Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Library Lobby Renovations!

This summer the University of London is undertaking a refurbishment of the 3rd floor lobby area, including the library issue desk. Though the lobby will be closed for the duration of the work, the library will still be open as normal, so here is all the information you need to know to get you through the new access arrangements

When will the lobby be closed?
The refurbishment is scheduled to begin on 1st August, and should (all being well) be finished mid-September. We will provide a more definite end-date when we have one.

During this time the library will remain open in line with standard opening hours. The library will be fully closed during the summer closure period (6pm 18th August – 9.30 am 4th September).

How will I get to the library?
Lifts will not be going to the 3rd floor while the works are underway. To reach the library, take the lift to the 2nd floor, then climb the final flight of stairs to the 3rd. At the top of the stairs turn right, though some doors labelled ‘To rooms 347-355’, and follow the corridor round through several sets of doors. This will take you to the back entrance of the Numismatics Room, which will serve as the temporary library entrance.

We will put up signs to make the directions as clear as possible, and a plan of the new route will soon be accessible via the website.

So, is the Numismatics Room out of bounds too?
All the books in the Numismatics Room will still be accessible to readers, but, since we will need to move equipment there from the current issue desk, the room unfortunately cannot be used as reading space.

What if I am unable to use the stairs?
If you require step-free access to move between the 2nd and 3rd floors, please contact library staff in advance of your visit to give us notice of this. We can then arrange for access to a service lift to bring you directly to the temporary library entrance. Regrettably, this lift cannot be accessed unescorted, so we will need at least a day's notice to be sure of having a staff member available to help. Either ring the library desk on 020 7862 8709, or e-mail, to register this need.

Where will the nearest toilets be?
Since the 3rd floor lobby is completely out of bounds, you will have to go down to the 2nd floor to use the toilets there.

Anything else I should know?
 Yes! Please be aware that staff will be asking to see your library cards when you enter the library (since there will not be a security barrier there).

Also, please note that, although there will be some lockers available, the number will be greatly reduced from normal. Therefore please try to avoid bringing large bags to the library if you can.


If you have any questions about the refurbishment or these changes then please contact the library team and we'll do our best to answer! Thank you in advance for bearing with us as we do our best to keep everything running smoothly during the disruption.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Library Account Downtime - 18.7.17

This is a brief notice to make you aware that, due to maintenance taking place on our library system, you will be unable to log in to your accounts from 11pm on Tuesday 18th July (tomorrow) until 11am on Wednesday 19th.

This means that during that time you will not be able to renew or request books, but given that most of the improvements will be made overnight, we hope it will not cause too much inconvenience.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Former Librarian: Gertrude Rachel Levy

Late last month, the library received a very exciting envelope from Richard J.B. Stein, containing a book by, photo of, and postcard from, Gertrude Rachel Levy (1883-1966). She was a Classical scholar and archaeologist, but she was also librarian of the Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies (there was no Institute at that time!) from 1939/40 until July 1949, when she retired. Several of the books she wrote are still on our shelves now, including The Violet Crown and The Gate of Horn.

The photograph we received is of her c.1900, so before her time as our librarian, but it is still wonderful to see her, especially with such beautiful books in tow!

Also in the envelope was a postcard from the Diyala Region sites of Tell Asmar, Khafaje, and Ishchali, in which she records that there have been "No exciting finds so far".

Needless to say that these finds have greatly excited library staff, and we are very grateful to Richard J.B. Stein for sending them to us. We will treasure them. If anyone knows anything further about G.R Levy, or her work at the library, please do get in touch, as we would love to hear from you!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Hellenic and Roman Societies' Sculpture Day

In honour of the Sculpture Day, held by the Societies on 28th June, our Deputy Librarian, Paul Jackson, raided the Rare Books collection and did a display of the library's sculpture-related treasures. Sadly such displays cannot become regular occurrences, as the cases were only loaned to us temporarily, so here are some highlights in case you missed the exhibition. Full details of what was shown can be found here.

One of the brightest treasures on display was this reconstruction of the Parthenon Frieze by Shirley Pickett (below), illustrating her theory that in ancient sculpture the male figures would be painted in darker colours and the female figures left pale.

Pickett, Shirley. The Elgin Marbles in Colour: a reconstruction of the Parthenon frieze (1997)
We were also very lucky to have two 17th century engravings on display, which form part of a recent bequest from Dr. P J Casey (1935-2016). The first shows the sculpture from the Arch of Septimius Severus, and the second from the Arch of Constantine.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Sculpture Day, and we hope you enjoyed looking at the displays as much as we enjoyed setting them out!

Deputy Librarian, Paul Jackson, setting out the first case!