Rose Roberto, PhD candidate at the University of Reading, has written with details of a new publication for scholars working on book history in Liverpool and Merseyside.
Art Researchers’ Guide to Liverpool and Merseyside, co-edited by Rose Roberto and Emily Parsons, is the sixth in a series of pocket-sized books aimed at visual artists, academics, teachers, students and local researchers, published by the Art Libraries Society, UK & Ireland (ARLIS/UK & Ireland). It describes institutions across the region with both traditional and recently established collections, from book binding and illustration history through to counter culture and modern art.
Tracing its origins back to 1207, Liverpool was one of the greatest ports in the world and one of the most prosperous towns in Britain for two hundred years. UNESCO has designated Liverpool a World Heritage Site and, compared with other British cities, it has more museums and galleries than anywhere outside of London.
Today Liverpool is home to a thriving arts community, with exciting programmes of exhibitions, talks and events all year round as well as regular festivals such as the Liverpool Biennial. In 2008 Liverpool was European Capital of Culture, and that legacy lives on.
This handbook describes the major collections of libraries, archives, and museums where you can research culture, art, and design. It will allow you to explore Liverpool and the Merseyside region and direct you to the most appropriate places to suit your research needs.
‘These are handy, well designed little booklets,’ says art historian, Mark Westgarth, ‘loosely drawing on the format of the ubiquitous city tourist guides.’ They are portable, user friendly and fit in a coat pocket.
The Liverpool and Merseyside Guide provides 2 foldout maps, with locations numbered and highlighted. There are high quality colour images of the buildings, interiors and some of the key objects and artworks in each institution. At the back of the guide is a subject-index to the collections in each institution, using simple, at-a-glance visual keys.
‘Catherine Marcangeli’s introduction captures both the history and the current thriving arts scene in Liverpool,’ says Emily Parsons, editor of the guide, ‘while the full colour illustrations in the guide show the wealth and variety of the unique material housed in Liverpool and Merseyside available for researchers to come and see.’
‘There’s nothing like having a handy little booklet to carry around and place oneself, metaphorically, in the city,’ says Mark Westgarth of the series. ‘And perhaps more importantly these Guides inculcate an attitude, in students in particular, to move away from the Internet (excellent though such a resource is!) and become more active as researchers.’
Copies can be purchased for £6 from the Liverpool John Moores University online shop.