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Brill Humanities, Social Sciences 2017, & International Law monographs 2014-2017

The University Library is pleased to announce that access has been purchased in perpetuity to the following 2017 HSS subject collections…




Asian Studies

Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity

Classical Studies

European History and Culture I

European History and Culture II

Language and Linguistics

Literature and Cultural Studies

Middle East and Islamic Studies

Religious Studies, Theology and Philosophy

Social Sciences

The 2017 collections complement Brill’s HSS 2014, 2015, and 2016 collections, already available to our users on Brill Online and searchable in iDiscover.

The Squire Law Library is also pleased to announce that access has been purchased in perpetuity to the International Law ebook collections, 2014-2017 inclusive.These titles can be also found in iDiscover and currently number 202.


Brill ebooks are available with unlimited concurrency and can be accessed both on and off campus (with a Raven login). You can download  or print chapters from the ebooks in PDF format, or read them online. As new 2017 titles are published, they will be added to the Brill ebooks platform and loaded into iDiscover on a monthly basis.

Please contact the ebooks@cambridge team on with any feedback on Brill ebooks, or if you want to recommend any unowned titles for purchase.

Codices Hugeniani Online

The University of Cambridge now has trial access to the Codices Hugeniani Online resource from the publisher Brill.

Access is via the following URL on and off campus.

Access ends after 1 month on 14 February 2017.

Please send your feedback on this resource to the Whipple Library email:  Thank you.

Codices Hugeniani Online (COHU) offers the fully digitized archive of Christiaan Huygens (1629 – 1695), held at Leiden University Library. The archive includes notebooks and loose leafs with texts in the field of astronomy, mechanics, mathematics and music, as well as correspondence and annotated books.

Huygens was a prominent Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist. He published major studies on mechanics and optics, and a pioneer work on games of chance. He is famous for his discovery of the rings of Saturn and its moon Titan, and for inventing the pendulum clock.

Shortly before his death in 1695 Huygens bequeathed a large part of his scholarly papers to Leiden University Library. After 1800, the legacy was further enriched by manuscripts and letters from family property, amongst others a large number of letters from Huygens’ father Constantijn (1596 – 1687).

For over three centuries, many scholars have made the Codices Hugeniani the object of their research. The contents of the archive have been made partly accessible through the well-known Oeuvres complètes (a 19-volume 19th Century reference work). More recently, the Codices Hugeniani were described in detail by Dr. Joella Yoder in her Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Christiaan Huygens (Brill, 2013). With COHU the full archive’s contents are now easily accessible for the first time.


‘Scandalous & libellous books’ at the University Library

Ovid’s Amores (Golden Cockerel Press, 1932), Arc.c.93.7

As a copyright library, and the recipient over the years of many large private collections, the University Library often receives material which it might not otherwise have chosen to add to its shelves. In the early years of the twentieth century—in line with other major institutions in the UK (including the British Library and Bodleian Libraries)—a class was created for titillating and potentially offensive books on a number of risqué subjects. This was both to safeguard the morals of impressionable students and to protect the books themselves from unwanted attention. This class—known by the name Arc (for arcana) and the subject of the current Entrance Hall exhibition—also houses books suppressed by publishers for legal reasons, and such additions form a large part of modern accessions. In some cases these books remain out of bounds to readers for many decades. However, the majority of the collection, administered by the Rare Books Department, may be ordered up for use by readers in the same way as other special collections. Its contents are varied in subject, language and period, ranging from seventeenth-century Venetian literature and illustrated editions of Casanova’s memoirs, to Victorian illustrations from Pompeii, Edwardian sexual health guides and a misprinted Cambridge Bible. Books have arrived under the Copyright Act, as part of donations or bequests (the diplomat Stephen Gaselee and classicist A. E. Housman in particular) or as transfers from other libraries. Arc remains a valuable sociological time-capsule, created over many years, which will tell the future much about the reception and treatment of the forbidden books of previous generations. The Library is also pleased to be able to announce that its holdings of literary erotica are soon to be significantly increased, thanks to Patrick J. Kearney, who has decided to donate his collection to the University Library. It contains over 160 titles ranging from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, many of which are exceedingly rare and in editions not currently to be found in UK research libraries. His catalogue of the British Library’s ‘Private Case’ (1981) is a cornerstone of the study of erotica and the Library’s Arc collection is well known to him through research for his History of erotic literature (1982). We look forward to receiving the books and making them available to readers, so watch this space for further details!

Binding on L’Anti-Justine (Paris, 1798), Arc.d.79.14

Arc contains a number of seventeenth-century books, including a very rare Venetian imprint—L’Alcibiade fanciullo a scola (Alcibiades the Schoolboy’)—loosely based on the form of Platonic dialogue and often called the first homosexual novel. Documentary sources refer to an edition of 1651, which does not survive, but two are known from 1652. Copies of both were bequeathed to the Library in 1943 by Sir Stephen Gaselee (Pepys Librarian and later Librarian of the Foreign Office), who gave nearly 200 books now in Arc and whose gift of over 300 fifteenth-century printed books in 1934 transformed the Library’s holdings. One of a handful of surviving copies, that on display retains its original vellum binding. Fast-forward a century and a half and we come to Restif de la Bretonne’s L’anti-Justine, ou, Les délices de l’amour (Paris, 1798). This erotic short story, written in opposition to the Marquis de Sade’s similarly named Justine, came to the Library as part of a bequest made by L. C. G. Clarke (1881–1960), Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum. To avoid discovery by the authorities the author printed it himself, producing only six copies, of which four (three being incomplete) are now in Paris; this is the only copy known outside France. The spectacular binding—incorporating flowers on the covers and a repeated motif of a priapic satyr on the endpapers—was made in 1868 by Marius Michel. More information may be found here.

First page of Bainbrigge’s Dialogus (London, 1926), Arc.b.92.25

Several books now widely regarded as literary milestones may also be found in Arc, including James Joyce’s Ulysses. Called by one critic at the time ‘a heap of dung, crawling with worms’, this first appeared in book form in Paris in February 1922 and the Library’s copy of the second impression (published in Paris for the London-based Egoist Press) arrived in the Library in December. It must, however, have been kept secret: copies were burned by UK Customs early in 1923, and in 1926 (when F. R. Leavis tried to acquire a copy for teaching) the University was threatened with criminal proceedings. The eccentric Fellow of Clare College Mansfield Forbes threw his copy into the River Cam under cover of darkness for fear of being found with it. The work of a number of local figures is also to be found. Philip Bainbrigge—undergraduate at Trinity College, accomplished poet, classicist and schoolmaster (and the subject of ongoing research by Durham-based classicist Dr Jennifer Ingleheart)—was friendly with a number of the Library’s staff, including Theo Bartholomew (who wrote in his diary of his friend’s ‘amusing verses’) and A. F. Scholfield (University Librarian 1923–49). Several of his works were published after his death at the end of World War One, including the Dialogus: Jocundus : Robertus, a salacious Latin dialogue between two schoolboys printed in just seventy-five copies at the London-based Cayme Press, by Philip Sainsbury (nephew of the painter Henry Scott Tuke). This copy belonged to the Trinity College classicist and poet A. E. Housman, and came to the Library at his death in 1936 with about fifty other works of erotica.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 18th February in the Entrance Hall cases. For further information, please contact the curator, Liam Sims ( A detailed description of the collection can be found in the article “‘Scandalous and libellous books': the Arc Collection at Cambridge University Library”, pp. 625-45 in Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society XV/4 (2015).

Fascimile (2005) of a 1720s edition of the Earl of Rochester’s Sodom (Arc.d.200.31). When discovered and sold at Sotheby’s in 2004 this became the earliest surviving printed edition of the text

What do we do? – more than you might think!

Earlier this month members of the English Cataloguing Department attended the annual libraries@cambridge conference.  This year the theme was Are you a library superhero? and we were keen to show the ways in which we fulfil that brief.

Metadata Assistant, Agnieszka Kurzeja, designed this fabulous poster with the aim of informing other Cambridge librarians about:

1. The sheer volume of material that passes through the department – 1000 books per week (lined up as if on a shelf this would cover the distance from the University Library to Great St Mary’s Church within a year)

2. The variety of activities with which we are continuously involved:

  • Traditional activities such as:  cataloguing, classifying, labelling and boxing
  • Data correction and improvement
  • Data import and export – sharing our data with the national and international research and library communities.
  • Authority control – giving each author, book series, corporate body, conference, subject, etc. a unique identifier which brings all variations, including variant spellings, synonyms, pen names or aliases together to guide users to the most relevant information and related resources.
  • Training other cataloguers and library users
  • Reader service support – members of the Department provide a vital role in covering user service points throughout the day but most importantly over lunch periods and in the evenings.

3. A new initiative which we have undertaken:

  • The Targeted Cataloguing Project.  This project aims  to bring to the fore works by famous authors published between 1920 and 1976, which have hitherto been hidden in the obscurity of the University Library’s supplementary card.  Working together with the colleges, departments and faculties of the University we aim to support teaching and learning by enhancing access to this material through the provision of online records.
    • Authors we are currently working on include:

Of course, the main focus of these activities is not other Cambridge librarians but library users and the research community.

The majority of books we receive in the department arrive through Legal Deposit though a significant amount of material, particularly English language works published abroad, is purchased and some material is donated.  These various methods of acquisition mean the material we process covers an infinite range of subjects, including many interdisciplinary studies, and our aim is, and always has been, to enable students, researchers and other users to find the single book or range of research material most appropriate to their needs in a timely fashion. Legal Deposit acquisition can, however, result in a delay between publication, receipt and cataloguing.  If you are unable to find a book you are looking for do ask our colleagues in the Reading Room.  If it is uncatalogued, but in the building, you are likely to be able to see it the same day.  If it is not, you may wish to recommend we acquire a resource using the online form on our home page.


East India Company

Trial access has been enabled for the University of Cambridge to the East India Company resource from Adam Matthew Digital.

The trial is available here:

The trial ends 10 February 2017.

Please send feedback to :

Portrait of a European painted by Mughal artists, Ca.1590

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

The RCS Library is delighted to announce that a significant recent deposit of essays from The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition has been added to its on-line catalogue Janus (ARCS 20). The competition, originally established in 1883 by the Royal Commonwealth Society, and now run in partnership with Cambridge University Press, is the world’s oldest international schools’ writing contest. It reflects the society’s enduring aim to foster the creative talent of young people throughout the Commonwealth by encouraging literacy, self-expression and imagination.  Last year’s competition, which attracted almost 13,500 entries from primary to Sixth Form students from virtually every Commonwealth country, emphasises its continuing success. The theme of the 2017 competition is ‘A Commonwealth for Peace.’ The library already holds essays from 1922 to 1985 (with some gaps), and all prize winning entries from these years have been digitised and are freely available on the Apollo digital repository.

The latest deposit includes prize winners from the years 1991 to 2009, and a very large collection of commended and other essays for the years 2002-09, totalling more than 20,000. The essays represent an excellent resource for many fields of research relating to education, and for assessing the opinions of intelligent, articulate and engaged young adults throughout the Commonwealth on a host of contemporary political, social and cultural issues. It is impossible here to list all the topics for each year, which range from the light-hearted to the serious, or to single out individual essays. The essays are occasionally accompanied by examiners’ reports, which contain insightful comparative analysis of entries, as an example from 2009 illustrates. One examiner of essays written by thirteen to sixteen year olds (Class B) commented upon the originality, insight and eloquence with which many responded to the themes ‘Tracks’ and ‘The Long Way Home.’  Many reflected upon the theme of war: its aftermath, consequences and the return to a home country after fighting abroad, while others addressed concerns of especial relevance to young adults such as unwanted pregnancies, abortion and abusive relationships.  The examiner concluded, ‘It is remarkable to see such young writers master such sophisticated themes and topics spurred by such vague titles.’

A dedicated and conscientious team of Reader Services Assistants in the Rare Books Department have listed each essay, recording name of author, age, school, country, gender and essay topic. Thanks to their hard work, it will be easy for researchers to quickly sort through the essays, identifying for example, how many students from a particular country or gender answered individual questions, whether they lived in the developed or developing worlds, or studied in state or private schools. In the Class B examiner’s group discussed above, for example, 62 of 150 writers (almost half), were inspired by the theme ‘The Long Way Home.’  They represented thirty different countries, with the three largest numbers of entries drawn from Singapore, Pakistan and India.  Many of the essays are illustrated, especially by younger authors, accompanied by beautiful original art work or photographs, which reinforce their themes. The three examples shown here were the work of eleven and twelve year olds from Class D 2009.

Researchers wishing to view these recently-acquired essays and their listings, and to request reproductions, must first consult staff in the Royal Commonwealth Society Department.

A catalogue of the full collection may be found here.


To celebrate, to commemorate: 2017 anniversaries from ballet to jazz via a rocket.

But first, may I on behalf of us all here at MusiCB3 wish all our readers a safe, happy and fulfilling 2017.  We will be here each week as always with a few words to delight and divert, exploring the … Continue reading →

More “PSA” books available tomorrow

3 new e-books are available on PSA – “Pass the PSA” – Will Brown, “Essential Practical Prescribing” – G Woodfield and “Student Success in the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA)” – N Sharma. 

Locate them using iDiscover


The post More “PSA” books available tomorrow appeared first on Medical Library.

Electronic lab notebooks – a report from a SLA meeting

In preparation for our the “Electronic Lab Notebooks: Solutions for Paperless Research” we decided to re-blog this post* on the subject written by Niamh Tumelty, Head of STEM Libraries at the University of Cambridge.

Roundtable on Electronic Laboratory Notebooks

A significant part of my role involves research support, but so far I have not been involved with lab notebooks, electronic or otherwise. I registered for this session at the Special Libraries Association meeting in 2014 mainly out of curiosity, hoping to find out more about what products others are using, how they’re finding them and whether or not they would be of interest to my Department.

What is an ELN?

Simon Coles set the scene with an overview of the development of electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) to date and frank assessment of their value in different contexts.  Simon has been working on developing ELNs since 1996 and has been with for Amphora for 11 years.   Amphora identified three problems to solve: capturing information from busy scientists, preserving data in complex contexts and being able to provide evidence in court, for example to prove the origin of an idea. They work with a wide range of customers with some of the largest and smallest implementations of electronic lab notebooks.

There is no single definition of ELN so we look carefully at what we need. We need to be wary of what exactly was meant by other case studies, since what they implemented may not be relevant or comparable at all.  Researchers naturally expect that lab notebooks would be tailored to their research workflows, and since there are very different workflows in different areas of science it is unlikely that one solution will be appropriate for an entire organisation.

Another key point is that an ELN doesn’t have to be a complex purchased product.  MS Word and WordPress have been successfully used and there is a real danger of finding yourself in ‘consulting heaven’ with some of the commercial products, with costly ongoing support turning out to be essential. If introducing an ELN we need to consider a number of questions:

  • Do we want it to be about record-keeping and collaboration or is it about doing bits of science?
  • Does it need to enforce certain processes?
  • Is it something specific to a group of scientists or generic (bearing in mind that even the same scientist’s needs will change over time)?
  • How large and diverse is your user base?
The university view

Daureen Nesdill is Data Curation Librarian at the University of Utah and has been involved with the USTAR project. They conducted a study on campus to see what was already happening in terms of ELNs and found that they were already being used in some areas (including in the Humanities) and one person already had a standalone implementation of CambridgeSoft.  Daureen set up a Libguide on ELNs to share information about them.

A working group was set up to look more closely at the options but they haven’t implemented a solution campus-wide because no one tool will work for the whole campus.  Other barriers include the expense of acquiring an ELN (purchasing software, local hosting and support or cloud hosting), the question of who pays for this and the amount of time it takes to roll out (a few months for a lab of 50 people!)  There are also concerns about security, import-export loss and if using a cloud solution, awareness of where your data is being stored.

Daureen outlined a number of requirements for an ELN in a University:

  • ability to control access at an individual level;
  • recording of provenance (all needs to be documented in case there is any future question of who did the work) and this information needs to be included in data exports;
  • Both cloud and client-based with syncing
  • Compatible with any platform
  • No chemistry stuff as standard features, instead templates available for all subject areas – let researcher select tools for their research!
  • Education pricing for classroom use
  • Assistance with addressing complex research protocols
  • Integration with mouse colony management system
  • Connectors – get data from any equipment used to flow easily into the ELN and out of it into the institutional repository
  • Messaging system to allow quick communication between collaborators
  • Reminders for PIs to check work of team
  • Integrated domain-specific metadata
 Corporate perspective

Denise Callihan from PPG Industries provided the corporate perspective. Her company has looked at options for ELNs every five years since the 1980s because their researchers were finding paper lab notebooks were time-consuming and inconvenient. They needed to be able to provide research support for patent purposes to make sure researchers were following the procedures required.

A committee was formed to identify the requirements of three disparate groups: IT and records management, legal and IP, and researchers. A pilot started in 2005 with ten research scientists using Amphora PatentSafe, some in favour of the introduction of ELNs and some against. PPG Industries were early adopters of Amphora PatentSafe so the vendor was very responsive to issues that were arising. The roll-out was managed by researchers, department by department, with the library providing support and administration.  Adoption was initially voluntary, then encouraged and is now mandatory for all researchers.

The implementation has been successful and researchers have found that the ELN is easy to use and works with their existing workflows.  Amphora PatentSafe uses a virtual printer driver to create searchable notebook pages – anything that can be printed can be imported into the ELN.  Email alerting helps them keep track of when they need to sign or witness documents, speeding up this part of the process. The ELN simplifies information sharing and collaboration and eliminates size constraints on documents. It is set up for long-term storage and reduces risks associated with researchers managing this individually.  Data visualisation and reporting are built in so it’s easy to see how research is progressing and to check document submission rates when necessary.

PPG Industries found that researchers need to be looking for an ELN solution rather than feeling that one is being imposed on them. Strong support was required from leadership, along with a clear understanding of what drives the need for the ELN.  The product they’ve selected focuses on providing an electronic version of the print notebook, but the raw data still needs to be kept separately for future use.

Wrap up

Overall I found this session extremely useful and I now feel much better informed about electronic lab notebooks.  I really appreciated the fact that this session, like others at SLA, presented a balanced view of the issues around electronic lab notebooks, with speakers representing vendors, corporate librarians and academic librarians.  I now plan to investigate some of the ELN options further so that I am in a position to support possible future implementations of ELNs, but I will wait until the researchers express their need for one rather than suggesting that the Department considers rolling on out across the board.

*Originally published in 2014 at Sci-Tech News, 68(3), 26–28

Published on 12 January 2017
Written by NIamh Tunelty

Friday 13th January – E-Book drop-in session – Clinical Students – Sherwood Room

Used an e-book before?  Want more information, hints and tips?  You have access to numerous medical e-books.  Do you know how to find and download e-books to your devices?

We are holding e-book drop-in session on

Friday 13th January 12:15 – 1:00 in the Sherwood Room

There will be a range of devices so we can show you how to download books.  However if you prefer to bring your own device that’s fine.

There will also be an opportunity to update your BMJ Best Practice app.

We can also help with any other library queries.

So – come and visit us and we look forward to seeing you!

The post Friday 13th January – E-Book drop-in session – Clinical Students – Sherwood Room appeared first on Medical Library.