Summer has arrived! The weather forecast says 12 degrees today – but it feels much warmer. The School of Divinity’s exams are over, and the bustle of last week’s General Assembly has faded. Inside the library, only a few dedicated researchers are at work – and the library staff, of course. Here’s a summer themed item from New College Library’s Special Collections.
The child’s book of song and praise  is an item from the Hymnology Collections. The core of these collections was the gift in the 1880s of two thousand hymnbooks from James Thin, the founder of the famous Edinburgh bookshop. This collection has been added to by gift, purchase and the re-organisation of other library books of a similar nature to form the collection of over 5000 items we have today.
Primarily 18th & 19th century printed volumes (some with very nice pictorial publishers bindings), there are also some older books, a few scores and some LPs and cassettes. The collection covers sacred songs and poetry as well as hymns, including many items intended for children, both for Sunday School and home use. This verse from The child’s book of song and praise is just one example:
“Peace be around thee, wherever thou rov’st’ / May life be for thee one summer’s day …”
A project to catalogue the Hymnology Collections online has just begun – just one of the Funk Cataloguing Projects which are opening up the Special Collections here at New College Library.