The journals and scrapbooks of Pierre de L’Estoile have for generations provided a vivid picture of France in a time of religious upheaval. Now Cambridge historian Tom Hamilton has written the first book devoted to the life of L’Estoile as a diarist, collector and man about town.
When Reverend Kenred Smith captured moments of life in the Congo over 120 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that the photos – now in Cambridge's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – would be chosen by a Congolese community to help them remember a country that many of them had fled.
Beards are back in fashion. But today’s hipster styles convey rather different messages to the hair men cultivated in the early modern period. Historian Dr Stefan Hanß investigates the ways in which daily ‘performances of hair’ for men and women reflected the profound religious and social changes sweeping through Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
A banknote from 1380 that threatens decapitation, a set of 17th-century prints so delicate they had never been opened, and 3000-year-old ‘oracle bones’ are now freely available for the world to view on the Cambridge Digital Library.
In 1714, the British Parliament offered large rewards for finding longitude at sea. Men around the world submitted schemes but only one woman, Jane Squire, published a proposal under her own name. Dr Alexi Baker has been investigating the life story of this remarkable trailblazer.
Born 500 years ago, Andreas Vesalius has iconic status in the history of science. Cambridge University Library holds several copies of the remarkable books that he published to revive the lost art of anatomy and promote his own career as a physician. Historian Dr Sachiko Kusukawa has curated an online exhibition to celebrate Vesalius's achievements.
What William Courten bought on 9 June 1698: 1 young Pelican, 2 Land Tortoises and a cap of seafowles skin09 Jun 2014
A remarkable archive records the purchases made by William Courten (1642–1702) whose museum was praised by visitors as a noble collection of curiosities. An investigation of Courten’s records by Dr Sachiko Kusukawa reveals that Courten bought items from more than 80 individuals, many of them trading within walking distance of his rooms in London’s Middle Temple.
Ben Cartwright, a member of Cambridge’s Material Culture Lab, is an archaeologist whose research focuses on the ways in which the crafts of spinning and weaving are embedded into the historic culture of the islands of the North Atlantic and remain an important part of island identity.