Turkish Delights (Rahat Lokum) Flavour Three: Marketing, student engagement, and visual design (Citrus bergamia

By Philip Keates

Merhaba, all! This time we’ll be looking at ideas for effectively promoting library services, and generally engaging with student users.

Vasia Mole of Koç University told us about their Library Survival Kit, which all new students receive, and which includes essentials like a grappling hook a bilingual foldout survival guide full of useful tips, a bookmark, and even a stapler. Lizzy and I got one of the guides as part of our haul of goodies, so just ask us if you want to have a look. Continue reading

Turkish Delights (Rahat Lokum) Flavour Two: Information Literacy (Lemon)

By Philip Keates

Hello again, and welcome to part 2 of my library-famous blog series! This time, we’ll be looking at Information Literacy (or IL). IL was a hot topic amongst our speakers, receiving at least a mention in many, if not most, of the presentations.

I’m sure a lot of this will be familiar stuff to our IL professionals, particularly the core IL concepts, but I hope that even they might be able to sift a few useful golden idea nuggets from the… um… mineral-rich waters of the training week, using the… uh… the brain-sieve that is this blog post… no, this metaphor’s got away from me. You get the idea.

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Turkish Delights (Rahat Lokum) Flavour One: Collaboration and Resource Sharing (Rosewater)

By Philip Keates

 If you’ve seen any of the photos from our training week in Istanbul – photos of food, of drink, of ancient wonders, of sunlight on the Bosporus – you will almost certainly have also heard me or Lizzy stressing (maybe in a rather defensive tone) that we sat through more than 30 presentations during the course of our five-day not-holiday. In an attempt to divide up the sharing of our endeavours according to Smithian principles, I assigned myself – foolishly, as it turns out – the task of passing the fruits of these presentations onto you. During the few brief respites I’ve had in the last few weeks from my usual showboating metadata artistry, I’ve been going through my copious (if occasionally cryptic) notes, and it’s been dawning on me just how much information was thrown at us.

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

By Lizzy

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:


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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.


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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Delving into Mass Observation: What the 12th May Day Diaries can tell us about health

Kirsty Pattrick

The joy of the day diary is being catapulted into someone’s life for that brief moment. With a fascination of people, their lives and behaviours, this always feeds my sheer nosiness.

Delving into the 12th May day diaries is a treat. They come from people of all ages across the UK and leave me hanging, wanting more. All we know of these writers is their age and gender, some give further biographical information but for the purpose of this collection, that is our only request. I read of the mundane to the life changing and the utterly personal, feeling touched and richer from the experience.

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Docs 3 and so much more… The Black X Collection

By Lynn Perez

I started my Academic Services career last June, joining the team as a Library Assistant working in Collection Development. One of the main projects I’m working on consists of listing and scarcity checking part of the Legacy collection called the Black X.

What is the Black X Collection, I hear you say?

The collection covers approximately 132.3 metres of shelving and is housed in the South Store basement. It is home to the British Government publications including Board of Education, Department of Overseas Trade, Department of Transport, N.H.S and Treasury amongst others. It’s made up of a wide range of items ranging from reports to posters, flyers to books and even some microfilm. Continue reading