Rare Books in Scotland business meeting
Thursday 29 October 2015, St Andrews University Library
- Briony Aitchison — StAUL
- Helen Beardsley — SUL
- Robert Betteridge — NLS: Minutes
- Jill Dye — University of Stirling: PhD student working at Innerpeffray
- Mark Glancy — NMS
- Daryl Green — StAUL
- Lara Haggerty — Innerpeffray
- Graham Hardy — RBGE
- Bob MacLean — GUL
- Keith O'Sullivan — AUL
- Georgie Rogers — NMS
- Angela Schofield — Advocates Library
- Helen Vincent — NLS: Convenor
- Finlay West — EUL.
1. Apologies for absence
- Anette Hagan — NLS
- Iain Milne — RCPE
- John Crawford — Leadhills
- Stephen Kerr and Marianne — RCSE
- Marian Kirton — Napier
- Karen O'Brien — Edinburgh City Libraries
- Christine Love-Rogers — New College, Edinburgh University
- Julie Gardham — GUL.
The business meeting was opened by Helen Vincent (HV) at 11.55. Those present introduced themselves and HV read out the list of those sending apologies.
2. Minutes of previous meeting
In 5.2 the report for NMS should read:
The library hopes to raise its profile with rare books that have been included in forthcoming exhibitions. The next major exhibitions will be Victorian Photography in 2015 and Celts in 2016.
In 5.2 the report for RBGE should read:
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: Cataloguing of the folios in the Rare Book Room has been completed. The Linnaeus Collection is next in line for cataloguing, and bibliographic records will be added to the collaborative Linnaeus Link project headed up by the Linnean Society. Volunteers are working on listing and data capture projects for botanical objects, botanical art, slides and postage stamp collection.
3. Matters arising, not covered elsewhere on this agenda
HV reported that RBiS's input to the Public Library Strategy consultation had been included in the report.
HV noted that while interns and volunteers would be welcomed to RBiS meetings it was important that they respected the confidential nature of some discussions.
4. Future forum activities
The Advocates Library will host the next meeting on 5 May 2016 with the possibility of a tour.
Helen Beardsley offered the University of Stirling as a venue for autumn 2016.
HV welcomes suggestions for future venues.
The possibility of an ESTC training workshop was raised once again with Robert Betteridge providing an outline of how previous workshops have been run. Leadhills Library had reported an interest and interest was also shown from NMS and RBGE. Bob MacLean (BM) offered to take part in a Glasgow based workshop. HV suggested waiting until the re-developed ESTC front-end has been launched in 2016 before advertising another workshop.
Daryl Green (DG) asked about demand for a workshop on reporting to foreign union catalogues. HV questioned the interest some of these have in being informed of holdings held abroad and DG agreed to investigate this and report back.
HV reported that she received no notes of interest in an image-rights management workshop. BM reported that Glasgow is currently running a project looking at how to clear copyright for archival material. Mark Glancy noted that the National Archives is running workshops on orphan works. HV noted that there are different laws for published and unpublished works.
DG hopes that those attending the RDA serials training event on 7 November will be able to cascade to the group. HV noted that the CILIP RBSCG is hosting workshops. DG asked if there would be one in Scotland. HV suggested that a previous lack of demand makes this unlikely but will ask. Briony Aitchison is attending the event on 7 November and will raise the issue then.
5.1 CLILIP RBSCG, ESTC etc.
CILIP RBSCG: HV reported that the 2016 conference would be held in Liverpool and would focus on equalities and diversity in the profession. The RBSCG committee is interested in equality from the point of view of access to collections, resource and institutional issues and access to the profession. BM noted that issues of diversity also had a bearing on collection development. Jill Dye (JD) noted that the profession is very city-centric.
HV pointed out that students are often given metadata projects to work on which doesn't provide sufficient skills for wider work. DG pointed out the Skills for the Future programme and HV noted that it is open to non-archivists. JD suggested the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities as a source. HV replied that the National Library has not received any approaches. DG thought that universities had a good infrastructure to host interns provided that funding was available. Lara Haggerty (LH) noted that the School is still a relatively new organisation. HV noted the increasing pressure on universities to provide masters degrees with an internship element.
ESTC: BM raised the increasing problem of EEBO access for some institutions and wondered if links from ESTC could provide access to non-commercial digitised copies. DG was also interested in this possibility. HV reminded the meeting that the National Library provides free access to EEBO for registered users with a Scottish address.
RDA meetings in Edinburgh in November: HV brought these to the attention of the group (see https://catandindexgroup.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/rda-rare-materials-seminar-edinburgh-6th-november-2/) and there was some discussion of the move to RDA for rare book cataloguing. Finlay West reported that EUL were finding that RDA and MARC were often found to be a poor fit and that workarounds were needed to catalogue modern books in a special collections environment.
The following reports were delivered at the joint afternoon session with SUSCAG.
SCURL: SCURL are reviewing the Scottish Collections Policy: Investigating the retention of low-use collections stored at the National Library's Causewayside building. Collections are to be returned to owners or pulped. De-duplication provided such little overlap that it was not considered to be worthwhile. Retention is being reviewed with a view to maintaining a certain number of copies of rare items. A report is due in January. SCURL are running a Calamity Forum on 11 November to discuss disaster and business recovery.
CERL: CERL is holding its AGM this week so there should be more to report at the next meeting. CERL is helping with the conversion of the Scottish Book Trade Index into a database, with entries being added into the CERL thesaurus. The first conference of the CERL Security Network, Library Security: Practices and Strategies took place on 8 May 2015, at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome. The programme was divided into four sessions covering Accountability and Governance, Staff interaction with collections, Digital tools for prevention and detection, and the process of recovery.
IFLA: A reminder that DG and HV are both on the Rare Books and Special Collections standing committee. DG attended the 2015 WLIC in Cape Town. The 2017 IFLA conference will take place in Columbia, Ohio, the home of OCLC and is expected to have a focus on cataloguing and system interoperability. The standing committee are looking at competencies for special collections librarians.
5.2 RBiS tumblr account: DG reported that Christine McGowan has taken up a cataloguing post at the University of Cardiff. On behalf of the group HV thanked Christine for her work on the tumblr account.
HV asked for a volunteer to manage the account: monitoring that it is working well and soliciting members for submissions. Keith O'Sullivan would pass the request to Aberdeen's social media group who may be able to take this on.
6. Forum organisation
The group now has 79 subscribers from 38 institutions.
7. Accreditation discussion
HV will ask for input from CILIP at the RBSCG meeting in November on rare book community involvement with accreditation. There was a discussion of the possibility of rare book collections being hampered by having to work within an archives led environment. LH reported that Innerpeffray is applying for museum accreditation and emphasised the odd situation of a library having to apply for accreditation in this manner.
DG announced that an IFLA rare books and special collections blog has been set up and would welcome a post on RBiS.
HV closed the meeting at 13.00.
The group reconvened at 14.00 in a joint meeting with SUSCAG at which members of both groups reported on their institution's current activity.
St Andrews University Library: Plans are in development for a special collections building at Guardbridge. Carnegie Fund money has been awarded for a preservation officer. The Lighting the Past Project continues. A Skills for the Future trainee has been appointed to work with the photography collections.
Heriot Watt Museums and Archives: £1000 has been received from the Wellcome Fund for textile conservation. A research data management policy is being developed. A digital preservation system is being tested. The digital preservation policy is being amended to be re-submitted for approval.
Historic Environment Scotland: Looking at integration of Historic Scotland and RCHAMS libraries. David Waugh's library has been acquired.
Stirling University Library: There is a touring exhibition of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. The archives of Peter Mackay and Patrick McGrath have been acquired. Wellcome funding for cataloguing has been received. A Jacobites exhibition in collaboration with Innerpeffray is planned. The Library mounted an exhibition to mark the 80th anniversary of Penguin Books.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: Cataloguing of Rare Book Room collections, Linnaeus Collection completed (187 items), 'quarto' books started, 195 bibliographic records added to date; a number of unique items have been identified, and a note has been taken in the shelf-list of items to be added to ESTC. Tours featuring items from the Rare Book Room, and Archives have been given for specialist and non-specialist audiences, including bibliographical societies, Edinburgh university geography students, Consuls, Doors Open Day visitors. Lorna Mitchell, Head of Library Services, is now also managing Publications. A publishing highlight was the release in early October of the limited edition 'Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile.' The botanical artwork (90 paintings) reproduced in this work is the newest acquisition to RBGE's botanical art collection, and some of it is currently being exhibited at RBGE to mark the launch of the book. Volunteers are continuing with work to identified book collections dispersed throughout the main collection, cleaning of historic periodicals, capturing metadata on 35 mm slide collections, and listing botanical art collections. The soft launch of RBGE's first Archives catalogue is scheduled for 23rd November; the software for the catalogue is the open-source platform ICA-AtoM. Volunteers have assisted in writing up biographies on individuals whose archives are held at RBGE, and also listing of archive holdings; all supervised by RBGE's Archivist, Leonie Paterson.
National Museum of Scotland: The Library is now part of collections services and benefitting from closer ties. Tracing military ancestors workshops were run at Edinburgh Castle. An uncoloured plate from Audobon's Birds of America, with his provenance, has been acquired.
Innerpeffray: It has been a successful year for visitor numbers. There have been exhibitions on dictionaries and battles. A winter activities programme with lunchtime talks has been developed to increase visitor numbers. Around the world and drink exhibitions planned for 2016. Second part of the Scottish collection of 19th and 20th-century books has been received from America. Jilly Dye of the University of Stirling is working on a PhD based on the first 100 years of the borrowers register.
Advocates Library: The cataloguing of Abbotsford chapbooks continues. The Library successfully took part in Doors Open Day with 320 visitors. There have been displays on Thomas Muir and Faculty dinners. A copy of the second edition of the first English translation of the Magna Carta was loaned to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom for display over the summer.
Aberdeen University Library: There has been an exhibition on the idea of the far north. Current exhibition is 'City of Ghosts: A dialogue with George Washington Wilson'. Planning is underway for a major Dickens exhibition and Dickens Fellowship conference in 2016. The Library has been lending lots of material including a shinty rule book to Hampden. Involvement with Explore Your Archive, Book Week Scotland and Flash Fiction events. 3 scholars have received £2000 grants to work with the Library. Having to work under the review of professional services.
Glasgow University Library: Special collections and archives are to merge as a cost saving exercise but this is providing some opportunities for harmonisation, shadowing and teaching. Archives need to move and will probably come to Library building. A cataloguer has been appointed to work for a year on the Erskine Hospital archive. The Library has appointed a systems developer. A new LMS is being investigated and the Library has been looking at KE Emu.
National Library of Scotland: The new strategy for 2015-2020 has been launched. HV is now Rare Books, Maps and Music Manager. The Scottish Screen Archive is now the Moving Image Archive. Next major exhibition, beginning in December, is Plague! The Book Beautiful display will run from November to March. Rare Books now has a Twitter account @nlsrarebooks. The Library is hosting a Fulbright Scholar for 6six months and will host the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship writer in 2015/16. The Library will fly a pirate flag from its George IV Bridge building on RLS day.
Edinburgh University Library: Working through issues with new LMS Ex Libris Alma and Primo. Towards Dolly exhibition ends 31 October. Also experiencing cuts. Collections of W.H. Auden, John Steinbeck and Adam Smith's library have been catalogued: 800, 180 and 1800 titles respectively. A Chinese cataloguer is working one day a week.
Strathclyde University Library: 30 Patrick Geddes items lent to University of Dundee for 'The City is a Thinking Machine' exhibition. A paid student intern has been appointed to develop themed research guide. A business case is being created for a digital preservation system.
HV closed the meeting at 15.20 with thanks to St Andrews University Library for hosting the day.