Follow us on Twitter? #nowcataloguing

Do you follow us on Twitter?  If you don’t already, you can follow us via the link to the side of this page.  As well as keeping you up to date with new posts on the blog, we use it to retweet news about events taking place in our libraries and elsewhere in the City of London.  We also sometimes tweet images from some of the more interesting collections that pass through our hands in ISS.  Recently, we’ve been cataloguing a new collection of books relating to food and drink for Guildhall Library.  Some of these images are historically interesting, such these two approaches to cooking in times of austerity:  Charles Francatelli’s “Plain cookery book for the working classes” (1852)

Plain cookery book

and “Tempting dishes for small incomes” by Mrs. de Salis (1892)

Tempting Dishes

Some are more visually attractive, such as this design by Barney Bubbles for a limited edition recipe book published in 1974 for Justin de Blank Provisions (“Feasts”)

Barney Bubbles

and these illustrations, by the ballet designer William Chappell, for June and Doris Langley Moore’s “The pleasure of your company” from 1936:

The Pleasure of your Company

 

Pleasure of Your Company

or even these two designs (perhaps not to everyone’s taste) that make use of the “nature morte” tradition: Comtesse Guy de Toulouse-Lautrec’s “Les recettes de Mapie” (1956)

Recettes de Mapie

and Pierre Koffmann’s “Memories of Gascony” (1990):

Memories of Gascony

Not everything we catalogue is quite as visually attractive as these, of course, but if you follow us on Twitter (look out for the hashtag #nowcataloguing) you might come across something that is of interest to you!

 

 

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A world turned upside down

IMG_1466

You are probably thinking to yourselves “these people are so incompetent that they can’t work out how to post an image the right way up. LOL” – or words to that effect.

But no.  The image is the right way up, even if its unfortunate subject is not.  To discover the full story, investigate one of the latest boards to be added to our Guildhall Library’s Pinterest …

https://www.pinterest.com/guildhalllib/broadsides-another-appalling-catastrophe-suicides-/

First-time view : National Acquisitions Group Conference 2014

Ann Martin and Sara Pink receiving the award from Corina Petcu of Nielsen Discovery Services

Ann Martin and Sara Pink receiving the award from Corina Petcu of Nielsen Discovery Services

First-time view

by Sara Pink (Head of Guildhall and City Business Libraries, City of London)

This was an event of many first-time experiences for me: attending a NAG conference; visiting the beautiful York (to which I had never previously ventured) and winning an award for Guildhall Library.

And first-time experiences didn’t stop there!

I submitted an entry to NAG for the 2014 award for excellence in innovation and original thought for the Guildhall Library Incunabula project. It’s a project which really does embrace the omnipresent themes of increasing access to collections; digitising collections to make them accessible via online platforms and to utilise existing and emerging technologies to engage new audiences. It also encouraged us to look at books differently, not for the content of their text, but for all the other things they could tell us about the value of the book as an object such as who owned the book, what do the annotations mean, whether there is evidence of the readership of the book passing down through generations within the same family, how it is bound together and who and why did someone draw all those lovely pictures in the margins! It really was a fascinating way to get to grips with pre-15th century books and to challenge our perception of the ‘important’ things about a book.

And so it was wonderful when I got the call to say that the Guildhall Library entry had won and I would need to go to York to collect the plaque! From photo-shoots to presentation speeches, we were made to feel like royalty and it was lovely to have the opportunity to share our aims and objectives of the project with so many interested and enthusiastic attendees we were meeting for the first time.

 

I knew this was the conference for me when we were quickly introduced to the idea of libraries as ‘pleasantly mad places’ and when the themes of the conference got into full-swing we looked at everything from the provision of free hard-copy textbooks for students at Coventry University to the National E-book Pilot Scheme and, my personal favourite, ‘Future libraries and the technological singularity’ presented by Dave Parkes.

This session included the opportunity to try out the revolutionary new Google Glass and to see the Tuttuki Bako in action (Google that and you’ll find out what everyone in my family is getting for Christmas!) and we even ended up signing up to two new services as a result – the Internet Archive of 17th and 18th century material and Easy Proxy authentication.

Technology and its future explored means that we next ‘met’ the fascinating book-fetching robots at the University of Chicago – an ambitious project to use drones for book retrieval which is really paying off there.

Finally, it was time to make new friends over a fantastic Conference dinner and try our luck at the Casino table. If only it were real money I would have made enough to catch the next flight out to Las Vegas, complete with my newly acquired Conference Cat bag! (thanks to YBP)

I was a sponsored guest of the NAG Committee and my thanks go to them for successfully organising so many first-time experiences in so few days!

Photoblog: Chap Books & Tracts

Chap Books & Tracts

In our last photoblog, we showed you a unique cookbook which temporarily resided in the CATALOGUING CUPBOARD (think of a vault, a scary vault, not from IKEA). This time we bring you Chap books and tracts.

A tiny little treasure trove of interesting things, this book includes poems, tracts, stories, a dream dictionary and an oraculum that may answer questions like, ‘where did I put my keys?’, ‘what did I come into this room for?’ and ‘do I need so many books?’ (oraculum says yes, always yes).

Probably intended as a bit of disposable pop culture, this item has luckily lived past its sell by date and is now a part of the Guildhall Library collection. Do take a look inside by visiting our Pinterest page, or an even closer look by visiting Guildhall Library.

Contributed by: HD

Picturing the past : digitisation at Guildhall Library

Picturing the past : digitisation at Guildhall Library

Vendula (who features in the film) introduces a new video on our YouTube channel. The film was put together by Chris and the narration is by Lynn.

A project has been taking place at Guildhall Library. The aim is to digitise almost 300 items. Most of them are pamphlets from the 17th and 18th centuries including bills, acts, petitions and other legal material. The project is a result of a contract between the City of London Library Service and ProQuest, which is the body which publishes EEBO (Early English Books Online).

The project was scheduled for 4 – 5 weeks and was carried out by two people from EEBO and by our library staff. The pamphlets were identified and brought up from our store. Then the digitising started. Pamphlets were sorted, scanned and the digital images were made. At the end of the project all digitised items will be available through EEBO to many users around the world.

The project will have a positive impact for our library. It will open up access to our collections for researchers and make it easier to discover the content of some of the material. It will help preserve some of the rare items because the originals will need to be handled less frequently. Also it is a great opportunity to promote some of our collections, make it accessible to users outside London and generate some income for our department.

Photo blog: cookbook

Item catalogued for Guildhall Library

Recently we had a cookbook pass through BSS on its way to Guildhall Library, a delicate tome filled with recipes written over the years, in pen and pencil, and on pages and scraps. It’s an immensely interesting piece of human history (interesting is interchangeable with yummy here), something we thought would be worth photoblogging.

Many wonderful items pass through BSS to be catalogued. Some of these take up a short residency in THE CUPBOARD (feel free to imagine this as a large dark towering oak monster vault), usually items which are rare, fragile and expensive. Most recently Tottell’s 1556 Latin edition of the Magna Carta had a short stay in BSS, where it was catalogued before being handed over to Guildhall Library.

Our office has its own history too, hiding old catalogues, shelves with names like Arthur’s Bin, and some papery things. Admittedly, this place has an interior that would only look good on radio, but we thought it might be fun to do the odd photoblog, whether it’s of things passing through or some forgotten corner with a dusty librarian rocking back and forth whispering, “You can’t beat card catalogues. You can’t. You caaaaan’t.”

TLDR: Pretty pictures on this blog sometimes.

(Contributed by: HD)

Book launch events in Guildhall Library 2012

Book launch events in Guildhall Library 2012

Contributed by: Karen

In spring of this year Sara Pink, Head of Guildhall Library, launched a programme of evening talks at Guildhall.  These have proved very popular, and indeed the schedule for next year is almost complete with only one slot left to fill.

The format of the event is that firstly a talk is given (which may be illustrated) with a Q&A session afterwards.  Once this is complete attendees may adjourn for a wine reception, with a chance to meet the speaker, and – where a book is being launched – purchase a personally signed copy.

I volunteered to assist at the first event in March of this year, and my contribution was initially meeting and greeting, setting up of the event, and assisting visitors.  My role has since expanded to include design and production of publicity materials, marketing of events in the programme (and others in the City of London complex) and identifying potential participants for future events.

I now present a selection of the materials I have produced to date.

As you see, where a book is being launched at the event, I use the cover artwork as the starting point of my design. 

When on display in the library they look very striking, and draw the visitor’s eye.

 

As a further design development I used the postcard produced by the publishers as a ‘pop-up’, where the card was trimmed, folded and an invitation placed inside for visitors to take with them.

 

For the above event, where no book was launched, I used a montage of sewing materials and images.

Here I felt the book cover was striking enough to stand alone.

Following from the ‘pop-up’ for Square London, I produced these tickets for issue at our last event, which visitors could have as a reminder of the event, and which also advertised the next event on the reverse.

 

This is my latest poster, for our next event, in October.

I am very committed to my work on these events, and do all I can to aid their success.  I now dedicate a day’s work per week on contributing to the events programme.  It has added a new dimension to my role in the library and in Bibliographical Services, as I seek out books on relevant themes that can be used at the events.

In fact, at our last event I attended in full medieval garb!

We try to keep these events as informal as possible, and we now have several regular attendees.  I recommend that anyone interested in finding out more should check out the current timetable of events on the City of London website, or call us on 0207 332 1870.

Cataloguing spotlight : food and wine at Guildhall Library

Cataloguing Spotlight : Food and Wine at Guildhall Library

The first of a series in which we highlight some items of interest that we have recently catalogued for our various libraries.  (Clicking on the links should take you directly to the catalogue records.)

Contributed by: Ann.  

Guildhall Library has a number of internationally renowned collections on food and wine and related subjects such as the history of cookery, brewing, agriculture, household management, food and drinking customs. In the past months we have added over approx. 300 previously un-catalogued items for various Guildhall collections. A number of 17th and 18th century works such Charles Estienne’s 1606 edition of ‘Maison rustique, or, The countrey farme‘, Sir Edward Barry’s 1775 work ‘Observations, Historical, Critical and Medical on the Wines of the Ancients‘ and more recent works such as Frank Shay’s ‘My Pious friends and drunken companions : songs and ballads of conviviality‘ (1927) have been added to the well-known Wine Trade Club (WTC) collection.

As well as adding to firmly established collections, our recent cataloguing work has included to adding items for relatively new collections. For example, we have just finished cataloguing donations from the food writer Rosemary Stark for the emerging Guild of Food Writers (GFW) collection. This collection includes topics as varied as Estonian cuisine to Joan Storey’s revised edition of “Manners and rules of good society by a member of the aristocracy“. Other new collections we have recently catalogued include two new wine collections: the Hallgarten collection, a collection of principally German language material on German wines and viticulture and the Findlater collection.