The exhibition includes a case devoted to the Oriental collections, which features an Egyptian horoscope written on pottery which dates from 18 AD, and a South Asian palm leaf manuscript of the Buddhist text ‘The perfection of wisdom in 8000 lines’ of 1015 AD. Bede’s eighth century Historia Ecclesiastica is numbered among the medieval manuscripts, while another case reserved for gospel manuscripts displays the ninth century Book of Cerne.
A case dedicated to Charles Darwin exhibits his own copy of the first edition of The Origin of Species, a geological map of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, a notebook sketch of ‘the tree of life’, showing some of his first speculations on species theory, and correspondence with his family while he was aboard HMS Beagle.
More recent treasures include the original typescript of A Brief History of Time by Professor Stephen Hawking, who is, like Isaac Newton before him, the University’s Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.
The Exhibition Centre has been built with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities including interactive displays, and meets the highest conservation standards. A new exhibition is planned every six months.
The Exhibition Centre gives the Library the opportunity to show the general public for the first time some of the treasures that are housed here.
Associated with the exhibition is the volume Cambridge University Library: The Great Collections, edited by Peter Fox and published by Cambridge University Press. Price £45 hardback, £16.95 paperback.
Books of this genre are traditionally difficult to define. Some are sumptuous and obviously expensive volumes; others are unpretentious pamphlets or even single sheets. They may range in size from the large folio to the miniature. A Private Press book will probably describe itself as part of a limited edition; conversely, many give no indication of the size of print run. Some are produced by traditional hand-printing methods, others by desk top publishing packages. Some presses adopt a house style; the style of others is infinitely variable. Some presses begin life as hobby presses or teaching presses in technical colleges or universities and develop into commercial publishers; others remain purely amateur in spirit, though not necessarily in practice. Some publications are intended for sale, others for private circulation. The subject matter leans towards well-established literary classics as well as new and often experimental forms of poetry. The common factor is the inherent individuality of each book, which can be appreciated only by seeing and touching. All Private Press books feature at least one element of design, production or content which attempts to communicate more than just the text: choice of paper (often handmade), illustrations, material and style of binding, and choice of type-face combine to make a particular statement about the book as physical object.
Private Press books have found their way into the Library's collections by various routes over the years. A combination of legal deposit material, donations, purchases and bequests has resulted in an extensive collection which grew almost unnoticed for most of this century until the early 1960s. Then, a decision was made to attempt to identify Private Press material acquired by legal deposit and keep the publications of each press together. Private Press books are predominantly (though not exclusively) a product of the English-speaking world, and for the last twenty years the range of the Library's collection has been extended to include samples of Antipodean and North American presses, as well as some from mainland Europe. The arrival of the Morison and Broxbourne collections has added much ephemeral material that might otherwise have been lost. Donations, such as the Dreyfus volumes, have inspired new directions for collection expansion. Finally the purchase of material from second-hand booksellers and publishers fills gaps in the holdings and introduces new presses. Unfortunately Private Press books are not always cheap, but the collection has benefited greatly from the generosity of the Friends and the American Friends of the Library.
The sequence begins on South Wing Three, which also contains Official Publications materials; books and periodicals on theology and philosophy (1-199, P1-P198) and will be found on floors Three to Five of the South Wing, and works on the social sciences - sociology, political science, economics, criminology, education (200-240, P200-P243) - on floors Five and Six.
Musical scores and books on music already occupy South Front One and the adjacent corridors, but a new area will also be opened up for them on the ground floor beneath the Anderson Room. The sections on family and social customs and on law (244-299, P244-P250) will move to South Front Two. Medical and scientific materials (300-380, P300-P381) will occupy floors Three to Five, while works on natural history and zoology, the fine arts and technology (382-431, P382-P431) will be found on the South Front Six. This floor now includes an area of the Library Tower formerly closed to readers, which will allow access between the north and south sides of the building on this level as well as on floors One and Four.
North Front One now contains further technical material (432-449, P432-P448), and floor Two holds biography, anthropology and archaeology (450-472, P450-P468). The history collections will begin on floor Three and fill the remainder of the North Front (474-663, P474-P662), with the older classification RA-RH on Floor 4; they will continue on North Wing Ground and One (664-689, P664-P689), which will also contain geography (690-699, P690-P696) and the beginnings of the literature classes (700-759, P700-P759), which spread up to North Wing Four. Philology and linguistics (760-799, P760-P778) follow on floors Four and Five, with our holdings of Oriental and other languages (810-849, P810-P848) and our general collections (900-911, P900-P996) on floors Five and Six. Arabic, Persian and Turkish books in classes Moh and E10-E999 are on North Front Six, while bibliographical periodicals will be restored to open access on North Wing One Corridor.
As in the past books and monographs on the same subjects will usually stand in two separate blocks on each floor, but in some instances the periodical sequences are one floor above or below the equivalent monographs.
We apologise for the length of time which these complicated bookmoves inevitably take and for the temporary disruption which they cause. We hope that everything will be in place by the end of the year. Please consult the notices displayed throughout the Library (most prominently on the boards at the top of the stairs leading up from the Entrance Hall), which will give up-to-date locations for material which has been moved.
Users will be provided with a new ATHENS username and password - based on their departmental or college affiliation. This will provide access to many existing networked services - such as the ISI citation indexes, EMBASE and BIDS Journals Online. The ATHENS username and password can also be converted into a personal account through a simple self registration process. ATHENS passwords are distributed from Reader Services staff at the University Library Reading Room and from the Scientific Periodicals Library, the Squire Law Library and the Medical Library. Further information may be obtained from these service points, by e-mail to email@example.com or from http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Information Services/ATHENS.html
For further information on collections and services to support science and technology contact SPL’s Librarian, Michael Wilson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The electronic journal collection has been expanded to over 700 titles through the addition of journals published by the American Chemical Society, Karger, Blackwell Science, and Blackwell Publishers.
Readers who would like to be kept up to date with new electronic services as they become available can register to receive regular e-mail bulletins listing recent subscriptions to online datasets, CD-ROMs, and electronic journals by sending a message in the form:
subscribe FirstName LastName
The Syndicate is best thought of as the Board of Trustees of the Library within the University constitution. The Statutes specify that the Librarian is responsible for the management of the Library under the direction of the Syndicate. In former times, before the advent of the profession of librarian and the complexities of running a modern library, the Syndicate was much more involved in day-to-day business, but its role now is more that of a body of trustees to whom the Librarian reports as its chief executive.
The members of the Syndicate (‘Syndics’) are appointed by the Council and the General Board of the University, by the University officers in the Library (two places) and by co-option (including two junior members). The Chairman is the Vice-Chancellor, or a deputy appointed by him. Meetings are held twice a term, and as necessary.
Through its sub-syndicates for Science, Medicine and Law the Syndicate devolves part of its responsibilities for the Scientific Periodicals Library and the Medical and Squire Law Libraries.
Dr A.W.F. Edwards is standing down after five years’ dedicated service as Chairman of the Library Syndicate, and is succeeded from the beginning of the Michaelmas Term by Professor Malcolm Schofield, Professor of Ancient Philosophy.
Cambridge University Library: the great collections
until 24 October
Armistice Day: memorials and memories
10 November 1998 to 10 April 1999
Monday - Friday 09.00 - 18.00
Saturday 09.00 - 12.30
The Exhibition Centre is open to the public and admission is free
All talks will take place in the Library’s Morison Room
Saturday 24 October at 14.30
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Mr Arthur Tillotson
‘1934: The Two University Libraries’
Arthur Tillotson was Secretary of Cambridge University Library from 1949-1975
Tea will be served after the meeting
Monday 9 November at 17.15
Opening of Library Exhibition Armistice Day: Memorials and Memories
by the Earl Haig
Earl Haig is the son of Field Marshal Haig and is himself a former soldier
Friends only. No charge
Wednesday 18 November at 17.45 (tea will be served at 17.15) Jill Paton Walsh
Taking to Crime
Jill Paton Walsh is the author of numerous crime novels and children’s books
Friends £2.50: Others £3.50
Wednesday 2 December at 17.45 (tea will be served at 17.15) Dr Frances Wood
Distance and Doubt: Marco Polo and his followers’
Frances Ward is Keeper of the Chinese Collections at the British Library
Friends £2.50: Others £3.50