CULIB - Cambridge University Libraries Information Bulletin

ISSN 0307 7284    Edited by Kathryn McKee, Aidan Baker, Mary Kattuman and Kate Arhel

Issue 58, Lent 2006: Library benefactors



All who attended the magnificent Cambridge Illuminations exhibition in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the University Library recently will be aware that many libraries can trace their origins to collections of priceless books and manuscripts inherited from other and earlier foundations. One of the functions of a library is to offer sanctuary to such materials as well as promoting their wider use and appreciation; our Cambridge academic libraries have been richly endowed in this respect and remind us that the wealth we enjoy is a gift to be cherished and bequeathed to others. Benefactors are perennial and their contributions take many forms. In this issue, Tim Eggington and Anna Pensaert celebrate the life-long enthusiasm of their subjects for the institutions and fields of study that commemorate them and bear their names. Alison Wilson reminds us that benefactors are not only donors of books and manuscripts but are also people who have involved themselves energetically in every aspect of library development, from publicity and fundraising to building bookshelves, repairing bindings, accessioning and cataloguing.

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Dame Rosemary Murray The Rosemary Murray Library was named to mark the eightieth birthday of New Hall's first President. It was a highly appropriate choice, for among her many duties as Tutor-in-Charge of the new foundation for women begun in 1954, Rosemary Murray had found time to accession and catalogue hundreds of books, not to mention erecting steel shelving to accommodate them. In later years when bookbinding became one of her main hobbies, she did most of the library's book repairs. This was typical of her hands-on approach to running a college.

The Library began in an outhouse. New Hall had taken a lease on "The Hermitage", a building on the corner of Silver Street and Newnham Road which was only just big enough for the first fifteen students, consequently the books had to be stored in a rather pokey room across the yard and read elsewhere. Dame Rosemary Murray and her Deputy, Robin Hammond, in The Hermitage Dame Rosemary recalled that she and her deputy, Robin Hammond, both former Fellows of Girton, went to consult the Librarian, Helen McMorran, on running a library. For the first ten years New Hall had no librarian, and the leather-bound accession registers and the catalogue cards are mostly in the handwriting of the two Tutors.

All the early books were donations, made in response to an appeal, which sensibly stated that books not wanted could be sold for the benefit of the library. There was strong support for New Hall from the great and the good of Cambridge, not just at the outset but throughout its development into a full college. Donors recorded include E.M.W. Tillyard, Henry Chadwick, David Daiches, Denis Brogan, E.M. Forster and Edwin and Willa Muir. Academic women were particularly keen to help the cause: Muriel Bradbrook, Helen Cam, Alison Fairlie, Margaret Meade, Anna Bidder and Greta Burkill (who had been one of the first to campaign for a third foundation for women) were all contributors. The appeal also went beyond Cambridge, bringing a response from Bedford College London, the University of Birmingham and St. Paul's Girls' School, which gave books from the library of Miss Strudwick, a famous Headmistress. In an interview with the Guardian, Miss Hammond cannily mentioned that New Hall still lacked the O.E.D. and D.N.B. Almost immediately a cheque came from a reader to buy these "essential items".

New Hall site on Huntingdon Road The heterogeneous collection was very much humanities based, with little for the scientists. This was only slowly remedied by purchases. College libraries at that time were seen as supplementary, rather than libraries of first resort. Nevertheless, in the plans drawn up for New Hall's site on Huntingdon Road, a large Library featured along with the Hall and Common Rooms as part of the essential nucleus of a college. The architects' brief required it to hold 50,000 books and have a small office for the Librarian.

To the chosen architects, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, the unspecific brief offered free rein to design an ultra-modern structure using experimental materials. It is now much admired as an innovative "sixties" building and has been listed. Interior of library showing staircase The barrel-vaulted roof, which appears so massive from the outside, is made of thin pre-formed concrete sections, held together by tensioned cables and resting on four internal pillars. The most striking feature is the central staircase, in two sections, the upper one made deliberately narrower and steeper to create a trompe l'œil effect of height.

Clearly some sort of "gradus ad parnassum" symbolism is intended. Anyone who studies the Library will realise that functionality is sacrificed to aesthetics, but the architects were highly successful in creating a studious, even inspiring, atmosphere, and their arrangement of alternating book bays and reading bays is a very practical one. Fairly late on came the sensible plan to use the basement of the Library for student rooms until it expanded sufficiently to need the space. This "temporary" arrangement lasted for thirty years.

In 1964, with the move to the new building pending, New Hall appointed its first professional librarian, Sarah Newman. By that time books had spread to one of the hostels and two major collections awaited cataloguing, a bequest from J.B. Leishman, an Oxford don, and the books of the Bullough family in Cambridge (including volumes which had belonged to Eleanora Duse, the Italian actress). Faced by a mountain of packing cases, Sarah decided to maintain the existing Dewey classification scheme and arrange the books in roughly ascending order, History (900s) being on the top gallery. The Rosemary Murray Library card catalogue A very large card catalogue was bought and duplicate borrowing slips provided for filing in two sequences. All was in order for the Queen Mother's visit to open the buildings in June 1965, and she signed the Visitors' Book in the Library.

During Sarah's 25-year tenure there were many more important donations, notably the library of the National Union of Women Teachers, which provided the foundation of our popular Women's Collection. It became a tradition for Fellows and alumnae to give or bequeath books. Sarah secured a part-time assistant to help with the growing number of acquisitions and borrowers. When Angela Heap became Librarian in 1989 the collection had grown to nearly 40,000 volumes and a bequest of more than 2,000 Classics books from former Fellow Elizabeth Rawson had arrived. The Library was fast running out of space, and for the first time poached a room in the basement, but there was no prospect of taking over the whole floor, so Angela devised a plan to fit more shelving into the main library. By this time loans had increased so much that it took hours to file the slips, and the termly recall was dreaded by the librarians! Automation was clearly the answer, and a library management system was selected, only for the purchase to be postponed as more pressing financial needs arose.

Angela lobbied hard for automation and acquiring the basement, and it was thanks to her that both came about after I took over in 1993. Initially I was granted one computer and the Heritage cataloguing software. Good luck brought me two excellent volunteers, both now successful librarians, and occasional part-timers to help with retrospective conversion. I was also able to appoint our first Graduate Trainee in 1995. My five-year plan for completing recon and introducing self-service borrowing came in on time, thanks to many dedicated staff. Meanwhile the college raised the money for a new accommodation block and was able to release the basement. The architects had envisaged it as a stack, but the expansion of the college to over 400 students meant that we needed more reader places as well as a bigger office and a computer suite. I drew up the plans, oversaw the building work and launched an appeal to house the Rawson books in a comfortable reading area at one end. Dame Rosemary Murray opened this in 1996. A further annexation of rooms to provide an IT Resource Centre was completed in 2001, financed in part by a legacy from Sarah Newman.

Dame Rosemary Murray and Prince Philip Thousands of books were redistributed to populate the basement and ease the over-crowding on the ground floor. Essential internal pointing in 1997 necessitated a further major book move on the galleries, and the opportunity was taken to rationalise the sequence of classes. At the beginning of Michaelmas Term 2001, just as we thought that building work and disruption were over in the Library, ominous cracks appeared halfway along the vault. Engineers were called in, we were told to evacuate the building and a serious structural fault (the fraying of the post-tensioned cable holding the roof together) was diagnosed. We then suffered two years of repairs, managing to keep a reasonable service going with scaffolding inside and outside, further book moves and the usual dust and noise. Some of the benefits have been a much warmer Library, thanks to new insulation, better ceiling lighting and a comprehensive fire alarm system. My personal highlights were climbing up the ladders to walk on the Library roof, and meeting Prince Philip when he visited the refurbished college in 2003.

The Rosemary Murray Library from Fountain Court The Rosemary Murray Library has had quite an eventful time in its first fifty years, moving from outhouse to Grade 2 listed building, from 0 to 60,000 books, from card catalogue to Union catalogue. It would be fascinating to know what the next fifty years will bring.

Alison Wilson
Rosemary Murray Library, New Hall

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The name Robert Whipple is inextricably linked with the history not only of Cambridge University's Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, but even with the history of the discipline itself. Following a lifelong interest in the history of science, Whipple is now best remembered for his donation of his collection of antique scientific instruments and rare books to Cambridge University in 1944. Consisting of 1,000 instruments and 1,389 books this gift formed the foundation collections for what would subsequently be the Library and Museum of the Department of the History Philosophy of Science. It was around these collections that over the next 40 years the history and philosophy of science as an academic discipline in Cambridge was built.

Through his donation, Whipple had initially intended to instigate simply the establishment of a science museum to act as "a cultural accessory to modern research". After an initial exhibition held in the East Room of the Old Schools to mark its official presentation in November of 1944, space constraints made it necessary to put Whipple's collections into storage. It was not until 1951 that Whipple's initial aspiration came to fruition with the opening of a science museum in Corn Exchange Street. The growing collection of instruments finally moved to its present home, the old Perse School hall in 1959. In 1973–75 whilst extensive work was undertaken to restore the Perse Hall to its original form, a library was created for the then new Department of History and Philosophy of Science. For this, Whipple's collection of rare books relating to science formed the foundation collection. With the Whipple Library and the Whipple Museum now sited in adjacent rooms it was finally possible for students and visitors to combine essential sources for research in the history of science.

Whipple's career relating to the world of scientific instruments began in 1888 with an eight-year period as an assistant at Kew Observatory, followed by a further period as assistant manager at the scientific instrument manufacturer of L.P. Casella. Following this Whipple moved to Cambridge to become in 1898 the private assistant of Horace Darwin (son of Charles Darwin), who in 1881 had founded the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company (CSIC). Although Whipple is known to have matriculated at Trinity College Cambridge in 1899 he never proceeded to a degree. It was however at CSIC where Whipple's career flourished, his enthusiasm for scientific instruments and business flair resulting in promotion to the post of joint managing director (1909) and after that, chairman. This was a propitious time for the manufacture of scientific instruments owing to the demands of the military, prior to and during The First World War. Whipple remained in his post as managing director of CSIC until 1935, after that continuing to play an active part in the company.

Both during his working career and after, Whipple played an active part in a number of science organisations. In particular, he was involved in the foundation in 1944 of the British Society for the History of Science, becoming its vice president in 1953. Although it cannot be stated with certainty when Whipple's interest in rare scientific books and instruments began, extant notebooks kept by Whipple as accessions registers reveal that he began collecting in earnest in the 1920s. His principal interest here was early scientific instruments and books illustrating their construction and use. As might be expected of an important businessman, Whipple appears not to have favoured shopping around antiquarian bookshops. Rather he acquired wholesale consignments from a number of prominent antiquarian dealers. As a book collector Whipple was concerned with the subject matter of his books rather than fine bindings. Books cover a range of subjects from medieval instruments for astronomical observations to early twentieth-century industrial technology. A large proportion of the books in Whipple's collection predate 1800, and some of them date back to the beginnings of printing. A significant number of his books have fascinating provenances, previous owners including names such as Newton, Boyle and Flamsteed.

Later in life Whipple stated "I little thought when I bought an old telescope, for the sum of 10 francs from an antique shop in Tours in 1913, that I was embarking on the slippery slope of collecting." He would no doubt also have been surprised to know the renown this outstanding collection would achieve, and the central part it would subsequently play in the emergence of the history of science in Cambridge as an academic discipline.

Article based principally on research undertaken by Silvia De Renzi which can be read on the Whipple Library website and in her book: Instruments in print: books from the Whipple collection. An exhibition curated by Silvia De Renzi, November 2000–June 2001. (Cambridge: Whipple Museum of the History of Science, 2000). To order a copy, please contact the Whipple Library.

See also the entry for Robert Whipple in Oxford DNB.

Tim Eggington
Whipple Library

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Founded in 1929, the Pendlebury Library of Music is named after Richard Pendlebury, MA, (1847–1902), who during his lifetime donated many gifts of books both to his College (St. John's) and the University. One such gift consisted of a significant collection of musical scores. Bestowed to the University in 1880, this precipitated the foundation of the Cambridge Music Faculty Library.

Born in Liverpool, Richard Pendlebury was principally a mathematician, although he also had great interest in mountaineering, music, classics and book collecting. Although at school he had shown particular promise in both maths and music, it was the former that became his subject and career, whilst the latter remained a recreational interest throughout his life.

In 1866 he enrolled as a student in St. John's College where he became Senior Wrangler, Fellow of the College, as well as University Lecturer in Mathematics. Extremely well read, book collecting constituted a highly significant aspect of his activities throughout his life. His collection of mathematical books, now held at St. John's College Library, is extremely impressive, including treatises of famous mathematicians and covering the history of mathematics from ancient times to his own day. It also covers related disciplines such as astronomy. From his collections and his meticulously kept alphabetical catalogues, much can be learnt about Richard Pendlebury, as both "man and mathematician". Indeed, the catalogues contain not only numerous entries relating to mathematics, but also to the other varied interests in his life.

It has been noted, for example, that Richard Pendlebury, despite problems with his eyesight, was a fearless explorer who tackled the Alps and conquered many mountains. In his travel diaries, some of which have been retained at St. John's, he refers to "the steepness of slopes and trickiness of rock formations and glaciers" and of the Tiroler Zillerthal as "one of the most delightful valleys in the Alps".

However, it is his passion for music that interests us here, and in particular the crucial role it played in the establishment and development of what is now the Pendlebury Library of Music. As a performing musician, Richard Pendlebury was actively involved in Cambridge musical life. It is this aspect that is most strongly reflected in his music collecting. Although general works on music history do form part of his collections, his main interest lies in performing and performance material. Scores tend to be orchestral and chamber music of 18th- and 19th-century composers. Interestingly, some of the scores he copied out by hand. They contain music of composers such as Spohr, Carl Maria von Weber, Prout, Pleyel, Hummel, Vieuxtemps, Moscheles, Molique and Dussek. Although these are now held at the University Library, they originally formed part of the collections that in 1880 started their journey through Cambridge libraries to become the core collection of the Music Faculty Library, now known as The Pendlebury Library of Music.

So what exactly happened? "In 1880 Mr. Pendlebury presented one hundred volumes of printed music to the Museum, and, in each of the nine years following, continued to present the same number. After that period he made yearly gifts of varying numbers of volumes. His latest contributions came into the Library within a very few days of his death. The collection which the Museum owes to the unwearied generosity of this single benefactor consists of about two thousand bound volumes. It comprises not only the best collective editions of the works of all the great musicians, together with a large mass of miscellaneous vocal and instrumental music, but also the best Musical Dictionaries, Histories, and other works of reference. Considered merely with reference to its pecuniary value, this gift ranks high among the possessions of the Museum, while it may fairly be said that no benefaction received by the institution since its foundation rivals in the extent of its general utility that for which we have to thank the unselfish care of Mr. Pendlebury." (From the Cambridge University Reporter, 6 May 1902 – statement sent to the Vice-Chancellor in May by the Director Dr. M.R. James.)

So it came to be that in 1880 a collection of music found its way to the Fitzwilliam Museum, thanks to the generosity of Richard Pendlebury. Unique for Cambridge was that from 1882 onwards, the collection became available for borrowing. The collection remained in the Fitzwilliam Museum until 1925, when it was transferred to the University Library. There however, it was apparently not put to much use and is reputed to have even stayed unpacked until Professor Dent took the initiative to move the collection to the Music Faculty. The fact that the collection was supposed to be borrowable has been said to lie at the basis of these relocations – a library was needed where easy access could be provided. In 1929 the collection was officially entrusted to the Music Faculty and became "The Pendlebury Library of Music".

Charles Cudworth, the first Music Faculty Librarian, started working from this core collection and, no doubt encouraged by Professor Dent and the Music Faculty, turned it into a fully functioning Faculty Library where it stayed complete until 1994, when all archive collections and manuscripts (including the ones originally part of the Pendlebury gift) were transferred to the University Library. However, as far as printed music is concerned, the collection of Richard Pendlebury can still be consulted at the Music Faculty, although most of it is, for obvious historical reasons, no longer borrowable.

With thanks to St John's College Library for access to Richard Pendlebury's papers. The information obtained from them is used by permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, Cambridge.

Anna Pensaert
Pendlebury Library

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CULIB is mainly for library staff, but this article is directed at visitors. Hello there; good to see you. We hope you found us all right.

So you want to do some good by a library. That is very much appreciated. We hope that this article, indeed this whole issue, will give you some idea of how to set about it.

Gifts to libraries are usually either in funding or in kind: kind being books, journals, films, manuscripts, space, time… Giving time – working as a volunteer – would mean having to accept the librarian as your boss for the duration. The next issue of CULIB – on the contribution volunteers can make in libraries – will go into that question in a lot more detail, and so I'm not going to talk about it now. Giving space would depend on your having premises available that happen to coincide with the needs of a particular library, and the odds are stacked against that. So this article concentrates on the gifts that come most readily – the fungible things, like books, journals, and funding.

Funding is always welcome – especially if it is unconditional funding, to be spent at the discretion of the librarian. Though, of course, if you do have conditions on how the money should be spent, we are happy to discuss them with you, and honour them once they've been agreed upon.

As to gifts in kind – best is if you are presenting the library with a copy of a publication that you know is going to get a lot of use. Maybe you are a lecturer, and have prescribed the book for your students. Maybe the book is your own. Well done.

The Haddon Library takes a lot of ex-review copies of books. These are donated by journals, and indeed by individual reviewers, who have a link to the library, and are very popular. We catalogue new books etc. on arrival, before we classify them, and, while they are in the classification queue, the ex-review copies get frequent requests from readers for us to fast-track them.

So, if you are a reviewer or a journal editor, and have review copies of books or other publications hanging around, then they would be well worth offering to a library. Even if these are the ones that didn't get reviewed, the library#39s users still seem eager to have them.

However. I am coming to the difficult part of any dialogue between librarians and donors. We can't get away for long, I'm afraid, from this fact of life: that the books, journals, CDs etc. you are offering to the library are – let's face it – the ones that you yourself do not want. It is not 100% certain that the library and its users will want them any more than you do. A famous study in the 1980s established that books donated to libraries received about a quarter as much use as the books that the library had chosen to buy (Diodato & Diodato 19831).

There are ways through this problem.

One is, if you could make a list of what you are offering, and discuss that with the librarian concerned. If you're offering a large collection, perhaps the librarian could come round and have a look at it. The list will let them gauge the suitability of the offer, and get some idea of whether they have copies already.

There are also one or two rules of thumb about the kind of offering that is likeliest to go down well. It depends on the library, obviously. But we can probably say that – along with the things I've already mentioned, such as money, and prescribed reading, and the intellectual products of people attached to the institution served by the library – the following types of gifts are likeliest to please:

  • publications produced by recognized research institutions working in fields that the library specializes in
  • publications in collections, gathered over a lifetime by recognized contributors to that field
  • publications bearing directly on, and further augmenting, existing holdings in the principal subject areas of the library

And – well, yes, there are also some types of gift to libraries that are less likely to give pleasure. If I tell you about them now, then perhaps it will shorten the work of drawing up the list of things you're offering.

  • "fringe" publications. There can be no watertight definition of this category. The librarian might have to consult experts as to how far a work's idiosyncrasy is outweighed by the value of its contribution to the field.
  • publications in a language that the library doesn't collect in. This, again, cannot be a watertight thing, but it's worth finding out if the library has a policy on language.
  • publications whose accession, preservation and/or storage might require expenditure beyond the capacity of the library's budget. In such cases, an accompanying offer of financial support would be very welcome…
  • loose offprints
  • short, broken runs of journals (unless these exactly match gaps in the library's existing holdings of the same titles)
  • publications produced by government agencies not directly involved in the library's field
  • gifts in an inappropriate genre or form. For instance, a scientific library is unlikely to have much call for fiction, humour, drama, verse and so on. Or the library might not have the resources for dealing with some types of material, such as manuscripts or photographs.

But the main point is this. Librarians are very grateful to you for taking an interest in their libraries, and they want to hear from you. And, if your special interest is in donating to any of Cambridge University's libraries, the Cambridge University Development Office would be very pleased to hear from you too:

Aidan Baker
Haddon Library

1.Diodato, Louise W. & Virgil P. Diodato. 1983. "The use of gifts in a medium sized academic library", Collection Management 5, 53–71.

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Damaged book cupboards The Career Development Group (CDG) is a small charity and its international aim is to support members of the Group in gaining a better understanding of international issues. Specific areas of activity, including providing support for the developing world and overseas members and promoting international understanding in the profession, are periodically undertaken. CDG also fundraises for specific projects, providing appropriate means of support in response to LIS emergency or development needs. Money for International Projects comes exclusively from voluntary donations requested at library visits and similar events organised throughout the country, as well as fundraising initiatives such as sponsored walks.

CDG International was first contacted by Premila Gamage, coordinator of the project initiated by the Sri Lanka Library Association (SLLA) to rehabilitate some of the libraries destroyed by the Tsunami, back in April. She was seeking financial assistance to present a poster at the IFLA Conference in Oslo last summer.

CDG International decided to collaborate with the SLLA Project by organising a stop-over in London for Premila to present her poster in London. As CDG International Officer, I arranged one week's free accommodation through the ILIG/CDG Host Directory, as well as various professional visits, including some Cambridge libraries – which Joanna Ball kindly organised.

At an event on 24th August, Premila delivered a presentation illustrating the damage caused by the Tsunami, and examining the success of a project initiated by the SLLA to develop a few model libraries in the affected areas in the Southern and North-Eastern areas of the island.

We learnt that after the disaster, which affected over 300 libraries, top priority was given by relief agencies to provide basic needs and restore the livelihoods of affected people. In this context, the losses suffered by libraries received little attention. However, the belief that enabling readers to return to their libraries can help, both psychologically and practically, to cope with post-tsunami uncertainty and get back to normality prompted the SLLA to launch a rebuilding project.

The SLLA decided to look on the tsunami disaster not as a terrible end, but as a new beginning, focusing on developing a few selected libraries, which were of special interest to SLLA members, rather than spreading resources too thin and thereby diluting their efficacy.

The long-term objective of the project is to guide and assist these libraries to function as model libraries, taking the opportunity not only to rebuild, but also to develop them so that they are in the position to play positive roles in the Government's ambitious plans to establish an e-Lanka. The model libraries will also provide other libraries in the regions with awareness of what a modern library could offer, taking into account audio visual materials and IT and new professional practices.

After assessing the damage, the types of reader communities they serve and their geographical coverage, four libraries were identified to kick start the project, with the idea to incorporate more libraries as and when funds would become available.

CDG International became the sponsor of a fifth library, donating £1,000 for the reconstruction of Rathagama Sirisumana Primary School Library, which started on 1st September. After building repairs were completed, the library received a computer with accessories and a considerable number of books selected from the lists provided by students and teachers at the school.

A CDG member visited the project in October, reporting that the children were enthusiastic readers of the materials they have received and very appreciative of CDG support.

Maria Cotera
Hon. International Officer, Career Development Group

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At IFLA's World Library and Information Congress I attended a Plenary given by the National Librarian of Sri Lanka. My interest in the Tsunami was, at this stage, mainly academic, as research and lectures about the cause and effects of the Tsunami have been key features in the Earth Sciences Department this year. The plenary was different; we heard stories of disaster and courage, and lives altered and changed forever. If I had to point to a single story or example that sparked in me a desire to help, it would have to be this one:

One of the University librarians in Sri Lanka lost his daughter in the Tsunami. His village also lost their public library. The librarian has turned his daughter's room into a makeshift children's library in order to provide books for the children who are still alive in his village.

It was this story and the photograph of the little girl's room with the books surrounding her father that contributed to the inspiration of suggesting to CLG that we support a library rehabilitation project in Sri Lanka. Following the decision by CLG to support a project, contact was made with Premila Gamage of the Sri Lanka Library Association who proposed the following project to rebuild a Tsunami affected Library in Sri Lanka.

Sudhrama School, Megalle Galle SLLA Project: Rehabilitation of Sudhrama Maha Vidyalaya (School Library)
The Sudhrama Maha Vidyalaya is a mixed school, which has classes up to General Certificate of Advanced Level in science, commerce and arts streams. The School has around 1,043 students, ranging in age from 6 to 19 years old.

Project description
Since the school is situated along the coastal belt in the outer limits of Galle town about 150–200m. from the sea it has been considerably affected by the recent tsunami. Many students of this school died in the Tsunami. As the main library is not affected much, the principal is very much interested in developing the primary library. Although the library building has not been totally damaged, only needing minor repairs, the resources have been almost completely destroyed. The Project aims at developing this school library as a model library (information centre) by way of implementing the following actions:

  • Refurbishing the library (minor repairs, colour wash, provide furniture, etc.
  • Collection development including books, periodicals & AV materials
  • Provide a computer with necessary accessories
  • Training the librarian in managing the rebuilt library
  • Automating the library functions and providing training in using IT

The long-term objective will be to guide and assist this library to function as a modern library using ICT.

The cost of the project will be about £3,000 with the SLLA contributing extra funds for training and support. CLG have decided that their aim is to raise as much of this money as possible by July 2006. Donations are welcome at any time in support of this cause. We are hoping that a visit by a member of CLG to the school will be possible.

The total raised so far as we go to press is £1,100. Special thanks to the Chaplaincy at Great St Mary's, who donated the retiring collection from the University Staff Christmas Carol Service to the fund-raising effort.

Libby Tilley
Librarian, Earth Sciences Department

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The Cambridge College Libraries' Forum (CCLF) Ebooks project was launched on 25th January. It represents extensive cooperation between College Libraries and the wider university, and this article describes the sometimes uneven, but always rewarding, development of the scheme.

Electronic books offered an attractive way to provide extra textbooks without any need for shelf space. Even more appealing was the possibility of a CCLF consortium being able to negotiate advantageous deals with ebook providers. That is how the project began, but it has led into other diverting avenues, particularly to do with emerging patterns of teaching and study. There will be more on that below, after a resume of the past year's events.

Firstly, we needed to find out what was available. Two suppliers were invited to describe their products at a half day seminar that was held in March at St John's College. A librarian from UCL also attended to relate her experience of providing ebooks. The seminar was a sell-out, and we were delighted that Departmental librarians as well as CCLF colleagues came along. Our speakers outlined two completely different methods of marketing ebooks. Briefly, Netlibrary, which was subsequently invited to tender for the CCLF, charges according to the books supplied, while Dawsons, which is a major print supplier to Cambridge libraries, offered a very versatile package but also required installation of a costly "platform" as a precondition for supplying the titles. For both companies, the charge per book varied and reflected arrangements with publishers. UCL use a range of ebook resources that, for funding reasons, were mostly confined to scientific subjects, and we heard how this multi-site ebook operation is monitored and managed.

The seminar was followed up by a survey of interest in ebooks amongst College librarians that indicated a majority in favour of taking things further. The project team, which by now comprised six members, identified three major issues to address, including the suitability of available titles, funding and means of access. The range of etextbooks seemed disappointingly limited, but we were able to identify enough titles to justify going ahead with the pilot and more can be added through negotiation between suppliers and publishers. Funding was boosted by the generosity of a St John's alumnus, Professor Aliber. His donation, together with contributions from each of the Colleges represented by the project team,obviated any need to appeal for funds from librarians whose annual budgets had already been set. Support from the staff at the University Library and Computing Services, has afforded access to ebooks to be made to every member of the University.

At present, we have contracted links to 118 electronic textbooks. These are available without a password from any cam domain IP address, with Raven allowing external access. Netlibrary, our supplier, also gives us single point access to an additional 3,000 freely available titles. When a reader finds all ecopies of a chosen title are in use, s/he can request email notification when one becomes free. Readers can download text (within any copyright restrictions) and can personalise their accounts to be able to make electronic notes. The scheme will last until January 2007, during which time it will be monitored and evaluated. Consideration of its future management will be crucial if, as seems likely, it proves successful.

The pilot reflects the cooperation and hard work of colleagues keen to adapt any resource to the benefit of readers. Our students are IT literate and have grown up with the World Wide Web and Google. Printed material remains essential to the study of many subjects, but online research is regarded as normal and in some subjects, including engineering and medicine, there are "interactive" ebooks that allow students to work through problems online. Universities across the world are developing learning packages that require online contact rather than access to a single institution, and while there may be a danger of "spoonfeeding" students, and making it all too easy to ignore primary sources, it would be short-sighted to ignore the huge benefits attaching to innovative electronic formats.

Karen Begg
Queen's College Library

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I started playing the French horn when I was 11. When I was younger, I had learnt to play the recorder, and I wanted to progress to what I considered a proper instrument. The music teacher warned me that there was a long waiting list for woodwind instruments, and suggested I try a brass one instead. They happened to have a French horn available.

A brass teacher came in to the school once a week, and gave me lessons. I got as far as Grade 6. When I left school, I decided that, even though I probably wouldn't have any more lessons, I didn't want to give up playing.

I joined the Cambridge Concert Orchestra at the beginning of 2000, and again, after a couple of years away at Aberystwyth, in 2003. The orchestra has 40–50 members, who are all amateurs. Females outnumber males – except in the brass section, where there are three males to every female. The age range is 20–80, and everyone is very friendly.

The conductor, Suzanne Dexter-Mills, has been with the orchestra since 2001. She is enthusiastic and knows how to get the best from us. Most of the serious work is done during the first part of the rehearsal, generally orchestral section by orchestral section. The second, shorter part of the rehearsal will often involve reading through some piece of music for the first time. We aim to finish promptly, and then a few members go to the pub.

Our aim is to take live music to people who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to hear it. We do about nine concerts a year, many of them in care homes. The audiences seem to enjoy the concerts – but some of the homes have limited space for 40+ musicians and their stands! We also play in larger venues such as churches and community centres. My favourite concert so far was in an aircraft hangar, for Marshall's open day last year.

We keep the music varied, so that every member of the audience should enjoy at least something. Last term's repertoire included the St Louis Blues, excerpts from The sound of music, Gabriel's oboe from the film The mission, Grieg's Symphonic dances, Bondland (a selection of music from the Bond films) and an arrangement of Three blind mice. We will normally take a term's repertoire to more than one concert, but, as the audiences are different, that isn't a problem.

The orchestra has amassed a large library of music over the years, and we lend scores to other orchestras. Librarians who are not musicians will be concerned to hear that we are encouraged to mark our music in pencil. This helps us remember what the conductor has told us – but pencil marks from earlier players, if they are still on the music, can be distracting.

The orchestra's website is at If you are thinking of joining, I should warn you that there are waiting lists for several instruments.

Stella Morley
Haddon Library

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The Haddon Library is running a poetry competition to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The competition is for poems inspired by the phrase "remains all too human".

For further details ring Aidan Baker on 01223 333506, or see the Haddon's website:

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Alice Hine has moved from the Union Catalogue support team to become Senior Library Assistant at Divinity. The Faculty has also welcomed Anastasia Nezhentseva, formerly Peter Fox's Secretary at the UL, as an Administrative Assistant.

Clare College is pleased to welcome Miriam Leonard, who will be completing the Lipstein Law Reading Room reclassification project on a part-time basis, fitting this around her existing post at Queens'.

Diane FitzMaurice moved from the Marshall Library to Trinity Hall in November to take up a position as Library Assistant and is already a much valued member of staff. She has made a start on a major project to re-classify the law section using the Moys classification scheme. Susanne Jennings continues her part-time work in the library and is helping with the cataloguing of new stock, with special responsibility for the theology section.

Gonville and Caius welcomes Owen Massey to the post of Assistant Librarian (Cataloguing). Owen is fresh from completing a four year cataloguing project at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Pam Trebilcock, Pembroke College (cataloguing project), is undertaking a challenging trek in the Himalayas at the end of October. It is a charity challenge to raise money for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. She will be paying for the trek herself, so all money raised will benefit the charity directly. Any offers of support would be very welcome.

After 22 years as the Archivist and Museum Curator at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Bob Headland has decided to step down in order to spend more time on his research and lecturing activities. At the time of writing, he is on board ship in the South Atlantic. He will remain attached to the Institute as an Honorary Associate. Bob's fames include his radio broadcasts of material from the Scott Archive, and his having been imprisoned by Argentine forces during the Falklands War. The Institute has taken on Naomi Boneham as an Archives Assistant; she has worked there before, in a JISC-funded project to put the Archive's pre-1982 records on the national Archives Hub.

Helen Krarup has retired from the Radzinowicz Criminology Library, after many years. At the time of writing, she is enjoying a long holiday in Australia.

At the Marshall, two part-timers have moved on. Sue Woodshas moved up into the place left by Diane FitzMaurice on her departure to Trinity Hall, and her own place has been taken by Yusuf Askin. Silva Ule has moved from the Marshall to the Seeley, just a stone's throw away. Boyd Nolan Spradbury has stepped into Silva's old Marshall job now.

And still on the Sidgwick Site, Tanya Zhimbiev has the post of Chief Library Assistant. We congratulate Tanya also on winning her ACLIP qualification. Her old job at the Haddon Library has been taken by Tom Hawthorn.

The University Library lost one of its two Deputy Librarians when David Hall took early retirement at the end of September. David plans to devote more time to his research into Quaker history and his hobbies of ecclesiastical architecture, stamp and book collecting. Cynthia Webster also retired in the autumn from her post in Technical Maintenance and was replaced at the beginning of December by Richard Hardy, the Library's first full-time Buildings Services Officer who also takes over responsibility for health and safety in the UL and Dependent Libraries. Richard has many years' experience in building services management and worked previously for the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research.

Changes in Collection Development and Description at the UL include the departure of electronic and AV materials expert Carole Smith from English Collections. Carole and her husband have bought a house in York and are now enjoying the cultural advantages of living in the North. Helen Gray left in February to take up an accountancy post in the Engineering Department, a change of profession after nearly twenty years in cataloguing and accessions. English Collections welcomed Penny Granger, formerly of Lucy Cavendish Library, to fill a half-time post, while European Collections welcomed Richard Short, until recently a full-time Ph.D. student at Harvard, and Teresa Sanchez, previously working as a volunteer in Honduras. Daniel Davies replaced Yasmin Faghihi as Arabic and Hebrew specialist during Yasmin's maternity leave.

Charles Echols joined Electronic Services & Systems in October to provide reader assistance in the Digital Resources Area. Robin James took over as Deputy Head of Periodicals during the temporary absence of Sonja van Montfort, whose daughter Keira was born in December, while Chris Bell took on Robin's post of Deputy in Legal Deposit. The Music Department welcomed Laura Davey as a volunteer cataloguer at the end of October; Laura previously held a fixed-term lectureship in the Music Faculty and has worked for some time as a free-lance copy editor. Edward Cheese also began work as a volunteer in the Bindery in the New Year.

Christopher Jones, Sarah Durand and Nancy Ross joined Imaging Services in the autumn to staff a major project at Corpus Christi, the aim of which is to digitize the whole of the Parker Library. They will be based at Corpus for the whole term of their contracts.

John Hall retired from the post of Deputy Head of Rare Books at the UL at the end of January after a long career spanning many changes in cataloguing practice and procedure. John's expertise and scholarship will still be available to us, however, as he will continue working in Special Collections as a volunteer. He joins his wife Valerie, formerly the UL's French specialist and now also a volunteer, in going that extra mile on behalf of the library community.

This year's Munby Fellow is Giuliano Di Bacco, who is doing research into medieval musical treatises. Kathleen Lane came back to the UL in October to assist part-time with the Darwin Correspondence Project, while continuing with her work on a project at UEA. Isla Kuhn, formerly Outreach Librarian with Leicester University Clinical Services Library, joined the staff of the Medical Library in September as Reader Services Librarian.

Apologies to Jane Tienne for mis-spelling her name in the print version of CULIB issue 57.

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