Inside this issue
- From the Director's Chair
- Special Collections News
- Recent Projects on the Library Estate
- Medieval Manuscript Fragments
- Queen Square News
- Uncovering UCL's Jewish Pamphlet Collections
Season's Greetings from all in UCL Libraries
Image: Plates from a rare book held in UCL Special Collections: Botanisches Handbuch der mehresten theils in Deutschland wildwachsenden 1808.
From the Director's Chair
UCL and Institute of Education merger and new study space at UCL Eastman
On 2 December 2014 the merger which resulted in the creation of the new UCL Institute of Education, turned UCL into a predominantly postgraduate institution, with over 18,000 postgraduate students. This means that UCL is the largest postgraduate institution in the UK and the biggest Higher Education institution in London. The Newsam Library and Archive at the UCL Institute of Education is the most significant library, probably anywhere in the world, devoted to the study of education in the context of the social sciences.
The following day on 3 December 2014, I was honoured to be asked to help open the new learning spaces in the UCL Eastman Institute Dental Library. Pictured at the opening alongside me are Professor Stephen Porter, Head of the Eastman Dental Institute, Robbie Lumsden and Anna Di Iorio.
All the team involved in the design and delivery of these spaces should be congratulated. The new learning pod, pictured in the photo, was the centre of attention at the opening, with many guided tours to explain how it operates. But the wider learning spaces in the Library are cutting-edge - modern, student-centric and offering the best possible support for the 21st-century ways in which students now learn.
Also, this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Autumn statement has confirmed funding of £141 million to support the development of UCL's new research campus in UCL East at Stratford. This is one of the most important developments in UCL's 200-year history. UCL Library Services is planning the construction of an 800-seat learning hub there to support the UCL researchers and students who will be based in Stratford. The Hub will also be a collaboration with local London boroughs, particularly the London borough of Newham, and be open especially to young learners, 14-18 years old. UCL Special Collections will have one of its two new bases there, to act as a focus for outreach and public engagement. An early development will be the creation of a Citizen Science project connected to the history of London - an area in which UCL Library Services is a specialist collector in London as a whole.
The first week of December 2014 is therefore a momentous one in the history of UCL Library Services, never more so because of the opening of the cutting-edge facilities at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute Library - a sign of how UCL cares about its student community.
LIBER and LERU - working together for European universities
LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) and LERU (League of European Research Universities) are two European organisations with which UCL Library Services is closely associated. LIBER acts to represent the views and aspirations of over 400 academic and research libraries in Europe. I have just finished my 4-year term as President of LIBER, and can say that the Association has developed a role for promoting cutting-edge developments in library and information services, particularly in the digital arena. Working through Steering Committees, LIBER has made significant contributions in the field of Open Access and research data management.
LIBER has also developed a strong lobbying position with the bodies of the European Union, particularly the Commission. The subject which LIBER has taken up is the theme of copyright reform. In March 2014, the European Commission ended a Consultation on copyright reform which resulted in 11,000 responses - a huge number. The issue on which LIBER has lobbied hard is the need for an Exception in European copyright frameworks to support Text and Data Mining. In a digital world, it is essential for researchers to have easy access to content, and to be able to mine it to make new discoveries and linkages between different sorts of data. LIBER believes that the right to read is the right to mine. Rightsholders are often less open, and would seek to dress the act of TDM in a series of limiting separate licences or other restrictions.
2014 has therefore been a vigorous time for lobbying members of the European Commission on copyright reform, and some success was achieved in Summer 2014 when the Directorate General Internal Market refrained from issuing a White Paper on copyright reform, which would have been less than helpful to researchers. The new Commission is now sworn in, with new Commissioners in place. They have already announced that copyright reform is one of the top issues they want to deal with. LIBER is holding an invitation-only seminar in The Hague in December, which I have been honoured to be asked to chair, the output from which will be a Declaration on Text and Data Mining, open for signatures from stakeholders across the globe.
LERU is an organisation of 21 research-intensive universities which, among other things, lobbies the bodies of the European Union in the interest of universities and their students. Detailed work is undertaken in Communities, and I have the honour to chair the LERU Community of Chief Information Officers.
In January 2014, we launched the LERU Roadmap for Research Data, which is an attempt to help universities grapple with the challenges of research data management. The Roadmap is helping influence the way UCL is developing its infrastructure and services, and is identifying a role for UCL Library Services in this undertaking. During the year, I have also assisted Professor David Price (Vice-Provost, Research, UCL) in his work with LERU in the Community for Vice-Rectors (Research) on Science 2.0, or Open Science. The Commission issued a Consultation document on this issue, and is currently organising a series of Consultation Workshops before identifying Next Steps in 2015. The LERU response agreed that Open Access to publications and research data management were key components of Science 2.0. LERU's submission to the Commission will help guide the development of policies and services in this area in UCL in the months and years ahead.
LIBER and LERU together form a powerful coalition which is immensely useful to UCL and to UCL Library Services in tackling agendas such as Open Access, Open Data and copyright reform at a European level. Lobbying the bodies of the European Union is essential in order to win support for the position and views of universities in Europe. This is why LIBER and LERU are valuable - they do just that.
by Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Services
Special Collections News
Online Advent Calendar
Season's greetings from the staff at UCL Special Collections to all our readers and supporters! Following its success last year, and with many thanks to our colleagues in Web Support for the technical design, we have again produced an online advent calendar for you to enjoy.
This year the calendar introduces our treasures, with a different image for each day of advent and links for those who want to explore further. From 1 December treasures can be revealed.
Celebration of 500th anniversary of Renaissance physician, Andreas Vesalius
Two of our copies contain a couple of sheets, originally printed separately from the book, with instructions in Latin to cut out the anatomical parts of one and fold and attach them to the anatomical figure of the other. Very unusually (since modern librarians are not in the habit of cutting up C16th books), in our third copy the instructions have at some time been followed and the book contains the resulting Renaissance pop-up anatomy teaching tool, the folding parts strengthened on the back by once unwanted parchment documents.
Over the years, UCL Special Collections has built a reputation for helping to train the paper conservators of the future, offering conservation experience to those both within and outside UCL through the inspiring guidance of Preservation Librarian Fred Bearman and our Conservator Angela Warren-Thomas, who has developed expertise in creating facsimiles for Special Collections' expanding exhibitions programme. Bringing these specialisms together, and in collaboration with professional early-book photographer Ian Jones, we have embarked on an unusual project. One of last year's conservation graduates from Camberwell College of Arts has undertaken the challenge of making a scale 3-D model of the Renaissance pop-up. Her work will be displayed in the Cruciform exhibition to be launched in the new year, alongside a lavishly illustrated English translation of Vesalius' work specially acquired to enable students to follow the author's text without needing fluent Latin. We hope the exhibition will be a fitting 500th birthday tribute to the great Renaissance physician.
Innovations in research-based learning
We are a very small team for such extensive collections, and resources are especially challenged now that our collections are in temporary storage. Unusually, and proudly, UCL makes its Special Collections available to all students, but one of the issues that our Enquiries Team often faces is guiding untrained student researchers within our limited resources. To add to the challenge, we are finding, in line with published research on the institutional impact of digitising collections, that the more we digitise, the more demand we receive from readers wanting to consult the originals.
In my role managing our teaching and research support, I have been trying to find ways of solving these problems. One approach is to improve the research skills of students at a very early stage in their academic careers through our Special Collections teaching programme, so that those who come to us as individual student and post-doctoral readers in the future will already be trained in professional primary-materials research, and bibliographic and handling skills, both relieving pressure on the Enquiries Team and resulting in more fruitful research.
This term, together with Fred Bearman, I have run a full programme of classes, lectures and seminars for several hundred students, and this will be extended, later this term and next, through a series of student research modules run by a range of departments and based on items from the collections, expanding last year's successful programme. Last year, every first-year Physics, Maths and Engineering undergraduate saw the first edition of Newton's Principia; this year it was the turn of the first-year English undergraduates to have a hands-on introduction to the collections. More specialist sessions ranged from professional handling and preservation training for Digital Humanities and Libraries and Archives MA students, to in-depth classes for specialist courses such as the Shakespeare MA students, who learn to use our emblem-book collection to interpret imagery in Shakespeare, and to identify forgeries in our Shakespeare archive. We're hoping that projects by Geography and BASc undergraduates later in the year will result in some exciting work. Aside from improvement in research skills, the vast majority of students' feedback comments express their excitement at encountering original manuscripts, early books and archives for the first time, and we hope that experience will inspire many of them to continue their research in the future.
Some of the treasures of Special Collections can be seen in the following exhibitions:
8th November 2014 to 8th February 2015
- At First Sight: Lombroso's Camera
Teylers Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands. An exhibition on perceptions and scientific approaches to beliefs in stereotypes of people's characters as shown in their physiognomy, with especial links to criminology.
- Main Library, Wilkins Building: Art and Honour: Contemporary Impressions of WWI
- Octagon Gallery, Wilkins Building: Solutions: Exploring The Influence Of Science And Technology On Prostate Cancer
- Main Library, Wilkins Building: Queen of the Sciences: A Celebration of Numbers & the London Mathematical Society
- Octagon Gallery, Wilkins Building: An exhibition on the number 8, from octavo books to octaves in music
- Cruciform Hub, Gower Street: An exhibition on the history of medical education, from Vesalius to Carswell and beyond.
by Tabitha Tuckett Rare-Books Librarian
Recent Projects on the Library Estate
The sound of building works resonated again in Summer 2014, with spectacular results for the new academic year. Here are some of the highlights.
We have had excellent reaction from users to the innovative new teaching and learning spaces in the Cruciform Hub, which opened its doors in September. This major refurbishment brought together the previously separate medical library, computer cluster and seminar rooms on the lower ground floor of the Grade II listed building. It has delivered a new integrated space tailored to the learning, teaching and study requirements of UCL Medical School.
The versatile computer cluster provides e-learning and teaching space, and can be extended to accommodate large groups. Audio-visual equipment for group and collaborative study projects is integrated into the new seminar rooms, study pods and work rooms.
Key to the success of this redevelopment project was the engagement of students throughout the design process. We hope to carry this collaborative approach in future hub developments for other faculties at UCL.
A new contemporary design, and a new home for the Bartlett Library this Summer, as the library and collections moved into the ground floor of Central House.
The new Library provides a range of quiet and group working areas, along with a bookable group working room with integrated AV.
The rather stylish design by Hawkins/Brown reflects the Bartlett's requirement for a modern research library. In addition to formal study space, a shared student/staff kitchenette area serves as a tea point and break space from studies. Short loan materials are now accessible to everyone through a dedicated self-service area. Some additional work is being planned for 2015, to enhance the Library service area and to increase the number of study spaces available in Central House.
Graduate Hub extension
A cluster of nine high-spec computer workstations was added in the extension of the Graduate Hub in the South Wing. A new door from the cluster into the Hub's kitchen area, gives easy access to hot food and drink preparation facilities, and a relaxation space.
As construction works continue across campus to transform UCL, some areas of the Main Library will be affected by noisy works in neighbouring areas. In order to maintain the availability of quiet study space, we are working on a new study space, the UCL Senate House Hub. From March 2015, this new Hub will provide 142 study seats for UCL staff and students, and will be fitted with high quality furniture and a range of Desktop@UCL workstations. A number of bookable group working spaces with AV equipment will be also available.
by Ben Meunier, Assistant Director, Public Services
Medieval Manuscript Fragments
UCL Special Collections, in collaboration with the Centre for Digital Humanities and the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, has recently undertaken an exciting new project to catalogue and digitise our collection of medieval manuscript fragments. There are around 150 fragments in the collection, the first of which were bought at an auction in Bonn in the 1920s by then Professor of German, Robert Priebsch. Apart from a handful of items catalogued in the 1930s, until this project began they had never been fully described and are generally unknown by the wider community. The fragments are primarily from liturgical texts including missals, breviaries, psalters, bibles and biblical commentaries, but also include fragments of philosophical tracts and popular medieval textbooks including the Codex Justinianus and Graecismus. Images of the fragments are being added to our digital repository.
Complete descriptions of all the fragments (including those currently digitised) can be found in our UCL Archives collection.
But why are they fragments? Pieces of medieval and early modern manuscripts on parchment can often be found inside the binding of printed works. This was a method of recycling and was common practice between the medieval period and the 17th century, when manuscripts superseded by printed editions were sold to printers and bookbinders. Medieval manuscripts are visually appealing and parchment was robust but expensive, so manuscripts were recycled for use as decorative covers and endpapers, or to reinforce the binding of new printed works. The early provenance of our fragments is obscure, but we can see from the pattern of damage to the leaves that most of them must have been used as pastedowns or outer coverings. The origins of some can be traced to Germany, particularly the music fragments which have distinctive musical notation. The three examples below show how Western musical notation has evolved over time.
The first two examples are from noted missals. A missal is a book that contains the texts of the services for Mass for the whole year, and a noted missal includes the musical annotations for the sung portions of the Mass.
One of our oldest fragments, this is a single parchment leaf. Probably created in the early part of the 11th century in Western Germany, it includes musical notation in a good example of Germanic neumes. These are the single or joined strokes above the words in the second section of text, which is a canticle from the Book of Daniel, beginning: "Benedictus es domine deus patrum nostrorum et Laudabilis et gloriosus in secula". Neumes mark the general shape of the melody but not necessarily the exact rhythm or pitch, and can be relative to each other. They probably served more as an aide-memoire to a singer who already knew the melody. The text itself is for Mass on the days after Pentecost, probably Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost, followed by the Octave of Pentecost itself on the verso. It is written in a Caroline minuscule script in brown ink and the large initials and rubrics were originally red, but the pigment has mostly broken down resulting in a purple sheen.
This fragment features text interspersed with chants and music in two columns. The musical notation is a German Gothic 'hufnagel' style, so called because it resembles the nail of a horseshoe, or hufnagel. Instead of simple neumes above the words, by the 13th century most Western music was written on a stave. This was an important development as it maintained a constant pitch relative to the stave lines instead of relying on knowing the pitch of the previous note. The example here shows a 4-line stave with the line for F marked in red and C in yellow. The text itself appears to be for Mass on Palm Sunday and the sung portion is a responsory from John 11: "Collegerunt pontifices et Pharysei concilium et dicebant...". The fold line across the middle shows that the leaf was probably turned sideways and bound into another work; tiny holes at intervals along the fold denote the sewing stations.
This is a leaf from an antiphonal (also called an antiphonary or antiphoner). Antiphons are short verses sung by one choir to another as a call and response. The text on this fragment consists of antiphons to be sung at Mass on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The music is a Bohemian rhomboid notation, possibly originating in Prague, and is drawn on a 5-line stave ruled in red. In this example C is marked at the edge of the stave at the start of each line. This is important because the notes are not fixed to the same position on the stave in every line of music, as in modern notation; in the example here sometimes C is the top line and sometimes it is lower. This fragment was clearly recycled as a cover, probably for an octavo sized volume. The fold lines and neatly trimmed edges show how it was folded around the wooden boards.
by Katy Makin, Project Archivist
Queen Square News
An exhibition highlighting the treatment of war-related psychogenic disorders at the National Hospital, as well as the wider impact of the War on the Hospital's work and staff is currently on display at Queen Square Library until early December 2014. Material in the exhibition has been selected from the extensive collection of case notes held in the Archive, as well as photographs and literature from and about the period. See the exhibition handout on the Queen Square Archives website for further details.
As part of Explore your Archive national campaign week November 10-14 2014, Queen Square Archives held an open day on 12th November.
This provided an opportunity for staff and students in the Square to handle original case notes of some of the most eminent people in the history of neurology, and read how patients and conditions in their specialty were treated in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Around 50 people attended. Please see Queen Square Archives website for further details of the Archives collections.
Digitised rare books
Queen Square Library is contributing to UCL Libraries' participation in the UK Medical Heritage Library digitisation project. Over 400 of our Rare Books have been digitised by the Wellcome and most and are already online as part of the UCL library collection as well as in the Wellcome digital library and the Internet Archive.
We have also added digitised versions of the National Hospital reports up to 1947, plus some additional Board of Management minutes. The IoN Annual reports are also online. These are also searchable online via the Queen Square Archives website, either across documents, or within individual documents.
by Sarah Lawson, Librarian UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square Library
Uncovering UCL's Jewish Pamphlet Collections
This Summer saw the start of an exciting project to uncover a hidden treasure in UCL Special Collections: the Jewish pamphlets.
The first phase of the project involves cataloguing some 4,000 pamphlets from the Mocatta and De Sola collections. These collections formed part of the Mocatta Library, which was jointly founded by UCL and the Jewish Historical Society of England in 1906, after the philanthropist and bibliophile Frederic David Mocatta left his vast library to the Society. Mocatta's collection was enriched by other donations and purchases in the early 20th century, becoming one of the finest and most comprehensive Jewish Studies libraries in the United Kingdom. Tragically, the library was destroyed by bombing in 1940; only the rarest books, pamphlets and manuscripts survived, having been moved to Wales for safekeeping.
However, the library was quickly re-constituted through donations from many individuals and organisations, including the Jewish collections of the Guildhall Library, and the extensive libraries of the journalist Asher Myers and the American scholar Cyrus Adler. It continued to be enlarged after the war; notable additions to the pamphlet collection came from the libraries of the historian Albert Hyamson and the Canadian rabbi Aaron David Meldola de Sola. The Mocatta Library was merged with UCL's other Jewish collections in 1990.
The pamphlet collection covers a wide range of subjects throughout the field of Jewish Studies, particularly Anglo-Jewish history, Zionism and liturgy. The pamphlets date from 1601 onwards, and are in English, Hebrew, German and a number of other languages. Many of them are held in very few libraries, while some are extremely rare.
Detailed records for each pamphlet will be available to researchers and the general public via Explore, and the material can be requested for teaching or research by contacting UCL Special Collections. A conservation survey is also being undertaken, which will enable us to identify whether conservation work is required, so that the pamphlets (which by their nature tend to be fragile) can be preserved for future use. In 2015, there will be a small exhibition to showcase some of the most interesting items from the collection.
Nearly 1400 items have already been catalogued. These mostly date from the 19th century and come from the collections of the Guildhall Library, Asher Myers, Albert Hyamson, Claude Montefiore (scholar and founder of Liberal Judaism), and the Duke of Sussex. They relate to various subjects including the Anglo-Jewish community, anti-semitism, missionary activities focused on Jews, and Jewish communities in 19th century Palestine. Notable items include:
Circular letter and prospectus for the promotion of agriculture, and the establishment of a soup house in Jerusalem signed by Michael Boaz Israel. London: Vallentine, 1853 (Mocatta Bound Pamphlets 37/13). Michael Boaz Israel was the Jewish name of Warder Cresson, who was born in Philadelphia to a prominent Quaker family in 1798. Cresson, who became convinced that the second coming was near and that he would be nearer to God in Jerusalem, was commissioned as the first U.S. consul at Jerusalem in 1844. Almost immediately after he bade farewell to his wife and set sail for Jerusalem, his commission was recalled on the grounds of his insanity. Cresson remained in Jerusalem for four years and in 1848 he converted to Judaism. On his return to Philadelphia he was declared insane by a court, but successfully appealed against the decision. He returned to Jerusalem (as Michael Boaz Israel) where he undertook propaganda campaigns against Christian missionary groups and sought to relieve the distress of the destitute Jews in Jerusalem by the establishment of agricultural colonies.
Marr dem Zweiten [i.e. Moritz von Reymond]. Jeiteles teutonicus : Harfenklänge aus dem vermauschelten Deutschland. Bern: Rudolph Costenoble, 1879 (Mocatta Bound Pamphlets 25/8). Jeiteles teutonicus is a made-up Latin term; broadly speaking, the sub-title refers to harp sounds from a 'Judaified' Germany, the implication being a Germany dominated by Jews. The pamphlet includes negative caricatures in the form of parodies and cartoons of notable 19th century Jews and parliamentarians from Germany and beyond, such as Rothschild and Lord Beaconsfield.
by Vanessa Freedman, Dalia Maoz-Michaels and Peter Salinger