Tag Archives: Archives

Call for volunteers to help digitise selected Rupert Brooke papers

RCB-Ph-262

Rupert Brooke in uniform, at Blandford, Dorset. 1914. Print by W. Hazel of Bournemouth.
Archive Centre, King’s College, Cambridge. RCB/Ph/262

We are pleased to announce that the Archive Centre has been awarded a grant of £2,797 by the Friends of the National Libraries towards the cost of digitising significant parts of the Schroder collection. These papers are thought to have been the largest collection of Rupert Brooke archives to be held privately until we purchased them in 2015, with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries, as well as further donations by friends of the library through the Munby Centenary Fund. The Schroder papers now form a series within our main Rupert Brooke collection. The fact they were acquired so much later than the rest of the collection means they still hold considerable potential for original research, having only been seen by privileged biographers before they came to King’s.

Most of the items selected for digitisation are correspondence between Rupert Brooke (RCB), Edward Marsh (RCB’s friend, literary executor and biographer) and William Denis Browne (RCB’s friend and a young composer, who died at Gallipoli only days after burying RCB). A famous letter RCB wrote to Lascelles Abercrombie (possibly the last thing RCB ever wrote), RCB’s attaché case and Denis Browne’s personal effects will also be included.

The material will be digitised by the Cambridge University Library and shared online through their Digital Library, where it will sit alongside such interesting collections as the personal papers of Siegfried Sassoon.

The Archive Centre will create metadata (essentially, adding further details to our catalogue, including listing individual letters within guard books) to be added to the images, making them easier to search. We hope to do this with the help of volunteers, who will be properly trained and have a wonderful opportunity to gain some experience of working with archives.

The in-house aspects of the project will be led by Peter Monteith (Assistant Archivist), who developed the education resource ‘Introduction to Archives: Rupert Brooke’.

If you would like to offer some of your time to assist in the creation of metadata for this new digitisation project, please contact archivist@kings.cam.ac.uk.

Turing’s inspiration

It is fair to say that some of King’s College’s most famous alumni have inspired others. One of the most influential must surely be Alan Turing, who is popular with both mathematicians and computer scientists.

Alan Turing, aged 16 (AMT/K/7/4)

Who inspired Turing though?

Some indication of the answer to this might be found in his papers at the King’s College Archive Centre, the catalogue of which can be seen on Janus.

When he was just 15½ years old, Turing wrote a precis of The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein. In this small memo book, he produced summaries for each chapter of Einstein’s famous work. He did so with the intention of explaining it to his mother.

First page of Alan Turing’s precis of The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein (AMT/K/2/4)

First page of Alan Turing’s precis of The Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein (AMT/K/2/4)

On 6 October 1936, upon arriving in Princeton (where he received his PhD), Turing wrote a letter to his mother which included a critique of the mathematicians and ‘logic people’ at that university:

The mathematics department here comes up to expectations. There is a great number of the most distinguished mathematicians here. J.v. Neumann, Weyl, Courant, Hardy, Einstein, Lefscheftz, as well as hosts of smaller fry. Unfortunately there are not nearly so many logic people here as last year. Church is here of course, but Gödel, Kleene, Rosser and Bernays who were here last year have left. I don’t think I mind very much missing any of these except Gödel. Kleene and Rosser are, I imagine, just disciples of Church and have not much to offer that I could not get from Church. Bernays is I think rather ‘vieux jeu’ that is the impression I get from his writing, but if I were to meet him I might get a different impression. (AMT/K/1/42)

Alan Turing (AMT/K/7/12)

 

To see scans of these and other documents held in the papers of Alan Mathison Turing, visit the Turing Digital Archive or make an appointment to visit the original documents at the Archive Centre.

PGM

Reaching New Audiences

On Friday, King’s College was pleased to host the Archives and Records Association (ARA) Eastern Region’s latest event, ‘Reaching New Audiences’. The ARA is the professional body for archivists and related professions, with regional committees and special interest groups.

After Gillian Cooke (chair of the ARA Eastern Region) introduced the event, I gave a talk entitled ‘Introduction to Archives: Rupert Brooke Case Study – Putting Skills First’. In this talk, I described our new online resource ‘Introduction to Archives: Rupert Brooke’, a guide to using archives. I focussed on skills, from two perspectives:

  • The archival research skills the website teaches to A-level students, as well as bright and motivated GCSE students.
  • The skills I had to develop in order to ensure I reached that audience successfully.

My approach to the latter included producing a smaller Rupert Brooke-related online resource on the My Learning website, working with young volunteers and working with our School Liaison Officers to deliver a programme of day-long school visits and ‘residentials’  (where students from all over England were also able to spend a night in College and experience Cambridge life).

Then, Sally-Ann Greensmith spoke about her work on the involvement of Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies in the Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network (CCAN) project ‘The Great War – Between the Lines’, which also culminated in the creation of a website. This was a very different, though complementary, project. Her talk, entitled ‘The Great War Between the Lines Project – an allied effort’, focussed on the challenges and benefits of partnership working. This project was part of a larger programme which included 16 partners from France, Belgium and the UK. The project was intended to pool our knowledge of the War and raise awareness of it, ahead of the centenary. Local newspapers were indexed. Touring exhibitions were created by six of the partners, with copies in appropriate translations available to all partners. Walking, cycling and driving routes were created. There was also a significant ‘Last Day of Peace’ event, featuring musical performances, re-enactments, vintage cycles, a military hospital and a display by the St Neots museums. This project showed some of the exciting ways heritage organisations can collaborate to engage communities.

SONY DSC

 

Sally-Ann and I were then asked questions on our projects. These included such issues as copyright in the King’s College project and working with international partners in Sally-Ann’s project.

The delegates were then taken to the King’s College Archive Centre, where they were able to see an exhibition of the papers of Rupert Brooke in the reading room and small groups were shown the Muniments room (one of our strong rooms, in which the College archives are kept). The exhibition was almost identical to that shown during the school visits, however, we were able to add a few items from the recently acquired Schroder collection, including Rupert Brooke’s attaché case.

PGM