This photograph of Sir Antony Gormley’s ‘Free Object’, a sculpture which stands on the College Backs, was taken by James Kirwan and recently won second prize in a College-wide competition. James says his photograph seeks to capture ‘the texture and geometry of the statue’. When he is not taking photographs, James manages the Library’s project to digitise the College’s medieval manuscripts. The project has been running for almost 5 years and over 700 manuscripts can be viewed online. The Wren Digital Library includes, not only treasures from the medieval collection, but also some of the more significant modern manuscripts.
Our final photograph for this year is taken from the Munby Collection. This major 19th-century collection of photographs and diaries, put together by Arthur J Munby (1828-1910), came to Trinity in the early 20th century and was opened, after an interval under the terms of the bequest, in 1950.
The collection’s significance lies in the interest Munby showed in the lives of working women. He kept diaries, made notes and sketches, and amassed a major collection of photographs including those of pit brow girls, female colliers, fisher girls, milk women, acrobats and domestic servants. The Sub-Librarian, Sandy Paul, discusses his interest in the collection here.
The entire collection will eventually be accessible via Adam Matthew Publications. In the meantime a few images are reproduced below:
Hiley, M., Victorian Working Women: Portraits from Life (London, 1979)
Henry Martyn Taylor (1842–1927) was an undergraduate at Trinity and later a Fellow. A mathematician who contributed to the study of geometry, he is also remembered for an innovation which made mathematical texts more accessible to blind people. After catching influenza at the age of 52, his sight was damaged and he eventually became completely blind. Undeterred, he familiarised himself with Braille script and the Braille typing machine and went on to develop a series of new symbols for mathematical notation and diagrams within the Braille system. He also founded the Embossed Scientific Books Fund under the auspices of the Royal Society in order to make these texts more widely available.
This month we welcome new students to Trinity and shortly they will all visit the Wren Library to sign the Admission Book. College Statutes were altered to allow the admission of women to the college in 1975. This photograph dates from 1976, the year that female graduate students first arrived. Marian Hobson was elected the first female Fellow in 1977 and female undergraduates were admitted a year later in 1978.
This month’s photograph shows Andrew Sydenham Farrar Gow (1886–1978). A classical scholar, ASF Gow was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1911 but spent the years 1914 to 1925 as the Assistant Master of Eton College. Gow’s notable works include editions of Machon, Theocritus and the Greek Anthology.
The Gow collection at Trinity College Library consists of 323 books from Gow’s library, most of them published in the 20th century, on the subjects of art, classics and literature (Gow 1-323). Gow was a friend and colleague of the poet and classicist A.E. Housman, who is best known for the series of poems called ‘A Shropshire lad’. Housman also came to Trinity in 1911, taking the Kennedy Professorship in Latin. The Gow collection contains 33 books by or about A.E. Housman, including one written by Housman’s sister Clemence and illustrated by his brother Laurence Housman (Gow 314).
Gow’s memorial is in Trinity College Chapel.
This photograph shows bathers at Trinity during the Long Vacation in 1894. The three terms at Cambridge are separated by three vacations (Christmas, Easter and Long Vacation). The Long Vacation is aptly named since it runs from mid June until the end of September. During this time no undergraduate teaching takes place. The Long Vacation is also known as the Research Period.
This photograph shows Abram Samoilovitch Besicovitch (b. 1891) mowing Trinity College lawns during the Second World War. Originally from Russia, Besicovitch came to Cambridge as a lecturer in 1927, was made a fellow in 1930 and was later appointed Rouse-Ball Professor of Mathematics (1950-58). He died in Cambridge in 1970.
For further biographical information see the Trinity College Chapel Website.
This month’s photograph shows a group attending the Trinity May Ball in 1905. They are posed around the water fountain in the Market Place. College May Balls traditionally happen, not in May, but in June at the end of the exam period.
The ball at Trinity College is the first to take place and is officially known as the First and Third Boat Club May Ball. The first official ball took place in 1866 to celebrate the success of the First and Third rowing teams at the May Bumps (a rowing competition which still takes place annually).
For more on the Bumps see the website of the Cambridge University Combined Boatclubs.
This month’s photograph is of the mathematician, Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947). As the mentor of Srinivasa Ramanujan, he is currently portrayed by Jeremy Irons in the film ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’.
For a detailed biography see http://trinitycollegechapel.com/about/memorials/brasses/hardy/
The 80th anniversary of the death of the classical scholar and poet A. E. Housman is on the 30th of this month. Housman was the Kennedy Professor of Latin at Trinity from 1916 onwards. The Wren Library has an autograph copy of his best-known collection, A Shropshire Lad, given by Housman in 1926. Housman published the series of 63 poems at his own expense in 1896, but it has remained in print ever since. The manuscript has recently been added to the Wren Digital Library.