Facial recognition software solves Elizabeth Gaskell mystery


Makes list of everyone in history he wants to see the actual face of…

Originally posted on John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog:

On the 150th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Gaskell (on 12 November 1865), a mystery surrounding the true identity of a silhouette suspected to be of the Victorian novelist has finally been solved.

A team from The University of Manchester used state of the art facial measuring software and more traditional provenance research to authenticate the silhouette, which is owned by the descendants of the Gaskell family.

Following their research, medical artist Ray Evans and Stella Halkyard, the Library’s Visual Collections Manager, have concluded that, while they can never confirm the silhouette’s authenticity irrefutably, it is very likely to be of Gaskell.

Stella said: “The silhouette has an excellent ‘provenance’ and a ‘chain of unbroken custody’ which means that it has been kept by Gaskell’s descendants and we know where it has come from and where it has been throughout its history.”

She added: “At The John Rylands Library we have a miniature portrait that…

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John Rylands Research Institute Conference 2016: ‘The Other Within’ – The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of The John Rylands Library

Originally posted on John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog:


Call for Papers: ‘The Other Within’ – The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of The John Rylands Library

Monday 27-Wednesday 29 June 2016 at The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

The John Rylands Research Institute invites paper proposals for its upcoming 2016 conference on the Hebrew and Jewish collections of The John Rylands Library.

The John Rylands Library preserves one of the world’s valuable collections of Hebrew and Jewish manuscripts, archives and printed books. The holdings span Septuagint fragments to the papers of Moses Gaster and Samuel Alexander. The Rylands Genizah and rich collections of medieval manuscript codices and early printed books are among the strengths of the collection, making The John Rylands Library an important centre for the study of Judaism from the ancient world to the twentieth century.

The aim of this conference is to convene scholars, curators and students researching areas represented in the Library’s Hebrew…

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Discovering hidden Celtic creatures

Originally posted on British Museum blog:

Jane Findlay, Head of Schools and Young Audiences Education and Emilia McKenzie, Education Manager: Digital Content, British Museum

Our newly-opened special exhibition Celts: art and identity has been developed with visitors of all ages in mind, and we’ve enjoyed discovering the animals hidden in the designs of many of the objects. If you’ve visited the exhibition already, you’ll know that the more you look at Celtic art, the more strange and wonderful creatures seem to appear!

2,000 years ago, people across much of Europe shared an art style that today we call ‘Celtic art’. Their fascination with animals is one of the common artistic traits that links them together. For the Celts, animals were more than just subjects for art, they played a key role in these people’s lives: as pets, livestock, mythical creatures and symbols of power.

Take this boar. We don’t know exactly what this fierce little pig…

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Weird Tales & Peculiar Crimes Part 1

This is the beginning of a new series of short catalogues, some specialised, some less so, all following a theme:

Title page

Manchester Medical Manuscripts Collection

Source: Manchester Medical Manuscripts Collection

Seminars on Book Collecting – The New Season

Source: Seminars on Book Collecting – The New Season

Primary Sourcery: Magic, Medicine, and a Beautiful Disaster – Rare Book School 2015

Fantastic article!


Source: Primary Sourcery: Magic, Medicine, and a Beautiful Disaster – Rare Book School 2015


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