The Russell Cawthorn Collection - The 1926 Foundation

The 1926 Foundation - A Charitable Foundation
The 1926 Foundation - A Charitable Foundation

The Russell Cawthorn Collection at The University of St. Andrews

The Russell Cawthorn Collection is a Named Modern Collection at St. Andrews University Library, where it has been since 2010. However, the arrival of the Collection at St. Andrews co-incided with a major refurbishment of the Library, with the result that the Collection was stored until the work on the Library was completed, which was in the late summer of 2012. Following the completion of those works, the Collection is now part of the accessible assets of the Library. This is a far cry from the start of this Collection. The first book to appear was Martin Middlebrook’s study of “The First Day on The Somme”. This was bought for me in 1972 when I was laid low with a bout of (proper, not man!) ‘flu. I had always been interested in military history, I had two uncles, both of whom had been stretcher bearers in the RAMC on the Western Front, and remarkably lived to tell (some of) their tales. But it was the Middlebrook book which really sparked a major interest in the War, and so I started buying more books. At first the growth in the number of books was modest, but as the years passed by, the pace hotted up somewhat, and an interest turned into a serious hobby. Initially, I was buying new books, but very soon I discovered the delights of hunting out second hand books. That aspect of the Collection is now a most important one.

 

 

 

As at late 2016, there are now something not too far south of 2,000 individual publications in the Collection. This number is increasing at somewhere between 100 and 150 volumes each year. I am fortunate in having tremendous support from both Library and Academic staff at St. Andrews in the direction we are taking in expanding the boundaries of the Collection. At the moment, and so far as I can see, probably for some time to come, the areas we are going to be concentrating on are first, the period between March and November 1918 when the tide eventually turned dramatically against the Central Powers and in so doing created scenarios which to this day echo, in some cases rather menacingly, many of our problems in the modern world; and secondly and to a great extent as a prime example of the first area of interest, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and what happened in the various parts of that Empire at the War’s end, and the following years. These subjects do have a great deal of resonance in the modern world of today and study of the period may help us understand where we are now and why.






The Russell Cawthorn Collection - The 1926 Foundation
The 1926 Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland: No. SCO40789
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