Dutch history revisited

In 2015 we wrote about books shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Geschiedenis Prijs, showing that we selectively buy Dutch books on major Dutch historical topics or those with a strong interdisciplinary appeal. In this post we look at a few books acquired in the intervening years which have been shortlisted for the same prize:

First, from the 2015 shortlist, is Cees Fasseur’s Eigen meester, niemands knecht: het leven van Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, Minister-president van Nederland in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (C214.c.2469). This substantial work is the first major biography of the man who held the important position of Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1940 to 1945 in exile in London.

Nominated for the 2016 prize was De roofkoning: Prins Willem III en de invasie van Engeland by Machiel Bosman (C213.c.3769). Books about William of Orange and his connections with England hold obvious appeal for us. This well-researched but concise account is a combination of history book and novel, telling the story of William’s invasion of England from the different perspectives of the main protagonists. William of Orange is a main player too in the book featured from last year’s shortlist, Oranje tegen de Zonnekoning: de strijd tussen Willem III en Lodewijk XIV om Europa by Luc Panhuysen (C212.c.6787), a comprehensive description of the intense rivalry between Louis XIV and William of Orange who were 17th century contemporaries. Continue reading

New Weimar on the Pacific

This post is written by David Lowe, who retired from our department in April.  We hope it is the first of many retirement-era contributions.

When in August 2001 the University Library acquired its copy of Roland Jaeger’s New Weimar on the Pacific: the Pazifische Presse and German exile publishing in Los Angeles, 1942-48 (862.c.504), a history of the small private press which published eleven German language titles between 1942 and 1948, we had none of the books in the collection.  That omission has now been partly rectified, and in recent years we have bought four titles, three of them presented by the Friends of the Library from the legacy of Mrs Margaret Green, wife of the former Schröder Professor of German Dennis Green.

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Getting hold of the books

The way we used to order

How we used to order in pre-computer days

Many of our readers, familiar with the ease of book purchasing over the internet, often with a next-day delivery service, assume that the buying of new titles by the Library is invariably straightforward.  The internet has certainly facilitated the way in which we work. Ordering 20 books on-line usually only takes a few minutes. It is much easier to establish whether a title is still in print, although publishers’ and vendors’ websites are often not completely up to date in the detail they provide.  The websites of many suppliers enable us to track our requests, seeing the dates on which they order, acquire and dispatch a book.  Sites such as Abebooks and Chapitre can make the acquisition of many out-of-print items far easier.

It shouldn’t be assumed, however, that the Library can always replicate the experience of the private individual, particularly in terms of e-books.  Continue reading

Ebooks in French

Textures : processus et événements dans la création poétique moderne et contemporaine

Textures : processus et événements dans la création poétique moderne et contemporaine

Two PhD students at Trinity College have just published a book which has arrived at the University Library. Jeff Barda and Daniel A. Finch-Race edited the volume Textures : processus et événements dans la création poétique moderne et contemporaine (736:47.c.201.102, and at the MML library at classmark F5A.G.10), which presents papers from the 17th French Graduate Research Seminar held at Trinity in May 2014. Published by Peter Lang, this is the 120th volume in the series ‘Modern French Identities’, of which the University Library holds 99.

This is patently an important book for us to have in the Library, both because of its subject and its Cambridge connections. It was not a difficult decision to purchase the book. However, it is increasingly becoming a difficult decision about how to purchase books. Continue reading

Number crunching in European Collections

In the early hours of Sunday morning each week, members of the European Collections and Cataloguing team get an email telling them how many new records have been added to the catalogue in the last seven days. The breakdown which the system gives us is either by language, or in some cases by language grouping. The figures fluctuate considerably from week to week, of course, depending on what other things people have been doing, but our aim is to achieve a reasonable level of consistency over the course of the library year, which runs from August 1st to July 31st. August and early autumn see the work of adding up these and other statistics to produce figures for the full year.

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