26 february 2009

New addition to First World War Poetry Archive

Arts

This manuscript map with cross-rides of the trenches is included in a later typescript version of the dedication to 'In Parenthesis'.
This manuscript map with cross-rides of the trenches is included in a later typescript version of the dedication to 'In Parenthesis'

More than 500 images related to the modernist poet David Jones have been added to the First World War Poetry Archive.

David Jones was born in 1895 and served as a private during the First World War. Around twenty years later In Parenthesis, his epic poem recalling those experiences, was published. The title, (meaning between brackets), encapsulates Jones' view of the War - not the ordeal that defined his whole life but an aside.

After the war his reputation as an artist and writer grew. On demobilisation he studied at Westminster School of Art (1919-1921). Jones' artwork later won him high regard among the artists of his generation. He was elected to the Seven and Five Society and exhibited with Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Jones' work as a poet was as impressive as his paintings and sculpture, and in the lettering and the texts of his 'inscriptions', (words painted on paper), he devised a new and emotive art.

These papers, never before seen online, provide a remarkable insight into a man who never forgot the trenches and used his writing as a medium to try to understand what he experienced there.

Archive Project Manager, Kate Lindsay

Kate Lindsay, project manager for the Archive, said: ‘The First World War Archive is thrilled to release these images. The collection focuses primarily on Part VII of Jones' epic masterpiece In Parenthesis, and includes manuscripts of early drafts, notes, and broadcast scripts.

‘In addition the collections also contains a selection of Jones' artwork, service records, and correspondence. These papers, never before seen online, provide a remarkable insight into a man who never forgot the trenches and used his writing as a medium to try to understand what he experienced there.’

The collection is from the National Library of Wales and The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum.

The Archive complements Oxford University’s Great War Archive, a new, free to access website which will enable educators, scholars and the public to view previously unseen memorabilia from World War I. It was launched on Armistice Day last year. Since then there have been 20,000 visitors to the website.It has also been Highly Commended in the UCISA-Eduserv Award for Excellence 2008, as well as the THE Awards.