City of London Libraries, Guildhall Library Loaded.

We have loaded the catalogue of Guildhall Library, a collection which will be of great benefit to the research community. Guildhall Library, is one of the 5 public libraries operated by the City of London Corporation and is one of the oldest public libraries in the country. The Library has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of printed works on London history and also outstanding resources on diverse subjects such as food and wine, gardening, law reports, English parliamentary papers, local history, marine history, clock and watch-making and archery.

The catalogue has been added as part of the Copac Challenge Fund.

New libraries to be added to Copac

Eight new library catalogues are to be added to Copac giving researchers access to more fascinating and valuable resources.

The collections to be added are:

Five of the libraries are being added as part of the Challenge Fund, an initiative which aims to improve access to UK library holdings for the benefit of all researchers. The initiative is funded by CURL, the Research Information Network and the British Library.

The libraries will be added from Summer 2008, following on from the first 12 libraries added as part of the Challenge Fund.

For more details of the collections to be added see Forthcoming Libraries

Libraries Unleashed and Tate Library load started

Copac was given a brief mention in an article in the recent Libraries Unleashed supplement to the Guardian. The article was unfortunately slightly out-of-date in stating that Copac “offers access to the catalogues of 24 university libraries.” The current tally is 49 libraries and special collection catalogues loaded into Copac. As I write, the catalogue of the Tate Library (Tate Britain), has just started loading and will be our 50th collection. The first Tate Library records should appear in the public interfaces in the early hours of Monday 28th April, 2008.

Royal Academy of Music records added

The catalogue of the Royal Academy of Music’s library has been added to Copac.

The library contains over 125,000 items including considerable collections of early printed and manuscript materials. The holdings include valuable items such as a partly-holograph manuscript of Purcell’s Fairy Queen.

The special collections include a Sir Arthur Sullivan archive, a Sir Henry Wood archive, the Robert Spencer collection of early English song and music for lute and guitar and the Foyle Menuhin archive, which contains scores, books, letters, photographs and other items relating to the life of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

The records have been added as part of the Challenge Fund.

Photo by Inky Bob

Natural History Museum Records added

Records from the Natural History Museum library have been added to Copac.

The library of the Natural History Museum is a reference library for biology, zoology and earth sciences including resources on ecology, biodiversity, molecular biology, taxonomy and the history of science. It provides international coverage with material dating from 1469 (a work entitled ‘Plinius secundus nouocomensis equestribus militiis industrie functus‘).

The catalogue included on Copac contains monographs and serials acquired since 1989 and approximately 80% of earlier items. It does not include records for artworks held by the library.

The records have been loaded as part of the Challenge Fund.

Photo by ★eclaire

The Women’s Library printed collections now on Copac

The Women’s Library printed collections catalogue is now available on Copac.

The collections cover subjects such as women’s rights, suffrage, sexuality, health, education, employment, reproductive rights, the family, and the home. The material mainly focuses on women in Britain but there is also some international material. The collections are a resource for women’s history researchers, social and medical historians, sociologists, social policy researchers, journalists and biographers.

The catalogue includes records from a number of special collections. The Josephine Butler Society Library a fantastic resource for researching sexuality and public morality from the late nineteenth to the mid twentieth century. The society was established in the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864-1869. The Acts were put in place in an attempt to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the armed forces. Police were given the power to identify and register prostitutes who were then forced to undergo medical examinations and if they refused they could be arrested and put before a magistrate. The campaigns were eventually successful and the Contagious Diseases Acts were suspended in 1883 and repealed in 1886.

The library was created to support the work of the society. The collection includes the Society’s Library and also it’s campaigning literature and business papers. As well as items on prostitution there are also works on slavery and trafficking of women.

The Cavendish- Bentinck collection contains mainly pre-1850 items, the earliest book An abstract of all the penall statutes … is dated 1592. The collection as a whole shows women’s contribution to literature and learning and records the position of women throughout history.

The Sadd Brown collection contains books and periodicals by and about women from the Commonwealth countries.

The Women’s Library has been added as part of the Copac Challenge Fund.

Photo of archway above Women’s Library: lewishamdreamer:

University of Leicester’s collections now on Copac

University of Leicester’s Special Collections and English Local History Collection are now available on Copac.

The Special Collections include primary materials from local authors such as Sue Townsend and Joe Orton, extensive medieval manuscripts and 19th century periodicals. One of the highlights of the collections is the Robjohn’s 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 Local History collection covers English topography, social and political history. The collection began with the Hatton collecton 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.

Lambeth Palace Library added to Copac

The online printed books catalogue of Lambeth Palace Library is now available on Copac.

“Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library of the Archbishops of Canterbury and the principal library and record office for the history of the Church of England. The Library focuses on ecclesiastical history, but its rich collections are important for an immense variety of topics from the history of art and architecture to colonial and Commonwealth history, and for innumerable aspects of English social, political and economic history. It is also a significant resource for local history and genealogy.”

“The core of the collection of early printed books was bequeathed by the Library’s founder, Archbishop Bancroft, in 1610 and includes books belonging to some of his predecessors, namely Cranmer, Grindal and Whitgift. The collections have been enlarged by gifts from successive archbishops, especially Abbot, Sheldon, Tenison, Secker, and Davidson, by the acquisition of the libraries of the Dutch Church and Church House, and by a judicious policy of purchase by recent librarians.”

Lambeth Palace is the second of the Challenge Fund libraries to be loaded. Ten other libraries will be added as a result of the Challenge Fund by Spring 2008.

Photo: stevecadman,

Exeter data added to Copac

Records from the University of Exeter’s Middle East, Arab World Document Unit and Special Collections are now available on Copac.

The Middle East Collection is strong in most areas of Islamic studies, especially religion, philosophy, history, Arabic literature and all the social sciences. The AWDU covers all aspects of life (except literature and religion) in the Arabian countries plus Iran. The major strengths of the Special Collections include medieval and early modern history, nineteenth century studies and history of popular culture, and twentieth century literary and historical studies.

Exeter is the first library to be loaded as part of the Challenge fund – 11 others will be added as part of the project by Spring 2008. To see more information about the libraries to be loaded visit the forthcoming libraries page.