It’s a busy July and August in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery.
In July and August we celebrated a few milestones. During the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July we welcomed our 10,000th visitor to the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery – we think it was someone who attended our special lecture on digital learning resources, several of which focus on the medieval holdings in Special Collections.
The 1st of August marked our six-month anniversary and was also the day that we de-installed our first temporary exhibition, On Conscientious Grounds: Objection and Resistance in the First World War. This moving and thought-provoking display explored the experiences of conscientious objectors and their families and friends, through letters, artwork, diaries, postcards and personal items. These materials will be checked by our conservation team and returned to storage where they will be available once more for consultation by readers and researchers. We are planning an online resource bringing together text and images from this exhibition. It will be available on our website later in the year.
Preparations are well under way for our next temporary exhibition, For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire. Opening in September, this special exhibition will explore the relationship between Shakespeare and Yorkshire. Four hundred years after the death of the Bard, we will be putting on public display for the first time the rare Shakespeare materials left to Leeds University Library by Lord Brotherton. Lord Brotherton of Wakefield (1856-1930) was one of the country’s leading private collectors of rare books and manuscripts. On his death he left his remarkable collection to the University, including the “holy grail” of book collecting, the four 17th-century Shakespeare folios. He also collected “apocrypha”, books that had Shakespeare’s name on the title page but were in fact by other writers. These include A Yorkshire Tragedie, telling the story of a murder in Calverley in 1605.
The exhibition will look at how Shakespeare dramatised Yorkshire history, and explore how directors today are still using his work to ask questions about regional identity.
The formal launch event will take place on Tuesday 6 September, and all are welcome to attend.
We look forward to seeing you there!