The History of a Banner

Have you ever wondered about the images which appear in the banner at the top of this blog? Just a random series of ‘historical’ images would seem a logical conclusion. So, here is what they are.

The group on the left are a group of students looking at medieval manuscripts on the Keele Latin and Palaeography Summer School in the library of Lichfield cathedral in the early 1990s. The woman in blue pointing is Barbara Clapham, a regular at the school, and one of a group of women of a similar age at the school who had ‘done interesting things in the war,’ in her case at the Ministry of Information in Cambridge. Next are a few images of sculpture taken at the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, but taken during a workshop for architectural conservation students – historic conservation is one of those vocational careers for which historians are often well-qualified. The black and white image of a mother and children on the doorstep comes from Keele’s archives, one of the families in Chester studied by Le Play house in the 1920s, a remarkable collection of data and images which has yet to be properly studied. And finally is a reliquary case containing a fragment of the bones of St Celsus, a fourth-century martyr whose cult, and this relic, was popular in the diocese of Metz. The reliquary was purchased on a popular web trading space; the relic, of course, was free, a case of the pardoner, Chuacer’s seller of relics going online.