Saturday, 8 July 2017

Inside the library

Senate House Library, UCL
I'm spending the summer – or most of it – working on my postgraduate dissertation. My research is into the ways that sketchbooks are collected and accessed in the UK's institutions, which means a lot of time spent in galleries, libraries, archives and museums. This may not seem too arduous a task, and I'm not complaining: this is exactly what I am interested in. But time slips by and my old familiar friend the deadline is awaiting me at the end of September, so the pressure is on.


Northampton Square Library, City, University of London

Last week, for instance, I was at the British Film Institute archive looking at the sketchbooks of Derek Jarman. Next week I'm at the British Museum to see the books of Terry Frost and Roger Hilton, among others. I have other visits planned. The field of sketchbook tourism awaits: check the catalogue, arrange a visit to the archive, and get your hands on great sketchbooks. There are many more ready to be seen around the UK than you probably imagine. And while some are better than others, they can be a fascinating insight into not just the work of the artists, designers, architects, filmmakers and others who filled them, but their lives also.

British Library foyer

I'll post a link to my dissertation later in the year, when my data is collected and my research is submitted. Meanwhile, here are a few drawings from inside some of the libraries I have worked in over recent months, while the sun shone outside.

See more drawings here.

2 comments:

MiataGrrl said...

I had no idea your dissertation was related to sketchbooks, James! What a fascinating topic! Carry on -- I'm sure it's no fun researching and writing when you'd rather be outdoors sketching, but you'll be very happy when it's all done. Good luck!

- Tina

James Hobbs said...

Yes Tina, sketchbooks. It is an interesting field, and how they are collected and accessed isn't much researched yet.