La Rentre: Ten books about the Victorians

We’re now well and truly into September, the nights are drawing in and it’s starting to feel a little autumnal. As the French would say, it’s la rentree – that time of year forever associated with going back to school after the holidays.

So why not make the most of that back-to-school feeling by brushing up on your knowledge? Here are ten wonderful books about the Victorians, to ease you back in to historical studies! Continue reading

Archives and History News: Glastonbury Festival, women in the First World War, and sound recordings!

Glastonbury festival has gradually moved from from hippy counter-culture to mainstream middle-class staple. The V&A now keeps an archive about Glastonbury, the final nail in the counter-culture coffin. Glastonbury is dead. Long live Glastonbury!

An image from the V&A’s Glastonbury archive

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Archives and History News: Andy Warhol, Sinn Fein, Jeff Beck, Aboriginal photography, Mussolini and the LAPD!!

Digital art by Andy Warhol

The archives world is very concerned with digital obsolescence. This may seem like an obscure topic, but it’s one that’s increasingly going to affect our lives. In 1985 Andy Warhol created some digital artworks and saved them on Amiga disks. After a painstaking 3-year project, they’ve now been recovered from that obsolete data format. That’s not a problem you have to worry about with art on canvas. Continue reading

Goths at the Guildhall

Me, rather under-dressed compared to Queen Victoria!

Me, rather under-dressed compared to Queen Victoria!

On Friday night I laced up my corset, slathered on the eyeliner, and went to a Gothic ball at London’s Guildhall with my friends.

The highlight of the evening was the incredible Leopold Aleksander, Victorian Strongman.  Nothing impresses the ladies more than a gentleman who can crumple up a frying pan with his bare hands while retaining the perfect moustache.  There was also some fabulous ghost-story telling, and a brilliant music-hall band provided us with a great selection of Victorian ditties such as ‘ooohhh my popsy wopsy!’  A ‘Death drawing’ class also provided a grisly alternative to the usual ‘life-drawing’ classes.

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The memorial to heroic self-sacrifice

Squashed into a corner of postman’s park in the city of London is the rather forlorn ‘memorial to heroic self-sacrifice’. It consists of a wall of ceramic tiles, each one commemorating someone who gave their life to save others, hiding under a little roof like an upmarket bus shelter.


Memorial in commemoration of heroic self sacrifice

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