This page has information about the current exhibition as well as links to previous exhibitions. Many of the previous exhibitions are online.
Parlez-vous français? Celebrating France & the French
'Tout homme a deux pays, le sien et puis la France' ('Every man has two countries - his own and France.') – Charlemagne, in Henri de Bornier's La Fille de Roland (1875)
The Republic of France extends from the Mediterranean (Marseilles) to the English Channel (St Brieux) and North Sea (Calais); from the Rhine (near Besançon) to the Atlantic Ocean (Bordeaux). It also takes in areas such as French Guiana and Guadeloupe. 'France' today is formed by 18 regions; some 643,801 square kilometres. The country is broken down to 102 départements (like Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Normandy, and Brittany) that are divided into communes, which in 2013, numbered 36,681 (Paris, the country’s capital city, is a commune as well as a département). In 2017, the population of France and its overseas regions was almost 67 million. Diversity reigns within this wide urban and rural spread: social and religious cultures, language, historical development, politics. Indeed, General Charles de Gaulle once said: 'How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?'
'Parlez-vous français? Celebrating France & the French' reflects the country's variety: French printing; the reign of Louis XIV; works by dramatists Corneille and Dumas; an original Voltaire letter; maps of Paris; foods and fashion; science; travel; novels by Rabelais, Hugo, and Camus; and poetry by Baudelaire and Apollinaire. In addition, a suite of engravings of New Zealand birds drawn by French artists. Except for a few items from private collections, all of the materials on display are from Special Collections. Profitez-en!
Poster (3MB PDF)
Dates: 15 September - 8 December 2017
Venue: de Beer gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago
Contact: Dr Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian
Donald.email@example.com; Phone: (03) 479-8330
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Past exhibitions 16 June - 8 September Intrepid Journeys: Travelling with the Hakluyt Society 24 March - 9 June 2017 500 Years On. Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation 9 December 2016 - 17 March 2017 Keeping it in the Family: British and Irish Literary Generations, 1770-1930 1 September 2016 - 2 December 2016 A Letterpress Legacy: The Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop 10 June 2016 - 26 August 2016 Scholarly Favourites. Researching in Special Collections Exhibition, University of Otago 11 March 2016 - 3 June 2016 Fashion Rules OK 11 December 2015 - 4 March 2016 By Land and By Sea: Scientific Expedition Reports in Special Collections from 1826 to the 1960s 28 August - 27 November 2015 The Melrose Library: Reflecting the Life and Works of Sir F. Truby King 5 June - 21 August 2015 Black + White + Grey. The Lives + Works of Eric Gill + Robert Gibbings 12 March - 29 May 2015 Aliens, Androids & Unicorns. The Hal Salive Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection 17 December - 23 March 2014 The World of Joseph W. Mellor (1869-1938) 11 September - 5 December 2014 Celebrating Botany (1924-2014) 11 June - 5 September 2014 Viva l'Italia. A Regional Romp through Italy 21 March - 23 May 2014 Make It New! Modernism & the Medieval Presence 20 December 2013 - 14 March 2014 Rare Delights III. Recent Additions to Special Collections 27 September - 13 December 2013 Reaching Out: Celebrating 100 years of Otago Physiotherapy Graduates 28 June - 20 September 2013 Maths, Politics and Concrete: The Legacy of the Classical World 5 April - 25 June 2013 Celebrating Pharmacy 20 December 2012 - 22 March 2013 From Pigskin to Paper: The Art and Craft of Bookbinding 21 September - 13 December 2012 Celebrating Charles Dickens (1812-1870) 22 June - 14 September 2012 Charting the Land on the Ocean: Pacific Exploration, 1520-1876 23 March - 15 June 2012 Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection 21 December 2011 to 16 March 2012 The Gentleman's Magazine: The 18th century answer to Google 30 September - 16 December 2011 In Search of Scotland 1 July - 23 September 2011 Experimental Philosophy: old and new 1 April - 17 June 2011 Forging a Magical Landscape: The Works of Robert Graves, Poet 17 December 2010 - 25 March 2011 Faces of Authorship: Constructing the Author in Medieval and Early Modern Books 27 August to 10 December 2010 Pulp Fiction 14 May - 20 August ALL ABOARD! The Ernie Webber Railway Collection 8 February - 7 May Footnotes on Official History: Celebrating Dr Hocken's Pamphlet Collection 30 October 2009 - 29 January 2010 Heresy, Sedition, Obscenity: The Book Challenged 13 July - 23 October 2009 'I sat down in the evening to read...' Books from the Library of Charles Brasch, Poet, 1909-1973 8 April - 3 July 2009 Beetles, Barnacles, Orchids, and the Origin of Species: Charles Darwin and His Legacy 19 December 2008 - 27 March 2009 A Record of Achievement: The 50th Birthday of the Otago University Press 29 August - 12 December 2008 Nourishing the Roots: an exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago 5 May - 22 August 2008 Éire á Móradh: Singing the Praises of Ireland 25 February - 25 April 2008 Rare Delights II: Recent Additions to Special Collections 20 December 2007 - 1 February 2008 RETROSPECTIVE: A look back at the last 21 Special Collections exhibitions 17 October to 14 December 2007 Initials: In the Beginning... 6 July to 28 September 2007 Linnaeus, Prince of Botanists: His Works and Legacy 11 April to 29 June 2007 A Quick Stab at the Eighteenth Century 12 December 2006 - 30 March 2007 Master of the Burin: the book illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897-1954 4 September - 1 December 2006 In the Flesh. The Monro Dynasty 1720-1846. 1 June - 25 August 2006 The Black Art: Hand-printing in the Bibliography Room, 1961-2005 10 February - 26 May 2006 West Meets East: Images of China and Japan, 1570 to 1920 17 October 2005 - 27 January 2006 Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass 11 July - 23 September 2005 The Word on Modernism: How Books Aided a Revolution in Design 11 April - 24 June 2005 "£100 & a butt of sack yearly" The office of the poet laureate 20 December 2004 - 31 March 2005 Straight Jackets: the Art of the Book Jacket 20 September - 10 December 2004 'A Civilising Mission' : New Zealanders and the Rhodes Scholarship 1904 - 2004 24 June - 10 September 2004 41 Stunning Books: A selection of modern private press books 23 March - 11 June 2004 Glimpses of London's Past 25 November 2003 - 12 March 2004 He tirohanga ki muri ~ A view of the past 4 July - 17 November 2003 Harmonizing my starting place: Charles Brasch, patron, poet and collector 21 March - 27 June 2003 Cultivating Gardens: Practical garden advice through the ages 13 December 2002 - 13 March 2003 Rare Delights: recent additions to Special Collections 12 September - 28 November 2002 Unpacking Ruins: architecture from antiquity 21 June - 1 September 2002 Enlarging the prospects of happiness: European travel writing through the ages 21 March - 13 June 2002 Portrait of a gentleman scholar: celebrating the life and legacy of Esmond de Beer
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Exhibition gallery location
Exhibitions are mounted in: The de Beer Gallery
65 Albany Street
Open 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Monday to Friday
Contact the Special Collections Librarian for enquiries and consultations.