HeadLines, The LSC&M Newsletter

HeadLines Issue 9, October 2012

Welcome message

Chris Banks, Director and University Librarian, Library Special Collections & Museums, University of Aberdeen

Chris Banks, University Librarian & Director of LSC&M
c.banks@abdn.ac.uk

Welcome to HeadLines issue 9. The highlight of the year has to be the formal opening and naming of the new library by Her Majesty the Queen. The event took place on 24th September and we were delighted to welcome donors, alumni, members of the library design team, and all those colleagues from across the university who had worked on the project. Our heartfelt thanks (and sympathies) went to the huge crowds who lined the Academic Square to welcome the Royal party, only to be drenched at the last minute with the storm that had already engulfed most of the UK! We are delighted that the library now has a name – The Sir Duncan Rice Library – and that it has received that wonderful Royal seal of approval. Nonetheless, we’ve been busy on a variety of things since the last issue, including the British Science Festival, making further improvements to the new building and to services (see in particular, the new eBooks, and reservations collections services), and in reaching out to wider audiences. We’ve seen a massive growth in visitor numbers and were particularly delighted to welcome so many visitors over the Doors Open Day weekend. Our new library is indeed proving to be a creative canvas and you can read two poems inspired by the building. We have Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep you up to date with news and events and we’d love to see you there. Finally, after 36 years, Mrs Pirie has taken the bold decision to leave Aberdeen and to move down south but not before recording her final Doric piece for us. Enjoy this issue and keep the suggestions coming for future issues.

In this issue...

Official Opening

Communications Team
communications@abdn.ac.ukHM the Queen opens The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The Sir Duncan Rice Library was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday 24 September.

University students and staff were joined by hundreds of alumni and donors to the University for a day of celebration which also included a talk on the University’s treasures, an organ recital in the historic Chapel, tours of the library, and a dinner for over 300 friends and supporters of the University – several of whom had flown in from the USA and Hong Kong to be part of the historic occasion.

A new choral piece by Royal Wedding composer Paul Mealor and a unique ‘soundscape’ of library life by fellow University composer Pete Stollery featured during the formal opening. Her Majesty also viewed some highlights from the Special Collections, including the original Papal Bull of 1495 which founded the University, and was presented with a posy of rare flowers from the University’s Cruickshank Botanic Gardens by two students from China.

You can find out more about the official opening and the story of the library so far in this collection of images and videos at Storify.

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Visitor numbers soar

Marion Blacklaw, Circulation Services Manager
m.blacklaw@abdn.ac.uk

Visitor Statistics graph

In our first year of opening there has been a 52% increase in overall usage of The Sir Duncan Rice Library compared to the last year in the old Queen Mother Library. Over the year there has also been an increase of 202% in visits by non-members.

This very high number of external visitors represents not just the curious coming to have a look at the building when it opened (although the figures for October do show that there was a great deal of interest at this point) but also a also a huge boost in engagement with the wider public. The month-on-month figures show a sustained increase in use, following more or less exactly the same pattern of usage to that made of the Queen Mother Library the previous year.

Our hopes of greater outreach to the community have surely been exceeded by the number of visitors so far.

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Farewell to QML

Georgia Brooker, Communications Co-ordinator
g.brooker@abdn.ac.uk

*Animoto video produced by Georgia Brooker (Duration: 2mins 23 secs)

Thanks to all staff and students who contributed their photos from the old Queen Mother Library to help make this short picture video commemorating the life of a library.

*if you encounter problems opening the video in Firefox try Internet Explorer or Chrome

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Collecting your reserved books

Marion Blacklaw, Circulation Services Manager
m.blacklaw@abdn.ac.uk

Heavy demand on floor 1If you’ve ever found it frustrating that you couldn’t collect an item that was being held for you outwith staffed hours, you will be pleased to know that you will now be able to collect requested items any time The Sir Duncan Rice Library is open.

When you receive your e-mail telling you an item is available for collection it will give your Request Reference, consisting of the first 4 letters of your surname, and the last 4 digits of the 8-digit ID number on your student or staff card. This code is unique to you and will be the same for each request. Items will be shelved in the Heavy Demand area on Floor 1, in alphabetical order of the request codes to make it quick and easy for you to identify your items. Items can then be issued on the Self Service Kiosks within the Heavy Demand area.

Should you require any assistance to find or issue an item staff will be on hand to help during all staffed hours.

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Quick queries with Zoho

Elaine Shallcross, Information Consultant
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk

Zoho chat box

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Zoho ‘Quick Query’ chat box on the Library home page.

We've been busy over the summer sourcing and testing a replacement instant messaging service. In July our old IM provider, Meebo, was bought out by Google and the service discontinued. We selected Zoho Chat because you don’t need to have an account with the service to send us a question and it is very easy to use.

Our Quick Query service is designed to answer basic questions about LSC&M events, services, facilities and resources, but we can refer you on to relevant staff for longer or more complex questions.

How to send us a quick query
You need to call us up to activate the service so, when we are online, write your name in the box provided on the Library home page and click ‘Chat’.

  • As soon as we accept your call you will be able to write in the chat box.
  • Type your question in the lower box and press the Return key to send it off to us. The discussion thread will appear in the larger upper box.

Service times
We are open from 09:00 to 17:00 weekdays during term-time so, if you have a quick query, use the chat box for a quick reply!

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Help the library get the e-books you need

Sheona Farquhar, Technical Services Manager
s.c.farquhar@abdn.ac.uk

Dawson era logo

The Library is taking part in a pilot project to investigate 'Demand Driven' e-book purchasing using the dawsonera platform. This means that your searches in our electronic collections suggest e-books for us to buy, to help us purchase the resources you need.

We have loaded catalogue records for recently published e-books in the library catalogue. We may not already own titles available from dawsonera but you can view portions of the book as a 5-minute preview. When a sufficient number of people Preview or Suggest for Purchase the same title that e-book will be automatically bought for the Library and you will have access to the complete contents of the book.

Search for an e-book in your subject or a particular e-book title in Primo Aberdeen Collections

For full details of how to suggest e-books for our collections go to www.abdn.ac.uk/library/collections/dda/.

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Inspiring to enquire

Georgia Brooker, Communications Co-ordinator
g.brooker@abdn.ac.uk

T-rex at the library!

The Sir Duncan Rice Library, and the Special Collections Centre, have been fulfilling their mission of ' inspiring to enquire' this autumn, providing a lexis for learning during a packed week of public engagement activity during the first week of September, including the highly successful British Science Festival, the national Doors Open Day and the Alumni Reunion Weekend.

The success of the Special Collections Centre has recently been recognised as 'Highly Commended' in the Building Communities Awards from Biffa, who support sustainable projects which make positive contributions to communities and the environment.

As well as being the main box office site on campus for BSF tickets, the library also hosted a range of interactive displays and activities such as Culture Evolves, inviting visitors to monkey around with chimp traditions and animal language; Vision Vibes, for an insight into visual perception; Supercomputing and You, offering a chance to learn about the diverse applications of Britain's biggest computer, and Donate your Face to Science, using dimensional imaging to create a 3D model of your face.

In conjunction with the festival the Library also launched its Pharmacopoeia exhibition and event programme. This exhibition is open to the public until 1 December, and features rare and fascinating printed and manuscript material and artefacts that demonstrate some of the earliest recorded interpretations of the natural sciences relating to drug-making and health. As well as showcasing our historic treasures, the exhibition makes links with contemporary scientific research and practice at the University of Aberdeen including cutting edge examples from the Marine Biodiscovery Centre and the Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics.

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Gallery successes

Scott Byrne, Exhibition and Public Programming Officer
s.byrne@abdn.ac.uk

Gallery entranceSince opening to the public on November 24th 2011, the Gallery on the Ground Floor has welcomed over 25,000 visitors during four ambitious exhibitions and an engaging public programme. Importantly, the Exhibitions Programme has enabled the exposure of rare and precious items from the Special Collections to a public audience in a substantial and meaningful way. The Exhibitions Officer works closely with Learning and Outreach Officers at the Special Collections Centre to amplify the impact of the exhibitions to schools and community groups.

The public programme enhances the exhibitions through publicly accessible talks and activities facilitated by academic staff and invited speakers. Activities generally take place on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons and have covered subjects such as the Polish heritage of Bonnie Prince Charlie, a short history of early photography and a substantial series of events marking the centenary of Charles Dickens, culminating in a talk by broadcaster James Naughtie on 11 October.

The inaugural exhibition at the Gallery, Rebels with a Cause: The Jacobites and the Global Imagination, had already received positive plaudits during a successful run at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh before returning to Aberdeen in an expanded and slightly augmented version. The exhibition drew upon rarely seen and internationally significant material from the University’s collection, including rare engravings, portraits and letters, a Jacobite recruitment slip and songbook, a letter written while in exile by the 'Young Pretender' Charles Edward Stuart, a first edition of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley and a selection of artefacts relating to the Jacobite Risings. The exhibition proved to be a popular success, with a diverse programme of events and talks attracting wide ranging audiences.

A selection of the glass plate negatives that form the substantial collections of George Washington Wilson and the Aberdeen Harbour Board produced a set of fine photographic prints that were exhibited by the Special Collections Centre at Set in Silver: Contemporary Reflections on Glass Plate Photography. The fragile photographic plates are made from glass, with the image retained in a silver solution that rests delicately on the surface. Many thousands of the plates have been digitally scanned at the Special Collections Centre through a painstaking process which has resulted in the exposure of a special selection of prints for the first time to a contemporary audience.

Set in Silver incorporated a selection of films produced by students of the Film & Visual Culture course at the University of Aberdeen, introducing dynamic moving image elements to the exhibition. The films document a contemporary version of the scenes evident in the featured photographs. In this way, the viewer was able to observe the changes in the city and around the harbour area to the present day.

The third exhibition in the University Library's Gallery was called Gilded Beasts: Exhibition of the Aberdeen Bestiary. The exhibition is an exquisite illuminated manuscript from the 12th-century, rendered in rich gold and magnificent colour. It is a work of extraordinary artistry and craftsmanship in which tales of animals are used to illustrate essential moral beliefs.

The pages of this stunning book were turned every week so viewers could see a different section on each visit. The manuscript may only be exposed to minimum light levels for strict periods, making this exhibition a ‘once in a generation’ experience. Visitors can currently view a digitised version of the Bestiary using an interactive display outside the Gallery.

Pharmacopoeia exhibition

Pharmacopoeia poster

Scott Byrne, Exhibition and Public Programming Officer
s.byrne@abdn.ac.uk

In celebration of the British Science Festival 2012, the Special Collections Centre has produced Pharmacopeia: The Art of Making Drugs - an exhibition featuring rare and fascinating printed and manuscript material that demonstrates some of the earliest recorded interpretations of the natural sciences - a history of health.

Illustrated and annotated, the documents explore the study of the medicinal qualities of plants in the treatment of disease, making links with contemporary scientific research and practice at the University of Aberdeen.

The production of exhibitions in the Gallery has encouraged the involvement of a wide range of academic staff and departments in diverse collaborations including the School of Language and Literature, the Geology Department, the Marine Biodiscovery Centre, the Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics as well as the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy. External collaboration has also been fruitful as evidenced through participation with Gray's School of Art as part of the Set in Silver exhibition and with Peacock Visual Arts on a forthcoming exhibition. We have augmented two exhibitions with fabulous items from the collections of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums. This is a useful collaboration which enhances the display of items from the Special Collection Centre and exposes items from local collections that would not have otherwise been displayed.

During the forthcoming year, the Exhibitions Programme plans to build on the success of its inaugural year with the production of three more dynamic exhibitions. We will also engage with a programme of Audience Development that will enable us to get to know our audiences better so that we can better meet their needs and surpass expectations.

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How the Medical Library can help you

Claire Carolan, Senior Information Assistant, & Medical Library Team
medlib@abdn.ac.uk

Medical Library helpdeskFor the most up to date details about the Medical Library service on our Foresterhill Campus, sign up to our blog Medical Library News to receive updates direct from library staff about new books, journals, events, information skills workshops and more.

Visit our Enquiry Desk for help with searching for information in the library, using the medical databases, advice on referencing your essay, help with setting up a Refworks account, and any other queries you may have. We hold drop-in sessions Monday - Friday, 9am - 4.30pm.

Don’t hesitate to ask our friendly library staff. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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Coming soon to a shelf near you

Eleni Borompoka and Ross McClure, Senior Information Assistants
eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk and r.mcclure@abdn.ac.uk

QR Codes in Taylor LibraryOver the summer we have been working on a project at the Taylor Library using the increasingly ubiquitous QR barcodes to make readers aware of the many legal journals that are now available online, and to enable quick and easy access to them.

An ever growing number of library users are equipped with smartphones and/or tablet computers, so we decided to create shelf signs containing a QR barcode linking directly to a journal’s record on our main search tool Primo. From there the user can see the electronic location of the journal and link directly to it on their mobile device. To start with we created a list of around 50 frequently consulted periodicals that we have stopped taking on paper but which continue electronically. However, in the longer term we hope to provide codes linking to electronic versions of law reports and even e-books.

In order to create the QR barcodes we had to go through the following stages: first conduct an advanced search in Primo and change the material type to Journals. We would then go to the entry for that specific title and select details. This option displays all databases that one can get this journal from.

From here you can e-mail a permanent URL to this page which can be used to create the barcode. By copying that link into bitly.com we created a shortened version of it, which we then fed into BeeTagg, our QR barcode generator.

So far we have created double-sided library signs with the following information: journal title, shelf mark (for printed copy), years of electronic coverage and the QR barcode linking to details for that Journal on Primo. Once laminated, they will be placed on the shelves and serve as both useful library signs and dividers for our periodicals.

QR codes are already put to a wide array of uses in our libraries and with this project we are hoping to narrow the gap between browsing the shelves and consulting the catalogue. We hope that the journals part of the project will be up and running by the start of term so our students can test the service and provide us with valuable feedback.

Watch this space!

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Conservation Centre update

Louisa Coles, Paper Conservator
l.coles@abdn.ac.uk

Work has begun on a programme of interventive conservation at the Glucksman Conservation Centre .

In the first instance this covers ‘first-aid’ treatment to some items from the rare books collection. Books have been selected on the basis of their condition: if there is a high risk that material might be lost, even with careful handling, and if this can remedied with an uncomplicated treatment, they are included in the programme. The work involves consolidation of degraded leather, reattaching loose end-bands and covering material, and repairing broken caps. Such procedures can be carried out relatively quickly, which means that a large amount of material can be stabilised in a brief period.

Running in tandem with this is a cleaning and re-housing programme for recent archives acquisitions. Again, this is a remedial procedure with great benefits that will continue to run beyond the current bedding-in period. Later the programme of work will expand to encompass more comprehensive conservation treatment of priority items identified by Special Collections staff, and over the longer term a survey will be completed to identify wider conservation priorities within the collection.

Preparation of material for the recently opened Pharmacopoeia exhibition has also been a priority over the last few weeks: items have been documented, both in written and photographic form; plant specimens on loan from the University’s Herbarium have been secured and mounted; books have been cleaned and repairs undertaken; and a collection of custom-made book cradles have been created to provide tailored support for the openings selected for display.

In addition to more interventive work, the existing preventive programme of environmental monitoring and integrated pest management continues. Conservation policies and procedures in areas such as new acquisitions, exhibitions and disaster planning also continue to be refined as the centre embarks on this new phase of work.

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'Please don't chat' poem

Robert Craig, studentPlease don't chat

A light-hearted verse about library etiquette to be sung to the tune of "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain":

When you come in here to 'study', please don't chat
Unless your table's in the café, please don't chat
While the books you are a-browsing,
Stop the incessant espousing
Or your bags you'll be politely asked to pack!

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Greenland research in our collections

James M. Lea, PhD student, Cryosphere and Climate Change Research Group

GreenlandDuring the course of researching the past waxing and current waning of the Greenland ice sheet over the last 1000 years, the Special Collections have continued to provide an astonishing array of relevant material. Nineteenth century maps showing glaciers having retreated up to 9 km to their present locations (Kleinschmidt, in Rink, 1856); mentions of long forgotten meteorological stations at remote Moravian monasteries (Rink, 1856); accounts of archaeological excavations of medieval Norse ruins during the 1930s (Roussell, 1941); and descriptions of sediments made by the first man to traverse the ice sheet (Nansen, 1890) have all made invaluable contributions to our work. These sources represent unique sources of information that have stood the test of time to be of great use in the attempting to understand past changes, and importantly future changes of the Greenland ice sheet.

Partially acting on descriptions of the valley made by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen in The First Crossing of Greenland (1890), two researchers from the Cryosphere and Climate Change Research Group (based in the School of Geosciences) are about to embark on 3 weeks of fieldwork in a remote SW Greenland valley that until recently drained a vast meltwater lake, dammed by the ice sheet itself. They will be hunting for evidence in the sediments contained in the valley for when this last happened, and therefore when the extent of the ice sheet may have been similar to todays. The fieldwork is part of the PhD research of James Lea which is aiming to reconstruct and numerically model the behaviour of the largest glacier in SW Greenland; Kangiata Nunaata Sermia. To get a sense of the enormous scale of these glaciers watch the helicopter flyby of the calving front completed during 2011 fieldwork.

For more information on the project visit James’ profile page on the Dept. of Geography and Environment website or follow him on Twitter @JamesMLea.

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Taylor donations

Nicola Will, Site Services Manager, Taylor Library
n.will@abdn.ac.uk

Taylor interior

Over the summer, we have received many donations. The Estate of the late Lord Rodger of Earlsferry generously donated a large number of Roman Law books which will greatly enhance our existing collection. We also received donations from such varying sources as BP and even some of our graduating students. Donations are always welcome and very much appreciated.

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Taylor stock moves

Nicola Will, Site Services Manager, Taylor Library
n.will@abdn.ac.uk

Calendar of Confirmations

Taylor Library staff have been busy over the summer conducting a series of stock moves. One example is the Calendar of Confirmations, which is now located on the ground floor of the Library. The Calendar is an annual index of testaments, which covers all of Scotland and gives details of the deceased, including place and date of death, and details of when and where their wills are recorded. This resource is frequently used by visitors researching their family history. We hope our stock moves will make life easier for all who use this Library. For further information, please contact staff at Taylor Library on 01224 272601 or email lib331@abdn.ac.uk.

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Experience days for schools

Anna Shortland, Curator (Learning and Access), University Museums
a.shortland@abdn.ac.uk

Experience days for schools

King’s Museum and the Special Collections Centre each offer exciting, activity packed workshop programmes for primary schools. All workshops are free of charge and include topics such as the Romans, Jacobites, Victorians, Scots and Emigration, Medieval Medicine, Vikings, 'Paper Zoo', Exotic Animals, and Natural History.

King’s Museum and the Special Collections Centre have teamed up to offer schools fantastic opportunities in the form of our Experience Days. We invite schools to take advantage of our Experience Days to combine a workshop at King's Museum and a workshop at the Special Collections Centre. The workshops complement each other to enrich and deepen children’s learning. The Experience Days are designed to help teachers and pupils get the most out of a visit to the University of Aberdeen’s Libraries, Special Collections and Museums.

Topics for 2012-13
• The Ancient Egypt Experience
• Creative Curators: create your own classroom exhibition
• Passport to the World

King’s Museum is also very excited to announce a limited edition workshop supporting the current exhibition Food Stories:
Food Stories (Available October 2012 – January 2013)
Primary 4-7 FREE
Food Stories is an interactive exhibition exploring what we eat and why. Objects from the University Museums will tell fascinating stories from across the world about the social, cultural and environmental issues that shape our food choices. Combine science and history in this unique workshop brought to you by King’s Museum and Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. Pupils will have the opportunity to compare their own food stories with those of people in the past. They will then explore ideas about food for the future in the interactive Healthy People, Healthy Planet activities. Tuesday 10am/12.30pm (1hour 45minutes)

Full details of all workshops can be found in the programme pack available from King’s Museum or the SCC, contact King’s Museum for your copy today.
T: 01224 274330
E: kingsmuseum@abdn.ac.uk

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Meet our Special Collections staff

Our Learning and Outreach Officers, Lynsey McNab and Sarah Chapman, have interviewed a selection of Special Collections Centre staff to learn about their work, and to find out about some of their personal highlights from the collections. You can read more by clicking the links to the Special Collections Learning Blog below.

Keith O’Sullivan, Senior Rare Books Librarian, talks about Keith O'Sullivan, Rare Books Librarian
the joy of discovery in our rare book collections, and the Hortus Sanitatis (Garden of Health), one of a series of late medieval herbals which is featured in the current Pharmacopoeia exhibition.

Kim Downie, our Digitisation Officer

Kim Downie, Digitisation Officer, explains about her work digitising archive material, her enthusiasm for beautiful, old and fragile books, and tells us about her favourite: the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, a 16th century book of maps.

Andrew MacGregor, Deputy Archivist, tells us about his Andrew MacGregor, Deputy Archivist
work with our collection of over 5,000 archives, and
selects the Student Peace Society minutebook as his highlight: a unique record of pacifist activity amongst the University's student population prior to the First World War.

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How (not) to pay an engine driver in the Industrial Revolution

Professor Tim Barmby, Jaffrey Chair of Political Economy
tim.barmby@abdn.ac.uk

Royal George

The Industrial Revolution was fuelled by coal. Some of the richest seams were in the coalfields of North East England and by the late 17th century methods of moving coal from the collieries to points where they could be transported to the demand were taking shape. An extensive network of horse-drawn waggonways was developed taking coal from the higher ground where the collieries were generally situated down to staithes on the rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees.

The Library collection contains details on these waggonways. Warn (1976) contains detailed maps of the network but of particular interest is a copy of a contract found in Gard and Hartley (1971) made between one of the colliery owners and his waggonway men in 1805/6. The men were to be paid 6d per boll (7d in winter) for moving coal from the colliery in Wylam to Lemington staithes on the Tyne. This waggonway would have passed in front of George Stephenson’s cottage.

This piece rate made sense for a colliery owner who wanted a big pile of coal moved from the colliery to the staithes on the Tyne where it could be moved out; in this case by keelmen, down to Newcastle and then by coastal barges down to, almost certainly, London.

The piece rate system was, however, continued when the first steam locomotive engines started to replace horses in the second decade of the 19th century resulting in some quite high payments to the early engine drivers. William Gowland received £37/8s/11d in March 1828 for driving “Royal George”, Timothy Hackworth’s very successful engine design for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, at a time when a coal miner would perhaps receive £4 for the month. Now Gowland would have certainly been a skilled driver and general engineer, so part of his pay would have reflected that. However maybe the usually very “canny” owners of the Stockton and Darlington Railway had miscalculated the productivity gain which the Royal George imparted. The evidence does suggests this; as by the 1830’s drivers like Gowland would have been normal salaried employees of the company.

References
Warn C R (1976) “Waggonways and Early Railways of Northumberland 1605-1840
Gard R M and Hartley J R (1971) “ Railways in the Making

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Waterlines poem

Professor Peter Davidson, Chair in Renaissance Studies
peter.davidson@abdn.ac.uk

In response to the iconic Waterlines sculpture in The Sir Duncan Rice Library's Academic Square, Professor Davidson has written and recorded the following poem, dedicated to the artists. Listen to Professor Davidson's recording of his poem (Size: 1.24MB; Duration: 1 min 13 secs)

Waterlines sculpture

For Marian Leven and Will Maclean, 25 April 2012

Pivot and mooring for the glimmering tower

These stones will stand, a lasting presence here,

Fixing the slate and cobble of the square:

Seamark and landmark, anchor, metaphor.

It is a monolith on a bare hill,

Strong as the Crow Stone or the Maiden Stone.

A shadow-ship: sail, waterline and hull,

Breaking grey water, steering north, alone.

It shines at winter nightfall through the haar,

Like starboard lights in fine rain far offshore,

Reflects our elsewheres, drawing far things near,

Steering our mists and distances to port,

And landfall here. Where, on the stony court,

Between dark baulks there rides the boat of air.

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Clausen research in our collections

James Youle, Senior Information Assistant
j.youle@abdn.ac.uk

Clausen interior drawing

I recently bought a small drawing of a mother and a crib in a cottage interior by the British artist Sir George Clausen (it is possibly a working drawing for a larger painting called 'The end of the day, 1878'). Aberdeen Art Gallery has since accepted the drawing as a gift.

Clausen was a spiritual contemporary of fellow artist knights Sir John Lavery and Sir James Guthrie (of the Glasgow Boys), and all three artists are hung together within the same room at Aberdeen Art Gallery. The painting by Clausen is the monumental 'Ploughing, 1889', which depicts a young country boy leading two cart horses while an old man pushes the wooden plough. This work is the epitome of the 'en plein air' style of painting that Clausen, Guthrie and Lavery are so identified with.

Sir George Clausen was born in London in 1852, and his mother Elizabeth Fillan was Scottish born. He studied at the Antwerp Academy (and later the Academie Julian in Paris) and travelled in the Netherlands where he was influenced by the Hague school of artists. Like the Glasgow boys he was particularly inspired by the naturalist painter Jules Bastien-Lepage. Clausen states in his autobiographical writings that that he loved to paint rural life and people doing simple things around rick yards, barns and fields. It is not surprising that Clausen joined Thomas Hardy and others in opposing the sale of Stonehenge and its shipment to America in 1899.

By 1895 the now eminent Clausen was invited to teach at the Royal Academy Schools, and in 1904, he was appointed professor of painting.

Like another contemporary, Sir William Orpen, George Clausen was appointed an official war artist in 1918, and some of his most important monumental works date from this time, including 'In the Gun Factory at Woolwich Arsenal' (1918; IWM), and 'Returning to the Reconquered Land' (1919; Canadian War Museum, Ottawa). His knighthood of 1927 was awarded at the time of the unveiling of his mural 'The English people, in spite of persecution for heresy, persist in gathering secretly to read aloud Wycliffe's English Bible', which is displayed in St Stephen's Hall in the Palace of Westminster.
Before his death in 1944 he spent much time in rural Essex and Berkshire, sketching and painting en plein air, as he had always done.

British impressionism / Kenneth McConkey. 759.41 McC

Impressionism in Britain / Kenneth McConkey; with an essay by Anna GruetznerRobins. 759.054 McC

Ah'm Awa: A Doric goodbye from Wendy

Wendy Pirie, former Head of Adminstration and PlanningWendy Pirie

Ah nivvir thocht Ah'd dee ess, bit Ah'v gotten anither job doon in Embra it Heriot Watt. Ah'll bi startin ere in I middle o September, jist afore wir bonny new libray is opent formally.

Ah'll miss yiz aa an afa lot, bit Ah'm lookin forrit tae seein mair on mi maan – he's bin workin doon in Embra fir I last sax eer, in wi'v bin fleein up in doon I road ivra wiken, so it'll bi fine tae be in the aye place thegether.

Yi'll need tae fin some ither body tae gee yi aa I local news in learn yi foo tae spik richt. Ah'm nae sure if Ah hiv tae spik posh aa I time soon ere – Ah'll jist have ti try. Onywy, its bin afa fine getting tae ken yi. Ah hope it yi kerry on likin mah libray - look efter't for mah, please!

Wendy.

STANDARD ENGLISH TRANSLATION

I never thought I would do this, but I’ve got another job down in Edinburgh at Heriot Watt. I’ll be starting there in the middle of September, just before our beautiful new library is opened formally.

I’ll miss you all a lot, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of my husband – he’s been working down in Edinburgh for the last six years, and I’ve been travelling up and down the road every weekend, so it’ll be fine to be in the same place together.

You’ll need to find someone else to give you all the local news and teach you to speak correctly. I’m not sure if I have to speak posh all the time….I’ll just have to try. Anyway, it’s been good getting to know you. I hope you carry on liking my library - look after it for me please!

Wendy

Listen to Wendy's recording of this piece in Doric (Size: 860KB; Duration: 0 min 43 secs)

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The Big Read

Adapted from Home Page news article by the Communications Team
communications@abdn.ac.uk

Reading Wizard of the Nile

As part of the University's first Big Read campaign, five copies of Matthew Green’s book The Wizard of the Nile, in which he seeks to track down the reviled Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, have been donated to the Sir Duncan Rice Library and are now available to borrow.

The Big Read aims to provide new students with a common interest to help integration into University life and to stimulate academic thinking on an issue with which young people are already engaged.

Students will be encouraged to read The Wizard of the Nile before coming to Aberdeen and the text will be used for a series of discussions, debates and lectures in Freshers’ Week.

Free copies are being distributed to students of the Arts and Social Sciences, and now the library can offer the book for loan to other interested students and staff too. Related events will continue throughout the year with activities in University societies, and the author, Matthew Green, will visit Aberdeen in November to talk to students in person about his experience of writing the book and the challenges of telling the human story behind conflict.

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Issue 9, October 2012

If you have any comments or suggestions for features in future issues please contact us.

Previous issues of HeadLines are available online.

HeadLines editorial team: Georgia Brooker, Lin Masson, Ewan Grant and Elaine Shallcross

We would like to thank Christine Mackenzie of the DIT Training and Documentation Team for her work on the new-look HeadLines.