The National Gallery Library and the Legacy of Sir Charles Eastlake

National Gallery Library

The National Gallery Library was established in 1870 with the purchase of the private library, consisting of some 2,000 volumes, of Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865), first Director of the National Gallery. It now contains around 100,000 printed volumes relevant to the study of the history of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the early 20th century.

Eastlake had been Director of the Gallery since 1855 and an avid book collector since his youth. He lived for a number of years in Rome as a practising artist, where he associated with German as well as Italian artists and art historians. During his ten years as Director of the National Gallery, he made annual trips to continental Europe, especially to Italy, chiefly to acquire paintings for the Gallery, but also along the way collecting books to add to his library. Being fluent in several European languages, he acquired books in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. In 1865 Eastlake died, still in post as Director, in the middle of one his tours of Italy. His widow Lady Eastlake wished to ensure that his pioneering work at the National Gallery would continue and be respected. After some negotiating, she sold the library to the Gallery, on condition that it be known as ‘The Eastlake Library’. She personally stamped every volume with a distinctive (E) stamp on Valentine’s Day 1870, which makes it very easy for us to identify the books. The Eastlake Library has been the heart of the National Gallery Library collections ever since its acquisition.

George Green, Catalogue of the Eastlake Library in the National Gallery

George Green, Catalogue of the Eastlake Library in the National Gallery (London, 1872)

As part of the process of acquiring the Eastlake Library back in 1870, a printed catalogue was compiled by a bookseller, George Green, and published in 1872. The original Eastlake Library numbers some 2,030 volumes covering a wide range of publications and formats: monographs, collection and auction catalogues, treatises, periodicals, technical and travel literature, pamphlets, offprints, as well as a few manuscript volumes, mainly transcripts of unpublished source materials. These reflect Eastlake’s broad-ranging interests in the developing field of art history, especially in relation to his concerns about attribution and provenance research, and in the history of artistic techniques. Although a working library for research rather than a rare books collection, the Library includes two incunabula, one of which is the famous Hypnerotomachia Poliphili printed in Venice in 1499. There are also numerous titles which are either unique or held in few libraries either in the United Kingdom or worldwide. A good number of the volumes are annotated by Eastlake himself, especially the guidebooks and catalogues which accompanied or derived from his travel to the European continent.

Giorgio  Vasari, Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori (2nd edition, Florence, 1568)

Giorgio  Vasari, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori (2nd edition, Florence, 1568)

There are standard biographical works of art history such as Vasari’s Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, of which he collected both the first edition of 1550 and also the expanded second edition of 1568. There are also treatises on the theory and practice of painting and the arts: one example is a Spanish work of 1763 with chapters on geometry, human anatomy, animals and birds, and architecture.

Juan de Arphe y Villafañe, Varia Commensuracion para la Escultura y Arquitectura (Madrid, 1763)

Juan de Arphe y Villafañe, Varia Commensuracion para la Escultura y Arquitectura (Madrid, 1763)

In 1847 Eastlake himself published a pioneering monograph on technical art history, Materials for a History of Oil Painting. His interest in this emerging field is reflected in the presence in his library of publications such as a painter’s manual published in Leipzig in 1532,  a remarkably clean copy given that most surviving copies knocked around in painters’ workshops for generations until they fell apart.

Drey schoner künst-reicher büchlein (Leipzig, 1532)

Drey schoner künst-reicher büchlein (Leipzig, 1532)

He also collected manuscript sources in the form of transcripts or published editions. One of the most studied texts for technical art history was Cennino Cennini’s Il Libro dell’Arte, probably written in the late 1390s: the Library possesses the first English translation by Mary Merrifield with a very colourful frontispiece, published in 1844.

Cennino Cennini, A Treatise on Painting written by Cennino Cennini in the year 1437 … translated by Mrs Merrifield (London, 1844)

Cennino Cennini, A Treatise on Painting written by Cennino Cennini in the year 1437 … translated by Mrs Merrifield (London, 1844)

The National Gallery Library is open to researchers needing to consult items in the library’s collection which may not be reasonably accessible in other libraries. For more information, please consult our web pages.

Jonathan Franklin, Librarian

You can also find out more about the library on their Copac information page, and browse their records by selecting the Main Search tab on Copac and choosing ‘National Gallery Library’ from the list of libraries.

Full catalogue of University of Wales Trinity Saint David added to Copac

We’re pleased to announce that the full catalogue of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Library has been added to Copac.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Library

UWTSD Library and Learning Resources has campus libraries in Carmarthen, Lampeter, Swansea and London, which include a collection of over 500,000 printed volumes and provide access to approximately 20,000 electronic books and 50,000 electronic journals. The University’s special collections are held in the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives at Lampeter, which include over 35,000 printed works, featuring several medieval and post-medieval manuscripts.

For more information see the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Library’s information page on Copac.

To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘University of Wales Trinity Saint David‘ from the list of libraries.

Catalogues of Cardiff Metropolitan University Library and Brunel University London Library added to Copac

We are pleased to announce that the records of Cardiff Metropolitan University Library and the full holdings of Brunel University London Library have been added to Copac.

Cardiff Metropolitan University LibraryLibrary & Information Services (L&IS) are at the heart of the learning, teaching and research experience for students and staff at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Their two Learning Centres at the Llandaff and Cyncoed campuses house a vast collection of physical material covering all academic disciplines and research areas of Cardiff Met. The collection is complemented by significant and continued investment in electronic resources.

The library’s special collections relate to various areas of study within the Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff School of Education and Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences.

For more information see Cardiff Metropolitan University Library’s information page on Copac.

To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘Cardiff Metropolitan University’ from the list of libraries.

Copac previously included the records for Brunel University London Library’s Special Collections. However this has now been expanded to include Brunel’s complete holdings.

Photograph of Mural by Joe Tilson in Brunel University Library

Mural by Joe Tilson in Brunel University Library (Image copyright: Brunel University)

Brunel University London Library is situated in the Bannerman Centre, at the heart of the Brunel University campus. Housed over four floors, the main library collection includes over 300,000 print books and other materials, as well as a large collection of online resources.

Special Collections at Brunel University London houses a variety of book and archival collections dating principally from the 19th century onwards, which have mostly been collected since the 1980s. They include comprehensive collections relating to transport history (particularly railways), the history of tunneling under the English Channel, and working class autobiographies. Other themes are poetry and dialect, Shakespeare authorship and issues around equality and advocacy (including disability history and anti-apartheid campaigning).

For more information see Brunel University London Library’s information page on Copac.

To browse or limit your search to Brunel’s holdings, select the Main Search tab in Copac and choose ‘Brunel University London’ from the list of libraries.

Copac User Survey Results 2018

“I cannot imagine research without it.”

Many thanks to those of you that filled in the Copac user survey, we appreciate the time you took to provide your feedback. The full survey results can be seen at: Copac User Survey 2018 (pdf).

We had a good response, with more than 700 people taking the time to complete our questionnaire. The majority of people were based in the UK and were generally regular users. In terms of context, 44% of responses were from library staff/information workers, followed by academic researchers and lecturers. The majority of people were from higher education, with independent research/personal interest coming second. Most respondents recorded that they were interdisciplinary or in the field of History.

High levels of satisfaction

We’re very pleased to see that respondents are generally happy with the Copac service, with 97% indicating that they are ’very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the service. Over two-thirds of respondents would be extremely likely to recommend Copac to a peer. Copac also scored positively on ease of use, with most people (89%) finding the service easy to use. Similarly, the service scored well on the perception of time saved, with 90% agreeing that their work would take longer without Copac. Both of these areas were reflected in the comments throughout the survey.

Development areas

Alongside the general satisfaction with the service, there were many valuable comments on different aspects of Copac with a wide range of requests for developments. As in previous years, the most requested enhancement was to increase the number of contributing libraries. We’re pleased to say this is something that is now underway through the development of the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) that will underpin a resource discovery service to take over from Copac in mid 2019. In the NBK we aim to include the catalogues of all the UK university libraries that wish to participate, as well as continuing to add more catalogues from specialist research libraries. You can find out more about this development on the NBK project site.

Other areas raised by respondents related to data quality and deduplication. Much of the data on Copac is of good quality, but most libraries have areas where their data is more variable. The issues of data quality and deduplication are closely interlinked, as it is the variability of data that makes deduplication a complex process. We have always worked to try and standardise incoming data, to support resource discovery and other services, and this will continue, but with the NBK we are taking this a step further and will be working with contributing libraries to see how we can help them upgrade data where this would be useful. This will benefit the libraries locally as well as helping to reduce the levels of duplication for services based on the NBK.

In terms of change requests, it is satisfying to see that the second most frequent response to this question was ‘no improvements needed’ and we will bear this in mind as we respond to the diverse range of other requests we received for individual interface enhancements. As we move over to the NBK there will be a new resource discovery interface and we will be looking to retain the overall simplicity of the Copac interface whilst introducing a range of new facilities, such as improved ways of filtering search results. We will be asking for feedback on the new interface once this is ready for testing.

If you have any questions about the survey or the NBK development please contact us at: help@jisc.ac.uk (please state that your enquiry is for the Copac team)

Catalogue of the National Gallery Library added to Copac

We are pleased to announce that the records of the National Gallery Library have been added to Copac.

National Gallery Library

The National Gallery Library

The library was established in 1870 with the purchase of the private library (consisting of some 2,000 volumes) of the late Sir Charles Eastlake, first Director of the National Gallery. It now contains around 100,000 printed volumes relevant to the study of the history of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the early 20th century.

The library’s holdings include: monographs, catalogues raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, and pamphlets; works on iconography; permanent and private collection catalogues from the United Kingdom and elsewhere; early guidebooks and source works consisting of a few thousand published before 1850; catalogues of picture sales from major auction houses and commercial dealers; and over 250 periodical titles, of which 150 are current.

For more information see the National Gallery Library’s information page on Copac.

To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘National Gallery Library’ from the list of libraries.

The Aga Khan Library, London

The Aga Khan Library, London

The Aga Khan Library, London

The Aga Khan Library, London, formerly known as the IIS-ISMC Library, is the result of the merger of the library of the Institute of Ismaili Studies and the library of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University.

As a shared library, the Aga Khan Library’s primary objective is to support teaching and research in its parent institutions. The Library, however, is also committed to fostering knowledge of Islam, past and present, and to facilitating access for external researchers and students to resources on the history, faith and cultures that comprise the global Ismaili Shia community.

Photo from the inauguration of the Aga Khan Library on June 26th 2018

His Highness the Aga Khan in conversation with Lord Ahmad, Mayor Sadiq Khan, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and Head Librarian of the Aga Khan Library Dr. Walid Ghali during the inauguration of the Aga Khan Library on June 26th 2018

With its relocation to new purpose-built premises in King’s Cross, the Aga Khan Library will be able to continue expanding its substantial collection, which covers a broad range of subjects relating to the work of both institutes, and includes works in a remarkable variety of European and Eastern languages, as well as several individual collections donated by acclaimed scholars in the field of Islamic Studies. Housed in state-of-the-art facilities, the Library now occupies two floors at the heart of the newly developed Aga Khan Centre, King’s Cross. This site offers a comfortable research space, and convenient access to the Library’s unique resources.

The Aga Khan Library

The Aga Khan Library

The Aga Khan Library is the proud custodian of part of the personal library of Professor Annemarie Schimmel (1922–2003) that includes many rare titles, mostly in Persian, Urdu and Sindhi, focusing on Indo-Muslim communities and cultures. This collection of 900 items was donated to the Library by Professor Ali Asani (1954–), her colleague at Harvard University, in 2005. Subsequently, over 300 volumes from the Schimmel Library at the University of Tübingen, Germany, were acquired to complement this collection.

In 2012, the Aga Khan Library received part of the personal library and the complete personal archive of Professor Mohammed Arkoun (1928–2010), in recognition of his long association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies. This legacy, mostly in Arabic and French, consists of his professional correspondence, notes, offprints of his articles and over 200 monographs, including theses on Islamic thought, history and culture. The Library has embarked on the process of cataloguing and digitising the Arkoun Archive, to aid research concerning this distinguished and highly influential scholar in the history of Islamic studies.

Detail of Persian manuscript on "Prediction with astrological tables" completed in Shawwal (945 AH. /1539 AD)

Detail of Persian manuscript on “Prediction with astrological tables”
completed in Shawwal (945 AH. /1539 AD

The Library acquired in 2010 the personal library of the late Prof Peter Avery OBE, an eminent British scholar in the field of Persian Studies. This collection contains approximately 1,600 volumes, including manuscripts, lithographs and many rare and out-of-print titles in Persian, English and Arabic.

In 2007, the library purchased a collection of works by Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) which consists of three previously unrecorded manuscripts; thirteen printed works (five by Abduh and eight by other scholars on Abduh), and one original studio portrait of Muhammad Abduh with his friend the Egyptian photographer Muhammad ‘Ali Effendi Sa’oudi (1865-1955).

Among the Library’s other collections of note, there are 1300 books in Turkish and Ottoman Turkish that include literary works from the Tanzimat and post-Tanzimat period (mainly novels, poetry and plays) as well as travel literature, language materials, and works of history.

Illumination with flower motifs in an Ottoman manuscript (19th Century)

Illumination with flower motifs in an Ottoman manuscript (19th Century)

The manuscripts, as well as many of the rare books, are part of a digitisation project that will both conserve the original items and widen access to the Library’s important collections. While the Aga Khan Library builds its electronic platform for digitised materials, the original documents are available by request, condition permitting.

We would like to invite you to browse our collections through Copac or EDS. Soon, the Aga Khan Library will be available to researchers from London, the UK and abroad. In the meantime, the interlibrary loan service is available, and if necessary, access to our facilities and collections can be arranged by prior request. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further information about your access requirements.

Pedro Sánchez, Assistant Librarian

For more information you can contact the library by email, or telephone +44 (0)20 7380 3852.

NOTE: The Aga Khan Library still appears on Copac as the Institute of Ismaili Studies & ISMC Library. We are in the process of updating the library’s name and other details, but in the meantime you should select the Institute of Ismaili Studies & ISMC Library from the list of libraries in the main search form if you wish to search for their records.

Catalogue of Historic England Library added to Copac

We are pleased to announce that the records of the Historic England Library have been added to Copac.

Rare books at the Historic England Library

Rare books at the Historic England Library

The Historic England Library contains extensive collections on the archaeology and architecture of England. Contents date from the late 1500s up to the present day, with parts of the collection inherited from The Ministry of Works. This includes the Mayson Beeton Collection, a collection of some 830 books focused on London and its surroundings, dating from 1633 to 1940.

Other collection strengths include long runs of national and county periodicals, and material collected on specific geographic areas.

The Library contains approximately 60,000 book titles, reports, pamphlets, etc., along with 1200 periodical titles, of which c.400 are active. The collection is reference only.

The Historic England catalogue also includes records for titles freely downloadable from the Historic England Research Report Series gateway and the Historic England publications database.

For more information see the Historic England Library’s information page on Copac.

To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘Historic England’ from the list of libraries.

Catalogue of Sheffield Hallam University Library added to Copac

We’re pleased to announce that the records of Sheffield Hallam University Library have been added to Copac.

Photo of Adsetts Library, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University

Adsetts Library, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University

The history of the University can be traced back to 1843 when the Sheffield School of Design was founded. In 1969 a number of colleges merged to form Sheffield City Polytechnic. In 1992 it became Sheffield Hallam University. More information about the history of the institution can be found here: www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/our-history.

Sheffield Hallam University’s Library Service holds over 520,000 physical books, 207,000 e-books and 74,000 e-journal titles in its collections. The service is delivered over two libraries, one at each campus.

The Adsetts Library, based at City Campus, is the largest library and houses material that supports the wide range of subjects taught on the campus. It also houses a number of special collections.

The Collegiate Library is approximately 1 mile from the city centre and houses material that supports the teaching at Collegiate Campus. This is primarily nursing and allied health, psychology, law and sports sciences.

Collection areas include:

  • The Teaching Practice collection
  • The TESOL collection
  • The Special Collection (includes a Festival of Britain collection and material related to the Sheffield School of Art)
  • The Readership and Literary Cultures Collection
  • Film Studies, and Art and Design material
  • The Corvey Collection

For more information see Sheffield Hallam’s library information page on Copac.

To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘Sheffield Hallam University’ from the list of libraries.

More about London Metropolitan University Library Services

Library Services at London Metropolitan University are delighted to have our collections available on Copac, and hope that the increased visibility will create new interest in our holdings.

Our main collections cover a large breadth of subject areas, ranging across Human Sciences, Languages, Social Sciences, Business and Law, and are held over our two campuses at Holloway Road and Aldgate.

We have particularly strong holdings in the areas of Art, Architecture and Design, in support of the university’s renowned department The Cass. This collection is located in our Aldgate Library, which was partially refurbished in 2016 to accommodate this stock. We regularly promote our collection via book displays and social media, often tying in to university and external events.

Photo of book display related to Project Red fashion show at The Cass

Book display related to Project Red fashion show at The Cass. Photograph by John Verrall.

We also have an Artists’ Books Collection located within our Special Collections Reading Room, comprising limited edition works made and produced by artists and hobbyists, including leading contemporary artists such as Michael Landy, Sam Taylor-Wood, David Shrigley and Andy Goldsworthy.

Photograph of samples from LMU's Artists' Books Collection

Samples from our Artists’ Books Collection. Photograph by John Verrall.

Library Services is an ever-evolving part of London Metropolitan University: to keep up with our latest developments, please follow us on our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also find out more about Library Services, including contact details and visitor information, here.

Birkbeck, University of London Library catalogue added to Copac

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of Birkbeck, University of London Library have been added to Copac.

Photo of Birkbeck, University of London Library

Photo of Birkbeck, University of London Library

Spread across five floors of the main Birkbeck building in Bloomsbury, central London, this richly-resourced library holds more than 300,000 items covering subjects including applied linguistics, economics, mathematics and statistics, law, psychology and Victorian studies, as well as offering a wealth of online resources.

You can find out more about the library on their Copac information page, and see descriptions of their archival collections at the Archives Hub.

To browse or limit your search to its holdings, select the Main Search tab in Copac and choose ‘Birkbeck, University of London Library’ from the list of libraries.