New digital access to Divinity theses collection

New College Theses

I’m delighted to announced that nearly two hundred and fifty theses dating from 1921-1950 from the New College Library collection are now available online in the Edinburgh Research Archive, part of the Divinity Dissertation and Thesis Collection. While later theses are held in 2 copies, one at the Main Library, we believe that New College Library holds the only copy of theses from this early period.  The New College Theses collection was catalogued online in 2012 as part of the Funk Projects.

The digitisation project was managed by Gavin Willshaw, Digital Curator in Library & University Collections, who explains : “We worked with the digitisation company Restore to digitise 250 unique theses from New College – these are now available open-access for anyone to download at: https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/133

The theses are fully searchable on the ERA platform but also discoverable via Google, making New College scholarship accessible to a much wider audience.

The collection includes a wide variety of research topics, such as Comparison of Chinese and Hebrew wisdom, as exemplified in the Book of Proverbs … [1933] by Elizabeth G.K. Hewat, or The Christian Inscriptions of North Africa … [1943] by Ian Thomson Gillan. Do you recognise any of the authors? We’d love to know more about what happened next to these Divinity alumni.

Gavin Willshaw, Digital Curator
Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

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New books for Social and Political Science: April 2015

Thanks to recommendations from members of staff and requests via RAB from students the Library is continually adding new books to its collections both online and in print. Here are just a small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in April 2015 for Social and Political Science.

city_is_ours_book_coverThe city is ours : squatting and autonomous movements in Europe from the 1970s to the present edited by Bart van der Steen, Ask Katzeff and Leendert van Hoogenhuijze (shelfmark: HD7287.96.E85 Cit.)

Small states and international security : Europe and beyond edited by Clive Archer, Alyson J.K. Bailes and Anders Wivel (shelfmark: JC365 Sma. Also available as e-book.)

Read More

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The Day the Earth Moved

This week, conservation went global – in a very literal sense. Our task: to package and transport sections of a wooden globe, no mean feat considering the globe in question was nearly 1.5 metres in width.

PG Globe_1

Sections of the Geddes globe in their original location

This globe is one of two made by Jacques Elisée Reclus, a French geographer, both of which are held in the Patrick Geddes collection. In 1895, with the support of Alfred Russel Wallace and Patrick Geddes, Reclus proposed the construction of a huge relief globe approximately 420 feet in diameter, but this was never realised.

Geddes’ proposed Institute of Geography in Edinburgh was to incorporate the Reclus globe within it.  We think the two globes we have here, which came from the Outlook Tower and were made for Geddes by Reclus, may have been models made for that project.

These globes, now in sections, were required to be packed for storage and transported to a new location (luckily for us, still in the same building!). For this purpose, it is important to choose appropriate housing methods and materials as this will act as a good preventive measure, helping to ensure the long-term preservation of the object. As well providing physical support for items, suitable storage will have the added benefits of providing an extra layer of protection from accidental damage during handling and transportation. It will also act as a buffer to atmospheric pollutants, dust, and light, and guard against any fluctuations in environmental conditions. Appropriate packaging will also come into its own if there was ever to be a flood or water ingress, acting as a barrier and thus protecting the contents from more serious damage.

PG Globe_2

Emily (paper conservator) helping to package the globe

Due to its weight and size, boxing the first globe was not an option. It was decided therefore to soft-wrap its individual sections, using acid-free tissue paper and bubble-wrap. Bubble-wrap was used to provide protective cushioning to the item but it is important that it is used correctly (yes, there is a right and wrong way to use bubble-wrap!). In most cases, it is recommended that the ‘bubbles’ face away from the object – this reduces the risk of creating indentations or marks up the item, particularly if the surface or media is vulnerable, friable or has surface dirt. It is not recommended, however, for bubble-wrap to be placed in direct contact with an object as it is not a recognised conservation-grade material.

Acid-free tissue was therefore used as an interleaving layer between the surface of the globe sections and the bubble-wrap. As the name suggests, it is acid-free and thus a material that we use often, whether for interleaving, wrapping and cushioning objects or padding out excess space in the form of tissue ‘puffs’ or ‘sausages’.

PG Globe_3

A rehoused section of the globe

Once safely packaged, we were able to move the globe sections into one of our environmental controlled stores. This will ensure that the temperature and relative humidity conditions are kept stable, and protect against any global warming….

Post by Emma Davey, Conservation Officer

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Japanese art – painting album – gassaku-jo

LIBER AMICORUM OF TOKYO ARTISTS

On behalf of Edinburgh University Library, the Centre for Research Collections has recently acquired an example of a Japanese painting album – gassaku-jo or liber amicorum.

Cover board of the Japanese painting album - Centre for Research Collections

Cover board of the Japanese painting album – Centre for Research Collections

There are three main groups of Japanese painting albums: jiteki-jo, being painting albums made by a single artist; gassaku-jo , being albums contributed to by different artists; and, shuga-jo, being albums with paintings done by different artists and calligraphers brought together by a collector.

Decorated paper from the Japanese painting album - Centre for Research Collections

Decorated paper from the Japanese painting album – Centre for Research Collections

Gassaku-jo or liber amicorum (‘album of friends’) contain paintings often in combination with pages of calligraphy. Sometimes they belong to the same school of artists, but more commonly they are from different schools or done by amateur painters and poets from different cultural groups or circles.

Calligraphy from the Japanese painting album - Centre for Research Collections

Calligraphy from the Japanese painting album – Centre for Research Collections

The recently acquired album contains 22 paintings by a group of Tokyo artists who lived between 1796 and 1917.

Swallow - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Swallow – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

In addition to an illustration of a swallow, the album contains paintings of a peony, a waterfall, a monkey, autumn leaves…

Waterfall - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Waterfall – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

…a mandarin duck, a chrysanthemum, a sparrow on a flowering twig, a lobster, heavy rain, a flock of sparrows…

Autumn leaves - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Autumn leaves – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

…a tea bowl and camellia, a shrimp, houses in the snow, a fan and handscroll, a white rabbit, and a basket… with a number of others.

Mandarin duck - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Mandarin duck – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

A number of the other illustrations are shown below:

Sparrow on a flowering twig - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Sparrow on a flowering twig – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

 

Flock of sparrows - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Flock of sparrows – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

 

Heavy rain - from the album of Japanese paintings - Centre for Research Collections

Heavy rain – from the album of Japanese paintings – Centre for Research Collections

Dr. Graeme D. Eddie – Assistant Librarian Archives and Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections

This post drew on information at the Chikurin Gallery and its painting albums pages.

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Roslin Slide Collection – Composition

Over the course of digitising the Roslin Slide Collection, amongst all the slides of tables, charts and the like, it has been the images of people, and their animals, that have grabbed my attention most of all. I have noticed two particular styles of photographic composition that are common throughout; the group shot (still popular today of course!) and the ‘one man and his animal’ shot. These images provide a sort of typology where the composition often remains the same with the people and environment changing.

The small sample of images below gives an idea of the cross-continental range of the collection, although viewing the collection as a whole may be more informative due to the sheer volume of images offering a more solid grounding. As the slides move from place to place, from country to country, we can see how the details change, whether it be the breed of cow, colour of skin or clothing worn.

The extent of Roslin Slide Collection can be viewed here.

Black Japanese Bull, 4 as 5 Years, 1090 lbs'. Photograph of a Black Japanese bull, 4 as 5 years old and weighing 1090 lbs standing in a lane with a man holding its rope lead in the early 20th century.

Black Japanese Bull, 4 as 5 Years, 1090 lbs, early 20th century.

'Champion Merino Ram, Palermo Show, [Buenos Aires, Argentina]'. Photograph of a champion Merino ram standing in a paddock with a man at the Palermo Show in [Buenos Aires, Argentina], September 1903.

‘Champion Merino Ram, Palermo Show, [Buenos Aires, Argentina]’ September 1903.

'Bear with Monkey'. Photograph of an Indian man standing on a path at a farm with a bear sitting next to him on a rope lead with a small monkey on its back in the early 20th century.

‘Bear with Monkey’, early 20th century.

'Dumba Ram'. Photograph of a small child riding on the back of a Dumba ram in a yard in the early 20th century.

‘Dumba Ram’, early 20th century.

Muscat Jack, Zanzibar'. Photograph of a Muscat Jack [male donkey] standing with a boy next to some trees in Zanzibar, [Tanzania] in the early 20th century.

Muscat Jack, Zanzibar, early 20th century.

'Afridi Fighting Ram'. Photograph of an Afridi fighting ram standing in a yard with a man holding its face still in the early 20th century.

‘Afridi Fighting Ram’, early 20th century.

Champion Shire Mare, "Catthorpe Aascos"'. Photograph of the champion Shire mare, "Catthorpe Aascos" standing in a field with a man holding her lead in the early 20th century.

Champion Shire Mare, ‘Catthorpe Aascos’, early 20th century.

Large White [Boar], "Wandsworth Lion"'. Photograph of the Large White [boar], "Wandsworth Lion" in a pen with a man standing behind it in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Large White [Boar], “Wandsworth Lion”, late 19th or early 20th century.

Group of Thugs'. Photograph of a group of thugs sitting on an Oriental carpet in the early 20th century.

‘Group of Thugs’. Photograph of a group of thugs sitting on an Oriental carpet in the early 20th century.

[African Zulu Tribeswomen]'. Photograph of a group of African Zulu tribeswomen in traditional dress standing and sitting in front of a thatched hut and tree in the early 20th century.

A group of African Zulu tribeswomen,early 20th century.

Rhinocerous'. Photograph of four African men standing behind a dead rhinocerous that has a rifle leaning on it in Africa in the early 20th century.

‘Rhinocerous’, Africa in the early 20th century.

'Champion Lincoln in 2nd Prize Group, Palermo Show, [Buenos Aires, Argentina]'. Photograph of a champion Lincoln sheep in the 2nd prize group with three other sheep standing with four men in front of a building at the Palermo Show in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1903.

Photograph of a champion Lincoln sheep in the 2nd prize group with three other sheep at the Palermo Show in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1903.

'The Macdonald Family. Est Brounement'. Portrait photograph of the Macdonald family sitting in a garden in the late 19th or early 20th century.

‘The Macdonald Family. Est Brounement’, late 19th or early 20th century.

'Group of Egyptian Men on a Porch'. Photograph of a group of Egyptian men on the porch of a country house in Egypt in the late 19th or early 20th century. One man sits in an ornate chair while six other men stand behind him.

A group of Egyptian men on the porch of a country house in Egypt in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Bags of Mealies Ready for Export'. Photograph of six men standing next to a stack of bags of mealies ready for export with a train car visible in the background in the early 20th century.

Bags of Mealies Ready for Export, early 20th century.

'Matabele Youngsters'. Photograph of four Matabele [Ndebele] children in traditional dress standing in front of a tree and some huts in the early 20th century.

‘Matabele Youngsters’ early 20th century.

John
Project Photographer – ‘Science on a Plate’

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AAAS/Science Classic now available

SCL_subscip_Access_Logo-150x180Jisc has partnered with AAAS to provide institutions of higher and further education in the United Kingdom with sitewide access to Science Classic, the digital archives of Science (1880-1996).

Science Classic delivers more than a century’s worth of full-text content from the annals of the world’s largest general scientific journal. The archives are fully integrated with the current content of Science which makes it easier to search the entire collection.

Our e-journal A-Z list has been updated to reflect this extra content.

 

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Trials – new e-resources on trial

logo-japan-timesWe have trial access to The Japan Times Online until 31st May.

Japan Times Online is the oldest English-language newspaper in Japan, founded in March 1897 (Meiji 30). It has been published to promote mutual understandings between Japan and other countries. This newspaper includes unique articles which cannot be read in Japanese-language newspapers. Japan Times Online includes articles from 1999-present. (We are also trialling the archive which contains content from 1897-2013).

 

VB_human_anatomy_atlas_PORTAL_btnWe have trial access to Visible Body until 22nd May.

Visible Body is a suite of online programs that cover anatomy, physiology, muscles, the skeleton and the circulatory system through interactive 3D models, animations, quizzes and more.

 

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of these e-resources as your comments influence purchase decisions so please fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

 

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Fairbairn Archive Unexpected Item of the Month

One of the great pleasures of working with archives is the propensity they have to surprise. Hidden amongst the vast records of organisations, or the more petite collections of individuals, you are almost guaranteed to stumble upon something you would never have imagined to find. Items such as these help to add colour to the picture extant records create of the people who have left them, and they add colour to the world they occupied.

There are quite a few such items in the W Ronald D Fairbairn Archive. These items help to support the evidence we have of the wide-ranging interests Fairbairn had, both within and without the world of psychoanalysis. For example, at university he studied philosophy, theology and Hellenic studies, before embarking upon his medical qualifications and he was a member of a number of societies including the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society.

A small, yellowing newspaper cutting from 1932, in the Fairbairn Archive, holds the distinction of telling one of the most unusual stories I have ever come across in the ten years I have worked with archives.

Newspaper cutting

This macabre and disturbing incident is shocking to read but, unfortunately perhaps, the journalistic style of the time renders it mildly humorous too.

It is obvious why this story would have interested Fairbairn: the unexpected nature of this cutting is that the event happened at all.

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Keyboards Prestissimo!

decant

As previously reported, the instruments have all been removed from St Cecilia’s Hall to allow building work to start. The keyboards were one of the last group of instruments to leave and their removal was caught on my film by the Library’s Digital Imaging Unit using time lapse photography.

You can see the results here – https://vimeo.com/125235362

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Bluetooth beacons at …Something Blue

GG3 GG1 Images courtesy of Stewart Cromar (@stubot)

On Friday we trialled the use of Bluetooth beacons in our exhibition space, using Google Glass and the Guidigo app to provide an immersive tour of the Something Blue exhibition. Beacons work by emitting a small Bluetooth signal which activates content installed on visitors’ mobile devices. Four of these were placed at locations throughout the exhibition and, when users came within range, music, videos and voice recordings relating to specific exhibits were activated on the Glass headsets.

Users standing near the Blob 05 (Blue) exhibit, for example, were able to access an interview with Art Curator Neil Lebeter talking about the painting, while those in close proximity to the Vienna Horn could watch a video of Curator Sarah Deters playing the instrument.

There was a strong novelty factor as many people had not tried out Google Glass before, but on the whole it was felt that using the technology with the beacons in this way was an effective way of delivering content. The exhibition room is a relatively narrow space and because of space restrictions, some of the beacons were situated very close together. As a result, the signals from different beacons often interfered with each other, meaning content delivery was sometimes quite erratic. On more than one occasion someone standing next to one beacon received content from another one located several metres away on the other side of the room. As well as this, when too many people were standing close to a beacon the signal could be blocked or dulled.

In order to combat this for future sessions, it would be more effective to spread the beacons evenly throughout the space and have specific signs on the floor or walls saying something like “stand here to hear an interview with the curator”. Aside from these issues, the Google Glass worked really well: the Guidigo app overcame many of the well-known problems associated with the technology (poor battery life, overheating, and headaches) by putting Glass into sleep mode whenever the user was outside the beacons’ range. On the whole, it was an interesting experiment to take part in and we hope to have a more public trial of the technology at our next exhibition, so please do get in touch if you would like to be involved!

We are also exploring further ways of using beacons with other mobile devices to provide self-guided library tours: watch this space for further updates.

Gavin Willshaw | Digital Curator

 

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Collections

Album1-cover-300x257 Japanese art – painting album – gassaku-jo LIBER AMICORUM OF TOKYO ARTISTS On behalf of Edinburgh University Library, the Centre for Research Collections...
0066241d(300x200) Roslin Slide Collection – Composition Over the course of digitising the Roslin Slide Collection, amongst all the slides of tables,...

Projects

Newspaper-cutting Fairbairn Archive Unexpected Item of the Month One of the great pleasures of working with archives is the propensity they have to...
GG1-300x225 Bluetooth beacons at …Something Blue   Images courtesy of Stewart Cromar (@stubot) On Friday we trialled the use of Bluetooth...

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