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Library of the Month (May 2013) - Tavistock Subscription Library (0 replies)
May 21, 2013, 02:37:35 PM by Lydia Gibbs
Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon. The town is also home to the Tavistock Subscription Library - thanks to Simon Dell for the contribution.
Tavistock Subscription Library was founded in 1799 by: John Taylor, a 19-year-old engineer from Norwich who had come to Tavistock to manage a local copper and tin mine; John Commins, of about the same age as Taylor, a bookseller; Edward Bray, the young Tavistock curate; and Reverend William Evans, an older man, a non-conformist minister who ran a local school. John Taylor became an eminent mining engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Initially the Library was located in the upper floors of a bookshop, which it soon outgrew. A purpose-built library in the classical style was opened in 1822, nicknamed the Propylaeum. The Duke of Bedford, who owned most of Tavistock and the surrounding area, his family having been given the lands by Henry VIII at the Dissolution, decided to demolish and rebuild the center of Tavistock, and the Propylaeum, being in the way, was demolished. However, the Duke, in compensation, refurbished Court Gate, one of the old Abbey gates, as a purpose-built library and librarian’s cottage. The Library remains in one room of this building; however the old library and cottage now house Tavistock Museum.
By 1964 the reduced membership could no longer afford the various costs, including the modest rent charged after the initial fifteen years. Disbandment was averted by a radical reorganisation. All but the ground floor games room was relinquished to a new landlord, the Town Council. Most of the stock of books was sold and thenceforward the holding was restricted to works by local authors or those pertaining to the town and Dartmoor. Under this regime an impressive collection has accumulated, ranging from the poetry of the 17th century William Browne to the contemporary fifteen volumes of Gerry Woodcock’s Tavistock’s Yesterdays and including annual reports of the Devonshire Association from 1863.
Every subscriber has a door-code to the library so can ‘drop in’ at any time to thumb through a local newspaper or magazine or rifle the shelves for works of local interest or a recent book on Dartmoor. An active writers’ group meets every Tuesday and authors donate copies of their published work. Friday coffee mornings provide refreshment and discussion after shopping.
One of the treasures is a painting of the 1831 Subscription Library, oil on canvas, by an unknown artist. It suffered minor damage and unskilled repair and varnishing many years ago but recently it has been given prominent place with a number of historic portraits and prints.
There are very few subscription libraries and Tavistock’s is perhaps the smallest and one of the oldest having been in existence for over two hundred.
Tavistock Subscription Library became a registered Charity in May 2007.
Community Libraries: Connecting Readers in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850 (0 replies)
May 15, 2013, 04:33:47 PM by Mark Towsey
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new AHRC-funded international research network on Community Libraries, which aims to establish a dynamic, interdisciplinary research forum to investigate the role of libraries in shaping communities in the long eighteenth century.
Developed by Dr Mark Towsey (University of Liverpool) together with partners at Loyola University Chicago, the Newberry Library, and Dr Williams's Library (London), the Network will explain the emergence of libraries in the 'public sphere' between 1650 and 1850. We will assess the contribution made by libraries to the circulation and reception of print of all kinds, and to the forging of collective identities amongst local, national, and international communities of readers. In addition, the network aims to explore the emergence of libraries in comparative perspective, asking how far models of library provision and administration were disseminated, discussed, imitated, and challenged as they travelled between different social environments and political regimes.
The Network will organise three two-day colloquia in the UK and the US. Each colloquium will focus on a specific theme, and will feature methodological workshops, work-in-progress presentations, pre-circulated papers, and roundtables.
Colloquium 1: Libraries in the Atlantic World, to be held in Liverpool on 24-25 January, 2014
Colloquium 2: Digital Approaches to Library History, to be held in Chicago on 30 May-1 June, 2014
Colloquium 3: Libraries in the Community, to be held in London on 23-24 January 2015
The project team invites initial expressions of interest from scholars interested in any element of the Community Libraries research programme. If you feel you can make a significant contribution to any or all of our colloquia, please send abstracts of 500 words, together with a brief summary of your research interests and career to date, to the Principal Investigator Dr Mark Towsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 September 2013. For further information, please visit our website at www.communitylibraries.net.
Library History Essay Award 2013 (0 replies)
May 05, 2013, 05:53:31 PM by Dorothy Clayton
LIBRARY AND INFORMATION HISTORY GROUP
THE LIBRARY HISTORY ESSAY AWARD 2013
The Library History Essay Award is an annual prize of £200 for the best essay on library history published in, or pertaining to, the British Isles, within the previous calendar year (2012). It is organized by the Library and Information History Group of CILIP. The Award aims to improve the quality and increase the quantity of writing on library history in the British Isles. It is sponsored by Emerald. The award was first made in 1996.
Essays should embody original historical research on a significant subject, should be based on original source materials if possible and should use good composition and style. Essays showing evidence of methodological and historiographical innovation will be particularly welcome.
An author may put himself/herself forward for the prize. In addition, any member of CILIP may nominate a published essay for consideration.
The entries will be identified and judged by a panel of five, viz.:
The Chairman of the Library and Information History Group
The Awards Manager of the LIHG who will act as the administrator
One other member of the LIHG Committee
An external assessor at the invitation of the LIHG Committee
A representative of Emerald, normally the editor of Library Review.
Nominations, including six copies of the essay which should have been published during 2012, should be sent by 30 September 2013 to:
Dr Dorothy Clayton
Awards Manager, Library and Information History Group
The John Rylands University Library
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 3757
Library of the Month (April 2013) - New College Library, Edinburgh University (0 replies)
April 23, 2013, 09:04:31 PM by Lydia Gibbs
Scotland is the destination for this month's feature. Thanks to Christine Love-Rodgers at New College Library, Edinburgh, for the contribution.
New College Library, University of Edinburgh
Originally founded in 1843 as the Library of the Free Church College, and now serving the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, New College Library is one of the largest theology libraries in the UK.
New College emerged out of the Disruption of 1843, when over a third of the ministers left the established Church of Scotland in protest against what they perceived as state efforts to undermine the Church's spiritual independence and integrity. One of the first actions of the newly established College was to form a library, and an appeal for donations resulted by 1850 in a collection of 13,000 volumes given by supporters and sympathisers. Many of the gifts in the early Donations ledger are rare or valuable books which still form the core of the Library’s outstanding historical collections. In 1900, the United Presbyterian Church amalgamated with the Free Church to form the United Free Church, and bringing its College’s Library with it. Following the further reunification of the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland in 1929, New College merged with the Faculty of Divinity in 1935. This resulted in a large expansion of New College Library stock, and a new home for the library was needed. It was found in the former Free High Church, whose congregation had relocated in 1934, and the architect Lorne Campbell adapted the original Playfair design for Library use, with the magnificent Library Hall formally opened in 1936. Wood from the original church fittings was re-used and can be seen in the many delicate woodcarvings that decorating the Library. The Library also retains the church’s original stained glass windows donated by Grace Warrack and designed by Dr Douglas Strachan. The earth under the church floor was excavated to allow three stackrooms below the Library Hall. The New College Librarian’s Office is the converted church’s session room, a bay window having been inserted so the activities in the Library Hall can be observed at any time. Further staff accommodation on the top floor is adjacent to the David Welsh Reading Room (named after New College’s first Librarian), which is set aside for quiet study. The proud opening of the New College Library in 1936 also included the introduction of a new sheaf catalogue, typed and arranged by Union Theological Seminary Classification. New College Library moved to online cataloguing in 1986, and to Library of Congress subject classification in 2002. Today the larger part of New College Library’s stock is catalogued online, with the remainder accessible via the old sheaf catalogue or, for manuscripts, handlist catalogues. New College Library has benefited in recent years from a donation from an American alumni, Robert Funk, with the aim of supporting Special Collections at New College Library, enabling us to undertake significant rare book cataloguing projects.
With major rewiring, redecoration and refurbishment in over the last eight years, the whole building has been updated to meet the highest modern standards. Most recently in 2010, the Funk Reading Room was added to the Library Hall as a purpose built reading area for Special Collections. Wireless network access is available throughout New College Library and laptops are available for loan to students, making a 21st century study environment.
Printed Book Collections
In the historic printed book collections which number approximately 90,000 volumes, the legacy of the Protestant and Reformed Christian traditions in Scotland are strongly represented by many early Bibles, prayer books, catechisms and sermons. One of the most significant collections is the Pamphlets, numbering over 30,000 items, now all catalogued online. With a particular focus on religious controversies, the Pamphlets cover the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, and form an important source for historical research. Other collections include one hundred incunabula, a 53-volume set of Acta Sanctorum, the Dumfries Presbytery library (17th & 18thC), the Hymnology Collection of psalms, hymns and sacred poetry and the Paterson Bible Collection.
While New College Library does not hold the archives of the Free Church of Scotland or Church of Scotland, it has important manuscript holdings of the papers of ministers and theologians who have been associated with New College in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The largest is the Thomas Chalmers Collection, a large collection of the personal papers of the man who was the driving force behind the Disruption, and the first Principal of New College, and his papers are joined by those of other former Principals such as Robert Rainy. The papers of theologian and preacher Professor James S. Stewart, ecumenist Archibald C. Craig and International Missionary Council leader J.H. Oldham, and the recently acquired papers of Norman Porteous and John McIntyre, make a rich ground for research.
New College Library’s collections now number over 250,000 volumes, including several hundred periodicals. Current collecting supports the current teaching and research activities of the School of Divinity in Biblical Studies, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Studies, Theology and Ethics and World Christanity. The collections continue to develop in new areas such as Buddhism, Catholic social teaching and Religion and Science. Much collection growth now never appears on the library shelves but takes the form of digital collections, including ejournals, ebooks, online reference resources and databases.
New College Library is open 6 days a week in semester time and 5 days in vacation to staff and students of the University of Edinburgh. We are also open to the wider public for free reference access and for borrowing (at a charge). New College Library news can be followed at www.newcollegelibrarian.wordpress.com and on Twitter at NewCollegeLibrarian@cloverodgers.
New College Library : http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/new-college-library
New College Library Panoramic View : http://www.apps.divinity.hss.ed.ac.uk/tour/index.html
Disruption to Diversity: Edinburgh Divinity 1846-1996, DF Wright and GD Badcock Eds. T&T Clark Ltd, 1996, ISBN 0 567 08517
Hurd Library, Hartlebury Castle (0 replies) 2 3 ... 6
April 04, 2013, 09:38:33 AM by Kathryn McKee
We are delighted to report positive news regarding the future of the Hurd Library at Hartlebury Castle.
Hurd Library. Photo: Chris Penney
Regular readers of this blog may remember that the Hurd Library featured as our ‘Library of the Month’ back in September 2012 http://www.lihg.org/index.php?action=blog;sa=view_post&id=139
The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) was formed to help preserve the historic Castle and its valuable assets – in particular, the Hurd Library. The Hurd Library was purpose built for Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, in 1782 and houses a nationally important collection of books, including a New Testament which was given to Alexander Pope by Jonathan Swift, and a 1611 edition of Spenser’s works, which was owned by John Dryden and then Alexander Pope.
It has been announced this week that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £413,700 in development funding to the HCPT, in support of the Trust’s ongoing efforts to secure the Castle’s future as a heritage site that will benefit the local area and serve as a major attraction for visitors from around the UK and beyond. The Trust’s aim is to save Hartlebury for the public, making the Castle, Hurd Library, Collections of the Museum and Castle, and Gardens into an integrated visitor destination.
The Trust aims to submit a second-round application to the HLF in the next 12 months for the funds to purchase the Castle and ensure its sustainability for the future.
For more information about the Trust’s plans for the Castle, including the full press release, see the HCPT’s blog http://hartleburycastletrust.org/?p=1605