Rare Books in Scotland business meeting
Thursday 16 April 2015, Glasgow University Library
- Steven Kerr — RCSE
- Andrew McAinsh RCPS
- Paulette Hill — Historic Scotland
- Helen Beardsley — Stirling
- Joseph Marshall — EUL
- Elizabeth Lawrence — EUL
- Clare Harrison — RCPS
- Briony Aitchison — StAUL
- Patricia Boyd — EUL
- Mark Glancy — NMS
- Christine McGowan — StAUL
- Anette Hagan — NLS
- Helen Vincent — NLS
- Angela Schofield — Advocates
- Graham Hardy — RBGE
- Douglas Gordon — RGU intern at RBGE
- Fiona Mowat — Cataloguing intern, EUL
- Karen O'Brien — Edinburgh Central Libraries
- Julie Gardham — GUL
- Robert MacLean — GUL.
1. Apologies for absence
- Marion Kirton — Napier University
- Graham Hogg — NLS
- Robert Betteridge — NLS
- Veronica Fraser — RCAHMS
- Lara Haggerty — Innerpeffray
- Elizabeth Henderson— StAUL
- Michelle Gait — AUL
- Keith O'Sullivan — AUL
- Jill Evans — SCURL
- Duncan Chappell — Glasgow School of Art.
The business meeting was opened by Helen Vincent (HV) at 13.00. Those present introduced themselves and HV read out the list of those sending apologies. HV welcomed all newcomers to their first RBiS meeting.
2. Minutes of previous meeting
3. Matters arising, not covered elsewhere on this agenda
There were no matters arising not covered by the agenda.
Julie noted that the last minutes mention the Dundee rare books training module but didn't appear on this week's agenda. HV pointed out that the training provision is now out of RBiS's hands.
Scottish public libraries consultation: St Andrews UL and HV have contributed to this, but have had no response. An update is expected at the CILIP Rare Books Conference in London 4-6 September.
Accreditation: The Archives and Records Association (ARA) and Museums and Galleries Scotland (MGS) both offer accreditation as well as designation, but the library sector does not offer anything comparable. Designation is given to institutions that hold collections of national significance. Joe Marshall reported that the Lothian Health Archives Service got ARA accreditation last year. The Centre for Research Collections at EUL as a whole (i.e. not just the archive collections) has applied for accreditation. Attaining this status is likely to help with future funding streams. NMS are looking for museum accreditation that would include their pre-1850 printed material. HV proposed to circulate links to the different schemes on offer with a view to revisit the topic at the next meeting.
4. Future forum activities
St Andrews University Library will host the Autumn meeting, which will be a joint meeting with SUSCAG.
Andrea Longson has offered the Advocates Library as a venue for the spring meeting, which will take place on 5 May 2016.
There have been no further developments with the proposed ESTC training.
Julie Gardham enquired about an image rights management workshop again. HV suggested that NLS's intellectual property officer Fred Saunderson could potentially lead one, but he would need to know what exactly to cover. Julie suggested orphan works with a view to the Edwin Morgan scrapbook digitisation project at GUL. It was agreed to organise the workshop next year.
Helen Beardsley asked if there were any plans to hold a workshop on exhibitions. HV asked if Joe Marshall would like to host a workshop at Edinburgh University Library. JM thought that this could be based around the Making Our Connections Project that he and HV had been involved in.
Regarding the possibility of serials training from CILIP, HV mentioned that there would be at least one person at the CILIP Conference in September who could be lobbied.
There was no uptake on Lyn Wall's offer at the last meeting to give training on lending and couriering. Joe Marshall agreed to organise an exhibition workshop based on the Making Our Connections Project that he and HV had been involved in.
Christine Megowan's offer of a workshop on identifying early photographic prints was taken up.
SCURL's business plan includes the promotion Scotland's distinctive collections; they are planning to convene a working group, on which RBiS members are welcome. HV would circulate Jill Evans' report with the invitation to express interest in joining the working group.
The Leighton Library (Dunblane) has uploaded 3,250 and NLS 408,000 records to the Handpress of the Printed Book (HPB) database; CERL is awaiting the delivery of a dataset from RCPS Glasgow for the HPB. NLS has also contributed 9,000 entries to the CERL Thesaurus from the Scottish Book Trade Index; a file load from Aberdeen University Library to the CT is upcoming.
Fiona Courage (Sussex University Library) is the new chair of the RBSC Group. The Group's conference will take place in London (British Library and Friends' House) and Lambeth Palace from 4 to 6 September 2015; the topic is Hidden Collections. The directory of special collections is at the final editorial stage. Karen Attar would like to have the launch in Scotland. The Group is going through a design process for a new logo. There has been a call for book reviews and e-news from libraries for the Group's Newsletter.
Helen Vincent and Daryl Green attended the IFLA mid-term meeting, which included a joint meeting with CILIP RBSCG, in London. There was also a seminar on provenance held jointly with CERL which revealed the diverse standards and methods used by different projects. There was a presentation on antiquarian booksellers' marks. Presentations from the seminar are on the CERL website. The 2017 IFLA conference will take place in Columbia, Ohio, the home of OCLC.
The first meeting since Nov. 2013 is taking place on 20 April; the papers circulated for this meeting include a progress report from the IESTC Directors, which mentions the top 10 ESTC web matchers; Edinburgh University Library leads this hitlist with 2,639 updated records. The Mellon Foundation-funded project to develop a new ESTC interface will finish in early 2016. It will include user curation features still to be developed.
5.2 Forum members
Glasgow University Library
The Ingenious Impressions exhibition opened at the end of February and will run until 21 June. A free but ticketed printing and typecasting workshop will take place on 8 May. The 1pm Wednesday lunchtime talks have been popular. The incunable project will include material held at other Glasgow libraries (Mitchell, Strathclyde UL, RCPS) too. So far, 12 unique editions have been discovered at GUL. The planned forum on incunables will be postponed until the project has been completed. The Wellcome grant for cataloguing and creating a website about the syphilis collections has been completed.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland / Historic Scotland
The board of the new joint organisation, Historic Environments Scotland, has had its first meetings. Work has continued on the WoLF project to merge HS and RCAHMS libraries; discussions about a new library management system are ongoing; the Dewey system has been chosen for classification. G. Genco, an intern in Book Collection Care, has delivered a report on the condition and housing of RCAHMS rare books and has made recommendations about conservation and rehousing. Recent accessions include a rare catalogue of designs of cranes by Sir William Arrold and Co Ltd, 1920, and a collection of books from the library of the architects Dick Peddie and McKay. Rare books found during a stock checking at Historic Scotland will be set aside for examination and consideration for potential storage to the Print Room at John Sinclair House. Boxing and remedial treatment will be undertaken where necessary.
Stirling University Library
The next exhibition will feature 20th-century collections in connection with the 80th anniversary of Penguin. Stirling UL has an almost complete run of pre-1960s Penguins. Later, Innerpeffray and Leighton Libraries will have an exhibition on Jacobites.
Edinburgh Central Libraries
A commercial conservator has given advice on addressing housing and other issues. A PhD candidate is working on 19th-century pamphlets.
Edinburgh University Library
A formal review of the Centre for Research Collections has been completed. Joe Marshall would circulate the results. A trial of Google Glass was undertaken; it was found that it has limited practical applications. The new exhibition 'Something blue' is partly experimental and will trial the use of a blue tooth device with apps. The new library management system will go live on 29 June. One rare books cataloguer is on secondment from New College Library, but there are no interns. EUL is collaborating with NLS on the catalogue of William Fairbairn papers and books. The catalogue will bring together EAD and MARC records in a single interface and will go live in July. A stock check will take place at the end of May while the CRC remains open for readers.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Cataloguing of the folios and the special collections items has been completed. The Linnaeus Collection is next in line for cataloguing as part of the wider project Linnaeus Link. Volunteers are working on listing and data capture projects for botanical objects and the stamp collection.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
The College has purchased a new building. Volunteer projects are continuing. Cataloguing is moving to RDA for new acquisitions, but DCRM(B) will continue to be used for cataloguing the rare books collection. The application for museum accreditation has been completed.
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Major building renovations are ongoing. Much of the stock has been moved offsite, and new shelving has now been fitted. Items should be re-shelved by early summer. The renovation project will be completed in September 2015.
National Museums Scotland
The library plans to raise its profile with an exhibition on rare items. The next major exhibitions will be Photography in 201 and Celts in 2016.
St Andrews University Library
Eight students are working on the Lighting of the Past project. After 1 year and 9 months, the project has managed to produce 17,000 bibliographic records with 19,500 item records. Elizabeth Henderson is going on maternity leave for a year. Christine McGowan has catalogued the history of science collections. A former Lighting the Past member is going to catalogue items in Bengali and other non-European languages. Through the Visiting Scholars scheme, five scholars are expected to work on the collections, give talks and workshops and blog from June to August 2015. The blog theme for this year is 'Reading the collections'.
Work has started on item-level cataloguing of the chapbooks in the Abbotsford Collection. This is done on the Advocates Library's cataloguing system. Two small displays will feature the topics administration of justice and duelling in the near future.
National Library of Scotland
Robert Betteridge has curated the Jacobites exhibition, which runs until 10 May. Anette Hagan put out a further plea for objects to be loaned for the Plagues exhibition, which starts in December 2015. The new National Librarian, John Scally, is doing final work on the new strategy, which is rooted in the collections. An intern from an Edinburgh University Masters programme has made much progress with work on the provenance index.
6. Forum organisation
As of April 2015, mailing list membership still stood at 80, but there are now 38 institutional members.
Helen Vincent raised the issue of institutional interns attending RBiS meetings. It was suggested that such an attendance is positive for their professional development, and that there would be no objections to their attendance as long as what was discussed at RBiS meetings remained confidential. Helen Vincent would draw up some a draft statement in that respect for the next meeting.