April and May Round Up

30396943472_8c3d998607_o.jpg

Photo attrib. to Dunnock, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Staff Activity

On 24th May Justine Firnhaber-Baker gave a keynote lecture, ‘Seigneurial War and Peasant Revolts, or What’s in a Name?’ at the Medieval Culture and War Conference in Brussels

New Publications

Margaret Connolly, ‘The Representation of King Conred’s Kight in The Miroir and The Mirror’.  In Catherine Batt and Rene Tixier (eds.), Booldly bot meekly: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages in Honour of Roger Ellis (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018): 51-68.

Rab Houston, ‘The composition and distribution of the legal profession, and the use of law in early modern Britain and Ireland’. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (April 2018).

 

Tomasz Kamusella‘Jak chronić śląszczyznę’ (Translated: How to protect the Silesian
language?). Tygodnik Powszechny (March 2018)

Colin Kidd, ‘Global Turns: Other States, Other Civilizations’, New England Quarterly 91,
no. 1 (March 2018): 172-199.

Colin Kidd, ‘The Scottish Enlightenment and the Matter of Troy’. Journal of the British
Academy 6 (March 2018): 97-130.

Simon MacLean. ‘”Waltharius”: Treasure, Revenge and Kingship in the Ottonian Wild West’. In Kate Gilbert and Stephen White (eds.), Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2018): 225-251.

Jacqueline Rose. ‘Roman Imperium and the Restoration Church’. Studies in Church History 54: The Church and Empire (June 2018): 159-75.

Guy Rowlands, ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road: the Stamina of the French Army
in the War of the Spanish Succession’. In Matthias Pohlig and Michael Schaich (eds.), The
War of the Spanish Succession: New Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press and the German Historical Institute London, 2018): 323-341.

MO4806 Britain and the Thirty Years’ War Class Trip

received_10159932845395136.jpegBlog written by Rachel Beattie

During Spring break, the class of MO4806 ‘Britain and the Thirty Years’ War’ ventured to Stockholm to visit a wide array of historical museums and archives. Over three days we visited five contrasting archives and museums, each giving a slightly different perspective on the Thirty Years’ War.

We began by visiting the old town of Riddarhomkyrkan and Riddarhuset (The House of Nobility) where we were lucky enough to be given a tour. In addition, we heard about how the House functions, as well as being shown the specific plaque for each person ennobled, a great many of which were Scots. In the afternoon, a few of us went to the National Archives of Sweden and under the guidance of several PhD students, we learnt how to engage with archival sources and how to beneficially use them within our studies.

received_10159932845440136The following day we ventured out to the Armemuseum (The Army Museum) which brought the class into contact with a wide array of artifacts. The group went around the different rooms, such as the one on camp life, the trophy exhibition, as well as the presentation of several flags and banners. Each exhibit brought the war to life in different ways, but it was only a taste of what was to come in the afternoon. The class ventured out to the museum vaults, where we had the incredible opportunity to see and interact with artifacts from the period. Ranging from flags, to war drums, and from muskets to swords, we were able to see first-hand see these objects which undoubtedly brought the war into our hands and history to life. It was an unforgettable and beneficial experience for understanding the Thirty Years’ War.

received_1653608204674447.jpeg

We began our last day by visiting the Krigsarkivet (the Military Archives). During our visit the archivists brought out different documents, from Swedish Muster Rolls full of British regiments, to maps and orders of battles. Following this, we headed to the spectacular Vasa museum, which houses a ship from the Thirty Years’ War. The Vasa had sunk on its first voyage, and subsequently it has been reconstructed and a museum built around it. To walk around a ship of its stature and grandeur was an incredible way to finish off the trip, leaving us speechless.

The opportunity to engage with historical artifacts and interact with documents within archives brought the history of the Thirty Years’ War to life. The ability to walk round Stockholm and see the history in the buildings, as well as Brits intertwined within the museums was an unforgettable experience, and a great way to further study and understand the period of the Thirty Years War. In total contrast, a few of us even took the time to further enhance our museum experience in Stockholm by visiting the Abba Museum.

Celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral

 

St_Andrews_Cathedral_Real_and_Virtual_Combined (1).png

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Seven hundred years ago, on July 5th, 1318, St Andrews Cathedral was formally consecrated. The cathedral had been under construction for 150 years and was already home to its Augustinian community, but a great storm in 1272 had blown down the west front of the building and greatly delayed its dedication. The consecration in 1318 was thus long-awaited, and also came at a significant point in Scotland’s history: only four years after Robert the Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, the opulent consecration of one of the largest cathedrals in the British Isles, and the largest building in Scotland (a title it retained until the construction of Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station in the nineteenth century), stated clearly that the Church in Scotland was not subservient to English prelates, and advertised the strong links between Scotland’s political and religious elite. The lavish ceremony was attended by King Robert I, and was one in a continuing line of momentous religious and political events that marked out St Andrews as one of medieval Scotland’s principal burghs.

 

 

DJI_0007.jpg

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

This summer, the celebrations commemorating this important anniversary aim to recreate some of the pageantry and significance of the original event. A range of institutions, societies, and research initiatives have combined efforts to create an exciting line-up of public lectures on the history of the cathedral, historical tours of the burgh, and viewing opportunities with extant manuscripts and objects, to take place throughout June and early July. A free exhibition at the Museum of the University of St Andrews, throughout April and June, will showcase more of the extant material related to the cathedral, and tell the story of the consecration. On Saturday, 30 June, a theatrical pageant will bring to life the cathedral’s long history and its central role in the development of the burgh of St Andrews and of Scotland as a whole. In addition, digital reconstructions of the cathedral and its environs, created by Smart History and made available by Historic Environment Scotland, will be presented as an opportunity to view the cathedral as it might have looked in its glory days: a soaring, atmospheric, busy, and vital centre of religious life, pilgrimage, and lay devotion.

The event schedule includes:

 

The Story of St Andrews Cathedral – 700th Anniversary Historical Pageant

Saturday 30 June at 14:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

University of St Andrews Service of Thanksgiving – Including Commemoration of the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral

Sunday 1 July at 11:00 in St Salvator’s Chapel.

An Exceptional and Prestigious Church – A Walk Celebrating 700 Years of St Andrews Cathedral in Collaboration with Fife Pilgrim Way

Sunday 1 July at 14:00, starts outside St Andrews Museum, Kinburn Park.

Show and Tell of Manuscripts Associated with St Andrews Cathedral – Public Event by the University of St Andrews Library’s Special Collections Division

Wednesday 4 July at 14:00 in the Special Collections Napier Reading Room, Martyr’s Kirk.

Pilgrimage in Honour of Our Lady and St Andrew, Commemorating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by New Dawn Conference

Thursday 5 July, begins at 9.30 at St James’s Church, Open Air Mass at 11.30 at St Andrews Cathedral.

Service to Commemorate the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by All Saints Church

Thursday 5 July at 15:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

Act of Remembrance and Sung Eucharist – Organised by All Saints Church

Sunday 8 July, remembrance begins at 9.40 in St Andrews Cathedral, and is followed by a sung service at 10 in All Saints Church.

For more information and an updated list of events, see: https://www.openvirtualworlds.org/st-andrews-cathedral-1318-to-2018/

Contact: cathedral700@gmail.com

Thanks go to all the contributing groups including: University of St Andrews, Smart History, Historic Environment Scotland, Kate Kennedy Trust, Fife Pilgrim Way, New Dawn Conference, All Saints Church, BID St Andrews, and Tourism St Andrews.

St_Andrews_Cathedral_West_Front_1318

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Postgraduate Class Trip: Aberdeen

 

Blog written by Dr Margaret Connolly

 

IMG_2899Students taking palaeography as part of the MLitt programmes in Medieval History and Medieval Studies headed up to Aberdeen last week to see manuscripts at the University Library and to visit the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project.

The St Andrews group led by Dr Margaret Connolly and Mrs Rachel Hart were welcomed to the Special Collections at the Sir Duncan Rice Library by Andrew Macgregor, Deputy Archivist. We spent about an hour browsing a selection of fifteenth-century manuscripts chosen to reflect the wide range of reading material available in the British Isles at the end of the Middle Ages.

These included the first volume of the unique devotional text The Myrrour of Oure Lady which belonged to a nun at Syon Abbey in London (volume two is in Oxford), and a volume of Latin sermons that belonged to Hinton Charterhouse in Somerset; also the popular collection of saints’ lives, Legenda Aurea, and three books of hours – one so tiny it fits into the palm of the hand. By contrast, the copy of John Trevisa’s vernacular translation of Higden’s Polychronicon was a huge volume. Some of the texts, such as the De Cosmographia of Pomponius Mela, and a medical textbook were the type of books that would have been read in universities – the commentary on Aristotle’s Physica that we saw, which was written at Louvain in 1467, was owned in the next century by a member of St Andrews University. Other books, such as the collection of medical recipes, and the miscellany of practical and other texts, were probably used in individual medieval households.

Here are some reactions to what we saw:

IMG_2902.JPG

The ‘twirly thing’: the MS123 volvelle – a rare example with all of its fragile paper pointers intact

‘The manuscripts we looked at in the first half were so amazing, I completely lost track of time when we were looking at them. My favourite was the collection of miscellaneous works, with the clairvoyant dice, the zodiac man, and the twirly thing.’

Before leaving Special Collections we got to see behind the scenes with a tour of the stores where we enjoyed rummaging amongst the early printed books – and of their state-of-the-art conservation suite.

Then in the afternoon we visited Humanity Manse to see the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project, where we were hosted by St Andrews graduate Dr Claire Hawes and Dr William Hepburn. William is a graduate of Glasgow, and had tutored two of our current MLitt students whilst they were undergraduates there – a nice connection. Claire and William explained the work of the project, and demonstrated how joint work with computer scientists had created a programme that supports the transcription of this massive series of records.

They also provided insight into the practical uses of palaeography, and showed what a job that involved palaeography was like, which was arguably the most useful part of the day. It was also great to get to see some of the original records – these have World Heritage Status – thanks to Phil Astley of Aberdeen City Council who brought them along specially for our visit.

Some final thoughts:

‘The trip was so much fun, I really enjoyed how laid back it was. After the busiest two weeks of the whole degree, I found it so relaxing to spend time with some fantastic material just for interest’s sake.’

‘Getting to see all this, without having to worry about how this would relate to your next deadline, was refreshing and has got me thinking about the opportunities for working in this area in the future.’IMG_2912.JPG

Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum

 

Blog written by PhD student Morag Allan Campbell

 

Morag and exhibition

Morag Allan Campbell, photo reproduced by permission of DC Thomson & Co

The Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum exhibition, currently on display in the Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee, explores the lives of a group of patients admitted to Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum at the turn of the twentieth century.  It has been researched and curated by St Andrews student Morag Allan Campbell, who is in the third year of her PhD in Modern History.  In this blog post, Morag outlines the origins of Face to Face, and her experience of preparing an exhibition for public display.

My research is pretty much based on lunatic asylum records, and I’ve spent a long time reading case notes from the early to mid-nineteenth century, patient histories laid out in page after page of scratchy, florid handwriting.  Reading through those files, I can only guess at what those patients might have looked like, piecing together an idea from physicians’ explanations of their mental disorder. When I turned to notes from later in the century, I began to find small faded photographs stuck into many of the patients’ notes, and I felt as if I had suddenly come face to face with my subjects. I wanted to know more about the lives behind those faces, and to share some of their stories.  And an exhibition seemed to be the best way to do that.

Curating the Face to Face exhibition has had the added benefit of allowing me to research the stories of patients not directly connected with my own research topic, which focusses on women suffering from postnatal mental illness, and has thoroughly immersed me in the experience of putting material together for public display.  I started with the patient histories, selecting and researching a number of cases to gather a range of diagnoses and backgrounds.  I then edited their stories into short texts, and paired them with information on various diagnoses supplied by my supervisor, Prof Rab Houston, who is an expert on the history of psychiatry – many of the diagnoses would be unfamiliar to modern ears, or they had a different meaning from how we use them today.

The next step was to design and layout all the boards – I tried to create a good balance of text and visual material, to attract and engage the reader without overloading them with too much information.  The archivists at Dundee University supplied me with some images to add local context to the patients’ stories, though I did use images from other sources.  In one case, an image from one external source was going to be too costly, and so I ended up grabbing my camera and heading off to take a picture myself – which I used, slightly sepia tinted to match the tone of the other images.

It was nerve-wracking when the time came to send the designs off to the printers, as I was dreading that mistakes might jump out at me when I unwrapped the finished product.  I am indebted to Caroline Brown, Dundee University Archivist, and Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee, for their help and advice while I was putting together the exhibition, and not least for their invaluable assistance in proofreading the boards!  Caroline, Jan, Sharon and the rest of the team at the archives offered me plenty of support, and also selected some actual archive material and records for display as part of the exhibition.

Dundee Press Coverage 2.JPGWhen the time came for Matthew and me to put up the boards in the Tower Foyer Gallery, people were already showing an interest and we had a small crowd reading the boards before they had even been fully fixed to the wall.  It has been really amazing to see the interest in the exhibition. Since the launch, I have been working in the archives regularly which, as the department is located in the basement of the Tower Building, has taken me past the exhibition almost every day.  There has scarcely been a time when I have gone past and not found someone intently reading the exhibition boards, and I have also been able to chat with many of the visitors. What has really struck me is how actively people have engaged with the material – each viewer brings their own history and their own views to the experience, and I feel that the exhibition at Dundee has been really successful in opening up a dialogue on the subject of mental health issues past and present.

Putting the exhibition together was not without its difficulties, and it has been many months in the making. We also had ethical and data protection issues to consider before I could even start doing any research. The excitement of actually seeing the boards in place, not to mention the positive feedback which very quickly started to roll in, has more than made up for all the hours spent working away in the archives researching patient histories, and all those further hours spent carefully editing copy and making minute but crucial adjustments to display boards.

Edith.jpgThe exhibition is part of a St Andrews project, ‘Promoting Mental Health through the Lessons of History’ led by Rab Houston, and is a collaboration with University of Dundee Archive Services.   When the exhibition is finished at Dundee, Rab will take over the reins and has plans to tour the exhibition.  He has already arranged for a smaller version to be displayed in two Scottish prisons in association with Fife College and the Scottish Prison Service Learning and Skills initiative.  The university has been working in partnership with Fife College as part of the ground-breaking public engagement programme Cell Block Science.

If you would like to host the exhibition, or know of someone else who would, Rab would be happy to hear from you!  Further information is available on the project website. The main exhibition is on display at the University of Dundee until June 9, and is open Monday – Friday 09:30 – 19:00 and on Saturdays from 13:00 – 17:00.

 

 

 

 

 

March Round Up

5057319153_4318edebce_b

Photo attrib. Sarah, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

News

Congratulations to Dr John Condren, who has received a Rome Award from the British School at Rome, to conduct research for an article on diplomatic ceremonial at the papal court in the late 17th century

Congratulations to Professor Aileen Fyfe, Professor Knud Haakonssen, Professor Colin Kidd and Professor Richard Whatmore. They have received a Leverhulme Trust Large Grant for their project After Enlightenment: Intellectual Life in Scotland, 1790-1843

Staff Activity

On March 19, the Editing Early Modern Texts and Sources: Problems and Possibilities conference took place

Professor Guy Rowlands presented the papers ‘The Last Argument of the King? Arms, Artillery and Absolutism under Louis XIV’to the Medieval and Renaissance Group, and ‘The Sinews of War, the Sun King, and the Financial Burdens and Perils of Being a Superpower’ at the history department of the College of William and Mary

On March 27th, Dr Gillian Mitchell delivered a paper entitled ‘Popular Music and Family Life, 1955-1975: Questioning Notions of Generation Gap’ at the ‘Recording Leisure Lives’ conference at the University of Bolton

On March 27th, Professor Richard Whatmore gave a talk entitled ‘Rights after the Revolutions’ for the Johns Hopkins Political and Moral Thought Seminar series

Publications

Aileen Fyfe and Camilla Mørk Røstvik, ‘How female fellows fared at the Royal Society,’ Nature (6 March 2018)

Tomasz Kamusella and Fenix Ndhlovu, ‘Kamusella and Ndhlovu on Linguistic Imperialism,’ Social Science Matters (March 2018)

Mara van der Lugt, ‘The left hand of the Englightenment: truth, error, and integrity in Bayle and Kant,’ History of European Ideas (26 Feb 2018)

Richard Whatmore, Béla Kapossy, Isaac Nakhimovsky and Sophus Reinert (eds.),  Markets, Morals and Politics. Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought (Harvard University Press, 2018)

Conference ‘Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700’

29633445_10214914743837512_2053865770_o.jpg

From left to right: Professor Roger Mason, Peryn Westerhof Nyman and Dr Morvern French, photo attrib. Chelsea Reutcke

Blog written by Dr Morvern French

On 23 and 24 March 2018 the Institute of Scottish Historical Research held a conference on Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700. With a diverse range of speakers and topics, the event focussed on clothing, accessories, jewellery, tapestry, and embroidery from the medieval to early modern period in Scotland.

Dr Sally Rush opened with a study of the chafferon at the court of James V. A gold wire headdress worn by men and women, it represented the Renaissance ideals of beauty and majesty, and can be traced through written accounts, portraiture, and sculpture. This was complemented by a panel on ‘Royal Ceremony and Display in the Sixteenth Century’. Dr Lucy Dean outlined the use of dress at the marriages of James IV, James V, and James VI, arguing for its international significance. Rosalind Mearns examined a portrait of James V and Mary of Guise, comparing the fashion and accessories depicted with those in a contemporary portrait of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon. Peryn Westerhof Nyman considered the wearing of dule – mourning cloth – by members of the Scottish court on the deaths of Madeleine of Valois, Margaret Tudor, and James V.

Helen Wyld gave an in-depth paper on the reconstruction of James V’s tapestry collection, none of which is known to survive. Documentary and visual evidence, and the identification of contemporary pieces, show that James’s taste was at the cutting edge of European design and cultural sophistication.

In the Collections Session Claire Robinson presented a pair of gauntlet gloves held by the Museum of the University of St Andrews. These were given by Charles I to Sir Henry Wardlaw, who also owned the Wardlaw Bible presented by Dr Briony Harding of Special Collections, University of St Andrews. This and a dos-à-dos devotional text on display are covered with embroidered bindings bearing heraldic and floral designs.

29391110_10214914738557380_1091852153_o.jpg

Photo attrib. Chelsea Reutcke

Afterwards, we heard a panel on ‘The Production and Circulation of Textiles’. Nora Epstein considered how the adoption of Protestantism in Scotland caused religious imagery to move from the church to the home, appearing in embroidery. Professor Christopher Smout then discussed the varied types of fabric produced in seventeenth century Scotland, and the spinners, weavers, tailors, and merchants involved in its manufacture and distribution within Scotland and abroad.

Caroline Paterson then opened a dialogue on Viking graves in Scotland with a consideration of brooches, belt fittings, beads, and other accessories. The dating, metal content, and design provide a picture of cultural complexity in Viking era Scotland, with material influences from Scandinavia. Following this paper, we heard Dr Susan Freeman’s study of the textile remains found in these graves, with a focus on the skill and time investment needed to produce these items.

The next morning, Dr Mark Hall discussed the spiritual and social values attached to dress accessories in and around medieval Perth. These included coins, pilgrimage tokens, reliquary pendants, horse mounts, and seal matrices, which held religious and/or apotropaic properties. Such objects were sometimes recycled or reshaped to change in use and meaning, beyond the strictly aesthetic.

The final panel on ‘Dress, Accessories, and Jewellery: Their Role in Cultural Identity’ was opened by Lyndsay McGill. She reconsidered the accepted definition of fede rings as relating to love and marriage, when they may have also had religious or apotropaic properties. Rhona Ramsay followed with a look at ‘naken’ or itinerant metalworkers in Argyll, showing that such craftspeople were capable of producing sophisticated silver pieces for elite clients. Finally Dr David Caldwell re-examined the traditional Scottish dress of plaid, which had antecedents in the classical world but was increasingly associated with the Highlands of Scotland.

At the concluding roundtable discussion ideas for future research and collaboration were put forward. These included a publication of the conference proceedings and the holding of further conferences. In the meantime we have created an online network for anyone interested in the topic of dress and décor in Scotland. To access this please email morvern.french@hes.scot or pwn2@st-andrews.ac.uk.