Edinburgh Napier University

Author: julietkinsey (Page 2 of 8)

The Edward Clark Collection

Hidden treasures: The Edward Clark Collection

The Edward Clark Collection, housed in the library at the Merchiston campus, is not as well-known as it should be. It is one of the only two surviving examples of what was once a widespread phenomenon in Britain: printers’ libraries. The other survivor is St Brides Library in London.

The Edward Clark Collection consists of around 5,000 items illustrating the development of the book from the 15th century. More specifically, it concentrates on the development of typography, the techniques of printing illustrations, and fine bindings. The collection is located within the Campus Library at the University’s Merchiston Campus.

Printers’ Libraries

The first Edinburgh printers’ library was established in 1858. The technical and reference collections continued to be used up until the end of the 19th century, afterwich it is not clear what happened to them. Formal educational requirements for printing apprentices were established after World War I. The Clark Collection was put together as a teaching resource, mainly in the 1930s, to illustrate printing technologies, type design and book production from the 15th century to the present day. As well as the treasures highlighted on the Collection website it is a treasure trove for the historian of print.

Over the last 2 years, whenever access was possible, I have consulted type specimens, trade journals, company histories, technical manuals and books about print production and the design and making of books. These included James Watson’s History of Printing in Scotland (1713), Caleb Stower’s Printer’s Grammar (1808) and T.C. Hansard’s Typographia (1825), and looked again at a long-standing favourite of mine – John McCreery’s poem The Press, printed in Liverpool as a type specimen in 1802.

It is a privilege to work with this collection, and I am very grateful to all the library staff who have made this possible.

Dr Helen S Williams

Honorary Edward Clark Fellow

h.williams@napier.ac.uk

National Biscuit Day

Today is the day: National Biscuit Day

Since 2014, we have been honouring May 29th as National Biscuit day

Biscuits can be dated back as long as there were baked goods, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt but perhaps they would have been seen as more dried breads. The sugar trade in the eighteenth century changed and by the nineteenth century, we were seeing McVities, Crawford and Carr began setting up (daysoftheyear.com)

In Britain, we consumed the most biscuits of any other country (ScotsmanFoodandDrink). In fact, Brits eat roughly 52 biscuits per second! Now that’s a lot of biscuits. And now we all want to know what biscuit reigns supreme, the to go, the absolute fave. Well, it’s of course the humble yet delicious chocolate digestive. A third of the British population rank chocolate digestives as their favourites (ScotsmanFoodandDrink). This is followed by the chocolate hobnob then the Jammie Dodger, fourth favourite is the custard crème and in finishing off the top five is shortbread. Do you agree with the top five biscuit list or disagree, what’s your favourite biscuit. And most controversial is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake? So many questions to ponder about this national biscuit, mull them over with your favourite biscuit.

Read more about biscuits through Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

 

By Maya Green

 

Meet your Subject Librarian: Rob O’Brien

Photo of Rob O’Brien and Tess Dalton (the woof), Rob’s fellow monster movie fan at home.

Meet your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

Rob is the subject Librarian supporting the School of Applied Sciences and the Department for Learning and Teaching Enhancement.

“I joined the Library at Edinburgh Napier in March, having worked in a similar role at Leeds Beckett University for the last few years, and I’m enjoying settling into my new team and life in Scotland.

The best part of working in a university library for me is getting to meet such a diversity of students and staff and learning about their learning and research interests. Not many jobs give you an opportunity to learn and have new thoughts every day. Also, I still can’t believe my luck in having constant access to a university library with all its space and collections. When I was boy, growing up in a seaside town in Ireland, my local library was about the size of a corner shop and I wasn’t allowed to borrow from the “grown-ups collection” (no matter how many varieties of fake moustache/beard combinations I wore to the service desk).

When not working, I like to read (forgive the librarian cliché), play guitar (terribly), cycle (well, pretend cycling on an e-bike), play badminton (if anyone can recommend a club in Edinburgh who might have room for a surprisingly bad player that would be most appreciated), and hang out with my four-legged friend, Tess (the most fun by far).

I’m looking forward to meeting all my new colleagues outside a computer screen very soon and introducing myself to the confectionery counter at Sighthill Café (which I have heard good things about).”

By your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

Check out Rob’s fantastic Libguide here for resources

Meet Another of our New Subject Librarian’s Maria here.

 

 

Meditation Day 21st of May

World Meditation Day– 21st May

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

These words, attributed to an unknown Zen master, are probably the most famous, and arguably the wisest, words ever uttered on the subject of meditation.

The paradox is, of course, that the more you have to do, and the less time you have to do it, the more important it is to stop whatever you’re doing and take time out. Meditation is one of the best, and certainly one of the healthiest, ways to do that.

It can be hard to describe exactly what meditation is or how it feels. I’ve been meditating nearly every day for more than a decade, and I still struggle to define it, but at its heart I believe it’s a way to quieten the mind, relax the body and turn down the volume on the chatterbox in my head that is continuously spouting nonsense.

Types of Meditation to try this world meditation day

There are as many types of meditation as there are practitioners. You may have tried some of them: mindfulness, visualisation, walking meditation, mantra meditation, OM chanting, Vipasanna, and loving-kindness are just some of the many ways to do it. I’ve tried several of those, but my regular daily practice is TM – transcendental meditation. Whatever form suits you, the main thing is to do it regularly. Like any other practice, establishing it as a habit is the key to its success.

The benefits of meditation are well-known. It improves sleep and concentration, relieves anxiety and stress (exams, anyone?), can reduce cravings and pain, helps you to feel calmer, makes you more productive and creative. Some people claim to experience a feeling of bliss when they meditate. I can’t claim that, but I have always felt better after my daily session, and I feel less at peace if I miss one.

We have several books that give greater insight into this most ancient of spiritual practices. Log into LibrarySearch to access them:

Learn to meditate: the art of tranquillity, self-awareness and insight – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Wherever you go, there you are – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Meditation for everybody – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Meditation Day 21st of May

This year, Saturday, May 21st marks World Meditation Day. Why not treat yourself to a session?  It’ll only take 20 minutes – or an hour if you’re really busy.

By Lesley McRobb

Read more on Mental Health awareness here and here 

and don’t forget to check out our virtual relaxation space.

National Limerick Day

National Limerick Day

National Limerick Day celebrates Limericks. A limerick is a short, often humorous, and sometimes rude poem consisting of five lines. The first, second and fifth lines should rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines should rhyme with each other. The first line usually introduces a person and place, and the place name will be at the end of the line eg.

There was a Young Lady of Dorking,
Who bought a large bonnet for walking;
But its colour and size,
So bedazzled her eyes,
That she very soon went back to Dorking.

This establishes the rhyme scheme for the second and fifth lines. Due to their short and simple structure limericks are a popular form among amateur poets.

Although the word “limerick” is a reference to the Irish city and county, it may be derived from a form of nonsense verse parlour game which included the line “Will/won’t you come up to Limerick” and it is believed that limericks actually originated in England.

Edward Lear

They were popularized by Edward Lear in his books A Book of Nonsense (1846) and More Nonsense Pictures, Rhymes, Botany, etc (1872). He wrote 212 limericks which would accompany an absurd illustration on the same subject. Amongst the most famous of these is the opening poem from A Book of Nonsense:

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma9923649263602111

Feeling inspired? Why not try writing your own limerick, you might be interested in reading more about them. You can use LibrarySearch to access several e-books and articles. And if you are interested in poetry there are over 1,500 poetry books at Merchiston campus library and thousands more e-books available online. You can also read Edward Lear’s work online here.

By Vivienne Hamilton

 

Read more articles on unusual days such as May the Fourth and World sleep day

Keep the Heid and Read!

Keep the Heid and Read!

Scotland’s Reading Moment 2022

We all know the pleasure of becoming absorbed in the plot of a really good book! That feeling of being unable to put it down as you are desperate to find out what happens next. Reading provides us with magical encounters, opens doors to different worlds and gives us the opportunity to experience other cultures and communities.

To celebrate the joy reading can bring and the benefits it can have on our mental health and wellbeing, the Scottish Information and Library Council (SLIC) have partnered with mental health charities, publishers, booksellers, and authors to bring us the ’The Reading Moment’, a public libraries initiative.

As part of this initiative, SLIC is asking people across Scotland to dedicate SIX minutes of their time on Wednesday 11th May 2022 to read a book.

See the Keep the Heid and Read! website if you’d like to find out more about Scotland’s Reading Moment 2022 and would like to pledge SIX minutes of your time to join people all over Scotland reading on 11th May 2022.

https://www.keeptheheid.scot/

You can also borrow fiction books from all our Libraries, including eBooks. Check out librarysearch.napier.ac.uk to see what we have. Need a quick guide to Librarysearch? Read one here on our blog!

Also, don’t forget your local libraries. Edinburgh city libraries are a rich, free resource for books and they have all the latest best sellers so why not visit one today.

By Sarah Jeffcott

May the Fourth be with you! Star Wars Day

Star wars day

May the fourth is commonly known around the world by Star Wars fans as Star Wars Day. This is because May the 4th sounds a bit like “May the force”, part of a very famous quote from the film “May the force be with you”.

The Star Wars film franchise is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the world. Created by George Lucas, the first film came out way back in 1977 and has since spanned many other films and TV shows. Furthermore, there’s a wealth of merchandise to be had from costumes to Lego sets.

Want to make some star wars food? Check out some recipes here.

Need some ideas for how to celebrate? Read this article!

Library Resources

Want to watch the films right now? We can help! If you are an Edinburgh Napier University student or staff member then log into Box of Broadcasts (BoB) and you will be able to watch many of the films for free.

Also, check out librarysearch.napier.ac.uk for loads of fascinating items relating to Star Wars! We have a wealth of books, scores and articles.

All that’s left to say is “May the Force/fourth be with you!”

Graduating this year? This article is for you!

Congratulations!

You’ve reached the end of your course, you’ve passed all your exams and so onto Graduation!

It’s that time of year when we say Love Your Library, please clear your library record before you leave!  Unsure whether your record is clear? Sign into LibrarySearch and select Library Card, you’ll find any loans and fines detailed here.

It’s very easy to return items, just scan them through our self-service kiosks and pop them into the returns box.  Laptops can be returned to a Lapsafe or Library Help Desk.   If you’ve fines to clear these can be paid through LibrarySearch or appealed if there’s been extenuating circumstances.  You can also post books back to us if that’s easier for you.  Here’s our contact details if you need to get in touch library@napier.ac.uk or 0131 455 3500.  Don’t forget we’re also open as normal over the Summer!

Anyway, we’d just like to say we’re sorry to see you go and would like to wish you all the very best with your future career or studies!

May Day The Beginning of Spring

Springtime

Is there anything that gladdens the heart of the city-dweller more than the glorious pink of cherry- and the wondrous white of apple blossom lining the grimy streets? Personally, I feel my spirits soar every time I wander along an avenue of blossom and turn up my face to the delicate petals raining down like confetti. Laburnum, too, delights with its brief but brilliant burst of yellow. (Okay, so it’s poisonous, but nobody was planning to eat it!) May really must be the most beautiful and optimistic month, as the light stretches and the air starts to warm up after those nippy April mornings.

The History of May Day

Maybe it’s this abundance of light, colour and new growth that inspired our pagan ancestors to celebrate the beginning of the month. They’d elect a May Queen and a Jack-in-the-Green to lead the festivities which included dancing around the maypole (every village had one), painting faces green and dressing up a local person in a caricature of a horse. The fun continued after the Christian church was established until those killjoy C16th Puritans banned maypole dancing as a heathen activity of drunken wickedness (which to be fair, it probably was).

Recent Times

In recent times, May 1st has become synonymous with something much less frivolous and decidedly more serious: work. Labour movements across the world have inspired action since the earliest days of industrialisation, but official commemoration of May 1st as International Workers’ Day began in Chicago when, in 1886, the American Federation of Labor implemented an 8-hour working day as a new standard of fair practice. In 1904 it was adopted around the world, and now May 1st is recognised by many as a workers’ holiday.

Scotland

Closer to home, Beltane is a Gaelic festival of fire that is traditionally celebrated on May 1st to mark the beginning of, um, summer. In Edinburgh, revellers usually make their way up Calton Hill before celebrating en masse. If you want to take part in the organised event, you’ll have to set off the night before.  See https://beltane.org/

You may be familiar with the old proverb “ne’er cast a cloot til the May be oot.” You’d be forgiven for believing that the May in this case refers to the month, but in fact, it specifically refers to the May tree, an old name for hawthorn, that beloved staple of hedgerows across the land that produces a gorgeous white blossom in May. Hawthorn is the only plant in UK vernacular to be named after the month in which it blooms.

We hope you enjoy this Mayday, whether you’re working, strolling through a garden of cherry blossom, dancing around a maypole or warming yourself against a roaring communal fire. Bring on the summer!

By Lesley McRobb

Read more articles on celebrations here on our blog:

St Patricks Day

Chinese New Year

Scottish traditions

Osprey update for 2022

If you followed the ospreys at Loch of the Lowes last year, you may be interested to know that LM12 has already returned! You can watch his return to the nest here.

More Information


Staff and volunteers at the reserve, as well as a global audience of webcam watchers, are now eagerly watching for the return of LM12’s mate, the female osprey NC0. The pair successfully fledged three chicks in their first two seasons together (in 2020 and 2021).

Loch Arkaig osprey webcam will go live soon.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Read our earlier article on the Ospreys here.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2022 The Library Blog

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: