On 20 June, I was joined by Fr Thomas, and Brothers Marc and Steven on a visit to the University of York Library and the Borthwick Institute for Archives. The University Library received 3,000 or so books from the Community of the Resurrection in 1973, primarily to care for the unique collection, which has been on loan to the since then. The books, most of which were printed before 1800 and many in Europe, are mainly theological, but there are other subjects within the collection too. Amongst them is material from the Wilberforce family, including the abolitionist William.
Treasures in the collection include an edition of St Augustine’s De civitate Dei, printed by Nicolas Jenson in Venice (1475) and a copy of William Tyndale’s The newe Testament of our savyoure Jesu Christe, newly and dylygently translated into Englyshe wyth annotacions in the mergent to help the reader to the understandynge of the texte (1536).
Some of the archives from the Community are held at the Borthwick Institute of Archives, covering administration of the Community and College, activities in South Africa, personal papers and diaries of brethren, photographs and so much more – even letters from royalty!
Both collections are kept in purpose-built high security, temperature controlled stores; these were very impressive and everything was ordered and well cared for. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of Sarah Griffin (Special Collections Librarian) and Gary Brannan (Access Archivist) who have responsibility for looking after – and helping people to use – our collection and others.
Anisha Christison Academic Librarian