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Readers' Newsletter

Number 3 (April 1996)


New Reader's Tickets

At 10.00 a.pm. on Thursday, 7 March the first new-style Reader's Ticket was issued to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Williams. Already, hundreds of the new tickets have been issued and the system has proved to be much more reliable and efficient than the old Polaroid system.

For the time being, undergraduates and research students should continue to use their existing tickets up to the expiry date. All other readers are invited to change their tickets at their convenience, even if they have not expired. (Senior Members of the University may make appointments with the Admissions Office, telephone (3)33084.)

The new ticket has the advantage of having the Photocopy Charge Card built into it, so you only need to carry one card instead of two. And should you leave your new 'photocopy-card' in a machine, it has your name on it, so it can be returned to you.

Readers are asked to take care of their tickets and, in particular, not to leave them in the photocopying machines, where they could be used by others.

John Reynolds, Head of the Library's Admissions Office, produces the Vice-Chancellor's new ticket

Electronic Journals in Cambridge

The Higher Education Funding Councils have negotiated a UK Pilot Site Licence Initiative with certain UK academic publishers. Agreements currently exist for the publications of Academic Press and Blackwells/Blackwells Science. For librarians in HEFCE-funded institutions in Cambridge, this means that paper journals included in the agreement will be available at a large discount. Librarians who wish to take advantage of the substantial savings should contact their subscription agents.

Equally exciting, the journals covered by these agreements will also be available electronically in HEFCE-funded institutions in Cambridge. The University Library and its three dependent libraries, the Squire Law, Medical and Scientific Periodicals Libraries, will all be making access to these journals, where appropriate, available in their IT areas. The initial batch of journals from Academic Press will be made available under the acronym IDEAL - the International Digital Electronic Access Library, which is an Internet-based service providing access to all Academic Press journal titles. Users of IDEAL are able to browse and search the tables of contents and abstracts, and download the full text version of any paper of interest. Currently, 174 journal titles from Academic Press are available under this agreement.

Use of the electronic texts will be possible from individuals' own desktops. A World-Wide Web browser such as Netscape or enhanced Mosaic is required to access IDEAL and view abstracts and tables of contents. Any browser that supports forms and password authentication will be suitable and almost all recent browsers have this capability. For the full text of articles, which are in Adobe Acrobat portable document format, a free Acrobat reader is required. Articles can be downloaded and printed for private study; photocopying of these downloaded articles for use in study packs is also allowed.

Users will require user names and passwords to access IDEAL. At the time of writing, these are being despatched from the publisher. News of their availability will be published in the University Library's WWW pages at URL http://www.cam.ac.uk/Libraries/News/. Access to all 174 electronic journals will be available in the University Library and the dependent libraries as soon as possible. The co-ordinator of the development in Cambridge is Michael Wilson, Librarian, Scientific Periodicals Library (e-mail: mlw1003@cus.cam.ac.uk). Please direct any comments to him or to Paul Ayris, Head of IT Services, Cambridge University Library (e- mail: pa@ula.cam.ac.uk).

New developments in electronic information services

The University Library has recently added more major bibliographical data-bases to its range of electronic resources.

The first new service is Medline via the Library's newly-launched ERL Service, installed with the co-operation of the Computing Service. The ERL Service utilises SilverPlatter's ERL (Electronic Reference Library) technology to support a local server platform capable of providing networked access to SilverPlatter databases. Medline, the leading biomedical database, has hitherto been available within the University through a series of locally-mounted CD-ROM services, and via mediated searching of the Medline database on external hosts, but the ERL Service now supplies it for the first time as a networked service across the University. The Service offers free access to the full Medline database (1966 - ) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for users of PC, Mac and Unix workstations with a TCP/IP connection to Cambridge University Data Network. As an interim measure, the Service utilises an external ERL server at University College London until the Cambridge ERL server becomes operational in the near future.

For further information, see the Library's Web page at http://www.cam.ac.uk/Libraries/ERL/, or contact any of the following:

The University Library is also pleased to introduce EDINA BIOSIS, providing menu driven access to the BIOSIS Previews database. BIOSIS Previews (the online equivalent of Biological Abstracts) is the key abstracting tool for researchers in the life sciences. EDINA BIOSIS provides access to bibliographical information and abstracts of articles from journals, conference proceedings, meetings, reports and book chapters from 1985 to the present.

Access to EDINA BIOSIS is free of charge but password controlled, and readers will have to register for the service. Registration forms and further information are available in the first instance from Michael Wilson, Scientific Periodicals Library, e-mail: mlw 1003@cus.cam.ac.uk

The growth of database services that are free to the end-user has prompted the Library Syndicate to review its policy of charging users who require mediated searching of databases. Accordingly, it has resolved to abolish most charges for mediated searches. From 1 May 1996, basic access to databases, whether online or in-house, whether mediated or searched by the end-user, will be available to Library users at no charge. Certain exceptions will apply in special circumstances, where a charge may be necessary to control excessive demand or to provide something which exceeds the basic free service.

Chadwyck-Healey donation to the University Library

The University Library will receive a donation of £25,000 over the next five years from Chadwyck-Healey Limited, a major electronic publisher in the humanities and social sciences for the international academic community and its libraries. This donation will be used to enhance the Library's IT facilities.

On 8 March Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by the Chancellor, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, opened the new Law Faculty Building. Her Majesty is seen above, meeting Roy Welbourn, Deputy Librarian of the University Library who is flanked by (left to right) Peter Fox, University Librarian, and David Wills and Peter Zawada of the Squire Law Library

Library acquires the papers of Hans Keller

The University Library recently acquired a substantial collection of the papers and private library of the eminent musician and writer Hans Keller (1919-1985) thanks to a generous donation by his widow, Milein Cosman. The collection contains books on music and psychology, printed scores, and many privately reproduced copies of unpublished music. There are a few musical manuscripts including the originals of his own series of 'Functional analyses' of individual works by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. The papers comprise his research notes, manuscripts and typescripts of his numerous broadcast talks, articles and programme notes and a large body of correspondence. The collection is represented in the current exhibition of 'Recent Accessions'.

Charles Darwin's letters: a selection

In the words of Stephen Jay Gould, the letters of Charles Darwin represent 'one of the great dramas of western history': a towering figure in the history of science, Darwin changed the direction of modern evolutionary thought by establishing the basis of evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin's letters: a selection 1825-1859 provides a fascinating glimpse into Darwin's work and family life, from his early years at Edinburgh University to the publication of the Origin of species in 1859. The letters cover the most eventful period of Darwin's life, and include his letters home during the voyage on the Beagle. The dialogue of the letters illuminates Darwin's subsequent findings which led to the formulation of his theory of natural selection, and also reveal details of his daily concerns and interactions with friends and family.

This selection of letters, edited by Frederick Burkhardt and produced by the staff of the Darwin Correspondence Project, is drawn from the first seven volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. The Project was set up in 1974 by the late Sydney Smith and by Burkhardt, and is directed by him from Bennington, Vermont, with a staff of seven working at Cambridge University Library. The Darwin archive, part of the manuscripts collection at the Library, contains the world's largest deposit of Darwin material. In addition to many books from Darwin's own library and copious notes and manuscripts, the archive also contains almost 10,000 letters, both to and from Darwin. They constitute approximately two- thirds of the total known extant correspondence.

Working with the original manuscripts and with xeroxes of letters in other institutions around the world, the editors aim to produce the definitive edition of both sides of Darwin's correspondence, complete with extensive critical apparatus. The edition has been described as a work of 'magisterial scholarship': nine out of a projected total of thirty-three volumes of the Correspondence have already been published by Cambridge University Press, and volume ten (covering the year 1862) is currently in production.

The aim is to complete the edition by 2009, the bicentenary of Darwin's birth. In the meantime, the Selection is a collection accessible to general readers as well as students of the period, offering fresh insight into the life of one of the nineteenth century's most influential scientists.

Charles Darwin's letters: a selection 1825-1859, edited by Frederick Burkhardt, is published by Cambridge University Press at £14.95.

For further information contact Dr J. Topham on (3)33008, e-mail: darjrt@ula.cam.ac.uk

[A letter
to John Stevens Henslow]
Extract from a letter to John Stevens Henslow, Professor of Botany at Cambridge

Proposal for the extension of legal deposit

The British Library has recently submitted to the Department of National Heritage a proposal for the extension of legal deposit to non-print publications.

The proposal has been prepared by a working party chaired by Sir Anthony Kenny, Chairman of the British Library Board. The other five legal deposit libraries were represented on the working party by Cambridge's Librarian, Peter Fox. The proposal calls for new legislation to enforce the comprehensive legal deposit of publications not already covered by the current UK system of legislation. This at present does not apply to microform publications, electronic publications or any other publications produced in non-print form, films or sound recordings.

Manuscripts Department Home Page

The Library's Department of Manuscripts has mounted 47 files, which give an overview of the Library's holdings (URL: http://www.cam.ac.uk/Libraries/MSS/). There are, for example, details of the holdings of the University Archives, the Library's collection of medieval manuscripts and of named collections such as the Ely Diocesan Records, Rutherford Papers, Spencer Perceval Correspondence and Buxton Papers. E-mail contact points, at the foot of each page, allow the enquirer to e- mail members of staff directly with a more detailed enquiry. Further pages will be added later in the year. If you have any enquiries about these developments, please contact Paul Ayris, Head of IT Services (e-mail: pa@ula.cam.ac.uk).

Book thief apprehended

The vigilance of a member of the University Library's staff in noticing a similarity of handwriting and style with which a call slip had been completed led to the arrest of a reader on 21 January 1994 for the theft of a collection of material from the University Library. Further police investigations revealed that the same reader who used the name Paul Nelson in Cambridge had also, under a variety of names, stolen items from other libraries, including the British Library, estimated at a total value of £110,000. 'Mr Nelson' was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court in October last year and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. In his sentencing remarks the judge referred to 'Mr Nelson's' many previous convictions for theft going back over twenty years.

Soviet General Staff maps series

The governments of many countries have at various times regarded maps as highly sensitive and secret documents, and the Soviet Union was for most of its existence a notable example of this attitude. Since the lifting of the iron curtain the map series produced by the Soviet General Staff has become accessible to western scholars for the first time, and the University Library Map Department is obtaining substantial parts of it as funds permit. Covering much of Russia, China and many other countries within the former communist sphere of influence, the maps, at the scale of 1:200,000 (roughly three miles to one inch), far exceed in quality and detail anything previously held in the Library for these regions of the world, and demand for them is already growing rapidly. Formerly closed areas of Russia, such as Magadan on the Pacific coast of Siberia, centre of one of the Soviet Union's most notorious penal colonies, are revealed as never before.

Magadan and surrounding area

Food and drink in the Library

Despite the persistence this year of wintry weather, the courtyard gardens will soon begin to attract readers into them; they are a pleasant, open air alternative to the Tea Room as a place to take a break from work.

The gardens are for the benefit of all working in the Library and it is recognised that readers may on occasion wish to have a sandwich and a drink in the gardens rather than the Tea Room. In this case, readers are reminded that they may take into the gardens only sealed drinks and wrapped food and that food and drink may not be consumed elsewhere in the Library.

Aoi Pavilion

Building work on the Aoi Pavilion is expected to start this term. The Pavilion, to be built at the west end of the Anderson Room, will house the Library's East Asian collections. Its construction will mean that there will no longer be vehicular access between the front of the Library and the service entrance and staff car park, although pedestrian access to the Library's service entrance will still be possible from the front of the building. A new access route for Library staff and delivery vehicles will be built onto Grange Road and then work on the Pavilion itself will begin. Disruption will be kept to a minimum, but it is inevitable that there will be some disturbance during the noisy phases of the work, particularly to users of the South Wing. Work is expected to be completed at the end of 1997.

Annual Report of the Library Syndicate

The latest report, for 1994-95, reviews the Library's activities in the fields of collection building, processing of stock and reader services, as well as discussing some of the major policy issues affecting the Library. Copies are available free of charge from the Librarian's Office on the Fourth Floor (telephone (3)33046).

The Friends of Cambridge University Library

Forthcoming meeting - Easter Term 1996

Saturday, 25 May 1996 at 11.30 in the Meeting Room (coffee will be served at 11.00)

Mr Adrian Miller and Mrs Vanessa Lacey
'The Greensleeves Project'

A chance to catch up on news of the Library's major retrospective conversion project, launched in 1994.

Current and forthcoming exhibitions (Main Library)

In the Exhibition Corridor (outside the main Reading Room)

Recent Accessions
3 April - 29 June

Commonwealth connections and collections
1 July - 14 September

In the Entrance Hall

Scanderbeg - national hero of Albania: books from a private collection
10 April - 20 May

Greek tragedy in Cambridge
23 May - 13 July


If you have any questions, please e-mail library@ula.cam.ac.uk

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