Sunday, 8 December 2019

Westcountry Studies issue 11, December 2019

Westcountry Studies

bibliographical newsletter

on Devon and its region

Issue 11

December 2019

As the end of the year approaches a new page has been started for 2020. Pages for 2019 and earlier years back to 2012 have also been updated as news of publications drifts in. As it has become increasingly apparent that it is impossible for this bibliographical leviathan to be maintained by individual effort - which has also proved an annoying diversion from the compiler's main research interests - it has been decided to retrieve what has been done by libraries in the past and to undertake a little digital archaeology before cutting back on current bibliographical work as the new decade dawns.

Devon Libraries local studies website 1997-2005 : an exercise in digital archaeology
Devon County Council's local studies library website disappeared from the open web when the plug was pulled by the County Council in 2015 after the Westcountry Studies Library had been transferred to the South West Heritage Trust. It was thought that all had been irretrievably lost, but Brian Randall retrieved some pages from a web archive for the Genuki website and some had also been used for work on the Devon bibliography. A recent exercise in digital archaeology has now retrieved more than 5,000 web pages posted during the period from 1997 to 2005 when the local studies catalogue database was finally transferred from the original d-Base files to System Simulation software. While the text appears to have been well archived, unfortunately many of the images have been lost. The present version of the South West Heritage Trust on-line catalogue does list 806 web pages produced by the Westcountry Studies Library but cannot display or link to them. An interim set of links is now provided on the Devon bibliography website but more have since been located. The listings on the web pages include an author listing of some 50,000 books relating to the Westcountry, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Bristol and the Channel Islands. Most of these records are also presented in a listing by place and some also by subject. Many of them give locations in Plymouth and Torquay, which are no longer included in the SWHT catalogue. There is also a place listing of about 8,000 periodical articles and 3,500 topographical prints dating from between 1660 and 1870 which are listed by place, subject and engraver. The monthly Annales occidentales : a bibliographical newsletter is also archived from 1999 to 2005 and gives some indication of the level of activity in Devon's local studies libraries at that time. Already the site has proved useful in locating resources compiled in connection with library projects on cultural diversity.

Exeter's award of UNESCO City of Literature
This was announced hot on the heels of Exeter's second literary festival and is quite a feather in the city's cultural cap. It is the only city in the UK to be so honoured. The announcement stated:
Exeter’s bid centred around 1,000 years of unbroken history around reading, recognising the Exeter Book at Exeter Cathedral but also about what reading and writing means to residents in Exeter.The Exeter Book is one of the oldest and best-preserved collections of old English verse in the world, and is older than famous texts such as Beowulf.
The University of Exeter also hosts the archives of works connected to famous writers such as William Golding, Ted Hughes, Agatha Christie, Daphne DuMaurier and Sir John Betjeman.
Some of these literary manuscripts were on display during the literary festival. On 7 November Professor Tim Kendall gave a fascinating tour of selection of the treasures they hold. Works by William Golding, Daphne Du Maurier, Ted Hughes, Henry Williamson and Agatha Christie's agent were discussed, with many fascinating anecdotes about the genesis of the works of these regional writers. The special collections hold more than a thousand items from the library of Sabine Baring Gould. Perhaps some of these could be displayed at the unveiling of the blue plaque together with his folk song manuscripts from the Devon Heritage Centre, stamping the event with the UNESCO City of Literature badge - a good example of Exeter organisations and institutions working together to promote the city's literary heritage.

One body that has not been mentioned in the publicity is the Devon Heritage Centre, more particularly the Westcountry Studies Library, which had its origins in Exeter City Library and actively collected the county's literary heritage from its establishment in 1869 until it fell victim to austerity in 2011. Its collection of literary manuscripts is listed on a recently rediscovered web page. This is only a small part of its extensive regional collections on all topics including the published works of Devon writers from 1509 onward - Sir Walter Raleigh, John Gay, Peter Pindar, John Galsworthy, Eden Philpotts, Agatha Christie, Henry Williamson and many more. A quick search can be made on the recently retrieved author listing of some 50,000 works published up to 2001 and covering the whole of the Westcountry to see who else might be hiding on its shelves.

Desert Island Documents
Another fascinating event at the Exeter Literary Festival was the Desert Island Documents interview organised by the Devon and Cornwall Record Society in the Guildhall when Professor Mark Stoyle interviewed Todd Gray about his many years research into the history of Devon. Todd's work has been extremely wide-ranging and he has been a crusader in supporting heritage collections across Devon, campaigning in the past for the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the Devon Heritage Centre, Barnstaple Local Studies Centre and, more recently, for heritage buildings particularly the Royal Clarence Hotel and the remarkably well documented "St Martin's Island" in the heart of Exeter. He is particularly adept in ferreting out the obscure aspects of Devon communities in the past, their outsiders, their rejected, their alienated - witches, criminals, errant clergymen, slave owners, and the slaves they owned. This involved persistent searching through the unlisted, unloved, unregarded corners of collections, sometimes to the exasperation of the custodians - but he has kept us (and as a former member of that community I use the first person plural) very much on our toes. Long may he continue to do so.

Welcome to a new professional local studies librarian in Exeter
The Devon and Exeter Institution  is fortunate in being able to recruit Emma Laws to the post of librarian. While her post is not specifically for local studies, the rich local collections of the Devon and Exeter Institution will occupy much of her time and, returning to her native Devon, she brings with her a wealth of experience as librarian in one of the nation's most prestigious museums, the V&A. She is already plunged into a project to digitise the important illustrations collection which will build on the Etched on Devon's Memory project and has seen the library filled to bursting with researchers on many days. We wish her well in her new post and hope that she will be able to become part of the active network of heritage organisations in Exeter.

Global lives
The Devon and Exeter Institution has for several years provided resources and guidance to students in the University Geography Department researching global lives - Exonians who have developed links with other parts of the world. An essay results from this research and also a blue plaque which students are encouraged to photograph on the building with which the individual is linked. This year 120 students enrolled on this module and a series of mentoring sessions were held in the DEI. It is impossible for the DEI to accommodate all 120, so some were working on artefacts in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Students were also directed to the Westcountry Studies Library at the Devon Heritage Centre and a rediscovered web page of biographies was helpful in this to ensure that students knew as much as possible what they were looking for before embarking on the tedious journey out there. A reception for the end of the project was held on 5 December and the plaques will continue to adorn the bookshelves to the delight - and sometimes dismay - of regular users. Decolonisation is a buzz-word in academic studies at the moment and the majority of the projects focus on global links that involve slavery or colonial exploitation - even the blind traveller John Holman is described as a colonialist on his plaque. But even though there are perhaps too many strident voices, speaking with the easy benefit of hindsight and not empathising with an age which had different values, it does make the coverage of local studies more wide-ranging and inclusive. Significantly it also included many who had moved from other parts of the world into Exeter, Huguenots, freed slaves, Polish aviators, even the family who introduced Exeter to Chinese food in the 1950s.

Sabine Baring-Gould and his search for the folk songs of South Devon
This was the title of a talk by Martin Graebe given on Thursday evening 5th December 2019 at the Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, PL21 0TW. In view of the current interest in SBG the publicity for the talk is worth quoting to give some context:
Shortly before his death, the Devonshire-born cleric, writer and antiquarian, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) wrote: 'To this day I consider that the recovery of our West Country melodies has been the principal achievement of my life.' He inherited the Lew Trenchard estate in Devon to become both squire and parson of this little parish. It was in 1888 that a chance remark at dinner prompted his hunt for old songs in the area around his home. From Lew Trenchard he travelled around Devon and Cornwall to meet the singers in their pubs and their cottages and to coax them to share their old songs. As a leading novelist and writer he brought the folk songs of the West Country to a wider audience through his publications, lectures, costume concerts and the first folk opera, Red Spider, based on one of his novels. 
Martin Graebe has been fascinated by Baring-Gould for many years, but the re-discovery of a large quantity of his personal papers in 1992 prompted him to re-evaluate Baring-Gould's work on folk song. He has uncovered a fascinating collaborative project between Baring-Gould and the musicians, singers and ordinary members of the public in Devon and Cornwall. He also looks at his relationships with other folk song collectors such as Lucy Broadwood, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp. For more information about Martin Graebe, and his research into folk songs and Sabine Baring-Gould, visit his website ...
... or better still read his book As I walked out: Sabine Baring-Gould and the search for the folk songs of Devon and Cornwall.

In Okehampton from 25 to 27 October SBG was also the focus of the 20th Baring-Gould Folk Weekend, organised by Wren Music who long been inspired by his work and have microfilmed and digitised much of his manuscript and printed collections of popular literature held in the Devon Record Office, Plymouth and West Devon Record Office and Harvard University. A blue plaque to Sabine Baring-Gould will be unveiled by the Exeter Civic Society at 2.00 on Friday 20 March on his birthplace at 15 Southernhay East to commemorate this most prolific of Devon's writers. Wren Music will also be performing at this event.

Periodical articles
Much time recently has been devoted to updating and generally tidying up the articles section of the bibliography. The resulting pages are not the most friendly approach to this material and it is intended to provide place and subject listings as time permits. An added feature is an attempt to integrate on-line research articles which cannot be classed as theses and which do not appear in periodicals. A first step has been made with a trawl for articles in the University of Exeter's Open Research repository. Below are a few sample records:

Mansell, Charmian Holly. Female servants in the early modern community: a study of church court depositions from the dioceses of Exeter and Gloucester, c.1550-1650 / Mansell, Charmian Holly. - In: Open Research Exeter, 20 October 2017. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Servants. Women. Social conditions. 1550-1650. -

Barry, Jonathan. The organisation of burial places in post-medieval English cities: Bristol and Exeter c. 1540-1850 / Barry, J. - In: Open Research Exeter, 11 December 2018. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Burial places. 1540-1850. -

Crawford, Joseph. 'Behindhand with their countrymen': Literary culture and economic decline in eighteenth-century Exeter / Crawford, J. M. U. - In: Open Research Exeter, 1 August 2018. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Printing. Cultural impact. 1700-1800. -

Hurn, S. Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group's written evidence to the UK government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) commons select committee - pre-legislative scrutiny on the UK's Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill (draft dated 12 December 2017) / Hurn, S; Rice, T; Badman-King, A; et al. - In: Open Research Exeter, 2018. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Universities. University of Exeter. Research: Animal welfare.

Creighton, O. The face of battle? debating trauma on medieval human remains from Princesshay, Exeter / Creighton, O; Mckenzie, C; Evis, L; et al. - In: Open Research Exeter, 2019. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Human remains. Trauma. Archaeological investigation. 1000-1500. -

Hamilton, S. Liturgy as history: the origins of the Exeter martyrology / Hamilton, S. - In: Open Research Exeter, 5 November 2019. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Cathedrals. Saint Peter. Liturgy. Martyrologies.

Kingdom, M. The Past People of Exeter: Health and Status in the Middle Ages / Kingdom, M. - In: Open Research Exeter, 22 July 2019. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Public health. Social aspects. 1000-1500. -

Lauritsen, ML. Exeter from Fort to City: a faunal perspective / Lauritsen, ML. - In: Open Research Exeter, 10 June 2019. - 1 online resource. - Accessed December 2019. -
Copies: EXU: ORE repository. -
Subjects: Devon. Exeter. Fauna. Archaeological investigation.

The Kent Kingdon Bequest
This charity exists to purchase books for the Exeter Central Public Library and works of art for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. It was established under the will of Kent Kingdon, an Exeter cabinet maker who died on 2 April 1889. It has gone through various dormant periods but has recently been reinvigorated and, as the new decade dawns, is making two significant donations of several thousand pounds. One is towards the digitisation of the popular literature collections amassed by Sabine Baring-Gould (that man again) and the acquisition for the Devon Heritage Centre of the resulting digital images. The other is to help the Westcountry Studies Library to fill the gaps in their collection which have arisen since austerity struck in 2011. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is attempting to list the books and works of art acquired by Kent Kingdon over the years and is working its way through the archives, attempting to identify books from the often sketchy listings in invoices from booksellers such as Henry Eland. A sample of successful identifications from one single invoice in 1893 shows that Kent Kingdon was acquiring a substantial proportion of the reference stock of Exeter City Library. Unfortunately most of what was acquired was destroyed in the 1942 Blitz. The selection at the end of this newsletter will warm the cockles of the heart of any librarian who has a background in traditional reference work. The funds have been severely eaten into by inflation over the years and the trustees have decided to concentrate their grants on works of local significance. 

2020 vision
As we move into the 2020s we leave behind a decade which has not been kind to local studies in Devon. Two World Wars failed to halt the drive to record Devon's published heritage to the extent that has resulted from austerity measures since 2011. Unlike in America there are no endowments that can help to maintain the service - as previously said, the reach of the Kent Kingdon Bequest has diminished over the years. It seems to be felt that major local studies collections can somehow sustain themselves without resource funding and professional staff. 

This last newsletter of the decade is being sent out before the national election. Quite apart from the way that Britain has become a laughing stock across the world since 2016 and still seems intent on launching this ship of fools into uncharted waters, the promises of massive spending (or investment depending on who is making the proposal) will probably not see recording the heritage of communities across Devon as a high priority compared with health and welfare, migration, housing, poverty, food banks, homelessness and above all climate change. The results will be announced on Friday 13th, perhaps an omen that many of us will remain depressed and frustrated whichever way the electorate leans. 

But perhaps all is not lost - after all the present writer was born on Friday 13th and his life has not been an unmitigated disaster - and there are glimmers of hope on the local bibliographical front. In particular the four year programme of the UNESCO city of literature should focus minds on recording all aspects of Devon and Exeter's continuing involvement with the written word in all its manifestations, script, print, hypertext. No single resource provider will be able to undertake this task in the present climate but a small institution cooperatively funded by local stakeholders from across the county could maintain the bibliographical record. So, let us hope that, amid the general chaos nationwide, the 2020s will prove a positive decade for matters bibliographical in Devon.

A Christmas present for Exeter City Library in 1893 

The order reflects that of Eland's invoice. The precise edition of some volumes is uncertain. 

Van Rensselaer, John King, Mrs., 1848-1925. The devil's picture-books : a history of playing cards / by Mrs. John King Van Renssalaer. New York : Dodd, Mead and Co., c1890.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 1834-1894. The present state of the fine arts in France / by Philip Gilbert Hamerton ; with many illustrations. London : Seeley, 1892.

Maspero, G. (Gaston), 1846-1916. Egyptian archæology / by G. Maspero ; translated from the French by Amelia B. Edwards. 2nd ed., rev. London : H. Grevel, 1889.

Mathews, William Smythe Babcock, 1837-1912. How to understand music : a concise course of musical culture by object lessons and essays, to which is added A pronouncing dictionary of music and musicians / by W.S.B. Mathews. New York : Townsend MacCoun, 1884.

Wall, J. Charles (James Charles). The tombs of the kings of England / by J. Charles Wall; illustrations by the author. London : S. Low, Marston & Co, 1891.

Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926. Pen drawing and pen draughtsmen / Joseph Pennell. London :  : Macmillan, 1889.

Armstrong, Walter, Sir, 1850-1918. Scottish Painters; a critical study ... With ... illustrations. London : Seeley & Co, 1888.

Chaffers, William. Chaffers' Hand book to hall marks on gold and silver plate, ed. by C.A. Markham. London, 1897.

Chambers, William, Sir, 1726-1796. A treatise on the decorative part of civil architecture / by Sir William Chambers ; with illustrations, notes, and an examination of Grecian architecture by Joseph Gwilt. [New ed.] London : Lockwood and Co., 1862.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915. The claims of decorative art. / Walter Crane. London, Lawrence and Bullen, 1892.

Castle, Egerton, 1858-1920. English book-plates; / Egerton Castle. London & New York : G. Bell & sons, 1892.

Gray, Andrew, 1847-1925. Absolute measurements in electricity and magnetism / Andrew Gray. London Macmillan and Co. 1884

Thompson, W. Elementary dynamics. Oxford : Clarendon, 1868. 

Guillemin, Amédée, 1826-1893. Electricity and magnetism / translated from the French of Amédée Guillemin ; revised and edited by Silvanus P. Thompson. London : Macmillan, 1891.

Huish, Marcus Bourne, 1845-1921. Japan and its art / Marcus B. Huish. London : Fine Art Society, 1889.

Leland, Charles Godfrey, 1824-1903. Etruscan Roman Remains in popular tradition. [With illustrations.] London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1892.

Timbs, John, 1801-1875. Abbeys, castles and ancient halls of England and Wales : their legendary lore and popular history. [New ed.] London : F. Warne and Co., [1892?]

Ainsley, Thomas L. (Thomas Liddell). The engineers' manual of the Local Marine Board examinations. Twenty-third edition. South Shields : Thomas L. Ainsley, 1886.

Rogers, Walter Thomas, -1912. A manual of bibliography : being an introduction to the knowledge of books, library management, and the art of cataloguing / by Walter Thomas Rogers. With 37 illustrations and a coloured frontispiece. London : H. Grevel & Co., 1891.

Flügel, Felix, 1820-1904. A universal English-German and German-English dictionary / by Felix Flügel. Two parts in three volumes. Fourth, entirely remodeled, edition. London : Asher & Co. ; New York : B. Westerman & Co., 1891. 

Liddell, Henry George, 1811-1898. Greek-English Lexicon / compiled by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. 7th edition revised and augmented. Oxford : Clarendon, 1883.

Bresslau, Marcus Heinrich, d. 1864. English and Hebrew dictionary : biblical and rabbinical / by M.H. Bresslau. London : Crosby Lockwood, 1881.

White, John T. (John Tahourdin), 1809-1893. A Latin-English dictionary / compiled by John Tahourdin White and Joseph Esmond Riddle. 7th ed. London : Longmans, Green, 1880.

Haydn, Joseph, 1732-1809. Haydn's dictionary of dates and universal information : relating to all ages and nations. 20th edition : containing the history of the world to the autumn of 1892. London : Ward, Lock, Bowden, 1892. 

Roget, Peter Mark, 1779-1869. Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. New edition. London : Longmans & Co, 1890.

Smith, William, Sir, 1813-1893. A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities / edited by Sir William Smith and Samuel Cheetham. vol. 1. London : John Murray, 1893.

Smith, William, Sir, 1813-1893. A dictionary of Greek and Roman antiquities / by various writers; edited by William Smith; illustrated by numerous engravings on wood. Second edition. London : John Murray, 1882.

Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895. Essays upon some controverted questions / by Thomas H. Huxley. London ; New York : Macmillan & Co., 1892.

Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895. Science and culture, and other essays / by Thomas Henry Huxley. London : Macmillan, 1882

Burke, Bernard, Sir, 1814-1892. The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales : comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time / By Sir Bernard Burke ... ; With a supplement. London : Harrison & sons, 1884.

Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895. American addresses : with a lecture on the study of biology / by Thomas H. Huxley. London ; New York : Macmillan, 1886.

Gerland, Georg Karl Cornelius, 1833-1919, Atlas der Völkerkunde : 15 kolorierte Karten in Kupferstich mit 49 Darstellungen / bearbeitet von Dr. Georg Gerland. Gotha : Justus Perthes, 1892.