Library Services


Issue 36

Spring 2014

Inside this issue

Good luck to all taking exams soon.


'Degree Award Ceremony', 1863

Image: 'Degree Award Ceremony', 1863

View in our Digital Collections

Self-issue for all UCL Libraries

From 2014, UCL Library Services will be introducing new facilities to support the way that students wish to work in the UCL family of libraries. Several years ago, the Library introduced Self-Issue and Self-Return facilities, using Radio-Frequency tagging, in the UCL Science Library and the UCL Eastman Dental Institute Information Centre.

Statue with books

In 2013, RFID was introduced into the Cruciform Library. Now, with support from UCL, this technology will be rolled out across all our libraries. The first to receive this new equipment will be the UCL Main Library, the UCL Bartlett Library, the UCL Institute of Archaeology Library and the UCL Language and Speech Science Library. This represents the start of a multi-year plan to introduce RFID technology across the whole of UCL.

The introduction of this technology supports 24 hour opening in the Library, as students and researchers can borrow material at any time the Library is open. The Main & Science Libraries will open for 24 hours over summer with effect from summer 2014, with other libraries also moving to 24 hours, commencing 2014. The new self-service facility replaces existing technology and allows a much faster and more efficient process for users, cutting down on queues at the desk and freeing up staff time from routine transactions to answer enquiries, providing front-line help and other support. It represents a substantial commitment by UCL Library Services to supporting UCL staff and students in a modern library, learning and research environment.

by Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services

Commemorating World War I

UCL Main Library

Art and Honour exhibition

As the world commemorates the start of World War I this year, our exhibition in the Main Library draws together commentary on and experience of the conflict and its influence on contemporary culture. Slade alumnus Isaac Rosenberg's "Trench poem", Break of Day in the Trenches, is still evocative today, and the "Killed in action" note on his student index card is a poignant reminder of his untimely death as for all those recorded in the UCL Roll of Honour. Drawings from Lionel Penrose's sketchbook, made while serving in the Friends' Ambulance Unit in France, provide a glimpse behind the action and the almost tranquil scene depicted in Rouen 7.8.18 is a reminder that the grass was still green and the sky still blue in spite of all the horror.

Art and Honour exhibition

On the home front a whole different language of propaganda developed, exemplified in ephemera such as The Prussian Octopus poster and postcards bearing parodies of Aesop's fables. Satire flourished too, whether providing light relief for the troops or challenging the legitimacy of the War. Leading figures in the European avant-garde experimented with anti-establishment magazines that defined an era, such as Wyndham Lewis's Blast and Man Ray's The Ridgefield Gazook. Items on display have been selected from Special Collections' 1914-18 and Little Magazines collections, rich sources of art and literature from the period, as well as College Archives and the UCL Records Office.

The exhibition runs from February-December 2014 and can be viewed on the staircase and 1st floor of the Main Library and at our online exhibition.

UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square Library

There will be an associated exhibition at Queen Square Library, Archive and Museum from August-December 2014 highlighting the treatment of war-related psychogenic disorders at the National Hospital. From the beginning of World War I until the end of 1919, over 1,200 soldiers were admitted to the National Hospital. The most common contemporaneous diagnoses were functional disorder, hysteria, neurasthenia, neurosis and shell shock. Over 200 cases were treated by the neurologist Dr Lewis Yealland, who featured in Pat Barker's novel Regeneration.

Items on display in the exhibition will be selected from the extensive collection of case notes held in the Archive, as well as photographs and literature from and about the period. The exhibition will be held in Queen Square Library, 1st Floor, 23 Queen Square. Further details will be added to the Queen Square Archives website.

by Kate Cheney

Profile: Chris Holland, Copyright Support Officer, TLSS

Chris Holland

I am the new Copyright Support Officer, new because I have only been in post for a couple of weeks but also new in the sense that this is a new post in the Teaching & Learning Support Section where we manage online reading lists, and digitised readings as well as providing copyright advice. The team is based on the 4th floor of the Science Library. Previously I worked in a similar role at the University of Law for about 18 months. Prior to that, I was essentially a Law Librarian, having been the Librarian at the Law Society for a number of years, and before that Head Librarian at Herbert Smith Solicitors. Although I have always had an interest in copyright issues, this is bit like a second career for me and I am enjoying the experience of concentrating on a specific area which is so central to all academic activity.

The main focus of my role is firstly to deliver guidance and support on copyright issues to UCL researchers, teachers and support services. Secondly I will be concentrating on developing and delivering a communication plan to promote awareness of copyright issues and to get the message across to all relevant communities within UCL. This will also involve delivering targeted training on aspects of copyright.

So far, coming to terms with the size and variety of UCL has been the biggest challenge, although this also makes my job really fascinating. I have started to make contacts and to field copyright enquiries, with a lot of support from my Manager.

Should you have any queries about copyright (anything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!), or if you just want to introduce yourself, please do contact me. The easiest way of doing so is to email copyright@ucl.ac.uk.

For more information about TLSS, please:

by Chris Holland

An Unassuming Gift

Book cover

"Never judge a book by its cover", runs the old adage. As one who has catalogued many a book of less-than-pristine appearance, I know this pearl of wisdom to be particularly pertinent in its literal sense. Yet, though blessed with such enlightenment, I have to confess to the odd lapse when I have allowed myself to be deceived by appearances.

Take a recent example: Corn from olde fieldes: an anthology of English poems from the XIVth to the XVIIth century. Its brown-paper covers did little to cheer the spirits, and the olde worlde title left me cringing at the imagined offerings of an erstwhile Patience Strong. Rather unfortunately, the tome opened at a section captioned "Death" with the incitement "Come, heavy Souls" by William Strode. "Upon a Funeral", "The Relic", "Valediction" flowed one after another with lukewarm respite provided by "Eternity".

With near invincible professional detachment, I set about my job creating a brightly informative catalogue record. Now there would be no point alluding to books and covers if there were not some treasure lurking within. This volume did not disappoint. A book plate "From the Library of Thomas Hardy…" was accompanied by the enigmatic monogram of Sir Hugh Walpole, its garter emblem encapsulating the name of his Cumbrian lakeside home.

Book plates

But by far the most astounding was the inscription below; a gift which unassumingly validates that age-old pearl of wisdom.

Book inscription

Corn from olde fieldes is part of the Ogden Library held by Special Collections.

by Andrew Watson

Whittington Health Library

Following the closure of the Archway campus in the summer of 2013, a new Healthcare Library opened in September 2013 in the Highgate Wing of the Whittington Hospital.

Whittington Health Library

The new Library is an excellent example of what close co-operation between the NHS and Higher Education can achieve. Two floors of the Highgate Wing, a Victorian building on Dartmouth Park Hill, have been refurbished to a high standard on a tight schedule, with the Whittington Health Library on Level 1 and the new UCL Undergraduate Centre on Level 3. A positive approach to IT provision has resulted in good computer provision including shared NHS/UCL access to fixed PCs, 3 different wireless networks and laptop loans for nursing and midwifery students on placement.

The Library is managed by Whittington Health in close co-operation with its partners, including the Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Middlesex University, as well as UCL.

As the former Archway Healthcare Library Clinical Librarian I have worked closely on the project from 2012, and now manage the new Library, supported by a small dedicated team of experienced staff.

Books carefully selected from the Archway Healthcare Library form the core of the book stock. Expensive local journal subscriptions have been kept to a minimum, with the Library instead focusing on cost-effective electronic delivery of requested journal articles in a highly-regarded "Just-in-Time" service. The Library is also involved in the cutting edge UCLP [UCL Partners] Mobile Knowledge Access Project pilot, providing junior doctors access to essential clinical textbooks and important local clinical guidelines on their smartphones.

A survey of Library users 2 months after opening brought some encouraging comments:

"Lovely, helpful staff and excellent equipment and environment to work in" (NHS staff member)
"The separate study room section is fantastic" (UCL Medical student) 

It also identified some areas for future development. These included longer opening hours, and the Library is currently planning to further extend opening hours for a pilot period from the end of March 2014.

For more information, go to:

by Richard Peacock, Librarian Whittington Health Library

An Eye for an Eye

Ophthalmographia drawings

The first reasonably accurate diagram of the eye had appeared in Christophorus Scheiner's book Oculus, published in Innsbruck in 1619 but no book on the eye appeared in England until the following century when the study of optics and the study of the eye appears to have taken place in parallel. Sir Isaac Newton published Opticks: or, A treatise of the reflections, refractions, inflections, and colours of light in 1704 and Joseph Priestley published The history and present state of discoveries relating to vision, light, and colours in 1772. Between these two, a small and nowadays very rare book was printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys between the Two Temple-Gates in Fleet-street in 1713. It is Ophthalmographia; or A treatise of the eye in two parts by Peter Kennedy, one of the very few early books published in English that documents what was known about the eye in the early 18th century.

Part 1 describes the eye and gives us a theory of vision, part 2 lists the signs, causes and cure of the maladies which affect the eye and that is followed by An appendix of some of the diseases of the ear which includes a short chapter on worms in the ears that is cured with "the tincture of myrrh and aloes or aloes dissolv'd with urine. These either kill worms or insects, whether bred there, or got in by Accident".

The author admits to his own short-sightedness in the preface and compares himself with Morton who wrote on Consumption, and was himself consumptive, and Floyer who wrote on Asthma, and was himself asthmatic. The "it takes one to know one principle" appears to have been in full swing at the time.

But many of the terms Kennedy uses are still used by ophthalmologists today: retina, uvea, choroid, cornea and iris for parts of the eye and a range of terms for the various conditions that can affect the eye or vision. These include hemeralopia for day-blindness, nictalopia for night-blindness, ectropion for the lower eyelid falling down, or inside out, mydriasis for dilation of the pupil, staphyloma for protrusion of the sclera, hypopyon for pus in the eye, hyposphagma for subconjunctival haemorrhage, rhexi for rupture, and trichiasis for inward growing eyelashes. This used to be called phalangosis, a term that is not used at all today.

Other terms used by Kennedy that are used no longer include phlyctaenia, which used to describe ulcers of the conjunctiva and cornea but which is now only used for Phlyctaenia coronata, a species of moth, antoniatonblepharon, which refers to a relaxation or paralysis of the rectus and orbicular muscle of the upper eye-lid, and an albugo, which was a white spot in the eye. Amaurosis which, Kennedy says, is commonly called an obstruction of the optic nerve, has more recently been used as a catch-all term for cases of blindness for which no cause can be found.

Copies of the first and the second (1717) editions of Opticks: or, A treatise of the reflections, refractions, inflections, and colours of light by Newton and The history and present state of discoveries relating to vision, light, and colours by Priestley (2 copies) can be found in the Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & Institute of Ophthalmology in Bath Street as can Ophthalmographia; or A treatise of the eye in two parts. The collection is still being catalogued but those works that have already been done can be accessed for reference.

by Bill Lehm