From winter to spring in Cambridge

Winter berries. Copyright Sarah Chapman

Winter berries. Copyright Sarah Chapman

The end of last week saw three rare celestial events come together in one day: a partial solar eclipse, a supermoon, and the Spring Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. From now on the days will lengthen (even if they’ll feel shorter for a brief time after the move this weekend to British Summer Time) up to the longest day in June. We’ve been musing on the change in the seasons here at MusiCB3. First there was the frost…..

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More on Pendlebury hidden collections

Sometimes, when the Pendlebury Library is quiet and term has ended, I disappear from my workplace to reach the secret corners of the library, rooms accessible only to library staff. A door in the library annexe separates the accessible part from “my realm”. There is where we keep rare books and scores.

I love browsing among the Pendlebury hidden collections, smelling the scent of old books, touching with care the fragile sheets, thinking about their history, their owners and the route they followed before reaching the library. Most of the time many of my questions are (and probably will stay) without answers, but it is fascinating to make conjectures. Continue reading

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A visit to the Lit and Phil

Now that I have been here working at the UL and Pendlebury libraries for a couple of months, I feel pretty well settled in, and am enjoying getting to know Cambridge a bit better. Especially now that spring is springing and it’s getting warmer, it is a lovely place to explore. Even with all this though, I have still found myself travelling up and down the country on a number of weekends. A couple of weekends ago, I went back home up to the North East. And what did I do with my time away from work? Why, I visited a library of course! Continue reading

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Pendlebury hidden collections

Volume of piano music. ©Pendlebury Library

Volume of piano music. ©Pendlebury Library

Over the past 25 years the focus of the Pendlebury Library has gradually but clearly shifted from being a research intensive library owning a collection of manuscripts, concert programmes and rare books, to a faculty library primarily supporting teaching. Although music manuscripts and concert programmes have been housed at the University Library’s manuscript and music departments for several decades, the Pendlebury Library does still support Music Faculty  specific research and this is where the Rare Books and Scores collection fits in. It is closely related to our core collections and  has therefore remained on the Sidgwick site. Continue reading

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A fair deal

Justice Joseph Story, the "creator" of Fair Dealing. Photo copyright Eric E.  Johnson / Konomark. Eric is usually happy for you to use his photo, but please contact him.

Justice Joseph Story, the “creator” of Fair Dealing. Photo copyright Eric E. Johnson / Konomark. Eric is usually happy for you to use his photo, but please contact him.

For the last week librarians worldwide have been celebrating Fair Use, or, as we call it in the UK, Fair Dealing. So, what’s it all about? Fair Dealing is a term used to describe some limited activities that are allowed without infringing copyright. Although this may sound rather boring, it’s actually vital, as it defines how academics, researchers, critics, anyone who needs to use resources that are still in copyright, can do so without breaking the law. As Sarah Jeong beautifully expresses it on the Fair Use Week 2015 blog: “Fair Use is the part of copyright that gives us room to breathe, to move, to actually get things done. Things like criticism, parody, art–and yes, even legal scholarship.” Continue reading

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At the event: UL Friends talk by Margaret Faultless

MaggieIt’s all in the notes. Or is it?…. On Wednesday February 11th Margaret Faultless gave an absorbing and illuminating lecture-recital to the Friends of the University Library on performance practice at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries taking Corelli’s violin sonata op.5 no.1 as her chosen example. Why?

For two reasons: because it encapsulated the points she wanted to make and because the University Library has several fine contemporary editions of the work with which to demonstrate her case. So much for the 50 word summary: now let’s, er, add the ornamentation…

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The early days of Pendlebury borrowing

Self issue at the Pendlebury Library of Music ©Pendlebury Library

We are all very much aware that the library and information world is changing rapidly and that library use and expectations need to be evaluated constantly. Over the summer we traditionally look at statistics which help us a little to keep an eye on trends and developments. What jumped out this year is that the gradual drop in borrowing figures is continuing. This is no surprise since actual physical items are nowadays only a very small part of what the library is offering to its users. There is a vast amount of material and content available on remote access, both as free and as subscription resources. However, there is more; such as the constant change and evolution in the actual teaching programme and therefore also changing expectations, targets and approaches. So I thought it might be interesting to have a little look at how our users made use of the Pendlebury Library collections in the past. Continue reading

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