Library News – July 2014

The big news since the last report is that lottery bid, so long foreshadowed has actually been submitted and by the end of August we should know it our submission for £96,500 has been granted.  The major items for which we are seeking funding are the digitisation of a large selection of the pamphlet collection and other ephemera, the employment of a full time archivist conservator for twelve months, the part time employment of an outreach worker to carry the message of the riches of our collection into the world of higher education.  It is a very exciting prospect and one on which many people have worked very hard and I wish to express my thanks to the Library Committee, the Librarians and Gillian Walker Associates who have compiled the bid

Our work in expanding the contacts with education has progressed.  Alsop High School have completed another project making use of the facilities of our Library.  This time the topic was their families’ involvement in the First World War.  The students showed impressive enthusiasm and produced excellent work.

On 5/6 June we hosted an international conference organised jointly by the Athenaeum and the 18th century Worlds Study group.  The main speaker was Professor Dena Goodman from the University of Michigan who talked on women’s letter writing in the Eighteenth century; it was a witty, scholarly and intriguing account of not only what they wrote but how and why they wrote it.  Professor Goodman has generously presented a copy of her book on the same subject and the text of her address is available from the Library.  The second day was a workshop when speakers from Sweden, France, Germany and Italy presented papers on a variety of manuscript source ranging from the police records of Stockholm to family recipe books in Austria.  In the afternoon the delegates found much to interest them in various of our manuscripts, especially the Minute Books, of the period.

I have been asked by the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire to transcribe and edit our first Minute Book covering the period from 1797 to 1806.  The RSLC is a highly reputable body who for more than one hundred years have produced refereed versions of records for the two counties.  The Committee have agreed to this and the work has begun.

Over the next few weeks you may meet a new volunteer working in the library.  Mark Powell is a second year undergraduate in the History Department of the University of Liverpool who is thinking of a career in librarianship and wants to gain experience.  He comes most highly commended by his teachers and long standing associates.  I know you will make him welcome.

David Brazendale