Once in a blue moon? Surprises in the New College Library stacks …

The Romance of Modern Astronomy by Hector MacPherson. New College Library Stack II C4/a2

The 31st of August is scheduled for a ‘blue moon’ over Scotland. A blue moon traditionally occurs whenever two full moons happen in a single month – an unusual occurence, hence the saying ‘Once in a blue moon’.

Dedicated users of New College Library may have made their way down to the depths of Stack II at basement level, and discovered the sequence of older monographs known as the ‘unclassified sequence’.  These books date from the pre-1930 existence of New College Library, and the variety of the content covers a much wider scope than the theological curriculum of the time. I was surprised to find this one :  The Romance of Modern Astronomy (1911), by Hector MacPherson.

This collection is currently part of an online cataloguing project funded by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

Here comes the rain again …

Prayers written at Vailima, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1910. New College Library Z.2233.

The rain is pouring down this afternoon in thundery showers.

Here’s a rainy day item from New College Library’s collections. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this prayer in time of rain as part of a collection of prayers written in Vailima, Samoa where he made his home in the 1890s. It was later published in this 1910 illuminated edition, designed by Alberto Sangorski.

This item is held in New College Library’s Special Collections, in the ‘Z’ Collection.

Planned changes to New College Library photocopying services

The University is introducing a new system of copying and printing over the summer of 2012.

Pushing start button on printer

New Xerox multi-function devices (MFDs) are due to be installed for the beginning of semester in September. University users will continue to be able to charge their University smartcards with credit for photocopying.  However, for external users, the old prepaid copy cards will cease to function. Instead, the New College Library helpdesk will be able to charge visitors cards with credit to enable external users to copy. After the new machines have been installed, New College Library will no longer be selling the prepaid copy cards.

We are still selling the prepaid copy cards but advising users to only buy for what they need right now. If you have a copy card, please try to use up any prepaid copy card balance now while you can. If you do have a balance on your prepaid copy card, after you are no longer able to use it in the Library, you will be able to have this balance checked at the Main Library Helpdesk, and receive a refund on the balance, until 31 December 2012.

Full article on the University website :


New JSTOR collections benefit e-journals for Divinity

Are you a fan of JSTOR electronic  journals ? In 2012 the University of Edinburgh purchased the JSTOR Collections V & VIII. This has increased the coverage of backruns of a number of titles relevant to Divinity, such as:

  • Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1971-2006
  • Contemporary Religions in Japan 1960-1970
  • The Catholic Historical Review 1915-2006
  • International Journal of the Classical Tradition 1994-2007
  • International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1970-2007
  • International Journal of Hindu Studies 1997-2007
  • Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1974-2011
  • Jewish History 1986-2007
  • The Journal of Ethics 1997-2007
  • Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 1985-2011
  • Journal of Religion and Health 1961-2007
  • The Journal of Religious Ethics 1973-2005
  • The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society  1835-2006
  • Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 1997-2011
  • Prooftexts 1981-2010
  • Religion & Literature 1965-2008
  • Religious Studies 1965-2011
  • Scottish Historical Review 1903-

New College Library Archives

An image from the New College Archive of New College Library as it appeared in 1946

Did you know that New College Library holds significant collections of archives and manuscripts?

These  collections include the papers of Thomas Chalmers, J.H. Oldham, James S. Stewart and Norman W. Porteous.  Hidden among the older archives are gems such as the  last speech and testimony of the covenanter James Renwick (1662-1688).  The Archives also include a New College Archive which includes group photographs of students and staff, and of the New College buildings.

Recently added to our collections are the papers of Rev Tom Allan (1916-1965), Rev. Professor Alec Campbell Cheyne (1924-2006), Rev. Professor John McIntyre (1916-2005), and the Very Rev Professor James Whyte (1920-2005). The listing of these papers was funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Rev. Professor Alec Campbell Cheyne .

See the New College Archives web page to find out more.

New books at New College Library – August

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 Why there almost certainly is a God : doubting Dawkins, by Keith Ward. This book was purchased to support the Atheism in Debate course at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

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 or in the display just yet.