Library Hub Discover: New features and Action needed if you currently login to Copac

New developments

As part of the ongoing development of the Library Hub Discover service we have released a new Advanced search screen – at the moment this is accessible by choosing the ‘more search options’ link under the search box on the Search screen. There are still changes to make, but we would like your input whilst the work is ongoing.

  • The Advanced search screen includes a wide range of search options, allowing you to build precise searches.
  • It includes a map scale search which supports range searching eg. 63000-64000, to cater for the variations in the way some scales are represented in the records. We are continuing to try and identify the diversity of map scale types and standardise these for searching.
  • You can limit your search results using a number of options as on Copac, but the selection process should now be easier. For example, to limit your search to a couple of local libraries you can select these libraries from the list and they will appear in the box on the right to show you what has been selected, making it easier for you to work with the increasing number of libraries whose catalogues are included.
  • There is also a new region search option to allow you to limit your search just to libraries within your region.
  • We have added an export option, which has the same range of export formats as Copac. The export is now available on the holdings display as well as the full record display. It will be included in the search result list in due course.

Please let us know if you have any comments on the new search and export options. You can use the feedback link at the end of each Library Hub Discover screen.

Action needed

There will be no login option in the new Library Hub Discover service, as there is in Copac. If you currently login to Copac and you wish to retain the records in ‘My References‘ you must ensure that you export these records before the end of July. Your ‘My References’ list will not be available after that date.

The Copac login gets very little use and will not be provided in Discover. We will be replacing the ‘Search History’ facility in future with a History function that is available to all service users, not just those able to login. However, the widespread use of freely available personal reference management software means there is limited value in a ‘My References’ function in its current form and there will be no equivalent in Library Hub Discover. This means that if you are one of the few people currently using the Copac ‘My References’ facility, you need to export your references before the service is replaced at the end of July. From that date you will not be able to recover any references that you haven’t exported, other than by searching the new service to identify and export them. With apologies for anyone this change may inconvenience.


Catalogue of Winchester College Fellows’ Library added to Copac

We’re pleased to announce that the records of Winchester College Fellows’ Library have been added to Copac.

Interior of the Winchester College Fellows' Library

Interior of the Winchester College Fellows’ Library

The Fellows’ Library is the historic book collection of Winchester College, a school founded by William of Wykeham in 1382. The library was established at the beginning of the 15th century and contains several manuscripts given by the founder and other early benefactors. A considerable part of the collection (in excess of 1,000 volumes) was acquired before 1700, though the majority entered the library in the 18th and 19th centuries. It now contains around 12,000 items. There are 40 medieval manuscripts, 52 incunabula, c.800 16th century editions, and c. 2,000 editions from each of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The library also houses a collection of 20th century artists’ books and modern fine printing. There is a substantial reference collection of works on Winchester College and the history of the book. Particular strengths of the collection are Bibles and theology, English literature of the 15th to 18th centuries, English travel books and maps, early scientific books, and Wiccamica (books by Old Wykehamists or relating to the history of the school). The library is open to researchers by appointment.

You can find out more about the library, including contact details, on their Copac information page. To browse the library’s records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘Winchester College’ from the list of libraries.

You can also browse Winchester’s records in the Jisc Library Hub Discover pilot service here. You can find out more about the Discover pilot service on the About page. If you wish to send us feedback or suggestions about the Discover pilot service, please use the feedback link at the bottom of the Help page.

Introducing the Jisc Library Hub Discover pilot service

At the end of July 2019 Copac and SUNCAT will be replaced by the new Jisc Library Hub Discover service. This will continue to be freely available to everyone and will enable you to find details and locations of resources across the UK.

A pilot service has been launched so please try out the the new pilot Library Hub Discover interface and provide us with feedback:

The interface is still being developed so please use the feedback link towards the end of each page to comment on the service as it changes and as new features are introduced.

The main differences in the new service will be:

  • A much wider range of libraries will be contributing to the Library Hub Discover service, including many more UK University libraries. So if you are a member of a UK university there is a good chance your own library will be a contributor, allowing you to see your local library materials as well as those of other institutions.
  • The search interface is being redesigned, retaining many of the basic features of Copac and SUNCAT, but with a new look and feel and with new facilities planned, including the ability to filter search results by a range of criteria.

As part of the development process we are reviewing feedback from our user survey last year as well as taking note of all the comments we get from events and directly through the web site. So please take the opportunity to see what is happening and comment on changes as the interface is developing.

Note: This is a pilot service so many things are not yet complete:

  • The Library Hub Discover database is not complete and we are loading new contributing library catalogues each week. Once added the data is being maintained, although not all libraries are currently sending regular updates. You can see which libraries are included so far on the Library Hub Discover – About page.
  • The interface is still quite basic, more search facilities and other features will be added as work continues; the latest changes will be highlighted on the search screen.

The Library Hub Discover service is part of a wider programme of work to enhance existing Jisc library support services and bring them together in a way that makes them easier to work with. Library Hub Discover is one of the first pilots to be released along with the Library Hub Cataloguing service, with Library Hub Compare to follow. There is more information about the Jisc Transforming Library Support Services work on the TLSS project blog.

Catalogue of the National Museums Scotland Library added to Copac

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

National Museums Scotland library

National Museums Scotland Library

National Museums Scotland library was founded over 235 years ago with its roots in the collections of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The library collection now consists of over 300,000 volumes reflecting the strengths and variety of the Museum’s collections and research interests. Subjects covered in the collection include:

  • Archaeology
  • Scottish history and culture
  • World-wide decorative and applied arts
  • Natural sciences
  • Scottish military history
  • History of science and technology

There are two libraries which have public access: the Research Library in the National Museum of Scotland (the main reading room) and the National War Museum Library at Edinburgh Castle.

For more information see the National Museums Scotland Library’s Copac information page. To browse their records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘National Museums Scotland Library’ from the list of libraries.

Catalogue of the Leadhills Miners’ Library added to Copac

We’re pleased to announce that the records of the Leadhills Miners’ Library have been added to Copac.

Leadhills Miners’ Library is the principal collection of the Leadhills Heritage Trust, which manages the library. The library was founded in 1741 as the Leadhills Reading Society; is both the first and earliest subscription library to be founded in Britain; and is also the world’s first library for working people. Its stock peaked at around 4000 volumes in the early 20th century, and today its 2500 surviving volumes represent a history of working class reading from the early 18th century until the 1930s. The collection demonstrates the development of working class reading: initially focusing on religion, before expanding to cover secular non–fiction (including history, voyages and travel, and biography) and then fiction. It includes 600 volumes purchased with grants from the Ferguson Bequest Fund between about 1870 and 1930, and is the largest surviving collection of its kind. The collection also includes local imprints, such as that of John Wilson of Kilmarnock, Robert Burns’s first publisher. The library functioned as a lending library until the 1960s and is now a closed reference and research collection.

The library is closely linked to the early lifelong learning ideology of mutual improvement and was the first library in Europe to make this connection, following the development of the idea in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1731. It therefore played a key role in the development of information ideology in Europe. The principal users of the library were lead miners, whose favourable working conditions and high levels of literacy gave them time to read. The foundation of the library was linked to a programme of reforms in the village, originated by the mine manager and Jacobite intellectual, James Stirling of Garden (1692-1770).

The Leadhills library banner (c 1820)

The Leadhills library banner (c 1820)

The Library’s collections also include the earliest library banner in Britain (c 1820), which featured on the Antiques Roadshow in June 2017, and the largest collection of Bargain Books in Scotland. These record the short term contracts made between the mine managers and teams of miners. The collection has recently been digitised. The Library also possesses the only known example of a library pulpit where the library president (preses) sat while presiding over the monthly loan and return meetings. Some examples of printed catalogues are also held, including the last major catalogue of the library collection itself, listing 3800 volumes and printed in 1904. A modern catalogue was compiled in the 1980s and has formed the basis for the records now available through COPAC.

Leadhills also holds a collection of library artefacts, including ballot boxes for voting on accepting new members, membership certificates and printing plates for printing off membership certificates, and a printing plate for printing copies of the Library bookplate.

The Library had its own building prior to 1791 but its location is not known. The current building was erected in 1791 and is one of the oldest public library buildings in Scotland. It is essentially a miners’ cottage without internal divisions and demonstrates the influence of domestic architecture on library design. It is shelved on three sides with the fourth, north-facing, long wall providing fenestration and a door. It is mentioned in the Old Statistical Account.

The Library is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, May to September, 2-4 pm. Access at other times by appointment. Tours of the library and village are available for groups on request.

In the mutual improvement tradition the Library offers a monthly programme of lectures during the winter months and also occasional special lectures. Local community groups also meet in the Library.

John Crawford
Chair, Leadhills Heritage Trust

You can find out more about the library, including contact details, on their Copac information page. To browse the library’s records, select the Main Search tab on Copac and choose ‘Leadhills Miners’ Library’ from the list of libraries.

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: (please state that your enquiry is for the Copac team)