Good news for family historians and anyone else looking for information on individual former members of the University of Oxford – Joseph Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714 is online and searchable at British History Online, home of the digital Victoria County History and much else. The digitised volumes have been on archive.org for years, but this is certainly easier to use. Roll on 1714-1886…
Q: The subject of my research was an Officer Cadet at Balliol during the First World War. What information does the college hold about him? Do you have any photographs?
A: During World War One, Balliol had two distinct populations. Some of the older Fellows and a much reduced student body (further reduced through each academic year as their commissions came up and they went into active service) carried on something of the ordinary academic life of the college. But Balliol’s premises, like those of most Oxford colleges, were largely given over to war work.
Balliol’s Broad Street site hosted thousands of British and Commonwealth officer cadets on short training courses. These men were not members of Balliol or of the University of Oxford; rather, the Army was in effect renting the property, and the college holds no administrative records of their time here. We have no lists of names or any other systematic records about the individual officer cadets or their activities during their few weeks staying in Balliol.
There are, however, a few isolated glimpses into the lives of officer cadets during their brief sojourns in Oxford. In 2005 an Australian bookseller wrote to us with the offer of a photo album created by one JH Brian Armstrong, a member of No 6 Officer Cadet Battalion at Balliol July – October 1917. There are no identifications of individuals in the album.
Balliol also holds copies of two numbers of ‘The Souvenir’, a journal produced by ‘A’ Company No. 6 Officers’ Cadet Battalion, of their time in Oxford: 10 Nov. 1917-26 Feb. 1918 and 5 April 1918 – 23 Oct. 1918.
We do not have copies of any other numbers of ‘The Souvenir.’ If you have copies of this invaluable resource that you are willing to share, please get in touch.
Images of the resources mentioned above and a few other pieces are available online here.
Not connected with Balliol but another publication by and for WW1 soldiers, the well-known trench magazine ‘The Wipers Times’ has recently been edited and published in full as The Wipers Times: The Complete Series of the Famous Wartime Trench Newspaper (Hardcover), Little Books, Jan 2006; ISBN 1-904435-60-2.
JM Winter’s chapter in Vol VIII of The History of the University of Oxford provides a useful survey of Oxford in the First World War.
Mostly but not all illuminated manuscripts images links, from the no longer functioning and soon to be defunct Medieval Manuscripts Appreciation Society on facebook. Bah to the obsolescence of ‘old groups’ – they worked fine for us users, but didn’t serve the corporate purposes of facebok very well. Some of these are from other members of the group, whom I’ve anonymised as ‘contributor’.
Royal Library of the Netherlands: http://www.kb.nl/menu/webexposities.html
– the Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts databank is brilliant, but don’t miss the other medieval web exhibitions.
British Library: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html
– the Sforza Hours, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Sherborne Missal, the Luttrell Psalter…
Also the BL’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/welcome.htm
National Library of Wales Digital Mirror: http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=122 Archives section, Manuscripts section
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: http://image.ox.ac.uk/
Bodleian Western Manuscripts: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/browse.htm
National Library of Scotland: http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/index.html
-Murthly Hours, Auchinleck MS, early printed books and more…
European Libraries Portal (formerly GABRIEL): http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/exhibition/treasures/index.html and many other exhibitions
Royal Library, Copenhagen – Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: http://www.kb.dk/da/nb/materialer/haandskrifter/HA/e-mss/mdr.html
National Library of Norway: http://www.nb.no/opplevelser/tidligere_nettutstillinger
– Norwegian only, but see the AMAZING Schøyensamlingen (now on an independent website, and I wish the nb.no would provide a link from their site) which is in English; also some of the monthly features.
Illuminated Manuscripts in French Libraries http://www.manuscritsenlumines.fr/
Three large online databases of iconography index and describe the illuminated manuscripts preserved in the public libraries of France (Enluminure: municipal libraries, Liber Floridus: libraries of institutions of higher education, Mandragore: National Library of France). There is a good search facility which includes an iconographic search; apparatus and search terms are in French only, but each search field includes an index of terms to browse.
Manuscripts of the West Midlands www.mwm.bham.ac.uk
The Centre for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark: http://www.chd.dk/ English language site, brilliant source for technical information on the contents of Books of Hours for professionals and gifted amateurs.
The Hypertext Book of Hours: http://medievalist.net/hourstxt/home.htm Simple, easy-to follow Book of Hours in English and Latin
Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University and Minnesota , which has the world’s largest depository of renaissance and medieval manuscripts on microfilm. http://www.hmml.org
Cambridge Illuminations http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/exhibitions/cambridge_illuminations/medieval.htm, http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/cambridgeilluminations/
Cologne library http://www.ceec.uni-koeln.de/ contributor notes ‘For anyone who researches the 12th century, the Cologne library offers manuscripts containing fairly early versions of the Glossa ordinaria to many biblical books.’
St Gall library http://www.cesg.unifr.ch/en/
Medieval Imaginations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages .“’Medieval Imaginations’ provides a database of images to enable you to explore the interface between the literature and visual culture of medieval England. It has been compiled to provide images corresponding to the main episodes dramatized in the English Mystery Plays, because these present the medieval view of human history from the Creation to the Last Judgement. These biblical stories, and images related to them, would have been instantly recognisable to a medieval audience.” http://med-imag.english.cam.ac.uk/
Illuminierte Handschriften aus Österreich (ca. 780 – ca. 1250)http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Martina.Pippal/hssdata.htm
Internetquellen zu Handschriften http://www.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/webmania/lhsn.html
Manuscripta Medievalia http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/
Beinecke rare Book & MS Library at Yale http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/
The Medieval Scriptorium http://www.medievalscript.com/
Contributor notes: ‘Aberdeen University Library’s Special Collections has some beautiful manuscripts – the Burnet Psalter and the Aberdeen Bestiary are just two examples. ‘http://www.abdn.ac.uk/historic/Online_collect.shtml
contributor notes: ‘Glasgow University Library\’s Special Collections has some great online exhibitions, including the most recent \’World of Chaucer\’ exhibition’: http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/index.html’ and the newer site at http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/specialcollections/virtualexhibitions/
The first stage of a major cooperation between Stanford University and the parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, is now online at http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/ You need to log in via ?institutional only? subscription to see much.
contributor notes: For those interested in Greek manuscripts, there is a site by the monastery of Simonopetra (Mt Athos) with photos and catalogue of its mss and archive.
Contributor notes: ‘If you wanted to look at some select Irish manuscripts see, ‘Irish Script on Screen’ on http://www.isos.dias.ie/ if you register you get to look at even better quality images .’
Contributor notes: ‘for MSS that are potentially useful rather than aesthetic: http://aalt.law.uh.edu/ , http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/’
Digital Scriptorum: http://www.scriptorium.columbia.edu/
Contributor notes: ‘The good folks at [the Societa Internazionale di Studi Francescani at] Assisi have put high-res colour images of all their mediaeval manuscripts online at:
http://22.214.171.124/bbw/jsp/volumes/?fl_cerca=S&text&ds_shelfmark&id_library=0&id_creator&order=2&limit=9999 Unfortunately, you can’t download them or zoom in, but you can adjust your browser to show pages at a higher magnification.’ Don’t be put off by the horrible URL – it’s right!
Contributor notes: ‘the Beinecke Library at Yale has a great digital images database:
http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/. Use the Finding Aid to get MS Numbers first though: http://webtext.library.yale.edu/finddocs/fadsear.htm ‘
Morgan Library’s digital collection: http://utu.morganlibrary.org/
DIAMM (Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music): http://www.diamm.ac.uk/index.html
Contributor notes: ‘For digital surrogates of entire medieval manuscripts, which you can page through and download onto your desktop, try: http://issuu.com/groups/medievalmanuscripts The Walters Art Museum is publishing all its illuminated manuscripts as surrogates under a Creative Commons copyright. If you know of any manuscripts that you can upload, you could add them to Issuu, and to this communal site.’
Manuscripta Mediaevalia (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich): http://www.bsb-muenchen.de/Manuscripta-Mediaevalia.176+M57d0acf4f16.0.html or http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de
Bangor Pontifical – http://www.bangor.ac.uk/archives/bangorpontifical.php.en (Welsh and English)
Here is a selection of links from the most recent issue of the AMARC newsletter – there is MUCH more information, articles and notices of many more conferences, new projects, exhibitions and other events of interest, in the newsletter. At £10 pa, individual membership is very good value! http://www.amarc.org.uk/ Back issues are available on their website.
First, the next AMARC meeting:
Date: Friday, 9th December
Place: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh)
The John Murray Archive: Engagement and enjoyment of a publishing collection
Programme and application form: http://www.amarc.org.uk/AMARC%20Edinburgh%202011.doc
A few of the positive feast of forthcoming conferences to do with medieval manuscripts:
16-18 November New perspectives on Flemish illumination. Brussels. http://www.kbr.be/actualites/colloque/congres_fr.html
17-19 November Palaeography, Humanism and MS Illumination in Renaissance Italy. A conference in memory of AC de la Mare. London. http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/index.php?id=626
7-9 December Die Illustrierte Chronikhandschrift des Zaren Ivan IV Groznyj. Munich. http://www.vifaost.de/Konferenz
12-13 December Royal Manuscripts at the British Library. London. http://www.bl.uk/whatson/events/event124562.html
22-24 March 2012 How the secularisation of religious houses transformed the libraries of Europe, C16-19. Oxford. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/csb/MigrationofKnowledge.htm
27-29 April Seals and their context in the Middle Ages. Aberystwyth. No website – contact smwstaff[at]aber.ac.uk. There is a related exhibition at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and perhaps a web page will emerge later. Very excited to see a dedicated seals conference 😀
Images of the stained glass in Balliol Chapel are available from the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi HERE and a couple of bits of medieval stained glass in the Library as well, HERE. You can read all about the stained glass in the chapel, before and after rearrangements in 1912, HERE.
Henry Savage’s history of the College is the first history of any Oxford college based on documentary research. It is more of a fund-raiser than a work of scholarship, however. This copy was owned by Lord Eliock in the early 18th century and has a few mss notations to the back material of that period which seem to have been made by someone well-informed on Balliol matters. In the early 20th century it was owned by Edward Hilliard, then Bursar of the college. Balliofergus is already available at gateway.proquest.com/openurl?ctx_ver=Z39 .88-2003&res_… but as the images are scratchy black and white reproductions and the EEBO service is only available by subscription, this copy will help to make the text more widely accessible http://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/sets/72157625334030481
Frances de Paravicini’s college history
HWC Davis’ college history (1st ed)
Victoria County History entry for Balliol College
LA Tollemache, Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol (1904)
Abbott & Campbell The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (2 vols)
Abbott & Campbell’s edition of Letters of Benjamin Jowett