Edinburgh Napier University

Tag: Collections

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

Black History Month

Black history month banner 2021

Black History Month 2021 runs throughout October and is a celebration of the often-overlooked contributions made by Black people to our shared history. It allows us to celebrate Black people and Black culture. This year the campaign is called “Proud to Be” and encourages Black and Brown people to share what they are “proud to be.”  

Here at the Library, we understand the importance not just of Black History month but also of continued action to tackle racism, reclaim Black history, and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round. We are working hard to grow our collections so that they become more inclusive and diverse. 

Black history Month Image

What we are doing 

We have compiled two fantastic reading lists for you to enjoy filled with books, eBooks, films, and articles you can access not just this month but all year round. 

Links here: 

Black History 365 

Black History, Voices, and Innovation 

 Don’t forget you can use LibrarySearch to find even more sources, just log in and start searching. There is a useful guide available here 

Wear Red Day Icon

Wear Red Day

We will also be supporting Wear Red day on October 22nd – Show Racism the Red Card – Wear red day is a National Day of Action encouraging schools, businesses, and individuals to wear red and donate £1 to help fund anti-racism.

 

Displays

We will have displays on all our campuses, full of information and celebration of Black History and Culture, so keep an eye out when you visit us in person.

 

Walking Tour

The University group BAMEish will be running Black History Walking Tours with Lisa Willams. These will be running Thursday 14 October & Thursday 4 November.

Book here: Black History Walking Tour Eventbrite

Here are some useful Websites for you to look at:

There is also a brilliant reading list of books by CILIP which you can check out online here

There are some amazing talks from the British Library throughout October, which you can find here

Check out the official Black History Month site here

More Information on Black History in Scotland can be found here

Finally here is a link to what’s going on in Scotland this coming month.

 

Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media to see more of our Black History Month material

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You can read last year’s Black History Month post here.

 

 

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