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London Rare Books School, Week 2 - Communicating with the Public in the Second World War: The Ministry of Information, 1939-46

decoration27 June 2016|01 July 2016

Dr Henry Irving

This course focuses on the communication activities of the British Ministry of Information (MOI) during the Second Word War. It will explore the methods used by the MOI to communicate information to the domestic population of the UK; to present Britain’s case to those in allied and neutral countries; to provide the government with accurate reports of public opinion; and to operate a system of censorship. The course will pay particular attention to the publishing of books and pamphlets; the distribution of posters and the circulation of displays, lectures and exhibitions; and the commissioning of broadcasts and films. It will demonstrate that the MOI was a nodal point within a dense network of communications which involved, among others, various government ministries, the BBC, Mass Observation, and Fleet Street.

London - with its long history of book production, its role as one of the world’s major publishing centres, its famous libraries, museums, archives, and antiquarian bookshops - is the ideal place in which to study the history of the book. And the London Rare Books School (LRBS) is one of the world’s leading institutions in this field. In June and July 2016 London Rare Books Schools once again offers a series of five-day, intensive courses on a variety of book-related subjects to be taught in and around Senate House which is the centre of the University of London's federal system.

The courses are taught by internationally renowned scholars, including the ILAB affiliates and ABA members Angus O’Neill and Laurence Worms, using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Senate House Libraries, and many more. Each course consists of thirteen seminars amounting in all to twenty hours of teaching time spread between Monday lunchtime and Friday afternoon. In small groups of no more than 12 participants, the students have plenty of opportunity to talk to the teachers and to get very close to the books. All courses stress the materiality of the book, so students will have close encounters with remarkable books and manuscripts and other artefacts from some of the world's greatest collections. There will also be timetabled 'library time' that will allow students to explore the rich resources of the University's Senate House Library, one of the UK's major research libraries.


27 June 2016|01 July 2016
Malet Street
Institute of English Studies in the University of London
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