Wednesday, 31 August 2011

One from the Archives: Bede's World

In the Spring I took a driving holiday through the beautiful landscape of Yorkshire and up into the North East of England. It was a nostalgic trip for me as I'd studied as an undergraduate at Newcastle Upon Tyne. While there I decided to take a look around Bede's World, Jarrow, a museum that celebrates the life and achievements of the Venerable Bede, a remarkable Anglo-Saxon monk, famous today as the first historian of the English people.

In 2000 I was commissioned to work on the lettering for the 'The Age of Bede' Exhibition in the new museum building. I'd never seen the lettering in situ, so it was a great thrill to see how well the exhibition had been put together with lettering, murals and models skilfully combined to make an informative and interesting tour through the Anglo-Saxon way of life in Northumbria.

The uncial lettering had to reflect this specific place and time, samples were provided by the museum so that I could fine tune the style to be as authentic to the period as possible. It can be seen throughout the exhibition on walls and panels - I've worked on a wide range of projects over the years but it's always a pleasant surprise to see my work reproduced at a large size and so well integrated into the overall design.

One from the Archives is one in an occasional series I'll be posting about jobs I've worked on over the years. If you have any suggestions of jobs you'd like me to talk about - just drop me a line!


  1. Wonderful post Ruth. Thanks for sharing the link to the museum's site. Your Uncial is gorgeous!! Through envelope exchanges, I have met a few calligraphers from South Shields. It certainly seems to be an area that respects and promotes hand lettering.

  2. Thanks Jane. The North East has a beautiful and rugged coastline with an interesting history. You might like Holy Island - famous for the Lindisfarne Gospels:

    I loved living up there as a student - although I don't miss the cold - it's much warmer here in London believe it or not!