Well, it seems like it’s been a little while since our last post, but there’s certainly been no shortage of things happening here at the Caird Library.
The first weekend of May was the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at Olympia, where Archive and Library and other Museum staff were kept busy answering family history enquiries, telling people about our resources, and demonstrating our online catalogues and websites. I wasn’t there myself, but hopefully someone will have some photos and we can post them later.
Our Readers Services Librarian, Tanya, left us last month to take up a new role at the British Library. We miss her, but hope she enjoys working with their rare book collection.
We’ve also had a new Manuscripts Manager, Hannah, join us in the team. Expect to see an introductory post from her soon.
There have been a lot of changes in our electronic resources collection. We’ve added two new resources, and there’s a new page on our website to help you access them. They are only available onsite here at the museum, but I’ve included links to online tours so you can get a taste of how they work before you come in. The new resources are:
- Art FullText – a database of journal articles from over 400 art publications
- Oxford English Dictionary – an online version of the well-know historical dictionary
We’ve also expanded our academic collections in the JSTOR database. As well as having the Arts and Sciences II and III Collections, we now also have Arts and Sciences I, IV, V and VI, Health and General Sciences, and Biological Sciences.
Finally, Oxford have relaunched the former Grove Art as Oxford Art Online, with additional content.
If you’d like to know more about any of these, or would like to book an introduction session to our electronic resources here at the library, please send me an email at: email@example.com.
Renee (Digital Resources Librarian)
May’s item of the month is dedicated to the
diary of Dr John Dee which is housed in our rare book collection.
Dee was a prominent mathematician,
astrologer and antiquary in the 16th century and this version of his
diary, published by the Camden
society in 1841, gives a fascinating insight into his life. Everyday events and
life changing circumstances live side by side on the pages. Subject matters
include exploration and the philosopher’s stone.
It also lists his library catalogue,
compiled by himself, before his house was plundered by the populace.
This is a must read for all Dee enthusiasts and any reader who likes to delve into a
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the assault and blockade of Zeebrugge and Ostend.
During the First World War they were two of the most heavily fortified enemy bases in the North Sea. Commanded by Vice Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, the objective was to prevent German destroyers and U boats based at Bruges from reaching the open sea by sinking block ships across the mouth of the canal at Zeebrugge. Also planned was to block the harbour entrance at Ostend where vessels of a shallower draught could reach the North Sea.
Described by Winston Churchill as ‘the finest feat of arms of the Great War…’, 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded.
Letter from Keyes to Admiral Beatty 10 February 1910 in which Keyes discusses the plan for the Zeebrugge Raid:
My dear Admiral
Carpenter and Chichester will travel up with this letter tomorrow. I think the former who worked on the Plan when I was at the Admiralty and put it forward…will be able to give you all the information you will require including the total number of officers and men who will be engaged. I don’t want to be grasping and greedy, and I know your Flag Officers and Captains will help as far as they possibly can, but of course the more that can be lent from the Grand Fleet the happier and more confident I shall be, for they will come down so full of fire and the spirit of the Fleet that nothing will stop them.
The cruiser HMS Vindictive was launched in 1897. Famous for the role she played in the raid on Zeebrugge, she was fitted out as an assault ship and landed a party of seamen and Marines on the Long Mole to destroy the shore batteries. There were many casualties and great heroism under heavy enemy fire.
Scuttled as a blockship at Ostend 10 May 1918 HMS Vindictive was raised and broken up in 1920.
To commemorate the anniversary we have a small display in the Reading Room that features items from our collections relating to the Raid.
Liza (Information Specialist)