Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Samuel Butler Project - Presentation by Rebecca Watts, Butler Project Associate

Samuel Butler - Victorian polymath (1835-1902)
In the fleur-de-lis decorated Lightfoot Room CLG members gathered for a very illuminating presentation on the Victorian polymath Samuel Butler (1835-1902). Butler was a writer, artist and photographer. He engaged in ‘written debates’ with Darwin and was respected by significant contemporaries such as George Bernard Shaw and E. M. Forster. Butler wrote fiction and non-fiction, subjects include evolution, art, religion and travel. He often provided illustrations for his own works. His photographic works reflect his travel in Italy and provide a social history of Victorian society.

The Butler Collection includes around 100 boxes of papers, articles and correspondence, more than 650 printed books, 450 paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints, 50 artefacts and a substantial photographic archive.
Selection of Samuel Butler's paintings and sketches

Rebecca also provided an insight into managing such a diverse archive, including deciding which items should be conserved, creating a searchable catalogue, organising events and exhibitions, working with schools and putting Butler scholars in contact with one another.

The Butler Project began in July 2011 and runs until July 2013. The project is funded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and St John’s College. For further information visit
Rebecca Watts (Butler Project Associate) and Rachel Walker (Temporary Library Projects Assistant)
By Jo Milton, Collection Development Manager at Cambridge University Medical Library

Monday, 13 May 2013

Booking now open for ARLG Eastern Librarian TeachMeet

Here is another local event which may be of interest to CLG members:

ARLG Eastern Librarian TeachMeet - Talking teaching: tips, tools and technology
Saturday 15 June, 14:00 to 17:30
Council Chamber, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ (

Join us for this  launch event of the Eastern Division of CILIP's Academic and Research Libraries Group.  Bookings will go live at at 9:00 on Monday 13 May.  The site will not be publicly accessible until that time.

It's open to anyone interested in teaching and technology in libraries and is completely free, including light refreshments.  You don't have to be a member of CILIP or ARLG to attend.

New to Librarian TeachMeet?  Learn more here.

Come along as an observer to network and share ideas with colleagues from across the region. You can also sign up to give a 3 minute nanopresentation or 7 minute micropresentation to share your teaching tips and/or suggestions of tools/technology you've found useful in your work.

The combination of short talks and unconference style creates a relaxed, fun and supportive atmosphere making Librarian TeachMeets ideal events for first time speakers or those looking to gain more experience in presenting.  So, don't be shy, sign up and get involved!

Not sure what to talk about?  Check out the following links for examples from previous Librarian TeachMeets across the country:
Optional tours of the UEA Library are also offered ahead of the TeachMeet at 12:30, 13:00 and 13:30.

Any questions?  Contact us at You can also follow us at @ARLGEastern for updates on this event.  The hashtag for this event is #arlgeastlibtm.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Special Collections Lecture - 'The Uses of Scientific Heritage: The Collections of the Royal Institution'

CLG members may be interested in the upcoming Emmanuel College Library Special Collections Lecture on 6th June.

Speaker: Professor Frank James, Head of Collections and Heritage, Professor of History of Science, at the Royal Institution

'The Uses of Scientific Heritage: The Collections of the Royal Institution' 

The Royal Institution possesses a remarkable heritage in terms of manuscripts, objects and images going back to its foundation in 1799. These relate not only to institutional history but to those who have researched, lectured and lived in its Mayfair building. Those who figure prominently in the institution's heritage include Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, John Tyndall, James Dewar, William Bragg, Lawrence Bragg and more recently George Porter, all of whose papers are held in the collections. Significant objects in the collections include the first miners' safety lamp, the first electrical transformer and generator, the first thermos flask and so on. This talk will discuss the issues surrounding managing this diverse collection and how it can be used to illustrate the development of science over the past two centuries or so, as well as conveying contemporary messages about the role of science in society and culture. 
Date: Thursday 6th June 2013
Time: 14:15
Venue: The Laing Centre, Atrium, Emmanuel College Library 

Numbers are limited. Booking is essential and entry will be by free ticket only. Please book early by either e-mailing the College Library at or telephone (01223) (3)34233. A ticket will be sent to you on receipt of booking.

Visit to the Faculty of Architecture & History of Art

It seems to me that libraries are everywhere in Cambridge, and it never ceases to surprise me when I discover a new one hidden seemingly in plain sight. The Faculty of Architecture and History of Art houses one such library, tucked away in an elegant Victorian terrace just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Trumpington Road.

Susanne Jennings provided us with an introduction to the library, which is split into two very distinctive floors. We began our tour on the ground floor of the library, which is very charming and traditional in style, with beautiful original moulded ceilings. Tanya Zhimbiev led us through this floor of the building, pointing out interesting pieces of antique furniture which still see everyday use. Works by local artists are on display in the foyer of the library, connecting the faculty with the wider Cambridge community. We were then shown some wonderful selections from the Maurice Webb Collection of rare books by Matthew Patmore.

The basement of the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art Library is, in contrast, distinctly utilitarian. Designed primarily to maximise storage space, it is remarkable to see just how many shelves have been squeezed into what was once a caretaker’s flat. Every nook and cranny is filled with books, and a small RIBA-maintained library of products, standards and services sits tucked away in a corner.

We were given time at the end of the tour to explore the library and chat amongst ourselves. It was a very enjoyable trip and I very much appreciated the opportunity to discover another of Cambridge’s unique libraries.

YiWen Hon, Graduate Library Trainee at St John's College