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18th July 2013

Exeter acquires rare first edition of Czaplicka’s My Siberian Year

Thanks to generous alumnus John Leighfield (1958, Literae Humaniores), Exeter has acquired a rare first edition copy of Polish anthropologist Maria Czaplicka’s book My Siberian Year that once belonged to Robert Marett, Rector of Exeter 1928-43.

Czaplicka studied anthropology under Marett in the years leading up to the First World War and, under his guidance, carried out some research into the literature on the Siberian tribes, the result of which was Aboriginal Siberia, a highly acclaimed study on the region and its peoples. In 1914, this research brought Czaplicka, to Siberia for fieldwork. Despite the outbreak of the First World War, Czaplicka remained in Siberia for the next year along with Henry Usher Hall from the University Of Pennsylvania Museum.

During her time there, she took many photographs and kept a diary, which was published upon return with the title My Siberian Year. Czaplicka presented this book to her former tutor with the inscription “’To R.R. Marett with feelings of deep gratitude from M.A. Czaplicka – London July 22nd 1916”.

We are delighted to be able to add this special book to Exeter College’s Library collection, and are very grateful to Mr Leighfield.

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