News round-up: October – December 2018

Lib R f71 Rep_e
Image from Repton’s ‘Fragments on the theory and practice of landscape gardening…’ (London, 1816) Lib R f71 Rep

9th-10th October 2018 – David Pearson Provenance Workshop and Lecture

Several staff from Special Collections attended a two-day provenance workshop hosted by renowned expert David Pearson. The workshop covered the various kinds of provenance markings which can be found with the aim of helping participants to better recognise and date what they see and develop a better understanding and knowledge for interpreting provenance evidence. Books from the University’s own collections were used to demonstrate elements of David’s workshop.

This was followed on the evening of the 10th October by a well-received sold-out talk open to members of the public covering provenance and book-bindings more generally. Our thanks to Jane for organising this event and inviting David to deliver this fascinating workshop.

12th October 2018 – Business Archives Council (Scotland) Annual Conference

Andrew MacGregor, Archivist, attended the Business Archives Council of Scotland’s 2018 conference in Dundee, hosted by the archive team at DC Thomson. The theme was art and design in business archives and the day included the annual Joan Auld Lecture given by the Curator of the Scottish Design Galleries, V&A Museum of Design Dundee, a special viewing of the ‘Bash Street’s Back at The McMenace’ exhibition – a look at Beano at 80 at the McManus and a visit to the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

For more information see the BACS website –

24th October 2018 – NLS Incunabula Seminar

Inc 5_f140_initial detail
Detail from folio 140 Inc 5.

Jane Pirie, Rare Books Cataloguer, delivered a talk about one of Special Collections rare books INC 5 Canon medicinae (post 1473) at the National Library of Scotland seminar ‘Incunabula: people, places, products and their relationships’. Learn more about our collections of incunabula here:

19th-24th November 2018 – Book Week Scotland

Special Collections hosted two events as part of Book Week Scotland including a Collections Close-Up drop in session on Tuesday 20th and a Book Binding Workshop on Friday 23rd.

The collections close-up had a Jacobite theme: ‘Renegades: the rebel lives of the Jacobites’. Alongside Museum objects visitors had the opportunity to see a first edition of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley, a selection of 20th century Rob Roy comics, a Jacobite recruitment slip and songbook and a letter written by Bonnie Prince Charlie while in exile (MS 952). Jan Smith, Michelle Gait and Jane Pirie were on hand to answer visitors’ questions about the material on display.


The book-binding workshop on the 23rd November was hosted by Brannah Mackenzie, our Book Conservator, and ten attendees were able to make their own miniature book and learn a little about the process of how books are constructed. Jane Pirie then delivered an interesting talk about the important information that can be gleaned from the study of bookbinding.

25th-26th November 2018 – ABA Conference: ‘Lives in Book Trade History’

Jane Pirie attended the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association conference in London, marking the 40th year of the conference series on book trade history. Held at Stationers’ Hall in London, leading authorities discussed their engagement with book trade history, looking back over their own work to identify the significant influences upon them and changes in focus and research methods over time.

29th November–1st December 2018 – ‘Reading the Ministry’ conference

As part of the Reading the Ministry, 1520-1848 conference, a collaboration between The University of Aberdeen and The Newberry Library, Keith O’Sullivan prepared an exhibition of books from the Chapletown Library in the Seminar Room.

29th November 2018 – ICON Scotland

Brannah Mackenzie attended the ICON Scotland AGM / Plenderleith lecture in Dundee.

7th December 2018 – SUSCAG meeting

Andrew MacGregor attended the Scottish Universities Special Collections & Archives Group meeting in Edinburgh.


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