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

Friday, 2 May 2014

Adopt a Book!

See the below poster on how you can support the library with our Adopt a Book scheme. Through it we can get more books professionally repaired and bound which keeps them in good condition for our readers. Getting one dedicated for someone else is also a great way to escape not knowing what gift to buy them!