The current exhibition celebrates the Anglo-Irish poet Richard
Murphy, who died last year at the age of 90. While he was celebrated as a poet
of “two traditions” (one inherited from his Anglo-Irish mother and the other
from his Irish father) at the height of his renown in the late 1970s, Richard
Murphy’s poetry goes beyond the confines of this Anglo-Irish tradition and
Murphy was ultimately praised “as a poet who has traced the aftermath of great
historical transitions: Ireland after Aughrim, Ireland after independence, and
more generally, a world in which the hypocrisies of the British imperial
project are entirely discredited.” (Benjamin Keatinge, ‘Richard Murphy’, The
Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, ed. G. Dawe (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2018), pp. 211-223, p. 221).
The exhibition honours the renowned scholar of Irish literature Professor John Kelly, Fellow of St John’s College since 1976. His work as the general editor of the prestigious multi-volume publication of The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats, published in Oxford by the Clarendon Press since 1986, was marked by the exhibition Visited by All the Gods: Celebrating the Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats at St John’s College in 2014/15.
This exhibition would not have been possible without the generous donation of the displayed materials by Joseph M. Hassett, distinguished Yeats scholar and author of W.B. Yeats and the Muses (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). The donation includes volumes with personal dedications to Dr Hassett and autographs of Murphy’s poems in several volumes as well as a framed typescript of the poem ‘Newgrange’ from The Price of Stone that is accompanied by three black-and-white images of the Neolithic monument. The exhibition will be up until 31 July 2019.
Find out more on the Library Blog.
2018 'By herself': rediscovering the history of women at St John's College, Oxford: an exhibition exploring the history of women at St John’s, from its founding in 1555 through to the modern day.
2017 Stories from the Shelves: exploring the history of St John's Library and its readers
2017 "excuse the scrawl": literary letters from St John's College special collections
2016/17 Always something new: Africa in the Special Collections of St John's College
2016 Do we need pictures?:illustrations in the earliest printed books
2015/16 In the Like Case: a 17th-century medical correspondence illustrated with early medical books
2015 Not An Illustration: abstract book art in livres d'artiste
2014/15 Visited by all the Gods: the context of the letters of W.B. Yeats
2014 The Field of Human Conflict: war through the ages
2013/14 Alpha to Zed: a classical alphabet
2013 The Path that Sinners Tread: the seven deadly sins
2012/13 Revolutions: astrology, astronomy & astronauts
2012 Liturgy: sex, violence & prayer
2011/12 Something Rich and Strange: the exploration of America
2011 Catching Breath: language & writing
2010 Birds, Bees & Bonnacons: zoological illustration
Exhibitions are open to all members of College and their guests, and alumni with up to three guests. Members of the public wishing to see an exhibition should contact the Librarian in advance.
Visiting the Library
Prospective students & members of the public
Prospective students are welcome to visit the Library during Library opening times. Other prospective visitors should email the Librarian to see if this is possible.
Academic researchers are welcome to consult material not available elsewhere in the University. Please contact the Librarian to check the item is available and to make an appointment. Graduate students should bring a letter from their supervisor. Visitors requiring special access should make this clear when writing. Please note that the permission of the College will be needed for publication.
Alumni and members' visitors
Members may show friends or colleagues around the Library, and should always sign them into the Visitors' Book at the Desk. Guided tours for small groups may be arranged with the Librarian. Alumni are welcome to visit the library during normal opening hours, and to bring their families and friends, signing them in as guests.