7th March 2018: Tour for Dr Sheika Aisha Al-Thani, Qatar, and delegation
University Librarian Diane Bruxvoort and Brannah Mackenzie, Book Conservator, hosted a tour of Special Collections for Dr Sheika Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani. Dr Al-Thani, a member of the Qatar Supreme Education Council, and is the primary sponsor (donor) for the University’s campus in Qatar, which opened last year. The delegation was shown a number of items from our collections, including a copy of the Koran belonging to Sultan Fateh Ali Tipu (c. 1750-1799) of Mysore, India, and a printed Arabic Psalmody from the library of the French classical scholar Paul Petau (1568-1614). For further information please see here: List of items on display
21st March 2018: Tour for Professor John Bowen (University of York), Dickens Fellowship guest speaker
Keith O’Sullivan, Senior Rare Books Librarian, hosted a tour of Special Collections for the Aberdeen branch’s visiting speaker – the latest in what has become a well-established series of visits highlighting our strengths in Charles Dickens and Victoriana. Professor John Bowen is author of Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit (2000). He was shown first bound editions of all Dickens’ novels as well as a scrapbook of Aberdeen playbills compiled by nineteenth-century Aberdeen graduate and prominent local advocate, Arthur D. Morice. Professor Bowen was accompanied by Dr Paul Schlicke, Honorary Senior Lecturer in English and Chair of the Aberdeen branch.
21st March 2018: Resource Discovery: from catalogues to discovery services, NLS, Edinburgh
Jane Pirie, Rare Books Cataloguer, attended a seminar at the NLS hosted by the Cataloguing and Indexing Group Scotland entitled Resource Discovery: from catalogues to discovery services. This seminar explored the challenges faced by libraries as they implement resource discovery services which have different functions to a traditional library catalogue. In particular taking disparate catalogues such as museums, archives and books, and incorporating them into one system which allows meaningful cross-searching.
22nd March 2018: Denburn Probus Club
Jane Pirie also gave a talk to 17 members of the Denburn Probus Club on what a bookbinding can tell you about the history of a book: where it was made, how old it was, what kind of person owned it and in some cases who in particular owned it. The presentation was accompanied by a display of materials showing the variety of bookbindings that are held in the Special Collections Centre.
23rd March 2018: Friends of National Libraries reception, NLS, Edinburgh
Keith O’Sullivan attended this reception hosted by Lord Max Egremont, Chairman of the Friends of the National Libraries. The FNL was established in 1931, and, to date, has helped nearly 300 institutions acquire items, ensuring that they remain in the UK and the public domain. Aberdeen has benefitted significantly from its largesse over the years. Recently, the FNL’s generosity has enabled us to purchase, amongst others, an extremely rare first edition of the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’ (1815), a work by both Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg, and a copy of John Dryden’s translation of The Works of Virgil (1698) annotated by generations of a prominent Aberdeenshire Jacobite family, the Gordons of Letterfourie.
26th March 2018: ‘Claimed from Stationers’ Hall’, network workshop, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
Jane Pirie attended a workshop held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow to discuss music deposited in libraries from Stationers’ Hall. From 1720 until 1836 the library of King’s College Aberdeen was a legal deposit library meaning that they could claim a copy of any item entered at Stationers’ Hall in London. Amongst the publications sent was a large quantity of sheet music, some of which is now quite rare. This workshop looked at current research into the output of Stationers’ Hall and libraries’ holdings of music. During the lunch break, the delegates were treated to a recital of three Napoleonic songs from the Stationers’ Hall music collection held by St Andrew’s University Library.