Cambridge University Library

Readers' Newsletter No. 15

Contents



Conrad Martens `Ruins. North side of the Harbour of Port Desire Dec. 23 1833.'

The two-masted ship is the 'Adventure', a schooner purchased by Robert Fitzroy to act as a supply and victualling ship for the Beagle, so that Beagle could stay at her hydrographic work without using up valuable time returning to port for these essentials. The Beagle and Adventure spent a few days at Port Desire (Deseado) in Patagonia at Christmas 1833 where Martens painted and sketched seventeen scenes, nine of these being in the sketchbooks at the University Library.

MS.Add.7983:f.23

The voyage of HMS Beagle 1831-1836 and the Conrad Martens sketchbooks

In the 1820s and 1830s Robert Fitzroy, captain of HMS Beagle, undertook 19th century versions of 18th century voyages of discovery such as those by Cook and Vancouver. A man of means, Fitzroy provided himself with a gentleman naturalist - Charles Darwin - and naturally also needed his own artist. Conrad Martens was recruited to fill the latter position in Montevideo after the original artist was taken ill.

Martens drew his first sketch on board the Beagle in December 1833 and, though he left the ship just nine months later at Valparaiso, he was a prolific worker. He used four sketchbooks, working mainly in pencil, sometimes noting the shades of the scene before him on the sketch and at others applying watercolours sparingly. His sketches are a principal visual record of the Beagle voyage which became, due to Darwin's presence, the most celebrated of all British voyages of discovery.

After leaving the Beagle, from Valparaiso Martens made his way across the Pacific via Tahiti, eventually settling for good in Sydney. Towards the end of his life he gave the sketchbooks to Mrs Elizabeth MacArthur-Onslow of Campden Park, New South Wales. By the generosity of a private benefactor two were donated to Cambridge University Library to complement the very important Darwin collections here, the remaining two being sold at auction in August 1996, when they were acquired by the State Library of New South Wales.

After leaving the Beagle, from Valparaiso Martens made his way across the Pacific via Tahiti, eventually settling for good in Sydney. Towards the end of his life he gave the sketchbooks to Mrs Elizabeth MacArthur-Onslow of Campden Park, New South Wales. By the generosity of a private benefactor two were donated to Cambridge University Library to complement the very important Darwin collections here, the remaining two being sold at auction in August 1996, when they were acquired by the State Library of New South Wales.



The Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP)

In the October 1999 Newsletter (No. 13), we reported on the projects involving the University Library which had been successful in obtaining RSLP funding. A further strand of this programme recognises the cost imposed on the major research libraries by users from other higher education institutions and, for the first time, provides financial compensation to meet part of this cost. The University Library's pre-eminent role in providing services to large numbers of academic staff and research students from other universities has been recognised by its receipt of the second largest (after Oxford) of the grants from this programme. The additional funding will be used initially to provide extra staff in the Reader Services and IT Services departments, to meet part of the cost of the north-west corner extension (which is creating enlarged reading rooms for Manuscripts and Rare Books), and to meet part of the cost of the new automation system which is planned for installation in summer 2001.



Preserving the national heritage of electronic publications

The growing reliance of the scholarly community on information published in electronic form poses serious problems for the long term preservation of and access to the content of such publications. Whereas a book, carefully kept, can still be opened and read centuries after its original publication, an electronic publication will probably become unreadable within a decade if, as is likely, the disk on which it appears or the machine needed to use it becomes obsolete and is superseded by new technology. Long term access to such publications can only be assured by planned and systematic archiving, capable of ensuring that content is transferable from one generation of technology to the next and remains available to users beyond its normal commercial life. The lack of secure arrangements has already led to the permanent loss of some publications produced only in electronic form.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has recognised the importance of ensuring that appropriate material published in this country is incorporated into the UK national archive irrespective of the medium used and has accepted the need for legislation to ensure this, but as an interim measure has asked the legal deposit libraries and publishing industry bodies to agree and implement a voluntary scheme to fill gaps in the archive ahead of eventual legislation. A code of practice for the voluntary deposit of non-print publications in the UK, including some types of electronic media, has now been agreed and came into operation from January 2000.

Publishers are now being encouraged to deposit non-print publications in microform (e.g. microfilm) and offline electronic media or electronic publications issued on physically separate digital media, such as CD-ROMs, DVDs and magnetic disks. The voluntary scheme will help fill what has become a growing gap in the national published archive and will also serve as a pilot phase before legislation during which definition, procedures and control issues can be agreed by publishers and libraries and their practical implementation monitored.

For the moment it has been agreed that online publications will be excluded from the formal arrangements for the initial voluntary scheme. However all parties involved in the discussions leading to the scheme recognise that the use of the Internet as a primary vehicle for publishing is certain to increase and become a major mode of dissemination. The preservation of material published online in this way brings with it a whole range of additional technical problems. The legal deposit libraries are investigating the issues involved in the long term archiving of this type of material and the University Library's involvement in the CEDARS Project was reported in the Readers' Newsletter (No. 9).

Publishers have welcomed the establishment of the voluntary scheme and the proposed experimental activity on the archiving of online publications and have agreed to participate actively in the scheme and experimental work. Whilst the arrangements for the deposit of this material will reflect to some extent those for print (and the University Library expects to start receiving deposited material shortly), commercial considerations for the publishers mean that access to deposited databases will be more restricted that to those for which the Library has paid for a site licence.



Lord Irvine in conversation with University Librarian Peter Fox at the opening of the Maitland Legal History Room

The Maitland Legal History Room

The new Maitland Legal History Room, recently created from within the book stacks on the first floor of the Squire Law Library, was officially opened by the Lord Chancellor, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Irvine of Lairg, on 14 February.

The room offers a convenient and secure location for the rare and valuable legal history collection maintained by the Library. Many of the books, despite their value, are standard reference tools and include statutes, abridgments and books of entries. In addition there are the original Year Books and the early English law reports, commonly known as the Nominate Reports. It is also intended that the room will hold some rare materials relating to Roman and Continental law.

The room offers a convenient and secure location for the rare and valuable legal history collection maintained by the Library. Many of the books, despite their value, are standard reference tools and include statutes, abridgments and books of entries. In addition there are the original Year Books and the early English law reports, commonly known as the Nominate Reports. It is also intended that the room will hold some rare materials relating to Roman and Continental law.

The Maitland Legal History Room provides a comfortable and convenient workspace for legal historians and others with a special interest in our legal heritage. The appropriate I.T. and microfilm facilities have also been installed in order to allow access to materials that are available in forms other than just the printed versions; for example, the English Reports on CD-ROM.

Legal history as a subject is central to the heritage of the modern Faculty of Law at Cambridge. Therefore it is entirely appropriate that it should be named after Frederic William Maitland, Downing Professor 1888-1906. Maitland was a central figure in the early history of the Squire Law Library. Not only are his own works to be found on the shelves, but he played an important role in urging those responsible at the turn of the last century to establish a dedicated law library for the University. The Squire was duly opened on 4 March 1904 and, following his death in December 1906, a gift of Maitland's books was received from his widow.

The posthumous bronze bust by S. Nicholson Babb, dated 1908, now appropriately relocated inside the new Maitland Legal History Room, has followed the Squire Law Library from its first home in Downing Street, to the Cockerell Building next to the Old Schools, and then in 1995 to the Law Faculty Building here on the Sidgwick Site.

The Squire Law Library and the Faculty of Law are grateful to the F.W. Maitland Memorial Fund and the Cambridge Law Journal for generously providing the funds to support this venture which has allowed both the room to be created and furnished, and the valuable collection of legal history books, which are now held within, to be restored.



Paul Chandler, General Secretary of SPCK (left), and Peter Fox, University Librarian, at the presentation of the SPCK Archive

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), founded in 1698, is one of the oldest Anglican societies, dedicated to communicating the Christian faith by means of education. Since the faith could be effectively disseminated by the written word, SPCK has always been a publisher, and is today the third oldest English publishing house still operating (after the university presses of Cambridge and Oxford). Founded by Thomas Bray, parish priest, author, prison reformer, ecclesiastical administrator in Maryland, and other clerical and lay philanthropists, SPCK from the start devoted itself to many of Bray's interests and concerns: the publishing of Bibles, prayer books, tracts and other mostly devotional material, which could be distributed around the country or sold at a preferential rate to subscribing members of the Society for re-sale; the promotion, endowment and inspection of elementary charity schools throughout England and Wales; and the support of missions overseas, including, in later years, the endowment and promotion of new dioceses in the Empire and beyond. Its headquarters since 1956 were the converted church of Holy Trinity, Marylebone, and it was from there that the archives were brought to Cambridge in 1999 and presented to the University Library. These consist predominantly of the minute books of the general meetings and committees of the Society, and the printed annual reports (which contain much summary and statistical information not preserved in manuscript form) from 1698. Only a selection of original correspondence seems to have been preserved, mostly dating from the 18th century. In the first half of that century, when Henry Newman was secretary, much further correspondence was preserved as transcripts, but this had virtually ceased by the 19th century. Correspondence about the Society's overseas activities, in New England, India and elsewhere, is good for the 18th-century also, and there are good records of the 18th century printing initiatives, including the Bible in Welsh, Manx and Arabic. The archive for 19th century publishing, when several well-known writers are known to have supplied devotional literature for SPCK publication, is almost non-existent, presumably because correspondence and publishing records were not kept permanently. Amongst the archives are the records of diverse initiatives including a mission to the Scilly Isles in the late 18th century (the islands were then considered extra-diocesan and a single chaplain was provided by the islands' Proprietor) and an investigation into the needs of the Pitcairn islanders in the 1850s (before the Pitcairners adhered to the Seventh Day Adventist Church). That this is a rich source for religion, philanthropy and publishing in the 18th century is no doubt reflected in the number of studies, such as W.K. Lowther Clarke's Eighteenth century piety, which have used the archives as a basis for research.



New electronic services

A new subscription to the Context collection of law databases, jointly funded by the University Library and the Faculty of Law, has greatly enhanced provision of electronic information in this subject area and made it possible to consult a variety of law reports throughout the University. The collection includes the Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports, Lloyd's Law Reports, the most comprehensive source of commercial, maritime, insurance and reinsurance cases, The Times Law Reports, containing the full text of every case reported in The Times newspaper since 1990, and Justis Celex, the official legal database of the European Community. Access is provided via the Context Justis web site at http://www.justis.com/. Passwords, which are available to University staff and students from reference department staff at the University Library and Squire Law Library, are required for this service.

The Declassified Documents Reference System - US, an online database containing digitised images of over 70,000 declassified documents from various US government agencies including the White House, the CIA, the FBI, and the State Department, is now available University-wide through a University Library subscription. Covering the period from World War II to the 1970s the documents deal with nearly every major foreign and domestic event of these years and will be a valuable resource for research on the Cold War, Vietnam, US foreign policy, and the civil rights movement.

Through an agreement between the University Library and Bell & Howell, access has been arranged to Early English Books Online, a collection which contains over 96,000 works listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue of printed materials published in the English language from 1475 to 1640, Wing's Short-Title Catalogue of works dating from 1641 to 1700 and the Thomason Tracts, a compendium of broadsides on the English Civil War printed between 1640 and 1661. As well as providing bibliographic information, the database presents the full text of every book in the collection in the form of online images. The books have been digitised from microfilms produced by UMI (now Bell & Howell) from 1938 onwards.



Parisian fortifications in 1870 - from the Library's map collections.

Classmark: Maps.c.250.871

`Mapping the World'

Cambridge University Library is home to one of the major publicly-accessible map collections in the British Isles. The Map Department contains over a million maps, with one of its particular strengths being the extensive range of modern (post-1850) medium and large scale mapping it holds for areas outside the United Kingdom.

The objective of the`Mapping the World' project is to convert to machine-readable form the card catalogue entries for this part of the collection and to make them accessible from anywhere in the world via the Library's online catalogue. As an additional benefit a greatly expanded range of search options will be available. It will be possible, for example, to search for words in a title, for maps published in a given year or maps in a chosen language - searches which are virtually impossible with the card catalogue.

This project is part of a collaborative venture which is largely funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP). The other six co-operating libraries are Birmingham University Library; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Edinburgh University Library; Imperial College Library, London; the University of London Library and Manchester University Library. The remainder of the cost of the University Library's participation in this project has been met by a generous donation from the Isaac Newton Trust.

The `Mapping the World' project can be expected to have a major impact, especially in the field of research into countries where detailed map coverage remains difficult to obtain. It is also the first chance in history to create an online union catalogue for maps in the United Kingdom. It will reveal to a world-wide audience the richness of the holdings in the seven libraries, making it easier to search for cartographic materials, facilitating research and maximising collection usage. All consortium members are also members of CURL (the Consortium of University Research Libraries), and the records of map holdings in the seven libraries will be added to the CURL database, with its associated online catalogue (COPAC). This exciting project is scheduled for completion in July 2002.



The Friends of Cambridge University Library

Forthcoming meetings

Wednesday 26 April at 17.00
(tea will be served from 16.30)
Morison Room

Professor M.R.D. Foot
The Special Operations Executive and books about it

Professor Foot is the author and editor of numerous books on the Special Operations Executive and the Second World War. He has first-hand experience of his subject.

Open to all. Friends £2.50, others £3.50

Saturday 13 May at 11.00
(Coffee will be served from 10.30)

Mr Brian J. Ford
Surprising secrets from the library of the Royal Society

For over three hundred years the earliest surviving scientific specimens lay hidden in the library of the Royal Society of London, having been sent to England by Antony van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch pioneer of the microscope. These microscopical specimens, representing the dawn of the modern era of biology, were found by Brian J. Ford. In this illustrated presentation he describes the circumstances of the discovery and shows how the material reveals much about how the science of microscopy was born.

Brian J. Ford is well known as a broadcaster, writer and lecturer on scientific subjects.

Open to all. Friends free, others £3.50



University Library: provisional periodical subscriptions

The University Library has taken out a provisional subscription, for one year, to the following journals, and the level of use will be monitored in order to ascertain whether a longer-term subscription is justified. West Room pigeonhole locations are given in brackets for each title:

Arab World geographer (T.369)
Interface: forum for theology in the world (A.144)
Journal of higher criticism (A.154)
Manufacturing and service operations management (C.387)
Mediation quarterly (C.373)
Mediterranean journal of educational studies (D.247)
Novaia russkaia kniga (W.532)
Telecommunications development report (1185)
Zhivaia starina (T.15)


Exhibitions at the University Library

In the Exhibition Centre

`Keeping time: a celebration of the year 2000'
until 15 September 2000 (closed 28 August)

Opening hours: Monday - Friday 09.00 - 18.00
Saturday 09.00 - 12.30

The Exhibition Centre is open to the public and admission is free




CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Editor: Ray Scrivens ISSN:1360-9033

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