All the year round

15 June - 31 August 2018

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Otago University Special Collections latest exhibition is All the Year Round: Exploring the Nineteenth-Century Periodical and runs through to 31 August 2018. 

Nineteenth-century periodicals were the television of their day. They offered riveting serials (remember the cliff-hanger!), lifestyle recommendations, vivid illustrations by leading artists, and the inevitable advertising. They were shared among readers, who discussed their contents avidly and sometimes read them aloud to local audiences.  

The exhibition charts the rapid expansion of periodical publication from the early years of the nineteenth century, when writers like Lord Byron and John Keats were reviewed and reviled, to the last decades of Queen Victoria’s reign, when ‘decadent’ journalscaused controversy. It also features the popular Boy’s Own and Girl’s Own Paper which catered to an expanding young readership, and The Strand, in whose pages the famed detective Sherlock Holmes appeared.

All the Year Round takes its title from Charles Dickens’s weekly journal, which reached tens of thousands of readers and featured many of his now classic novels. The exhibition’s strongest presence comes from the satirical London journal Punch, whose columns and cartoons mocked prominent politicians and celebrities and shaped middle-class attitudes. Colonial spinoffs, like Otago Punch, soon spread across the British Empire.

While the exhibition primarily features holdings from the University of Otago’s Special Collections and the Hocken Library, it also includes works kindly lent from the Dunedin Public Library and the Olga and Marcus Fitchett Collection. It was co-curated by Dr Thomas McLean (English, Otago), and visiting scholar Dr Grace Moore (English, University of Melbourne).

Please do visit the exhibition in the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor of the University of Otago Library. Our hours are 8.30 to 5.00 Monday to Friday

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