Month 1 (July 2011)

This month I have been mostly... Listing

I decided the best way of getting to know the collection I’ll be working with for the next two years was to open some boxes and get stuck in.

Boxes on shelf

Archive boxes in the Butler Collection

Fortunately, the majority of the Butler Collection arrived at St John’s in a deliberate and fairly organised manner. Henry Festing Jones, Butler’s close friend, spent a long time preparing the material that he donated to St John’s (from 1918 onwards), arranging it into sections and publishing a catalogue full of information about the provenance and significance of specific items. However, the collection has grown considerably since those initial donations, with new editions and critical books about Butler being published, and more paperwork accruing in the hands of his literary executors.

My first task was to go through all the boxes, organise the contents into folders, and make a list of what I found. This means I’ve now looked at everything – albeit very briefly – so I’ve got a sense of the range of material in the collection and have had a chance to think about how I might use it later in the project.

Folders labelled

'Miscellaneous papers', organised into archival folders

Next month

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