Sunday, 15 December 2013

Making an exhibition of myself?

The Georgians Revealed, The British Library, London. December 2013.

A recent training day at the British Library has become one of my work highlights of the year.  We're going to be working on a very exciting project next year in conjunction with the BL and as a pre-Christmas treat 2 colleagues and I got to spend the day getting to know the library a little better.

We had a brief tour of the library including into one of the Reading Rooms and from that I now really do want to spend one day there during my MA if at all possible, although it is possible that I will find the silence too oppressive for good work!

After the training we had a couple of hours free and very kindly we were given free tickets to the latest exhibition in the library, all about the Georgians.  None of us knew much about the era but by the end we all wanted to read/reread the novels, go to a ball and try on the costumes.

The exhibition starts with a wonderfully innovative time line putting the period into historical and political context but then the main exhibition is all about the social side of the era using books and artifacts to illustrate this.  It was incredibly interesting and informative even with no real prior knowledge of the time and it would be easy to spend hours in the exhibition pouring over everything.  I was incredibly taken with the books about the formal dances, including the foot plans for people dancing a quadrille.  I have two left feet and could see I'd have been no asset at a ball.

The real highlight for the three of us was the 1799 map of London that has been turned into flooring just as you leave the exhibition. We spent ages working out where modern buildings were and what we recognised from today.  Also the chance to say we walked right across London is too good to miss!

The exhibition is on until March and even at £9 is worth every penny, I'm tempted to go back.

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