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Senate House Library

New Zealand lantern slides & British Art History feature in newly catalogued items


Written by
Sean Macmillan, Archives Manager, Senate House Library

Discover over 3,000 newly catalogued items at Senate House Library...

As part of our regular cataloguing projects, the following four archive collections of over 3,000 items have now been fully catalogued, adding more detail about what they contain and what a researcher can expect to find when studying the collections.

New Zealand Lantern Slides

The New Zealand Lantern Slides collection (MS1276) of photographic slides relate to New Zealand in the late 19th and 20th century. There are 14 boxes of around 750 slides containing a number of fascinating images including images of the Maori and local people, the New Zealand landscape, thermal mud baths, amongst other topics. 

Highlights include images of Maori settlements, carved gates, and Maori decorations as well as images of New Zealand’s deadliest volcano eruption at Mount Tarawera in 1886 and the devastation it did to the local landscape and infrastructure. There are also various images of rivers, such as Wanganui, in addition to merchant and military shipping, boating, and canoeing images. Some images were captured by New Zealand educator Josiah Martin (1843-1916), who endeavoured to set up a national educational programme and strove for educational reform. Several of Martin’s photographs were published in various magazines, and Martin received a number of awards. This collection would be of immense interest to anyone curious about New Zealand near the turn of the 20th century, the Maori, Victorian/Edwardian photography and Environmental History.

New Zealand Lantern Slides (MS1276)

Michael Kidron papers (MS1271)

Michael Kidron was one of the early founders of the International Socialists (IS) (forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party; SWP) through the 1960s and 1970s, and the first editor of International Socialism journal. He is perhaps best remembered for writing 'The State of The World Atlas', jointly with Ronald Segal and Dan Smith. His archival collection largely comprises of fascinating correspondence he had with various socialist contemporaries with over 300 individual letters. The wonderful feature of this collection is that it has been catalogued to file/letter level, which means that almost every letter is identified as an individual record with the correspondent’s name the title of the record. A contact of Kidron’s also kindly offered various detailed descriptions of each piece of correspondence, which has been incorporated into the catalogue and offers an immense level of detail and information. 

Highlights in this collection include Kidron’s correspondence with noted socialists such as Raymond Challinor, Marxist historian, who discuss the state of left wing politics in the 1950s and Wilebaldo Solano, Spanish Communist activist during the Spanish Civil War, on socialism in Cuba. There are also materials relating specifically to the journal International Socialism during its formative years (1960-1963) where Kidron played a key role, as well as Kidron’s time as a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of California, where he taught a course, dealing with the impact of large and permanent military establishments. Overall this collection is an excellent source of information for anyone interested in left wing and socialist movements in the United Kingdom, and abroad, in the second half of the 20th century. 

Michael Kidron papers (MS1271)

Katharine Emily Eggar archives

Katharine Emily Eggar was a musician and Shakespearean Archivist who spent over thirty years researching the life and times of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Eggar argued that Lord Oxford was the real author of Shakespeare's works and planned to publish her writings, but unfortunately she died in August 1961, before the preparatory work for her book was complete. Her archive (MS987) of 28 boxes containing around 166 files, largely relates to her research and planned book, which includes extensive research and information on Lord Oxford. 

One of the highlights of this collection is Eggar’s correspondence with various other “Oxfordians” (others who believed that Lord Oxford was really Shakespeare). This includes correspondence with none other than J.T Looney the originator of the Oxfordian theory in 1920 with his book “Shakespeare identified”. There is correspondence with Bernard Mordaunt Ward, a soldier and fellow vocal subscriber of the Oxfordian view; and Percy Allen a lecturer and writer who supported the Oxfordian theory, and also believed that Lord Oxford had a secret child with Queen Elizabeth the 1st, something that Eggar also studied. There are also materials relating to the “Shakespeare Fellowship”, a society founded in 1921 that was dedicated to considering who the true author of Shakespeare’s works were. This collection is a brilliant source of information for anyone interested in the Shakespeare authorship question, or the development of the Shakespeare Fellowship. Moreover, Eggar is notable for being one of the few women who was active in the Shakespeare question at this time.

Letter to Katharine Emily Eggar

Francis Wormald papers (MS809)

Wormald was an antiquarian and palaeographer, who also held various heritage and education management roles including Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR). The collection of over 300 files contains working notebooks and lecture notes on publications written by Wormald, largely relating to his academic studies. It also includes various materials and essays relating to the legendary “Bayeux Tapestry”, the unique 11th century artefact that illustrates the story of the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy in 1066. Wormald discovered that the tapestry designer was inspired by illuminated manuscripts from the houses in Canterbury in the 11th century. The collection also includes his academic notes relating to medieval calendars, mediaeval library catalogue, and manuscripts. There are also materials relating to the historic Walpole society who promote the study of British Art history. Overall, this collection is a wonderful source of information for anyone interested in medieval history and art, and offers the raw and unfiltered insights of an extremely talented and prolific academic. 

Item from the Francis Wormald papers (MS809)