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The IHR Library Conservation Fund

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One of the most important and unique aspects of the IHR Library is the quantity and range of works available on open access. Over the course of the last year, the IHR Library has been able to have forty books specially repaired and conserved due to generous donations to the IHR Library Conservation Fund, in particular from the Friends of the IHR and American Friends of the IHR. These invaluable donations have helped support the work of the Library in ensuring that volumes can be specially treated, repaired and where necessary, rebound. This work enables the volumes to be quickly returned to the library’s collections and also ensures that they are preserved for years to come.

A selection of the works that have been repaired in 2015-2016 due to money received by the IHR Trust Conservation Fund are listed below.

A selection of works conserved in 2015-2016

A selection of works conserved in 2015-2016

Travels in Canada, and through the States of New York and Pennsylvania by J.G. Kohl 1861.

History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War 1603-1642, by Samuel R. Gardiner.

Proceedings of the Legislative Council of India, 1854-1855.

Tracts Relating to Northamptonshire, 1881-1900.

Illustrations of Public Buildings in London with historical and descriptive accounts of each edifice by John Britton.

A Embaixada do Dr. Francisco de Andrade Leitão á Hollanda (1642-44) by Edgar Prestage, printed in 1923.

Calendar of the Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Volume 3, 1300-1326.

Report of a Missionary Journey, made by the Hon. and Rev. Charles James Stewart through Upper Canada in 1820, edited by James J. Talman.

Chronica de Mailros: e codice unico in Bibliotheca Cottoniana servato, nunc iterum in lucem edita; notulis indiceque aucta, edited by Joseph Stevenson.

The Monumental Inscriptions in the Churches and Churchyards of the Island of Barbados, British West Indies, edited by Vere Langford Oliver, 1915.

A selection of works before and after rebinding

A selection of works before and after rebinding


In addition, a number of works from the Library’s Special Collections have also been able to be conserved thanks to the funds received. These have included:

The Proceedings and Debates of the House of Commons: in the sessions of Parliament, begun the twentieth of January, 1628 and ended by dissolution the tenth of March…taken and collected by Sir Thomas Crew.

The newly rebound Pietas londinensis: or, The Present Ecclesiastical State of London

The newly rebound Pietas londinensis: or, The Present Ecclesiastical State of London

Pietas londinensis: or, The Present Ecclesiastical State of London by James Paterson, A.M and printed in 1714.

A Collection of Papers: containing three documents relating to events of 1712.

Practyk der medicine, ofte oeffenende geneeskunde. Aanmerkingen over het menschelyke bloed en wateren, en geneeskundige aamerkingen, door Henricus Buyzen, 1729. (This item was kindly donated along with a donation for its conservation in January 2016)
A Short Historical Account of London-Bridge: with a proposition for a new stone-bridge at Westminster by Nicholas Hawksmoor, printed in 1736.


The importance of restoring and securing the binding of A Collection of Papers is highlighted in Dr Stuart Handley’s of the History of Parliament blog post on the volume: http://blog.history.ac.uk/2016/03/overruling-the-duke-in-the-ihr-library/

Further information on the IHR Library Conservation Fund can be found at: www.history.ac.uk/support-us/campaign/library 

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Library Workshop: Emerging Research in Libraries and Information Science 19th August 2016

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IHR Library Workshop Series: Emerging Research in Libraries & Information Science

Friday 19th August 2016 1pm-4pm Wolfson Room II


lib copyThe Institute of Historical Research Library will be hosting a half-day workshop examining current and emerging research in Libraries and Information Science on Friday 19th August from 1-4pm.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for current researchers to showcase their research and provide a platform for engaging debate on the future of libraries and the discipline more broadly.

The first set of presentations will focus around the theme of the ‘Changing Face of Libraries‘ with presentations examining cataloguing and the changing role of the librarian in an academic library. schedule copy

Following this, the second set of presentations will address ‘Impacts of Technology‘ and will include presentations on the effect of the internet on user behaviour, open access, and the development of utilising robotics and artificial intelligence in libraries.

Details of the full programme may be found at: Emerging Research in Libraries and Information Science Workshop Programme.

The workshop is free to attend and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend the workshop, or any part of it, please contact Siobhan Morris (siobhan.morris@sas.ac.uk) to register.

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Library Management System and Catalogue: essential maintenance – Tuesday, 16th August

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A major project is underway to introduce a new generation library discovery catalogue and management system for the Senate House Library and School of Advanced Study’s libraries.  As part of that important project we need to undertake some essential maintenance all day on Tuesday, 16th August 2016 requiring the Library Catalogue, and other related services to be offline whilst the work is being carried out. This means you will not be able to:

  • Search the catalogue
  • Access e-resources (e-journals and databases) authenticated via the catalogue
  • Login to the UoL-open Wifi network

General information about our holdings will continue to be available during the upgrade on COPAC and the Search25 Library Resources. We aim to have all online services, including access to e-journals and databases, back up and running by 9:00am Wednesday, 17th August, 2016. This is the final phase in a number of critical steps to move us from the existing system to Sierra & Encore Duet. We apologise for this disruption, and for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Stern Review: an initial bibliography

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Professor Lord Stern of Brentford

Professor Lord Stern of Brentford at the EUI – 16 October 2015. Image: European University Institute from Italy [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Research Excellence Framework Review, an independent review of university research funding undertaken by Lord Nicholas Stern, was published by the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation on 28 July 2016. It will now move to a further stage of consultation in late 2016, with the results published in 2017.

The entire Higher Education sector is under review, not just academic historians, but as part of our work supporting the profession, the IHR Library has started to collect relevant material and websites relating to the Review for those interested in understanding some of the implications of the proposals.

  • Twitter responses to the report can also be followed via #SternReview.

Other resources

We hope to add to this list over time. Please contact matthew.shaw@sas.ac.uk if you have a suggestion for inclusion.

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Book Repair and the IHR Library Bindery

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Two members of staff from the IHR Library recently attended a workshop examining techniques in basic book repair hosted by Senate House Library’s Conservation department. SHL’s conservator, Alexandra Bruce, delivered a short presentation explaining the importance of investing in small book repairs and the practical benefits this can bring to institutions. It was noted that, ‘basic repairs carried out as soon as a book shows signs of damage can extend the life of the book at very low cost and prevent the need for more complex repairs or costly re-binding.’ In addition, undertaking basic repairs in-house allows for volumes to be returned to the shelves more quickly.

Practising hinge-tightening using EVA glue

Practising hinge-tightening using EVA glue

The Conservation team then demonstrated a range of basic repair techniques, including hinge tightening, spine re-attachment, re-sewing pages, tipping in loose sections and consolidating corners. It was exceptionally useful to see the level of detail and range of different implements used according to which repair was being undertaken (including using a knitting needle to apply glue to the spine of a book!) After watching the demonstrations, we were afforded the opportunity to put these techniques into practice ourselves in a hands-on practical session.

Following the workshop, the IHR library is initiating the setting up of a ‘bindery’ where such basic repairs can be carried out. The Institute previously had a dedicated bindery located in the basement of the building before constraints on space necessitated that the bindery be closed. It is envisaged that repair work will commence in September in order to begin clearing a proportion of the backlog of books that are in need of repair and return them to the shelves as quickly as possible.

The 'Old Bindery' in 1986

The ‘Old Bindery’ 1986

Repair materials and pressing boards in the new 'bindery'

Materials and pressing boards in the new ‘bindery’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, it should be noted that many of the volumes currently in repair require much more extensive work, with many in need of complete re-binding or specialist conservation. The expertise and time taken for such work means that this can be extremely expensive.

A selection of works in need of repair

A selection of works in need of repair

Consequently, the Institute would greatly welcome support for it’s Library Conservation Fund to help preserve the library’s invaluable collections. Donations of any size would be greatly appreciated, with roughly £50-£70 funding a basic rebinding and £160-£200 facilitating restoration of a historic binding. For more information see:

http://www.history.ac.uk/support-us/campaign/library

In Autumn 2016, The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship will offer six apprenticeships, learning the skills and expertise of the hand bookbinding trade. For more information see: https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/news/the-queens-bindery-apprenticeship-is-announced 

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Thomas Fisher and British Colonial India in the Collections of the IHR Library

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While undertaking reclassification of the Institute of Historical Research Library’s colonial collections, library staff recently uncovered a strikingly bound volume entitled, ‘An Abstract of the Regulations Enacted for the Administration of the Police and Criminal Justice in the Provinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa‘.

Front page cover

The work comprises two volumes bound together, with Volume I published in Calcutta by A.G. Balfour in 1824 and Volume II published from the Government Gazette Press by G.H. Huttmann in Calcutta in 1826. However, it is noted that both works were ‘originally compiled by W. Blunt Esq. (formerly superintendent of police) to the year 1818; and continued by H. Shakespear, Esq (superintendent of police in the lower provinces).’

The Library’s accession registers record that the volume arrived into the Library’s collections in March 1925 after being transferred from the India Office in the House of Lords Library. The work is relatively rare with only three other copies in the UK, held at the British Library and SOAS respectively.

The volumes document regulations and administration in British colonial India. As the abstract notes, the work comprises ‘the Regulations enacted for the Administration of the Police and Criminal Justice, in the Provinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa, from the Year 1793 to the end of 1823’. Consequently, the work serves as an invaluable resource in documenting not only colonial administration and the implementation of vehicles of power, but also the social history of life in these provinces. For example, the work records the names of witnesses at trials and a regulation of 1823 to prevent the ‘Establishment of Printing Presses without License; and for restraining under certain circumstances the circulation of Printed Books and Papers.’ Similarly, the work illuminates the economic history of the regions during this period, with many regulations concerning revenue collection, trade provisions and ‘what gold coin is to be considered a legal tender of payment.’

SignatureThe IHR’s copy holds additional interest however, due to the signature in the top right-hand corner on the frontispieces of both volumes I and II. The signature appears to be that of Thomas Fisher, an artist and antiquary who worked in India House. As the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography records, ‘at the age of fourteen Fisher was given employment by the East India Company at East India House, Leadenhall Street, in the City of London. In 1789 he was appointed as an extra clerk, and in 1816 he was placed on the establishment in the newly created post of searcher of the records in the examiner’s department.’

In the 1820s and 30s, Fisher wrote extensively for the Gentleman’s Magazine, penning several memoirs of Anglo-Indians and missionaries. In addition, Fisher was a supporter of the campaign to abolish slavery in the British colonies and in 1825 he published ‘The Negro’s Memorial‘, or, ‘Abolitionist’s Catechism‘ a copy of which is held in Senate House Library’s Special Collections. It is likely therefore that the IHR’s copy of ‘An Abstract of Regulations…’ was of interest to Fisher for the regulations on slavery in colonial India documented within the two volumes. The work contains a regulation from 1811 entitled ‘Preventing the Importation and Sale of Slaves from Foreign parts’ which records that ‘the importation of slaves by land or by sea prohibited. Offenders liable to be criminally prosecuted.’ It is further documented that ‘Captains of Ships or Vessels (except the Company’s) importing at Calcutta, shall previously to landing their Cargo, execute a penalty Bond for Rs. 5000, not to sell slaves.’ (Vol. I, p 127, 1811 Regulation X)

Fisher died in London in April 1836 with his collection of drawings, prints, and books sold at auction at Southgates in 1836 and by Evans in May 1837 and dispersed.

For more information on Thomas Fisher see Bernard Nurse, ‘Fisher, Thomas (1772–1836)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008.

Please consult the Library’s History of Slavery Collection Guide for further information on the IHR’s holdings documenting the history of slavery and the campaign to abolish it.

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Churchill Papers 30-Day Trial

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£5 back - polymer © Bank of England [2015]

£5 back – polymer © Bank of England [2015]. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This week, we discovered that Winston Churchill has made the move from paper into polymer, with the announcement from the Bank of England that the next version of the five-pound note featuring the former Prime Minister will be manufactured from transparent plastic film. His papers, which are kept at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, have, of course, already made the transition from paper into microfilm, and now digital. Some 800,000 documents can now be searched via this resource, including the letter containing revelation (to this librarian) that in 1891 the young Churchill exchanged his bike, believed to be worth a fiver, for Dodo, a fine-bred British bull dog.

The IHR Library is currently running a 30-day trial of the digital resource. The papers can be accessed via any of the Library computers via http://www.churchillarchive.com/. We would be interested in knowing what you think about the resource, and whether it would be useful for your research. Please contact ihr.library@london.ac.uk or Tweet to us at @IHR_Library.

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“A Tour in the Highlands of Perthshire, July 1818” from the Collections of the IHR Library

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During the recent reclassification of the Institute of Historical Research Library’s Scottish Local collections, a pamphlet was discovered entitled A Brief Account of a Tour in the Highlands of Perthshire, July 1818 in a Letter to a Friend.

Image-1The small pamphlet, measuring just 10.5cm x 17.5cm and only thirty-five pages in length, was written in 1818 by John Brown, Minister of the Gospel for Whitburn in West Lothian and printed for Ogle, Allardice and Thomson in Edinburgh in the same year. An additional work entitled, Loud Cry from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is also included in the pamphlet. The volume is rare, with only eight libraries in the United Kingdom holding a copy of the work – the University of Cambridge the only other library out with Scotland to hold a copy. The IHR’s pamphlet came into the library’s collections in 2010, however earlier provenance for the work is currently unknown to library staff.

After having studied at Glasgow University, John Brown became a prominent Scottish minister and theologian. Therefore, both works contained within the pamphlet describe the role of religion within societies in the Highlands of Scotland, as well as providing a travel account of a journey Brown undertook across the area. The purpose of the work is made clear in the advertisement that precedes the text. It notes that the work is published, ‘in the hope that it may be in some degree useful, in directing the attention of the Christian public, to the very interesting field for Missionary labours which the remoter districts of our own country present.’

A Brief Account of a Tour begins with Brown outlining his hopes and aims before providing an account of his travel itinerary, including the many religious figures with whom he met during the tour. In this regard, the account acts as a valuable source for the history of these communities – providing details of the number of residents, the names of sermon-givers, accommodation facilities, and places for worship (including, ‘a tent for preaching in a wood, on the margin of the water’ at Loch Tay.) In addition, Brown remarks that ‘it gave me pleasure to find several good books among the people’ – also of comfort today to library staff!

Image-2The ‘Loud Cry‘ pamphlet is more focussed on explicitly outlining a perceived lack of religious education, sermons and morals within the communities of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. It is noted that ‘swearing, smuggling, drinking, strife, revenge, and almost all evil work, prevail in many places’ with the author imploring the need for religious education and guidance to be established in such communities. Indeed it is further stated that, ‘the most faithful description, exhibits only a faint representation of the state of the Highlands: it must be, “come and see”, then the case must affect.’

Consequently, a series of suggestions are set out for how to increase the religious education and spread of the Christian faith into these areas. Among the proposals are calls for ministers to spend summers preaching in rural communities, an increase in the availability of Bibles translated into Gaelic, a Missionary Society for the Highlands to be established, and a call for ‘commercial travellers in their northern journies [to] distribute religious tracts.’ It is also suggested that ‘might not ministers and teachers establish small libraries’ to help ‘moralise’ these rural communities. However, it should be noted that while the work in this respect provides valuable insight into the history of the Highlands of Scotland and religious history more generally, the work does contain language that may be offensive to the modern-day reader. Marginalia

In addition to the work itself, the pamphlet is also of note due to the marginalia and handwritten comments found throughout the work. These appear to have been written by Agnes Baillie, with an inscription on the front cover of the pamphlet of ‘Mrs Baillie of Drylaw’, written in the same handwriting as the notes interspersed throughout the text. Baillie owned Drylaw House in Edinburgh until her death in 1842.

Library staff would welcome any further information or resources concerning the background of both the pamphlet and marginalia. Please email ihr.library@london.ac.uk.

For more information on the Library’s Scottish Local Collections, please consult the Library’s collection guide: http://www.history.ac.uk/library/collections/scottish-history 

For further highlights from the Scottish Local Collections: http://blog.history.ac.uk/2016/04/highlights-from-the-scottish-local-history-collections-in-the-ihr-library/

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Memory and Commemoration Collection Guide in the IHR Library

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– New research guide for the Library’s Memory and Commemoration collections –

Mike Weston (own work via Wikimedia Commons)

With the emergence within historical research of the study of memory and commemoration practices, the Institute of Historical Research Library has seen a substantial growth over recent years in its collections documenting the history of memory. In addition, with significant centenaries of historical events and an exponential rise in public commemoration and heritage events, the library has also endeavoured to collect works on memorialisation practices, heritage studies and the influence history has in societies as a whole. The Library team have therefore recently compiled a guide to the library’s memory and commemoration collections.

The guide provides an overview of the Library’s holdings, gives details of relevant classmark locations and highlights works concerning the commemoration of the First World War, Spanish Civil War and the Holocaust.

holocaustThe Library’s collections contain significant holdings concerning the theoretical approaches of conducting memory, heritage and commemoration research. In addition, the Library also holds a swathe of works examining public commemoration and remembrance practices of specific historical events and periods. Examples from both of these areas are detailed within the collection guide, alongside relevant holdings within the Library’s electronic resources, journals, and periodicals.

The guide brings together works dispersed across the Library’s collections with relevant resources for memory and commemoration research, most notably from within the General collections. Alongside this, the guide also provides information of other relevant libraries and institutions with extensive resources on the study of memory.

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New Acquisitions in the IHR Library

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While processing the latest new volumes to be acquired by the IHR Library, we came across an especially unusual assortment of works. Listed below is an interactive image gallery of some of our personal highlights from these latest acquisitions.

All of the volumes can be found on the Library’s New Books Shelf located outside the Library Enquiries Office on the first floor. For more information and for more titles see the library’s recent acquisitions highlights page: http://www.history.ac.uk/library/collections/recenthighlights 

croyden-bloghouseholds-blog dissent-blogrevolucao-blogbirmingham-blogmyths-blogmills-blogrev-blogspectator-blogblog2

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