“Liverpool is a fantastic city with rich history, culture and art. And there are so many amazing collections in museums, libraries and archives that this guide can only give a flavour of to its readers. I made it a point to celebrate my birthday here a few years ago because of an exhibition on Magritte, but it always seems that my favourite art always comes to this vibrant city.’ Rose Roberto, Thursday 9 November 2017.
The local launch of the Art Researchers’s Guide to Liverpool and Merseyside took place on the evening of 9 November 2017 at the Aldham Robarts Library at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Eighteen people RSVP’d and attendees included contributors from Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Central Library and LJMU library staff, as well as faculty and students from School of Art and Design. There was a brief welcome by to the event by Val Stevenson, Head of Academic Services at the LJMU, who also introduced editors Emily Parsons and Rose Roberto. Stevenson expressed her pride in diversity of collections in Liverpool and the pleasure in seeing collections throughout the city gathered into one resource with a map and subject index to make exploring the city so much easier. After Parsons and Roberto thanked the contributors, and each other, there was informal conversation in a celebratory atmosphere. There was plenty of food; including sandwich wraps, barbecue sticks, tortilla chips, guacamole, cakes, and biscuits as well as drinks.
After food and socialising, attendees were able to view material from the Special Collections, many of which were actually included in the Liverpool Guide. Parsons talked about different material on display ranging from Victorian prints, to 20th-century photographs, to a collection of punk zines and posters and playbills from the theatre collection. Then when Parsons started talking about the photos showing local artist Arthur Dooley statue `Four Lads that Shook the World’ a lively discussion commenced about Matthew Street where the statue was and about Dooley in general. As there is a newer statute of the Beatles in on the Liverpool waterfront by Andrew Edwards, public art and public sculpture are still relevant topics. The evening drew to a close with people discussing possible PhD topics from many of the collections in Liverpool, collections that thanks to Art Researchers Guides now have more visibility.
Contributed by Rose Roberto.