Scottish Gymnastics collection catalogued

Coll-1842/6/1: Photograph of five male boxers [?] standing in a line, c.1950s

As well as cataloguing the Margaret Morris collection in Perth, I have also been working with the records of Scottish Gymnastics, which were donated to the University of Edinburgh last autumn. At 14 boxes, the collection is compact but extremely varied, giving a rich flavour of the organisation’s long history.

The Scottish Amateur Association of Gymnastics, Wrestling and Boxing, as it was originally named, was founded on 24 May 1890 by representatives of five Scottish gymnastics and athletic clubs. Prior to this, gymnastics in Scotland had close links with the British military, specifically the Army Physical Training Corps.

However, over the decades, Scottish Gymnastics increasingly broadened its remit to encompass the wider health and wellbeing applications of human movement. It has since gone on to compete successfully in many international competitions and to widen participation in gymnastics to school and pre-school children and people with disabilities.

The records catalogued include early minutes, a collection of publications, including some very early books on gymnastics and physical culture, photographs, audiovisual material, awards and medals. They are a fantastic resource for historians of sport and physical culture, revealing a century of shifting attitudes towards gender, fitness, exercise and education.

Coll-1842/5/6: ‘Pyramids for Strong Men Gymnasts &c’ by F.J. Harvey (Exeter, The Physical Training Publishing Company, 1907); Coll-1842/5/1: Coll-1842/5/3: ‘Manual of Physical Culture and System of Musical Drill’ by George Cruden (Aberdeen: Alexander Murray, 10th edition, 1902); ‘Gymnastics’ by A.F. Jenkin (London: George Bell and Sons, 1890).

We are also working with Scottish Gymnastics to encourage members to donate material, and are planning to host an event for members to view the collection and to help us identify some photographic material.

Parts of this collection will also receive conservation treatment and be selected for digitisation.

Coll-1842/8/6: Scottish Amateur Gymnastics Association Honorary Life Member pendant in presentation box, undated

The records of Scottish Gymnastics can be consulted at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh Main Library. The catalogue can be viewed here:

http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/2/resources/86677

I am now looking forward to beginning work on the records of Dunfermline College of Physical Education, and continuing to catalogue the Margaret Morris collection.

Clare Button
Project Archivist

 

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Spotlight on ProQuest digital primary sources

On Tuesday 30th January we’ll be holding a Discovery Day event in the Main Library where representatives from 3 publishers of digitised primary source collections and our very own Centre for Research Collections will be on hand to help you navigate through and find useful material in the huge range of primary sources you have access to at the Library. ProQuest are one of the publishers who will be attending and this blog post highlights the fantastic collections the Library has access to through them.

The Library has access to a large and broad range of primary source collections that can be accessed via the Primary Source database list or the separate Newspapers & Magazines list and Images & Moving Images list.

Through ProQuest the Library has access to around 45 of these fantastic databases. ProQuest has built its expertise in preserving and widening access to significant research collections over 75 years, partnering with large and small libraries and archives, to bring you collections encompassing government, humanities, and historical documents that formerly may have been difficult to retrieve. Alexander Street Press and Chadwyck-Healey databases are also part of the ProQuest suite of resources.

Below are the databases you have access to via ProQuest. As there are so many I have split them into broad categories. Read More

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National Library of Scotland Research Fair

By National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk)

This event will be open to all – researchers, postgraduate students, librarians, archivists and research managers – will take place on Wednesday, 7th February 2018 from 13.00 – 16.00 in the Boardroom of the National Library of Scotland (NLS), George IV Bridge.

Read More

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Crowdsourcing Event at Strathclyde University

On 19th and 20th February 2018, we are holding a conservation crowdsourcing event here in Archives and Special Collections at the University of Strathclyde. Our aim, over the two days, is to rehouse the Patrick Geddes papers, one of our most important archive collections, in acid-free folders and boxes. Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was one of the greatest social thinkers of his time. He was a biologist, sociologist and pioneering town planner, with a fascination for the organization of human societies and their spatial manifestation in the city and country. The collection vividly documents the development of all his theories and is of international significance. It comprises correspondence, notes, news cuttings, pamphlets, books, photographs, maps, plans, prints and drawings, including Geddes’ famous ‘thinking machines’. You can find out more about it here.

Patrick Geddes

The collection is poorly housed in unsuitable folders and other packaging. As a result, many pages were torn or creased. An extensive programme of conservation to repair the torn pages alongside cleaning to remove surface dirt has just been completed but, to ensure that the collection is properly protected and that no more damage occurs, we need to rehouse it in archival quality acid-free folders. Over the two days, we aim to rehouse the contents of 175 archive boxes.

Geddes papers in the Archives store

Each day will begin with a training session in the morning, followed by practical work. In the afternoon, participants will be joined by staff members from Archives and Special Collections who will talk to them about their roles. Complimentary refreshments and catering will be provided throughout the day to encourage networking during break times.

This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience with archives, and find out what it’s like to work in Archives and Special Collections at the University of Strathclyde.

Places are limited to 13 participants per day. You can book your place through Eventbrite. If you have any questions, please email victoria.peters@strath.ac.uk.

Booking will close on 11 February, to allow us to organise catering.
Timetable

9.30 – 9.45: Welcome

9.45 – 10.00: Introduction to the Geddes collection

10.00 – 10.30: Rehousing training

10.30 – 11.00: Rehousing begins

11.00 – 11.30: Tea break (refreshments provided)

11.30 – 13.00: Rehousing

13.00 – 14.00: Lunch break (lunch provided)

14.00 – 15.30: Rehousing and networking

15.30 – 16.00: Tea break (refreshments provided)

16.00 – 17.00: Rehousing and networking

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New extended opening hours for New College Library in 2018

Students told us that they were finding it hard to access course readings held at New College Library because the library opening hours were more limited than other University Library sites. Information Services and the School of Divinity have worked to secure pilot funding to extend New College Library opening hours.

Starting on Sunday 21 January, New College Library will be open 12-5pm on Sundays.

Starting on Monday 9 April, for seven weeks New College Library will be open in the evenings until 10pm, Monday-Thursday.

Our Library Services

During evening and weekend hours there will be full access to the Library Hall and Reserve Section, as well as the David Welsh Reading Room. Access to Special Collections will remain as it is currently, 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Please tell us what you think!

To maintain these hours we will need to make a case for the funding to be continued. If you want these extended opening hours to continue:

  • Please use the library during these hours
  • Please give us your feedback in surveys, feedback forms (available in the library) or to library staff.

Christine Love-Rodgers

Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

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The Regional Sections (Showa Era) of the Yomiuri Shimbun

We have been offered a free trial of the Regional Sections (Showa Era, 昭和の地域版) of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun which we subscribe to:

The trial is valid until 8th February 2018.

Yomiuri Shimbun is indexed in the Databases A-Z list as Yomidas Rekishikan which provides access to this newspaper.

The section contains digital images of 2.76 million pages from 46 prefectures nationwide dating from 1933 to 2001. Click here to see the content coverage by regions and periods. The English user guide for Yomidas Rekishikan can be downloaded from here.

Article examples from the Regional Sections:

 

 

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On trial – Enhanced Electronic Grammars (EEG)

Overview

  • Specially designed for the needs of general linguists and typologists.
  • Enables simultaneous complex searches across dozens of languages on hundreds of linguistic phenomena.
  • Naturalistic examples illustrate each linguistic phenomenon, together with interlinear glossing and free translation.
  • There is a focus on small and endangered languages.
  • Permits access to unlimited number of simultaneous users.
  • User guide available.
  • Trial access available until 31st March 2018.

Read More

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Daily Mail Historical Archive trial access

I’m pleased to let you know that thanks to a request from a student in HCA the Library currently has trial access to the Daily Mail Historical Archive (1896-2004) from Gale Cengage. Whatever your feelings about the Daily Mail this is a fascinating archive providing access to over 100 years of the newspaper, while also providing an important alternative perspective to newspapers such at The Times, The Guardian, etc.

You can access the database via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 9th February 2018. Read More

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10,385 theses down, 2,115 to go!

The Library’s project to digitise its entire collection of PhD and doctoral level theses is now entering its final phase, with the team on track to have all 17,000 volumes scanned by May and online by the end of 2018.

To date, the team has digitised 10,385 individual theses out of an internal target of 12,500 – in total, over 2.6 million pages have been scanned, making this the largest digitisation project the Library has ever undertaken. In addition to the work in-house, approximately 4,500 volumes were outsourced to Autodocs, our scanning partner, in 2017.

Robbie Burns’ Moustache: one of the 10,385 theses digitised to date. Accessible at https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/21286

We have now almost completed the scanning of the 20th and 21st century collections, and the 19th century handwritten theses are due to be digitised by the end of January. The final three months of the project will then be dedicated to digitisation of the older printed Latin volumes – medical theses dating from the mid 18th to mid 19th centuries. A small collection of even earlier theses, dating from as far back as 1599, will be photographed by our colleagues in the Digital Imaging Unit.

After digitisation, the theses are uploaded to the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA), where they are available to download for free. We have now uploaded over half of the collection to ERA, and by the end of January we will be ahead of our target to have all Edinburgh PhDs online by the end of 2018.

Theses digitised by this project are currently being downloaded over 3,000 times per month, with the most popular to date being The Social differentiation of English in Norwich by Peter Trudgill, which has been accessed almost 350 times since it was added to ERA last year. Other popular titles include Myo-Mint’s Study of the interpersonal dimension of narrative fiction with specific reference to power and control in Muriel Spark’s Memento mori and its implications for the teaching of English literature in a TEFL context (272 downloads) and Ji-Hwan Song’s Business ethics and the corporate manipulation of expressions (256 downloads).

Title page for Peter Trudgill’s PhD – The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. Accessible at https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/16333

We will be showcasing some of these works in an exhibition that will be running in the CRC at the end of the year. As well as telling the story of the Edinburgh PhD from the earliest 16th century disputations through to the modern, A4, typed and bound thesis, the exhibition will feature examples of interesting authors, unusual topics and highlight some of the more surprising things we have found within the humble PhD volumes.

Giulia’s recent blog post mentioned some of these – we’ve also come across items ranging from the grisly (laminated slices of human lung) to the darkly comedic (a bullet in a thesis which the author had accidentally shot himself with). And that’s not even mentioning the test tubes, vials and envelopes of mysterious white powder that have been unearthed by the team over the last two years…

A bullet. In a thesis.

Bullet in a thesis

Now that the project is entering its final phase, we are beginning to discuss how the content might best be used once all digitised theses are online. There is already strong demand for researchers for digital theses but we are keen to explore other ways that we can make use of, and open up, this large data set. In addition to work we’ve already undertaken with uploading a thesis to Wikisource, our Digital Scholarship Developer Mike Bennett is exploring how we can match digitised theses to their author pages on Wikipedia using authority records, as well as working on a tool which enables the bulk generation of Wikidata records for theses.

Keep an eye out for further updates as we enter the final stages of the project.

Gavin Willshaw (gavin.willshaw@ed.ac.uk)

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Crowdsourcing Conservation 2018

Due to the success of last year’s ‘Crowdsourcing Conservation’ event, we are repeating the session on 19 and 20 February 2018! You can read more about last year’s event here.

This year, we will continue to work with the Laing collection, this time rehousing section IV. Over the two-day period we aim to rehouse 96 boxes, completing the boxing of the Laing manuscript material.

Boxes from the Laing II collections, before (left) and after (right) rehousing

Damage has been caused to these collections due to the current storage in vertical boxes. Folders have slumped in under-filled boxes, and caused planar distortion of the papers. Tearing and creasing has occurred due to the lack of internal protection. To solve this problem, we want to rehouse the collection in acid-free folders and boxes.

Each day will consist of a training session in the morning, followed by practical work. In the afternoon, students will be joined by staff members from the CRC who will talk to them about their roles, whilst helping to carry out the conservation work. Good quality complimentary refreshments and catering will be provided throughout the day to encourage networking during break times.

Crowdsourcing Conservation event at the CRC 2017

This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience with special collections, and find out what it’s like to work at the CRC!

Places are limited to 15 participants per day. You can book your place through Eventbrite. If you have any questions, please email emily.hick@ed.ac.uk.

Booking will close on 8 February, to allow us to organise catering. Book now, don’t miss out!

Timetable

9.30 – 9.45: Welcome

9.45 – 10.00: Introduction to the Laing collection

10.00 – 10.30: Rehousing training

10.30 – 11.00: Rehousing begins

11.00 – 11.30: Tea break (refreshments provided)

11.30 – 13.00: Rehousing

13.00 – 14.00: Lunch break (lunch provided)

14.00 – 15.30: Rehousing and networking

15.30 – 16.00: Tea break (refreshments provided)

16.00 – 17.00: Rehousing and networking

 

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