Bigger and Better Things

In this week’s blog, Sarah MacLean, an MA Conservation of Fine Art student from Northumbria University, describes a two-week work placement she undertook with us in July 2018…

During my time studying Fine Art at Undergraduate level, I always did big things; used metre upon metre of canvas, and sculpted near-immovable forms twice my height. Now, as an MA Conservation of Fine Art student at Northumbria University, large format works are still where my interests lie, and I’ve had the opportunity during my work placement at the CRC to work on a wide variety of those.

The works I’ve been able to conserve so far during my time here are part of the Patrick Geddes Collection. Geddes (1854-1932) was a Scottish-born polymath with interests and expertise in biology, sociology, geography, and urban planning, and it’s for his pioneering work in this latter field that he is best known. As such, the large format plans on which I’ve worked within the Collection so far are mainly hand-drawn and coloured mappings of urban developments in locations everywhere from Dunfermline to Imperial Delhi.

A pleasant and unexpected feature of hand-drawn and coloured works of art on paper – timorous marginalia beasties!

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New to the Library: Service Newspapers of World War Two

I’m really pleased to let you know that following a successful trial the Library now has access to Service Newspapers of World War Two from Adam Matthew Digital, a brand new digitised primary source collection just released this year. This resource gives you unique insight into the story of war as told by the newspapers and magazines that brought information, entertainment and camaraderie to the forces.

You can access Service Newspapers of World War Two via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access it through DiscoverEd.

Service Newspapers of World War Two contains an extensive range of both rare and well-known wartime publications for soldiers serving in major theatres around the world. Publications are included from many key nations involved in the conflict, such as the US, Canada, New Zealand, India, and the countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Both Allied and Axis publications are presented, offering a broad view of the war and the experiences of those on its front lines. Read More

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New to the Library: Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome

I’m happy to let you know that the Library now has access to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome from Oxford Reference Online. This encyclopedia offers a comprehensive overview of the major cultures of the classical Mediterranean world—Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman—from the Bronze Age to the fifth century CE.

You can access the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome via DiscoverEd.

The encyclopedia brings the work of the best classical scholars, archaeologists, and historians together in an easy-to-use format. With over 1000 articles written by leading scholars in the field, it seeks to convey the significance of the people, places, and historical events of classical antiquity, together with its intellectual and material culture. Broad overviews of literature, history, archaeology, art, philosophy, science, and religion are complimented by articles on authors and their works, literary genres and periods, historical figures and events, archaeologists and archaeological sites, artists and artistic themes and materials, philosophers and philosophical schools, scientists and scientific areas, gods, heroes, and myths. Read More

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The Aberdeen Breviary: A National Treasure

The Aberdeen Breviary is a highly significant book for a number of reasons. Initiated by King James IV and compiled by Bishop William Elphinstone, it is Scotland’s first printed book, published in Edinburgh in 1510. It also represents the most in depth collection of information on the lives and stories of Scottish Saints. Our copy is one of five known remaining original copies making it a key addition to our Iconics Collection. Read More

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New to the Library: Illustrated London News Historical Archive

I’m delighted to let you know that the Library now has access to The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003 from Gale Cengage. Illustrated London News was the world’s first pictorial weekly newspaper and this archive gives access to the full run of this iconic illustrated newspaper.

You can access The Illustrated London News Historical Archive via the Databases A-Z list and the Newspapers & Magazine databases list.

The first issue of Illustrated London News was published on Saturday 14 May 1842 and as the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, it marked a revolution in journalism and news reporting.

Screenshot from front page of Illustrated London News, May 14, 1842; pg. [1]; Issue 1.

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New to the Library: Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1937

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library has recently purchased access to the Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1937 from Adam Matthew Digital. This means we now have access to the full Foreign Office Files for China database covering the years 1919 to 1980. This fantastic resource provides access to the digitised archive of British Foreign Office files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

You can access Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980 via the Databases A-Z list, Primary source database list, the History Subject Guide or DiscoverEd. Read More

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My Royal Mile

This week, we have our final blog from Project Conservator, Helen Baguley, who has been working with us for the past 18 months on the Collections Rationalisation Project…

The Royal Mile is an iconic street which runs through the centre of Edinburgh. It is a ‘must see’ attraction for tourists, and one of the first places I visited when I moved up to Edinburgh for my new job which began 18 months ago. Running from the Castle to Holyrood, the Royal Mile is actually slightly longer than a mile, and measures 1.81 kilometres. Here at the Centre for Research Collections (CRC), I have been working within the conservation department on the Collections Rationalisation Project, caring for some of the rare books and archive collections which are housed at the University Collections Facility (UCF) and the Main Library. As my contract here has now come to an end, I have added up the linear meterage of the shelves which house the collection I have been working on, and it comes to an incredible 1801.25 metres. To put this into perspective, 1801.25 metres is just 8.75 metres short of the Royal Mile. But I think my Royal Mile is just as historic and exciting, as it is made up of beautiful rare books, interesting archives and fascinating objects from the collections!

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh (picture from: http://trending.com/tweets/2018-01-03/strolling-down-the-royal-mile-of-edinburgh-michael-londonviewpoints-on-instagram)

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Steps Through Time at New College Library

Have you seen the new Steps Through Time display at New College Library? Today we’re celebrating the Steps Through Time project, which developed six display panels to be mounted alongside the steps up into New College Library. These panels highlight treasures from New College Library’s rare book and archive collections against a timeline of Scottish and religious history.

Student engagement event

This project kicked off with a student engagement event between Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 April. We held a daily display of New College Special Collections items featuring items from two different centuries each day, and encouraged students to take a few minutes break from their revision to vote on their favourite items from each century. Over the three days we had nearly 120 visitors to our displays, many of whom commented that they had no idea that New College Library held Special Collections items like these. I’m grateful to my two volunteers, Nastassja Alfonso and Jessica Wilkinson, for helping with these events and persuading revising students that they really did want to look at some Special Collections. The item that gathered the most votes was the 1638 National Covenant (bequeathed by Thomas Guthrie), which is one of five National Covenants in the New College Library collections. The National Covenants have recently returned to New College Library after benefiting from conservation work and digital photography at the CRC.

Image selection and text writing

A key task was the selection of the images, which we did with the data gathered from students votes, but also by consulting with student representatives from the School of Divinity. A clear message about representing diversity in our text and image choices was received from the student community and so we aimed to curate diversity into the timeline narrative. Student engagement transformed the project into more than developing some display panels of library treasures. If we had planned just to do that, the panels would have included images of incunabula, Bibles or Luther pamphlets, some of New College’s collection strengths. But that was not the story that the student community wanted to tell.

Impact

We hope the project will improve an area of the library entrance which is used by all visitors to the library, and that it will raise the profile of New College Library’s unique Special Collections. We will be gathering feedback both over the summer and in the first few weeks of semester to better understand the impact of the Steps Through Time display.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian, Divinity

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New! Oxford Handbooks Political Science 2017 collection

I’m pleased to let you know that following a request from staff in Politics & International Relations the Library now has access to the Oxford Handbooks Online Political Science 2017 collection. This includes titles such as The Oxford Handbook of Populism, The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict and The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security.

You can access the individual book titles in the collection via DiscoverEd. Or you can access the Oxford Handbooks Online site via the E-books pages.  Read More

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Resource Lists Survey 2018 – now open!

Tell us what you think about resource lists

In 2017/18 we implemented Leganto (our new resource lists platform). One year on, we’d like to find out how we’re doing.

What do you like/dislike about the service or system? How can we make the service better? Is the Library meeting the needs of you and your students in the provision of course materials?

We’d be grateful if you would take 10 minutes to complete a short survey to help us improve our service.

The Resource Lists survey is available here: https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/resource-lists-survey-2018

If you would like to arrange a Resource Lists demonstration, workshop or refresher session, or if you have question about the service, please email Library.Learning@ed.ac.uk

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Collections

A Stitch in Time: Mahābhārata Delivered Online I don’t know if I have ever been more excited about a digitisation project going...
Correcting Shakespeare Since November last year, I have been volunteering on the Luna Project in the Digital...

Projects

Default utility Image My Royal Mile This week, we have our final blog from Project Conservator, Helen Baguley, who has been...
Default utility Image Re-discovering a forgotten songwriter: the archive of Louisa Matilda Crawford Daisy Stafford, CRC intern who catalogued the papers of Louisa Matilda Crawford, talks about her...

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