A couple of interesting questions discussed here by Katie Birkwood got me thinking today. They concerned increasing the exposure, and promoting the relevance, of special collections. It struck me that I have been doing these things from scratch over the past few years so I thought now would be a good time to take stock, and to reflect on how much more there still is to do…
Katie Birkwood's insight:
A really useful and inspiring post about uncovering hidden collections.
In 2012, our end-user engagement programme explored the value of Pinterest for cultural heritage institutions, taking content from five Europeana partners, the University of Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya, the Swedish National Heritage Board, Varna Public Library and the Swedish Royal Armoury. By presenting their content outside the constraints of the portal and institutional websites, Pinterest provided new visibility and interaction with collections that might otherwise have remained unseen. We were curious to explore the effects of opening up data for re-use on social media, in particular, to see what would happen in terms of social interactions on Pinterest and the nature of the referral traffic.
Trinity College Dublin has recently mounted the entire Book of Kells online (http://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v). This is immediate cause for celebration. I welcome every effort to make all cultural heritage more accessible. But upon pursuing the website, I wonder: did the website’s makers consult any scholars or end users before building it? Here are some problems with it: [...]
Katie Birkwood's insight:
Really interesting and challenging dissection of an online resource.
Last week I travelled down to Cardiff, along with two 19th century books from our collections, to take part in what promised to be a very interesting event. This brief time in Cardiff brought me into contact with some wonderful artists, scientists and hobbyists and left me with a day that I won’t soon forget.
Our recent on-line publication of the fabulous Hours illuminated by a pair of Ghent artists, the Master of James IV of Scotland and the Master of the First Prayerbook of Maximilian, prompted me to have a closer look at this manuscript associated with my famous namesake (Additional MS 35313; see here for the fully-digitised manuscript). With its double opening of full-page miniatures preceding prayers for each canonical hour and the profusion of gold and colours, the manuscript was fit for royal eyes, but was it really made for the mad Castilian Queen Joanna?
Visit to Brunel University Special Collections and Library tour planned for Wednesday April 17th 2013 from 2.30pm - 4.30pm.
The Brunel Special Collections cover a wide range of subject areas, including Shakespeare, jazz, the Channel Tunnel, transport history, working class autobiographies, poetry, Middle-Eastern music and South Asian literature, art, theatre and music. The visit is free and includes a tour of the library, a viewing of the special collections and a group discussion with Katie Flanagan, Special Collections Librarian and Sarah Wolfenden, Subject Librarian for Social Sciences. Please meet at the Library helpdesk in the Bannermann Centre where you will be met by Sarah.
When we think of filing today, we think of digital files and folders, and manilla folders, hanging files, and filing cabinets. But what did filing look like in early modern England? How did people deal with all their receipts and bills and letters when they wanted to keep them? What evidence of filing systems still survives?
This past summer I completed an independent study on how archives and special collections use, could use, and should use social media. As part of the class, I sent out a survey asking archivists and special collections librarians how their repository uses these platforms (or why they choose not to use social media). I received 185 results from institutions all across the spectrum – large, small, academic, corporate, religious, etc. The answer to each question ranged from the expected to surprising answers. Sorting through the data took me some time (especially since a large portion of the survey was open to comments, rather than selecting an answer), but I am finally ready to share the results with you all!
As a general rule, most medieval manuscripts are the product of a single scribal campaign. There are of course exceptions, most notably books such as chronicles and cartularies which were sometimes added to over many generations.
The Role The Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre will document, preserve and explore the past, present and future of nursing in the United Kingdom; and continue to hold the most extensive resource for nursing in Europe. It aims to inspire learning and debate on issues that concern nursing for the benefit of all by providing access to a high quality collection of research resources to suit nurses at all stages of their careers.
This newly created role offers you the opportunity to lead on the first RCN Audience Engagement Plan to develop target audiences, including RCN members, staff and the public. Working from our modernised Library and Heritage Centre at RCN’s historic headquarters at 20 Cavendish Square (due to open autumn 2013) you will be part of a team providing members and the public with access to our library, historic collections, exhibition, shop, and cafe services.
Working within the Standards, Knowledge and Information Services team you will work collaboratively with existing RCN teams that deliver events and communications to bring together a programme of events and activities to specialist nursing members. Together you will use specialist historical and contemporary collections to inspire learning and debate in a leading Royal College. You will also develop relationships with appropriate external partners to reach a wider
Thursday 16th May 10:00-16:30 Historic Bindings Workshop Lambeth Palace Library
A chance to learn about historic bindings including their construction, identification and ways of describing them using the collections of Lambeth Palace Library. This workshop will be run by Professor Nicholas Pickwoad.
This event is £75 for CILIP members and £105 for non-CILIP members including a sandwich lunch and tea and coffee. To book please email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your CILIP number (if applicable) Places are limited so please book as early as possible.
During the last couple of months at the Folger, we have come across a number of exceptional ornamental initials in Flemish imprints, as we are processing these systematically together with two interns.1 These initials can be fascinating to study.
In late 1726 much of Britain was caught up in the curious case of Mary Toft, a woman from Surrey who claimed that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits. Niki Russell tells of the events of an elaborate 18th century hoax which had King George I’s own court physicians fooled.
The past weeks have been busy in the British Library’s music department, with negotiations taking place over the acquisition of several twentieth-century composers' music manuscripts. We’ll be providing news of these in future posts.
It’s our policy to acquire, preserve and make available to researchers the original manuscripts and papers of major British composers, as well as the papers of other pre-eminent musicians and musical organisations active in Britain. We also acquire, where the opportunity arises at a reasonable cost, representative manuscripts of important foreign composers.
As an anatomist, physician and man-midwife, Dr William Hunter unsuprisingly collected a lot of material relating to medicine, including a number of incunabula. This batch features several medical books from Hunter’s library, including the Fasciculus Medicinae. One of the most popular of 15th century treatises on medicine, it was compiled by Johannes de Ketham.