Witchcraft, Waulking & Will-o’-the-Wisps – Exploring the Maclagan Manuscripts

The ornate shield containing a post-horn watermark seen here is one of the most common watermarks found on paper produced in Europe and is the watermark that appears most in the Maclagan Manuscripts (Murphy, 2021). It was thought that the post-horn watermark might be linked to the establishment of the post office in England in the 1660’s, however examples have been found across Europe as early as the 14th century (Murphy, 2021).

Have you ever been stuck for a good nursery rhyme to tell your kids? Or needed a cure for a headache that just will not go away? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering – what is the best way to protect my butter from being cursed by witches? If the answer to any of these questions is yes (or possibly “why would a witch curse my butter?”) then let me introduce you to the collection recently  digitised by our Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service team that can answer all these questions and more – the Maclagan Manuscripts.

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Welcome and welcome back!

Hello, and if this is your first time visiting the Law Librarian Blog, we’re glad you made it! This is where we  post updates about training, resources, library access and anything else we think you might need to know. We hope you’ll find the blog a useful place throughout the year.

So welcome week has come and gone already and we’re straight into Week One of teaching. We’ve been busy running induction sessions for student at all levels but don’t worry if you missed out, recordings of all online sessions have been uploaded to our Media Hopper channel:

There’s information about what’s available in the library and what we have online access to listed in DiscoverEd, which you can find here:

And finally, some other resources that can help you get started with legal research:

We completely understand the first few weeks of a new academic year are swamped with information, and it’s probable that you’ll have too much to take in for now. However if you bookmark this page or these resources we hope they’ll be useful when you need them. If you have questions please feel free to get in touch at any time by leaving a comment or emailing us directly: law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

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On trial: HNP Louisville Defender

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library currently has trial access to the Louisville Defender part of ProQuest’s Historical Newspaper collections. An excellent source for coverage on issues affecting African Americans, the newspaper played an integral role in the fight for integration in the 1960s.

You can access HNP Louisville Defender via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 20th October 2022. Read More

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Minimum Preservation for Maximum Results? It’s a good idea if it works!

iPres2022 logoIn less than a week, iPres22 will kick off in Glasgow, right on our doorstep! If you’re not already acquainted with iPres, welcome! There’s something for everyone! iPres is the world’s largest digital preservation conference where practitioners from all sorts of backgrounds and industries gather to share challenges and strategies.  

At this year’s iPres, among other things, I’m running a workshop with Caylin Smith (Head of Digital Preservation at Cambridge University Library) and Patricia Falcao (Time-based Media Conservator at Tate) on Preserving Complex Digital Objects – Revisited. We ran a similar workshop at iPres 2019 in Amsterdam, breaking into groups to undertake different aspects of the preservation process with one complex digital object (‘Breathe’ by Kate Pullinger). 

This year, each of the speakers will bring a digital object from their own collections that they consider to be complex. We will break participants into small groups to try an experiment: 

Can a Minimum Viable Preservation (MVP) approach be applied to complex digital objects? Read more to learn about what MVP digital preservation looks like and what to expect from the workshop! If you’re planning to attend iPres, come join us! 

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Student Interns Capture ‘The Student’

In February 2022, PhD students Vesna Curlic and Ash Charlton began their digitisation internships in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Library and University Collections and the Centre for Data, Culture, and Society. Together, they reflect on the joys and challenges of digitisation.

We were tasked with an internship project that has two main parts – half our time is spent in the Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service’s Digital Imaging Unit (DIU) in the University’s Main Library scanning early volumes of The Student, University of Edinburgh’s student newspaper. The other half of the time, we work to develop a training pathway for the Centre for Data, Culture and Society which will direct people towards resources for undertaking their own digitising projects. This post is part one of two, reflecting on our experiences digitising The Student.

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Data Mindfulness – learning the basics of good research data management

When planning a research project, whether this involves carrying out interviews for a first dissertation project or analysing secondary data for a PhD, it is important to ensure that you are handling your research data safely and effectively. Taking time to think about where and how you will store and organise your files, how your data can be backed up to protect against accidentally losing your work, and what to consider if working with sensitive information, will help make the research process simpler and help you become a better researcher.

The Research Data Service provide a range of training materials to help both new and experienced researchers to work with their research data more effectively. For students planning a dissertation project we have developed the online Data Mindfulness: Making the most of your dissertation data course (available as part of the Library’s LibSmart II course). This short introductory course is designed to be accessible and engaging, and incorporates videos, quizzes and reading materials to provide helpful tips and guidance for those preparing to undertake their first dissertation project.

Data Mindfulness is available online as part of the library’s LibSmart II research skills course

We are happy to share some of the positive feedback we have received from students who recently completed the Data Mindfulness course:

“It was clear and easily accessible, especially for someone who is an online student”

“A lot of information that I had no idea about but feel better having received it”

“It provides useful tips about organizing and storing data and files”

“Every SSPS student should be aware that they have access to this course before starting their dissertation”

For post-graduate students and those with previous experience working with research data we recommend checking out MANTRA, our well-established online training course which provides more in-depth training on key research data management topics.

Dr Bob Sanders
L&UC Research Data Support

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iPres Delegate Visit to the University of Edinburgh

DX7 Synthesizer Keyboard

As part of iPres 2022 hosted in Glasgow on 12-16 September, the University of Edinburgh will welcome a cohort of conference delegates to tour the Main Library and St. Cecilia’s Hall.

As part of the tour, specialist curators will provide an overview of materials from across collections that reflect many examples of Technology Heritage in the care of the University. Items will include manuscripts like Makhrūṭāṭ Iblawniyūs (Apollonius’ Cones), an early 18th century copy of a Codex Arabic Script and Godfrey Thomson’s mechanical calculator from the 1930s. Read More

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Under Construction

Image: Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit http://wiki.dpconline.org/

Nothing to see here! Check back soon for updates about digital preservation at the University of Edinburgh!

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Edinburgh Open Research Conference Proceedings

EOR logoOne of the ambitions for the EOR conference held in March, 2022, when we first started planning it was to make it as open and accessible as possible. To achieve this we made the whole event hybrid so that plenary talks, posters, and workshops were all accessible on the day to both in person and remote attendees. While this generally worked very well for both remote and in-person attendees, we also wanted to make it available to people who couldn’t attend on the day – so we recorded everything, and the recordings of the talks and posters can now be openly accessed through our Edinburgh Open Research journal at http://journals.ed.ac.uk/eor.

Kerry Miller
Research Data Support Officer & Open Research Co-Ordinator
Library Research Support

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My Experience as a DAMS Metadata Intern

My name is Muminah and I’m about to enter my final year of studying Computer Science and Maths. For the past couple of months I’ve worked as a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) Metadata Intern for the Uni’s Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service (CHDS) under the Library and Uni Collections (L&UC) department of ISG. 

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Collections

Default utility Image Volunteering at the CRC: Charlotte’s experience Today we’re introducing Charlotte Holmes, a postgraduate student who is doing some volunteer work under...
Default utility Image Edinburgh Research Archive: March 2021 Edinburgh Research Archive: March 2021 • https://era.ed.ac.uk March saw a record number of downloads for ERA,...

Projects

Default utility Image Bearing Witness: The Pre-Digitisation Conservation Treatment of The Witness, Part 1 This week we have the first instalment of a two-part series by Projects Conservator Mhairi...
Default utility Image Glazy in Love: Rehousing the Emma Gillies Collection Today we have the first instalment of a two-part series from Collections Care Assistant, Sarah...

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