Meeting on 3 September 2003

Rare Books in Scotland

On 3 September 2003, the National Library of Scotland hosted a meeting for librarians within Scotland who have responsibility for rare book collections. Twenty-nine delegates attended, including David Shaw, secretary of CERL, the Consortium of European Research Libraries, who gave a presentation on CERL in the afternoon, and Patrick Mark, Chairman of the Scottish Printing Archival Trust, on whose initiative a meeting was held here in the National Library on 7 October (Board Room, 2pm) to discuss some aspects of the celebration of 500 years of Scottish printing in 1507 / 1508.

The purpose of the meeting of 3 September — believed to be the first-ever gathering of so many Scottish librarians with rare book collections in their care — was to explore the scope for greater collaboration in this area of librarianship. After talks to set the context by Brian Hillyard and John Scally, both of the National Library's Rare Book Collections, a central feature of the day was a 'break out' session at which delegates were given an opportunity, in two groups, to discuss and record their preferences among a number of possible specific areas for collaboration. There was strong support for further collaboration in general, and delegates also recorded their support for further collaboration in almost all the specific areas that had been proposed. In a discussion following on from the 'break out' sessions, these actions were agreed for the National Library to take forward:

  • To continue to use the unofficial email list [i.e. 'reply-all'] that was used to organise this first event
  • To make available PowerPoint presentations and other documents from this first event
  • To arrange a second meeting in about six months time, perhaps in a different library and incorporating a behind-the-scenes visit
  • To consider as agenda items for the second meeting (a) the issue of providing a more formal basis for the group, and (b) working out a clearer idea of the requirements for workshops (to include consideration of digitisation)
  • To set up some web pages on to give access to brief details about institutional collection development policies to be contributed by participants, and to email out details of NLS Rare Books staff who could offer advice and support for the writing-up of these brief details [see further below]
  • To consider in more detail the provision of practical workshops on 'basics' and to plan some practical sessions as part of the second meeting.

Below are some links to access the programme for 3 September, a list of the delegates, the texts and/or slides of the three presentations, and the results of the 'break out' sessions.

Summaries of institutional Collection Development Policies are being added.


Rare Books in Scotland main page

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