News

August 23rd, 2018 News

Official Fellows Dr Stuart Davis and Dr Stelios Tofaris at the 25th Anniversary Awards Ceremony of the Pilkington Prizes

Pilkington Prize 25th Anniversary

(L-R:) Dr Stelios Tofaris and Dr Stuart Davis at the 25th Anniversary Awards Ceremony of the Pilkington Prizes (21 June 2018)

Jean Sybil Dannatt Official Fellow, Dr Stuart Davis, and Brenda Hale Official Fellow, Dr Stelios Tofaris received their 2018 Pilkington Prizes for Teaching Excellence at the 25th anniversary awards ceremony on Thursday 21 June 2018.

Dr Stuart Davis is a Senior Lecturer in Spanish at Girton College and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. Stuart’s citation describes him as working tirelessly for his students and the College as well as at the Faculty level, being described by them as

“illuminating – he brings the subject matter alive”.

Dr Stelios Tofaris is a Lecturer in Private Law. Stelios is an outstanding Teacher, who has been described by one of his students as

“a phenomenal teacher, the single best I have had at Cambridge so far”.

Read more here: https://www.staff.admin.cam.ac.uk/general-news/pilkington-prize-25th-anniversary

Related article: https://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/news/two-college-fellows-dr-stuart-davis-and-dr-stelios-tofaris-awarded-the-2018-pilkington-teaching-prize/

Photograph credit: Isabel Starkey

Published: August 2018

Read more July 19th, 2018 Glimpses of GirtonNews

Glimpses of Girton: In the Spring

In the spring

 

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;

In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

 

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;

In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

 

Excerpt from Locksley Hall by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Tennyson’s protagonist was unlucky in love, spurned by his childhood sweetheart, but Girton College Library is luckier in its holdings.

Among Jane Catherine Gamble’s bequest to the College (see https://old.girton.cam.ac.uk/news/1153-glimpses-of-girton-jane-catherine-gamble) was her father’s first edition of Thomas Bewick’s History of British birds, the first volume published in 1797 and the second in 1804.

Reference: Gamble 662A B46 (082153)

Reference: Gamble 662A B46 (082153)

Reference: Gamble 662A B46 (082154)

Reference: Gamble 662A B46 (082154)

Looking specifically for the three birds listed by Tennyson, we see:

The robin (now classified as Erithacus rubecula) is described by the RSPB as the UK's favourite bird and Bewick himself says "This general favorite is too well known to need a very minute deſcription" – volume 1, page 204.

The robin (now classified as Erithacus rubecula) is described by the RSPB as the UK’s favourite bird and Bewick himself says “This general favorite is too well known to need a very minute deſcription” – volume 1, page 204.

The lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) also known as the Peewit after the sound of its display call, is now on the RSPB's endangered list. Its distinctive crest described by Bewick as "a tuft of long narrow feathers iſſues from the back part of its head, ſome of which are four inches in length , and turn upwards at the end – volume 1, page 324.

The lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) also known as the Peewit after the sound of its display call, is now on the RSPB’s endangered list. Its distinctive crest described by Bewick as “a tuft of long narrow feathers iſſues from the back part of its head, ſome of which are four inches in length , and turn upwards at the end – volume 1, page 324.

It's not clear to which member of the Dove family Tennyson was referring, although I like to picture the iridescent green neck of the stock dove (Columba oenas), described by Bewick as "gloſſy green and gold" – volume 1, page 267.

It’s not clear to which member of the Dove family Tennyson was referring, although I like to picture the iridescent green neck of the stock dove (Columba oenas), described by Bewick as “gloſſy green and gold” – volume 1, page 267.

In contrast to the glorious colour illustrations in Audubon’s Birds of America 30 years later, which were printed from engravings on copper and coloured by hand, Bewick’s illustrations could seem small and plain. In fact, they are seen as the pinnacle of the art of wood engraving, as much admired today as they were then, and the books were deliberately designed to be affordable for all but the poor.

Reading A memoir of Thomas Bewick, by himself, it is clear that Bewick had had the habit from childhood of filling any available space (on slates or schoolbooks) with small illustrations. Among the books he credits for his interest and knowledge of natural history are the works of Thomas Pennant, Count de Buffon and Gilbert White, all of whom are represented in the Library’s holdings.  Also part of the Gamble bequest was Bewick’s first book, A general history of quadrupeds.

Reference: Gamble 662B B46 (082156)

Reference: Gamble 662B B46 (082156)

Bewick’s work was known to Tennyson, who wrote half a dozen lines of verse in the copy of History of British birds in Lord Ravenscroft’s Library.  Tennyson himself presented his complete works, in seven volumes, to Girton College Library in 1883. This was reported in the March 1883 edition of The Girton Review:

There have been one or two additions to our library, the most important being a large edition of Tennyson, presented by the poet himself. Unfortunately, the author’s autograph, instead of being written in the volumes themselves is only inscribed on the labels, which considerably damages the effect.

Reference: Gamble 826.0 T25 (097321-7)

Reference: Gamble 826.0 T25 (097321-7)

It is no surprise that Tennyson’s poetry was well-known and discussed by the early members of the College. Among the first donations to the Library when the College opened in 1869 were six volumes of his work, presented by the Mistress, Charlotte Manning. The Library also holds Emily Davies’ own copies of Enoch Arden, Idylls of the King, Maud and other poems, and The princess: a medley. It is equally no surprise that The princess, in particular, struck a chord.  First published in 1847, and the inspiration for Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida, this narrative poem in blank verse tells of Princess Ida, who establishes a great college for women from which all men are barred on pain of death. The Archive contains letters to Barbara Bodichon from Bessie Rayner Parkes discussing the poem[1] as well as photographs of the students’ performance of The princess in 1891[2].

The Tennyson volumes are now also part of the Gamble collection, housed securely in the purpose-built environmentally-controlled Store in the Library & Archive’s Duke Building.

References and further reading


[1] Girton College Archive reference: GCPP Parkes 5/19, 5/20, 5/50

[2] Girton College Archive reference: GCPH 10/1/31-34

 

Read more June 18th, 2018 Library & Archives

Library opening hours, summer 2018

During the Long Vacation, Girton College Library will be open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday only (closed weekends).
However, some days may have shorter opening hours and/or be closed over lunch, depending on staff availability. A list will be posted here and kept up-to-date:-

The Library will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 17 August until 9.00am on Monday 3 September.

It may also be necessary to close for other periods at short notice. If planning a journey specifically to use the Library, it would be worth contacting us in advance: telephone 01223 338970 or email library@girton.cam.ac.uk.

Full Term opening hours and weekend opening recommence immediately before the start of the Michaelmas Full Term (Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September).
 

Archive and special collections:

Opening hours for the Archive and Special Collections are separate; if you are planning to visit in person, please see the Arranging a visit webpage.  Thank you.
 

Vacation availability of external study rooms:

D33 and D35 (group study rooms) will remain available for use for study purposes only throughout the Long Vacation.
D34 (quiet study room) will remain available for use as a study room until the end of June. It will not then be available for use as a study room until the start of September.
Chapel Wing Reading Room came out of use as a study room at the end of Wednesday 13 June. It will resume use as a study room on Monday 8 October.

Read more June 6th, 2018 Library & Archives

Library end of term arrangements, Easter Term 2018

All loaned items are due back by 11pm on Monday 11 June:

If this is likely to cause problems because of exams or outstanding work, please contact the Library to make a special arrangement – tel: 01223 338970 or e-mail: library@girton.cam.ac.uk.

**Graduands: You will not be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony if you owe money to the College or to the University. This includes the value of items that have not been returned to libraries and any unpaid library fines. You should therefore return all library loans and pay any fines by Monday 11 June. Any fines still outstanding at noon on Friday 15 June will be charged to your College bill. If items have not been returned by this time, their full replacement cost plus fines will be charged.**

 

Vacation borrowing starts at 1pm on Wednesday 13 June:

The Library will be closed that morning for final checking and tidying; if there is an URGENT reason why you must use the Library, please ring the doorbell.

You may borrow up to 10 books for the vacation. No vacation borrowing is permitted until all term books are returned, and fines paid and bills settled.

Please note that there is no borrowing from the external study rooms.

Anything borrowed for or during the vacation will due back by 11pm on Wednesday 3 October.

**We regret that graduands may not borrow from the College Library after Monday 11 June 2018.**

 

Vacation opening hours:

The Library will be open 10am–11pm on Saturday 16  and Sunday 17 June.

Thereafter, the Library will be open Mondays to Fridays, 9am–5pm (closed weekends). However some days may have shorter opening hours and/or be closed over lunch, depending on staff availability.

The Library will be closed completely for a fortnight beginning Monday 20 August, re-opening on Monday 3 September.

It may also be necessary to close at other times, possibly at short notice. If planning a journey specifically to use the Library, we recommend that you phone ahead to check availability – 01223 338970.

Full Term opening hours will resume the weekend immediately before the start of the Michaelmas Full Term (Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September ).

 

Vacation availability  of external study rooms:

D33 and D35 (group study rooms) will remain available for use throughout the Long Vacation.

D34 (quiet study room) will remain available for use until the end of June. It will not then be available for use until the start of September.

Chapel Wing Reading Room will come out of use as a study room at the end of Wednesday 13 June.  Any personal items left in it after that date will be treated as lost property.  It will resume use as a study room on Monday 8 October.

 

Read more May 29th, 2018 Library & Archives

Library opening hours, Easter Term 2018

Full Term opening hours for Easter Term 2018 are:-

Current undergraduate and graduate members of the College may borrow up to 10 titles at a time, and during Full Term the loan period is 7 days.  Fines are levied for overdue items at a rate of 50 pence per day per standard loan item.

Opening hours for the Archive and Special Collections are separate; if you are planning to visit in person, please see the Arranging a visit webpage.  Thank you

Read more May 21st, 2018 News

Humanities Writing Competition Winners for 2017-18

Girton College’s Humanities Writing Competition is now in its seventh year, with an increasing number of entries being submitted year-on-year. The competition is open to any current Year 12 (or equivalent) student. The aim of the competition is to encourage the students to research, think and write about one of the five chosen objects from the Lawrence Room, Girton’s onsite College Museum of Antiquities. This aim encourages a range of written responses, from essays to poems, all showing evidence of interests and research outside the set school curriculum.

The prize-giving ceremony for this year’s finalists was held on Thursday 26 April, during which six students were welcomed to Girton College to celebrate their achievement.

Humanities Writing Competition Finalists for 2017-18

The objects chosen as the basis of this year’s competition were a painted Greek Tanagra athlete figure, a bull figurine from Cyprus, a boar figurine from Greece, an Egyptian ‘tomb group’ figurine, and a Roman glass cremation urn found on the Romano-British cemetery at Girton College (pictured below). Each object seemed to capture the interest of the entrants in different ways, with every object garnering a good number of entries.

Humanities Writing Competition 2017 18 Objects

First place was awarded to Olivia Sandhu (Nottingham Girls’ High School) for her piece entitled ‘The Animal in Ancient Religion, Art and Imagination’, an essay focusing on the bull and boar figurines with an eloquent discussion of human/animal relations in an early agricultural society.

A joint Second place was awarded to Molly Taylor (Pate’s Grammar School) and Sophie Holloway (Ipswich High School) for their pieces of creative writing. Molly’s piece ‘Boy in a Jar’, based on the Roman glass cremation urn, was commended for its unobtrusive but real feel for the period and thoughtworld, whilst Sophie’s monologue ‘The Sculptor and the Sculpted’, written from the perspective of the Tanagra athlete figure, was praised for being intellectually ambitious, well written and for showing a breadth of interest.

L-R: The Mistress awarding First place to Olivia Sandhu (Nottingham Girls’ High School) and Joint Second place to Molly Taylor (Pate’s Grammar School) and Sophie Holloway (Ipswich High School)

Elizabeth Down (Notting Hill and Ealing High School), Amira Nandhla (The King’s School) and Farren Yuan (Cheltenham Ladies’ College) were all awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for their respective essays; ‘The Roman Glass Cremation Urn’, ‘Was Migration Ultimately the Inspiration Behind the Bull Figurine?’ and  ‘An Examination of the identity of an Egyptian tomb group figurine’.

 L-R: The Mistress awarding the 'Highly Commended' to Elizabeth Down (Notting Hill and Ealing High School), Amira Nandhla (The King’s School) and Farren Yuan (Cheltenham Ladies’ College)

L-R: The Mistress awarding the ‘Highly Commended’ to Elizabeth Down (Notting Hill and Ealing High School), Amira Nandhla (The King’s School) and Farren Yuan (Cheltenham Ladies’ College)

All six of the finalists and their guests were invited to Girton College for the afternoon. On arrival, the group had the opportunity to browse the Lawrence Room with two of the College’s Fellows and judges of the competition, Dr Caroline Brett and Dr Gillian Jondorf, and view the objects that they had chosen to write their pieces on. Following this, Deasil Waltho, a Year 1 student studying Classics at Girton College, took the group on a tour of the buildings and grounds of Girton College, giving the finalists a chance to ask any questions they had on student life at Cambridge University. To conclude the afternoon the finalists were able to enjoy afternoon tea with the Mistress of Girton College, the judges of the competition and Girton College Fellows in Stanley Library, the original College Library.

The Lawrence Room

The winning entries are now on display in the Lawrence Room, which is open to the public from 2-4pm on Thursdays. Girton are grateful to Cambridge University Press and to Miss C. Anne Wilson for their kind sponsorship of the competition.

Read more May 11th, 2018 News

The Spring Ball Committee creates a new student award

Photograph credit: Girton Spring Ball Committee, © ORP–Orquidea Real Photobook–Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Girton Spring Ball Committee © ORP–Orquidea Real Photobook–Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Whilst our guests will certainly remember the evening for years to come, the Girton Spring Ball 2018 Committee has endeavoured to create a lasting legacy that will celebrate the sense of community and solidarity which is characteristic of our College. Through careful spending, successful negotiations with contractors, and refunds for excess products, the Committee has been able to pledge a five-figure sum to establish the Girton Pioneers Award. This award is designed to support the students of Girton and recognise their contributions to College life, and anyone who is the recipient of a Bursary can apply by demonstrating how their contributions have improved the experience of other Girtonians through participation in student societies, committees, or welfare initiatives.

The Girton Pioneers Award is the first award to be created by students, for students, and will be available every year until the capital in the Spring Ball account is sufficient to fund a full means-tested Bursary for a Girton student, in perpetuity.

“We hope that future Ball Committees and other student societies will contribute to this fund, and that this is the beginning of a tradition of current students investing their time and care to improve the experiences of the next generation to call Girton home.” (Jazz Darby, Girton Spring Ball 2018 President).

Photograph credit: Girton Spring Ball Committee, © ORP–Orquidea Real Photobook–Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Girton Spring Ball Committee © ORP–Orquidea Real Photobook–Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Read more May 9th, 2018 Alumni & SupportersNews

An Emily Davies Bursary has been endowed in perpetuity in the 2018 Telephone Campaign!

 The Telethon Team 2018

The Telethon Team 2018

Our 2018 Easter Telephone Campaign was a fantastic success; raising over £258,000 for the College, including the endowment of one undergraduate bursary in perpetuity, thanks to the generosity of alumni. This is the third full bursary that has been endowed in the telethon over recent years!

Alumni gifts also brought us one step closer to endowing a Fellowship in Physical Sciences to be named after Dr Christine McKie, as well as bolstering funds for Graduate Research Scholarships, Academic Resources and for the Unrestricted Permanent Endowment.

The student callers thoroughly enjoyed the many inspiring conversations and exchanging Girton stories. We are always heartened by the warmth and generosity of Girtonians across the globe – thank you so much for standing with us and championing academic excellence in diversity.

For more information, please visit:

Read more April 30th, 2018 News

The National Jane Martin Poetry Prize 2018 Winners are announced!

Girton College is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Jane Martin Poetry Prize, a national poetry competition established in 2010 in memory of Girton alumna Jane Elizabeth Martin.

The winning poems can be found here:

Nina Powles was born in New Zealand, partly grew up in China and now lives in London. She holds an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the Biggs Family Prize for Poetry in 2016. Her poetry chapbook Girls of the Drift was published in 2014. Her debut poetry collection, Luminescent (Seraph Press, 2017) is a work of auto/biographical poetry exploring the lives of five women from New Zealand history. Her poems and essays have recently appeared in Best New Zealand Poems, Poetry, Hotel, and Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She is half Malaysian-Chinese and is Poetry Editor at The Shanghai Literary Review. You can hear Nina read some of her poems here.

Dominic Leonard studied English in Oxford and is about to begin an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. His poems and non-fiction have appeared in Poetry London, Oxford Poetry, The Scores, Disclaimer, Zarf, and elsewhere.

Nina and Dominic will be visiting the College on Thursday 3 May, along with one of the Judges Jeremy Noel-Tod, to attend the presentation evening and read some of their poems, which will be held in the Stanley Library from 6-7pm. All are welcome to attend and refreshments will be served.

Read more