Author Archives: V. Lacey

Royal celebrations

  The Queen’s diamond jubilee is finally here, and if you want inspiration for a celebration over this weekend, I can assure you there’s no better place to start than this firework sales catalogue from James Pain & sons (pyrotechnists) … Continue reading

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Is there an app for that?

It may be difficult to understand now, but there was a time when there was no such thing as an iphone and we didn’t have apps to help us get through the day. At the start of the twentieth century people … Continue reading

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A typical box

Today I’m going to tell you about a “typical box.”  Apart from the books we catalogue, we also have boxes filled with pamphlets or even just single sheets, which, I’m afraid, look as dull as dishwater, so there won’t be any … Continue reading

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On either side from the carriage window

I’ve recently been away on holiday and when I returned to my morning commute to the University Library, it struck me how much a part of modern life the rail commute is to many. From the familiarity of knowing exactly … Continue reading

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Let’s party – 1919

  My desk is a mess at the moment, but I rather like it that way, because it’s covered with pictures of women in lovely clothes. I’m looking at the Bystander annual for 1919, and it’s strikingly different from the … Continue reading

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The hottest gadgets

Do you remember Mr Weasley in the Harry Potter books, who collected plugs and electrical gadgets? I was never tempted to do so until I saw pictures of the early twentieth century gadgets advertised in Winter’s pie magazine printed during … Continue reading

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Life after the Titanic

William Thomas Stead.  A man well known in his day: an investigative journalist, a hard-hitting social campaigner and a forthright man.  He championed women’s rights and supported the suffragettes; promoted the Poor Law, backed the labouring classes and trade unionism; … Continue reading

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Titanic in the Tower

Sunday sees the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. For the last few months we’ve been finding lots of works about the Titanic in our collection. Even today there are very few people who don’t know the story of the … Continue reading

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2012, 1944, 1913

I want to jump back in time twice today: first let’s go back to 1944. John Betjeman was broadcasting to a war-time audience, and had in fact been asked to talk about how paper rationing was affecting publishing and reading … Continue reading

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Aircraft in War and Commerce

What has struck me about the University Library Tower Collection is how quickly new technologies were embraced in the early 20thCentury and how detailed, well informed books were quickly published. One of the most exciting new technologies of the day … Continue reading

Posted in Aircraft, First World War, Transport, War | 1 Comment