Digitisation – What have the studio team been up to?

The last couple of months have been busy for the Digitisation team.

At this time of year we do a lot of scanning of chapters and articles for online course readings, converting the scans to pdf formats and uploading them to the University Of Leeds Virtual Learning Environment [VLE] for students to access online.

Since September the team have produced 3730 images for Special Collections customer orders as well as for internal staff requests for publicity and marketing, alumni office, Treasures Gallery staff and ongoing work such as digitising cookery and medical manuscripts and books for the Wellcome Research Resources digitisation project. We have also digitised a substantial amount of Leeds Student newspapers.  So far, we have made editions up to April 1996 publicly visible on the Special Collections catalogue and will continue until we reach 1999.

Other ongoing projects include digitising microfilms from the Central Records Office [CRO] to preserve the information held on them before the tapes degrade. We have a special scanner for this which we used to operate in the CRO itself but it has now moved up to the studio.


Whilst all this work is going on we are in the middle of updating our studio equipment, replacing all of our monitors and computers. Obviously this has to be carefully timed so we can still continue with our work, requiring a lot of forward planning. We have developed a new online procedures manual that the Digital Content team as a whole, including the studio, have been continuously populating with current and updated procedures. We have named this manual Marvel, and if you’re a super hero or comic book fan you’ll know why.  A clue; look at the initials of the team…

So what are we doing over the next few months? We have a new member of staff joining us next week so we look forward to working with Ken Kajoranta, our new Digitisation Manager. Ken will be with us until August 2017 and we welcome him to the Digital Content team.

Very soon we will be digitising images for the new Treasure Gallery exhibition due to open in March 2017 so watch this space!

György Gordon (1924 – 2005) A retrospective

On Tuesday 18 October, 372 people attended the opening reception of the Gallery’s latest exhibition, ‘György Gordon (1924 – 2005) A retrospective’.

Peter Murray CBE, friend of the artist and the founding and Executive Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, paid a touching tribute to Gordon who fled the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 and eventually settled in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Matthew Winterlich whose photographs of György Gordon feature in the exhibition was also there to provide warm anecdotes and key context to this remarkably talented yet humble Hungarian-born, Yorkshire-adopted artist.
The crowds learned how Gordon gained his diploma in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest in 1953, however he soon fled his native country following the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. After a failed attempt to take refuge in America, and a short period in London, Gordon moved to Wakefield and took up post as Lecturer at the College of Art in 1964 where he taught for over 20 years. Calm and gentle in person, Gordon used art to express the dramatic personal and political turmoil he had experienced as a younger man.
The retrospective exhibition includes paintings and drawings spanning the 1950s-1990s. Visitors can see Gordon’s life and artistic journey in the works in front of them, from his experience as a refugee to his later explorations of isolation, alienation and old age.
An exhibition catalogue with an essay by Dr James Hamilton is available in the Gallery and online for £2.
The György Gordon (1924 – 2005) A retrospective exhibition runs until Saturday 25 February, 2017.

Shakespeare on Light Night

Performers made the exhibition ‘For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire’ come alive for Light Night

On the evening of Friday 7 October, visitors to the exhibition ‘For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire’ at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery heard the exhibition come to life as performers moved around the gallery reading monologues and poems from the works on display. The event was part of the city’s annual Light Night activities alongside other events taking place all over the University campus.

Melissa Ulrich, Hannah Hughes and Mary-Margaret Annab, students in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, performed monologues by Shakespeare characters including Juliet, Kate and Miranda, as well as some of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The 1640 edition of Shakespeare’s poems on display in the exhibition groups the sonnets into longer poems which are given titles. The event was the first time that the gallery space has been used for performances and visitors enjoyed hearing as well as seeing the historic works.

The events programme, including a range of talks and workshops, can be found on the Treasures Gallery website. The next dramatic interpretation of a play shown in the exhibition is on Wednesday 2 November, when visitors can discover a rarely performed slice of Yorkshire history. Join the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery and students from the University of Leeds stage@leedscompany for a unique experience as they perform a rehearsed reading of ‘A Yorkshire Tragedie’. Two performances are taking place on 2 November, the first at 12.30 and the second at 6pm.

‘A Yorkshire Tragedie’, written by Thomas Middleton, but long attributed to William Shakespeare, tells the 1605 story of Walter Calverley, who killed his two young sons and stabbed his wife. A rare copy, printed in 1619, is currently on display in the ‘For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire’ exhibition.