We’ve started getting ready for Christmas at New College Library! The Christmas tree is now up in the Funk Reading Room, and we have a display of Christmas carol books from the Hymnology Collections in the entrance to the Library Hall.
The Hymnology Collections grew out of 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 special collection of over five thousand items we have today, which are currently being catalogued online as part of the Funk Donation Projects. Primarily 18th & 19th century printed volumes, the collection covers sacred songs and poetry as well as hymns, including many items intended for children, both for Sunday School and home.
Currently on display we have :
Husk, W.H. Songs of the Nativity ; being Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern … London : J.C. Hotten, . Hymn 2578.
Christmas carols, hymns, etc. London : F. Pitman [18–?] Hymn 2591 With music for four voices, tonic sol-fa edition.
Hotten, John Camden. A garland of Christmas carols ancient and modern. Including some never before given in any collection. London : J.C. Hotten, 1861. Hymn 2129. A bookplate marks this item as having come from the original James Thin Collection.
A booke of Christmas carols : illuminated from ancient manuscripts in the British Museum. London : Joseph Cundall  Hymn 2590
New College Library Christmas tree in Funk Reading Room
New College Library will close on Friday 21 December and reopen again on Thursday 3 January. More details on opening hours for all University of Edinburgh Library sites over the holidays are available at : http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/library-opening
Reserve books can be borrowed from 11am 21st December, to be returned by 10.30 on Monday 14th January.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The wood-walls of Scotland : a Christmas carol, from the Fife Sentinel, with additions. Edinburgh : W. P. Kennedy … etc., 1844. New College Library F.a.12/13
New College Christmas Carol Service is taking place today at 5pm in the Martin Hall, led by members of the New College community and with singing from the New College Choir. Here’s a Christmas carol from New College Library’s collections.
This pamphlet, The wood-walls of Scotland, was originally published in the newspaper the Fife Sentinel. It contains a carol that would have been sung to a popular hymn tune, inspired by the verse from Psalm 132 “Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.” Published after the Disruption of 1843, the carol is celebrating the outdoor services held to accommodate congregations who had separated to form the new Free Church of Scotland.
A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3
Many folk will be going to Christmas lunches and parties this week – including New College Library staff. Outside our office window the Edinburgh Christmas fair is in full (and noisy) swing, celebrating the season.
This eighteenth century pamphlet, A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas, gives an eighteenth century view on seasonal celebrations. It takes the form of a dialogue between a master and scholar, prefacing the discussion with the quotation of Bible texts that urge sincere and temperate behaviour. It unpicks the theology of Christmas from an early eighteenth century Anglican point of view, negotiating the scriptural and historical justifications of the observance of Christmas as a holy day and the contemporary differences in practice with other Protestant Churches. The author looks back on the abolishment of Christmas celebrations (including plum pudding) under Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan regime after the English Civil War. It is possible both this period and the Restoration of 1660 may have been within the author’s living memory.
This book is also available online to University of Edinburgh users via Eighteenth Century Collections Online, where it can be read online in full.
This item is from New College Library’s Z Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.
The Bible in 20th century art / introduced by Nicholas Usherwood. New College Library sfYF 67 BIB
New on display in New College Library’s Funk Special Collections Reading Room, is The Bible in 20th Century art. It is opened to show a painting of The Nativity by Bernard Buffet (1961), the original of which is held in the collection of the Vatican Museum.
New College Library will close early at 5pm on Thursday 29 November as installations and road closures for ‘Light Night‘ mean that readers will not be able to exit the building through the main gates after this time.
The ‘Light Night’ performance, including firework display and aerobatics, is scheduled on the grassy area at the top of the Mound at around 5pm to 6pm on Thursday 29th November, with a rehearsal in the early afternoon. There will be a full road closure in place all day, with pedestrian access to enter and exit the building through the main Quad gates throughout the day until 5pm.
The booke of the common prayer and administracion of the Sacramentes : and other rites and ceremonies of the Churche, after the vse of the Churche of England.1549. New College Library DPL 70
25 November 2012 is traditionally Stir Up Sunday, when cooks plan to make their Christmas puddings so they have time to mature before eating on Christmas Day.
This tradition is linked with the opening words of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549, which reads ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’ Always read just before Advent, this became remembered as a reminder to start stirring up the puddings for Christmas.
New College Library holds this copy of the Book of Common Prayer printed in London in 1549, the year the Book of Common Prayer was adopted by the Church of England. We can see the exhortation to “Stir up ..” , spoken over 450 years ago in the reign of Edward VI of England, about two thirds of the way down the page.
This book is part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library. It bears the signature of Dr John Hutton, who donated the collection of books that form the foundations of the Dumfries Presbytery Library.