Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Irish Jesuit Archives conference report

What follows below is a report of the 'World is Our House' symposium and concert, written by delegates from the Irish Jesuit Archives, and also posted on their own blog, http://sjarchives.tumblr.com/. The archives, which contain the records of the Jesuits in Ireland from 1575-1980, have also posted a number of photos from the symposium on their Flickr page. Huge thanks to Vera and Damien for attending the conference and contributing their feedback.
Last Friday, 21 June 2013, I was lucky enough to attend the excellent Midsummer symposium on international Jesuit culture, 1540-1700 at Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England. This was followed with an evening concert of early Jesuit music, to celebrate the re-evaluation of the Cwm Jesuit Library, housed at Hereford Cathedral since 1679. The Cwm Library(pronounced Coombe) is:

the largest surviving seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary library in Britain, is currently being analysed in depth as part of an exciting joint project between Swansea University and Hereford Cathedral, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The symposium, ‘The World is Our House’, sponsored by the Jesuit Institute in London and the British Province of the Society of Jesus, sought to focus on Jesuit Arts, Science and Music in the early modern period and the Jesuits in late-sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and Wales. Introductions were by Dr. Rosemary Firman, Canon Chris Pullin and Professor Maurice Whitehead. Talks included:
The Jesuits and the Arts, 1540-1700 by Professor Peter Davidson, University of Aberdeen
The Jesuits and Science, 1540-1700 by Dr Adam Mosley, Swansea University
The Jesuits and Music, 1540-1750 by Dr Peter Leech, Swansea University
The Jesuits in England and Wales, 1580-1700: an overview by Reverend Dr Thomas McCoog, SJ, Fordham University, New York, and Archivist of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, London
Helen Wintour and Jesuit vestment-making in seventeenth-century Worcestershire by Janet Graffius, Curator of Special Collections, Stonyhurst College
The Cwm Jesuit Library at Hereford Cathedral by Hannah Thomas, PhD candidate, Swansea University 
There were also a number of fantastic exhibitions on show: Mappa MundiChained Library exhibitionBooks from the Cwm Library and Vestments from the seventeenth-century
We were afforded the opportunity to attend Choral Evensong in Hereford Cathedral, featuring unaccompanied seventeenth-century music and afterwards a concert of music, at St Francis Xavier’s RC Church, Hereford, associated with Jesuit colleges in the early modern era, 1600-1750. Dr. Peter Leech, the Musical Director of Cappella Fede organised the concert which included reference to William Byrd, Tom├ís Luis de Victoria, Matthew Locke, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and others, including the first modern performances of some recent archival discoveries that have not been played since the mid-1600s.

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