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University Library welcomes visit from Commonwealth Essay Competition winners

21 November, 2014

winnersThe top winners and runners-up of the 2014 Commonwealth Essay Competition paid Cambridge University Library a special visit on Thursday 20 November during their week-long visit to the United Kingdom, which included a series of cultural and educational activities and an award ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The young writers, Raniya Hosain (Senior Winner from Pakistan), Max de Bourcier (Junior Winner from Jersey), Selina Xu (Senior Runner-Up from Singapore) and Leah Annia Plante-Wiener (Junior Runner-Up from Canada), along with their parents, met with the University Library’s Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Librarian, Rachel Rowe, and Archivist, John Cardwell, for a special tour of the RCS Collection.

As well as a tour of the Library, which included an exclusive visit up the impressive tower for panoramic views of Cambridge, our visitors were shown a number of treasures from the RCS Collections. Items from the visitors’ home countries and other Commonwealth countries were shown, including spectacular decorative art-work from Lahore Fort, albums of rare historic photographs and panoramas of Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Canada, and a fascinating array of artefacts, including glass spearheads from the Australian Outback, a beautiful leather satchel containing a 'travelling Qur'an', a warri-board from West Africa and a volume of drawings and fabric swatches of the furnishings of HMS Renown from Queen Mary's Indian collection.

Of the visit, Rachel said: "It was a pleasure to welcome another group of essay competition winners and their parents to the Royal Commonwealth Society collections.  I hope the collections will inspire their writing and future studies.

An archive of entries for the Commonwealth Essay Competition is available by clicking here.

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