Reblogged: Letters from the Front: A Soldier’s Experiences in the First World War

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog

Penny Blackburn, an archive volunteer, writes:

The Great War Letters of Arthur Powell, acquired by the Library in 2014, chronicle a soldier’s life on the Western Front during the First World War.

Arthur Powell enlisted with the Manchester Pals in October 1914, at age of eighteen. For most of the war he served with the 19th King’s Liverpool Regiment. After a period of time in Salonika, Greece, where he was involved with the British withdrawal of troops, he finally reached home in May 1919. By the time of demobilisation he had risen to the rank of Corporal and the pride he had in his new title is clearly evident in the way he addressed his letters.

Arthur wrote home to his parents regularly, every three or four days, except when he was on the march, with his unit, or during periods of ‘fatigue’ duty when he was taken for Lewis Gun training…

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Conference: Der Mittelalterliche Brief zwischen Norm und Praxis – Aachen (11/17)

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Florian Hartmann, RWTH Aachen University

Dates and venue: 30.11.2017-02.12.2017, Aachen, Historisches Institut, Leonardo-Raum, RWTH Aachen University, Theaterplatz 14, D-52056 Aachen

Im Jahr 2013 nahm das DFG-Netzwerk zur mittelalterlichen ars dictaminis seine Arbeit auf, um das erste Handbuch der mittelalterlichen Briefstillehre überhaupt zu verfassen. Mit diesem Werk wird erstmals ein umfassender Überblick über die bis heute in Tausenden von Handschriften überlieferten, in der mittelalterlichen Praxis also enorm geschätzten, in der Forschung aber meist ignorierten Prosalehren geboten, welche die theoretische Grundlage fast der gesamten Textproduktion des späteren Mittelalters waren. Parallel zur derzeitigen Schlussredaktion dieses Handbuches soll auf der internationalen Konferenz anhand ganz unterschiedlicher Beiträge die Vielfalt mittelalterlicher Briefkultur demonstriert werden. Ein wesentliches Ziel besteht darin,laufende Forschungsprojekte zu vernetzen und exemplarisch den Blick für das Potential und den Reichtum zu schärfen, den die wissenschaftliche Beschäftigung mit dem reichen Bestand mittelalterlicher Brieftheorie und Briefpraxis bereithält.


Do, 30.11.2017

Florian Hartmann (Aachen): Projektvorstellung und Zielsetzung des

Benoît Grévin (Paris): Potential und Desiderata der Forschungen zur
mittelalterlichen Briefstillehre: die Briefsammlungen

16:15 Pause

Sektion I (Matthias Thumser, Berlin)
Briefe, Briefsammlungen und ihre Überlieferung im späten Mittelalter

Micol Long (Ghent): Letters in context: Learning through letters in the
late Middle Ages

Sara Bischetti (Venedig): Tradizione e circolazione manoscritta delle
opere dettatorie di Guido Faba

Lena Vosding (Düsseldorf): Monastische Briefsammlungen des späten

Fr, 1.12.2017

Sektion II (Fabio della Schiava, Löwen)
Von der ars dictaminis zum Humanismus

Harald Müller (Aachen): Der Humanistenbrief und sein Publikum

Marco Petoletti (Mailand): Raccolte di lettere del Trecento

10:30 Pause

Clémence Revest (Paris): La diplomatica pontificia tra ars dictaminis e
umanesimo : metodi di ricerca e piste interpretative

11 :45
Thomas Wölki (Berlin): “Gnediger herr, lasst mich nit auf die
fleischpank geben!” Der Einsatz von Briefen in der politischen Kultur:
Unbekannte Briefe zur Gradner-Fehde 1455/1456

12: 30 Mittagspause

Sektion III (Benoît Grévin, Paris)
Forschungsperspektive 1: Ars dictaminis und Notariat

14:00 Matthieu Allingri (Aix-en-Provence): Culture notariale et Ars
dictaminis en Toscane et en Catalogne: une comparaison

14:45: Magdalena Weileder (München): Zur Benutzung von Formulae in der
Praxis in der Kirchenprovinz Salzburg

16:00: Führung durch den Aachener Dom für Referentinnen, Referenten und

Sektion IV (Antonio Montefusco, Venedig)
Forschungsperspektive 2: Von der ars dictaminis zur Literatur

17:30 Nicolas Michel (Namur): La place du Morale Somnium Pharaonis dans
le réseau des collections de dictamina, un cas atypique d’hybridation

18:15 Gaia Tomazzoli (Venedig): Dall’ars dictaminis al linguaggio
figurato dantesco: il caso delle metafore politiche

Sa 2.12.2017

Sektion V (Fulvio Delle Donne, Potenza)
Forschungsperspektive 3: Ars dictaminis als Zugang zu Wissen und

9:00 Francesca Battista (Wien): Women’s Voices in Medieval Letter
Collections and Artes dictandi

9:45 Francesca Tarquinio (Florenz): Storia e geografia nel

10:30 Pause

11:00 Martina Pavoni (Florenz): Il mondo nuovo nelle espistole. L’amore
nei “Carmina Ratisponensia”

11:45 Luca Core (Padua): La “revolutio” della “Rota Veneris”

12:30 Abschlussdiskussion: Ergebnisse und Forschungsperspektiven

Prof. Dr. Florian Hartmann
Historisches Institut
Wissensdiskurse des Mittelalters
RWTH Aachen University
Theaterplatz 14
52056 Aachen

Source URL: <;

Reblogged: Networks and Individuals: Opportunities and challenges in mapping relationships through the study of correspondence

Insightful and informative summary of papers, discussions, and at the end a very useful list of relevant questions that necessitate further research and debate.

Lives of Letters

The Lives and Afterlives of Letters Network’s three events for semester 1 take the form of four 10-minute lightning talks with 40 minutes of interdisciplinary discussion following, with a special focus on methodological issues and the sharing of best practices.

The first session took place on Thursday 12 October in the historic surrounds of the Christie Room at the John Rylands Library, and centred on the study of Networks and Individuals.

A report of the four lightning talks and the discussion following is provided below.

Roberta Mazza (UoM, Classics and Ancient History): Networking in Roman and Byzantine Egypt: Private Letters on Papyrus From the John Rylands Collection

jrl1502105 Letter from Heron to Heroninus, 2nd Century CE (John Rylands Library Greek P 57)

Dr Roberta Mazza, Lecturer in Graeco-Roman Material Culture, presented an overview of the focus of her recent research: the John Rylands Library’s collections of 2000…

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Reblogged: Seminar 2: Curating Correspondence – 9 November

Lives of Letters

Please join us for our second seminar this semester. Four lightening talks will spotlight projects and emerging issues related to curating correspondence, followed by discussion.

9 November, 5-6.30pm, The Christie Room, The John Rylands Library

All welcome.

RSVP if you would like to join us for dinner. Subsidies are available for PGR students attending the dinner – please let us know if this applies to you in your RSVP.

Lives of Letters Curating Correspondence 9 Nov 2017 web.png

Poster design: Andrew Wilshere @andrewwilshere

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Reblogged: 18th century coffee culture from the letters of Lady Louisa Conolly

OPW-MU Archive and Research Centre Blog

By Nicola Kelly, Archivist, OPW-Maynooth University Archive and Research Centre

The habit of coffee drinking first became popular in Europe early in the 17th century and the first coffee house was opened in Oxford at The Angel in 1650. Over the next two hundred years coffee houses flourished in cities such as London, Paris and Vienna, acting as informal meeting places where information was exchanged through conversation and print.

According to a pamphlet, the ‘women’s petition against coffee’ of 1674, coffee made men ‘as unfruitful as the sandy deserts, from where that unhappy berry is said to be brought.’

Despite some of these objections, coffee houses blossomed, over 2,000 having been set up in London by 1700. Literary contemporaries described clergymen snug in coffee houses penning sermons; doctors used them for consultations. Dublin’s earliest coffee houses were opened in the late 17th century, and remained popular throughout the 18th century…

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CFP: Letters in Troubled Times: Evaluating Epistolary Sources; Tallahassee 02/2018

Organizers: Suzanne M. Sinke, Professor, Department of History, Florida State
University; G. Kurt Piehler, Director of the Institute on World War II
and the Human Experience, and Professor at Florida State University;
Sylvia Hahn, Vice-Rector and Professor, University of Salzburg

Conference date and venue: 16.02.2018, Tallahassee, Florida State University
Submission deadline: 22.10.2017

This conference seeks to bring together scholars of Austrian and American history along with others who have an interest in evaluating and utilizing letters from the past as sources. Representatives of the Austrian Migrant Letter Collection project, sponsored by the University of Salzburg, will discuss some of their findings. Representatives from the History Department and World War II Institute at Florida State University will provide insights from their collection. The organizers welcome other scholars with expertise in epistolary critique as well as those interested in Austrian migration more broadly. After the conference, the group plans to publish a selection of papers in a special edition of the Journal of Austrian-American History. There is no fee to participate. The conference sponsors will cover hotel and meal costs for accepted participants. Airfare will be available for a limited number of scholars as well.

Conference sponsored by the Department of History and Institute for World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University and the University of Salzburg.

Please send an abstract of 150-250 words describing the paper you would like to present to by 22 October 2017.

Suzanne M. Sinke, Professor, Department of History, Florida State

URL of original source:

Reblogged: ‘Editing Modernist Letters Workshop Thursday 2nd November 2017’

Editing Modernist Letters Workshop Thursday 2nd November 2017 – Special Collections, University of Reading The archival turn in modernist studies has been closely intertwined with the publication of private correspondence. From the complicated saga of the T.S. Eliot correspondence editions to the recently completed Letters of Samuel Beckett, the publication of letters continues to […]

via Editing Modernist Letters Workshop — BARP