Museum blog

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Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, 1772-1853

22 October 2019

With Napoleon Bonaparte having surrendered to British forces following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo it was decided to send him into exile once again, this time to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena. Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn was given the task of transporting the former Emperor to the island on board HMS Northumberland and the Caird Library and Archive holds an extract from his journal (RMG ID: COC/9) covering these events.

Cover of the personal journal written by Gilbert James Inglis

14 October 2019

October’s item of the month is a personal journal written by Gilbert James Inglis. He served as purser on board the convict ship Duchess of Northumberland and kept a diary on a voyage from London to Hobart, November 1852 to April 1853 (RMG ID: JOD/150)

Barlow's Journal (RMG ID: JOD/4)

23 September 2019

The Libraries Week 2019 theme is celebrating libraries in a digital world. To mark the occasion here at the Caird Library we thought it would be fitting to highlight some of the work we have done over the last few years in digitising parts of our collections and making them more accessible. 

The Battle of Quiberon Bay, 20 November 1759 by Nicholas Pocock

5 September 2019

The Caird Library’s display case has a new display showcasing some of the collection of personal papers of Admiral William Cornwallis.

James Gillray. Consequences of a Successful French Invasion

3 September 2019

One of the many treasures to be found in the collections of the Caird Library is John Pine’s The tapestry hangings of the House of Lords: representing the several engagements between the English and Spanish fleets in the ever memorable year 1588 (RMG ID: PBE3597)

Coloured print showing the departure of the Bermuda floating dock from Porto Santo on 4 July 1869

21 August 2019

I recently catalogued a small collection of papers relating to Rear-Admiral James Francis Ballard Wainwright (1820-1872), numbered ADL/Z/63 in the Archive Catalogue. Some of the items shed light on a notable event at Bermuda one hundred and fifty years ago.

Letter written by Brunel to his grand-daughter Sophia Hawes in 1842

8 August 2019

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening in 1869 of the East London railway line, which now forms part of the London Overground network. The initial stretch of track ran between Wapping and New Cross, and made use of the Thames Tunnel, which had been completed over a quarter of a century earlier, in 1843, with the help of pioneering technology invented by Marc Isambard Brunel.

BGY/E/3

25 July 2019

BGY/E/3 is a file containing small collections relating to two members of the same family. It’s been difficult to determine exactly how James and Edward Everard are related, however. We know that Edward Everard (1739-1819) had six children, and that his youngest, Rebecca, married Henry Prescott Blencowe, whose daughter Elizabeth was James Everard's mother. They are likely to be cousins of some kind as well.

Front page from the September 1931 issue

18 July 2019

My dad is a diehard Union man and in his working life, was heavily involved in negotiations for better contracts for civic employees. Our family heard a lot about the discussions and the delicate balance of arguing for fair recompense and the importance of the union for the ‘working man’. In the case of the Mercantile Marine, the journal collection at the National Maritime Museum holds numerous copies of ‘The Seaman’ although the early copies have distinct titles. This publication records the activities and decisions surrounding the Merchant Navy and its workforce.

Early 17th Century map of the North Pole drawn by Geradus Mercator

8 July 2019

John Dee (1527-1609) was a philosopher and scholar whose work during the Tudor period has been overshadowed by his alleged sorcerous and occultist activities. He is best known for having conversations with angels through his scryer Edward Kelley, his interests in astrology, alchemy, calendar reform and suggesting the date for Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation. What John Dee may not be as well-known for is his influence on English navigation and being the first person to coin the term ‘British Empire’.

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