Mindful tech for Higher Education: digital solutions to our digital problems

As it’s Stress Awareness Month, we thought we’d re-post this great piece from our own Antony Groves on Mindful Tech in HE.

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by Antony Groves

Freshers’ Week is on the horizon, signalling the Autumn term will soon begin, and that some of us will shortly enter the busiest time of our working year. While we are planning how best to support our new and returning students, we should also consider our own wellbeing. One way of grounding ourselves during this busy period is mindfulness. If our days are a chain of events, mindfulness encourages us to focus on one link at a time.

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We Were Hardcore: The Only Way is Reference Only

by Rachel Bramley

Last month I realised that we’d approached an important anniversary.  No, not the Beast from the East (thank you Google), but Reference Only books.  In the spirit of good project practice, and customer service excellence, I thought it would be fun* to have a review of the outcomes, one year on.  But first, some background.

* I don’t get out as much as I used to.

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Karl Marx and The Jewish Question through the eyes of Julius Carlebach

by Morwenna Silver

Morwenna Silver volunteered at The Keep last year, helping to catalogue the donation of Julius Carlebach’s papers to the German-Jewish Archive. Here she writes about Carlebach’s reading of Marx, what constitutes antisemitism, and the power of language in a politically unstable culture.

More info on the Carlebach collection can be found on The Keep’s website:

http://www.thekeep.info/collections/getrecord/GB181_SxMs92

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Julius Carlebach had the most extraordinary life. Born in Hamburg in 1922, he and his sister escaped the Nazis via the Kindertransport. He was a sailor in the Royal Navy, and went on to manage a Jewish orphanage in Norwood in South London and then served as a rabbi in Kenya. Also an accomplished academic, he was a research student at the University of Cambridge, and taught at the University of Bristol before he eventually became Associate Professor of Sociology and Israel studies at the University of Sussex.  A vast collection of Carlebach’s correspondence, academic papers and research notes has recently been donated to the German-Jewish Archive at The Keep by Carlebach’s family. Continue reading

These theses trees

by Clare Playforth

Those of you who enjoyed my last post on sandwiches but felt like you wanted it to be longer and even more niche (lol) then read on, this one is for you! It’s an article originally titled Subject Indexing in an Institutional Repository that I had accepted for publication by Catalogue and Index – periodical of the Cataloguing and Indexing Group, a Special Interest Group of CILIP.

I’ve been a cataloguer for some years but have only just started training to become an indexer with the Society of Indexers. I can now see that there are many parallels between cataloguing and indexing and I am often expanding my knowledge of one activity through the other. The clearest example of a task in which the two areas are intertwined is when I classify theses in our institutional repository. Our current repository platform is EPrints using the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. This allows us to assign subjects to research outputs so that they are indexed and available to users through access points in our discovery layer (Primo). I’m going to avoid discussion about the systems involved here and their interaction with each other and am going to focus on the details of this task and try to understand some of the benefits and flaws of the current workflow.

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San Francisco adventures and visiting Gleeson Library

by Gemma Price

I visited San Francisco in August 2015. This post is about that trip and exploring the city. I’ll also talk about a visit to University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library.

There were many highlights to my time in San Francisco.
The locals had lots of friendly open conversations with us.
It was good to walk around the neighbourhoods, wandering and exploring. It led to finding interesting buildings and independent cafes and shops.
The city felt modern but with many nods to the past, such as the traditional architecture. There were also plenty of tourist areas and modern shops.
A vivid memory of the trip was the intense heat- often most intense whilst walking up the steep streets. Luckily Brighton is steep in most directions so it wasn’t too much of a shock! Being there felt (despite the heat) like a breath of fresh air.

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Istanbul calling: travel tales from Koҫ University Library Staff Training Week

By Lizzy Pennock

I have a confession to make. In my application for the Erasmus+ Staff Training Week at Koҫ University in Istanbul, I made a promise I didn’t keep. Brimming over with enthusiasm and good intentions, I promised a video blog. I imagined an expertly shot montage of Istanbul, Philip and I in charismatic candid moments, sensitive and illuminating portraits of the people I’d meet, all set to sweeping inspirational music. What I actually achieved in the entire six day trip was a three second video of Philip on the moving walkway at Gatwick airport. Which I can’t even show you here because it’s the wrong way up. Good work Lizzy.

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Digital Forensics

by Adam Harwood

It sounds like something from CSI New York. And its something that I, an Archivist, have been doing for the last few months. No dusting off old manuscripts for me – digital forensics is my bread and butter. The reality unfortunately is not as exciting as it sounds, but maybe you, my library and archive colleagues, might be interested in this young yet burgeoning aspect of digital preservation.

On my desk currently sits a normal looking laptop computer, but boot it up and you’ll be looking at an unfamiliar screen that is the first step in preserving all Special Collections’ digital collections. I call it the digital forensics machine and we will use it to transfer digital records off of physical storage media like external hard drives and usb sticks and into a digital repository. Our digital repository doesn’t exist at the moment, but we can prepare our records to be transferred to it for when we do get it. I’ll explain what a digital repository is in another post where I’ll also explain what digital preservation is. For the moment I want to describe the digital forensics process and explain why we need to do it in the first place.

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What I think about when I think about running

by Siân Cox

I do like words.

I like to collect words.

I like to find new ones, store them up, and keep them for a rainy day.

Mostly my days are filled with words like journals, monographs, spreadsheets, space, library of congress, rolling stack, store and anagrams like UKRR and COPAC and NAG.  I know.

But recently my days have been flooded with words like complex carbs, training schedule, miles, gait, foam rolling, fartlek, ouch and anagrams like IT Band, ER (easy run) and LR (long run).

This is because I have done a slightly mad thing and signed up for the London Marathon.

If you’d like to read the story behind it all please visit my page here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SianCox1

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Speed Conservation

by Rose Lock

Rosey Pool and the case of the damaged Equiano; or a book made safe and a treasure revealed.

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The world of archives works slowly – the papers we hold need care and attention to prepare them for researchers, often to their frustration. But sometimes we get a request that we just can’t say no to, so it’s stoke up the coals and full steam ahead! Sometimes such emergency procedures provide us with surprise gifts, as happened in this case.

Dr. Rosey Pool and her papers are well known to us here in Special Collections, and we’ve always felt the fascinating archive created by a Dutch Jewish teacher and translator involved in the early days of the field of African-American studies was underused by researchers.

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A galaxy far, far away? The challenges of archive access in the here and now

By Eleanor King

I am a graduate archive intern working for the University of Sussex’s Special Collections held here at The Keep, and until a few years ago, I had never visited an archive. Looking back, I am not sure what preconceived ideas I had about what might go on in a building like this. Whilst I had no doubt as to the intellectual and cultural value of the collections stored here, I don’t think I had any real idea of the range of material, or the variety of ways it can be used or interpreted. I must admit though that my lack of knowledge of archives, or how to navigate an archival catalogue had, in the past, made me apprehensive about engaging with archival material. But then I had never been to The Keep!

Since joining the team here, I have been inspired by the variety of work that goes on, and the range and depth of skills and knowledge possessed by the people who work here. As I consider furthering my career in the archive sector, I am now in a better position to recognise there are many challenges that the sector, and therefore the individuals working within it, face and one of these is user access.

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