DCS: Local Heritage Event:
Saturday 2nd March 2013 Return to Alumni Events
The Cambridge History event began our DCS Local Heritage Events for 2013 and it was a little late as the DCS February event had been linked to the Venice Festival trip. The day began as we assembled outside Shire Hall to be the guests of the Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies section and, as we took the opportunity to leave the cold and wait inside the meeting room, we were greeted with a display of maps, diagrams and papers concerning Darwin College taken from the archives.
The day had clearly begun well as lots of discussion ensued whilst our group studied the display. Public Services Archivist Sue Sampson introduced the history of the archives before handing over to Melissa Greechan, a researcher in the section. She showed us how to use the archives and illustrated the sort of ordinary person's history and events which become uncovered with detailed searches through the extensive records.
We left Shire Hall for lunch in the Vaults Restaurant which conveniently sits between the two venues for the day before walking to the Parker Library in Corpus Christi College. Suzanne Paul was not available on the day but Gill Cannell ably stepped in and introduced the library, it's history and the items on show before allowing us to look at the displays at our leisure.
We learnt of the History of Matthew Parker who graduated from Corpus Christi College, was ordained as a deacon and priest and appointed as a fellow of Corpus Christi, later he became Chaplain to Anne Boleyn and then Henry VIII and on the king's recommendation, was appointed Master of Corpus Christi. Political changes resulted in a loss of these posts but under the new conciliatory regime of Elizabeth he was requested and took, against his wishes, the post of Archbishop of Canterbury as Elizabeth believed he could mend the opposing religious hatred in the country. He was given permission to purchase old documents, bibles e.t.c. which fortunately were common at this time after the dissolution of the monasteries. When he died much of the collection was left to his old college. The result is a wonderful and spell-binding experience including the earliest copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c.890), The Old English Bede, the Latin St Augustine Gospels, one of the oldest illustrated books in existence, The Bury Bible of 1135 and many more.
It was hard to drag ourselves away but the day was not finished for those of us who had time to continue (about half) as we were given a tour of Corpus Christi College as a bonus and learnt more of it's history.
Our thanks go to our guides and speakers plus Suzanne Paul who organised the Parker Library visit especially for us, the restaurant staff and Helen Moore who took all the photographs.
(Click on the pictures for larger versions) Return to Alumni Events