Edinburgh Napier University

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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

Unusual Libraries from the UK

Image Source

University libraries tend to be large spaces with shelves with thousands of books, computers and study spaces. Students are used to and expect to have these facilities. You may also use public libraries which may not be as big, but still house a huge variety of books and other resources, but not all libraries are the same……

Here are two Unusual Libraries from the UK

Bethnal Green tube station library

When war broke out in 1939 Bethnal Green Underground station was partly completed, and work was halted. In late 1940 it was decided that as the works were far enough ahead it could be used as a safe shelter for the public during air raids. Over a period of months, the station was transformed to house enough bunks to sleep up to 5000 people, a café, theatre and a nursery. This community 78 feet underground also gained a library in 1941-Britain’s only tube station library.

In September 1940 a bomb had fallen on the roof of Bethnal Green Public Library causing vast destruction to the adult learning library. Librarian George F. Vale and his deputy Stanley Snaith pulled a tarpaulin over the shattered glass dome roof and vowed to bring a library to the underground community. The council approved a grant of £50 and a library was created over the boarded-up tracks of the westbound tunnel. Stanley Snaith wrote “All last summer the caverns echoed to the din of hammers and saws. The result was a triumph.” Later in the Library Review 1942, he wrote “Libraries in converted shops, in village halls, in mobile vans are common enough. But libraries in tube shelters are something new under the sun.”

The tiny library measured 15 feet square and opened from 5.30-8pm every evening. It housed 4000 titles that had survived the bombing of the main library. Romances, classics, poetry and children’s books could be borrowed and help the residents to escape from the horrors happening above ground. Snaith wrote of his patrons, “Each dusk sees the first contingent making its way down to the bowels of the earth. The well and the ill, the old and the young, they come trooping down… In the library the youngsters are vocally busy with their book selection, but why should they not chatter to their heart’s content.” Now the “youngsters” are in their 90’s, but they still have fond memories of the tube station library. Pat Spicer, now 92 said, “You can’t imagine what that library represented to me as a place of safety. It sparked a lifelong love of reading.”

As the war dragged on many would have been anxious about what the future held, but in October Bethnal Green Library celebrates its centenary and tube trains still come and go from Bethnal Green station.

Phone box libraries 

Across the UK many redundant old red phone boxes have found a new use as micro libraries. This is often in rural areas which have been affected by cuts to spending on public libraries due to cuts in local council funding. The idea is simple-anyone can take a book home, but they are expected to bring it back or bring a replacement.

The first phone box library was set up in 2009 in Westbury-Sub-Mendip following cuts to the mobile library funding. The parish council purchased the box for £1 and locals put up wooden shelves and donated books.

These micro libraries operate on a system of trust and house a large range of titles from cookery books to classics and children’s books. In villages where everyone knows everyone, the system works well, but in some cities, micro libraries have been vandalised and the local community has had to fund and carry out repairs.

These are just 2 examples of libraries in unusual places. If you would like to find out about some other unusual libraries click on the links below:

The Worlds Oddest Libraries

Donkey Libraries of Columbia

ReadingClub2000

Also, check out our amazing article on

Wilderness Libraries of edamalakudi

 

By Vivienne Hamilton

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all our Irish students and staff.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on 17th March. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but there are parades and parties worldwide due to the large numbers of people with Irish heritage spread across the world.

dog in st patricks day hat

Source

History of St.Patrick’s Day

Although there are no exact dates of his birth, it is believed that Patrick was born in the Roman-occupied north of England. and that he died on 17th March. His autobiographical work “Confessio” claims that when he was around 16, Patrick was taken from his home in Britain by Irish pirates who took him to Ireland as a slave. There he looked after animals for around six years and converted to Christianity. He fled captivity after hearing a voice telling him he would soon go home. He found passage on a ship and after several days walking he returned home. Following his return, Patrick studied Christianity in Europe-mostly in Auxerre, France and was ordained into the priesthood there. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, and by the 7th century was already revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

The Irish Potato Famine

There are many people throughout the world with Irish ancestors due to the large numbers who emigrated because of the Irish Potato Famine. It started in 1845 when a fungus ruined around 75% of the annual potato crop, which most of the population relied on for food. Around one million Irish died before the end of the famine in 1852. Another million emigrated to countries such as Great Britain or the United States, and therefore you will find St. Patrick’s Day celebrated in many countries worldwide.

Celebrations

Today descendants of the immigrants celebrate their Irish heritage dressing up in colourful clothing in green and gold (the colours of the Irish flag), joining parades of pipe bands, cheerleaders, and floats. One of the biggest parades outside Ireland is in New York which held its first parade in 1762. This was a time when the wearing of green was a sign of Irish pride but was banned in Ireland. The parade gave participants the freedom to speak Irish, wear green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes that were meaningful to the Irish immigrants of that time.

Aside from parades, many pubs and restaurants host events with live music and singing, and you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find one in Edinburgh!

By Vivienne Hamilton

Read more on world festivals and traditions with our articles:

Chinese New Year

Scottish Traditions: Burn’s Night

The Ethiopia Timkat Festival,

New Year Traditions from Around the World

Also, don’t forget you can find out more about everything mentioned in this article at Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

 

 

🏳️‍🌈LGBT+ History Month 🏳️‍🌈

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month

February is the month we celebrate LGBT+ History here in the UK. It is a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom, we celebrate it in February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28.

What we are doing

Here at the Library, we think it is incredibly important to support and promote equality and diversity. Furthermore, we are working hard to create more inclusive collections and to support our LGBT+ users and staff. For example, we are currently creating a permanent LGBT+ virtual bookshelf here on our blog, and we are training our staff to be inclusive in their actions and the language they use.

Resources

If you are an LGBT+ student you can join Edinburgh Napier’s LGBT+ Society.   You can also find out more about the student LGBT+ community on the Queer Napier site. Staff can join the University’s thriving LGBT+ Network or you can visit our web pages to learn more about becoming an ally.

In addition, The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBT+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs. 

Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: 

Same-sex, different politics: success and failure in the struggles over gay rights

Lgbt Activism and the Making of Europe A Rainbow Europe  

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) and the criminal justice system

Equality

Pride Parades and LGBT Movements: Political Participation in an International Comparative Perspective

Similarly, want to know more about Pride Month?  Check out our article here.

Lego Day

Celebrating Lego Day

It’s world Lego day today. Lego is one of those toys that is ubiquitous with childhood. Anyone growing up in the West will know immediately what you mean when you mention it. It is the joy of Children everywhere, and the thing that drives most parents mad. Is there anything more painful to stand on!?!

In fact, people who have regularly experienced walking on hot coals and broken glass say Lego is by far the worst thing to walk on (source). Feeling brave? You always have a go at the Lego Firewalk. Personally, I’d rather walk on glass or coals!

History

It was in Denmark, at Ole Kirk Christiansen’s workshop where Lego was firstborn. In 1934 it became called Lego after the Danish phrase leg godt.  They were originally called Automatic Binding Bricks, but less originally they were based on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, already patented in the UK.

Over time Lego has grown to become the biggest toy company in the world and is not only used as toys but as movies, artworks and they even made an amusement park you can visit.

Mindfulness

Lego is no longer just for children; in fact, they have many Lego sets dedicated to adults. There is some fascinating research connected to mindfulness about how doing Lego can help our mental health. We actually keep a Lego set behind each Library Help Desk you can borrow for free. Why not check one out next time you visit…if the library staff aren’t already playing with them that is!

Learn More

We have a fascinating and diverse range of materials for you to read on Lego, from issues with Dentistry (teeth and Lego are a bad mix it seems!) to build your own Lego Robots. Check out Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk.. Just type in the word “Lego” and start reading!

By Juliet Kinsey

Sources: Wikipedia

The Ethiopia Timkat Festival

The Timkat Festival

Christmas is a distant memory for most of us, but for Ethiopians, Christmas is a whole season that’s just coming to an end now. Ethiopia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity, and as such it adheres to the ancient traditions that sit at the heart of its Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Timkat, celebrated every year on the 19th of January, is one of those traditions, possibly the most important in the Church’s calendar.

The Amharic word timkat means “baptism”, and the festival marks the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan.

Preparations

Timkat is a huge deal and a seriously religious festival. Preparations for this spectacular event, possibly one of the biggest and most colourful on the African continent, begin on the 18th, when “tabots” – models of the  Ark of the Covenant – are wrapped in fine cloths and carried on the heads of priests down to the river or other place of worship. Local people don white shawls – Ethiopians wear white when they go to church – and follow the procession.

The Festival

Mass starts in the early hours of the 19th and continues for hours. When Mass is over, the water is blessed and the congregants take to the rivers, submerging themselves in a re-enactment of Christ’s baptism. Of course, it’s a happy occasion and that means the celebrations go on all day and are accompanied by feasting and music.  As well as eating their favourite Timkat food, Ethiopians celebrate important occasions with elaborate coffee ceremonies.

On the 20th, the tabots are carried back to the churches in another procession that marks the end of the festival.

One of the best places to observe Timkat is the town of Gondar, home to the 17th century castle built by King Fasilides. In the grounds of the castle is a huge open-air bath. The bath is usually empty, but during Timkat it’s filled with water and the locals dive in. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Ethiopia over the festive season. I missed Timkat by a couple of weeks. When I visited King Fasilides castle it was empty. Next time I go, I’m definitely going for Timkat, and I’m taking my swimming costume.

Want to learn more about other traditions from around the world? Read our article here.

By Lesley McRobb

New Year Resolutions: study and social

We hope all our Edinburgh Napier University students and staff had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s with some time to relax and catch up with friends and family.

With the festivities now over, you might be thinking that it’s time to make some resolutions and get back into that ‘serious study mode’.

It’s also a time to reflect on past events and your studies to see what you might want to freshen up and change for the new year. Just keep in mind that progress is always ongoing, and you should focus on one step at a time!

 

 

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

 

 

Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider below:

 

  1. Change your learning style or study skills

If you want to change your study habits or try a new way of learning, Box of Broadcasts (BOB) and listening to Podcasts are productive ways of gathering information and evidence for your assignments. You can find more information about it on our Libguides.

The library also has a study skills reading list and many books available like Improving Your Study Skills by Shelley O’Hara for improving the way you learn.

 

Study planning

Study planning

 

  1. Balancing education and work or your social life

This could be the year where you decide to prioritise your time wisely and manage your schedule to avoid burnout. You might want to break up the week by scheduling tasks into your calendar or stick colourful post-it notes around your room as visual reminders. Your education should be your priority and then you can consider what to do in your spare time such as music, sports or travelling!

 

  1. Try new activities

Whatever the weather, if you have a burning desire for adventures in the outdoors, like kayaking, hikes and walks in the hills, then the Hiking and Outdoor Activities society at Edinburgh Napier may be the one for you this year!

You can join more of Napier’s societies in the link below:

https://www.napierstudents.com/teamnapiersocieties/atozsocieties/

 

 

Hiking

Hiking

Ghost Stories: A spooky tale of haunted Campuses

Creepy Campuses

Craiglockhart:

Many old buildings have ghost stories associated with them and Edinburgh Napier campuses are no exception. Of course, no one can prove if the sightings are genuine, but here are a few of the stories we have heard from staff….

From 1920 until 1986 Craiglockhart campus used to be a training college for Catholic teachers run by nuns. There have been many reports of a nun being seen around the old part of the campus and in the library which used to be a swimming pool. Apparently, she has been seen walking through a wall near the Rivers Suite and a joiner saw her on one of the upper floors. Many staff members claim to have had a feeling that someone is behind them when they are walking around the old building.

Cleaners say that taps in the toilets along from the library mysteriously switch themselves on and one of them has often spotted an old woman walking along the corridor towards the Hydra café early in the mornings before the campus is open for general access.

One morning library staff came in to find a bookshelf that had been hammered into place had been tipped up at one end and the books were in a heap on the floor. On another occasion, an interior glass panel was completely smashed when staff arrived for work. The panel had been intact when security had closed the campus the previous evening. When shelving books one evening a member of staff heard a thud behind them. A large book that had been lying flat on a shelf and not overhanging had mysteriously landed on the floor.

Craighouse

Our former campus at Craighouse is now a housing development, but it used to be the home of Edinburgh Napier from 1996 to 2011. It was built as a private residence around 1565. In the 1880s it was described as “a weird-looking mansion, alleged to be ghost-haunted” in Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh. It was a psychiatric hospital from then until the early 1990s when it was sold to Edinburgh Napier. Some of the staff who used to work there claim to have smelled cigar smoke although smoking was prohibited in the building. There were also reports of a piano being played and a baby crying in an attic room. Cleaning staff caught a glimpse of a man wearing a long leather coat with slicked back long hair in the toilets. Furthermore, there were also rumours of underground tunnels leading from secret entrances.

Sighthill

Not to be outdone by Craiglockhart, Sighthill briefly had its own ghost in 2018

Click on the following link to view the full video:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1057546465587924992

We wish you all a Happy Halloween and hope we haven’t spooked you!

Have any ghost stories of your own? Share them in the comments or tag us through social media with Twitter: @ednaplib or Instagram @ENULibrary

By Vivienne Hamilton

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

Instagram Twitter

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

 

 

Meet your Health and Social Care Librarian: Maria King

Introducing the Subject Librarian for the School of Health and Social Care, Maria King

Photo_of_Maria_King

I joined Edinburgh Napier in May and have worked in similar roles previously supporting health students at both Coventry University and The University of Salford and I’m looking forward to the move up to Edinburgh. I particularly enjoy the teaching and information literacy support aspects of the role.

I have an interest in punk pedagogy, a critical approach to teaching and learning which focuses on questioning and challenging dominant discourses. This influences my practice by increasing my reflection and improvement of my own practice, increasing flexibility of opportunities for engagement in learning, encouraging criticality and ownership of learning in students, and challenging practices of librarianship that dimmish under-represented voices and groups.

My other main area of interest and expertise is in inclusive teaching practices, specifically in relation to supporting neurodivergent students. I have previously delivered training support to other teaching staff to help them improve their own practices for supporting neurodivergent students. I am neurodivergent myself so bring lived experience to this area.

In my personal life, I enjoy discovering new restaurants, craft beer, quiz shows and pub quizzes, and reading – particularly crime! I am looking forward to exploring more of Scotland and increasing my step count!

Find out more information on the resources available in this subject area, and Maria’s contact details here.

You can access the Health and Social Care Libguides on the Library website. This Libguide will direct you to the most useful search tools for finding research-based literature/evidence, academic sources, grey literature, and reliable health statistics, and show you how to get the best out of these tools for your studies and professional practice.

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