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Posts Tagged ‘New College Edinburgh’

Happy Birthday New College Library

Seventy six years ago on the 8th of October, New College Library, Edinburgh, was formally opened to students and staff in its current building, the former Free High Kirk. The earth under the church floor had been excavated to allow the three stackrooms below the Library Hall.

The New College Archive preserves this original admission ticket to the inauguration ceremony, as it also preserves the suggestions books, committee minutes and account books of the business of New College Library since its foundation back in the 1840s.  The ticket bears the arms of Edinburgh University on the left and the Church of Scotland’s burning bush emblem on the right. This represents the union which had been effected in  January 1935 of the Church of Scotland’s  New College with the University’s Faculty of Divinity in the New College building.

Another Book Sale success at New College Library, Edinburgh

New College Library held another successful Book Sale of duplicate volumes and unsuitable donations this Freshers week in the David Welsh Reading Room, New College Library. We’re pleased to be able to tell you that we raised over £1200! All proceeds will go to support New College Library funds. Previous book sales have supported new book purchasing, rare book conservation and archive listing projects.

The Book Sale would not be able to happen without the support of helpers from the New College postgraduate student community, who staffed the sale and helped with setting up and clearing away. A big thank you goes out to them!

Students and staff often ask what will happen to the unsold stock. This year some books will be going to the  Josophat Mwale Theological Institute (JMTI), in Zomba, Malawi, courtesy of Dr David Reimer. Other stock is being collected by St Columba’s Hospice Bookshop, Edinburgh.

New College Library welcomes the Yale-Edinburgh Conference

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh is hosting the Yale-Edinburgh Group Conference on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity this week, with the theme of  Religious Movements of Renewal, Revival, and Revitalization in the History of Missions and World Christianity.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
The distinguishing marks of a work of the spirit of God : applied to that uncommon operation that has lately appear’d on the minds of many of the people in New-England ; with a particular consideration of the extraordinary circumstances with which this work is attended. Edinburgh : 1742
New College Library B.b.c.17/1

We have set out a small display of pamphlets from New College Library’s Special Collections on the theme of revival in the display case in the Funk Reading Room. The display includes this pamphlet on the  revival & awakening of the Holy Spirit in New England, United States.  The author, Jonathan Edwards, was a prominent American preacher and theologian, who was closely involved in the spiritual revival of the 1730s, the Great Awakening. His pamphlet deals with the revival’s controversial  phenomena : the swoonings, outcries and convulsions of believers overwhelmed by their powerful spiritual experiences.

This pamphlet was catalogued recently as part of the Pamphlets Cataloguing Project, funded by the Funk Donation. A similar item is also held by Yale University. University of Edinburgh users can read it online via Eighteenth-Century Collections Online.

Scotland’s Methodists

I’ve had two enquiries in the last few weeks about Methodists in Scotland, from individuals researching their family history – it seems to be a hot topic!

Fortunately New College Library  recently received Scotland’s Methodists 1750-2000 by Margaret Batty, as a donation from the author. It’s just been catalogued and is available at BX 8285 Bat. On reference, we also have  Oliver A. Beckerlegge’s United Methodist Ministers and their Circuits 1797-1932, and enquirers able to visit the library can browse the shelves of church history books at LC class BX, and in the old UTS sequence, LX, which contain other titles about Methodism. 

Much useful information on researching Methodist individuals can be found on the website for the Methodist Archives at John Rylands University, Manchester e.g  http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/searchresources/guidetospecialcollections/methodist/using/indexofministers/

Archives relating to the Methodist Church in Scotland are also held by the National Archives of Scotland http://www.nas.gov.uk.

Following in the footsteps of the New College Librarian

Spent some time this morning sculling through the New College archives looking for correspondence about some of the New College Special Collections, the Dumfries Presbytery Library and the Longforgan Free Church Ministers’ Library. There’s a fascination to leafing through the thin typewritten sheets that measured out the business of New College Library over the decades. One envelope contains the daily diary notes of the New College Librarian for the autumn term (no semesters then) of 1965 – jottings and tick lists of meetings about the finances, measuring up the space needed for new periodicals, noting library staff who’ve gone home feeling ill.  Other letters are handwritten enquiries to the Librarian, and his replies –  “Dear Miss Grant, I have very little to tell you about the revival of the use of the saints names as dedications of Church of Scotland Parish Kirks …” this said, the letter went on to give a full page of information. My life as a librarian is measured out in e-mails, with paper letters like these occasionally lurking at the fringes.