Sheep Showcase

Have you ever met Jordan, the Library Cat? What if there was another furry animal in the Library, maybe not as alive, but nonetheless as interesting?

The Main Library’s newest Fringe Festival exhibition opens on Friday 31st July 2015, featuring Dolly, the sheep!

Showcasing not only Dolly herself (on loan courtesy of National Museums Scotland), but also rare books, archive documents, pictures, sound and film clips from the University of Edinburgh’s Special Collections, presenting all the research that eventually led to the creation of Dolly, the first animal in the world to be cloned from an adult cell.

Towards Dolly books

A sample of the University collections on display

The Fly Room

The Fly Room – from the Towards Dolly exhibition

The Curator, Clare Button’s words about the exhibition:

Dolly is the most famous chapter in Edinburgh’s long genetics history. This exhibition tells the wider story of the many pioneering discoveries which have taken place here, taking our visitors ‘towards Dolly’ and beyond.

We, here at the Library Annexe, are happy to be able to contribute with a few books from our collections. These are:

If you become interested in the subject, and would like to have a look at these books, they will be requestable again after the end of the exhibition, through DiscoverEd.

Further links:

University of Edinburgh Exhibitions: Towards Dolly

News and Events: Dolly stars in genetics exhibition

Towards Dolly

‘Towards Dolly: A Century of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh’

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 31 July to 31 October 2015, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

Viktoria Varga, Library Annexe Assistant

Do it like they do on the DiscoverEd channel

DiscoverEd is the Library's discovery service and principal search tool

DiscoverED, the University of Edinburgh’s new one step information, discovery and delivery service, is now on-line and fully operational. You can request Library Annexe items using the new service; all you have to do is sign in and find the items using the search bar. As well as books, DiscoverEd will search ebooks, ejournal articles and more.

The first request for a Library Annexe item was placed by non-other than our staff member Dominic Tate. Congrats Dominic, we know how important this is to you. [You will receive your diploma in the mail shortly.]

You can read all about DiscoverED at the links below.

About DiscoverEd

Search for Library Annexe items and more

Marko Mlakar, Library Annexe Assistant

Employ.Ed Hidden Collections Intern – Weeks 5 to 6

Three quarters of the internship now behind me, I have decided to focus on actually finishing off projects that I have been working on – and that means the New Zealand House periodicals collection first and foremost. That is now almost entirely listed, and should hopefully start appearing on the catalogue in the foreseeable future (and a few things are already available under an NZSC Per. Shelfmark). The list currently contains 125 series, some of which are unique in the UK, ranging from art magazines, through government journals and statistics, to environmental agencies’ reports.

On a more serendipitous note, I stumbled across a collection of works of the hitherto unknown to me Ukrainian poetess Lesya Ukrainka, and found really good poem about… Robert Bruce. The poem was written in 1893, when Ukraine was within the borders of the Russian Empire, and played its part in the national resurrection and independence movements of the Ukrainian people. For all the differences between the circumstances they are in, with one country considering independence and the other at risk of losing it yet again, the history of both Ukraine and Scotland is currently being written, and in that context this poem sounds very relevant and appropriate.*

*We only have the book in Ukrainian; I am afraid that the full text of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland is not available in English online or at Edinburgh University Library, but here is a link to the UK holdings of her collected works in English translation:

COPAC holdings for Lesya Ukrainka

Nik Slavov, Hidden Collections intern

Request Lesya Ukrainka books and other authors through Inter-Library Loans

Not available at University of Edinburgh? Recommend a book

Find New Zealand House periodicals on the online catalogue

 

Employ.Ed Hidden Collections Intern – Weeks 2 to 4

Halfway through the internship, so here comes another update from the Annexe.

These few weeks have been a lot more eventful than I would have expected.

Let me try and get things in chronological order. In week two I made a list of (hopefully) everything in our House of Lords collection (or everything in our collection that is to do with the House of Lords to be more precise) for the National Library of Scotland, who are aiming to digitise their collection and wanted to know what we can offer as back-up.

Important lessons were learned from this trailblazing work, for example:

  • Wear a dust mask when you are spending hours surrounded by 160 shelves of really old books.
  • Take regular breaks for fresh air.
  • Do not cough your lungs out due to not following the aforementioned guidelines.

Since then I have mostly been working on the New Zealand periodicals collection, which seems to be going at quite a good pace (I am almost certain I will be able to finish the pre-cataloguing work while I am here, with luck maybe get to cataloguing as well). There were occasional patches of very interesting things, chief among them The Journal of the Polynesian society. While it is unlikely to get a spot in the Main Library, it is available as an on-line resource, and I thoroughly recommend leafing through it to anyone interested in linguistics, anthropology, geography or history. The covers of National Educations with their pictures of Maori (and Pakeha) kids from the 80’s strongly intensified my sentimental state of mind around Wednesday, week 3. Bad puns in old advertisements made me groan (XYZ Pens and Markers – Always write for you!). Oh, and I found pages from a pamphlet or book from the 1906-07 international fair in New Zealand featuring pictures of towns and landscapes, advertisements (Hotel Central with its new Pneumatic Elevator!), and similar. Another thing I ran into was “A Souvenir of the Empire Coronation Contingents at the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth”.

A Souvenir of the Empire Coronation Contingents at the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Their majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Crowned in Westminster Abbey May 12th 1937

A Souvenir of the Empire Coronation Contingents at the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

A Souvenir of the Empire Coronation Contingents at the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Of course, there are also patches of extremely chaotic and messy stuff. And then there are the 27 shelves of Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand – a truly electrifying read. No pictures here. You’ll have to come and see that I am not overstating for yourself.

How to do baking. Put the oven on at Regulo 5...

How to do baking (Cherry Fairy Cakes)

Our Thomas Nelson collection however is probably soon to become available, and that contains a number of lovely and interesting books, from the pretty Nelsons Classics books to French textbooks for Swedish students. Also, a lot of bibles. Also, “How to do baking.”

And here’s what I am most looking forward to – I have been asked to take a look at some of our special collections. Yay, old books! Papyrus bindings! Weird drawings! A History of Serpents and other liuing creatures! Let us see if will manage to get my hands of some incunabula. More on that story as it unfolds.

The colleagues, as we’ve now established through thought experiments with Scott and Iraklis, are almost certainly all real. This is a good thing to keep in mind, because hearing someone starting to speak on the radio when you’ve forgotten you have one and you know you are working alone in the store can be a terrifying experience.

In addition, Iraklis said that they won’t let me go when my contract expires (possibly under the influence of fudge and baked goods). Let’s see how that works out. In all fairness – I’d be quite happy to stay.

Nik Slavov, Hidden Collections intern.

Nelsons classics

The Thomas Nelson Archive contains, “a number of lovely and interesting books.”

The National Library of Scotland

Edinburgh University Health and Safety Department 

The New Zealand Collection

The Thomas Nelson Archive (from the Annexe blog)

The Journal of the Polynesian Society

Employ.Ed Hidden Collections Intern – Week 1

The Library Annexe will be joined for the next 8 weeks by Nik Slavov, who is working for the University as part of the Employ.Ed on Campus summer internship programme, in collaboration with the Careers Service.  Nik is our Hidden Collections Intern, who is tasked with understanding and prioritising print books stored in the Library Annexe, that are not on the Library’s online catalogue.  The eventual goal is to make unique material available for the user community.

Here Nik reflects on his first week at the Library Annexe.

Carl Jones, Library Annexe Supervisor

My first week at the Library Annexe now behind me, it would appear it is now time for me to look back and see how that went.

It feels like I haven’t seen anything yet. On the other hand, considering how much I’ve learned about the House of Lords, the native population of Oceania, reclaiming land for ironsand processing, Australasian literature in the 70’s, Antarctica, dairy farming, soil erosion and pollution (it is actually quite scary), New Zealand’s defence program and a number of other topics that I had never thought to occupy my brain with, all of that being just a side effect of organising a few shelves at Annexe 1…

Well, considering all that, I still haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s there. If my math’s any good, I’ve seen less than 0.05 % of what is held in that room only. At this point, Pratchett’s theory of L-space seems very plausible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-Space#L-space). The sheer mass of books distorts the space-time continuum, which is why the Library Annexe is way bigger on the inside.

The team is lovely. In all fairness, given the randomness and rareness of my encounters with other human beings within the Annexe, and the alleged hallucinogenic effect of the fungus that develops in old books, I am not entirely certain they actually exist, but in case I didn’t make you guys up – it’s lovely working with you. Or at least, you know, in the same building, or the one next door. Having lunch together. Occasionally. And sometimes overhearing conversations on the radio…

At least it clearly says in the office that this is a Vashta Nerada free workspace, which is a relief. And apparently there have been no Velociraptor-related work accidents in a bit less than a year (is that really good? I should look into that. There ought to be a book with statistics on the topic in the Annexe somewhere. I can’t find one on the catalogue, but I couldn’t find the New Zealand Agriculture and Fisheries Department report from 1968 on the catalogue either, yet I am certain I had it in my hands yesterday.

Unless, you know… fungus.*

Nik Slavov, Hidden Collections intern.

(*For pedantry’s sake, I’d like to point out that there is no active mould in any of the Library Annexe Collections! -ed.)

The Careers Service

On campus internships

Search for Vashta Nerada and other resources using Searcher

The Conservation Studio (fungus experts)

 

We feel very Olympic today

Our newest Library Assistant at the Library Annexe is Marko Mlakar, who joins us at Edinburgh from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Marko worked at the University of Edinburgh last year as an intern within the Scholarly Communications team and brings a wealth of experience to the Collections Management team. Marko settled into his new role just in time for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and with enough Olympic spirit still in the air, reflects on the competition in his first blog entry.

Carl Jones, Library Annexe Supervisor

With the Olympic Games now behind us, it’s time to reflect a little on the fun we had at the Annexe over these past few weeks. Honestly, we could not hold our excitement about the Games so we got involved with every single Olympic day – falling short of watching TV during our work hours, of course! Since that super Olympic spirit hadn’t really left us we wanted to track down the oldest item about the Olympics in our collection for the Annexe blog… but it turned out to be neither that interesting nor that old – a bit of an anti-climax, for sure! Our advice is if you really want to know more about the Games, Moray House Library seems to be the place to visit.

The Library Annexe Sochi Winter Olympics board
The Library Annexe Sochi Winter Olympics board. Slovenia punch above their weight to bring the “Team Annexe” medal count up to 15.

We did, however, manage to introduce a bit of playful competition to the office during the games! Cheering for our united athletes of “Team Annexe” the Olympic spirit was running high from the get go, to the extent that we even created our Annexe Team Olympic medal board, which we put up to follow the achievements of our Olympians.  Our united Team of Australia, United Kingdom and Slovenia won no less than 15 medals altogether (3 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze) beating China and some other great winter sporting nations such as Finland, Italy and Sweden. WOW! That is without a doubt an extraordinary achievement for such a small team. And as every story has to have a moral at the end, we would like to make sure you get this one right – never underestimate the power of team effort, no matter how small the team.

About Moray House Library

About the Scholarly Communications Team

Marko Mlakar, Library Annexe Assistant

Library of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity now at the Annexe

The Library of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non Western World (CSCNWW), which was located in Thomas Chalmers House, adjacent to New College, was moved out to the Annexe over the summer break and is now available to students and staff at all library sites via the Library Annexe retrieval service.

The space in Thomas Chalmers House being previously used to house the library collection was generously loaned by the School of Divinity but is now required for other purposes. Previous access to this collection was haphazard and managed by postgraduate students in the department. Moving the collection out to the Annexe provides regular reliable access to material that was previously available only sporadically.

WP_000921

Study spaces in the New College Library

Additionally this move is going to allow cataloguers the chance to properly examine and update the collection.  This means a greater wealth of information in regards to what is held in the collection, making location of research and study materials much easier for students, staff, and visiting readers.

As part of an ongoing project, other lesser used materials identified in the New College library will also be moved out to the Library Annexe. This will create space for the more relevant and higher use items in the CSCNWW Collection, as identified via the retrieval service, to be housed at the New College library for easier browsing access.

WP_000916

Shelving in New College where space will be created to house higher use items from the CSCNWW Collection.

The Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non Western World (CSCNWW) Collection was originally a private donation to the New College library by Professor Andrew Walls. The collection has grown over time via additional donations and acquisitions, and contains a large amount of primary research material in the history of Christian missions in the non-western world.

For more information about the Centre for the Study of World Christianity please click on the link below:

Centre for the Study of World Christianity

Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant

Thesis Scanning Service attracts international attention

Given the global impact of research at the University we probably shouldn’t have been surprised when our little Thesis Scanning Service attracted attention around the world – but we were.

To date roughly half of all orders received have come in from outside the UK. Predictably, English speaking countries such as the United States and Australia account for the majority of requests. The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago has even become our first repeat customer; ordering four theses scans in as many months. Each thesis scanned for the CRL will eventually be made available to their users via their digital repository. For those unaffiliated with the CRL, however, they will also be available for anyone to download on our own digital repository, ERA.

Not all orders are coming in from the English-speaking world; requests have come in from countries as far afield as Japan, Israel and South Korea. While the majority of requests have been made by academic researchers, some have been for exhibitions or even family history enthusiasts. Currently, requests have been received from 13 different countries and we hope to see this number increase in future.

Tour de Store

As well as the usual retrieval and scanning services offered by the Library Annexe, which you may have read about on our blog or web page, we are also happy to provide tours of the facility to anyone who wishes to see what we do. We have hosted occasional open days where staff and library users are invited to spend an hour at the Annexe viewing some of the collections and watching us work, but we will also happily give tours upon request.

Annexe Tour

Scott is obviously deeply absorbed by the tour or else dazzled by the lights.

We were visited on Wednesday 24th July by Rachel, Scott & Christine from the Main Library’s Help Desk team, who deal with requested Annexe material every week and were keen to see the Annexe for themselves.

Library Tour 2

Rachel ponders the secrets of the Annexe collections.

They were undeterred by the earlier bout of traditional Edinburgh rainfall and made the short and easy journey from George Square to South Gyle. We started proceedings with a tour of the two units that comprise the Library Annexe, a circuit that took us through two reading rooms, staff offices and, of course, the 33,000 linear meters of shelving space spread across our substantial stores. Stops were made to take in some of the varied collections, including a rare chance to glimpse the recently acquired Nelson Archive. As guide, I did my best to provide our guests with some interesting facts and figures. For example, did you know that, in addition to our monographs, journals and archives, we also hold approximately 1,000 ECA Artworks? Or that we scan an average of 26 articles and chapters for our users each week? Or that we loaned a total of 3185 items in the 2011/12 academic year?

Library Tour 3

Charlie demonstrates how we process requests and even manages to do it with a smile.

After the circuit was completed, the visiting Help Desk staff were granted respite in our staff quarters, where Charlie demonstrated how we process the various physical item requests we receive each day, and Maria did a stellar job of showing off our impressive scanning suite, which we use for digitising all scan requests and is central to the operation of our increasingly well subscribed thesis scanning service.

Library Tour 4

Maria is in the spotlight as she shows off our state-of-the-art scanner.

Links:

Requesting Material from the Library Annexe

Thesis Scanning Service

Carl Jones, Library Annexe Supervisor

Western General Hospital Library and the Annexe

The University of Edinburgh Library operates on a number of sites around the city. One of these is the Western General Hospital Library which holds part of the University’s medicine collections, including literature covering oncology, gastroenterology and neurology.

Brain Model for use by Staff and Students at the Western General Hospital Library

Libraries are not only about books. Staff and students at the Western General Hospital Library can also make use of this Brain Model.

The Western General Hospital Library is open to both staff and students of the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian staff. There are computers connected to both the University’s network and NHS Knowledge Network to provide a great range of information access.

The Library Annexe has been working closely with the Western General Hospital Library to identify duplicate runs of journal series, or gaps in runs held by either the Western General Hospital Library and the Annexe. By identifying where duplicate runs are held and moving an entire run from the Western General Hospital Library to the Library Annexe, or using items held in the Library Annexe to fill gaps in journal runs being held at the Western General Hospital Library we are able to provide a more comprehensive and complete information experience for our readers.

Shelves at the Western General Hospital with gaps from the de-duplication.

Exciting new space on the shelves from de-duplication means more room for additional materials.

Stephanie Farley (Charlie), Library Annexe Assistant