Dame Margaret Anstee Collection: a Newnham alumna in South America

A profile picture of Margaret Anstee wearing a blue UN cap and light blue shirt. She is looking towards the left down and smiling to someone outside of the frame.

Dame Margaret Joan Anstee (image from Wikimedia Commons).

Dame Margaret Joan Anstee (1926-2016) was a remarkable Newnham College graduate who had special ties with Bolivia and who in 1987 was the first ever woman to become Undersecretary-General of the United Nations, the third most senior position at that institution. During her life as a UN official (which we can read about in Never learn to type: a woman at the United Nations), she spent several years working in different parts of the world, including many countries in South America and also Angola (see Orphan of the Cold War: the inside story of the collapse of the Angolan peace process, 1992-93).

It was Bolivia though, where she was the UN representative from 1960 to 1965, that would become a prime focus in her life. In her 1970 work Gate of the sun: a prospect of Bolivia, she recounts her first experiences in a “country to which one cannot remain indifferent”. She not only became special adviser to its government after leaving the UN in 1993 but also chose it as the place to spend part of her retirement (read The house on the sacred lake: and other Bolivian dreams – and nightmares).

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New CAIRN Francophone ebooks available through Cambridge University Library

CAIRN is a Francophone online platform originally founded by four French and Belgian publishers: Belin, De Boeck, La Découverte and Erès, focusing on social sciences and humanities periodicals. More recent partners include the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the University of Liège and the Centre National du Livre. In the past few years, especially since COVID (when the platform offered the library free access to all their ebooks for the month of May 2020), we started acquiring CAIRN ebooks, as well as receiving statistics about our readers’ attempts to access ebook titles on the platform.

CAIRN ebooks

Based on these information, and in order to continue diversifying the range of French and Francophone material available to our readers, while also taking into account the pricing of the ebooks, we recently made a bulk purchase of more than 200 titles selected from the Cairn catalogue, including both new and older publications that we did not already have in print. Members of Cambridge University Library now have access to about 450 CAIRN ebooks titles, available through Raven, either on iDiscover, or directly on the CAIRN platform and other websites, if you use the Lean library plugin. We are now in the process of upgrading online catalogue records for the newly acquired ebooks, which includes adding subject headings.  Continue reading

Ukrainian ebooks about the 2001 census : the Slavonic June 2021 items of the month

This week, we have purchased 30 ebooks of statistics and analysis about the 2001 Ukrainian census which provide an important snapshot of Ukraine within its first post-Soviet decade.  29 of the the 30 are in Ukrainian and represent our first ebooks in that language (there remain few Ukrainian ebook options for institutions in general), and 12 of the 30 focus on data for Crimea specifically.

From the introductory volume.

The sole English title provides an introduction to the census.  First all-national population census: historical, methodological, social, economic, ethnic aspects gives a summary of previous censuses involving Ukrainian lands, from the first universal census of the Russian Empire in 1897 to the last Soviet census in 1989.  It also provides a useful, quite detailed description of how the December 2001 census was prepared for and carried out, followed by a summary of findings.  The book then ends with a section about projected changes over the course of 2005-2015.  This section discusses the social and economic problems facing the country and its regions (low birth rates, for example, and employment and life expectancy inequalities) and plans for addressing these.

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