National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is one of the home counties; the county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, Greater London to the northeast. Inhabited by about 1.2 million people, Surrey is the twelfth most populous English county, both the third most populous home county and the third most populous county in the South East. Guildford is considered to be the county town; however despite the town's designation, Surrey County Council has never been based there, being instead seated throughout its history in London. Since the borders of Surrey were altered in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 which created Greater London, none of these places are now in Surrey, marking an example of a de facto capital, located outside of its administrative area. Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Elmbridge and Ewell, Mole Valley and Banstead, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge and Woking.
Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth and death registration, social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and small parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until 1889. Since the 1965 reform the bordering boroughs of the capital have been those taken from it in 1965 plus Bromley and Hounslow; the form of Surrey which remains since 1965 is a wealthy county due to economic, aesthetic and logistical factors. It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county, some of the highest property values outside Inner London and the highest cost of living in the UK outside of the capital. Surrey has the highest proportion of woodland in England, having been rural since it was shorn in 1965 of the urbanised swathes of South London which had hitherto been part of the county, it has large protected green spaces. It has four racecourses in horse racing, the most of any Home County and as at 2013 contained 141 golf courses including international competition venue Wentworth.
Surrey has proximity to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, along with access to major arterial road routes including the M25, M3 and M23 and frequent rail services into Central London. Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downs; the ridge is pierced by the rivers Wey and Mole, tributaries of the Thames, which formed the northern border of the county before modern redrawing of county boundaries, which has left part of its north bank within the county. To the north of the Downs the land is flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames; the geology of this area is dominated by London Clay in the east, Bagshot Sands in the west and alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low Weald, rising in the extreme southeast to the edge of the hills of the High Weald; the Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of Wealden Clay, Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.
Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature woodland. Among its many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill, Frensham Ponds, Newlands Corner and Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons. Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8% and as such is one of the few counties not to recommend new woodlands in the subordinate planning authorities' plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey contains England's principal concentration of lowland heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county. Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Way, a scenic long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms; the highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking.
It is 294 m above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after Walbury Hill in West Berkshire, 297 m. Surrey has a population of 1.1 million people. Its largest town is Guildford, with a population of 77,057, they are followed by Ewell with 39,994 people and Camberley with 30,155. Towns of between 25,000 and 30,000 inhabitants are Ashford, Farnham and Redhill. Guildford is the historic county town, although the county administration was moved to Newington in 1791 and to Kingston upon Thames in 1893; the county counc
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Royal Society of Literature
The Royal Society of Literature is a learned society founded in 1820, by King George IV, to'reward literary merit and excite literary talent'. The society is a cultural tenant at London's Somerset House; the society's first president was Thomas Bishop of St David's. The society maintains its current level of about 500 Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature: 14 new fellows are elected annually, who are accorded the privilege of using the post-nominal letters FRSL. Past fellows include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J. R. R. Tolkien, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Koestler, Chinua Achebe, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Robert Ardrey, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, P. J. Kavanagh. Present Fellows include Margaret Atwood, David Hare, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, Paul Muldoon, Zadie Smith, Nadeem Aslam, Sarah Waters, Geoffrey Ashe and J. K. Rowling. A newly created fellow inscribes his or her name on the society's official roll using either Byron's pen, T. S. Eliot's fountain pen, which replaced Dickens's quill in 2013, or George Eliot's pen.
The society publishes an annual magazine, The Royal Society of Literature Review, administers a number of literary prizes and awards, including the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction, the RSL Encore Award for best second novel of the year and the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories. From time to time it confers the honour and title of Companion of Literature to writers of particular note. Additionally the RSL can bestow its award of the Benson Medal for lifetime service in the field of literature; the RSL runs a membership scheme and offers a varied programme of events to members and the general public. Membership of the RSL is open to all; the RSL runs a schools outreach programme in collaboration with the literacy charity First Story. The RSL administers two annual prizes, two awards, two honours. Through its prize programmes, the RSL supports new and established contemporary writers; the RSL Christopher Bland Prize — £10,000 for debut prose writers over the age of 50.
The Encore Awards — £10,000 for best second novel of the year. The RSL took over the administration of this award in 2016; the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction – annual awards, one of £10,000 and two of £5,000, to authors engaged on their first commissioned works of non-fiction. The RSL Ondaatje Prize – an annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place; the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize – an annual prize of £1,000 for the best unpublished short story of the year; the Benson Medal -- awarded to those. Companion of Literature – the highest honour that the Society can bestow upon a writer; the Council of the Royal Society of Literature is central to the election of new fellows, directs the RSL's activities through its monthly meetings. Patron Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall President Dame Marina Warner DBE Presidents Emeritus Sir Michael Holroyd CBE FRHistS C Lit Colin Thubron CBE Chair of Council Lisa Appignanesi OBE Vice-PresidentsAnne Chisholm OBE Maureen Duffy Maggie Gee OBE The Hon. Victoria Glendinning CBE Sir Ronald Harwood CBE Dame Hilary Mantel DBE Philip Pullman CBE Claire Tomalin Jenny Uglow OBE, Benson Medallist CouncilBernardine Evaristo MBE, Vice Chair Blake Morrison, Vice Chair Simon Armitage CBE Colin Chisholm, Hon Treasurer Jonathan Coe Imtiaz Dharker Sir Richard Eyre CH CBE Abdulrazak Gurnah Tessa Hadley Derek Johns Jonathan Keates FSA Dame Hermione Lee FBA Daljit Nagra Michèle Roberts 1820–1832 Bishop Thomas Burgess 1832–1833 The Lord Dover 1834–1845 The Earl of Ripon 1845–1849 Henry Hallam 1849–1851 The Marquess of Northampton 1851–1856 The Earl of Carlisle 1856–1876 The Rt Rev. Connop Thirlwall 1876–1884 The Prince Leopold 1885–1893 Sir Patrick Colquhoun 1893–1920 The Earl of Halsbury 1921–1945 The Marquess of Crewe 1946–1947 The Earl of Lytton 1947–1982 The Lord Butler of Saffron Walden 1982–1988 Sir Angus Wilson 1988–2003 The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead 2003–2008 Sir Michael Holroyd 2008–2017 Colin Thubron 2017–present Marina Warner The Royal Society of Literature comprises up to 500 fellows who are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRSL.
New fellows of the Royal Society of Literature are elected by its current fellows. To be nominated for fellowship, a writer must have published two works of literary merit, nominations must be seconded by an RSL fellow. All nominations are presented to members of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, who vote biannually to elect new fellows. Nominated candidates who have not been successful are reconsidered at every election for three years from the year in which they were proposed. Newly elected fellows are introduced at the Society's AGM and summer party. While the President reads a citation for each, they are invited to sign their names in the roll book which dates back to 1820, using either T. S. Eliot's fountain pen or Byron's pen. In 2013, Charles Dickens's quill was retired and replaced with Eliot's fountain pen, in 2018 George Eliot's pen was offered as a choice, the first time in the RSL's history that a pen that belonged to a woman writer was an option. In 2018 the RSL honoured the achievements of Britain's younger writers through the initiative "40 Under 40", which saw the election of 40 new fellows aged under 40.
The * before the name denotes an Honorary Fellow. The list is online at the RSL website; the Royal Society of Literature website RSL biannual magazine RSL literary prizes and awards Current RSL Fellows
The historical mystery or historical whodunit is a subgenre of two literary genres, historical fiction and mystery fiction. These works are set in a time period considered historical from the author's perspective, the central plot involves the solving of a mystery or crime. Though works combining these genres have existed since at least the early 20th century, many credit Ellis Peters's Cadfael Chronicles for popularizing what would become known as the historical mystery; the increasing popularity and prevalence of this type of fiction in subsequent decades has spawned a distinct subgenre recognized by the publishing industry and libraries. Publishers Weekly noted in 2010 of the genre, "The past decade has seen an explosion in both quantity and quality. Never before have so many historical mysteries been published, by so many gifted writers, covering such a wide range of times and places." Editor Keith Kahla concurs, "From a small group of writers with a specialized audience, the historical mystery has become a critically acclaimed, award-winning genre with a toehold on the New York Times bestseller list."Since 1999, the British Crime Writers' Association has awarded the CWA Historical Dagger award to novels in the genre.
The Left Coast Crime conference has presented its Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery award since 2004. Though the term "whodunit" was coined sometime in the early 1930s, it has been argued that the detective story itself has its origins as early as the 429 BC Sophocles play Oedipus Rex and the 10th century tale "The Three Apples" from One Thousand and One Nights. During China's Ming Dynasty, gong'an folk novels were written in which government magistrates—primarily the historical Di Renjie of the Tang Dynasty and Bao Zheng of the Song Dynasty —investigate cases and as judges determine guilt and punishment; the stories contained many anachronisms. Robert van Gulik came across the 18th century anonymously-written Chinese manuscript Di Gong An, in his view closer to the Western tradition of detective fiction than other gong'an tales and so more to appeal to non-Chinese readers, in 1949 published it in English as Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, he subsequently wrote his own Judge Dee stories in the same time period.
The first modern English work that can be classified as both historical fiction and a mystery however is the 1911 Melville Davisson Post story "The Angel of the Lord", which features amateur detective Uncle Abner in pre-American Civil War West Virginia. Barry Zeman of the Mystery Writers of America calls the Uncle Abner short stories "the starting point for true historical mysteries." In the 22 Uncle Abner tales Post wrote between 1911 and 1928, the character puzzles out local mysteries with his keen observation and knowledge of the Bible. It was not until 1943 that American mystery writer Lillian de la Torre did something similar in the story "The Great Seal of England", casting 18th century literary figures Samuel Johnson and James Boswell into Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson roles in what would become the first of her Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector series of stories. In 1944 Agatha Christie published Death Comes as the End, a mystery novel set in ancient Egypt and the first full-length historical whodunit.
In 1950, John Dickson Carr published the second full-length historical mystery novel called The Bride of Newgate, set at the close of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1970 Peter Lovesey began a series of novels featuring Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective, Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody series followed the adventures of the titular Victorian lady/archaeologist as she solved mysteries surrounding her excavations in early 20th century Egypt, but historical mystery stories remained an oddity until the late 1970s, with the success of Ellis Peters and her Cadfael Chronicles, featuring Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael and set in 12th century Shrewsbury. Umberto Eco's one-off The Name of the Rose helped popularize the concept, starting in 1979, author Anne Perry wrote two series of Victorian era mysteries featuring Thomas Pitt and William Monk; however it was not until about 1990 that the genre's popularity expanded with works such as Lindsey Davis's Falco novels, set in the Roman Empire of Vespasian.
For Mike Ashley'sThe Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives, F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre wrote "Death in the Dawntime", a locked room mystery set in Australia around 35,000 BC, which Ashley suggests is the furthest in the past a historical mystery has been set to date. Diana Gabaldon began the Lord John series in 1998, casting a recurring secondary character from her Outlander series, Lord John Grey, as a nobleman-military officer-amateur detective in 18th century England. Using the pen name Ariana Franklin, Diana Norman wrote four Mistress of the Art of Death novels between 2007 and 2010, featuring 12th-century English medical examiner Adelia Aguilar. Publishers Weekly noted in 2010 of the genre, "The past decade has seen an explosion in both quantity and quality. Never before have so many historical mysteries been published, by so many gifted writers, covering such a wide range of times and places." Editor Keith Kahla concurs, "From a small group of writers w
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso; the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.
The Templars were tied to the Crusades. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, King Philip IV of France – in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip; the abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation and legacy through the ages. After Europeans in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was secure under Christian control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits and marauding highwaymen preyed upon pilgrims, who were slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa through to the interior of the Holy Land.
In 1119, the French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims. King Baldwin and Patriarch Warmund agreed to the request at the Council of Nablus in January 1120, the king granted the Templars a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Temple Mount in the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Temple Mount had a mystique because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomon's Temple, from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or "Templar" knights; the order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse; the impoverished status of the Templars did not last long. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure, the French abbot responsible for the founding of the Cistercian Order of monks and a nephew of André de Montbard, one of the founding knights.
Bernard put his weight behind them and wrote persuasively on their behalf in the letter'In Praise of the New Knighthood', in 1129, at the Council of Troyes, he led a group of leading churchmen to approve and endorse the order on behalf of the church. With this formal blessing, the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. Another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent II's papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the order from obedience to local laws; this ruling meant that the Templars could pass through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, were exempt from all authority except that of the pope. With its clear mission and ample resources, the order grew rapidly. Templars were the advance shock troops in key battles of the Crusades, as the armoured knights on their warhorses would set out to charge at the enemy, ahead of the main army bodies, in an attempt to break opposition lines.
One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, where some 500 Templar knights helped several thousand infantry to defeat Saladin's army of more than 26,000 soldiers. Although the primary mission of the order was militaristic few members were combatants; the others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure. The Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman, interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accumulating wealth in this manner throughout Christendom and the Outremer, the order in 1150 began generating letters of credit for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land: pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value.
This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking and may have been the first formal system to support the use of cheques. Based on this mi