An alternative view of the Special Collections of Leeds University Library, by Chris Sheppard (1947-2014).
By Chris Sheppard. Preface by Stella Butler.
Published by the Leeds University Library (Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery), May 2016.
64pp plus cover, 268 x 208 mm
31 colour images (inc. cover)
Leeds University Library boasts some of the most impressive collections of books, manuscripts and archives in the UK. The essays in A Sense of Proportion focus on some of the smallest items in the collections. An image of each is portrayed 'life size' and each must be 10cms or less in height, width and depth. The objects range from paperclips to bookplates to playing cards to wedding rings. Some, like the picture of a gypsy caravan made from butterfly wings, are exceptionally beautiful. Others, like the compass of Bertram Ratcliffe that guided him from a German prisoner-of-war camp back to England in 1917, tell tales of extreme heroism. Together, this quirky collection demonstrates the rich, personal stories that libraries preserve for future generations.
Chris Sheppard (1947-2014) was the driving force behind the development of Special Collections at Leeds University Library for more than 30 years. He was a literary scholar and built a fine collection of archives of contemporary authors. However, his attentions ranged across all subject areas and the breadth of his scholarship is demonstrated through these essays as well as his humanity and sense of fun.