May Festival 2014

Last week was very busy here at the University as it was time for our annual May Festival again! For a whole week campus is taken over by lots of exciting events, exhibitions and activities for schools, adults and families.

Our new exhibition New Found Land opened just in time to welcome May Festival visitors, but don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to see it over the weekend, it’s our summer exhibition so you’ll be able to visit until the end of August.

New Found Land poster

School workshops – Storybox: David Cardno
During the week we ran school workshops based on our favourite Peterhead sailor, David Cardno. Davie’s memoirs are filled with exciting stories from his time on whaling ships in the Arctic, and pupils from St Peter’s R.C. Primary and the Aberdeen Waldorf School brought these tales to life with drama activities.

Davie lived alongside the Inuit people on Baffin Island for a number of years and he noted down facts about their culture and customs in his notebooks. This included descriptions of some of the Inuit deities and how the conjurers would please these gods and goddesses to bring their tribe good hunting, weather or cure sickness. Masks were used to disguise the conjurer and please the gods and the pupils designed their own masks inspired by Davie’s notes and sketches.

Family Fun – Under the Sea
On the Saturday of the May Festival we held a Family Fun event inspired by the work of artist Anne Beavan, whose exhibition Things Unseen is currently on display in the library’s Events Space. Anne’s work is inspired by science and sea life and features amazing images of tiny sea creatures. Participants were inspired by Anne’s art as well as zoological teaching aids of sea creatures from the Special Collections to make their own aquatic art. By the end of the session there were lots of floaty jellyfish and fierce angler fishes swimming across the University campus.

Bookbinding workshop and talk
Finally for adults we held a bookbinding workshop and talk on Sunday 11th May. Participants spent the afternoon in the Glucksman Conservation Centre, learning bookbinding skills from our Book Conservator Brannah MacKenzie. The group also learned about some of the amazing bindings in our collection from Rare Books Cataloguer Jane Pirie. Both Brannah and Jane are so enthusiastic and informative that it’s hard not to come away with the bookbinding bug! One of our archive volunteers was able to attend the session and it already planning bookbinding activities to do with his grandchildren!

A busy and fun weekend was had by all and we’ve had just enough time to recover before Night at the Museums on Saturday. We just need to make our sea monster, ready to go into his lair and menace all the pirates! Visit the Night at the Museums website to find out more. We hope to see you there.

Posted by: Lynsey



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