Thursday 24 February 2011

Archive Stocktake Closure

The annual archive stock take is fast approaching, so don't get caught out! We shall be closed from Monday the 7th of March until Wednesday the 9th of March inclusive. The archive shall reopen on Thursday the 10th at the normal time of 9.15am.

There shall be no access to the search room and we shall not be taking telephone enquiries.

The Orkney Room shall be open however, so it will be possible to peer through the glass wall and see that we are not counting stock at all, simply eating buns and playing twister.

Library services will not be affected.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

A Catch-up.

We do apologize for the relative lack of posts lately. We have been pretty short staffed and it is Fereday time again so there has been much less time to update.

This is annoying, because two excellent blogging opportunities arose this week and we were forced to let them slip through our busy fingers.

First of all, there was Valentine's day. Wait! Come back! Look at these plays and novels written for the Minervian Library by the children who used to live at Tankerness House where the Orkney Museum can now be found:

D98/1/4/12 and D98/1/2/28

D98/1/2/11 and D98/1/2/27



They are contained within hand-stitched covers and some contain lovely illustrations. We like to say the titles by replacing the word 'love' with 'luuuurrrveee'. Try it, it's fun: 'The Effect of Luuuurrrve' by C. Cowan, 'A Tale of True Luuurrrve' by C. Cowan, 'Cecelia Chantry's Luuuurrrrve'  by C. Cowan and 'To Gain His Luuurrrve', A Novel.

Well it makes us laugh.

Also, yesterday was the birthday of Ernest Shackleton. One of the documents in our John Mooney Collection is a telegram signed by Shackleton himself. Erlend Mooney, John's second son, was one of two boy scouts chosen to travel as cabin boys on Shackleton's last expedition.

Unfortunately, Erlend was terribly sea-sick. So much so, that he had to be sent home. Shackleton writes "....regret necessary action, solely in boy's interest he was always willing. "


Friday 11 February 2011

Hoorah For Alison and Her Archive!

Pictured above is the latest edition of the New Orkney Antiquarian Journal. This particular edition is a very special one to all of us here at the Orkney Library and Archive as it was written as a tribute to our former Principal Archivist, Alison Fraser, who retired last October and is a very big miss.

The journal begins with a tribute to Alison written by former Assistant Archivist Phil Astley. His piece is then followed by essays by archive staff members (both current and those who have moved on) and users of the archive.

The book is an excellent overview of the history of the service and of Alison's career in Orkney.

There was a small presentation on Monday night which is pictured below. A few speeches were made and chit chat was had. There was also a delightful buffet comprising of sandwiches, home bakes and a platter of fruit. That last detail may seem irrelevant, but we do like a good buffet here.

Alison receives her copy of the journal from Leslie Burgher of the Orkney Heritage Society as library and archive staff and journal contributors look on. (Photo: Orkney Media Group.)

Saturday 5 February 2011

Save Our Libraries Day

Today is save our libraries day and I had planned to post scans of our collection of old library cards, application forms and stamps etc. but the computer connected to my scanner has died! Booooooooooooooooooo.

I expect that downstairs is a heaving throng of sweaty activists who are emptying the shelves of books, using the computers and picking the brains of our gorgeous and impossibly well-informed library assistants.

You can keep up to date with the various events taking place across the country here and there is still over an hour left to pay us a visit.

Anyone who thinks that libraries are not relevant in the digital age should remember that it is not just the books on offer but a sense of community, a quiet place to study, a shelter from the rain, free internet access as well as free computer/internet tuition, expert advice on books/archives/local knowledge, the occasional home bake, an excellent opportunity to ogle comely librarians, magazines, cds, dvds and space to explore your interests and stumble upon new culture.