please call 01865 288142 or email emma.walsh@regents.ox.ac.uk.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Testament in Syriac (1555)

[Title in Syriac] Liber sacrosancti evangelii de Iesu Christo ... In urbe Viennae ... hoc opus anno a Christi nativitate MDLV [1555] XXVII Septembris Regiis impensis. Caspar Craphtus Elvangensis suevus characteres Syros ex norici ferri acie sculpebat. Michael Cymbermannus prelo et operis suis excudebat. [I.488] (Darlow & Moule 8947)

The first book printed in Syriac and the editio princeps of the New Testament in this language, printed in Vienna in 1555. It was edited by Johann Albrecht Widmanstadt (1506-1559) with the aid of Moses of Mardin, a scribe in the service of the Patriarch of Antioch, and dedicated to Ferdinand, King of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Burgundy, at whose expense the work was published. Although ostensibly for Syriac-speaking Christians who were in need of a New Testament in their language, it was created partly as a missionary tool to convert Jews and Muslims in the East. It was also the product of a sixteenth-century humanistic interest in the Orient in response to the rising threat of the Ottoman Empire and the desire to go back to the roots of the Bible. According to Widmanstadt in his dedication to Ferdinand, who succeeded Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor in 1558, more scholars were able to read Hebrew and Chaldean than ever before, which went a long way to undo the linguistic dispersal after the Babel episode. This edition had a print-run of 1000 copies of which 300 were given to Moses to take to the Patriarch of Antioch. A second edition was produced by Michael Zimmermann (Cymbermannus) in 1562, after obtaining imperial licence to use the Syriac type.[1] It is mentioned in the 1611 English King James version as being in ‘most learned men’s libraries’ in the translators’ note to the reader.

This copy was given to the Baptist Union by J.B. Sherring, who possibly inherited it from R.B. Sherring. It carries a Baptist Union Library bookplate, covering an older plate, and a note that Dr. Whitley gave the volume to Henry Wheeler Robinson. When Wheeler Robinson’s library was transferred to Regent’s Park College in 1945, it came to the Angus Library. It has a distinguished provenance in that it appears to have come from the library of the Duke of Sussex, i.e. Prince Augustus Frederick (1773-1843), sixth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. According to the ODNB:

He supported the progressive political policies of his time, including the abolition of the slave trade, Catholic emancipation, the removal of the civil disabilities of Jews and dissenters, the abolition of the corn laws, and parliamentary reform.

Augustus Frederick was a great patron of the arts and sciences. He was elected president of the Society of Arts in 1816, and between 1830 and 1838 served as president of the Royal Society. He resigned from this post to concentrate his expenses on his not insignificant library, which contained c. 50,000 volumes, including about 1000 Bibles.[2] This library was sold in stages after the Duke’s death in 1843 by the auctioneer R.H. Evans, who had also presided over the famous Roxburghe sale of 1812.[3]

[1] R.J. Wilkinson, Orientalism, Aramaic and Kabbalah in the Catholic Reformation : The first printing of the Syriac New Testament. Leiden: Brill, 2007. Ferdinand has been elected Emperor designate in 1531.
[2] T. F. Henderson, ‘Augustus Frederick, Prince, duke of Sussex (1773–1843)’, rev. John Van der Kiste, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/900, accessed 6 July 2012 ]
[3] D. Pearson, Provenance research in book history. London: British Library & Oak Knoll, 1998, pp. 148-9.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Testament in "Englyshe"

The Newe Testament of our saviour Jesu Christe faythfully translated out of the Greke ... [Colophon: Imprynted at London by Rycharde Jugge, dwellynge in Paules churche yarde at the signe of the byble. Vvith the kynge his mooste gratious lycence, and privilege, forbyddynge all other men to print or cause to be printed, this, or any other Testament in Englyshe, [1552]]

This is the final page of the New Testament in English, edited from the Tyndale version and printed by the London-based printer and bookseller Richard Judge or Jugge (d. 1577), who had his workshop in St Paul’s churchyard. The text is a colophon giving Judge’s details and it refers to the licence he was given by King Edward VI (whose portrait appears on the title page) to print the New Testament in English. Above the colophon, Judge’s printer’s device is prominently displayed: in the medallion is a pelican feeding her children by pecking her chest (a well-known symbol of Christ), flanked by two women representing prudence and justice.

The publication itself is characterised by the use of large woodcuts and decorated initials. The Angus Library has two copies, but both have suffered damage over time. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A leading female book collector

The early nineteenth century was a period of feverish book collecting among the well-to-do in Britain and the rest of Europe. One important collection of books in England was that of a lady called Frances Richardson Currer of Eshton Hall in Yorkshire.
Thomas Dibdin, Earl Spencer’s librarian at Althorpe, thought she was the most important female book collector in Europe – not that there would have been that many! She also owned a substantial art collection and was a generous patron of local institutions.
The core of the collection at Eshton was formed by the botanical and historical books of Frances’ great-grandfather, the physician and botanist Richard Richardson (1663–1741). A catalogue made in the life-time of Frances Currer reveals her interest in works on religion. She never married and after her death in 1861, her library (consisting of an estimated 20,000 volumes) was sold by her heirs. The main sale, at Sotheby’s on 30 July 1862, raised about £6000. At a second sale, in 1916, more than £3700 was made. As a consequence, Currer’s books can be found all over the world, including one here at the Angus Library.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the nature of the Angus, it is a history of the Reformation written by Daniel Gerdes (mentioned in the 1833-catalogue of Currer's collection), published in the Dutch town of Groningen in 1744.

The reason we can be reasonably certain that this was Frances Currer’s copy of Gerdes’ work is that it has her bookplate pasted in at the front of the volumes (Franks 7624). The college at Regent's Park did not immediately buy the work when it was up for sale but, according to the note on the bookplate, was entered into the collection a few years later.
Which contemporary female author from Yorkshire used some of Frances Currer’s name as part of a pseudonym?

A catalogue of the library collected by Miss Richardson Currer, at Eshton Hall by C.J. Stewart. London: printed for private circulation only, MDCCCXXXIII [1833], p. 63
Franks bequest: a catalogue of British and American book plates bequested to the Trustees of the British Museum by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks (1903)
Colin Lee, ‘Currer, Frances Mary Richardson (1785–1861)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6951, accessed 31 May 2012]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We are linked....hopefully

As can been seen from the posts below, today we have been connecting the various social media sites that we have for The Angus.

And I think, hope, we have cracked it so now you can click on the various widgets in the side panels and
  • Follow us on Twitter @RPC Library, or
  • Friend us on Facebook, or
  • RSS us on the blog
Here's hoping it works!


Test twitterfeed

Test links

Test dlvr it links

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Rare and interesting book

Josse van Clichtove, De vita et moribus sacerdotum opusculum ... secunda emissio. Parisiis: Ex officina Simonis Colinaei, 1520 (USTC 145230).
A Flemish theologian, Josse van Clichtove (d. 1543) was a prolific author and editor. Already as a student in Paris, he was interested in monastic reform and pastoral theology. One of his aims as an editor was to promote the works of the Christian Fathers to a wider audience and he gained a reputation as an authoritative theologian, with leading humanists such as Jacobus Wimpfeling and Beatus Rhenanus showing great appreciation for his learning. He was a firm opponent of Martin Luther's ideas and critical of his contemporary Erasmus of Rotterdam. Initially a firm critic of current sacerdotal practices, in later life Clichtove focused his attentions more on attacking the rise of Lutheran theology.
This work here sets out Clichtove's ideas about the proper behaviour and duties of the priest. The first edition of this work was published in 1519 with a pictorial title page by Henri Estienne the Elder (d. 1520), the founder of a distinguished line of printers, who printed a number of Clichtove's works in the 1510s.
Henri the Elder's widow married Simon de Colines, Estienne’s assistant, who published this second edition in 1520. Only two earlier editions which bear Colines’ name are now known to survive. The first dated edition under Colines’ supervision was a Greek translation of Cato’s Distichs, printed in 1518 (USTC 160484). Another work by Clichtove, a tract on the duties of the king, was printed by him in 1519 (USTC 186848).
The title page of this 1520 edition is very plain compared to the first edition (USTC 145034) – for an image of the title page, have a look here.
It is one of the oldest works in the Angus Library, but it is not entirely clear when it was added to the collection. A handwritten note on the back of the front cover describes the work as ‘tres rare’ (i.e. very rare) in 1786 when it was bought at the sale chez ‘le duc de la Valliere’ in Paris. It is described on USTC as a quarto, which may mean that the Angus Library copy was quite heavily cut down to resemble an octavo when it was rebound in the eighteenth century.
Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, Volumes 1-3. Ed. P.G. Bietenholz and T.B. Deutscher. University of Toronto Press, 2003.
S.H. Steinberg, Five hundred years of Printing. New edition, revised by John Trevitt. [London]: British Library, 1996. P. 39.
Universal Short Title Catalogue (University of St Andrews, available online at www.ustc.ac.uk)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teachers Visual Guides

As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund project we are hoping to develop National Curriculum resources for use with Key stage 3 students. We are currently interviewing teachers to find out:
  • What areas they would appreciate additional resources in?
  • What subjects are hot topics at the moment?
  • What format the additional resources would take?
  • And what we could do that would be of most benefit to them?
Below is a presentation that is being given to teachers as a general representation of types of items we hold and the subject areas where we could possibly develop resources.


If you have any feedback or think you may have something to offer in the development of these resources please leave a comment or email us at angus.library@regents.ox.ac.uk

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Regent's, Angus, Thomas Helwys and Radio 4

Below is the link to the segment on Radio 4, the segment recorded in
The Angus Library and Archive starts 15:00 minutes into the program about
Thomas Helwys and The Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity.


Friday, April 27, 2012

The Angus Library on Radio 4 this Sunday

The Angus Library and Archive is on Radio 4's Sunday Program this coming Sunday between 7am - 8am.

Trevor Barnes is running a 6 minute spot focusing on the
400th anniversary of the English beginings of the Baptist denomination
with a focus on Thomas Helwys
and The Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity.

We would love to hear your thoughts.

We will post the link early next week for those that miss it and for those who may just not be awake at 7am on Sunday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Disco Babe Revealed

If you look in the bottom left hand corner of the picture in the previous post you will find this our disco babe.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Disco Babe

Above is the illustrated title page of one of our editions of  Richard Baxter's, The saint's everlasting rest, 1677.

You may ask what the title Disco Babe, has to do with a work by Richard Baxter on the saint's.....the answer is in the picture.

I will buy a coffee for person with the first correct guess, I'll post a picture of the answer in a couple of days if no one can find it.

It was discovered by Konstantina, the constervator that is currently cleaning and assessing The Angus Library collection. As a result of this she is opening and looking at every item in the collection, many of which have not been touched for well over a decade.

As she continues to clean she will come across gems like this title page which we will share them with you on this blog.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our first discovery!!

This is the title page to the New Testament of the so-called Matthew Bible, first printed in 1537 from an edited version of William Tyndal’s translation of the New Testament and of parts of the Old Testament, supplemented by Coverdale’s 1535 Old Testament translation. Because William Tyndal had been executed in 1536 as a result of his religious beliefs, the editor John Rogers decided to print the Bible under the false name of Thomas Matthew.

This copy was recently discovered as part of our survey of the collection. Unfortunately, it was re-bound in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, which means that the edges have been trimmed back. Our copy also misses the first few leaves of the Old Testament, including the title page, so it was rather fortunate for us that the printers decided to have a separate title page for the New Testament!

The title page is made up of different woodcuts, showing biblical scenes. A previous owner obviously decided to add his or her signature in 1804. This is not the only ownership mark in the book: an H. Bowles signed his or her name in 1664, while the front pastedown carries the bookplate of Stepney College, the predecessor of Regent’s Park College.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Facebook Link

Click below to visit our Facebook page

Let's go!

Welcome to the new Angus Library and Archive blog.

The main reason for starting this blog at this time is that it is a very exciting time in the life and development of the Angus.

We have a Conservation Project being undertaken alongside a Heritage Lottery Fund Project for more information about them please click on the tabs at the top of the page. 

For the first time we are assessing the collection completely including a backlog that has never been touched, and through this process we expect to find all sorts of gems as well as interesting, strange and random items, such as the Catechism from the Council of Trent, 1567.

We also have a number of new staff that are working on the various projects which will also be adding to the blog.
So as we continue on this journey of discovery come with us and see what wonders we find.