Not An Illustration: Livres d’artiste in the Special Collections of St. John’s College, Oxford

“Experience of our age in terms of painting—not an illustration of—(but the equivalent.)” – Jackson Pollock   This is an exhibition of a selection of the college’s livres d’artiste and some other rare books which were produced in the early 1930s, in collaboration with Leonard Lye, a modernist film-maker and sculptor. In the glossary ofContinue reading “Not An Illustration: Livres d’artiste in the Special Collections of St. John’s College, Oxford”

Correspondence of Faber & Faber and Letter to ‘The Times Literary Supplement’ (1954), in the Robert Graves Collection

             St John’s College Robert Graves Trust received 26 boxes of archival material from Graves’s home in Deya, Mallorca, on 3rd March 2008, bequeathed by Graves’s widow, Beryl. The collection contains those papers remaining in Deya at the time of her death in 2003, and consists of drafts of Graves’sContinue reading “Correspondence of Faber & Faber and Letter to ‘The Times Literary Supplement’ (1954), in the Robert Graves Collection”

Paul Eluard, Poèms d’amour = Love Poems; illustrations by S. W. Hayter, versions by Brian Coffey (Bath: 107 Workshop, 1984)

Dr Peter Hacker, Fellow in Philosophy at St. John’s College, became friends with Stanley Hayter, acquiring two illustrated livres d’artiste directly from the artist’s studio while Fellow Librarian (between 1985 and 2006). Hayter’s collaboration with Paul Eluard and his translator Brian Coffey produced Poèms d’amour = Love poems in 1984. The book is one ofContinue reading “Paul Eluard, Poèms d’amour = Love Poems; illustrations by S. W. Hayter, versions by Brian Coffey (Bath: 107 Workshop, 1984)”

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Westminster: William Caxton, c. 1483)

Early printed books form a significant part of the library’s Special Collections, and this particular item contains an illustrated second edition of one of the most famous works of middle English literature, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It is thought to have been published in 1483 by William Caxton, famous for being the first English printer, andContinue reading “Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Westminster: William Caxton, c. 1483)”

Jane and George Austen, Letters (MS 279)

This collection of six letters, either written by or relating to the novelist Jane Austen, is one of the most interesting items held in St John’s College Library. George Austen, Jane’s father (and the writer of one of the letters), and her brothers James and Henry all studied at and became Fellows of St John’s,Continue reading “Jane and George Austen, Letters (MS 279)”

‘The Field of Human Conflict’: War Exhibition 2014

The Library at St John’s College houses extensive Special Collections, which date back to the 9th century and include some 400 manuscripts, 20,000 early printed books and significant collections of modern literary papers. In order to give College members the chance to learn more about these, we organise exhibitions displaying a number of items ofContinue reading “‘The Field of Human Conflict’: War Exhibition 2014”