Vacation Loans and Renewing Books
Students may borrow up to 10 books for the Summer Vacation from Monday 10 June onwards. At the end of the Easter Term you are only able to renew your books for the vacation if you bring them in to the library (you can’t renew them online). Most of you have already returned all your term loans, but there are still a few stragglers! We will be chasing you up to either return your books or pay for the replacement costs.
The Big Clean
By the end of the Easter Term the library looks rather like a sunami has passed by! Exams have finally finished and the library staff has now started tidying the library. So if you have left your papers, files, bags, clothing or your own books here, please come and collect them before you leave Cambridge.
General Admission on Thursday 27 June is a wonderful day of celebration! The Old Library will be open from 2:30pm to 4:00pm for the Trinity Hall graduands and their guests. We are looking forward to seeing you all there!
Jerwood Library Tours 26 June
Two groups interested in modern architecture will visit the Jerwood Library during the afternoon of 26 June between 3:30pm and 6:00pm. They will be accompanied by an architect from the practice of Freeland Rees Roberts who will explain the building. So if you see strangers in the building on that afternoon, please don’t be alarmed! Apologies in advance for any disruption caused.
Stock Check in July
If you are planning to use the library over the summer please note that there will be work going on and noise for three weeks from 1st-19th July when we do the annual stock check. Graduate students will be working in pairs to scan the barcodes on the books in the library and to dust the books and the shelves. We will start on the second floor and work down through the library rooms to the lower ground floor.
Here to help
The library staff will be here on (most) weekdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm throughout the summer vacation. However, there will occasionally be times when we are not here: the August Bank Holiday, some training days and annual leave. However, the Jerwood Library is still open 24 hours a day throughout the summer vacation. If we are not here you drop by you can always email us with your query email@example.com. We are happy to help.
Dominique and Helen wish you all a great vacation!
Ten illustrated editions of Pride and prejudice from the Library’s collections will feature in an exhibition at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, from 21–23 June 2013.
The exhibition, curated by Dr Chole Preedy, accompanies the major international conference Pride and prejudice: celebrating 200 years of Jane Austen’s best-loved novel, which marks the publication of the novel by Thomas Egerton in 1813.
The books will return to the University Library and go on display in the exhibition cases near the Map Room in the North Front corridor, later in June.
You may have already read about the Phillip John Greenwood collection of CDs, donated this year to the Pendlebury Library. We are now coming to the end of cataloguing the collection, which has added over 500 CD titles to our … Continue reading →
A collection of miscellaneous handwriting samples, recently catalogued by Dr J.F. Coakley, has yielded a few slips of paper bearing alphabets and other specimens for practice in the calligraphic hand of Alwyn Faber Scholfield, University Librarian from 1923-49. As J.C.T.Oates, doyen of incunabulists and sometime Deputy Librarian, explained in his obituary of Scholfield, published in the Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 5 (1969-71), pp 152-3, and first composed for the University Library Staff Bulletin, Juniors joining the Library staff were presented with such slips and required to practise writing them out until they could reproduce the script accurately.
The specimens (now MS Add. 9831 A/1) contain two with examples of the whole alphabet, in upper and lower case (capitals and minuscules), together with numerals. Scholfield liked to add two sentences “The judge spoke most finely but with very quixotic zeal” and the more familiar “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs” (he seems to have preferred ‘jumped’ and ‘dogs’ to ‘jumps’ and ‘dog’, though there are other variants, one of them leaving out s altogether). Another specimen contains the sentences and numerals only, while the largest is a kind of sampler containing all these examples and a passage from Dante’s Paradiso xxx (translated by Bickersteth) beginning ‘And I saw light which flowed as flows a river …’ and so on for a total of nine lines.
Scholfield’s hand was considered of sufficient distinction (p 79 plate 34 (a)) to be included in Wilfrid Blunt’s Book Sweet Roman Hand: five hundred years of Italic Cursive Script, published in 1952 (London, James Barrie) at the apogee of the revival of the Renaissance Italic hand which had been developing in Britain for the previous fifty years or thereabouts. It surveys a considerable variety of cursive hands practised by many of Blunt’s contemporaries. Blunt was a drawing master at Eton, and taught his pupils Italic script, though Scholfield, albeit an Etonian, must have learned his earlier. The specimen reproduced is described by Blunt (p 98) as ‘very flowing’, and with occasional use of the long s.
In fact Scholfield’s hand is rather different from most of the more conventional forms of Italic reproduced by Blunt. As our specimens show, the long s mentioned by Blunt was not normally to be used by Library staff, however. Instead, the open letter p with a high ascender was characteristic , in more than one variant form , and Scholfield was careful to emphasise a long capital J extending below the line, and without a serif at the top; moreover, the centre strokes of M and W must take full advantage of the space to be filled. Width of capitals was important, with the proportions between letters as carefully spaced out as a printer would insist upon (it was a golden age of type design, as our collections of printers’ papers amply demonstrate). Among the minuscule letters, some ascenders (l, or the open p) are higher than others (t and h). Y, and g (when the double-bowed form is not used) have long descenders with small finely-crafted hooks. Above all, there is a tremendously assured sloping angle to the script which gives it an elegant legibility. It was complemented by a set of numerals ‘even numbers above the line; odd numbers below the line’ (other than 0 and 1 which are written small and on the line); the principle is still worth applying, provided it is remembered that 4 is in fact an even number below the line (Scholfield seems to have ignored this).
The hand was zealously copied by assistant (“non-graduate”) staff who achieved such proficiency in it that it was not always possible to tell two men’s hands apart. Mistakes by one assistant might be misattributed to another, perhaps even to a senior. The present writer’s Cambridge dentist was once bemused to discover that two of his patients wrote identical hands; both of them worked on the Library staff. The old Guard Book catalogue still exhibits annotations and corrections in the Library Hand, although with the passage of time and a certain amount of re-cataloguing and re-classifying these are becoming difficult to find. There are examples in the slip catalogue of the Upper Library, and there are still magnificent examples of whole pages in the Hand in the class catalogues (shelf lists) used by staff, not least in the Upper Library, where entering of new books was done mainly by assistant staff. Officer, that is, graduate, staff were less likely to write the Library Hand unless they were former assistants who had come up through the ranks. But there were officers themselves who developed distinguished variants on the Italic hand, or alternatives to it, priding themselves on combining clarity with elegance. A good hand, mindful of tradition, was one of the indicators of scholarly acumen which a Cambridge librarian should exhibit, and Scholfield would notice and respect it. Scholfield’s Library Hand however was unique in the way it paid regard to the proportions not only of the letters, but of the page. In so doing it evoked an atmosphere of competence, even of leisure in composition, which made it easy and a pleasure to read. The Library Hand demonstrated the value which Scholfield’s famed attention in regard to detail could have in the creation of enduring Library documents.
On 17th-20th June, 2013, CJBS Information & Library Services will host the 43rd annual conference of the European Business School Librarians’ Group. The 45 delegates are Information/Library Directors from Europe’s top business schools, and conference organiser (and head of CJBS I&LS), Andy Priestner, has been planning four days of challenging sessions and a range of Cambridge-based evening activities.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Library Futures: New Technologies, New Spaces, New Thinking.’ The conference will explore how technology is changing the way business schools teach and research, and how new and social media offer new opportunities to librarians. Drivers for change and future service models will also be examined. The future-proofing of library spaces and services will also be explored.
We are very lucky to have three esteemed speakers: Stephen Abram, Managing Principal at Lighthouse Partners; Andy Massey of the Pacific Institute; and Liz Waller, Deputy Librarian at the University of York. In addition, there will be several members’ sharing sessions and discussion forums and even a hands-on Lego Serious Play workshop to help delegates think creatively about the future of libraries.
The conference website has the full programme and a list of the conference sponsors.
User Experience Librarian
The University Library has just received a very timely donation from the Archives of St John’s College, to whom we are very grateful. It comprises a copy of the CUBC regulations for boat-racing, revised 1851; Rules and regulations of the Cambridge University Boat Club, 1900 and 1940 editions; and a nineteenth-century postcard featuring the well-known image of the first Boat Race crew training in 1829 next to what looks like Grassy Corner. The items will be conserved and catalogued in due course, but we felt that having received them on the first day of the Mays, they should be shared with our readers as soon as possible.
The rules for the May boat races in 1851 were fairly simple: whereas today’s races include ten divisions and over 150 crews, and some 1500 students taking part, the Mays in the early years included only 24 boats and were considerably shorter, finishing for all crews at Morley’s Holt just after the Railway Bridge. Otherwise the rules were essentially the same; all crews line up one-and-a-half lengths apart, start simultaneously, and a bump is declared when any part of a boat is touched by the one chasing it, or the chaser overtakes.
By 1900 the races had become a bigger affair, though interestingly more crews were permitted in the Lents (43 in three divisions) than the Mays (30 in two divisions). The finishing post for the top crews was now the Big Horse Grind, where until the construction in 1935 of the Stourbridge Common footbridge a ferry was towed across the river on a chain pulled by a horse, enabling people to cross from the city side of the river to Chesterton village. It was decreed that those rowing in the Mays should use boats with sliding seats, whereas the Lents were still to be rowed on fixed seats (a rule that was not changed until 1920). In the 1851 rules a bump was to be claimed by the coxswain raising a flag, but by 1900 this had changed to simply raising a hand as is the case now.
By 1940 the rules of racing had become once again more complex, with specific regulations regarding the size of bank parties. They contain the core of the current rules though, of course, there was no mention of female rowers; women did not compete in the Mays until 1974. The Library’s archives include records from the University Boat Club and the Rare Books Department has a small amount of ephemera in the Cam Papers collection; we would be delighted to hear from anyone with material to contribute to these collections, such as past Bumps programmes. Your author would like to take this opportunity to declare a personal interest, and to wish all crews rowing for the mighty JCBC the very best of luck!
|The Helen's Tower manuscript surrounded by editions of works by Browning|
Furnivall delighted in establishing societies dedicated to the work of several of his favourite authors. Significantly, he began the Browning Society in 1881.Browning was a personal friend, and very much valued Furnivall’s enthusiasm about his work.On the reverse of the manuscript, Furnivall explains the provenance of the poem; it was sent to himto be included in the Browning Society Notes of 1883. The subject is Helen's Tower, a memorial that Lord Dufferin had built for his mother. Lord Dufferin asked Tennyson to compose a poem to potentially be engraved on the tower, and subsequently asked Browning too. Furnivall considered the sonnet to be 'the best that Browning ever wrote, [...] certainly better than Tennyson’s lines on the same subject.'
If you would like any further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
 R. Browning quoted in F. J. Furnivall's letter, Helen's Tower Manuscript.
 F. J. Furnivall, Helen's Tower Manuscript.
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For example, you could monitor the routes of oil tankers and overlay this with storm predictions/impact forecasts; or map the world’s thermal power plants, add their capacity information and then download real time power outage data to quickly assess potential problems in any region.
This powerful visual display really makes it easier to build, and make sense of, layer upon layer of complex data.
Why not test BMAP out now on one of our Bloomberg terminals?
In amongst the runs of programmes for Monday and Saturday Popular concerts and the Richter concerts at St. James’s Hall, the University Library also has a box of some fifty miscellaneous programmes for concerts between 1876 and 1901. They are … Continue reading →
Behind every great website…. lies a lot of research, and quite often, a printed book. Or several.
Some of you may not be aware that in addition to appearing on this website, all of Charles Darwin’s letters are being published by Cambridge University Press in a series of large, green hardcover volumes as The correspondence of Charles Darwin . The first seven volumes each cover several years, but from volume 8 (which covers 1860) each volume contains the correspondence of just one year of Darwin’s life. We sent the most recent, volume 21, to press this week (and yes, we did celebrate), and when it is published, you will be able to read all the letters Darwin wrote and received in 1873.
For a great snapshot of Darwin’s life and work that year you just have to look at the many visuals contained in the letters. Darwin’s correspondents that year sent him delicate watercolours of sprouting seeds from France, tracings of ancient Egyptian pictures of dogs and oxen, ink drawings of a hairy ear and a frightened lemming, a photograph of two Dutch students – clutching their very own Darwin letter – not to mention lots of botanical illustrations and sketches of pieces of experimental apparatus. There is even a pencil drawing of a pair of lacy knickers sent by an Australian museum curator along with an English translation of a dirty poem by a German physiologist! It’s an unusually large and varied set, and has provided hours of entertainment for our technical experts who prepared all these for publication, often from high quality digital images taken by the Library’s Imaging Services Department, before being inserted into the letter texts.
Watch this space to find out the publication date of volume 21, and in the meantime we hope very soon to announce the publication of volume 20!