Celebrating women pioneers for ordained ministry in the Church of Scotland

Dr Elizabeth Hewat, first woman to receive a PhD from New College, who argued for women’s ordination

This blog post is written by Dr Lesley Orr, School of Divinity

In the year in which the Church of Scotland has welcomed the Very Revd Susan Brown of Dornoch Cathedral as its new Moderator of the General Assembly, the Church also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women.

On Wednesday 22 May 1968, the Fathers and Brethren of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted by a  large majority to extend eligibility of ordination to Ministry of Word and Sacrament to women, on the same terms as men. New College students, graduates and staff played a significant role throughout the half century when the question of women’s role, rights and equality in the Church was one of the most persistent and controversial issues for debate – not only in the Assembly but in wider Church and Scottish society. During this fiftieth anniversary year of women in ordained ministry, a commemorative project has been based at New College, supported by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and in partnership with the Church of Scotland Ministries Council. Publications and photographs which tell a little of these events are currently on display in New College Library. But the story goes back much further.

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On trial: The Age of Exploration

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library currently has trial access to a brand new digital primary source collection from Adam Matthew Digital, Age of Exploration. This database allows you to discover through archive material the changing shape of exploration through five centuries, from c.1420-1920.

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

Trial access ends 18th June 2018.
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18th Century German Literature Online & Historical Dictionary of Rhetoric

The Library has arranged a free trial for the following two German resources. The trial is valid from 15 may until 16 July 2018. The two trials can be accessed via the Library E-resources Trials website. The following direct links also work on the University campus or through VPN connection for off-campus access.

18th Century German Literature Online – Deutsche Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts Online

A database of primary source works of the German and Swiss Enlightenment. Comprised of scanned and digitized first editions in original typeface and first published complete editions by 642 German-speaking authors of the 18th century. As well as leading figures, also contains the writings of hundreds of authors who were less well-known, but who contributed to the literary Enlightenment with their lyrical, dramatic and epic works.  The Gothic script is full-text searchable, across multiple search criteria, and downloadable.  Search results will take you to the high-lighted word in the original text.

Search the database here: http://db.saur.de/DLO/autologin?user=uniedin

Search help: http://db.saur.de/DLO/language/en/html/Inhaltsverzeichnis.html

Introductions: http://db.saur.de/DLO/language/en/html/introductions.html

User guide (in English): DLO_2010_ENG

Historical Dictionary of Rhetoric – Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik

The Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik [Historical Dictionary of Rhetoric] is the only comprehensive academic reference work in the field. For specialists and practitioners, this tool provides all current knowledge about Rhetoric in an electronically searchable form for the first time. Various search criteria (lemma, keyword, person, literature, etc.) allow targeted research and make the 1,300 articles easily accessible, also for scholars in related disciplines. The articles are thematically linked to each other so as to provide the reader with comprehensive information.

Search the database here: https://www.degruyter.com/databasecontent?dbid=hwro&dbsource=/db/hwro

User guide (in English): https://www.degruyter.com/staticfiles/content/dbsup/HWRO_03_UserGuide_English.pdf

Search help: https://www.degruyter.com/staticfiles/content/dbsup/HWRO_00_Search_Help.pdf

Feedback welcome!

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If these walls could talk…

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary at George Square, we’re delving into the history of the Main Library through the digital archive of The Student newspaper.

Here are some moments in time where the library featured in The Student newspaper.

1982: Library Sit-in

In March 1982, The National Union of Students organised the “Grants Week of Action”, an attempt to persuade the Government to rethink the University Grant Cuts it had proposed. As Mary Braid wrote for The Student, “With the student standard of living having fallen by 21 percent in the last 20 years – two-thirds of that fall has occurred since the present Government took office – and higher levels of parental contributions, university cuts and a 4 percent grant ‘increase’ for next year doing nothing to improve the situation, many students feel it is time to make a stand”.

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Training Sessions: Low-Tech Imaging for Social Media


There’s no doubt that in our digital age, social media and online presence is crucial to engaging with your customers, audiences or users. Due to the growing demand of higher quality images on these platforms, several of us in the DIU have recently given talks about achieving the best image quality using low-tech solutions. The great thing about phones and tablets is that we’re able to share content to social media from anywhere, creating a sense of immediacy and dynamism. Being able to take great photos and videos with just our phones can be challenging, but knowing the best settings and set-up can help to create great images that will make your posts more engaging. Read More

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The Good, the Fair and the Unusable. Conservation of Session Papers at the CRC.

This week, Projects Conservator Nicole introduces a brand new project she is working on at the CRC…

I am currently working on a 6-month pilot project to conserve three collections of Scottish Session Papers prior to digitisation. The collections are held across three institutions: the Advocate’s Library, the Signet Library and here at the Centre for Research Collections. These collections consist of around 6,500 volumes, comprising of multiple case papers in one volume. The case papers of the Scottish Court of Session are the most significant untapped printed source for the history, society and literature of Scotland from 1710-1850.  They cover an extraordinary period in the nation’s history from the immediate aftermath of the Union of 1707 through the Jacobite wars, the Enlightenment, the agricultural and industrial revolutions and the building of Walter Scott’s Edinburgh.

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Springer e-books – new titles added to DiscoverEd

We have now loaded over 3,200 e-books across most subject areas into DiscoverEd.

We will add the remainder of 2018 copyright year e-books available to us on the Springer website as the records become available.

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Lift your head and look out

“When we finally arrived at the boundary wall of the early 19th century cottage, now known as ‘Gean Cottage’, I found myself quite moved.  Here I was, where Geddes had been…albeit there was almost 100 years between our existence”. Recently, our project archivist, Elaine MacGillivray, took some time out from her cataloguing work to reflect on Patrick Geddes in his native Perthshire environment.

Black and white photograph of Patrick Geddes and his daughter Norah in the garden at Mount Tabor, Perth, c.1899 (Coll-1167/GFP)

Patrick Geddes and his daughter Norah in the garden at Mount Tabor, Perth, c.1899 (Coll-1167/GFP)

Archivists bear a weight of responsibility in our privileged position as custodians of society’s memory; what we do will matter hundreds of years from now.  We aim to effectively manage collections by creating well-informed, reliable and detailed information about the content of the collections to ensure their long-term survival and access to the collections’ content.  To do this requires a deep understanding of the collection and its creator.

Archivists, as a breed, are renowned for immersing ourselves in the detail of our work and, whilst the detail is important, we are often guilty of forgetting to lift our heads to look to the big picture. Working so closely with the Geddes collections is a constant reminder to lift your head and look out.  The collections abound with illustrations of panoramic views of regions, cities and landscapes.  There are thousands of illustrations and diagrams which demonstrate the interrelationships and connections between and beyond the boundaries of specialisms.  Prolific correspondence and writings reveal Geddes’s beliefs, one of which was that, to better understand a place, one should view it from a position of outlook.

Patrick Geddes and family at Mount Tabor, Perth, c.1899 (Coll-1167)

Patrick Geddes and family at Mount Tabor, Perth, c.1899 (Coll-1167)

In 1857, the Geddes family moved from Ballater, Aberdeenshire, to ‘Mount Tabor’, a cottage on the side of Kinnoull Hill overlooking Perth.  Patrick Geddes was three years old at the time and he remained there until he was twenty when he left to continue his studies. I recently had the opportunity to take to the Perthshire hills in his footsteps, to see the world through something of his eyes and experience.  This was also a chance to remove myself from the detail of collections cataloguing and to lift my head and look out.  I could immerse myself in quiet reflection in the natural environment and by doing so to deepen my understanding of Patrick Geddes.  I think he would have approved.

One rather fresh but clear weekend in early April a colleague and I set out from the Den of Scone on our Perthshire/ Geddes pilgrimage.  We began surrounded by mature trees and despite being spring there were not yet buds on the trees and the remnants of autumn detritus still covered the woodland floor.  We followed a muddy track (insert squelching noises) and to our right ran a burn.  We crossed the burn by a footbridge and then the path climbed more steeply eastward.  Occasionally we crossed a single track road banked by a high beech hedge on one side and spiked holly bushes on the other.  At Bonhard House we turned southwards and navigated the path alongside the ploughed fields which flank the eastern edge of the valley, stopping periodically to watch and listen to a buzzard being harassed by crows.

We ascended the steep Coronation Path and at the top took a rest and absorbed what we could of the impressive panoramic vista, looking west towards Ben Lomond and north-west toward Ben Lawers, Schiehallion and finally the snow-capped Grampian mountains in the far north. Having checked historical maps before embarking on our journey I mentally picked off the farms and place-names which would have been extant c.1860 and which Geddes would also have seen: Springfield; Parkfield; Limepotts; Muirhall; Corsiehill; Gannochy, and Kinnoull Hill. My colleague and I chatted about the probability of Geddes walking and exploring these very routes 150 years before us, all the time learning and forming the beginnings of ideas which hold such significance and relevance to us today.

We came by way of the back-streets of Corsiehill and here I tried to visually erase all of the new housing which post-dates Geddes’s time at ‘Mount Tabor’.  When we finally arrived at the boundary wall of the early 19th-century cottage, now known as Gean Cottage, I found myself quite moved.  Here I was, where Geddes had been.  This man that I had been working so closely with for the best part of a year, albeit that there was almost 100 years between our existence.

Black and white photograph taken by John Spark of Perth showingAnna Geddes, Miss Scott, Janet Cuthbertson, Norah and Alasdair Geddes at the garden gate of Mount Tabor cottage, Perth, c.1899

Anna Geddes, Miss Scott, Janet Cuthbertson, Norah and Alasdair Geddes at the garden gate of Mount Tabor cottage, Perth, c.1899 (Ref: Coll-1167/GFP)

Among the many wonderful family photographs there is an image by Perth photographer, John Spark, of Geddes’s wife, Anna and their children at the garden gate. The ivy has grown up and over the garden wall now and the garden itself is much more manicured.  I found myself placing my hand on the garden wall beside the gate, wondering how many of the Geddes family had touched the same spot.  And while I have never taken for granted the immediate and emotional connection to our past that archive collections can afford us, I was struck afresh by this new and very tangible connection to Patrick Geddes.

Photograph of Project Archivist, Elaine MacGillivray, at the garden gate of childhood home of Patrick Geddes, the former Mount Tabor cottage, Perth, 2018.

Project Archivist, Elaine MacGillivray, at the garden gate of childhood home of Patrick Geddes, the former Mount Tabor cottage, Perth, 2018.

I was able to experience first-hand much of the environment that informed Geddes’s understanding of place, ecology, botany and so much more and which was undoubtedly instrumental in the formulation of his geographical vision, the Valley Section.  I reflected on how Geddes was able to perceive the inter-connectedness and inter-relationships of just about everything, fueled by his place of outlook from Kinnoull Hill.  That interconnectedness and those interrelationships are so key to his ideas and beliefs that as archivists, we have a duty to find a way to reflect them through our archive finding aids and collections catalogues.  But that’s a whole other blog post.  The next time I lift my head and look out, I might write that.

Read more about Patrick Geddes and Perth in this blog post from Professor Murdo MacDonald

Find out more about Kinnoull Hill and Perthshire in the time of Geddes by viewing historical maps online via the National Library of Scotland and a little earlier in the 1845 Statistical Account for the Parish of Perth

 

 

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Trial access to Practical Research and Academic Skills (video)

We have trial access until the 6th July to Practical Research and Academic Skills – a new streaming video collection available on the SAGE Research Methods website.

The videos cover key areas such as writing a research proposal, planning and designing a research project and securing ethical approval. Practical skills such as project management, writing for publication, presenting work, and building networks are also presented through helpful explanatory videos.

This video collection will give researchers the confidence to successfully navigate their research work, take responsibility for their professional development and identify the transferable skills they need to progress their careers.

A preliminary title list of the videos included in the collection can be found here and a link to our trial feedback form can be found here.  Please complete a feedback form if you found these videos useful, your comments help support purchase decisions.

Further info

All of our current and historical trials can be found on the Trials Webpage.

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New books in the Library for History, Classics and Archaeology

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 (very) small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in semester two, 2017/18 for the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and these demonstrate the wide range of subjects being taught, studied and researched within School.

–> Find these and more via DiscoverEd.

Ritual matters: material remains and ancient religion edited by Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust (shelfmark: Folio BL808 Rit.)

Radiocarbon and the chronologies of ancient Egypt edited by Andrew J. Shortland and C. Bronk Ramsey (e-book).

A companion to the Anglo-Norman world edited by Christopher Harper-Bill and Elisabeth van Houts (shelfmark: DA195 Com. Also available as e-book).

Jefferson: architect of American liberty by John B. Boles (shelfmark: E332 Bol.)

The Pacific war and its political legacies by Denny Roy (shelfmark: D767 Roy.)

Decolonizing the map: cartography from colony to nation edited by James R. Akerman (shelfmark: GA108.7 Dec. Also available as e-book). Read More

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Collections

Training Sessions: Low-Tech Imaging for Social Media There’s no doubt that in our digital age, social media and online presence is crucial...
Default utility Image The Metamorphosis of Patrick Geddes Work continues on re-cataloguing the Geddes family photographs.  Working in such close proximity with these...

Projects

Default utility Image The Good, the Fair and the Unusable. Conservation of Session Papers at the CRC. This week, Projects Conservator Nicole introduces a brand new project she is working on at...
Default utility Image Problem Photographs in the Patrick Geddes Collection This week’s blog comes from Project Conservator, Nicole Devereux, who has come across a sticky...

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