Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan: a piece of early-Ming tradition

Just in time for the Chinese New Year we can announce that our copy of the Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan is now available to view on our collections website – here. This is the earliest printed book in our collections, printed in 1440 in the Chinese province of Fujian. Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan has become known in English as the Complete Commentaries on the Book of Changes. The Book of Changes itself is a seminal work on the subject of Confucianism.

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On trial: Irish Newspaper Archive

I’m happy to let you know that the Library currently has trial access to the Irish Newspaper Archive, the largest online database of Irish newspapers in the world covering nearly 300 years worth of history.

You can access Irish Newspaper Archive via the e-resources trials page.
Access is on-campus. For off-campus access you will need to use VPN.

Trial access ends 20th March 2018.

The Irish Newspaper Archive allows you to search and browse millions of newspaper articles from over 60 titles from the 18th century onwards. Including both regional and national titles it includes such newspapers as Irish Independent, Irish Press, Kerryman, Freeman’s Journal, The Nation and Finn’s Leinster Journal. You can see a full title list  at https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/plist_static/. Read More

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On trial: The Listener Historical Archive

Following a request from a HCA student I’m pleased to let you know the Library has trial access to the The Listener Historical Archive from Gale Cengage. This gives you access to the complete archive of the BBC periodical that was published from 1929-1991.

You can access The Listener Historical Archive via the e-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 12th March 2018.

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC under its Director-General Lord Reith. Its aim was to be the intellectual counterpart to Radio Times, then the BBC listings magazine, and featured commentaries on the intellectual broadcasts of the week as well as previews of major literary and musical programmes. What makes the archive even more interesting is that The Listener was original developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks (radio and TV) so is one of the few records of the content of many early broadcasts. Read More

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Store Room Surprises!

Project Conservator, Helen Baguley, describes some of the more unusual objects she has found in our store rooms, and how she has conserved them, in this week’s blog…

One of the most exciting aspects of my role is surveying the collections housed at the Main Library and the University Collection Facility (UCF). This gives me to opportunity to look at collections I would not usually come into contact with, and I get to discover what is in the University’s vast collections. The purpose of these surveys is to determine any conservation work which needs to be carried out to safely house the collections and preserve them for future use. Some of these collections have already been appraised by archivists and some are awaiting appraisal. I create the surveys in Excel and write a report of my findings. The report records the current condition of the collection, lists the types of materials found, gives recommendations for future housing, and provides a cost estimate for the materials needed to carry out the work.

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On trial: African American Newspapers, Series 1 and 2, 1827-1998

Thanks to a request from a student in HCA the Library currently has trial access to African American Newspapers, Series 1 and 2, 1827-1998 from Readex. These fascinating databases provide online access to approximately 330 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience.

You can access African American Newspapers via the e-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 8th March 2018. Read More

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#100years: “Because…we want to get on with our work more quickly”

This was the response from Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett when asked why women would want the vote1.

Today, 6th February 2018, marks 100 years since (some) British women were granted the right to vote for the first time through the Representation of the People Act. This was the culmination of a hard fought campaign and while it would take another 10 years before women would have equal voting rights to men in the UK, with the Representation of the People Act 1928, it was a victory for the suffragette movement.

There are lots of events, exhibitions, programmes, etc., taking place today and this year to mark this important historic event but I wanted to delve into some of the primary sources available to us at the Library which allow you to find out more about the suffragette movement in the UK.

What did the papers say?

The Library subscribes to a large number of online newspaper archives that will allow you to see what events were being reported on at the time and how they were being reported. Read full text articles, compare how different newspapers were covering the same issues and stories, track coverage from the start of the suffragette movement in the 19th century up to the Representation of the People Act 1918 and beyond.

Screenshot from UK Press Online showing the front page of the Daily Express from Thursday February 7, 1918.

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Thomson-Walker Internship – Round 4!

This week’s blog comes from our newest Thomson-Walker intern, Irene García Bustos. Irene is the fourth in the series of interns to conserve the Thomson-Walker collection of medical portraits. You can read about previous intern experiences here, here and here!

Firstly, let me introduce myself! My name is Irene, and I have a degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and a master’s degree in Preventive Conservation at Complutense University of Madrid, graduating in 2017. Since finishing my studies, I have had the opportunity to spend over a year doing several internships in photograph and paper conservation at different institutions in Madrid.

Irene working in the conservation studio

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Conservation Volunteer

In this blog post Staphany Cheng talks about her time volunteering at Strathclyde University on the Patrick Geddes collection……

Archives and Special Collections at the University of Strathclyde is home to the Patrick Geddes papers, an incredible collection of over 4000 maps, plans, photographs, prints and drawings and over 45 metres of textual records, pamphlets and books. Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a biologist, sociologist and pioneering town planner, and was one of the greatest social thinkers of his time. The collection vividly documents the development of all his theories and is of international significance.

A doodle found when conserving the archival boxes

Over the last year, thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Centre for Research and Collections, University of Edinburgh has been working in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde in conserving the collection. I was very fortunate to be able to volunteer with Project Conservator Nicole Devereux, who is carrying out the conservation work in the project. Though I am currently completing my second year of an MPhil in Textile Conservation at the University of Glasgow I was particularly interested in working with the Geddes papers so that I could gain an interdisciplinary insight into the intricacies of paper conservation and archives and special collections.

Whilst paper and textile conservation have always been distinct disciplines, similarities exist in the material composition of the objects, the way that they are treated and the approaches that are taken by conservators. Often objects in each discipline will also have elements of the other, papers and books may have fabric samples, or embroidered covers and textile objects such as embroideries often have paper backing or lining. Under Nicole’s guidance I was able to apply my conservation knowledge into a different medium. The majority of the collection that I worked on exhibited soot around the edges of the pages this was removed with conservation grade vulcanized rubber sponges. Severe folds that obstructed the text were unfolded with a heated spatula. Tears that were considered vulnerable and likely to worsen with handling were supported with a remoistenable tissue made from Japanese paper and gelatin.

An example of textile and paper in the collection

Working with the Geddes Collection allowed me to see first hand the treatment of a large paper archival collection. And how standardizing treatments and storage for a range of different objects can be the most efficient way to conserve an entire collection in a short amount of time. The opportunity to experience the basics of paper conservation has allowed me to further appreciate both the differences and similarities between the two specialisms. It was also a wonderful opportunity to glimpse into the mind of Patrick Geddes. Working through the different boxes I never knew what I was going to find, some days there would be several folders of detailed botanical drawings and on others there were architectural plans for a new university or vegetable gardens for preschools.

Cyanotype photograph and plant specimens

While my time working with paper is over for now I would like to thank Nicole and Victoria Peters from Strathclyde University for this wonderful opportunity.

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Musica Getutscht

Portative Organ, Anvil and Hammers, Chime Bells and Clapper Bells.

Musica Getutscht (Basel, 1511) is the earliest printed treatise on musical instruments in the west. Written by Sebastian Virdung who was a priest and a chapel singer, it provides rudimentary instruction on playing the clavichord, lute and recorder. It was also the first of its kind to be written in a vernacular language, making it a widely accessible text. Both Virdung and his printer, Michael Furter, were no doubt aware that this would be an important document to offer the German-speaking world, changing the way music education was delivered and creating a new culture of amateur musicians and performers in the sixteenth century. Read More

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Spotlight on our Centre for Research Collections

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.

The University of Edinburgh holds world class collections, including rare books, archives and manuscripts, art, historical musical instruments and museum objects ranging from geological specimens to anatomical models. These unique collections are and can be used for teaching and research within the University and by the wider community.

The main entry and access point for these collections is the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) which is based on the 6th floor of the Main Library. The CRC is open to all researchers, including students, staff, visiting academics and members of the public. Read More

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Collections

Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan: a piece of early-Ming tradition Just in time for the Chinese New Year we can announce that our copy of...
Robert Burns Manuscripts – gie us a job! It’s the time of year for all things Robert Burns. Here in the DIU I...

Projects

Default utility Image Store Room Surprises! Project Conservator, Helen Baguley, describes some of the more unusual objects she has found in...
Default utility Image An insight into Joseph Joachim’s life and work – Sarah and Devon’s experiences as CRC interns Earlier this year, our two interns Sarah and Devon spent a few months re-housing and...

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