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Readers' Newsletter

Number 4 (October 1996)



The appearance of the fourth number of the Readers' Newsletter coincides with the start of a new academic year, and we take the opportunity to extend a particularly warm welcome to all our new readers. If you have any comments on the style or content of the Newsletter please send them to the editor, Ray Scrivens, at the University Library (e-mail address: rs@ula.cam.ac.uk).

Music Manuscripts Cataloguing Project at the University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum

Virginal Book]
Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Courtesy of the Fitzwilliam Museum

The collections of music manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum and University Library are of international importance and contain a wealth of material relating to all periods of music history. The music manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum are particularly outstanding and the collection has at its core that of the Museum's founder, Richard 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam, an avid collector of music manuscripts and early printed music.

The Museum's collection includes the Metz Pontifical and a large collection of illuminated manuscripts. The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (ca. 1625) contains one of the finest collections of late-fifteenth and early sixteenth century English keyboard music while Lord Cherbury's lute book is an important source of English and French lute music. Of particular interest to musicologists is the collection of Handel autograph manuscripts, many of which correlate with manuscripts housed in the British Library. The Handel autograph manuscripts are complemented by a large collection of copies in the hand of various amanuenses, the majority of which form the Barrett Leonard collection housed in the famous 'Handel bookcase'.

The holdings of the University Library include a wealth of liturgical music of which the 'Dublin troper' (ca. 1390) is the most notable. The 'Cambridge lute manuscripts' (ca. 1600) represent the most important single source of English lute music not least because they contain almost half of the extant music for the period. Other holdings include autograph manuscripts by composers such as Peter Warlock and James Hook; manuscripts by composers with strong Cambridge connections include Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Cyril Bradley Rootham.

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford entered Queens' College as a choral scholar before becoming organist at Trinity College and subsequently conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society. His international reputation as a composer led to many prestigious appointments, including the chair of music at Cambridge. Cyril Bradley Rootham read classics and music at St John's College, later becoming Fellow of the College as well as lecturer in music and conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society.

The Music Manuscripts Cataloguing Project at the University Library and Fitzwilliam Museum has been made possible as part of the funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for specialised research collections in the humanities. The aim of the project is to make a catalogue of the holdings of each institution available to readers online via the Library's Main Catalogue and the Internet. The project is particularly important given that no fully comprehensive printed catalogue of music manuscripts for either institution has been produced since the last century. Many descriptions of music manuscripts are therefore inadequate by modern standards. Records are structured in such a way that they can readily be transferred to or incorporated into other databases and union catalogues, including other catalogues of the Library's manuscript collections.

Cataloguing work on the holdings of the Fitzwilliam Museum will begin towards the end of 1996. All the records so far completed for the University Library have been added to the Main Catalogue and are now available to anyone with access to the computer catalogue or the Internet. Information about the Music Manuscripts Project will also be circulated to the National Register of Archives and to other major repositories.

Meanwhile, reader response has been positive and an increase in use of these collections has already been noted. Demand is expected to increase in future as more scholars, both within and outside Cambridge become aware that descriptions of music manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the University Library are available online.

New developments in electronic information services

Since the third issue of the Readers' Newsletter there have been a number of important developments in the range of electronic services now available to users.

IT workstations have been installed on six floors of the North Wing (NW1-NW6) giving access to the CD-ROM and dataset titles currently available in the IT Resources Area.

The University Library has just taken delivery of the Mathsci dataset. Mathsci is the main bibliographical index used by mathematicians when searching for academic papers in their chosen subject. This dataset is now available via the central ERL server in the Computing Service. The service is run by the University Library and is freely available to all users in Cambridge in the CAM domain.

The University Library is also subscribing to the NISS NetFirst database of online resources on the Internet. NetFirst is OCLC's directory of online resources and is a port of first call for all those looking for academic resources on the Internet. IDs and passwords are required to use the service, and these are available from Reader Services in the Main Library or in any of the three dependent libraries - the Scientific Periodicals Library, the Squire Law Library and the University Medical Library.

The University Library has recently added three titles to its collection of datasets in the arts and humanities. These titles are available at workstations in the IT Resources Area. The titles are: The Bible in English, The World of Shakespeare Bibliography and the International Medieval Bibliography.

The University Library, in conjunction with the University Computing Service, sponsored an IT Training Week for Cambridge librarians during the period 19-23 August. 306 librarians attended 10 half-day sessions. The large number of attenders marks the commitment of Cambridge University Library, and of all libraries in Cambridge, to graft IT resources into the conventional pattern of library provision to help users with their teaching and research.

If you have any questions on any of these developments, please do not hesitate to contact Paul Ayris, Head of IT Services, on (3)33037 (e-mail: pa@ula.cam.ac.uk).

ESTC and Wing records added to the University Library's catalogues

49,940 records from the Eighteenth Century Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC) have just been loaded into the University Library's Interim Catalogue. The ESTC is a union catalogue of books printed between 1701 and 1800 in the British Isles and British colonies in any language, plus books in English printed anywhere else (and has been available for some years on CD-ROM and microfiche). The records now loaded into the Interim Catalogue are all those in which Cambridge University Library is included in the list of locations.

The records include our classmarks but not locations at other libraries. The descriptions are detailed, but include some unusual features; there is usually only one author heading, and no subject headings. Additional headings will be provided as the records are upgraded for the Main Catalogue.

Another recent addition to the Interim Catalogue is about 42,000 records for microfilms of books listed in Wing's 'Short-title catalogue' of books printed in the British Isles and British America, or in English in other countries, between 1641 and 1700: these are records for a substantial part, but not all, of the series of microfilms of these books published by University Microfilms. They are detailed records for the microfilms only (not for our copies of the originals, when we have them). As in the case of the ESTC records, work is progressing on upgrading the Wing records for inclusion in the Library's Main Online Catalogue.

Award for Library's caterers

For the second year running the University Centre catering section in the University Library has won the Heartbeat Award. This is a prestigious award given by Cambridge City Council Environmental Health Office.

Readers' Handbook

In October 1995 the Library issued a new series of loose-leaf sheets to form the Readers' Handbook. Since then a few of the sheets have been revised (1: Introduction to the Library, 4: Reading Rooms and staff with particular responsibilities, 6: Introduction to other libraries in Cambridge, and some of the guides to the reading rooms) and the following new leaflets are now available:
7:	Open shelf books and their locations
8:	Brief history of the Library
9:	Library profile
C5:	Photographic Service price guide
C6:	Access to CURL libraries
D4:	Taylor Schechter Genizah Collection
D5:	University Archives
D6:	Oriental collections
D7:	Medieval manuscripts
D8:	Business archives
D9:	Doctoral dissertations
D10:	Ecclesiastical archives
D11:	Scientific manuscripts
D13:	Oriental manuscripts
E1:	Transliteration tables: Cyrillic
E2:	Transliteration tables: Greek
E5:	Transliteration tables: South Asian scripts
and other leaflets are in preparation.

Sheets D7 - D13 are available only in the Manuscripts Reading Room; the others are in the display case in the Catalogue Room. Readers may like to update their copy of the Handbook by adding these new sheets to the binder. The binders to hold this series are available at the Borrowing Desk, price 50p.

£450,000 bequest

Over £450,000 has been left to the University Library in the will of the late Dorothea Oschinsky. Dr Oschinsky, Reader in Palaeography at the University of Liverpool until her retirement, left her birthplace, Silesia, in the 1930s and was a research student during the war at LSE, then evacuated to Cambridge. She discovered the University Library, 'one of the supreme experiences of her new life' (in the words of her obituary), and was a regular reader for the next fifty years. Such was her gratitude that she left almost her entire estate to the Library. An 'Oschinsky Fund' has been established and, at her request, it will be used to support research in medieval history, either by the purchase of manuscripts or secondary materials or by other means such as exhibitions and a series of 'Oschinsky Lectures'.

Filling the gaps

Many readers probably think of the Library's intake of books primarily in terms of recent publications, the sort of material which is to be found each week on the display of newly catalogued items. They may be rather less aware of the many acquisitions of older material which are added on a regular basis to the Library's collections, and which because of their age tend to be placed on closed access. Additions to the Library's German holdings over recent months reflect the diversity of means by which such material is obtained - transfer, donation and antiquarian purchase - and provide a good illustration of the co-operative efforts which take place within Cambridge.

Faculty and departmental libraries are all required by the University Ordinances to offer non-duplicate material to the University Library when discarding stock, and the material thus acquired significantly enhances the Library's holdings. An important collection of German legal books, for example, which was part of the library of a former Whewell Professor of International Law, was acquired as a transfer from the Institute of Criminology. There are several hundred volumes in the collection, mostly nineteenth century titles dealing with German criminal law and procedure. Cataloguing began early in the New Year, and has been facilitated by the recruitment to the staff of a German librarian with a legal background, who has provided invaluable expertise in the assigning of subject headings.

Other recent transfers include dozens of German titles from the Department of Zoology and from the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, while Sidney Sussex and St Catharine's have both presented small collections of German literary texts. Still awaiting cataloguing is a large collection of economic and historical material given by Downing College from the bequest of Dr W.O. Henderson, which includes sixteen bound volumes of pamphlets on general German economic history, nine volumes on German colonies and a further eight on the German Customs Union.

However, it is not only libraries within Cambridge which have added to the Library's collections. German reunification caused major reorganisation of academic libraries in the former GDR, resulting in widespread disposal of East German publications. This enabled us to acquire a good deal of material to complement existing holdings, and in particular to fill gaps in some incomplete runs of periodicals. Ten large parcels of periodicals and monographs were recently sent to Cambridge by the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek in Jena, and the Universität Halle and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have also donated monographs on East German local history, and dissertations on literary, historical and economic topics.

[Dichtung und
Title page of volume one of Goethe's Dichtung und Wahrheit

The degree to which donations from individual benefactors enrich the Library's collections is not always fully appreciated. The Library's current strength owes a great deal to the generosity of earlier generations of users, and the tradition still continues. Cataloguing has just been completed of approximately five hundred titles from the library of Professor Leonard Forster, consisting mainly of post-war German literature and with a particular emphasis on Swiss literature and on works of parody. A small collection of German art books from the 1920s and 1930s has also just been processed, part of a bequest from a regular reader who left her entire estate to the Library as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation. Another bequest, in memory of the translator Ralph Manheim, has provided the funding to buy contemporary German literature and a number of literary translations. An outstanding periodical donation last year was a set of the rare Junge Kirche, which gives valuable source material on the relations between church and state in Germany in the 1930s, and to which the donor had subscribed from the first issue in 1933 until the outbreak of war.

The antiquarian and second-hand catalogues which flood into the Library each week are so numerous that staff can hope to process only a certain proportion of them. Checking these catalogues against our holdings is a time-consuming activity, and given the remarkable expansion in the Library's special collections over the past two decades, there are now many more subject strengths on which to build than was the case twenty years ago. This diversity in subject coverage is reflected in recent German antiquarian purchasing, which has included the history of science and mathematics, the Thirty Years' War (a strength of the Acton library), the Jesuits, eighteenth and nineteenth century German philosophy, and the history of psychology and psychiatry. Particular attention has been given to the acquisition of works by Goethe, and a first edition of his autobiography Dichtung und Wahrheit was recently presented by the Friends of the Library.

For the past twenty-five years the Library has systematically built up its collections of Nazi and anti-Nazi literature. What could be bought very cheaply in 1970 is now becoming prohibitively expensive, but material is still added regularly to the special class CCA and CCC 26. A complete run of the periodical Sozialistische Tribüne, edited by Willy Brandt whilst in exile in Sweden and of which some issues were only produced in six hundred copies, was a particularly noteworthy addition to this collection. Our original set of illustrated volumes from the Insel-Bücherei was presented fifteen years ago by Hans Schmoller in memory of his parents, who died in the Holocaust. Many more titles, both new and second-hand, have subsequently been added, but over the past eighteen months there has been a particularly marked expansion in the collection, which now includes both illustrated and non-illustrated titles.

This pattern of German language acquisition is, of course, only offered as an example of library collection development which is common to all language groups.

It is most important to remember that these new acquisitions are now being added only to the Main (online) Catalogue, regardless of the date of publication. When searching for a book published in the 1730s or the 1930s it is no longer sufficient to search in the guardbook catalogue alone. Pre-1978 publications may still only represent a small percentage of entries in the Main Catalogue, but the cataloguing of new stock as detailed above, coupled with the other cataloguing projects described in Readers' Newsletter No.1, means that the balance is shifting rapidly.

Surfing a Dead Sea Scroll

[Dr De Lacey]
Dr Douglas De Lacey views a Genizah manuscript

If you are surfing the Internet and reach the University Library pages, you will see images of some outstanding manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries. They are among the first ancient materials to be put on the World Wide Web so that researchers all over the world can study them.

The documents are just a few of those in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection, held in the University Library, a priceless collection of 140,000 fragments, mostly about 1,000 years old. Their discovery one hundred years ago has transformed our understanding of Hebrew and Jewish history. The fragments include everyday items - medical prescriptions, school books, marriage contracts, letters - and important religious material, including what is known as 'The First Dead Sea Scroll'. They tell a tale of life in the Middle East, even describing clashes between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Using the World Wide Web to show rare or fragile historical sources opens up a whole new area of Internet scholarship. A researcher in New York could look at a high-quality image of an ancient fragment and set out his thoughts, while a colleague in Jerusalem could reply online or download images to study in depth. Researchers no longer have to travel to see a real document, saving research costs, and over the years this could protect delicate fragments from over-handling. It also means that references to a particular topic could be listed and searched, and translations accessed instantly.

Dr Stefan Reif, Director of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at the University Library, explains:

'This is an extremely important collection of documents and it is vital that we investigate the opportunities that the information super-highway offers. Here in Cambridge we are one of the first to show ancient documents on the World Wide Web. This could open up a whole new era of international collaboration'.

The World Wide Web address for the Genizah Collection is http://www.cam.ac.uk/Libraries/Taylor-Schechter.

Staff news

Since 1 October 1996 the Library has had two Deputy Librarians. David Hall, formerly head of administration, joins Roy Welbourn, who has been Deputy Librarian since 1989. Mr Welbourn's main responsibility will be for staff-related matters and Mr Hall's for buildings and financial control.

At the Squire Law Library, David Wills has been appointed to run the Library in succession to Keith McVeigh, who has transferred to the main University Library building.

Bibliographical seminars for research students

Two seminars will be held during the Michaelmas Term in the Meeting Room, University Library:

Thursday 17 October, 11.00 - 12.00:

Thursday 24 October, 11.00 - 12.00:
Social sciences

For further information contact Bill Noblett (3)33138, Colin Clarkson (3)33016 or Stephanie Macek (3)34522.

Current and forthcoming exhibitions (Main Library)

In the exhibition corridor (outside the main Reading Room)

'Who will pity the slave?' Thomas Clarkson and the slavery debate
7 October to 18 November

Hungary, 896 - 1996
22 November to 3 January 1997

In the Entrance Hall

John Couch Adams and the discovery of Neptune
25 September to 24 October

A printer's Christmas books

The Friends of Cambridge University Library

Forthcoming meetings - Michaelmas Term 1996

The Saturday talks remain free of charge to Members, but Friends wishing to attend the weekday meetings are invited to contribute £2.50 per head, in order to cover costs.

Wednesday 23 October at 17.45 in the Meeting Room (tea will be served at 17.15)

Dr Christopher de Hamel
The Medieval Book of Hours

Dr de Hamel is Head of the Medieval Manuscripts Department at Sotheby's

Saturday 2 November at 14.30 p.m. in the Anderson Room

Annual General Meeting

Dr Peter Martland
Since Records Began: 100 Years of EMI

The afternoon opening of the Library is by kind permission of the Librarian. Tea will be served after the meeting.

Printing classes

A series of classes in hand printing will be held in the Morison Room on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 17.00. The first class will probably be on 15 October.

Places on the course are limited, and anyone interested should first contact either Nicholas Smith (Rare Books Room (3)33122) or Colin Clarkson (Reading Room (3)33016)

The classes will be repeated in the Lent Term.


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

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