ATBL’s Grant Helps Secure Pinter Archives

Harold Pinter (left) with Ronald Milne, Director of Scholarships and Collections at the British Library

Harold Pinter (left) with Ronald Milne, Director of Scholarships and Collections at the British Library. Photo: BL

In March the Library hosted a party to celebrate the acquisition of the complete Harold Pinter Archive and a reception to honor the renowned playwright himself.

Ronald Milne, Director, Scholarship and Collections, gave a speech applauding the Library’s newly acquired Pinter archive, parts of which were on display as an exhibition called His Own Domain:  Harold Pinter, A Life in Theatre.  The exhibit featured a range of unique manuscripts, letters, photographs and sound recordings and paid tribute to Harold Pinter’s life as an actor, director and writer of some of the most significant plays of the 20th century.  Mr. Pinter received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2005.

This acquisition was made possible by the generosity of many donors, including The American Trust for the British Library, Dr. Alice Griffin, the Friends of the British Library, and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.   A highlight of the event was the reading by Pinter of one of his own unpublished, previously unknown poems.

Royal Opening

The official opening by Princess Anne of the British Library’s Centre for Conservation, a world-class facility for all aspects of book conservation and the restoration of recorded sound; the ATBL, which provided grants for the Centre’s building, has two named plaques on a training workbench and leather preparation area in the new Centre.

BL’s Treasure Chest

Lindesfarne Gospels at th British LibraryThe Lindisfarne Gospels (circa 700 A.D.). One of the most magnificent manuscripts of the early Middle Ages, written and decorated at the end of the seventh century by the monk Eadrith who became the Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698. The ruins of Lindisfarne Abbey on Britain’s northeast coast are still open to visitors. Click image to view larger.

BL’s New ‘Breaking The Rules’ Exhibition

Exploring Europe’s Early Avant Garde Era

Breaking the Rules Exhibit at British LibraryTo mark the opening of the new Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras, immediately behind the Library, the major winter exhibition in the Pearson Gallery will have a European theme, as well as a link with the golden age of rail travel. “Breaking the Rules: The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937” explores the creative transformation which took place in Europe during the first four decades of the twentieth century – a revolution encompassing art, design, photography, literature, theatre, music and architecture.
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Lynne J. Brindley made a Dame of the British Empire

Lynne J. BrindleyCongratulations to Lynne J. Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, who was made a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) for services to education in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour’s list. She will be invited to Buckingham Palace later in the year to receive her commendation from the Queen.

Report from the British Library’s Chief Executive

I am delighted to introduce to members of the American Trust our new Chairman of the British Library Board, Sir Colin Lucas. He succeeds Lord Eatwell who recently completed his five-year term as Chairman.

Sir Colin recently stepped down as Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and is now Warden of Rhodes House and chief executive of the Rhodes Trust, the charitable organization responsible for bringing some of the world’s finest scholars to Oxford. During his seven years as Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin led the modernization of the University and saw it ranked fifth in the world, outranked only by four leading U.S. institutions.

Sir Colin began his academic career at the universities of Sheffield and Manchester. He served initially at Oxford as a fellow and tutor in Modern History at Balliol College. At the University of Chicago in the early 1990s he was chairman of the History Department and dean of the Social Sciences division. In 1994 he returned to Oxford as Master of Balliol. He is a specialist in the history of 18th-century France, principally the French Revolution.

I very much look forward to working with Sir Colin in this exciting and demanding time for the Library.

I also wish to thank all members of the American Trust who have helped us realize a number of major initiatives including the conservation of the Codex Sinaiticus; completion of certain components of the new Conservation Centre; and the introduction of bursaries to train and support the next generation of sound archivists in the BL’s Sound Archive.
Dame Lynne Brindley

British Library Publishing News

Autumn is an active time for British Library Publishing, with several exciting titles being launched in both book and audio formats. Two new audio CDs are available: Birds of Madagascar is a key addition to the Library’s best-selling wildlife audio range and The Spoken Word – Graham Greene continues the series of important works of poets recorded in their own voices.

Also available The Medieval Flower Book is a sumptuously illustrated work focusing on 100 varieties of flowers and plants that appear in medieval manuscripts and provides intriguing explanations of their uses, history and symbolism.

Remember that ATBL members receive a 10% discount on all products in the Library shop and online shop. To take advantage of the discount online, please enter the code “ATBL” in the voucher box at the checkout stage.