As the year draws to an end, we thought we‚Äôd take a look back over our blogging activity in 2017. If you‚Äôre an established reader of our blog, you might be reminded of some favourites or spot something you missed, and if you‚Äôre new to it, we hope this will give you an idea of the range of countries and topics that we cover, and of the different voices ‚Äď both staff members and guest bloggers ‚Äď who contribute. And if you think all this nostalgia is a bad thing, we hope you will at least enjoy the pictures, which we‚Äôve not used before, of Christmas and New Year greetings cards from our collection of Russian postcards (HS.74/2027).
Russia loomed large this year as European Collections were involved in one of the Library‚Äôs major exhibitions, ‚ÄėRussian Revolution ‚Äď Hope, Tragedy, Myths‚Äô, marking the centenary of the Revolution. Many blog posts in the year picked up on the exhibition‚Äôs themes, focused on particular exhibits, or mentioned items that sadly didn‚Äôt make the final exhibition shortlist. You can find all of them here.
The Revolution wasn‚Äôt the only anniversary we commemorated with an exhibition this year. In February we put on a display of manuscripts from the Stefan Zweig Collection in the Library‚Äôs Treasures Gallery to mark both the 75th anniversary of Zweig‚Äôs death and the publication of the catalogue of the literary and historical manuscripts in the BL Zweig collection. The exhibition was complemented by a study day and a wonderful evening of readings and music from the collection and from Zweig‚Äôs own works.
The current Treasures Gallery display marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and can be seen until 4 February 2018. And next year items from our collections will feature in a display marking the bicentenary of Karl Marx‚Äôs birth.
Even when we weren‚Äôt directly involved with the Library‚Äôs exhibitions we complemented them with blog posts. During a display commemorating the bicentenary of Jane Austen‚Äôs death we published posts on early French and German translations of her work. We also took a look at French material in the Evanion Collection to coincide with an exhibition about Victorian popular entertainment. And we have been on the trail of magical swords and other magical artefacts to coincide with the ongoing Harry Potter exhibition.
Of course we marked plenty of other anniversaries on the blog: the Chatham Raid of June 1667 and the 500th anniversary of printing in Belarus to name just two. There were also anniversaries of births and deaths, some of fairly familiar figures such as the writer Mme de St√§el, or the creator of Esperanto L.L. Zamenhof, but others perhaps less well known outside their own countries such as Greek poet Takis Sinopolous.
One of the themes our department is interested in exploring and promoting is translation. Blog posts on this topic covered everything from the first Basque New Testament to Orwell‚Äôs Animal Farm. We have also been excited this year to welcome the British Library‚Äôs first ever Translator in Residence, Jen Calleja.
But not all our posts mark anniversaries or complement BL exhibitions and themes. We‚Äôve also told more general stories about our collections, such as this tale of a lost and found incunable or an overview of our Romanian collections.
Finally, with New Year‚Äôs Eve festivities approaching, we leave you with a recent post about Esperanto literary anthologies. If you learn the translation at the end, you can amaze your friends by singing ‚ÄėAuld Lang Syne‚Äô in Esperanto at midnight!
European Studies Blog Team