On Wednesday 19th February, fifteen sixth formers from Ysgol Bro Pedr, Lampeter’s secondary school, spent the afternoon on campus in the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives.  All English A and AS Level students, they received talks on Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus from Dr Jane Draycott (Classics), Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales from Dr William Marx (English), and Shakespeare’s King Lear from Dr Peter Mitchell (English), talks that had been especially prepared to complement their set-texts.

Students examining an illustrated Medieval manuscript
Students examining an illustrated Medieval manuscript

The students also had the opportunity to see and handle a range of manuscripts and early printed books from the RBLA’s extensive collection.

Students examining an early printed edition of Oedipus Tyrannus.
Students examining an early printed edition of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus.

The theme of the afternoon was the transformation of texts over time, and the students were encouraged to see beyond the standardised printed editions of works of literature that they use in the classroom, and think about how and why the original words written, read, and performed (whether in the form of poetry or prose, tragedy or comedy) might have differed from what we see typed on the page today.

We hope to host more students from Ysgol Bro Pedr, and other local schools, in the near future.  If  you are a student or a teacher, and would like to arrange a visit to the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, or you represent an educational institution that would like to receive a visit from a lecturer, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll see what we can do!

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