Main | July 2005

June 24, 2005

Travels to the UK - British Library

I spent June 1 - 15, 2005 working with colleague Beth Neil at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. While there, I did a bit of traveling, and one memorable stop was the British Library in London. Long a part of the British Museum, the Library now has its own new building - less than 10 years old - on Euston Road near Kings Cross / St. Pancras underground stop.

I arrived on a beautifully sunny, warm day. This is the courtyard entrance to the British Library on Euston Road. Even though it's on a very busy street, the courtyard effectively uses walls and shrubs to create a sense of intimacy out of the center of London's hub-bub.

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This is the entry to the Library.

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The information counter....

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The stairway leading to the exhibits literally invites visitors to come on in and see what's inside.

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An interesting image for a library....

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One of the treasures I picked up at the Gift Shop was an interactive CD-ROM featuring 12 teasures from the British Library, including The Leonardo Notebook, The Lindisfarne Gospels, Blackwell's Herbal, The Golden Haggadah, and the Sforza Hours.

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It allows you to turn the pages of the book (which you certainly can't do in the exhibit at the library!), gives written and spoken narration, and - coolest of all - it provides a magnifying glass that you can move around the page in order to see greater detail. Some of this functionality can be experienced by going to the British Library's website: http://www.bl.uk

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In addition to seeing documents such as the Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible, and Lindisfarne Gospels all in the same room, the Library has original scores of musicians from Handel (see score to "Messiah" below) to John Lennon.

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Posted by hgroteva at 10:47 PM

June 25, 2005

Travels to the UK - Ely Cathedral

We visited Ely, Cambridgeshire on the weekend of the observance of D-Day. A commemoration was taking place on the grounds of the cathedral.

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The ceremony featured a parade of WWII veterans...

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...followed by members of today's military.

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The ceremony ended with honors for the veterans and their comrades.

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Beautiful windows above the crossing...

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and some very nice stained glass inside.

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Splashes of light from the stained glass windows accentuate the theme of light.

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We attended the service of Choral Evensong, and sat about 5 feet from the choir. Here is a flier advertising openings for choristers.

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The high altar can be seen through the choir screen and choir.

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...and the Lady Chapel was a large space full of light.

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The garden in the Cathedral Close was in bloom.

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And the cathedral cat presided over it all.

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Posted by hgroteva at 2:16 PM

June 30, 2005

Travels to the UK - Home base at the University of East Anglia

During my stay at the University of East Anglia (UEA), I was fortunate to live right on campus in guest housing. My flat is in the picture below - it's the third floor up from ground level. The window right in the center of the photo is the kitchen; to its left is the living room, and to its left is the bedroom.

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UEA was built in the 1960s on the site of a golf course. The campus looks out on to a broad grassy expanse and a lake called "The Broads." This area is a wild life refuge - home to many birds (including herons), a zillion rabbits, and all kinds of flora. Students took advantage of warm June afternoons to picnic and sunbathe near the water. Swimming is dangerous and is not allowed, but the lake is a venue for skulling competitions.

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One of those warm afternoons, I took a walk around the Broads and found a family of ducks paddling around. The little ones stayed pretty close to Mom.

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Here is the view of campus from the other side of the Broads. These buildings are student housing and academic buildings - aptly called Ziggurats - after the ancient Mesopotamian structures.

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On my last evening in Norwich (for this time), we walked through the nature preserve to a local pub for a wonderful meal. On the way, we stumbled upon this bucolic scene reminiscent of the paintings of John Constable. We had seen a BBC special about artists in Norfolk just the evening before, and some of Constable's nature scenes were represented. This photo was taken by Richard Davies (thanks, Rich!)

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And just before making it to the restaurant we were almost eaten by these Triffids. (photo courtesy of Richard Davies) But we bravely escaped, made it to dinner, and enjoyed wine outside on the terrace followed by a wonderful dinner of duck inside.

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I look forward to returning to UEA next July 17-21 for the second International Conference on Adoption Research (ICAR).

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Posted by hgroteva at 5:05 PM