Historic Environment Scotland visit Oct. 2018

pic1On a blustery, October Monday I had the opportunity to attend another ELISA-organised event, this time situated in the building of Historic Environment Scotland, discreetly tucked away in the middle of Bernard Terrace. I had first been introduced to HES at the LocScot event in March this year, which took place at the National Library of Scotland. We saw different representatives of historical information services hoping to create a search-friendly resource after pooling together their data so it would conveniently reach out to (all types of) end users. It was then that HES had piqued my interest so I was excited to know more about their historical archive holdings.

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ELISA Library and archive visits – coming soon!

ELISA have two exciting visits coming up soon and tickets are available now.

On October 8th at 2:00pm there is a visit to Historic Environment Scotland.
This will include an introduction to HES’ work and its Archive and collections with the opportunity to ask questions about the Canmore database, Scran, PastMap and ScotlandsPlaces.
There will also be a tour of the Search Room at HES’ Archives and other points of interest in the building.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite 
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On November 8th there is a visit to Lloyds Bank’s archives at Sighthill in Edinburgh.
The Archivist at Lloyds’ will conduct a tour of the Bank’s archive stores.
The visit offers an opportunity to learn more about records management and enquiry handling within a private-sector organisation and compare this with the practice of, say, the National Records of Scotland, recently visited by ELISA.
This visit is open to all and will have a broad appeal to colleagues working in conservation and with local and family history records.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite 

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CILIPS Meet the President 2018

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CILIPS East & Central Branch are holding a Meet the President Event.

A wonderful networking opportunity to meet Margaret in our time-honoured tradition: with friends old and new and some tasty treats!

Margaret has worked in Dunfermline, West Lothian and the Scottish Borders and had been an East Branch committee member for about 20 years. We are really looking forward to seeing what she has been up to so far in her role as President this year.

Please join us!

Date: 19th September 2018

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: The Boardroom, Central Library, 7-9 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG

Register: by emailing Julie Sutherland julie.sutherland@forrester.edin.sch.uk

#LibrariansUncorked reading group meeting

Join us for the second #LibrariansUncorked reading group taking place this week on Tuesday 11th September at The Wash Bar.

The group will discuss ‘Vocational awe and librarianship: the lies we tell ourselves’ written by Fobazi Ettarh for the online journal In the Library with the Leadpipe.

By considering the historical connection between religion and libraries, the article analyses the problem of characterising librarianship as a ‘calling’; rhetoric that glorifies librarians as intrinsically moral and ethical individuals rather than a valued professional group. Supposed MLIS ‘martyrdom’ is arguably creating a pattern of workplace stress, low salary expectations and expanding job roles; even leading to a lack of diversity within the profession. Yet strong professional ethics are how librarians are entrusted to make decisions on behalf of communities.

Over-awed? Then make an after-work pilgrimage to the pub for praise to freedom of speech and intellectual freedom with fellow saintly colleagues. We’ll debate the article and consider its relevance and impact to our working experiences. If the second meeting is anything like the first, then expect a broad church of opinions, passions (and possible confessions) to be represented and celebrated in a friendly, social space.
It’s free. For faithful and lapsed CPD devotees alike!

Librarians Uncorked - Sep 18

“A lovely experience, in a gorgeous place, with a fascinating story and a friendly and wholehearted company”

One of the things that I enjoy most about being part of  ELISA is meeting and speaking to colleagues who come along to our events. At our AGM we were joined by  Krisztina Rabai who turned out to be an intern at the National Library of Scotland, which is where I work however we hadn’t previously met. I asked Kristzina if she would be willing to write a post for us before she left the Library, and the country,  and here it is.

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Summer Gathering and AGM at RBGE

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We had a great time at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on the 10th July for our Summer Gathering and AGM. Many thanks to librarian Lorna Mitchell for hosting us, and for her talk – sadly not in the the library due to emergency building work there. Another highlight was our visit the lovely Botanic Cottage.

Working Group reports: 

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Twitter Moment: 

ELISA visit to St Cecilia’s Hall

Report by Judy Wheeler

On Wednesday 13th June, ELISA hosted a visit to St Cecilia’s Hall, in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of The Music Museum’s Collections by our very knowledgeable guide Sarah!

Entrance to the museum is from Niddry Street in the Cowgate – since undergoing a £6.5 million renovation, St Cecilia’s Hall and Music Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, and is free to visit: https://www.ed.ac.uk/visit/museums-galleries/st-cecilias

St Cecilia’s Hall itself is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built concert hall, built by the Edinburgh Musical Society in 1762. We heard a little of the hall’s history – it has been put to many different uses over the years, including a church, a Masonic Lodge, and a Dr Bell’s School, as well as a Cobbler’s and swing dance club to name a few. Luckily now it is a concert hall again, hosting a range of concerts and public events – and it is claimed that it is the only place in the world, it is claimed, that you can hear 18th-century music being played on 18th-century instruments in an 18th- century setting!

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The Music Museum houses the university’s collection of musical instruments from all over the world – a huge collection of 6000 instruments, with around 500 on display. We were treated to a tour of the keyboard instruments first of all – 36 in total, including harpsichords, virginals, spinets, clavichords and pianofortes – if you don’t know the difference, I would encourage you to visit the museum 🙂

Most of the early keyboard instruments were designed for domestic settings, to be played in the home – usually by ladies. Due to this, a lot of the time they needed to be on a fairly high stand, to make room for the skirts and corset of the musicians! The materials used also hinted at the social standing of the owner – instruments belonging to the middle classes would be less lavishly decorated, or made of materials that were cheaper at the time. The shape of some of the instruments was even designed so that the lady playing the keys could continue to flirt as she did so.

We also saw a Chamber organ dating from 1775 – the air had to be pumped manually through the instrument, so a ‘Blower’ was required to operate the pump – a tiring job.

We moved on to the rest of the collection – instruments on display included a Hurdy Gurdy  – a kind of mechanical violin where a wheel is turned to make the sound.
Can you spot it in this display case?
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The museum traces the development of the instruments, with early examples through to more modern instruments – below you can see from the recorder, wooden and ivory flutes – and even one made of crystal – through to the modern metal flute.

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I’d happily tell you more, but will let the pictures speak for themselves – I’d definitely recommend a visit and you can have a sneak preview on the website too: http://www.stcecilias.ed.ac.uk/

Report by Judy Wheeler
ELISA Training & Development Group