“Stand Up and Be Counted”

While the General Election campaign for 2017 has been short it has definitely been eventful. The polls have changed dramatically and more people have flocked to political rallies than they have for years according to some sources. We are proud to say that DMU has hosted 3 events — Be the Change, Be the Change 2 and Be the Change 3 which took place on Tuesday — to promote political debate and exchange and to raise awareness about the importance of voting itself.

So, on this final day of decision-making, June 8th, which also happens to be the 104th anniversary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison, the fearless suffragette who was continuously arrested and eventually killed when she stepped in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby in her final act of campaigning for Equal Voting Rights, we thought we would share some material to remind us that we should never take our vote for granted or let the media and polls with their predictions of successes or failure stifle our will to vote.

The following images are taken from a collection that belonged to Romola Christopherson which relate to the 50th anniversary celebrations of equal voting rights that took place in 1978.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Russell, writing for The Guardian today asks us to think about about why and what women still need to vote for today, and while I completely agree that we need to focus on the future, it is still important to remember the feminist gains of the suffragettes and the 2nd wave feminist movement of the 1970s – you never know their stories might be inspirational!

Whatever your views make your voice heard and vote!!!

Be the Change Part 2

On our lunch break today we decided to attend the Be The Change Part 2 event held on DMU campus. Gearing up for the general election, the event was a follow up to the one held earlier in the month which we also posted about, and up for debate today were the manifestos of the Lib Dems, the Labour Party and the Conservatives.

 

Whether by accident or design, I just happened to be there when the Labour manifesto was being discussed and the topics covered included, immigration, student fees, the role of social media in mobilising younger voters, and whether a party’s policies can be viewed separately to its leader. Also mentioned was the Labour landslide victory of 1945, and so I thought this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dig out some press coverage from that period:

This election seems particularly pertinent as it was also considered a fait accompli. However, to the surprise of many, Labour won because its social policies struck a chord and despite the the overwhelming popularity of the Conservative leader, Sir Winston Churchill, the Tory party and its policies were out of step. It was indeed time for change!

Whatever your views, make sure your voice is heard #bethechange2 and vote in the 2017 election on June 8th.

This political broadcast has now finished but Be the Change at The Castle is going until 4pm today so don’t miss it!

 

 

 

Learning at Work Week 2017: A History of Library Services at DMU

There were emotional scenes yesterday as Katharine delivered a lecture on the history of DMU’s libraries with a focus on the creation and development of Kimberlin. Without too many spoilers (we don’t want to miss out on the anticipation of our potential publication for the 40 years anniversary in November), the talk brought back many memories for our longer-serving staff members in terms of original building layout, extensions, and obsolete technology and systems.

 

 

 

Most importantly, however, the images and promotional videos reminded all of earlier days and the people they used to work with. While many were able to share forgotten memories with their colleagues, we were also reminded of absent friends: those who have moved on to pastures new or those who have now passed away.

 

 

As with any trip down memory lane, there are always mixed feelings, but much fun was had looking at 80s hair-dos, big glasses, and trying to name the faces in our”unidentified” collection of staff images. It is even hoped we might hold an archives event to help match up names and faces.

 

The Special Collections team would like to say a big thank you to all who attended the event yesterday; we were honoured to put the talk together and we enjoyed watching your responses to it!

International Nurses Day 2017

 

The 12th May has been celebrated as #internationalnursesday since 1965 as a way of appreciating and raising awareness about the important and diverse roles nurses play in our society. The date was chosen specifically because it is also Florence Nightingale’s (1820-1910) birthday, a social reformer and the founder of modern nursing.

De Montfort University and Leicester has a long history of nurse and midwifery training and so today seemed like a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the valuable work of all nurses (from those just beginning their training to the long-serving veterans) by showcasing two major collections, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Pauline Wells Collection a member of the Leicester General Hospital Nurses’ League who qualified as a nurse in 1960.

 

Leicester officially began training nurses at the Royal Infirmary in 1870 in association with the Institution for Trained Nurses, and as the profession and training courses evolved, from 1903 nurses began to receive what should be considered essential tools for learning, such as access to a library, formal training and lectures, and good accommodation. In keeping with the theme for this year on sustainable development, long may these and other provisions continue.

Both collections include a diverse range of artefacts and papers, from course guides, syllabus booklets, and examination reports to photographs, medical equipment, certificates, and correspondence. Such materials provide a fascinating insight not only into the history of nursing but into the personal experiences of some of the nurses themselves.

 

A formal two-year nursing course was established in 1966 and the School itself relocated a number of times across the decades. One of the School’s most significant developments came when it merged with De Montfort University in 1995  to become the School of Nursing and Midwifery within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences with training taking place at the Charles Frears Campus.

The Charles Frears campus was closed in 2011 and the School of Nursing and Midwifery is now based in Edith Murphy House providing classrooms, lecture theatre, ICT lab, meeting rooms and offices.

As well as wanting to show appreciation to all nurses past and present we also wish all our current nurses and midwives in training success in the upcoming exam period.

Shakespeare Week 20th-26th March 2017

Alternative Shakespeare

While in the past we have done numerous posts and exhibitions showcasing some of the amazing Shakespeare-related materials we have in the archive, we could not resist posting something for Shakespeare Week

So, we set ourselves the challenge of trying to find some of the more unusual items in our collections that have not been used before. The following four items are a testament (as if we were ever in doubt) to the fact that Shakespearean culture and references can be found everywhere and in archival collections where you might not expect!

First up is this beautiful slide from the UNESCO World Art Series: Iran. The image shows the titular characters, Laila and Majnun, from the Persian love story written by poet, Nizami Ganjavi in the 10th century. Despite being written before Shakespeare’s play, the poem is often referred to as the Romeo and Juliet of the East.

 

Second, is an extract taken from a book that has only recently come to Special Collections with the acquisition of the Briggs-Blake-Zurbrugg Memorial Library. Eyewitnesses of Shakespeare: First Hand Accounts of Performances 1590-1890 is a fascinating collection of contemporaneous reactions to Shakespeare’s plays and how they were performed, with one nineteenth-century reviewer bewailing the tendency for Juliets to over-act their grief in a violent manner. For variety, the extract below is one of the earliest records of an audience report of Julius Caesar from 1599.

 

Third, is an image from our Vogue collection. In the 1940 August issue this fabulous image of Laurence Olivier (swoon) and Vivien Leigh celebrates their marriage as well as promoting their Broadway performance in Romeo and Juliet which took place during the same year.

The Vogue Collection spans from 1937-1997 and includes the British, French and Italian publications as well as L’uomo Vogue (Men’s Vogue).

 

And finally, we have a script taken from the Andrew Davies Collection, Rohan and Julie, sub-titled Romeo and Juliet Today in Northern Ireland. Here we have a contemporary setting and instead of the Capulets and Montagues our vying families are the Caffertys and Morrisons.

 

Rather unexpectedly, this post has developed a distinct Romeo and Juliet theme. If only I had started earlier in the week  – I could have done a play a day!

 

 

#LoveInternational March 2017

In anticipation of DMU’s latest #Loveinternational event scheduled for tomorrow, we thought we would show our support by highlighting how DMU and its predecessors has always had an international outlook that actively promotes tolerance and compassion.

On this day in 1980, the Leicester Mercury reported on how DMU and its students  took action to help refugees:

Tomorrow’s event will feature the unveiling of an installation created by art graduate, Marcus Dove, in the Vijay Patel Building. This will be followed by a speech from the Vice Chancellor, Dominic Shellard who will then lead a march to Welford Road for the inaugural men’s and women’s rugby fixtures.

Keep supporting #Loveinternational