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Special Collections, Archives and Records



Archive for the 'events' Category

Upcoming events at Special Collections

TabithaTuckett12 February 2018

Two upcoming events at Special Collections this week:

DANTE READING: Monday 12 February, 6-7.30pm, Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, WC1H 0AB (admission free)

Dante readings continue at 6pm tonight with Inferno Cantos 33 and 34 on Count Ugolino, the centre of Hell, and Lucifer (with images from library Dante collections across the world) before moving on to cheerier things as term progresses. More details here.

Lucifer from Dante La Commedia (Venice, 1491) UCL Special Collections INCUNABULA QUARTO 5 o

SMALL PRESS COLLECTIONS ON DISPLAY: Wednesday 14 February, 2-4.30pm, Special Collections Reading Room, South Junction, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT (admission free)

This year’s Slade Small Press Project on the theme of sound continues on Wednesday with a display of often surprising material from our Small Press Collections. Drop in any time between 2 and 4.30pm.










Looking forward to seeing you at these or future events.

Dante – weekly readings

TabithaTuckett29 January 2018

One of Doré’s illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy

Why is the Mediaeval Italian poet Dante important to us now? Can his work tell us anything about how to approach our own lives? And what does UCL Special Collections have to offer those interested in Dante?

To find out, or just to unwind at the end of the day with some beautiful poetry, try our weekly readings  from Dante’s Divine Comedy (in English and Italian), followed by discussion with UCL’s Professor John Took, every Monday, 6-7.30pm at the Warburg Institute, Woburn Square. More information here:

Weekly Dante readings at the Warburg Institute

Or, if you prefer an in-depth talk without the readings, we’re running these on Tuesdays every fortnight, 7-8.30pm, at the Italian Institute of Culture in Belgrave Square:

Dante talks at the Italian Institute of Culture, Belgrave Square

Tonight’s reading is from the Inferno, but tomorrow’s session is on love. Both courses are free and open to all.

Look out later in term for displays of selected items from our outstanding collection of rare and early editions of Dante’s works. Read more about UCL Special Collections’ Dante Collection, or search the library catalogue using ‘Dantecollection’ (without spaces between the words).

On the Hunt for Volunteers

Vicky APrice13 October 2017

UCL Special Collections has been busy getting the new academic year off to a good start.  While many of the team are immersed in teaching and collections management, the Outreach team have been focussing on new projects, new partnerships and volunteer recruitment.

Helen welcoming the new volunteers!

Helen welcomes the student crowds to our stall at the Big Volunteer Fair.

The VSU’s volunteer recruitment fairs are an extremely valuable opportunity for us to meet new and returning students and to tell them about what we do.  It’s always interesting to find out what people are studying and whether they’ve ever been tempted to use the Special Collections reader service – or whether they’ve already done so.  It’s also a key point in the year for us to recruit volunteers.

Almost every stage of our department’s work is supported by volunteers; from conservation, sorting, catalogue enhancement and collection research to digitisation, transcription and outreach projects.  We would not be able to function anywhere like the way we do without their help – and we’re confident that we provide valuable experiences for volunteers too.

This year already looks to be an interesting one for volunteer roles and opportunities. Our projects include collecting oral histories as part of the Newham touring exhibition project (blog post to follow soon – watch this space); using OCR (text recognition) software to transcribe our digitised collection of Jewish pamphlets; helping to conserve and clean collection items with our Senior Conservator Angela Warren-Thomas; and using our cataloguing system to improve accessibility to our archives, Little Magazines and Poetry Store collections.  All of our volunteers receive a thorough induction into what we do and what we offer, and all the training that they’ll need to work on the project of their choice.

If you’re reading this and would like to volunteer with us, get in touch: v.price@ucl.ac.uk

We are looking forward to the Museums and Heritage Volunteer Recruitment fair  on 24th October – if you’re nearby, come and say hello!

UCL Rare-Books Club: John Evelyn’s Contribution to Restoration Bibliophily

HelenBiggs6 September 2017

What: UCL Rare-Books Club
When: 1.15-1.45pm, Tuesday 12 September
Where: UCL Special Collections Reading Room, South Junction

After a very successful launch event, we’re excited to bring you the second talk in our series of Rare-Books Club talks.

This will talk will take place on Tuesday 12 September, 1.15pm–1.45pm, in the UCL Special Collection Reading Room, South Junction (next to the UCL Shop!). Jacquie Glomski, UCL Honorary Senior Research Associate, will present a talk on John Evelyn’s Contribution to Restoration Bibliophily.

John Evelyn’s Instructions concerning Erecting of a Library (London, 1661) was a translation of Gabriel Naudé’s Advis pour dresser une bibliothèque (Paris, 1627, 1644), the most famous and influential early modern treatise on book collecting. Evelyn’s translation shows that he kept up with French trends and was concerned that English Restoration bibliophiles should not lag in their enthusiasm for establishing great libraries.

This is a chance not only to hear about Jacquie’s research, but also to see UCL Special Collection’s copy of this fascinating volume, which will be on display in the Reading Room.


UCL Rare-Books Club launch

HelenBiggs30 August 2017

Posted on behalf of Dr Tabitha Tuckett, Rare-Books Librarian.

What: UCL Rare-Books Club
When: 1.15-1.45pm, Tuesday 5 September
Where: Science Library Rm 417 (*meet at library entrance 1.10pm if you don’t have a UCL library card*)

You are warmly invited to a new series of half-hour talks in which researchers will introduce individual items from UCL’s rare-books collections.

These talks will give our researchers an opportunity to share ongoing discoveries and new observations about the selected item, while audiences will be able to share their expertise and find out a bit more about the larger collection to which the item belongs. Booking is not required: just turn up!

The first talk will take place on Tuesday 5 September, 1.15pm–1.45pm, in UCL Science Library Room 417. Cerys Jones, PhD Student in Medical Physics, will present a talk on Seeing Beyond the Visible: Multispectral Imaging applied to Heritage Artefacts.

Detail from a humidity-damaged letter, Karl Pearon Papers.

Detail from a humidity-damaged letter, Karl Pearson Papers.

Multispectral imaging consists of capturing images of an object illuminated under ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. This technique enables faded text and pictures on historical artefacts to be recovered and reread. Cerys will be discussing the process of multispectral imaging and image processing, and present results from multispectral imaging applied to artefacts from UCL Special Collections and other heritage institutions.


Our next speaker will be UCL Honorary Senior Research Associate Jacquie Glomski on Tuesday 12 September. More information on her talk, John Evelyn’s Contribution to Restoration Bibliophily, will be forthcoming.