Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Visiting Cambridge University Library Map Room

Last week I visited the Map Room at the UL for Cambridge Library Group's first meeting of the year. Although I've spent a fair amount of time at the UL over the last couple of years, I'd not been to the Map Room before, and was really impressed by the gorgeous items on display.

Anne Taylor and Andrew Alexander introduced us to the collection, which includes originals and facsimiles of manuscript and early printed maps and atlases, as well as modern maps, and a large collection of postcards. While a lot comes to the department through legal deposit, they also buy antiquarian and modern maps, and receive donations (in particular from the Ministry of Defence's map library, the largest map library in the country, which purchases four copies of every map and then donates three of the copies to libraries around the country when they purchase a new edition). When the Ordnance Survey maps went online and the OS archives decided not to keep their 1st edition maps, the UL purchased that collection, which showed up in three lorries rather unexpectedly one day!

Anne and Andrew had put a variety of maps out on display for our group, including a beautifully illustrated celestial atlas by Andreas Cellarias from 1661, a colourful world map titled TEA REVIVES THE WORLD! produced by the International Tea Market Expansion Board which was covered in quotes and facts about tea, and OS snapshots of the Olympic Park site taken at various points since we won the bid, showing the development there. My favourite was a map of Iceland drawn by Abraham Ortelius in around 1595, showing sea monsters surrounding the island complete with notes in Latin describing each beast (e.g. "All gristly, rather like a skate, but infinitely larger"). There's an image of part of that map on the map department's website here.

It was a great visit, and I ended up being one of the last hangers-on who spent so long looking at the maps that Andrew threatened to put us to work cataloguing them! Having had a taste of the confusing world of scales, projections and co-ordinates in my Cat & Class module at UCL I didn't take Andrew up on his offer, but will definitely visit again!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What I've been reading in August

Well, we did it! My MA class has now submitted our dissertations, and that's the end of my year at UCL. This blog has been very quiet over the summer for obvious reasons, but I'm hoping to get back into the habit of blogging regularly once more now that I have a bit more time on my hands!  I managed to keep the monthly round up posts going though as they're fairly quick to put together, and here is what I've been reading in August (or in most cases this month, what I kept unread until the start of September!)


Andy Woodworth, Libraries and eBook Publishers: Friend Zone Level 300

Marketing library services

Naomi Tiley, IFLA Conference: Marketing of Rare and Special Collections in a Digital Age

Stpehen Barr, How should academic libraries communicate their own value? 

Information Literacy

Daniel Russell, Internet Search: What makes it simple, difficult or impossible?

Meredith Farkas, The devil you know in first-year instruction

Games and libraries

Lisa Poisso, Real-life librarians hit the Ironforge stacks (interview with Ellen Forsyth from the WoW guild Where is the Library, which runs regular discussion groups in Ironforge library)

Games and Libraries, Edited transcripts of talks (archive of the Where is the Library discussions)


Bobbi Newman, 20 Things to Do After You Accept that Speaking Gig

R. David Lankes, Beyond the Bullet Points: Bullet Points (advice for developing speaker skills)

Neutrality in events and conferences

Library Camp, The Co-operative Bank Grant Application

Lauren Smith, Library Politics and Agenda-Setting


Brian Matthews, Think Like a Startup (I haven't had time to read all of this yet, but it's good stuff. Aaron Tay's post below pulls out some of the main points)

Aaron Tay, "We're a cut-and-paste profession"

Travis McDade, The difficulty of insider book theft

In the Ironforge Library by Tourach