Man in full academic dress stooping in front of a table, being given an award by another man in academic dress who is standing. Two other men in academic dress are sat at the table, another man is stood further away to the left watching.

Life in the Archives and Special Collections

One of the great things about working with archive materials is never knowing what treasures you might discover in the depths of a storage box untouched by human hand since the dawn of time (well, a few years maybe).

Today’s exciting (and timely) find is this photograph which shows Sir David Attenborough receiving an Award of Doctor of Science honoris causa at a degree ceremony in May 1972.

Landscape image of a man in full academic dress stooping in front of a table (back to camera at an angle), shaking hands with another man in academic dress who is standing facing him: two other men in academic dress are sat at the table to the man standing's left. A man is stood further away in the background to the left (also in cap and gown) watching, and there are smartly dressed people sat in rows behind.
Sir David Attenborough receives his award, May 1972.

Sir David is one of a number of notable individuals who have been awarded honorary degrees by City, University of London, including the Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman (who was also recognised at the same ceremony as Sir David), former Speaker of the House of Commons Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd and the journalist Sophie Raworth.

The photo was uncovered as part of our project to digitise the (approx.) 6,000 images in our collection for preservation purposes. This work is being carried out by staff from across Library Services – plus we’ve had some terrific help from the Department of Library and Information Science‘s CityLIS students too.

As today is Sir David’s 93rd birthday, we’d like to offer our congratulations and best wishes to him, and share this marvellous image with you.

For more information on our Archives, Special Collections, and how to access materials, please visit our Archives and Special Collections Guide.

Published by

Chris

Subject Librarian at City, University of London specialising in tea, biscuits and terribly cheesy puns.

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