MS 262: The Little Gidding Harmonies

This Special Collections post explores the biblical harmonies compiled by a religious community at Little Gidding in the seventeenth-century. One of the harmonies, The Whole Law of God, resides at St John’s College. The Little Gidding community provides a fascinating insight into the creation of this manuscript, and the many individual harmonies the community produced.Continue reading “MS 262: The Little Gidding Harmonies”

“To delight and entertain”: Children’s Literature in the Special Collections

This blog post explores texts in our special collections written and created for children, and the ways in which this genre has evolved through the centuries. These items span from Ancient Greek stories and 17th century fatherly advice, to Victorian adventurers and mischievous modern poems. Links throughout the post will allow you to learn moreContinue reading ““To delight and entertain”: Children’s Literature in the Special Collections”

James Joyce in the Collection of Livres d’Artistes

This month’s blog post on the Library’s Livres d’Artistes is written by Tom Cullimore, a previous trainee and recent Assistant Librarian at St John’s College Library. The Library has a collection of livres d’artistes – you can find out more about these texts by reading Tom’s previous blog post. This collection includes two visual interpretationsContinue reading “James Joyce in the Collection of Livres d’Artistes”

Album of Prints, William Hogarth (1756)

One of St John’s treasures from the eighteenth-century is an album of 77 of William Hogarth’s prints, a seemingly unique contemporary collation including a broad range of his works.  William Hogarth (1697-1764) A painter and printmaker who used his art to make satirical commentary on eighteenth-century social issues, Hogarth was an innovator in the field.Continue reading “Album of Prints, William Hogarth (1756)”

Do we need pictures? Illustration of the earliest printed books.

St. John’s holds an important collection of incunables, i.e. books printed before 31st December 1501. The process of printing with movable type was invented around 1450 in Mainz by Johannes Gutenberg, as recorded by the Cologne Chronicle of 1499, a text which preserves the testimony of the first printer of Cologne, Ulrich Zell, who hadContinue reading “Do we need pictures? Illustration of the earliest printed books.”

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”

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)”