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Documenting a deck apprentice’s journey

4 February 2019 by Vicki Caren

bundles of letters in air mail envelopes

The Jim Fitt collection, before

Today’s guest blog post is by Brenda McCafferty, who completed a placement with us in January as part of her Masters in Archives and Records Management (MARM) degree:

“Recently I was fortunate to receive a placement in the Maritime Archives and Library in partial fulfilment and completion of my Masters of Archives degree program at the University of Liverpool.

My work placement involved arranging and describing a recent acquisition of letters and photographs received from Jim Fitt, detailing his early experiences at sea as an 18-19 year old deck apprentice with Shell Tankers Ltd, 1962-1963.  Read more…

Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines

22 January 2019 by Kay

Cross Talk magazine

Cross Talk magazine

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.

First up is Valerie Stevenson, Head of Academic Services at Liverpool John Moores University. She tells us more about her talk, Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines.

“At Liverpool John Moores University we recently acquired a small archive of books, magazines and personal papers from the family of Peter Farrer, who lived in Liverpool for many years and was an authority on the history of cross-dressing. His collection of dresses was shown in the exhibition Transformation: One man’s cross-dressing wardrobe at the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House. The archive includes runs of two magazines: The Glad Rag, published by the UK Transvestite/Transsexual Support Group and Cross-Talk, by The Northern Concord. Both magazines contain a mix of factual advice and creative writing in the form of short stories and poems.

The Glad Rag magazine

The Glad Rag magazine

Looking through these magazines, it is clear how important they were as a means of communication in the decades before most people had access to email or the Internet. The poems stood out to me because of their intensity of feeling on themes such as identity and the pain of existence. In my paper, I will provide an introduction to the Peter Farrer Archive, which is available to anyone for research purposes, and identify the recurring themes in this group of poems. I found them extremely moving and worthy of further analysis to explore how they compare with more recent collections of trans poetry.”

If you would like to find out more you can hear Valerie speaking on the poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines at approx 11:30 am on 23 February at the Museum of Liverpool.

http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2019/01/outing-the-past-festival-of-lgbt-history-2019/

A letter from William Herschel

8 March 2018 by Alan Bowden

 

1896 Lithograph of William and Caroline Herschel grinding a telescope mirror. Caroline is supplying the grinding paste from the tea cup - not tea.

1896 Lithograph of William and Caroline Herschel grinding a telescope mirror. Caroline is supplying the grinding paste from the tea cup – not tea!

Lord Leverhulme was a collector in the broadest sense of the word, known for his collections of Victorian paintings, sculpture, eighteenth century furniture, tapestries, Wedgwood jasperware and Chinese ceramics.  In his collection at the Lady Lever Art Gallery there are also fascinating historic documents which he collected.

In light of International Women’s Day on 8 March we have been enjoying a beautifully written letter which has brought into focus the life of a remarkable woman of science who lived in the eighteenth century. The woman is Caroline Lucretia Herschel, sister to the better known William Herschel (1738-1822), Royal Astronomer to George 3rd. William shot to fame when he discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 from his home in Bath. He used a telescope he had designed and constructed himself. Read more…

Disaster averted

29 August 2013 by Sam

archive photo of a ship and a tug

‘Kirriemoor’ ship in the Mersey

Curator of Photographic Archives Anne Gleave has found a photograph amongst the Maritime Archives and Library collections which depicts an incident  that occurred on this day 63 years ago: Read more…

Romance in 1934

14 February 2013 by Anne

old photo of smartly dressed couples dancing in a large hall

Dance Party at Reece’s, Parker Street, Liverpool, February 1934 (detail). Commissioned by S Reece & Sons Ltd, Liverpool

The commercial photographic firm of Stewart Bale Ltd were commissioned to take this photograph by Reece & Sons Ltd, from their principal offices in Hawke Street, off Brownlow Hill, Liverpool. Stewart Bale was an important firm of Liverpool based photographers who could command significant commissions, which says something about the status of Reece’s. Read more…

A Liverpool Ship

24 November 2011 by Rebecca

Ship plan from The shipbuilder brochure

Ship plan from The Shipbuilder brochure. Copyright IMarEst

This week I am working on the content for the Titanic and Liverpool:the untold story exhibition which opens March 2012. I am mainly focusing on an interactive touch screen which will allow visitors to explore the layout of Titanic. In the Merseyside Maritime Museum archives and library collection is The White Star- Olympic and Titanic summer brochure of 1911, which was published by The Shipbuilder. This edition features many illustrations for both vessels including a very detailed plan of the ships. I am always taken back by the variety of cabins designed and fitted out. The technical detail of the plans is very impressive. The leisure facilities available such as a library, gym, sauna and swimming pool, which were only available for first class passengers. Read more…

Catalan visit

22 November 2010 by Sarah Starkey

people looking at document

Last week the Maritime Archives & Library had a visit from staff from a number of maritime museums in Catalonia.  The Barcelona Maritime Museum, which, it pains me to say, is in an historic building even more impressive than ours, is thinking of setting up an archive facility with public access and so came to look at our stores and public searchroom.  Needless to say they arrived on a classic Albert Dock day of driving rain and grey skies, but we wouldn’t want the British obsession with the weather to be undermined with a nice sunny day.

Pitt Street remembered at Waterfront event

5 November 2010 by Lucy

Thirty two members of the St Michael in the City Church Group attended an event at the Maritime Museum this week to mark the close of six months of fact-finding in partnership with the Museum of Liverpool Global City gallery team.

Attending the event were those who grew up around Pitt Street and Cleveland Square, whole streets that were flattened in the May Blitz of World War Two. This area was once a hub of activity for Seamen from all over the world, their families part of a vibrant community that would form the foundations of Liverpool’s Chinatown as its known today. Read more…

History of World Museum Liverpool

6 May 2010 by Kay C

Thursday 6 May is the day people have been talking about all across Liverpool: it’s the day our public lecture series features the history of World Museum Liverpool.

Liverpool’s Museum – The First 150 Years is the first of three great talks lined up for this afternoon’s session. Presented by our Executive Director of Collections, John Millard, the event starts at 2pm in the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and is part of our celebrations in the museum’s 150th anniversary year. Read more…

Laying the foundations

15 April 2010 by Lisa

I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing like a gentleman in a top hat and tails – it’s truly a stylish and dapper fashion statement. The guys below are all dressed up for a special occasion, so let’s look at the archives – for our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary – and see what they were up to on this day in 1857…


Old photo of men moving a large foundation stone

Laying the foundations for a great museum!

On 15 April 1857, William Brown laid the foundation stone of the new museum and library – the beginnings of the building in which World Museum is now housed. The records show that:

‘…a select party breakfasted in the Town Hall, with Samuel Holmes Esq, Deputy Mayor.  At half past ten, a numerous company assembled in the large ball-room…

At the close of the Presentation of Addresses, a Procession was formed, which moved through the principal streets to the site of the intended building…’

Those listed in the procession were;

‘Police of the Fire Brigade, Band of the Bluecoat Hospital, Members of the Arrangement Committee, the Bishop, Alderman Home,  W M Brown Esq, M.P. (Deputy Mayor.) Invited Guests, Magistrates of the Borough, Aldermen and Town Councillors. Gentlemen who presented the Addresses, Deputations, Other Gentlemen Present.’

‘They marched three abreast, through Castle Street, Lord Street, Church Street, Parker Street, and Lime Street, to Shaw’s Brow.  Thousands of spectators lined both sides of the streets; and both private houses and public buildings were profusely decorated with flags.  The bells of the Parish Church rang out merry peals. As Mr. Brown emerged from the Town Hall the Band struck up ‘See the Conquering Hero Come’.’

The American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was there and described the laying of the museum’s foundation stone;

‘Mr. Browne himself, the hero of the day, was the plainest and simplest man of all. An exceedingly unpretending gentleman in black; small, white-haired, pale, quiet, and respectable. I rather wondered why he chose to be the centre of all this ceremony; for he did not seem either particularly to enjoy it, or to be at all incommoded by it, as a more nervous and susceptible man might have been.

The site of the projected edifice is on one of the streets bordering on St. George’s Hall and when we came within the enclosure, the corner-stone, a large square of red freestone, was already suspended over its destined place. It has a brass plate let into it, with an inscription…’

They certainly laid the foundations for a great museum and it sounds like it was a ceremony worthy of putting on your Sunday Best! Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.