As the new academic year looms, staff within the University of Exeter are preparing for new and returning students to arrive on the Exeter Streatham campus.
Heritage practice at the University of Exeter encompasses a range of disciplines, from literary history to archaeology, to film studies. In the last academic year, heritage achievements at the university included the animated film ‘The History of the Hare,’ an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC project, the Romanian Aerial Reconnaissance project, which recorded new prehistoric, Roman and medieval sites discovered in Romania, and the Exeter Book Digitisation project, a joint project led by the university and its longstanding partner, Exeter Cathedral.
For new students coming to Exeter, it is important to know that heritage research and work filters into a range of academic spheres. As a result, there are lots of opportunities for students across all disciplines to get involved with heritage at the university.
Your guide to #heritage at the University of Exeter this term:
A glance at Exeter’s film history:
Beginning with physical heritage at the university, you can visit the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (BDCM), which reopened in May after being closed for several months. The BDCM is home to one of the largest collections of material on the moving image in Britain, documenting the development of optical entertainment from shadow-puppets and 17th century books on projection, to the most recent Hollywood blockbusters, including artefacts such as Magic Lanterns, rare books, prints, and an extensive variety of publicity materials. The academic research facility and accredited public museum commemorates British filmmaker Bill Douglas (1934-1991), whose work includes the Bill Douglas Trilogy (1972-78) and Comrades (1987). The BDCM is open for visitors every day between 10am and 5pm, so be sure to check it out during Fresher’s week.
Arts and Culture at the University of Exeter:
Pieces of the university’s art collection are dotted around the Streatham campus. From this September, there will be a display space in the Queens building that features a new curated exhibition by the Arts and Culture team. Each display will be accompanied by information about the resource and will give new students an insight into the research and projects taking place at the university.
In addition, the Sculpture Walk is now open. Exeter’s Streatham Campus hosts 39 sculptures, both displayed indoors and outdoors, and the sculpture walk includes works by Dame Barbara Hepworth, Peter Randall-Page and other renowned and emerging artists. Visit the University’s Arts and Culture website to find out more about the sculptures, get the latest Covid guidance for visiting the sculptures, and download a map showing the sculpture locations. The Arts and culture team will also be at fresher’s fair, so make sure you stop by their table to find out more about their Autumn events and current art commissions.
Explore Exeter’s literary heritage in the Special Collections and Archives:
Exeter’s rich literary history is preserved in the university’s Special Collections, which you can find in the Old Library. The Special Collections hold archives, rare books and manuscript resources covering all subject areas. Major highlights of the collection include Twentieth Century South West Writing, Literature and Visual Culture, Victorian Culture and Imperial Endeavour, Arab and Islamic Studies, and Religious and Parish book collections.
It also contains the work of famous writers Daphne du Maurier, Charles Causley, William Golding, Ted Hughes, Agatha Christie and Henry Williamson. For students taking English, or English modules, you will undoubtedly view some of the archival material during your time at Exeter, as the reading rooms are often used for seminars. If you would like to view the collections during your free time, archive material can be viewed in the newly reopened Ronald Duncan Reading Room, Monday-Friday between 10 am and 5pm. Appointments can be made in advance by contacting email@example.com.
Catch a show with your new friends and flatmates at the Northcott Theatre:
Over at The Northcott Theatre, performances have returned! Ranging from comedy stand-up shows to dance and drama productions. Having first opened its doors in November 1967 as the first arts centre in UK to have been built on university land, the Northcott played a key role in the development of the careers of actors such as Celia Imrie, Robert Lindsay, Diana Rigg, Imelda Staunton, and John Nettles. September’s programme includes ‘The Three Musketeers – a Comedy Adventure’ and ‘Infinite ways home,’ a multisensory production that explores ritual, rave and human connection. All of the Northcott Theatre’s events can be found on their website. The Theatre is located just prior to the top of Forum Hill and is right next to the Great Hall, so be sure to pop in after the Fresher’s Fair.
Follow us on Twitter @UoEHeritage for updates on the #heritage events to check out during this year’s Fresher’s Week. Also be sure to follow the BDCM (@bdcmuseum), Exeter Northcott (@ExeterNorthcott) and University of Exeter Heritage Collections (@UoEHeritageColl) for updates.
In the city centre, be sure to check out The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) and Exeter Cathedral, and follow their Twitter accounts for updated event information, @RAMMuseum and @ExeterCathedral.