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  • “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible” May 1968 France

    “Be realistic, ask the impossible” was one of the many slogans of the French unrest in May-June 1968. May last year was the 50th anniversary of the upheaval, which arouses mixed feelings in French society, depending on the political ideas … Continue reading →
    Timestamp: 24 May 2019 - 12:40pm
  • Hans Keller and the anti-competition

    Hans Keller was implacably opposed to the concept of competition in music, maintaining that whilst it was something one could associate with sport, the arts were for communication, not competition. Nonetheless, he sat on many competition juries and judging panels, … Continue reading →
    Timestamp: 24 May 2019 - 8:45am
  • Roof repairs in the Medical Library

    There will be repair work undertaken between 27th May and 14th June on the William Harvey Lecture Theatre. While the workers will endeavour to keep all disruption to a minimum, this may involve some noise or movement through the library space. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    If you feel that this may necessitate finding another space to work in, we recommend the Spacefinder resource, which lets you search various Cambridge libraries and other working spaces such as cafes to identify the place that will suit your study style and preferences best.

    The post Roof repairs in the Medical Library appeared first on Medical Library.

    Timestamp: 23 May 2019 - 9:00am
  • Archival revolution: how born-digital archives are changing the way we do research

    Lise Jaillant

    On Tuesday 28 May, at 2.15 p.m., Lise Jaillant will give a talk in the Milstein Room, University Library, West Road, on “Archival revolution: how born-digital archives are changing the way we do research”.

    Addressing questions such as how the digital revolution will impact disciplines such as history and literary studies, how we can best ensure that born-digital documents are preserved and remain accessible over time, and how we can design new methods to use archives of digital information, Dr Jaillant will present her current projects to preserve born-digital archives, make them more accessible, and produce new knowledge.

    While we still have letters, manuscripts and other physical documents from the past centuries, we are in danger of losing digital documents created in the last decade. Literary scholars rely on the traces left by writers – from correspondence to drafts – which now take the form of born-digital records. Publishing historians also need access to the records left by publishing companies. Emails and other digital forms of communication have largely replaced letters and memos, and yet, safeguarding digital archives remains an enduring challenge for archivists. Electronic records risk becoming unreadable due to rapidly changing formats and technologies. Even when digital archives are actively preserved, they are often closed to researchers due to data protection and other issues. It is time to actively engage with the digital revolution by making access easier and designing new research methods to fully exploit born-digital archives.

    Dr Jaillant’s current work focuses on born-digital archives, looking particularly at the poetry publisher Carcanet Press. This project is funded by a Leadership Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and builds on an earlier project funded by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award: “After the Digital Revolution: Bringing together archivists and scholars to preserve born-digital records and produce new knowledge.”

    Admission to the talk is free, and all are welcome. No booking is required.

    Timestamp: 22 May 2019 - 12:00pm
  • Manuscripts from the Gayer-Anderson brothers

    The Gayer-Anderson cat from the British Museum collections

    One of the most iconic items in the British Museum’s Egyptology collection is the bronze cat figurine commonly known as the ‘Gayer-Anderson cat’. It is roughly life-sized, with an exquisitely-modelled head, gold rings in its ears and nose and a finely-made collar. This is no ordinary house cat but a depiction of a god – probably the god Bastet – and most likely dates from the 26th dynasty (664-525 BC). A votive cat from a temple at Saqqara near Cairo in Egypt, it was manufactured by the lost-wax technique from copper alloy. A less well-known fact is that there is a connection between its donor and Cambridge University Library’s Islamic manuscript collections.

    Bookplate found in each of the volumes. Here John has added his title ‘Pasha’

    The cat was given to the British Museum in 1947 by Major Robert Gayer-Anderson, (commonly known as John), a long-time resident in Egypt and passionate collector of antiquities. Born in Ireland in 1881, he later he received medical training in London and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served at Gallipoli and in Egypt during WW1, retiring from the army in 1920. But he stayed on in Egypt, a country he had grown to love, becoming Inspector in the Ministry of the Interior for the Egyptian Government and then, until 1924, Oriental Secretary at the Residency in Cairo. He was also lucky to be included in the official opening of ceremony of the Tomb of Tutankhamun discovered in 1923 by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter. Residing in Cairo after retirement, as a very skilled and knowledgeable dealer in antiquities he sold many items museums, including a collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge in 1943. Gayer-Anderson had purchased the bronze cat from a dealer friend in Cairo in 1934 and lovingly cleaned and restored it himself.
    But John had an identical twin brother, Thomas, and although they had been close in childhood, their careers had taken a different trajectories. Thomas entered in the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich in 1898. He saw active service in the Boer War in 1900-2 and was seconded to the Egyptian army from 1911-1914, taking part in a punitive expedition in the Sudan in 1913. He served in Europe in WW1 and was promoted Colonel in 1922, followed by three years in Pune, India, on the General Staff before retirement in 1929. Like his brother he was also an experienced collector, also an accomplished painter, completing several portraits of John.

    It appears that both brothers also extended their interests to include manuscripts and in January 1943 they donated fifteen items to Cambridge University Library, the name-plate affixed in each volume clearly stating they were donated jointly.

    West African style Qur’an. Or.1370, f. 85

    Most of the manuscripts originate from the Islamic tradition, the texts range over both religious and secular subjects. There is no evidence that they were collected with any particular focus in mind but were probably acquired along with Museum items. Four of the manuscripts are in Arabic and include a volume of poetry and prayers dated 1591 CE (Or. 1355), two astronomical works, including a 17th century copy of Lisān al-falak by al-Rimmiyawī al-Maghribī (Or.1359) and al-Durr al-farīd ʻalá al-raṣd al-jadīd by Riḍwān ibn Razzāz, (astronomical tables) dated 1718 CE (Or.1369). There is also a Qur’an written in a West African-style of script on paper leaves housed in a leather cover (Or. 1370).

    Shāhnāmah: Qulun mortally wounds Bahram Chubina. Or.1356, f. 32

    A further four volumes are in Persian, and include two copies of Firdausi’s epic, the Shahnamah. One of these is an incomplete text but includes twelve miniatures in Mogul style and is dated 1565 CE (Or.1356). The other, a later, copy dated 1799 CE, originated in Sialkot; it is liberally illustrated with seventy miniature paintings (Or.1354). There is a copy of the Subḥat al-abrār (Rosary of the righteous) by the Persian poet Jāmī, (Or. 1362) dating from the 16th century and a volume Taʼrīkh al-nādirī (A history of Nadir Shah’s wars) by Mahdī Khān Astarābādī, dated 1785 (Or. 1357).
    There are three texts in Ottoman Turkish; one a translation from the Arabic of a geographical text (Or. 1358), a beautiful volume of poetry by the Turkish poet Bāqī with the text enclosed in a decorative gold border (Or.1361) and a Qur’anic commentary (Or.1363). Also included is a single volume of official statutes in Malay (Or.1364) and from the Christian tradition here are two volumes of Coptic prayers dating from the 18th century (Or.1365-6).

    al-Durr al-farīd ʻalá al-raṣd al-jadīd by Riḍwān ibn Razzāz, a volume of astronomical tables, Or.1369, f. 1

    Individual items in the collection have originated from a wide geographical region from Egypt to India, and there is no indication as to which brother had acquired which item, but it is possible to surmise that the Arabic volumes came from John while those from the Indian and Persian traditions were probably collected by Thomas whose exploits took him further East.
    In 1935, John purchased a home in Cairo, the Bayt el-Kritliyyah (‘House of the Cretan woman’), a remarkable example of Muslim domestic architecture dating back to the Mamluk Period. On his return to England in 1942, he gifted this, and its contents, to the Egyptian nation as the Gayer-Anderson Museum of Oriental Arts and Crafts and it is for this that King Farouk awarded him the title of Pasha.
    In 1924, John had also purchased the Little Hall in Lavenham, Suffolk where he lived in the summer months when it was too hot to live in Egypt. During the years of WW2, it was here that the bronze cat was hidden away for safety’s sake in a well in the garden. After the war ended it was, with Thomas’s help, officially presented to the British Museum. Almost immediately it became one of the best-loved artefacts on display in the Egyptian galleries and is still one of the best-selling replica objects in the Museum shop. John died at his home in Lavenham in 1945; Thomas lived on there until his death in 1959.

    Arberry, A.J. A second supplementary hand-list of the Muhammadan manuscripts in the University & Colleges of Cambridge. Cambridge. 1952.

    Fihrist catalogue –

    Foxcroft, L. Gayer-Anderson; the life and afterlife of the Irish Pasha. Cairo, 2016.

    Polat, Sülayman. Uncatalogued Turkish manuscripts in the collection of the Cambridge University Library. Turkish Historical Review, 3 (2012), 42-89.

    Spencer, Neal. The Gayer-Anderson cat. London, 2007.

    Shahnama Project.

    Timestamp: 21 May 2019 - 9:51am
  • Be prepared: 2019 Yerushah Lecture

    Banner for 2019 Yerusha Lecture: Michael Rosen, 15 May 2019, 5pm, Runcie Rm., Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge

    The 2019 Yerushah Lecture will be given by Prof Michael Rosen (Goldsmiths, University of London) at 5pm on Wednesday, 15 May, in the Runcie Room at the Divinity Faculty. He will be speaking on ‘So They Call You Pisher!’: An exploration of a secular Jewish identity. In anticipation of this lecture, here are some of the publications which might be useful for preparing for this lecture.

    By Michael Rosen:

    By others:

    • Place in modern Jewish culture and society / edited by Richard I. Cohen,
      [Oxford] ; New York : Published for the Institute by Oxford University Press, [2018], @Woolf Institute:  BM729 COH  ; @DivLib: 4 COHE 22
    • Beyond belonging : the Jewish identities of moderately engaged British Jews : highlights of the UJIA study of Jewish identity / Steven M. Cohen and Keith Kahn-Harris. London : Design and Promotions Ltd, 2004 ; @DivLib: 4 COHE 19  ; @Woolf Institute: DS143 COH
    • Israel and the politics of Jewish identity : the secular-religious impasse / Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser,  Baltimore, Md. ; London : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. @ DivLib: 4 COHE 18 ; @SPS Library: 28.16.COH.1a
    • In and out of the ghetto : Jewish-gentile relations in late medieval and early modern Germany / edited by R. Po-chia Hsia and Hartmut Lehmann. Washington, D.C. : German Historical Institute ; Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995 ; @ 514:6.c.95.329  (North Front, Floor 3) ; @DivLib: 6 HSI  ; @Seeley Library: DS135.G31 I5 1995

    For a list of previous lectures in this series, please go to


    Timestamp: 7 May 2019 - 4:30pm
  • Another low turnout – now to the analysis!

    Small people, Photo by Matt From London, on FlickR (CC 2.0)

    Every year we try to elicit feedback from our library users in a survey. As last year, when I wrote about the low turnout, I could again reflect negatively on this, question whether the incentive of 5 vouchers of £25 isn’t high enough, and maybe dare to do a comparison to local election turnouts and participation in library surveys.

    I won’t do this, for various reasons, but would just like to add that one reason for us for having continued with the library surveys in the current form is that the qualtitative data, i.e. the responses to two open questions is a useful exercise. The two questions are:

    • If you could change one single thing in the Library, what would this be?
    • I would really like to make the following comment about the Divinity Library, its services or provisions.

    Asking the first question is obvious, and – whilst we cannot change everything suggested (not least because one user’s request sometimes would also be the direct opposite of what someone else suggests), we have some good observations and ideas thrown at us. We have only included the second question for the second year running – before I deemed this too much like fishing for compliments – but this was primarily due to a lot of people giving us praise in the first question. Still: some people explicitly tell us that they wouldn’t change anything!

    In the coming weeks, we will focus again on listing our readers’ suggestions and comments, and responding to them here. Why haven’t we done so yet? (We just had too much to do with reclassmarking a lot of our books – which has brought tangible benefits to us and our borrowers:

    1. Secondary books on one writer/theologian being shelved together means that more of them can be found quickly (as opposed to in different areas of one section, or even several sections across the whole library).
    2. When our borrowers return books, we can shelf them more quickly too.
    3. Serendipity! Discovering books which might also be of interest, by them being placed together, might lead to more books being borrowed, and our library being deemed more helpful.

    Thank you for your patience, whilst we are changing the classmarks of the remaining ca. 40,000 books!


    Timestamp: 3 May 2019 - 9:48am
  • Old Testament new acquisitions, 2018-19

    Book covers

    The Library has acquired a substantial number of new titles in Old Testament (section 3 + commentaries in section 2) so far this year, and these are listed below. This has been due in part to the receipt of a series of several supervision reading lists which have allowed us to fill gaps in the collection. Many are also the result of requests and recommendations from students and staff.

    As well as acquiring titles not previously held, we have also added second copies of texts if they have been identified as being in particularly high demand (these can be identified by the number in brackets at the end of the classmark).

    The Library’s new acquisitions as a whole can also be seen on the LibraryThing website ( by date of acquisition.

    Members of the University can recommend titles to the Library for acquisition via the following online form [Raven password-protected]:


    Author Title ISBN Publisher Date Classmark Aitken / Marlow (eds.) The city in the Hebrew Bible 9780567678904 T&T Clark 2018 3 AITK 3 Barton & Wilson (eds.) Reading Genesis after Darwin 9780195383362 OUP 2009 3 BART 8(2) Berlin Lamentations [Old Testament library] 9780664229740 Westminster John Knox 2004 2:20:23 Blenkinsopp History of prophecy in Israel 9780664256395 Westminster John Knox 1996 3 BLEN 3b(2) Blenkinsopp Creation , un-creation, re-creation: a discursive commentary on Genesis 1-11 9780567372871 T&T Clark 2011 3 BLEN 9 Brown Seven pillars of Creation : the Bible, science, and the ecology of wonder 9780199730797 OUP 2010 3 BROW 3(2) Brueggemann Hopeful imagination : prophetic voices in exile 9780334025283 SCM Press 1992 3 BRUE 8 Byun The influence of post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic on the translator of Septuagint Isaiah 9780567683557 Bloomsbury 2018 3 BYUN 1 Chrétien Symbolique du corps 9782130549864 P.U.F. 2005 3 CHRE 1 Collins Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (3rd ed.) 9781506445984 Fortress Press 2018 3 COLL 6 Cook Ezekiel 38-48 9780300218817 Yale UP 2018 2:24:22B Dell (ed.) Reading Ecclesiastes Intertextually 9780567667908 Bloomsbury 2016 3 DELL 11 Doak Consider Leviathan: narratives of nature and the self in Job 9781451469936 Fortress Press 2014 3 DOAK 1 Faust Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period 9781589837256 Society of Biblical Literature 2012 4 FAUS 1 Firth 1&2 Samuel 9780830825080 Apollos 2009 2.101.9 Gerstenberger Theologies in the Old Testament 9780800634650 Fortress Press 2002 3 GERS 1 Goldingay Psalms 1-41 9780801027031 Baker Academic 2008 2:113:23A Goldingay Psalms 42-89 9780801027048 Baker Academic 2008 2:113:23B Goldingay Psalms 90-150 9780801031434 Baker Academic 2008 2:113:23C Green David’s capacity for compassion: a literary hermeneutical study of 1-2 Samuel 9780567684929 T&T Clark 2018 3 GREE 8 Gzella, et al  (eds.) Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament, Band IX 9783170303539 Kohlhammer 2016 3 THE-WOR 1.9 Haines Gender in Solomon’s Song of Songs 9781498288453 Wipf & Stock 2016 3 HAIN 1 Hillers Lamentations [2nd, rev. ed. ; Anchor Bible] 9780300139471 Yale University Press 2009 2:24:7Ab Kalmanofsky Gender-Play in the Hebrew Bible 9781138385146 Routledge 2018 3 KALM 1 Kim, Jichan The structure of the Samson cycle 9789039000168 Pharos 1993 3 KIMJ 1 Koole Isaiah, part 3, vol.1 [Historical commentary on the Old Testament] 9039001731 Kok Pharos 1997-2001 2:112:31A Koole Isaiah, part 3, vol.2 [Historical commentary on the Old Testament] 9042906790 Peeters 1997-2001 2:112:31B Koole Isaiah, part 3, vol.3 [Historical commentary on the Old Testament 9042910658 Peeters 1997-2001 2:112:31C Kurtz Kaiser, Christ, and Canaan 9783161554964 Mohr Siebeck 2018 3 KURT 1 Lee The Greek of the Pentateuch (Grinfield lectures on the Septuagint 2011-12) 9780198816133 OUP 2018 3 LEEJ 1 Longman & Enns Dictionary of the Old Testament: wisdom, poetry and writings 9781844743063  IVP Academic 2008 3 DIC-OLD 3 Mason Eternal Covenant’ in the Pentateuch 9780567027184 T&T Clark 2008 3 MASO 5 Middleton The liberating image: the Imago Dei in Genesis 1 9781587431104 Baker Publishing Group 2005 3 MIDD 3 Nelson The historical books [Interpreting Biblical texts] 9780687008438 Abingdon Press 1998 3 NELS 2 Peters (ed.) XII Congress of the International Organization For Septuagint and Cognate Studies 9789004151222 Brill 2006 3 PETE 5 Sasson Jonah 9780300139709 Yale UP 2007 2:24:24B Schmid/Person (eds.) Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and the Deuteronomistic history 9783161510083 Mohr Siebeck 2012 3 SCHM 16 Seitz The Elder Testament 9781481308281 Baylor University Press 2018 3 SEIT 1 Sneed (ed.) Was there a wisdom tradition? 9781628370997 SBL Press 2015 3 SNEE 1 Van der Merwe & Naudé A biblical Hebrew reference grammar [2nd edition] 9780567663337 Bloomsbury 2017 1G HEB-BIB 1b Van Seters Pentateuch : social-science commentary (2nd ed.) 9780567658791 Bloomsbury 2015 3 SETE 1b Vanhoozer Dictionary for theological interpretation of the Bible 9780801026942 Baker Publishing Group 2005 2 DIC-THE 1 Wagner God’s body : the anthropomorphic God in the Old Testament 9780567655981 T & T Clark 2019 3 WAGN 1 Westermann Lamentations: Issues and Interpretations 0567292266 T & T Clark 1995 3 WEST 21(2)



    Timestamp: 8 March 2019 - 3:25pm
  • Be prepared: 2019 Tyrwhitt Lecture

    2019 Trywhitt Lectures: Prof. Dr. Stuckenbruck

    Professor Dr. Loren Stuckenbruck is was scheduled to deliver the 2019 Tyrwhitt Lecture, on 6th March 2019, 14:30, in the Runcie Room. Sadly, due to illness of the speaker, this lecture will be cancelled. The Faculty of Divinity hopes to reschedule Prof Stuckenbruck, but it may not be until next academic year.


    The Tyrwhitt lecture is one of the named lectures at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. This lecture series focuses on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible studies. Robert Tyrwhitt (1735–1817) was a fellow at Jesus College Cambridge, and a prominent Unitarian. Tyrwhitt left £4,000 to the University to support the study of Hebrew. The Faculty has a list of previous Tyrwhitt lectures.

    Professor Stuckenbruck will be speaking on ‘Recent Developments in Text-Critical Work on the Ge’ez Book of Enoch’. To prepare for this lecture you might want to look at some of Professor Stuckenbrucks’ publications:

    Research monographs Journal articles
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      The Dead Sea Scrolls. Insight into Traditioning Processes and the Growth of Gospel Traditions 
      In: Dead Sea Discoveries, Vol. 23, No. 3: pp. 304-328 ; UL classmark: P7.c.91 (South Wing, Floor 3) & online 
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2015)
      Ohne das Henochbuch kannst du kein Christ oder Jude sein. Die heiligen Schriften in der äthiopisch-orthodoxen Kirche
      In: Welt und Umwelt der Bibel, Vol. 20, No. 3: pp. 32-35
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2014)
      “Qumran Aramaic” Today. Reflections on the Contributions in this Issue of Dead Sea Discoveries
      In: Dead Sea Discoveries, Vol. 21, No. 3: pp. 277-288 ; UL classmark: P7.c.91 (South Wing, Floor 3) & online 
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2014)
      Ein schillernder Begriff. Was sind “apokryphe” Schriften?
      In: Welt und Umwelt der Bibel, Vol. 19, No. 1: pp. 41-43
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T.; Erho, Ted M. (2013)
      A Manuscript History of Ethiopic Enoch
      In: Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 23, No. 2: pp. 87-133 ; online & UL classmark: P18.c.171 (South Wing, Floor 3)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2013)
      The Book of Enoch. Its Reception in Second Temple Jewish and in Christian Tradition
      In: Early Christianity (EC), Vol. 4, No. 1: pp. 7-40 ; online & UL classmark: L60.c.19 (Order in/for West Room)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2011)
      Revelation 4-5: Divided Worship or One Vision?
      In: Stone-Campbell journal, Vol. 14, No. 2: pp. 235-248 ; online
    Contributions to research monographs
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2018)
      Apocalypse of Weeks. Introduction and English translation
      In: Wright, Archie; Herms, Ronald; Embry, Brad (Hrsg.): Early Jewish Literature: An Introduction and Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2019)
      Images of Dealing with Social Injustice from Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition: A Resource for Renewed Reflection?
      In: Still, Carl (Hrsg.): Turning to the World: Social Justice and the Common Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press ; UL: on order (26 February 2019)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2018)
      1 Enoch Chapter 1: Comparison of Two Translations
      In: DiTommaso, Lorenzo; Oegema, Gerbern S. (Hrsg.): Studies in Second Temple Texts.  ; Divinity Library: on order (26 February 2019)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      The “Apocalyptic” Jewish Jesus and Contemporary Interpretation
      In: Bendoraitis, Kristian A.; Gupta, Nijay K. (Hrsg.): Matthew and Mark across perspectives. The Library of New Testament studies; Bd. 538. London ; Oxford ; New York ; New Delhi ; Sydney: Bloomsbury T & T Clark. pp. 143-164 ; UL classmark: 29:1.c.201.4 (South Wing, Floor 3)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      Some Reflections on Apocalyptic Thought and Time in Literature from the Second Temple Period
      In: Blackwell, Ben C.; Goodrich, John K.; Maston, Jason (Hrsg.): Paul and the apocalyptic imagination. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. pp. 137-155; Divinity Library: on order (26 February 2019)
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      How Much Evil Does the Christ Event Solve?
      In: Keith, Chris; Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (Hrsg.): Evil in Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. 2. Reihe; Bd. 417. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 142-168; UL classmark: C211.c.6822 (Order in/for Main Reading Room) & Divinity Library: 5 KEIT 1
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      The Book of Giants among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Considerations of Method and a New Proposal on the Reconstruction of 4Q530
      In: Goff, Matthew; Stuckenbruck, Loren T.; Morano, Enrico (Hrsg.): Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan : Contexts, Traditions, and Influences. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament; Bd. 316. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 129-141 ; UL classmark: 41:01.c.9.360 (South Wing, Floor 3) & Divinity Library: 4 GOFF 1
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (2016)
      The Bilingual Palmyrene-Greek Inscriptions at Dura-Europos. A Comparison with the Bilinguals from Palmyra
      In: Kaizer, Ted (Hrsg.): Religion, Society and Culture at Dura-Europos. Yale classical studies; Bd. 38. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 177-189; UL classmark: 706:01.b.17.1 (North Wing, Floor 2) ; Classics Faculty Library: Y DURA 9 ; online
    • Stuckenbruck, Loren T.; Weeks, Stuart (2015)
      In: Aitken, James K. (Hrsg.): The T&T Clark companion to the Septuagint. London [u.a.]: T&T Clark. pp. 237-260; UL classmark: 18:27.c.201.5  (South Wing, Floor 3) & Divinity Library: 3 AITK 2  

    [excerpt from a much longer list, provided at]


    Timestamp: 26 February 2019 - 2:18pm
  • Help! We need somebody…

    Flyer for Divinity Library LT 2019 drive’s for multiple copies

    “Help! We need somobody. Help! not just anybody. Help, you know we need someone. Help!”; you might have heard these words, or similar before, but I really need to tell you that when I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in any way… But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured. Now I find we’ve changed our minds and opened up the doors – or at least promoted that we are open to our students suggesting books (actually, we very much welcome them, but I couldn’t think of a famous song starting with “We welcome your suggestions for books, especially multiple copies!” Maybe we should ask Kepler, seeing that they make music, work in Cambridge, and at least two band members are librarians in the day time!).

    Anyway, using the above as a flyer has been intended to be handed out with a bit of “guerrilla marketing” in mind; by having convinced some of the lecturers at Divinity to hand these out, or feature the image in their slides, when students are expecting a lecture of, say, paper A5 (The Question of God).

    As in academia, it is good practice in the library world not to re-invent the wheel, or always believe that no one has done something similar before. So the above design was made in 2014, I believe, by my then colleague L. Wilkens. I was very lucky to work with a professional designer, in those days. The actual idea of conveying a message to students through the academics (and during the lectures) was my former colleague’s, Simon Frost (Marshall Library of Economics).

    Anyway, why are we doing this? Well, we regularly run reports on the most-borrowed books at Divinity, we also monitor which books get requested, but: one thing the statistics and reports cannot tell us is when a student would like to use a book (or is desperate to use a book), but all the copies are on loan, and they either do not have the time, or do not think how useful it would be for any library to know that there was more interest in a book; more interest than what is captured in the statistics!

    So, we started this campaign 7 days ago, and have had a fair number of requests already. Most importantly, however, is that one fairly popular book (requested by two students) slipped through the net of us trying to catch such demand with the statistics, and we have now ordered more copies. Other books recommended were already on our radar, but we were still unsure whether another copy was needed. As space and our budget are limited, we cannot just add extra copies for every book on every of our (approximately) 63 reading lists! And that’s not even thinking of the supervision reading lists yet. Anyway, for those who only came to this post, attracted by the Beatles reference:

    So, please help us, to help you[1]!


    [1] If you are an undergraduate or MPhil student at the Divinity Faculty in Cambridge.


    Timestamp: 22 February 2019 - 10:16am
  • Are we nearly there yet?

    Some of our latest covers, for books added at the Divinity Library

    In terms of spending our budget and the financial year: we are into the 6th month, but I often feel like saying “Are we nearly there yet?”. Obviously, purchasing and adding donated books to the Library is not a number game, but it is somewhat a measure of how hard we work. If we were to add 2 books per months, no one would be impressed, even if these two books were great publications. Also, in previous years, we have had donations which originally consisted of 500-800 books, and we might have added 200 of them.  We stopped taking such large donations, as usually the work of checking our holdings – for this kind of number of books – is disproportionally high in relation to the books we can add in the end!

    Equally, if I were to write here that we add, say, – on average – 1,212 books per year, you might think that this is high, but you might question whether these books were any good. In fact, we aim to add about 650-750 books per year – this relates to previous year’s numbers of volumes added to stock, and in my mind that helps me too (apart from devoting some “quality time” to our accounting system to see how much money we have actually spent!), to know how far we have got in a year. Finally, we also have an issue of space, so we need to be careful not to add to many books per year.

    So, for those of you like number crunching, here are the Divinity Faculty Library new acquisitions “stats”:

    Acces- sion no. 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17 1 08/08/2018 03/08/2017 02/08/2016 100 20/09/2018 14/09/2017 05/09/2016 200 02/11/2018 19/10/2017 14/10/2016 300 28/11/2018 22/11/2017 29/11/2016 400 08/01/2019 24/01/2018 01/02/2017 500 31/01/2019 13/03/2018 22/03/2017 600 ??/02/2019 07/05/2018 12/05/2017 700 ??/03/2019 03/07/2018 07/08/2017 750 ??/05/2019 31/07/2018

    To answer the question, posed in the title of this blog post then: “Yes, we are definitely getting ‘there’!”.

    Looking at the above table, one fairly obvious observation would be that we do not manage to  catalogue/accession as much before Christmas (or rather in the four month between August and December) as we do manage to add books to stock later in the year. Inductions, research skills and skills sessions plus numerous tours just means that the team as a whole is much more pre-occupied with focusing on people as opposed to books. Also, some of the aquistions every year are triggered by seeing the usage of certain titles on reading lists; so we tend to buy more titles as soon as students have requested them: aiming for multiple copies without knowing the actual usage would be a bit vague.

    To give a probably more interesting snapshot of which books we have added already this year, here are the lists of each point in the accession number cycle:

    Acces-sion no. Date Author Title ISBN Year Classmark 1 08/08/2018 Husserl Cartesian meditations 9789401758284 1973 10 HSSE 8 100 20/09/2018 Baskin (ed.) Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism 9780521825979 2011 4 DIC-JUD 2 200 02/11/2018 Arnold/Choi Guide To Biblical Hebrew Syntax 2ed 9781107434967 2018 1G HEB-SYN 1 300 28/11/2018 Muessig / Ferzoco / Kienzle (eds.) A companion to Catherine of Siena 9789004205550 2011 400 08/01/2019 Berlin Lamentations [Old Testament library] 9780664229740 2004 2:20:23 500 31/01/2019 Gzella, Nebe (eds.) etc. Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament, Band IX 9783170303539 2016 3 THE-WOR 1.9

    If you prefer to have the “full” picture, please go to

    If you are a member of the University of Cambridge, and think that we have missed a recently-published book, which we should have ordered, please follow our instructions at to suggest an important book!



    Timestamp: 15 February 2019 - 4:24pm
  • I can’t find this book, but the catalogue says…

    Screenshot of brief results list, showing three books by Prof Ian McFarland, with the middle record stating “Checked out…”

    What could be easier than searching a catalogue? Well, the following post is the result of trying to help library users in the last 2 1/2 years (honestly, I have been trying for longer, but you will see why this duration of 30ish months is important). A fair number of our users believe that a book is supposed to be on the shelf, when it (sometimes) isn’t. I also fear that some might be mis-reading the catalogue’s holdings, and believe that a book isn’t on the shelf at Divinity, when it actually is.

    The University of Cambridge-wide iDiscover was launched in 2016, and since then we librarians and users have been using this “catalogue” (technically-speaking it’s a resource discovery system; without wanting to bore you: it collates bibliographic data from different data sources; more details, if you cannot resist, at

    In the above screenshot it looks as if the publication In Adam’s fall is ‘checked out from Divinity Facult Main Library (9 MACF 13) and other locations’. We advise users to click always on this link. In this case one might assume that there are holdings at “other locations [my emphasis]”. The other location (singular) is the University Library, and one could assume that the UL’s copy is also “checked out” (e.g. borrowed/on loan). When I clicked on this link, it showed this:

    iDiscover showing two details of holdings, with classmark, but without any indication whether either is available.

    As you can see, you cannot see (!) whether either copy is available. I won’t bore you with details, but I have just fixed this, so that this screen gives now more helpful information:

    Two holdings, now displaying the useful information “(1 copy, 0 available, 0 requests)”

    We are aware of this problem, and will work through similar records as soon as we can! Until then you really need to click through to see the details. However, when there are multiple copies of a book (not only accross the University’s libraries, but also at one library. You really ought to click through. The following example might help to show why!

    iDiscover record showing “Available at Cambridge Theological Federation Ridley Hall Library (246.19) and other locations”

    Clicking on the link after “Available at”, produces the list of holdings (i.e. Ridley Hall Library and “other locations”):

    The Divinity Library has 4 copies at 5 NTJN ASH 3b, and underneath the hyperlinked, first line, the system states “5 NTJN ASH 3b(1) until 5 NTJN 3b(4)”. In this case, clicking on the blue link for Divinity Faculty Library will give details about the four copies:

    Here the system then states that copies 3 and 4 (at 5 NTJN ASH 3b(3) and 5 NTJN ASH 3b(4) are “in place”; i.e. the are in the library/not “on loan”, but: of course, someone might just be able to borrow them, before you get to the copy/library. Copies 1 and 2 are “on loan”, with copy 2 due on 14/02/2019, and copy 1 is overdue since 07/02/2019 (if you are reading this, please check whether this book is on your desk!). The system also tells you that there are no requests on any of these copies – which could be useful.

    Hopefully, the above will help with interpreting the complexities when searching for holdings in our libraries – having several libraries and sometimes multiple copies in Cambridge does not make this easier. Please always ask us! Either in person or via phone or email. We’d rather double check that a book isn’t there than you missing out on borrowing a copy of a book from us. In this sense: “Tally-ho!”


    Timestamp: 8 February 2019 - 1:44pm