This week's #TORCHGoesDigital theme of reading provides an opportunity to look back at two collaborative projects with independent cultural venues, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park and Chawton House, where new research and creative thinking by Oxford students and researchers helped to unlock previously under explored stories.
At Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Dr Sophie Ratcliffe and her team of collaborators brought an early nineteenth-century room known as the 'Women's Library' to life through an inspiring installation called Unsilencing the Library. This project was funded by a TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellowship and created a new visitor offer for Compton Verney and built long-lasting relationships with organisations including ReLit and Prison Reading Groups.
At Chawton House, the Heritage Partnerships Team worked with the Internship Programme at the Careers Service to create a pair of paid summer placements, which helped develop Chawton's exhibition programme.
Even though both venues are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions it is still possible to visit their latest exhibitions online. Head to Compton Verney to discover more about Cranach: Artist and Innovator, or learn more about the women who stepped in male roles during the eighteenth century at Chawton's Man Up! exhibition.
The University of Oxford's National Trust Partnership works with academics across a variety of disciplines, including several who focus on topics related to reading. This week we look back to the 'Post-Conflict Landscapes' symposium co-convened by the Partnership in November 2019, particularly Prof. Kathryn Sutherland's talk 'Writing after Waterloo: Jane Austen’s Late Fiction'. Many more stories relating to reading, writing, and books are featured in Trusted Source, our growing collection of short and easily understood articles about history, culture, and the natural environment, developed in partnership with the National Trust. This week we look at articles on reading & places: Thomas Hardy's invention of Wessex in his novels; how an island inhabited in the 7th century inspired writers centuries later; and where you can experience Tolkien's Middle-earth. We also look at articles on reading & people, exploring the contributions and legacies of Vita Sackville-West, Lord Tennyson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Bloomsbury Group, and Jane and Thomas Carlyle.
TORCH Heritage Programme Homepage
National Trust Partnership Homepage