Friday, 15 August 2014

Closing Today!

Just to remind our readers that we're closing today until September the 1st- if you have books you need to return or collect please do so before 6pm.

If anyone needs to return books during our closed period then we would like to remind them not to simply leave them at the desk- they must be returned via post.

Many thanks.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Library Disruption 15th August

During our annual closure period (16th August- September 1st) there will be some re-arrangement of the library space.

Owing to this it is necessary for us to re-position the reader desks in the main Archaeology reading room on the afternoon of Friday the 15th of August to make room for the installation of additional mobile shelving units.

Whilst this will not affect travel around the library, or access to the shelves in this room, it does mean that all desks in this area will not be available for use on Friday afternoon.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.



Friday, 18 July 2014

Vale Photocopier*!

Readers should be aware that once the library re-opens on September 1st the old photocopier will have been removed. Please ensure that all units remaining on your photocopy cards have been used up by that point as we will be unable to refund any unspent credit.
From September onwards all copying is to be done on the new Zeta scanner which staff will be more than happy to help you use. Scans can either be printed or saved to a USB stick.
If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact us at

* suggestions for translating 'Photocopier' into Latin are welcome!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Guest Post: Small Change Big Games

Greetings from sunny (yes, I said sunny and no it isn’t a typo) Glasgow. We’ve hijacked the ICS blog for one day only to bring you news about an exciting project we are working on up north. You may have seen our poster up in the library, some of you may even have followed us on twitter (thank you) or had a look at our website, but for those of you who have no idea who we are or what we are doing, never fear, we will give you a quick summary now. 

Here in Glasgow we are pretty excited about the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and we were especially excited to discover that the Royal Mint have commissioned a special 50p to mark the occasion. The 50p features some sporting imagery, as you might expect, but as well as the cyclist and runner, it also has a saltire, a symbol of Scottish national identity, and the writing is done in the style of famous Glaswegian artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 

Image courtesy of the Royal Mint:
This coin, with its sporting imagery and symbols of civic and national identity got us thinking about Roman coins, and how much they have in common with the Glasgow 2014 50p. Luckily for us The Hunterian has one of the best ancient coin collections in the UK*, so we applied to the Hunterian Associates Programme, and Small Change Big Games was born. 

Coin from The Hunterian, Glasgow (catalogue number 21182).

Our project will take the form of an online exhibition on our webpage. Using the Glasgow 50p as a springboard for thinking about coins minted to commemorate games, we have chosen a selection of Roman coins to feature in this exhibition. We have divided the coins into four broad themes: history, politics, religion and sport. Each topic has an introductory video featuring either us or a special guest, as well as some information and images of the coins. We are also planning a number of events which will take place during the commonwealth games, and which we hope will be of interest to a wide audience. 

The Small Change Big Games team are also known as Jenny and Sarah, two PhD students at Glasgow, you can contact them at, @smallchange2014 or

* For the five volume collection 'Roman imperial coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow' go to X136H.2 in the library!

If anyone else is interested in submitting a guest post for our blog then contact us at It doesn't have to be formal or directly related to the library. As long as it involves Classics in general we're happy to give our readers a chance to advertise, explain and vent!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bank Holiday Closure

The library will be closed this Saturday for the Bank Holiday weekend. We will re-open at 9.30 am on Tuesday 27th May.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Greg Woolf Welcomed as New Director of the Institute

The School of Advanced Studies has just announced that Greg Woolf has been appointed as the new Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, taking over from our current acting Director John North in January. The staff at the library, and we know the readers, would like to express our thanks to Professor North for all his work for the Institute and to congratulate Professor Woolf on his appointment.

You can see the official announcement here and details of Greg Woolf's academic career and publications here

Monday, 19 May 2014

Exclusus Lector no Longer!

No longer must our readers ask assistance to use complicated combination locks- we have finally got keys! Lovely, simple keys. Additionally no pound is required although there is a £10.00 fine for any lost keys.

As a disenchanted member of staff put it, when this trial began:

Through the windows the faeries throw
Lockers which made us feel so low
May a faery strong and kind
Find us the keys for which we’ve pined

 After Easter, may our dreams be
Forever after locker-free
And may our readers dance a conga
When combinations are no longer

All the library staff would like to both apologise for the disruption, and to thank our readers for their patience during this time. Hopefully now full friendly service can resume. Conga lines are optional but discretely encouraged.

Keys, of course, are an ancient concept; the earliest surviving examples coming from Egypt in the form of Pin Tumbler locks. The Romans improved these by replacing the traditional wood with metal and inventing smaller, wearable keys. Types of locks outlined by Manning include latch-lifters, lift-keys, slide keys, lever-locks and barb-spring padlocks as shown below:

From Manning, 1985

Anyone interesting in discovering more about the history of locks (who wouldn't be?!) can begin with the list below:

Birley, Andrew, The small finds. Fasc. 2, Security: the keys and locks : including an outline report on the results of the excavations to date, Hexham, Vindolanda Trust, c1997. Library: X116D VIN

 De Vries, Marc J; Cross, N. & Grant, D.P. (Eds.) Design Methodology and Relationships with Science: Proceedings of the NATO ARW, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, September 29-October 2, 1992, Springer, 1993

Manning,  W.H., Catalogue of the Romano-British iron tools, fittings and weapons in the British Museum, London , British Museum Publications, c1985. Library: X135E LON