Category Archives: Collections

Edinburgh University Press and the Library Annexe

Part of the Special Collections material we keep here at the Library Annexe is the published output of the Edinburgh University Press; leading scholarly publisher of academic books and journals in Scotland. EUP publishes a range of research publications (in a wide variety of subjects), from research monographs and serials; to textbooks and materials which are available online (it is a part of University Publishing Online, the online platform of Cambridge University Press). It was established in 1940s and became wholly owned by The University of Edinburgh in 1992. All publications carry the imprimatur of the University and the University Library acts as a deposit library for all publications printed by the Press. This helps to ensure that EUP’s publications are collected systematically, to preserve the material for future use and to make it available for readers here and now. EUP material is available on a strictly reference basis under the same conditions as any other rare book or Special Collections item. Readers can consult the material either here or in the CRC (6th floor of the Main Library). The deliveries are twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays at 1pm

To show the variety of material published by EUP, I did a quick search (key words Slovenia and Zizek) and found quite a few interesting articles and monographs.

Žižek and Politics: A Critical IntroductionŽižek and Communist Strategy: On the Disavowed Foundations of Global Capitalism

Slavoj Žižek is undoubtedly the most renowned Slovenian author; philosopher and cultural theorist sometimes referred to as “Elvis of cultural theory” or “academic rock star”. Žižek achieved international recognition after the 1989 publication of his first book in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology.

Edinburgh University Press Official Site

About the University’s Special Collections

Marko Mlakar, Library Annexe Assistant

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Fifty Shelves of Gray (and Nelson)

The Laird of Glenfernie by Mary Johnston (Nelson Archive)

The Laird of Glenfernie by Mary Johnston (Nelson’s Continental Library)

Springtime by H. C. Bailey

Springtime by H. C. Bailey











While the cover of Fifty Shades of Grey displays a degree of restraint, publishers and consumers of the romance genre did not always have such a taste for understated dust-jackets. Instead, they favoured a more direct approach.

The Prize-Winner. A comedy in one act by Macdonald Watson (Repertory Plays. no. 86.)

The Prize-Winner. A comedy in one act by Macdonald Watson (Repertory Plays. no. 86.)

The King's Wooing by Conal O'Riordan (Repertory Plays No. 71)

The King’s Wooing by Conal O’Riordan (Repertory Plays No. 71)











In these examples from Gowans and Gray’s playbooks of the 1910s to 30s and Nelson’s Novels from the 20s onwards, it’s clear that previous generations wanted to get right to the action.

Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward

Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward

Over 500 books from the Nelson publishing archive have been shelf-marked and catalogued by rare books cataloguing interns Beth and Fiona. There are only around another 9,500 left to go!

The books in the collection reflect the decades of the 20th century- beginning with the staid, uniform editions of the New Century Library; progressing through stylish art deco illustrations; austere WWI and WWII paper; bright, pulpy dust-jackets from the ‘40s and ‘50s; and into rainbow-hued classics of the later decades.

Interesting examples of the changing book styles of the 20th century will be exhibited in the 6th floor display wall at the Centre for Research Collections next year.

The Thomas Nelson Archive contains these Gowans and Gray playbooks; a handsome series of repertory plays with fragile glassine dust wrappers.

Fiona Mowat and Beth Dumas , CRC Cataloguing Interns

Items from Nelson’s Library on the On-line Catalogue

[Blog] The AnneXe Factor: Full Nelson Archive

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Centre for the Study of World Christianity Update

With the print collections of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity (CSWC) Library, set up by Professor Andrew F. Walls, now having been in our care at the Annexe for a year, the time to say goodbye again is approaching.

Over his long career spanning over 50 years Professor Walls has held posts (among others) at the UK universities of Aberdeen, Liverpool Hope and, of course, Edinburgh. The scope and nature of his research led the magazine Christianity Today to describe him in 2007 as ‘a historian ahead of his time’ and ‘the most important person you don’t know’.

Professor Andrew F. Walls

Professor Andrew F. Walls set up the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at Edinburgh

As the topic of the influence exercised by different religious groups within British society is at the forefront of the public interest the moment, Professor Walls’s outlook on the way Christianity has moved and developed over the years is certainly pertinent. And his unique outlook is reflected in this collection that he gradually built up over the years of his career as a missionary and academic. Apart from Professor Walls’s main interest in the development on Christianity and Christian mission in Africa (which he saw as a reflection of the future of Christianity as a whole), the collection contains material that illuminates the way that the Western world has viewed eastern religions and vice versa. The CSWC collection is a unique resource on the topic. However, previous access to this collection was irregular.

When the collection was added to the fold at the Annexe, it was partially to make it accessible on a wider basis (via intra-library loans available to all users), but also to allow work to be performed on this diverse collection. Indeed, over the past year requests for CSWC items became a regular part of our workflow at the Annexe. As the collection has gradually grown over the years since its donation to the New College library by Professor Walls, now was an opportunity to streamline it and make easier to both access and manage.

To this end, here at the Annexe we have used our time with the World Christianity collection, in collaboration with colleagues throughout Information Services, in order to carefully work through the 11,000 items contained in it. A number of projects were set up to ensure that the material is consolidated, itemised, and re-classified. Each item (books and pamphlets) will be individually processed and the collection streamlined, ready for its re-integration to the Library of Congress stock at New College library later this summer. As an off-shoot of this process, a small part of the collection will be divided and sent to complement the Andrew Walls Collection currently held at Liverpool Hope University, forging a strong collaborative link.

Iraklis Pantopoulos, Library Annexe Assistant

[Article] Christianity Today: Historian Ahead of His Time

[Blog] The AnneXe Factor: Library of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity now at the Annexe

About the Centre for the Study of World Christianity

About New College Library

Overview of the Andrew F. Walls Centre, Liverpool Hope

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ECA Collection at the Annexe : Dame Blackadder

A series of articles on the relationship between the Library Annexe and the ECA.

One of the gems being stored out at the Annexe amongst the ECA Collection is the below oil panting by Dame Elizabeth Violet Blackadder.

(c) Elizabeth Blackadder; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Tuscan Landscape by Elizabeth V. Blackadder, Oil on paper, 51 x 71 cm, Collection: ECA part of University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection

A Scottish painter and printmaker, in 1962 Blackadder began teaching at Edinburgh College of Art where she continued until her retirement in 1986.

She is the first woman to be elected to both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy.

Her work can be seen at the Tate Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has appeared on a series of Royal Mail stamps.

If you are interested in the paintings stored out at the Annexe, the BBC have digitised the collection and made it available on the web page ‘Your Paintings’.


Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant

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ECA Collection at the Annexe: British Art

A series of articles on the relationship between the Library Annexe and the ECA.

Among the items from the ECA Collection being stored at the Annexe are some stunning examples of British Art that were purchased in the 50s with funding provided by the Carnegie Trust.

Including some works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Augustus John.

Library of Congress, Bain Collection

Augustus John poses for the American press on board a ship.

If you are interested in the paintings stored out at the Annexe, the BBC have digitised the collection and made it available on the web page ‘Your Paintings’.


Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant

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ECA Collection at the Annexe : Storage

A series of articles on the relationship between the Library Annexe and the ECA.

The Annexe provides a great space to store, sort, preserve and work on collections.

Improvements to the storage of materials are always on-going. Recently staff from the ECA have been working hard out at the Annexe lining shelves with Plastazote, a hard foam, to protect the paintings.

Volunteers, lining shelves with Plastazote to protect paintings stored at the Library Annexe

Volunteers, Siobhan & Catriona, lining shelves with Plastazote to protect paintings stored at the Library Annexe

Plastazote is used in conservation for many purposes. It is used for packaging and the protection of various fragile objects and artifacts. Also, to create book rests and display supports.

So what is it? Plastazote foam sheets are a high density light weight chemically neutral and inert polyethylene foam material. Catch all of that? This means that the foam is inert and acid free so it won’t react chemically with any conservation material it comes into contact with. The high density foam can be cleanly cut and sculptured to most shapes. Both of these factors make it great for packing archival boxes to fit the object, such as rare books and other valuable items that are subject to potential damage.

Plastazote lined shelves at the Library Annexe

The finished product.

By lining the shelves out at the Annexe, we are creating a more secure, safe, preserving space for the ECA Collection to ensure that the Collection will be in top condition to be enjoyed for many years to come.


Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant

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ECA Collection at the Library Annexe: Student Paintings

A series of articles on the relationship between the Library Annexe and the ECA.

When the Edinburgh College of Art merged with the University of Edinburgh in August 2011, they brought with them a fantastic collection of art and archives. Including a large collection of paintings which were stored off site in Livingston and have now been moved to the Library Annexe.

Paintings at the Library Annexe

ECA Collection

What are these paintings and where do they come from?

The vast majority of the ECA paintings at the Annexe are student works from final year degree shows. The additional storage space provided by the Library Annexe has been a boon to the ECA. This space allows room for the expansion and growth of the collection.

ECA Collection at the Library Annexe

Safe, secure, storage.

In an exciting move, the ECA will this year re-start acquiring final year student work from the Degree show as part of a purchase prize.

If you are interested in art and would like to have a look at what our student’s are creating, the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2013 is currently taking place until Sunday 9 June 2013. Check it out!


Don’t fear though, if you miss the Degree show, the ECA Post Graduate Degree Show 2013 will be happening from Saturday 17 August to Sunday 25 August 2013.

Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant

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Full Nelson Archive

Repertory Plays Series, Thomas Nelson Archive

Repertory Plays Series, Thomas Nelson Archive: These picturesque little plays are just some of the gems amongst the collection.

The Thomas Nelson collection of books arrived at the Annexe on Tuesday 14th August 2012. We were very excited to be receiving this collection of books and materials forming the back catalogue of the publishing firm that began in Scotland in 1798. The books date back to the time when Nelson moved away from Scotland to become part of the Wolters Kluwer Group. Edinburgh University already acts as guardians to the Thomas Nelson business archives up to 1960, so it made perfect sense to keep the collection together.

The Interlude of Youth

The Interlude of Youth

We foolishly thought the packed boxes would come straight off the van and onto our shelves before lunch time. However, after only a couple of the 13 pallets were unloaded, we realised that this was unlikely to be the case. The collection is made up of a vast range of materials from cassette tapes to oversized picture books. Each pallet had to be unwrapped and unpacked individually, which involved fighting through layers of dust and dirt (most of which was many years old). The first task we had to undertake was the weeding of duplicates. At first glance there were many copies of the same item, but closer inspection revealed that each item bore tiny differences, which from a bibliographical perspective are potentially huge.

Gods Throw Incense by Katharine Trae

Gods Throw Incense by Katharine Trae

Many weeks later, the collection was finally in its new home at the Library Annexe. After the weeding of duplicates the collection still covered an impressive 275 meters.

Under the Skull and Bones by Ronald Gow

Under the Skull and Bones by Ronald Gow

Whilst unpacking, Library Annexe Assistant Stephanie (Charlie) Farley discovered a first edition of “When Wendy Grew Up” by J.M. Barrie, which is an epilogue to peter Pan (dating from 1957). What made this book stand out was a signature from Mr Sydney Blow, who was not only an actor in the original production of Peter Pan, but the author of the foreword. It was dedicated to Hilda Trevelyan, who played Wendy in the production and to whom the manuscript “When Wendy Grew Up” was dedicated to in 1908. Although not overly valuable, this item is certainly unique. It was the sheer mystery and excitement of not knowing what you might find that helped us get through 13 pallets of material.

Scott Docking, Library Assistant (Special Collections and Archives)

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Lo, Oil Paintings!

Carnival Procession by Dorothy M. Peach. Held at the Library Annexe. Part of the University of Edinburgh’s Fine Art Collection

Among the rather diverse collections held here at the Library Annexe is one that sticks out, if only because of the bright colours and hefty items it contains. Lining the walls and filling a sizeable number of the Annexe’s shelves is a fascinating collection of canvas paintings completed by students at the Edinburgh College of Art. Inherited when the University and the ECA combined in Summer 2011, the collection comprises of over 1000 fine art pieces.

Given the bulky size of the pictures and the fact that they’re stored away from the cosy and familiar Main Library at George Square, you might be forgiven for thinking that the collection could be as interesting as it likes without you ever getting to see it; not so!

As part of a campaign to document the nation’s art and make it available on-line the BBC have digitised the collection and made it available on the web page ‘Your Paintings.’ The Your Paintings project aims to make the paintings, the stories behind them and their actual location available to the public. Not only that but when you run out of pictures to tag on Facebook you can tag the paintings instead.

To browse through one of the library’s more colourful collections at your leisure, visit the site and take a look:

BBC “Your Paintings”: Edinburgh College of Art

Here are a couple of my favourites. Why not go and find yours?

Landscape with Figures by Kathleen Russell

Carnival Procession by Dorothy M. Peach

Kew Garden by Gillian Mather

Maria O’Hara, Library Annexe Assistant

The Annexe team choose some highlights

I’ve selected a couple of paintings that really stood out to me. A nice impressionist still life and something a bit more colourful! I particularly like the Curtain Call painting as, although the reds and blues likely represent a stage curtain, to me the image evokes the atmosphere of lively applause amid showers of ticker tape.

Still Life with Fish by Alistair F. Flatterly

Curtain Call by Francis Convery

Carl Jones, Library Annexe Supervisor


A warm still life with rose, gold, and lovely crisp apples.

Still Life with Apples by D. Gordon Campbell

An engaging portrait. I like the way light and shadow are used to encourage the eye to focus on and examine the subjects expression.

Portrait Study by Thomas Kim Redpath

I have a particular fascination with doors, archways, and the in-between.

Arches by Stella Anne Sandeman

Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, Library Annexe Assistant


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