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INSTG012 Historical Bibliography Print Techniques Workshop at the UCL Art Museum by Nikki Gregory

AnneWelsh28 November 2014

ArtMuseumFollowing Simone’s post about our class visit to St Bride’s Printing Library, I thought I would share our experience learning about different print techniques using materials from the UCL Art Museum

The practical session on the methods of printing led by Curatorial Assistant and print artist J. Yuen Ling Chiu (@yuenlingchiu) was an hour’s worth of hands on experience with printed pictures. Have you ever looked at a print and wondered how it was made? Well wonder no further with this module session.

We started by each choosing a printers tool which was used to make one or more of the printed images displayed around the room. After a few minutes of studying the images, we were asked to guess which tools were used to make each of the prints. Firstly we looked at some woodcut prints, made with a ‘u’ tool, which is used by scraping lines in the wood. This imprints very defined straight lines which are tapered at the ends where the tool enters and leaves the wood. The ink is then rolled onto the remaining sections of wood to create the print. This is known as relief printing. We also looked at copper engraving and etching (in which acid is used to cut into the metal).

One of the forms of etching I found most interesting was the aquatint, where a cloud of blue dust is thrown into the air and left to settle onto a piece of copper sheet. Wax is then placed on certain sections, before the sheet is dipped into acid which burns through the dust to leave white flecks on the print. The print is then built up with layers of wax and acid to for the picture.

Another interesting technique is mezatint, where the surface starts very black, and layers of white are created on top using a tool which had grooves running along the edge, ending in little teeth. These teeth were used to ‘smoosh’ (technical word!) the dots together by rocking the tool from side to side.

After this quick induction we were set loose on a new set of prints, discussing which method of printing was used to create each print. On the whole I like to think we got more than half of them right between us.

If this doesn’t convince you that Historical Bibliography is a good optional module to choose, then the seminars on collation and quasi-facsimiles will top the balance! I am looking forward to the remaining seminars that this module has to offer.

Editorial Note: UCL Art Museum is closed for refurbishment until April 2015, but its programme of teaching and public engagement is continuing off-site. We are very grateful to J. Yuen Ling Chiu and Dr Andrea Fredericksen (UCL Art Museum Curator) for delivering this regular session for INSTG012 in the Haldane Room this year. You can find details of the Museum’s ongoing programme of events on its website. Staff also contribute to @UCLMuseums on twitter, UCL Museums and Collections facebook page, and the Museums & Collections playlist on UCLTV on YouTube. — Anne Welsh, INSTG012 Historical Bibliography Module Coordinator.

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Nikki Gregory (@NikkiG434) is a full-time student on the MA Library and Information Studies.

Image: Anne Welsh.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Apart from the editorial note, Nikki Gregory is the sole author of this piece.

INSTG012 Historical Bibliography Visit to St Bride’s Printing Library by Simone Charles

AnneWelsh14 November 2014

Simone printing

On Monday 13th October, 2014 as part of our Historical Bibliography module, half of the class visited St. Bride’s Printing Library on Fleet Street, while the other half visited the British Library. As I was part of the group that visited St. Bride’s, I felt compelled to write about the experience there as it clearly impacted on the learning objectives of the course.

St. Bride’s Library, which opened its doors to the public as a printing school in 1895, is part of the St. Bride Foundation. On arrival we were met by our facilitators, Bob and Mick, who both had no hesitation in describing and demonstrating some of the collections. We were shown excerpts of the Catnach, Kindersley as well as the Gill Collections, all of which were unique in their own right.

Of particular interest to me was the Catnach Collection as his broadsides are forerunners of tabloids in the United Kingdom. From the plain and simple to the gory, this collection is quite remarkable and is well preserved along with the other collections.

Despite this wealth of materials, the aspect of the visit that peaked our interest the most was that of the printing press room. This room which could most certainly also be described as a small museum, has working original models of hand presses used between the 18th and 19th centuries. These include the Columbian Press (1822), the Albion Press (1828), and the Stanhope Press (1830). The Library is also home to an immaculate wooden Compositor’s Box from Oxford University Press.

Additionally, we were shown some wood engraving techniques whereby blocks of wood were engraved with various illustrations, placed between text and hand pressed during the Victorian era. Our visit then closed with each of us hand pressing selected designs given to us by Rob and Mick.

Having read and researched 19th century newspapers from Trinidad and Tobago over time, I never actually thought of the actual process that went into printing. This visit to St. Brides was truly an enlightening one and can serve to be a true asset to anyone wishing to delve into the field of Rare Books and Special Collections Librarianship or to become knowledgeable in the history of the printing press on a whole. For further information on the library please visit http://www.sbf.org.uk/library or follow them on twitter (@stbridelibrary) or facebook.

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Simone Charles (@libraryesque) is studying for her MA LIS, specialising in Bibliography, Book History and Cataloguing.

Note: the appearance of the byline on this post is auto-generated, indicating that it was posted by Anne Welsh. Simone Charles is the sole author of this piece.

Zine Workshop

AnneWelsh17 October 2012

Yesterday part-time MA LIS student Siobhan Britton gave an introduction to zine-making at a workshop in UCL’s temporary exhibition Strindberg’s Red Room – the location of PhD student Sara Wingate Gray’s talk on the poetics of the library at the beginning of the month, and of The Itinerant Poetry Librarian’s appearance on National Poetry Day.

Red Room events continue all week before the exhibition closes on 21 October.

LIS Research Coalition DREaM workshop 3

SaraWingate Gray27 April 2012

Following on from January’s workshop in London, this time it was especially nice to have the opportunity to get out of town and visit that fine city of literature and libraries that is Edinburgh in order to attend the Library and Information Science Research Coalition‘s third workshop event, held at Edinburgh Napier University.

 

Image by EventAmplifier ©© BY SA 2.0

This was the final workshop event in the series, which has an overall aim of “building the skills to build the evidence base” for Library and Information Science practitioners and researchers, via providing information and insights on specific quantitative and qualitative research techniques that are not necessarily the preserve, nor the norm, for the profession. Previous workshops introduced delegates to  investigatory approaches such as discourse analysis, webometrics, and action research, and I was looking forward to this final workshop session not just for the likely engaging line-up, and fascinating insights of speakers (going on previous sessions which always had at least one, and more often than not, several, fantastic academic presenters) but also the opportunity to once again meet up with colleagues who I’d begun to develop professional relationships with from the previous events.

This workshop was no different in amply providing both of these opportunities, and this time specifically covered the research methods of “horizon scanning”; techniques from psychology, focusing specifically on “repertory grids”; and “data mining”. My favourite session was given by Dr Harry J Woodroof, who presented  his work as a member of the Horizon Scanning Team within the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) that is part of the Ministry of Defence, where the aim is to identify future “threats” and “opportunities” and enable “decisions” to be made in the present. This particular session led me to realise how I often, rather intuitively (and certainly more loosely), already use such a mode of investigation when engaging in “future planning” regards both my personal and professional life, and it was a really fascinating presentation, in fact giving me pause for thought in terms of what astonishing and interesting types of roles the information profession can find themselves in.

Coming a close second, however, in my favourite-speaker stakes, was the work of Dr Phil Turner from Edinburgh Napier University, who presented an interesting case study from his research, in order to contextualise and explain the repertory grid technique, which itself stems from the work of the clinical psychologist George Kelly and personal construct theory research. The work which Dr Turner presented on, using his research and findings into “attachment to digital and non-digital artefacts”, provided a great, and suitably clear and concise, example of the use of the repertory grid interviewing technique, and I think gave a very real insight into how useful and relevant this method could be for LIS researchers.

I should add that I consider data mining, as the third and final technique that was discussed during the workshop by Kevin Swingler from Stirling University, in fact a thoroughly fascinating and incredibly useful and revealing tool for the LIS sector –and in particular– it has the potential for conjuring amazing uses of public sector data such as that which public libraries collect and collate as part and parcel of their everyday services, just as another delegate, Jo Alcock, points out with regard to the work of academic librarian (and fab all-round amazing library-data-masher-upper) Dave Pattern, who has been providing and enabling such usages and experiments with academic library data for some time now. Although not part of my personal PhD research into public libraries, this is an area I have both a professional and personal interest in (but certainly not the coding skills of Dave P!) and I would positively welcome a move to work together with others on collaborations and ideas which bring the realm of data mining to the public library sphere: I believe it has the potential for radical and sensational results!

Alongside these presentations we also had the chance to break into groups and discuss the potential pitfalls, successes and the links between research and impact: the group I was in centred on considering the different approaches and practicalities of moving research findings from within the research field out into the wider world of practitioners, with some of us also providing a nod to how both parties’ collaborative work might then inform policy and policy-makers themselves.

I particularly enjoyed this “working together” time, which brought a small group of PhD students together with library and information professionals, from a range of settings such as schools and public libraries (for example), as it soon became clear that although we might begin at different points in our work, our objectives and aims coalesced in wanting a real world result aka impact. What became clear to me from our discussions, and the feedback from other groups who were similarly addressing the same research/impact equation, was that when we come together as a cohort, we are able to speak all the more clearly and resonantly about our professional aims, objectives, roles and ethics: leading with one voice, based on a clarity of consensus clearly has a greater impetus, and therefore impact, than trying to walk alone.

For me, this aspect of the workshops has been the most wonderful – meeting likeminded peers and colleagues who span the ranges and realms of LIS, and who seek to perform and provide the same practicalities, insights, services and purposes that define our profession. I am really excited about maintaining the links I’ve developed with individuals, and am beginning to think about how nurturing these relationships, and the conversations and ideas that spring forth, can help drive forward positive change for the profession, and in particular my own research focus of public libraries.

Event: Barriers to Public Engagement with Archaeology Online

AnneWelsh12 March 2012

Received by email this morning:

As part of the UCL Archaeology & Communication Network, Lorna Richardson (UCL Centre for Digital Humanities) and Chiara Bonacchi (UCL Institute of Archaeology) have organised an afternoon workshop to address the theme of ‘Barriers to Public Engagement with Archaeology Online’ which will explore the factors which limit or impede public participation via digital media and the Internet. This event will take place on 22 May 2012, at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, and will be followed by a wine reception.

This half-day event, running 2-5pm, will be structured in two parts. In the first part, there will be 5 key presentations of 15 minutes each on aspects of digital engagement and barriers in Internet technologies, that relate to archaeology and heritage issues. These papers will provide discussion points for the second part of the event, consisting of 1.5 hours of discussion, moderated by a chair (Don Henson, Centre for Audio-Visual Study & Practice in Archaeology). The discussion will be enriched by the presence of discussants from a variety of backgrounds in the room, and of interested parties contributing via Twitter and a Wikispace.

Confirmed speakers so far:
Doug Rocks-Macqueen (University of Edinburgh, Open Access Archaeology)
Lorna Richardson (UCL Centre for Digital Humanities)
Dan Pett (Portable Antiquities Scheme)
UCL Public Engagement Unit.

If you are interested in participating in the discussion, or presenting a short paper, on any aspect of digital inequality, technological barriers or Open Access in archaeological contexts, please get in touch with Lorna Richardson (l.richardson@ucl.ac.uk) or Chiara Bonacchi (chiara.bonacchi@googlemail.com)

LIS Research Coalition’s ‘Developing Research Excellence and Methods’ project

SaraWingate Gray3 February 2012

The LIS Research Coalition recently held the second of their DREaM (Developing Research Excellence and Methods) project workshops, here in London at the British Library’s conference centre. Myself and fellow UCL DIS research student Paul Gooding were lucky enough to be awarded travel bursaries last year, which enabled us to attend the first DREaM workshop up in Edinburgh, so this time it was a rather more pleasant later-morning start for us to participate!

The project itself started in January 2011 and runs until August 2012, with a purpose of developing “a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers” and to “explore the scope of LIS and related research, and the range of methods appropriate to research in the domain” which, as recent DIS student discussions on methods training have similarly found, is a wide and wide-ranging need.

Thus, this second workshop offered another plunge into the plethora of research methodologies for library and information professionals, this time covering Webometrics, Historical Analysis, User Involvement, and Research and Policy. Overall the day was another fantastic mix of speakers and methods presentations, as well as providing another chance for attendees to network with each other. This latter aspect of the project is actually crucial in several senses, in that both LIS practitioners and researchers can often be isolated from the wider world of their colleagues through limitations of time and geography, while artificial barriers of discipline and praxis can sometimes preclude obvious collaborations or resource and research sharing. Therefore, just being given the opportunity to take time out from the daily grind, and to meet other individuals, whose work spans the range of school, academic, public, health, and national library practices and research is, in fact, absolutely key to the fruitful development of inter-library-relations and library research and development overall. Not only this, but kindling such networks enables people to establish individual personal and practical relationships, guided by common research or professional interests: such interactions often provide the seedbed in which great new ideas, research and library projects can most easily germinate.

These elements may sound obvious, but as a matter of fact can often be overlooked, with workshops and conferences that provide jam-packed itineraries removing this crucial time for people to meet and converse. Additionally, such meetings do not necessarily find it easy to escape artificially-induced auras of camaraderie: requiring faux associations due to the fact that individuals happen to be temporarily located together. Thankfully, the DREaM project successfully navigates such concerns, not only providing time for participants to talk, but also encouraging individuals to meet each other on their own terms, enabling conversations which bridge, rather than create, gaps of practice, research and experience. It was, in fact, great to talk and brainstorm with others (that means you @MichaelStead!) who share my personal interests in the field of public libraries research and practice, as well as to receive greetings from my USA-based rad-librarian ALA posse via the human telegram that accidentally happened to be LIS researcher @joeyanne who’d just returned from ALA’s midwinter conference (Waves back from across the pond to USA librarians @pcsweeney and @detailmatters!)

Notwithstanding the awesomeness of LIS banter, biscuits and tea, once again DREaM’s medley of research methodology presentations drove the day, with an intriguing first session led by Professor Beresford from Brunel University, who introduced participants to User Involvement in Research. Professor Beresford’s session provided a useful overview of this type of research, which has “change-making as its purpose” and retains an emphasis on experiential knowledge: all arguably important facets directly correlated to specific fields within LIS. In fact, such correlation meant that more specific information on implementing such a methodology was in need, rather just the macro-view of the topic that was provided here by Professor Beresford, although useful web URLS and pointers were provided to further in-depth material during the presentation (and you can find the presentation by clicking the links above in this post). Following on from this, both Dr Haigh’s “Techniques from History” and Professor Thelwall’s “Introduction to Webometrics” were superb talks which included methodology overviews and detailed implementation tips and advice, in particular information on the appropriate software used in webometric analysis was a welcome pointer. Both these presentations were precise, informative, detailed and wide-ranging, and provided the perfect mix of information for researchers to gauge each methodology’s usefulness for disparate research needs, thus enabling tentative steps towards implementation.

The final presentation from Professor Moore focused on Research and Policy, and it was particularly interesting to hear not only how to be aware of (and hopefully clear) the hurdles of influence and agenda which can stand in the way of research implementation and impact, but also the detrimental impact of being “too far ahead” of the research and vision/strategy curve. There were, of course, no clear methods of extracting oneself or one’s research from such a visionary approach, except perhaps for a level of self-reflexivity – which enables a recognition of ‘what is possible now’ versus what is ‘just’ possible altogether, and as such was a point well considered and well made.

All in all the day was a fruitful, and helpful, day of conversing, reflecting and interacting, with LIS research at the heart of it all, so thanks must be showered upon Professor Hall as organiser-in-chief, and who introduced the day itself, alongside cheers for Professor Oppenheim, Christine Irving and others who all contributed to the day’s smooth continuation.

The final workshop in this series takes place this April, back in Edinburgh, followed by a concluding conference in July back here in London,  to which it would be great to see some more UCL DIS faces, and in the meantime, you can keep track of all that is happening via the project’s website, or by stopping in on the member forum where presentation info, pictures and videos are all available too.

 

 

Playing the Margins: the first workshop

ParisO'Donnell14 May 2011

On Monday 9th May a group of actors, teachers and researchers joined us for the first Playing the Margins workshop. We gathered in the tranquil setting of the Petrie Museum to discuss annotation practices, past and present. The participants had brought along examples of texts or scripts they had annotated, and described their habits and preferences (or, in some cases, their habit of not writing in books) to the group. This discussion gave us valuable insights into the codes of behaviour governing their annotation practices. These codes varied considerably from one participant to another but were internally consistent and strongly related to the context and purpose of annotation and the ownership of the books or scripts. (more…)

Playing the Margins: Get Involved

AnneWelsh13 May 2011

There’s another chance to take part in a Playing the Margins workshop towards the end of the month. From the project’s tumblog:

Are you involved in the performing arts?

Do you ever find yourself doodling in the margins of scripts?

Do you mark up your prompt books?

If so, please come to an informal, experimental workshop exploring how actors, directors, theatre critics and other readers annotate texts in the past and present.

Explore how earlier readers engaged with play-texts, prompt-books and other texts by taking part in this workshop using texts from UCL Special Collections.

Full details, booking information, and some lovely illustrations of marginalia, available on the tumblog.

Playing the Margins was conceived by MA LIS students Paris O’Donnell and Sian Prosser; is funded by UCL’s Train and Engage Scheme; and makes use of materials from UCL LIbrary Services Special Collections.

Image: Auntie P, copyright commons: some rights reserved

Playing the Margins: register now

AnneWelsh19 April 2011

Registration is now open for a free workshop run by MA LIS students Paris O’Donnell and Sian Prosser as part of their public engagement project, Playing the Margins.

If you are a drama student or an actor, you can sign up to take part. Full details on the Playing the Margins tumblog.

Image: Playing the Margins