Readers' Newsletter


Stephen Hawking Archive

A permanent exhibition on the first floor of the new Betty and Gordon Moore Library presents a selection of the papers, photographs and other memorabilia deposited in the University Library by Professor Stephen Hawking. In order that the materials be properly conserved for future generations the bulk of the archive will be physically located within the main West Road building alongside the manuscripts of Kelvin, Darwin, Rutherford, J.J. Thompson and of course Isaac Newton, a previous holder of the Lucasian chair. The Stephen Hawking Archive also fits into the Library's role as a leading player in the development of digital archiving. Included in the display at the Moore library are the text of a speech given in the White House, an annotated script from an episode of The Simpsons featuring Professor Hawking, and numerous photographs and books. The Betty and Gordon Moore Library welcomes visitors between 9.00am and 4.30pm, Monday - Friday. A self-guided tour of the building is available. The Stephen Hawking Archive is jointly administered by Patrick Zutshi and Michael Wilson. For further details contact

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The future of the scientific journal

On 12 April 2002 over seventy Cambridge scientists attended a workshop organised by the University Library to consider the crisis in scholarly communication - the process by which scholars publish their work and access the work of others. This crisis has come about as a result of a number of factors: mergers have enabled a few publishers to monopolise the commercial scientific journal market and set prices which are driven largely by shareholder interests, inflated journal prices have led to subscription cancellations and loss of choice, new opportunities in electronic publishing threaten quality-control processes, ownership of copyright and intellectual property rights (IPR) has become more complex. Those present heard how scientists and librarians in North America and Europe have begun to identify alternative publishing strategies which will make more research freely and more widely available, accelerate its dissemination, and restore intellectual property rights to the scholarly community. The papers covered a number of specific initiatives which are now under way to try to address these issues. SPARC, an alliance of scholars, librarians and publishers, encourages competition in scholarly communication by establishing new journals, sometimes with editorial boards that have moved from the commercial journal in protest at the policies of its publisher. BioMed Central, a publishing company committed to a policy of free access to peer reviewed research, has established a business model based on the dual premise that all original research articles should be freely available and that the imposition of subscription charges by other publishers is damaging the communication of science. The Public Library of Science is urging publishers to allow the research reports that have appeared in their journals to be distributed freely by independent, online public libraries of science. E-print servers have been available for some time in subjects such as physics, mathematics and computing. The Open Archives Initiative has established international standards for cross-searching repositories of research papers. A number of UK institutions, which have set up archives or are in the process of doing so, view them as an opportunity to manage and disseminate the institution's information assets as part of an e-research policy, and the University Library is currently preparing a bid to establish such a repository by working through the Cambridge-MIT Institute and developing MIT's 'D-Space' facility. Discussion after each of the papers was lively and sustained, with many speakers expressing interest in and support for the various activities. An important issue for all scientists is the requirement by many publishers that the copyright/ IPR in scholarly articles is handed over freely to the commercial sector. Universities then have to pay significant sums for subsequent access to that same IP, and, moreover, may often need to pay several times: for the journal subscriptions and for the photocopying licence to enable them to make copies for teaching purposes. Several speakers said that they simply cross through the clause in their contract which prevents them from publishing the article electronically on a non-commercial basis, such as on a departmental web-server. A more detailed report of the meeting and copies of the Power-point presentations, which contain statistics of price rises and examples of successful non commercial competitors to commercial journals, are available on the University Library's web site and further information is available from Peter Morgan at the Medical Library or Michael Wilson at the Scientific Periodicals Library.

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Foreign Law Guide (FLAG)

Over the last two and half years the Squire Law Library has maintained an interest in, and had an involvement with, the FLAG project. FLAG is an internet database, which offers a convenient gateway to the holdings of foreign, international and comparative law in United Kingdom Universities and national libraries. In essence FLAG represents a unique Collaborative Collection Management Project for Law. The project was established through a three year financial grant made by the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP), which is funded by the United Kingdom higher education funding bodies. The FLAG project was devised by a partnership of libraries led by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London, with Dr Peter Clinch (who has been seconded from Cardiff Law School) managing the venture. The partnership includes the Bodleian Law Library, Oxford, the Squire Law Library, Cambridge, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London and the British Library. These libraries contain the largest foreign, international and comparative law collections held in the UK. However there are many other libraries with important legal material and, in some cases, unique holdings. FLAG brings together information, in a descriptive form, about primary legal material held by libraries across the nation. The FLAG database currently includes 10,500 records describing the holdings of nearly 50 libraries. Not only does it include the University Libraries of Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, and Oxford, but it also describes the extensive law collections of the British Library, SOAS, the Advocates Library (National Library of Scotland) and the National Library of Wales. The real value of the database is that it includes information about material that previously was difficult to locate. It offers a new concept in finding primary legal information. Unlike conventional catalogues and indexes the researcher can locate with efficiency where the most appropriate holdings are in the UK for their particular area of interest. Legal researchers may not always have a precise title for the material they are seeking and a typical question might be "where can I find current law reports for Japan?" or "where could I go to locate an extensive collection of codes of law for Belgium and where would I find the English translation?". The idea of FLAG is to allow the user to search the database by country (over 200 countries listed), by international organisations (excluding the European Union), by over 40 international or comparative law topics, by type of legal material, or by region of the UK where holdings in libraries can be traced. Although the RSLP funding finishes this year the project, as originally defined, is on schedule to be completed in the specified time scale. Dr Clinch and the lead institution IALS, in communication with the project management committee, are exploring possible funding options to allow FLAG to be maintained and developed in the future. Currently FLAG is free to use and it can be found at:

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Official opening of the north west corner extension

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Professor Owen Chadwick performs the formal opening ceremony of the north west corner extension in the Munby Rare Books Room on 4 December 2001

Royal Commonwealth Society Photograph Project

The Royal Commonwealth Society Photograph Collection contains more than 70,000 images from all over the Commonwealth dating from the mid 1850s to the 1990s. It is one of the most heavily used of the Society's collections and attracts world-wide interest from academic researchers, the media, commercial picture researchers and family historians. To date the main source of access to information about the collections has been by personal visit to consult the highly detailed typescript catalogues created by John Falconer now Curator of Photographs, Oriental and India Office Collections at the British Library. He was greatly assisted in this by former Royal Commonwealth Society Librarians, Donald Simpson and Terry Barringer. However, with the ever-increasing volume of enquiries, particularly those from abroad, it became increasingly clear that there would be major advantages to researchers in using computer technology to enable remote access to information about the photographs. Thanks to a substantial legacy from Frederick Causley Goodyear and a generous donation from the Overseas Service Pensioners' Association it has now been possible to commence work on a 27 month project to make this information about the Royal Commonwealth Society Photograph Collection accessible via a database specially built in Microsoft ACCESS for the Cambridge Archivists Group. There will eventually be a project staff of three - a Project leader (who in fact started work on January 9th, 2002), a Data Assistant and a Technical Assistant all of whom will be supervised by the Smuts Librarian for South Asian and Commonwealth Studies. The project will progress in several phases. The first is to repackage the information in the catalogues to comply with the International Council on Archives' General International Standard on Archival Description (ISAD(G)). An assistant will be employed later this year to assist the project leader with data input. In the second year of the project it is intended to digitise a number of images and a technical assistant will be employed for this phase of the project. Finally, the database will have a web-searchable interface. Following the successful implementation of this Royal Commonwealth Society Photograph Project it is anticipated that remote use of the collection will grow exponentially. It is expected, therefore, that additional funding will need to be found to satisfy this demand.
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Photograph by Albert Thomas Watson Penn (1849-1924)
Ref: Y3022FF/4

[c.1905?] Corner of a Toda mund [illegible phrase, probably reading: A Toda girl performing the act of prostration] to an elder.

Showing a group of Toda men, women and children posed in front of a characteristic Toda house in a 'mund' or village near Ootacamund. The caption refers to the young girl posed in the act of placing her forehead on the raised foot of the eldest member of the group. The Todas, an aboriginal tribe of cattle rearers living on the Nilgiri plateau around Ootacamund in Tamil Nadu, India, attracted a great deal of ethnological study.

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Royal Commonwealth Society Collections

Changes affecting readers from Tuesday 2nd April 2002

From Tuesday 2nd April 2002, readers wishing to consult printed materials (other than official publications) in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections should enquire at the Enquiry Desk in the Rare Books Room (rather than the Official Publications Reading Room as previously). Requests should be handed into this desk for fetching and messages left here for the Smuts Librarian (email: The subject card catalogue will remain in the Official Publications Reading Room. Readers wishing to consult photographs in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections should enquire in the Manuscripts Room. Typescript catalogues and indexes to photographers may be consulted in this room, along with the microfiche copies of approximately 2/3rds of the photographs. Readers wishing to obtain reproductions of any images in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections should refer to the separate Readers' guide: Obtaining copies of photographs in the RCS Photograph Collection, which is available in the Manuscripts Room. Readers are advised that manuscripts and archives in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections may now be consulted only by prior appointment. The published catalogue: The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society, edited by Donald H. Simpson (London: Mansell, 1975), may be consulted in the Manuscripts Room. General enquiries should also be made here. Readers wishing to make an appointment to see a particular archive or manuscript, or to refer to more detailed hand-lists available for some collections, are asked to contact the Smuts Librarian by email (, or in writing, giving as much notice as possible. A minimum of two weeks notice is usually required. Appointments are usually made for Wednesdays or Thursdays, when the Smuts Librarian is working with the collections.

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Beauty and the book

We are surrounded by colour printed images, on posters, in newspapers, magazines, and on the packaging of virtually all our purchases. It is difficult to imagine a time when colour printing was a rarity, difficult and often more expensive than hand colouring. Colour printing also appears in books of course, and Cambridge University Library, being among the most ancient and extensive collections of books in the world, contains many beautiful examples of colour printing, not least from the marvellous and wide-ranging collection of Norman Waddleton, who continues to contribute his skills in acquiring colour-printed books for the library. Cambridge University Library's new exhibition, Beauty and the Book: Gems of colour printing, offers a snapshot of the development of colour printing in books in Europe from the earliest dated book in print, to the pre-photographic technology era in the late 19th century. Books were selected from a variety of collections in the library, including the Waddleton collection, with the aim of illustrating not only how the various methods of printing emerged and developed prior to 1900, but also to illustrate that even in the most humble book, a colour print is the result of considerable artistry and expertise. In the Orient, where printing began, colour printing developed independently from the West and acquired a form and style of its own, especially in Japan. In Europe, early colour printers tried at first to imitate the intricate art of the scribes before them, by carving a design on wood and then transferring that image onto a page using coloured inks. Some copies of the Gutenberg bible of 1456, the first book printed from moveable type, have lines and initials printed in red, while the Mainz Psalter of 1457 ­ Europe's oldest dated book ­ opens with an impressive initial B, intricately printed in red and blue. The Library features a fragment of the Psalter, with an equally elaborate printed initial D. The exhibition goes on to look at early attempts at colour printing in the 18th century, featuring pioneers J.C. Le Blon, Gautier d'Agoty and John Baptiste Jackson. George Baxter's hugely influential early work in book illustration is featured, alongside a CD-ROM featuring all his prints; a production of the active New Baxter Society, it also features a profile of Baxter and explains how to spot forgeries of his work. Other highlights include work by the inventor of lithography, Alois Senefelder, and the luminous, ornate prints of architect and decorator Owen Jones. The return to favour of the woodblock print becomes evident in the printing of inexpensive children's toy-books from the 1870's, where the elegant yet simple illustrations of Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott are perfectly suited to the expert printing of Edward Evans and other printers like Kronheim and Leighton. Colour printing either by lithography or relief methods reached its zenith during the Great Exhibition of 1851, with many of our featured printers exhibiting, and many more publishing lavishly produced souvenirs and guides. The introduction, around 1890 of photographic process blocks, photo-lithography and photogravure, introduced a new era in commercial colour printing for books, and this is where we close our story. In the commercial end of book production at least, the last period of hand-worked printing and illustration processes had passed. Although some hand work continued at the luxury end of the market, the production of colour printing in books generally became a more automated, and economical process. Colour printing continues to evolve and change, now we can achieve extraordinarily high quality images from our own desktop. This exhibition shows that high quality colour prints have been about for a long time, but were not always so easy to produce.
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Owen Jones, Grammar of ornament
London: Day & Son, 1856
Owen Jones is considered to be among the greatest chromolithographic designers of the nineteenth century. Classmark:

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Beauty and the Beast
London: Routledge, 1874
Beauty, from Beauty and the Beast, illustrated by Walter Crane and printed with woodblocks by Edmund Evans. Classmark:1874.10.44. An image from the Library's new exhibition, Beauty and the book, open from 9 April to 14 September 2002 (closed 26 August), Monday-Friday 09.00-18.00, Saturday 09.00-16.30. The Exhibition Centre is open to the public and admission is free

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The Friends Of Cambridge University Library

Forthcoming meeting, to be held in the Morison Room, University Library:

Wednesday 8 May at 5.00 p.m.

Stefan C. Reif '
A medieval Mediterranean deposit and a modern Cambridge archive' Special admission rate for members of £2.50 a head. Non-members are welcome at all talks; the admission charge is £3.50. All talks are free to junior members of the University of Cambridge.

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Editor: Stephen Hills ISSN:1360-9033