National Bibliographic Knowledgebase: beyond monographs

While we are delighted that the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase will allow us to expose the holdings of many more UK HE libraries than are already part of Copac, this focus doesn’t give the full picture of the rich data sources we’re planning to include in the NBK, which we hope will benefit all areas of library collection management.

Journals and ejournals

The NBK will also provide the new UK platform for information about serial holdings. Building on the success of SUNCAT, and working with the expert SUNCAT team, we’re working to ensure that the NBK database and interface design incorporate the specialist features that are required for serials management, cataloguing, and search.

As well as this library-provided data, Jisc, libraries, and third party organisations are currently developing agreements with publishers for metadata feeds for vendor collections of digital material. Once these agreements are in place, we expect these data feeds to form a regularly-updated part of the NBK.

Open Access

The NBK aims to reduce friction between users and Open Access material by including records and links to Open Access material. Sources are likely to include public domain material from the Hathi Trust, information from the Directory of Open Access Books and the Directory of Open Access Journals, along with public domain material from other Jisc services such as Historical Texts and Zetoc.

Search

While there will be the ability to search across the whole of the NBK, we know that specialised use cases require specialised interfaces. We’re thinking about what might need to be included in serials, article, and Open Access interfaces. APIs and machine-to-machine interfaces will allow NBK data to be pulled out for use in other interfaces and systems, to meet your needs and workflows.

Get involved

Community engagement and input is a very important part of the NBK development. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about the NBK, or would like to be involved in user consultations, please contact nbk@copac.jisc.ac.uk.

Horniman Library catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of the Horniman Library have been added to Copac.

The Horniman Library

The Horniman Library. Image copyright: Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Library collection contains books from the 16th century through to the present day. Holdings range from academic texts to accounts by early explorers and illustrated monographs. The collection covers a wide spectrum of subject areas related to the remit of the museum, focusing on natural history, anthropology and musical instruments.

The collection, which originated with Frederick Horniman’s own book collection, has been added to by subsequent directors, curators and librarians and now amounts to some 30,000 volumes.

The development of the library collections has been closely linked to object acquisition and curatorial practice in the museum and thus there is a strong connection between the book and object collections.

The library collection is primarily a resource for Horniman staff, and scholars with specific research needs. Public access is maintained to the library collections through our family reading programmes, including pop up library events in the museum and family reading spaces in our galleries, such as the Under 5s Book Zone beside the Apostle Clock on the North Hall Balcony.

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

University of Leicester Library: full catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the full holdings of the University of Leicester Library have been added to Copac.

Photograph of David Wilson Library at night.

David Wilson Library at night. Image copyright: University of Leicester.

Copac previously included the records for Leicester’s Special Collections and the holdings of the Mathematical Association Library. However this has now been expanded to include Leicester’s complete holdings.

The University of Leicester Library is housed in the David Wilson building. The Library contains over a million items and includes 1500 user spaces of all types, 350 PCs, 14 Group study rooms and a Special Collections Suite constructed to BS5454 standard, as well as several specialist study rooms and wireless network throughout. The building won the 2008 RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture. It was designed by Associated Architects, and was formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2007.

Leicester’s Special Collections include primary materials relating to Leicester authors, such as Sue Townsend and Joe Orton, extensive medieval manuscripts, and 19th century periodicals. One highlight is the Robjohns Collection, which contains most of the university’s medieval manuscripts and the library’s oldest book, a 12th century commentary on the Psalms by Gilbert de la Porée (Gilbertus Porretanus), Bishop of Tours (d. 1154).

The Special Collections also include the English Local History collection, which contains materials relating to English local topography, social and political history. The collection began with the Hatton collection (a special collection) which was donated in 1920-21 to coincide with the opening of the University (then the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College). It was donated by Thomas Hatton, a local boot manufacturer, and includes his topographical library and major county histories.

The Mathematical Association (MA) was formed in 1871 as the Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching. The MA is now the leading UK association for mathematical education at all levels from primary school to university, including postgraduate work. The MA library started on a very small scale in the 19th century and now comprises nearly 11000 text books, popular mathematics and higher mathematics books, and around 700 runs of mathematical periodicals from many different countries.  The library also includes an exceptional collection of 300 largely mathematical manuscript exercise books from the 18th and 19th centuries: the John Hersee Collection. The MA library as a whole is a unique resource for the history of mathematics and its teaching, learning and popularisation in the UK from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

Since the mid-1950s, the collection has been accommodated in the University of Leicester Library, where the Special Collections include around 850 of the MA’s older (pre-1850) and rarer books and mathematical serials.  The oldest book in the collection is a 1533 edition in Greek of Euclid’s Elements.

To browse or limit your search to Leicester’s holdings, select the Main Search tab in Copac and choose ‘Leicester University’ from the list of libraries. Once you have done so you will be given the option to limit your search further, to the holdings of either the main library, or those of the Mathematical Association.

University of Sheffield Festival of Arts & Humanities Showcase Event

Jacky Hodgson, Head of Special Collections at the Western Bank Library, University of Sheffield, tells us about an event showcasing items from their collections to an audience beyond the University.

As part of the third Sheffield Festival of Arts & Humanities, the University of Sheffield Library’s Special Collections team recently took part in a Showcase Event in the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield city centre. Alongside us were colleagues from the National Fairground & Circus Archive (whose collections can be browsed at the Archives Hub), and many academics and students from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, presenting bite-size talks, activities and materials relating to their research interests to the general public.

The Special Collections team decided to showcase a variety of materials from our archive and rare book collections which support academic research, some of it relating to the local area and some of more general interest. As well as a stall on which to display physical objects for visitors to look at and handle, we also used a plasma screen to highlight some of our digital collections.

Examples of the collections on digital display included:

  • Photographs of late 19th century Sheffield from the Beet Lantern Slide Collection, a collection of almost 2,500 magic lantern slides covering a wide range of subjects, originally assembled by Arthur Edgar Beet in the early twentieth century
  • Twenty-four digitised images from the portfolio of hand-coloured lithographs entitled Recollections of the Great Exhibition 1851 

    Lithograph illustration from Recollections of the Great Exhibition 1851

    De Le Rue’s Stationary Stand and Envelope Machine, from Recollections of the Great Exhibition 1851

  • A selection of images from the Knoop Far East Photographic Collection (http://www.shef.ac.uk/library/special/knoop), documenting a visit to China, Korea, Japan and many other lands in 1913-1914 by Douglas Knoop, lecturer in Economics at the University of Sheffield

    Photograph of dancing Geisha girls

    Dancing Geisha girls, Japan (1913), from the Knoop Far East Photographic Collection

  • A sound recording of the Sheffield miner and poet ‘Totley Tom’ Hague, reciting some of his dialect verse

We also displayed material from our physical collections relating to research being carried out by academic colleagues in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, including:

  • Documents from the recently deposited James Montgomery & Sheffield Sunday Schools Union Archive, including hymn sheets and programmes for Whitsuntide gatherings, newspaper cuttings and scrapbooks

The event ran from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 11 March 2017, with the opportunity to set up the stall from 9am. Four members of the Special Collections team took part, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. As well as the material on display, we also took our pop-up banner giving information about our collections and our contact details, plus flyers and postcards inviting visitors to register to be kept informed about future activities.

Photo of the Special Collections stall

The Special Collections stall at the Arts & Humanities showcase event

It was an enjoyable and successful day – time flew by as we chatted to a steady flow of visitors about the material on display. Some of our visitors were members of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities who were interested to see a few of our less well known collections, but the majority were members of the public curious to know more about the University’s research and collections.

The caricatures volume drew particular interest, as did the Whit Walks hymn sheets which brought back memories for some of the older visitors.  We were also asked some general questions about using archives for family and local history research. Organisers reported that around 1,000 people visited the event during the course of the day, and that feedback was extremely positive.

The cutter cut up, or, the monster at full length… Anon (1790), from the collection of caricatures

As well as our colleagues from the National Fairground & Circus Archive, other stalls included Dr Jonathan Rayner’s research into the First World War magazine The War Illustrated which is held in our collections;  the AHRC-funded Digital Panopticon project, enabling researchers to trace and explore the lives of convicts between 1780 and 1925; an opportunity provided by the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) for children to create a Greek Pantry God (Zeus Ktesios); and (rather worryingly for us librarians!) a family activity which involved chopping up books to create a stop-motion animation.

Cover of The War Illustrated Vol. 3, No. 72 (1916), from the War Magazines Collection

All in all, a very enjoyable and worthwhile occasion, providing us with the opportunity to showcase some of our collections and our work to the local community outside the University, and also to discover more about the research that our academic colleagues are engaged in.

Jacky Hodgson
Head of Special Collections
Western Bank Library
University of Sheffield

All images copyright the University of Sheffield Library and Michael Kindellan/Constitutional Information, reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright holders.

Jisc workshops in May: making your digital collections easier to discover

Jisc is offering two one-day workshops to help you increase the reach of your digital collections, optimise them for discovery and evaluate their impact:

Exploiting digital collections in learning, teaching and research‘ will be held on Wednesday 3 May.

Measuring usage and impact with digital collections‘ will be held on Tuesday 16 May.

If your organisation has digital collections, or plans to develop them, our workshops will help you maximize the reach of those collections online, demonstrate the impact of their usage, and help you build for future sustainability. They will equip you with the knowledge and skills to:

• Increase the visibility of your digital collections for use in learning, teaching and research
• Encourage collaboration between curators and users of digital collections
• Strategically promote your digital collections in appropriate contexts, for a range of audiences
• Optimise your collection for discovery via Google and other search tools
• Use web analytics to track and monitor access and usage of your digital collections
• Evaluate impact and realise the benefits of investment in your digital collection

Who should attend?

Anyone working in education and research, who manages, supports and/or promotes digital collections for teaching, learning and research. Those working in similar roles in libraries, archives and museums would also benefit.

Both workshops will be held at Jisc office, Brettenham House, London and will offer a mix of discussion, practical activities and post-workshop resources to support online resource discovery activities.

For more information and to book your place please visit: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/training/making-your-digital-collections-easier-to-discover

Science Museum Library catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of the Science Museum Library have been added to Copac.

Dana Research Centre and Library, Science Museum

Dana Research Centre and Library, Science Museum. © Timothy Soar, by permission of Coffey Architects

The Science Museum’s world-class library collections chart the global development of science, engineering and medicine from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Holdings include academic and scholarly works, textbooks and popular works in English and other European languages, as well as books on the history and biography of science, technology and medicine, and their social impact.

Around 5800 books are available at the Dana Research Centre and Library in London, but nearly all of the collections are stored at the Science Museum’s Wroughton facility near Swindon, and selected items can be transported to the library in London for consultation there. The Library holds around 143000 books at Wroughton and significant collections of journals, British patents, trade literature and other ephemera.

The Science Museum’s records were previously supplied to Copac alongside the catalogue of Imperial College London, but are now being supplied directly from the Science Museum, after the opening of their new Dana Research Centre and Library in London in 2015.

To browse, or limit your search to the Science Museum Library, select the Main Search tab in Copac and choose ‘Science Museum Library’ from the list of libraries.

British School at Athens Library catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of the British School at Athens (BSA Library website) have been added to Copac.

British School at Athens Library.

British School at Athens Library. Copyright: BSA.

The British School at Athens is the United Kingdom’s hub for advanced research in the humanities and social sciences in Greece and its wider Balkan, Levantine, Mediterranean, and European contexts. The Library is at the heart of the BSA’s work in Athens, providing researchers with 24 hour access to a collection of more than 60,000 monographs, 1,300 periodical titles and a growing collection of electronic resources.

The collection covers all aspects of Hellenic Studies, with particular emphasis on:

• Art and archaeology of the Greek world
• Archaeology from the Balkans and Black Sea
• Archaeological Theory and Material Sciences
• Epigraphy
• Byzantine art and architecture
• Travellers to Greece
• A Rare Book collection based on the library of George Finlay

To browse, or limit your search to the British School at Athens Library, go to the main tab on copac.jisc.ac.uk and choose ‘British School at Athens’ from the list of libraries. Copac is a free service accessible at: http://copac.jisc.ac.uk.

 

The National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

We’re pleased to announce the development of a National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK). This will be a three year development that builds on the long term success of the Copac service. The NBK will provide a new platform for expanding the database to include all UK Higher Education libraries that wish to participate, as well as retaining and increasing the range of non-academic research libraries. This greater inclusiveness of HE (and other) libraries has been the most frequent enhancement request from Copac users and we will now be working towards that goal. Jisc has commissioned OCLC to create the NBK and we will be working with the Higher Education library community to bring on board many more HE libraries, as well as continuing to expand the range of specialist research libraries that contribute their catalogue.

In the short term the NBK will be developed in parallel with the continuing development of Copac and we aim to move all current contributor data onto the new platform. As the NBK becomes established it is anticipated that Copac services, including Copac Collection Management tools (CCM tools), will become integrated into the NBK, to offer functionality that utilises the expanded data set that the NBK will provide. We will be looking to enhance existing services in resource discovery and collection management, as well as developing new services to support libraries in the management of their print and digital resources.

Full details of the NBK are available on the Press release on the Jisc National Monograph Solutions (NMS) blog.

We have also added information about the NBK to the Copac FAQ pages.

This is very early days for the project. The Copac team will be working with current Copac contributors over coming months as we begin to develop the new NBK. We will also talking with library consortia, as well as individual institutions, as we look at widening the range of contributing institutions.

University of Reading Library catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of the University of Reading (http://www.reading.ac.uk/library) have been added to Copac.

Image copyright: University of Reading

Image copyright: University of Reading

The Library is located at the centre of Whiteknights campus and contains over a million items across a variety of subject areas, with a range of collections of specific types of material:

* Artworks in the Library
* Course Collection (items in demand and on reading lists)
* European Documentation Centre
* Government publications
* Journals
* Legislation
* Maps, atlases and gazetteers
* Music
* Parliamentary publications
* Teaching Practice Collection
* Theses

The Library’s Special Collections Services are housed separately, in the same building as the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). Collections include rare books, archives and manuscripts, and the MERL library and archives.

To browse, or limit your search to University of Reading , go to the main tab on copac.jisc.ac.uk and choose ‘Reading University’ from the list of libraries. Copac is a free service accessible at: http://copac.jisc.ac.uk.