Monday, 19 October 2020

Archive in a Pandemic A-Z: D is for


Charleston Dance Diagram by Andy Warhol 

DON'T take your partner by the hand

Keep your distance, touching's banned!

Two colleagues in the corridor!

There's not enough room on this tiny floor

First, step to the left

Then step to the right...

Then step to the left...

Then step to the right...

Then step to the left...

Then step to the right...

Laugh at the silliness of it all

Then flatten yourself against the wall

Breath a sigh that all's gone well

But wait! What's that unearthly smell?

A third colleague comes round the corner

She's far too close, quick, someone warn her!

All three dance about like fools

It's the work-place dance, these are the rules.

Oh readers, we are exhausted by all the dancing about each other in the halls! Is this happening in every workplace across the land? We were all subjected to Scottish Country Dancing as children and so sometimes get carried away and end up doing an entire (socially distant) Virginia Reel up and down the corridor. Most tiring.

Library staff downstairs have been complaining about our ceiling-quaking gallops and raucous whoops, but I've seen them doing the (socially distant) charleston when they change over at the desk so they have no power over me at all.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Archive in a Pandemic A-Z: C is for


Every day we are open we are cleaning especially for you, dear public. Before and after each booking, we clean the table and the chair (hence the plastic chairs) and the laminated table label. 

Here is one of our table labels (it's really a sign, but table label is more pleasing to say): 

If it is red-side up, then we know that the table needs cleaned. 

We also have a sign on our public pc.

If it is red-side up we know to clean the keyboard after each use. 

We also have a signs on our Microfilm Readers 

You know the drill now...

When a surface or machine is ready to be cleaned, our desk staff press a button...

...and our small band of backroom staff are ready to spring into action at the sound of the trumpet (no boring doorbell sound for us), on the way donning disposable gloves, picking up blue paper-towels and either soapy water or anti-viral spray depending on what they need to clean. 

Soapy water is for anywhere we are likely to handle archives as it is more gentle. 

At the end of morning bookings we also clean all the touch points along the corridor which our dear public may have touched, such as door handles, the lift buttons, light switches and bannisters. 

At the end of the day our wonderful cleaning staff come in and clean all surfaces and touch points again. 

We are pleased to say that it is going smoothly and there has been no need to put up this sign yet...

See previous blog here

Monday, 5 October 2020

Archive in a Pandemic A-Z: B is for


It is delightful to be open again and to welcome readers and researchers back to the search room. Gone are the days, however,  when researchers could just pop in on a whim to research a topic. We now ask that visitors book a research slot either by telephone or by email. You can find our contact details at the following link:


We have slightly new opening hours post-lockdown to allow for cleaning, quarantining and arguing over whose turn it is to clean the public bannisters and light switches that day:

Time slots will last for 50 minutes and start on the hour. Consecutive slots may be available if you need more time. You will be allocated a table in the Searchroom or the Orkney Room depending on your needs. If you just need a microfilm reader, these are bookable too. 


New Opening Times in Archive Searchroom

Monday                             10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Tuesday                            10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Wednesday                                             CLOSED
Thursday         10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm, 5pm-6pm
Friday                              10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Saturday                           10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Sunday                                                   CLOSED


New Opening Times in Orkney Room (Local Studies Room)
Monday                             10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Tuesday                            10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Wednesday                                             CLOSED
Thursday         10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm, 5pm-6pm
Friday                              10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Saturday                           10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm
Sunday                                                   CLOSED

Excess furniture has been removed in both rooms to allow for safe physical distancing. Face-masks (or coverings) are to worn when moving around the rooms, but can be removed when seated. Tables and chairs will be cleaned before your booking. 

We are doing everything we can to keep you safe whilst you read and research.