University Library Special Collections Visiting Scholars Show and Tell Programme

Back in March, we announced the names of this year’s University Library Special Collections Visiting Scholars. We have enjoyed getting to know the first of them over the last few weeks. From this coming Monday, our Visiting Scholars will be presenting some of the highlights of their research in a series of show and tell events, all held in the Napier Reading Room, Richardson Research Library at Martyrs Kirk on North Street. These events offer the opportunity to learn more about the research they have been doing and to see examples of the University Library’s Special Collections at first hand.

The programme of events starts with a talk from Dr Jose Neves (Ulster University) on the ‘Photographic Narrative in Early Photobook Practice’, Monday 23 July at 5.15pm.

Dr Neves’ research looks at the collection of photographically illustrated books at the University of St. Andrews Library, investigating the correlation between photographic printing processes and the apparent scarceness of cumulative and relational visual narratives in late nineteenth and early twentieth century photobook production.

Image from The Log of the Wave, 1871 (Photo DA880.M55L6), a unique photographically illustrated book Dr Neves used in his PhD research and which he has been looking at again

On Thursday 26 July, 5.15pm, Dr Matt Holmes (University of Leeds) will present a talk entitled ‘Nature’s Architecture: Exploring D’Arcy Thompson’s Theory of Evolution, 1890-1917’.

Dr Holmes’ research has been attempting to reconstruct D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s relationship with experimental physics and how this interaction influenced his biology. He research also looks at whether Thompson formed part of a network of biologists who were struck by the applicability of physics to biology.

Letter from William Peddie (Professor of physics, University College, Dundee) to D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 12 January 1911, in which he works through the mathematical formula to show that from 3 observed facts, the growth of material is proportional to the square of the absorbing area (ms28601)

‘Bibles, Bulls and Musket Balls: The Covenanters in Fife, 1678 – 1685’ will be presented Laura Doak (University of Glasgow) on Monday 30 July, 5.15pm.

Laura has been examining local records which focus upon political culture and the performance of political ideas and arguments in Restoration Scotland, between the assassination of James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews, in May 1679 and the failed rising led by the Earl of Argyll in spring 1685. Laura is primarily concerned with extra-literary cultural media, such as proclamations, rebel declarations and public executions.

“A Covenanter’s notebook containing the substance of sermons preached by Guthrie, Cameron, and Renwick during the Killings Times 1671-1688″ (ms38977/6/4/2/8)

Dr Lee Chichester (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) will present her talk, ‘Structure in Art and Science: D’Arcy Thompson’s Artistic Inspiration’ on Thursday 2 August, 5.15pm

Dr Chichester’s research also focuses on the papers of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson. Her research project has been examining how Thompson’s immersion into the artistic environment of Dundee influenced his own thinking about form processes in nature and his methodology as a natural scientist.

Our final event will be presented by Dr Rowan Bailey (University of Huddersfield), ‘Reading Knox Reading Hegel’, Thursday 16 August, 5.15pm

Dr Bailey’s research includes an examination of the collected papers of Principal T Malcolm Knox, with particular reference to his role as an English translator of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. As a creative editor and producer of Hegel’s writings in English, Knox is an important voice at work in the reception of Hegel’s ideas at home and abroad. Knox translated Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, first published by Oxford University Press in 1975 and was awarded an Emeritus Fellowship in 1972 by the Leverhulme Trust to complete the manuscript for publication. In his short preface to the two volume edition, he “thanks the Librarian and Staff at St Andrews University Library for assisting him in his many queries”.

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