Here is a completely random selection of things that caught my eye at work last week. There isn't any particular theme linking these items, except that they all come from period between Armistice Day and the end of the Second World War.
This photo was found in a 1939 Barbara Cartland novel. These days, the Iron Cross inspires a reaction similar to the swastika, but we mustn't forget that once it was merely an innocent symbol of Prussian militarism.
This beautiful bookplate comes from a huge collection of novels that once belonged to Belfast's public libraries. I hadn't heard of most of the books. Indeed, when I first opened the box, it looked as if the contents had come from a parallel universe (I shall have to write a blog post on these titles).
Libraries are, of course, very much in the news at the moment, thanks to the Government's spending review. Everyone likes libraries, even if we don't always use them. Libraries are the hallmark of a civilised society, so why are they being threatened with such drastic cuts?
I has assumed that public libraries were very expensive to maintain, but not so, argues Joanna Trollope in yesterday's Guardian newspaper. Her local county council's libraries account for a mere 1.45% of the annual budget, but in spite of this, they are still being cut by more than 50%.
Andrew Carnegie must be turning in his grave.
Another attractive bookplate. I like the idea of the Seafarers Education Association and can imagine lots of sailors puffing away at their pipes, being lectured on the finer points of Renaissance art.
There isn't much to say about this, except that it has a very attractive typeface, particularly the big As and Os.
This photo fell out of a copy of "The Hound of Death" by James Barlow.
I found this striking colour plate by Dodo Adler in a 1940s book called "Fairy Tales from the Balkans". Surprisingly, the book isn't even worth a tenner.
I had no idea where this is, but I guessed that it would be somewhere like Torquay and typed the name into Google images. Three seconds later, my theory was confirmed with this photo of modern-day Torquay:
If you're not from the UK and haven't heard of Torquay, it is part of the "English Riviera" (not quite an oxymoron, but it certainly doesn't have the same ring as French Riviera) and was the setting for Fawlty Towers. A lot of people retire there.
The picture of the harbour comes from a 1920s album of photographs that feature people enjoying themselves in Torquay and Dartmoor.
The album doesn't have many images that are worth posting, but I quite like this:
I would love to know who these people were and what their connection was. The other photos feature games of tennis, trips to Dartmoor and clifftop walks. It all looks very appealing.
The album also includes this picture, from the days when the Royal Navy was the largest in the world:
Today, this probably is the Royal Navy. But there's more to life than ruling the waves.