D. S. Who? Looking back at dom sylvester houédard

Fran Horner, a postgraduate student studying the MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, in her final blog post  🙁 tells us more about her internship at The John Rylands Library working with the dom sylvester houédard archive.

Fran Horner working of the little poetry magazines of dom sylvester houédeard.

In January 2018, I began cataloguing the collection of little poetry magazines in the archive of Benedictine monk and British concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houédard (he preferred to be known as dsh). The internship was organised through the Institute of Cultural Practice at the University of Manchester and was a requisite for a module on my MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies.

On 2 July 2018, I FINALLY finished the catalogue. In total, I have catalogued 202 titles, over 520 individual items, putting in hundreds of hours of research!

I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about dsh’s poetry and character through his collection of little poetry magazines. His typestract poems (see previous blog post) have been fascinating to study and document as visual works of experimental textual art. My work on this internship has enabled dsh’s poetry and archive to become more accessible and I hope that the rich material will inspire artists, writers and poets. Not only have I become fully immersed in the world of dsh, I have also gained valuable experience in the practices and responsibilities of professional archivists and rare book librarians.

If you have an interest in concrete poetry, dsh, little poetry magazines or independent publishing presses, the catalogue I created may be of interest to you. If you would like to find out more, please contact Dr Janette Martin at the University of Manchester Library,

To discover more about dsh, you can see some of his poetry in the exhibition Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination- Repetition at Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition, curated by Hammad Nasar with Kate Jesson, is free and is open until 22 April 2019.

Fran cataloguing the dom sylvester houédard collection.

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