Author Archives: diu

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

From Castles to Cradle: Photographing the Lyell Notebooks

I was delighted to take on the challenge of helping photograph the University’s collection of notebooks of geologist Sir Charles Lyell, and there’s a bit more to photographing 300 notebooks than one might imagine. The Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service is a fantastic team of people, and quickly welcomed me onboard. Prior to this posting, I’ve enjoyed a varied background, including photographing the contents of National Trust for Scotland castles as part of a major digitisation project Reveal, plus Polar and Northern Lights photography aboard expedition cruise ships.

Continue reading

The Skene Album – An artistic partnership between author and artist

Collection: Walter Scott Image Collection; Persons: Scott, Walter; Event: N/A; Place: Scotland; UK; Category: Art; Description:

James Skene was a close friend of one of Scotland’s greatest and most influential writers. By profession  he was a lawyer, but he was also a keen amateur artist.

Skene and Scott first met as fellow Advocates at the Scottish Bar and were brought together by their common love of German literature. They were subsequently joint co-founders of the Light Horse Regiment and the pair formed a close friendship.

This particular album appears to have fallen into obscurity over the years, as it had been in private collections and out of public view. Skene made these sketches for Scott to use as a reference or aide-memoire when writing his novels. Knowledge of its existence does not appear in any research or exhibitions relating to Scott or Skene. We were very fortunate to have this new acquisition and it was a pleasure to personally handle this beautiful album and see every drawing up close.

Continue reading

“A Beautiful Way to Remember” – Digitising the LHSA’s HIV/AIDS Collections

At the beginning of this year, I started in my role as the Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service’s new Digitisation Assistant. As part of the team responsible for providing the main digitisation services for the university’s heritage collections, I have been getting familiar with some the unique and varied collections here at the University of Edinburgh, as well as learning the ins and outs of cultural heritage digitisation. Continue reading

Introducing a 3D Digitisation Service: Feasible or Fantasy?

For the past eleven weeks I’ve had the opportunity to intern with the Digital Imaging Unit, working on a project to evaluate the potential of establishing a 3D digitisation service within the department. “3D digitisation” in this sense encompasses everything from the initial production of digital models – using suitable items from across the University Collections – to online display, preservation of 3D data, and 3D printing. The project was roughly organised into three phases: research, testing, and implementation.  

Although I worked primarily with Susan Pettigrew (Photographer, DIU) and Mike Boyd (uCreate Manager) I always felt supported by the other Library & University Collections staff; everyone I had the chance to speak to was eager to discuss their own work on top of contributing to the project. 

Continue reading

Lyell’s School of Rock

 

In November 2019 the Library excitedly welcomed Sir Charles Lyell’s two hundred and ninety-four notebooks into its Special Collections. With support and funding from leading institutions, groups and donations pledged from over 1000 individuals, this tectonic acquisition meant the notebooks were able to stay in the UK and join the Library’s existing collection of Lyell-related materials. As part of the DIU team, I was lucky enough to photograph Lyell’s notebooks, working with the world’s finest quality cameras to digitise a previously private collection into the public sphere and beyond.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Digital Wall Student Experience Internships

Student browsing images of Library and University Collections on the Digital Wall

This past Winter 2019/20 the Digital Imaging Unit and Centre for Research Collections Museums teams hosted two student interns to support the development of the new Digital Wall, which opened in the University of Edinburgh’s main Library in September 2019. The students, Dario Lucarini (Napier University) and Tom Hutton (Edinburgh College of Art), were tasked with Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,