Rare Books in Scotland business meeting
Thursday 3 November 2016, University of Stirling
- Helen Beardsley — Stirling University Library
- Robert Betteridge — National Library of Scotland: Minutes
- John Crawford — Leadhills Miners Library
- Jill Evans — SCURL
- Veronica Fraser — Historic Environment Scotland
- Julie Gardham — Glasgow University Library
- Anette Hagan — National Library of Scotland
- Lara Haggerty — Innerpeffray Library
- Briony Harding — St Andrews University Library
- Graham Hardy — Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
- Elizabeth Henderson — St Andrews University Library
- Steven Kerr — Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- Christine Love-Rogers — New College Library
- Andrew McAinsh — Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Alasdair MacDonald — Edinburgh University Library, representing CIGS
- Jane Pirie — Aberdeen University Library
- Angela Schofield — Advocates Library
- Helen Vincent — National Library of Scotland: Convenor.
- Mark Glancy — National Museum of Scotland
- Marian Kirton — Napier University Library
- Karen O'Brien — Edinburgh City Library.
The business meeting was opened by Helen Vincent (HV) at 13.15.
2. Minutes of previous meeting
- Initials in 4.3 should read AMcA rather than AMcI
- In the Glasgow University Library report Clerk should read Clapp
- In the Advocates Library report it should be noted that the digitisation project with EUL is a pilot project.
3. Matters arising
HV reported that NLS, EUL and Strathclyde sent details to list of their PSI charging policies. EUL has stopped charging permission fees. Julie Gardham (JG) thanked those who had posted their PSI policies and reported that GUL have simplified their policy, kept it broadly in line with others, have made no public statement yet and will be reserving the right to charge though not for education related requests.
HV spoke on accreditation. CILIP RBSCG now has Tanya Kirk of the BL working on this with a view to producing a report for RBIS and CILIP to take forward. Jill Evans (JE) is still to ask SLIC who would lead in Scotland. Tanya will produce a survey for circulation and has already had some opinions expressed about how this should work. John Crawford (JC) recommended this professional route and spoke of the frustrations experienced by Leadhills when working for accreditation from MGS who he feels have no understanding of rare books environment. HV emphasised that this is why we need our own route to accreditation. Andrew McAinsh (AMcA) shared many of JC's frustrations but thought that accreditation had brought benefits to RCPSG by way of funding for digitisation.
4. Future forum activities
No confirmed venue for Spring 2017 yet but most likely to be in Edinburgh: EUL, NMS or RCPE. Support was given for having a music oriented meeting perhaps at EUL, JG suggested the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow as a possible venue. Glasgow Women's Library was also thought to be an interesting possibility for a future meeting.
Future workshops could include: ESTC matching, image rights and copyright, foreign union catalogues and fingerprints (would be run by Daryl Green — JG offered to host at GUL), exhibition planning and lending and couriering (HV has established that Joe Marshall does not wish to lead an exhibitions workshop) and cataloguing, including DCRM and authority control. Alistair McDonald (AMcD) reported that CIGS are considering a web 2.0 and metadata session. Elizabeth Henderson (EH) suggested a rare serials workshop. Both James Mitchell of NLS and Briony Harding (BH) attended rare serials training as part of the RDA and Rare Materials event held in Edinburgh in November 2015 and could cascade to members. AMcD noted that EUL are about to catalogue a big rare serials collection and would be interested in a workshop. There was further interest from around the table. St Andrews and EUL are to liaise on workshop ideas. Helen Beardsley (HB) stated interest in an exhibitions workshop and BH in a music workshop. HV recognised that music cataloguing is a more difficult area to get into and thought a workshop a good idea. EUL offered assistance in organising this. HV also recognised the need to develop ideas about an exhibition workshop and then revisit.
AMcA noted that uptake had been slight but reiterated that the RBiS tumblr is still looking for #RBiS posts on members' Twitter accounts.
5.1 CILIP RBSCG/ESTC/CERL/SCURL/IFLA RBSC/CIGS
HV reported that the 2016 CILIP RBSCG conference on diversity had been a success. JG said she found the presentations to be rather museum oriented but that this helped her to think about collections in different ways. HV acknowledged that the rare books aspect was missing from the conference. CILIP is examining professional diversity and the barriers preventing access to the profession. EH noted that the Skills for the Future programme is helping to provide access. HV noted that in NLS's experience the programme's candidates were already highly educated. 2017 CILIP RBSCG conference will be in Brighton — 'Collections at risk' with 3 strands: preservation and conservation, theft and vandalism, and sale and disposal; will include advocacy, advice from law enforcement, conservation prioritisation. 2018 will be at Downing College Cambridge. A new logo is in development. CILIP is revising membership structure and if approved will be more affordable. RBSCG looking at running a cataloguing training event at the Wellcome; interest in a bindings event and serials training (DCRM(S)). The Directory of Special Collections launched — also in Scotland at CILIP autumn gathering thanks to AMcA. James Mitchell and Elizabeth Quarmby-Lawrence (EUL) are now on the Bibliographic Standards Committee.
Anette Hagan (AH) had nothing to report.
Report from Anette Hagan:
Report of CERL meetings at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 19-21 October 2016, Executive Committee meeting
CERL Internship and Placement Grant 2017 (1,000 €): The next call for applications is published on 1 November 2016. Two grants are now offered: one for a librarian, one for a researcher. Each receives 1000 Euro and will be placed in a CERL member library for one month.
History of the Printed Book database currently has around 6.6 million records. Four new developments are planned:
- Enrich the data with geo coordinates of imprint places
- Enrich the data with CERL Thesaurus record IDs for names
- Publish the HPB records as Linked Open Data. The data sets can then be opened for data mining
- A more visual representation through a new interface.
Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI): A visualisation of the circulation of books over time and space is now live. MEI is now completely funded by the 15c BOOKTRADE project.
The MEI team are adding subject headings to ISTC records which are more specific than Library of Congress authority headings; they are done by textual scholars rather than librarians.
Incunable Short Title Catalogue (ISTC): This database is being transferred from the British Library to CERL. Geo name identifiers have been added to place names; they used to be in a separate database but have now been integrated. There will be filter options for search results, such as names, date range or place of publication. Precise combinations of search terms will be possible. MARC21 and other export forms such as BibText, plain text or spreadsheet export will be possible. The previous database hosted by the BL is still live at the time of writing. The new version is not yet publicly available.
Hosting of smaller databases: CERL offers support in the creation and management of research data either from the start of a project by providing tools to create and edit data and with the development of data models and indexation. Existing datasets can be converted as well. All datasets will be hosted within the CERL environment.
Seminar: Manuscripts — innovation and cooperation
Presentations mostly revolved around the perceived lack of widely applied standards for cataloguing manuscripts and archival material. They included:
- A project at the Bibliothèque nationale de France to update the French Union catalogue with improved and correct descriptions, links and updated shelfmarks, and to catalogue inventories with complete descriptions. In their experience, EAD is not mastered by librarians
- ManusOnLine: An Italian proposal for online manuscript cataloguing at national level based on XML/TEI schema
- ALVIN (Archives and Libraries Virtual Image Network): A Swedish platform for displaying images and a primary cataloguing system; acts as a portal for cultural heritage collections. Emphasis on quality rather than quantity
- BL strategy: by 2023 they want to give access to all BL digitised content through a single platform.
CERL Strategies 2016-2010: Accessing the record of European book heritage
1. Preserve, improve, extend and add to CERL's digital resources.
- HPB: See Committee report above
- Thesaurus: Move into new hosting environment, include data faster, enrich data with biographies, portraits, coats of arms
- Portal: Review focus, development and presentation; work with scholars to establish data and enhance presentation
- MEI: See Committee report above.
2. Provide advocacy for and facilitate networking among cultural heritage communities such as digital humanities, curators and researchers of non-European heritage, IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Group, RDA community, IIIF community, Judaica community
3. Influence stakeholders and funding bodies through an expansion of the CERL grants programme and using CERL as both applicant and representative for funding bids
4. Consolidate, engage, help and enlarge the membership and wider network especially through Working Groups. They will be asked to provide a work plan.
Report from Jill Evans:
SCURL is pleased to present this report of activities to the Rare Books in Scotland Group, November 2016.
SCURL's three strategic priorities are:
- Effective collaboration
- Showcase Scotland's research and collections
- Effective advocacy and promotion.
- The collaborative procurement, managed by APUC, of a Library Management Platform is now embedded in Abertay University and Heriot Watt University with the migration to Ex Libris in summer 2016. Other SCURL institutions are also migrating to this vendor
- Similarly, the Library Subscription Agent business, managed by APUC, will migrate from EBSCO to LM with a contract date to start on 1st January 2017. Value of business is £14m per annum
- The Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) access to electronic content, both monographs and journals, is valued at £8 million per annum with some contracts failing to renew due to unaffordable price increases presented by the publishers
- SCURL Systems Librarians' Group supported by a Director and the Service Development Manager recently met with an external provider to explore an option for a shared, hosted single-sign on service to, initially, authenticate access to the SHEDL content.
Showcase Scotland's research and collections:
- SCURL is hosting an international event on 25 November 2016 in the University of St Andrews on metadata and collaborative collection management. A representative from The Netherlands Universities and Royal Library consortium will deliver a paper on the development to withdraw local institutional cataloguing and share all discovery information to an external provider
- SCURL has collated all access options available from the Scottish FE College Libraries and the SCURL institutions to school pupils, students, and local citizens to assess the range of content and format to which entitlements are provided
- SCURL is investigating a collaborative subscription to a disaster and business recovery service to preserve our collections and objects. Interest has developed, unfortunately, since the fire at The Glasgow School of Art and a group of SCURL colleagues are developing a proposal.
Effective advocacy and promotion:
- SCURL has been invited to submit a Case Study of SHEDL to a forthcoming academic textbook on 'Collaboration and the academic library'. Two Directors and the Service Development Manager will compose the content
- The Service Development Manager is a member of the Editorial Board of SCONUL Focus and three Directors from Scottish institutions will submit their articles for Issue 68, February 2017 on the theme 'Support for teaching'. Institutions represented are The National Library of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of the Highlands and Islands
- The Chair and the Service Development Manager will give a presentation at the AGM of the Scottish Library and Information Council on SCURL's innovative achievements
- SCURL is represented on many cross-sectoral groups such as SCONUL, the Scottish Universities Special Collections and Archives Group, and the Scottish Visual Arts Group.
HV reported on a session at the recent Congress 'Theft in libraries: Reporting the hidden truth' organised by the IFLA Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation and its Rare Books and Special Collections Section at WLIC 2016 in Columbus Ohio, featuring an FBI agent, E C Schroeder of the Beinecke Library, an American member of ILAB and Greger Bergvall, map and manuscripts librarian of the National Library of Sweden talking about a case of insider staff theft.
Next year's congress will be in Wroclaw with a satellite conference in Berlin on Digital Humanities — Opportunities and Risks: connecting libraries and research.
Report from Alasdair MacDonald:
CIGS Activities 2016 and Future Events — Report for Rare Books in Scotland, CIGS AGM — Glasgow City College, Riverside Campus, 22 July 2016
Presentation from Chris Fleet (NLS): Metadata for
putting historical maps online
Chris' presentation included details of scanning workflows and the use of geographic co-ordinates in making scanned maps available through their online interface. Their online service allows georeferenced overlays and side by side views of maps from different periods.
CIGS 5th metadata and linked data event: projects experiments and services in libraries — Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, 12 September 2016.
Speakers from Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh,
Imperial College London, National Library of Scotland, British
Library, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and RDA Steering
The focus of the event was on the practical rather than theoretical aspects of linked data with a number of talks describing first steps in implementing linked data principles in library workflows. A recurring theme was controlled vocabularies and identities and how these might be used to improve resource discovery. Talks included addressing the problems of identifying living, academic authors throughout their careers (ORCID programme) and identifying historical persons and their works across different catalogue databases.
Alan Danskin (British Library) outlined their collection metadata strategy 2015-2018 and discussed the impact of electronic legal deposit. Melanie Roche (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) described several initiatives including one to link data from their digital library and main catalogue via their authority files. She also suggested revising the MARC format for linked data use rather than abandoning it altogether.
CIGS are planning to host events on discovery and web 2.0 metadata in 2017. Presentations from the RBIS community would be welcomed for either event, as would suggestions for future events. Details of forthcoming events will be forwarded to the RBIS mail list.
- Presentations from this and other CIGS events may be viewed on SlideShare
- CIGS e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alasdair MacDonald, CIGS/Edinburgh University Library email@example.com
5.2 Members' reports
There have been two exhibitions this year on travel and drink. The Library is now closed for the winter and is being dusted and having condition reports prepared. There are a series of talks coming up. A facsimile of a cook book in the Library's collections has been offered for sale by subscription. The resident PhD student Jill Dye has completed her first year looking at the founders collection. Cataloguing of the gifted Scottish collection continues.
Leadhills Miners Library
Money from South Lanarkshire Council and Awards for All is allowing work to be done on the building. Staff from NLS visited and offered advice on the collection and its preservation. NLS has donated two display cases. Pilgrim Trust funding has allowed for a conservation survey of the books and preservation work to be done, notably on the Library's early 19th-century banner. The 1980s manual catalogue has been digitised for inclusion on the web site. The archives are to be digitised. Funding is being sought to digitise the bargain books. An application is underway with Visit Scotland to secure a brown sign. A considerable amount of press coverage has been achieved in the Library's 275th anniversary year.
National Library of Scotland
The current major exhibition is on maps and is entitled 'You are Here'. The forthcoming treasures area display is 'Sun-pictures and beyond: Scotland and the photographically-illustrated book 1845-1900'. The SCRR security review is ongoing and includes the possibility of moving the cut-off date of consultation from 1850 to 1900. Rachel Scott (one of 100+ applicants) completed a successful paid internship in Rare Books, Maps and Music and it is hoped to be able to repeat this opportunity. A music retroconversion project officer, Jessica Robertson, has been appointed. The project will use the same method as the Bodleian did for its music retroconversion: cards will be keyed externally and the project officer, who has a background in music, will verify the work. The Library is to appoint a photographic collections curator for a year to work on photographs held across the Library's collections. HV and AH have been taking part in the National Bibliography Project. The Library's Kelvin Hall building has opened. Rare Books Edinburgh 2017 events are being planned: contact HV if you would like to take part. The Library is likely to be taking part in the 2017 UK-India year of culture and will put on a display related to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Stirling University Library
Lent material to a crowd funded exhibition at the Wallace Monument in the summer. 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the University and Archives and Special Collections are posting a series of blog entries as part of the celebrations. Will be contributing material to the University hosted James Hogg Society Biennial Conference 19-21 July, 2017.
Historic Environment Scotland
The merger of Historic Scotland and RCHAMS is now a year old. Collette Hill has retired and been replaced by Jason Curry. Books have been moved from Longmore House to Sinclair House. Libraries merging and will use Koha LMS but it is not yet decided if rare books will be on system. Library is currently working towards accreditation. Bought a David Bryce perspective view at auction.
New College Library
Main Funk funded project finished but still a number of ongoing cataloguing projects. Full extent of early printed book collections is unknown.
Edinburgh University Library
Working on the Donald Tovey music collection. There are 5 FTE cataloguers working for 3 years, mostly on rare books and digitisation. The main Library backlog of Russian and Chinese books has been dealt with. Starting on map collections. The current exhibition is Godfrey Thomson: the man who tested Scotland's IQ.
Glasgow University Library
The merger with archives continues, though still at an administrative level. The University is running another book collecting prize competition. Karen Baston has been appointed to a 1 year post to transcribe William Hunter's manuscript catalogue. Levels 1 and 2 of the main Library have been refurbished giving a more welcoming entry area on level 2. Lesley Richmond is retiring and her post advertised.
Aberdeen University Library
There is a moratorium on new posts. 2 posts have gone from special collections as part of voluntary redundancy. The Dickens exhibition drew 8000 visitors. Current exhibition on bindings. Friends funding has paid for 2 posts to recatalogued King's and Marischal College collections. Special collections are launching a visiting scholar award. The University will host the SUSCAG and UMIS conferences in January.
St Andrews University Library
Daryl Green has left for Magdalen College, Oxford and the department has been restructured, including a full-time rare book cataloguer. A need for a new LMS has been identified. There has been a bad outbreak of mould. Lighting the Past project continues. Reporting of the copyright collection to ESTC continues: 1700 reported, 38 unique items. The student book collecting prize was awarded in July. Winners from universities go on to an ABA hosted round. Visiting scholars are working on the collections. An event based around Orlando Furioso allowed 210 primary school children to handle and get close to the Library's collections.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The Library is migrating to the Koha LMS. The process went from acceptance to live in 2 months. Things have mostly worked well and the rare books are on the system. Funding has ceased for the EUL seconded cataloguing work: 1518 items catalogued. Artworks have been included in exhibitions at Inverleith House. Flora of Nepal exhibition running at the moment. Henry Noltie's work on Hugh Cleghorn continues to show his influence on RBGE. Work has been done on the Scottish Rock Garden Club deposit. Archival photos have been used in botanic lights display at Gardens.
Displays of coins, 19th-century prints and plans have been presented. Doors Open Day brought in 2,600 visitors to Parliament Hall and 300 to Advocates Library who were able to see a display in the Laigh Hall. Helping with a display on the Antiquary at Abbotsford. Scott's Border Minstrelsy exhibition now available on website. Converting collection level records for the Abbotsford scrapbooks.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Over the summer collections were moved to new building for storage: 15,000 books and pamphlets, mostly uncatalogued. Three in the team but AMcA is only regular cataloguer. A volunteer has matched 300 ESTC items. Current building issues make it hard to plan for exhibitions and displays. Upcoming events include: 20 November, Glasgow's Marvellous Medicine — A Comics Workshop with Adam Murphy and 21 November, Beloved Poison with E S Thompson. Last exhibition of the year, Lost Hospitals, is coming down.
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Marianne Smith has retired and is to be awarded the College Medal. Steven Kerr is now College Librarian and has two new assistants. Stock has been returned from off-site storage. The Lister Project has been a big success and museum visitor figures are up significantly. Stock checking with EU interns is ongoing. There has been a display of 18/19th-century textbooks. Running a series of 'Museums at Night' events.Taking part in Rare Books Edinburgh in March.
HV closed the meeting at 15.15 with a vote of thanks to the host.