Global Missions and Theology Collection online at University of Edinburgh

In the week of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity Conference, a reminder that the Global Missions and Theology Online Collection is now available to University of Edinburgh users.  Part of the Archives Unbound collection from Gale, this collection documents a broad range of nineteenth century missionary activities, practices and thought by reproducing personal narratives, organizational records, and biographies.

Find the link on the Databases for Divinity page on the library website.

New College Library welcomes the Yale-Edinburgh Conference

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh is hosting the Yale-Edinburgh Group Conference on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity this week, with the theme of  Religious Movements of Renewal, Revival, and Revitalization in the History of Missions and World Christianity.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
The distinguishing marks of a work of the spirit of God : applied to that uncommon operation that has lately appear’d on the minds of many of the people in New-England ; with a particular consideration of the extraordinary circumstances with which this work is attended. Edinburgh : 1742
New College Library B.b.c.17/1

We have set out a small display of pamphlets from New College Library’s Special Collections on the theme of revival in the display case in the Funk Reading Room. The display includes this pamphlet on the  revival & awakening of the Holy Spirit in New England, United States.  The author, Jonathan Edwards, was a prominent American preacher and theologian, who was closely involved in the spiritual revival of the 1730s, the Great Awakening. His pamphlet deals with the revival’s controversial  phenomena : the swoonings, outcries and convulsions of believers overwhelmed by their powerful spiritual experiences.

This pamphlet was catalogued recently as part of the Pamphlets Cataloguing Project, funded by the Funk Donation. A similar item is also held by Yale University. University of Edinburgh users can read it online via Eighteenth-Century Collections Online.

The ‘Z’ Factor : New College Library’s rediscovered Special Collections

What are Special Collections? At New College Library we have Special Collections of books, archives  and manuscripts and a small collection of portraits and objects. Much of the book collections have been housed in Special Collections for decades, but we also have a growing collection of ‘new’ Special Collections.

This is the Z Collection, which is formed out of recent donations and out of New College Library books formerly in the General sequence  which were identified as Special Collections during a stock management exercise. We follow the critieria used by the Centre for Research Collections here at the University of Edinburgh, in particular that all books published before 1850 should be classed as Special Collections. The Z Collection, which numbers over 3,500 items, is currently being catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects.

One example from the Z Collection is the Biographia scotica, a biographical dictionary compiled by John Stark of Edinburgh.  It contains engraved portraits of notable Edinburgh figures such as George Drummond, a Lord Provost of Edinburgh, George Heriot, whose name is still carried by one of the well-known schools in Edinburgh, and John Napier of Merchiston, the inventor of logarithms. The book bears the inscription of one Alexander Fortune with the date 1820 at the head of the title page and a bookplate presenting the book to New College from the library of the late James Wilson, merchant, 3 South Bridge (Edinburgh).

Treasures of New College Library : The Dumfries Presbytery Library

The Dumfries Presbytery Library is a collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century books that was first documented in 1710, with the acceptance of a substantial donation of books from Dr John Hutton. It was used as a lending library, for the ministers of Dumfries, for which records survive in a ledger in Dumfries’s Ewart Library. Titles are marked : “Ex libris bibliothecae presbyterii Dumfriesiensis”

In 1884, the decision was made to transfer the collection to the General Assembly Library in Edinburgh, following a gale that damaged the roof of the presbytery house letting in rain that soaked the books. With this transfer, at least some of the books were marked by the ownership stamp of the Library of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland : the symbol of the burning bush surrounded by the words “Bibliotheca Ecclesiae Scoticanae”.

In 1958 the General Assembly Library was transferred to New College Library, and the books of the Dumfries Presbytery Library were dispersed by subject as part of the New College Library collection. In 1962, New College Library came under the governance of Edinburgh University Library,  and in 1965 John Howard took over as New College Librarian. He took a particular interest in the Dumfries Presbytery Library and he reassembled c. 1500 volumes from the collection in their original pressmark order as a Special Collection.

In the summer of 2012, a project has begun to catalogue the Dumfries Presbytery Library online in its entirety. This project is one of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

Acta Sanctorum now available online to University of Edinburgh

The online Acta Sanctorum, published by ProQuest Databases, is now available to University of Edinburgh users. It is an electronic version of the complete printed text of Acta Sanctorum,which examines the lives of saints, organised according to each saint’s feast day, and runs from the two January volumes published in 1643 to the Propylaeum to December published in 1940. The original printed volumes are held in New College Library’s Special Collections.

University of Edinburgh registered users can access the database via the link on the Library’s A-Z Databases page.

Studying away from Edinburgh over the summer?

If you’re a School of Divinity student moving away from Edinburgh over the summer but continuing to work on your thesis, you’ll be thinking about how to obtain the library materials you need.

All of the University of Edinburgh’s online services remain open to you, of course. Just log in remotely using your EASE user name and password.

As long as you remain a University of Edinburgh student, the Library can continue to process inter-library loan requests for you, and photocopies of  journal articles and book chapters can be posted to you (We can’t supply physical loans of books or microfilms by post). If an electronic copy has been supplied, we will email it to you. You’ll need to register for the ILLiad system first, if you haven’t already done so, and then submit your requests online. 

In the UK, you can usually request inter-library loans using the services available at your local public library. This will depend on the services offered locally, and there may be a charge. Always allow a minimum of two weeks, and more if possible, for an inter-library loan item to be delivered.

If you live within easy travelling distance of a University library, it’s probably worth joining the SCONUL access scheme. This allows University of Edinburgh staff and students to have access to 170+ Higher Education Libraries in the UK. You might find visiting one of these libraries quicker than waiting for inter-library loans. You need to register with Edinburgh University as  your home library first – so do it before you leave Edinburgh.  Use the COPAC Union library catalogue to help you see which academic libraries have the materials you want.

A plea from us to all of you going away over the summer – please keep checking your e-mail notices for library books that have been recalled. We need you to return these books for the benefit of other library users. Thank you!

New books at New College Library – June

New College Library has a regular display of new books at the far end of the Library Hall, close to the door to the stacks.

Currently in the display is The origin of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea : an examination of popular and governmental responses to Catholic missions in the late Chosôn dynasty  by Jai-Keun Choi. This was a recommendation from a postgraduate student.

Also new is Petri Cantoris Parisiensis Verbum adbreviatum, part of the Corpus Christianorum series that the Library subscribes to.

You can see an regularly updated list of new books for New College Library on the Library Catalogue – choose the New Books Search and limit your search to New College Library. Here’s a quick link to new books arriving in the last few weeks. A word of caution – some of the books listed here may still be in transit between the Main Library (where they are catalogued) and New College Library, so not on the shelf just yet.

Researching the motherhood of God

The School of Divinity at New College hosts a colloquium on June 7, 1:00 – 4:30 on Women, Language, and Worship in the Church of Scotland – see the blog or facebook page for more details.

 In 1984, a report was submitted to the General Assembly by Anne Hepburn,  president of the Women’s Guild, which explored how God might be referred to as a Mother figure as well as a Father in the New Testament, and the implications for gender inclusive language within the Church. New College Library holds this report in the Reports of the General Assembly (at  sLX 50 B) and it was also reprinted separately as a volume in its own right (at pRQ 20 MOT, New College Library). The report received a hostile reception, which was widely reported in the Scottish and National Press.

New College Library holds substantial collections of order of service books and hymnbooks, which researchers can access to see if the 1984 report did have an impact on Church practice. These include the Hymnology Collections as well as the fourth edition of the Church Hymnary (2005),  on the shelf at New College Library at Ref. BV431 Chu.

New College Library Stack 1 Closure from 14 June

 Stack I is due to be redecorated this summer, and an early warning system for flooding is also being installed in all three Stack floors. To enable these works Stack I will be closed to public access for approximately 4 weeks, starting on the 14th of June. Library staff will operate a book collection service where access allows.

Stack I is the floor immediately below the Library Hall, which contains general lending stock – Library of Congress sequence BS-Z, and the older books classified using the Union Theological Seminary scheme.  These sequences are the only books which will be affected. The Library of Congress books in the Library Hall, the periodicals and Special Collections are all unaffected.

 To avoid problems,  you could try to visit the Library before 14 June to borrow Stack I books. Postgraduate students and staff can borrow up to 40 books. Please contact the Library helpdesk if you have any queries about this closure period.