This year marks the centenary of one of the most tumultuous events of modern times, the Russian Revolution.
The successive revolutions of February and October 1917 shaped the coming century for the nations that would become part of the Soviet Union and their neighbours and influenced international relations across the world.
In this exhibition we draw on the unique and distinctive holdings of the Foyle Special Collections Library to look at these events and their aftermath.
Elsewhere in this exhibition we explore the concept of revolution more broadly, examining other significant political revolutions of modern times: the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the American and French Revolutions of the late 18th century and the Haitian revolution (1791-1804), when former slaves overthrew their masters and established an independent state.
Works such as Thomas Paine’s Common sense (1776) and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the revolution in France (1790) exemplify the role of the writer in both influencing and responding to revolutionary events.
We look too at some of the revolutionary scientific discoveries which, in their day, overturned prevalent beliefs and have helped to shape modern Western thought, displaying such epoch-defining publications as Galileo’s Dialogo (1632) and Charles Darwin’s On the origin of species (1859).
In the realm of creative literature the work of Byron and an inscribed copy of the poems of Allen Ginsberg remind us of the revolutionary sensibilities which writers and artists can transmit to their audiences.
In the final case of this exhibition we include contributions from colleagues across King’s, who have written a wide selection of features exploring their response to the topics of revolution and of societal and cultural change.
Unless otherwise stated, all items in this exhibition are from the holdings of the Foyle Special Collections Library.
For further information regarding opening hours and a guide to the exhibition, please click the link here.