Tag Archives: Archaeology

Major Miss Bell: Gertrude Bell and the First World War

Exhibition @ Level 2, Newcastle University Robinson Library, November 2015 – January 2016. 

Cartographer, archaeologist, interpreter, photographer, Gertrude Bell (born 1868 at Washington New Hall, County Durham) is perhaps best known as a central figure in British political movements in the Middle East during the early twentieth century. Appointed the appointed Oriental Secretary in 1917, her expertise in the geography of the Middle East led to her involvement in the Cairo Conference of 1921, in which she played a central role in the formation of Iraq. Often overlooked, however, is the range and extent of the work Bell undertook during the First World War, which took her from Boulogne to Baghdad. Curated by Dr Emma Short (School of English, Newcastle University & Living Legacies 1914-1918), this exhibition of material from the Gertrude Bell Papers, held in Newcastle University Robinson Library Special Collections, explores the impact of the First World War on Bell’s life and legacy.

The exhibition can be seen on Level 2 of the Robinson Library, Newcastle University, and all are welcome to visit. Staff on reception will be happy to admit on request visitors who wish to view the exhibition without a Newcastle University Library card.

Dr Short will be speaking on Gertrude Bell and the First World War at the Robinson Library to Friends of the Robinson Library at 6pm on 1 December 2015, and at the Newcastle City Library (as part of the Gender Research Group Evening Lecture Series) at 5.15pm on Wednesday 13 January 2016.  

Photograph courtesy of Newcastle University Robinson Library Special Collections.