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Cambridge University Library


If you have ever visited the landing outside the Librarian’s Office at the University Library, you will have seen the portraits of those who have held the prestigious position of University Librarian over the past 500 years.

On Friday 7 July, the portrait of the University of Cambridge’s first female University Librarian, Anne Jarvis, was officially unveiled at a reception attended by three generations of Librarians and other Library colleagues.

Anne Jarvis, who was University Librarian from 2009 until September 2016, is the first in the role to choose photography as the primary medium for their portrait. The portrait has been created by artist Paul Hodgson who has a growing reputation for using a complex mixed media process, combining photographic and painted impressions of a subject to create a new hybrid image. Hodgson’s other portrait commissions include Professor Christopher Dobson, current Master of St John’s College, and Dr Frederick Sanger who has twice been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2010, Hodgson was a Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton – the University at which Anne Jarvis became University Librarian in October 2016.

Anne Jarvis’ portrait now sits alongside those of her predecessors, including a white marble bust of Henry Bradshaw (Librarian from 1867-86) by sculptor Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, and John Singer Sargent’s oil painting of Francis J. H. Jenkinson (Librarian from 1889-1923).

Readers of the University Library are welcome to visit the landing outside the Librarian’s Office on Floor 4 where the portraits are on display.