Some lockdown-era donations

Our department, Collections and Academic Liaison, works on the lion’s share of donations of books made to the University Library.  Since our numbers in the library building have had to be kept very low since mid-March last year, our focus in the office has chiefly been on cataloguing new bought books, but this post mentions a few donations that we have been able to process recently.

The beautiful stamp of the monastery, on the letter accompanying the donation.

Two books were received from the Holy, Royal and Stavropegic Monastery of Machaira (Ιερα Βασιλικη και Σταυροπηγιακη Μονη Μαχαιρα = Hiera Vasilikē kai Stauropēgiakē Monē Machaira) in Cyprus.  Both books are about the martyr Archbishop Kyprianos of Cyprus, who led the Cypriot Orthodox Church until his death in 1821.  The books have the same title (Archbishop Kyprianos of Cyprus : the martyr of faith and fatherland) and then divide.  The first book below, published in 2009, contains an “archive of texts” and the second is a “scientific volume”, published in 2012.

Both books are in the borrowable C200s class.

In December 2020, we were very fortunate to receive from the Reverend Mother Kathryn Twining a sizeable number of books published by the Spanish publisher Moleiro, who specialise in facsimile reproductions of medieval manuscripts.  So far, I have been able to catalogue the Biblia de San Luis set (iDiscover record here).  It contains three vast facsimile volumes, 49 cm tall and beautifully printed, and two accompanying commentary volumes.  Here are some of the exquisite reproductions from the beginning of the facsimile:

Finally, I would like to mention the Bowness Collection which we have been working on for some years now.  Its donor, Professor Sir Alan Bowness, sadly died earlier this year (Guardian obituary here).  I am glad to say that for over a year now we have been able to use funds donated by Sir Alan for cataloguing purposes to contribute to the pay of an intermediate cataloguer to work on his collection.  At the moment, the money is paying for a partial secondment (two days a week) for a colleague from Special Collections who has been making brilliant progress, and who is also preparing a blog post about her work.  Thanks to the fact that the collection is made up largely of exhibition catalogues, the cataloguing work is in some ways fairly repetitive and Emily can follow a clear workflow, but there are still a fair few challenges.  Just this week, she found that we had only pages 9-16 of a catalogue, with no obvious clues to the title of the whole.  After no inconsiderable amount of googling, we managed to work it out in the end.

Mel Bach

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