November 11, 2008
I went to the British Library’s Taking Liberties exhibition on Saturday. it was incredible to see all those hugely important documents in one room. And so many of them were huge physically as well as politically/symbolically. These massive scrolls and sheets of vellum really show how our relationship with the written word has changed. They are imposing objects, not just working documents. My personal favourites were The Agreement of the People and Charles I’s death warrant. Also some of the suffragette material was amazing to see – particularly Emily Davison’s purse and return train ticket to London.
All in all though (and bearing in mind the theme of this blog) I was surprised that I didn’t feel The Shiver. I stared and stared at them, trying to imagine the documents being touched, signed and sealed or the purse being dropped, but somehow it didn’t happen. Perhaps I tried too hard. They are all So Significant and presented in such numbers that in a way it’s hard to feel a connection in the way that you might seeing each individually.
Certainly deserving a second (and third) view though!