– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Posts tagged “reports

termly report Hilary 2017

HT17 Week 6 (23 February) Library Committee

Archivist’s report

This paper reports on the Archivist’s work November 2016 – January 2017.

Reader & visitor numbers by month

Unique Users
November 9
December 5
January 8
Period total 22
2016 total 94

Seats occupied
November 12
December 8
January 9
Period total 29
2016 total 123

Visitors (non research)
November Ca 85
December 9
January 4
Period total ca 100
2016 total ca 750

Remote enquiries

  • November 76
  • December 25
  • January 83
  • Period total 184
  • 2016 total 875

Collection care & development

Notable accessions:

  • 3 letters from Benjamin Jowett to Margot Asquith, 1892.
  • 2 files re early planning, construction & furnishing of Eastman House, 1920s-1932.
  • 1 box file of Bursary invoices/receipts for September 1922. These would normally have been thrown away in the course of regular business, and no other similar files survive, but having a small complete sample throws useful light on Bursary accounting recordkeeping of the time.

Conservation:

Several manuscripts will be cleaned and repaired for the September exhibition after all, as well as continuing the postponed boxing of the medieval and early modern mss. Most importantly, MS 354 (Richard Hill’s commonplace book of ca 1510), a key and in some cases unique surviving source for medieval English carol texts, will be made safe for both display and handling. This fragile paper ms has been in parlous condition for years and it will be very good to be able to allow researchers to consult it again, as the digital images are useful but do not convey all the information from the original.

The Foundation Statutes of 1282, which are produced often for college and other visitors, have been lightly cleaned, photographed at very high resolution and rehoused to current conservation standards and are looking brilliant. They and enlarged images of Dervorguilla’s seal went on show immediately as part of the HT manuscripts display at St Cross, and will be out again for the MT17 exhibition.

Engagement

Social media

  • Facebook: 950 Likes. Weekly updates, links to blog posts, notices of events, etc.
  • Twitter: 1800 total Tweets, 1452 followers
  • Blog: 16 new posts – monthly reports, stats for 2016, event notices, illustrated exhibition ‘afterlife’

Image management

  • Oxfile (OUCS) – used 18 times Nov-Jan, total 258 times, to send images, externally and within college, across archival collections.
  • more than 2.2 million individual image views on Flickr of 92,000+ images. The most-viewed image is the first entry in the War Memorial Book, followed by most of the rest of same, and the College Registers. Many of the medieval mss have had hundreds of views of each image.

Outreach & Events:

November

  • hosting weekly half-day NaNoWriMo Come Write In sessions for local novelists for a 4th year.
  • Adam Von Trott students visiting again (memorial lecture @Mansfield) – discussion and display of MS and printed material
  • For #TheOxfordSomme initiative by http://ww1centenary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/, 18 Nov tweets for each Balliol man who fell on the Somme July-Nov 1916; the prescheduled tweets went out every 20 mins 9am-6pm.
  • new antechapel display: St Catherine
  • ACS invited speaker at WW1 history ‘road show’ organised with OUCS and International Society for WW1 Studies in conjunction with their conference
  • Unlocking Archives – Dr Matthew Balensuela: ‘Medieval Musical Illustrations: Balliol MS 173A’
  • Sunday symposium on Balliol’s Hebraica & Judaica: speakers Prof Martin Goodman FBA, Dr Rahel Fronda, Prof Joanna Weinberg, Prof Elliott Horowitz
  • Unlocking Archives – Prof Elliott Horowitz: ‘Balliol Judaica and Hebraica: an exhibition’

December:

  • Balliol tutor & English 2nd years to St Cross for hands-on introduction to structure, production history & good handling of medieval manuscript codices

January:

  • Temporary exhibition of medieval manuscripts ‘Mostly music & medicine’, open to the public most afternoons weeks 2-5. 54 visitors
  • new antechapel display: enlarged illuminated initials from the mss exhibition (mid-Jan);stained glass restoration feature remains on the other side of the board as long as the glass is out
  • new ‘Document in Focus’ features prepared by Anna continue on display in Broad St Library

CPD/training/staff

Anna CPD:

  • observed organisation & volunteer training & participated in the digitization team for OUCS WW1 ‘archives roadshow’ day (November)
  • attended conference Manuscripts in the Making: Art & Science and COLOUR exhibition, org. Fitzwilliam Museum, AMARC, Cambridge Chemistry Dept (December)
  • elected a member of the Management Committee of the Oxford Conservation Consortium (December)

More news

More details, more often, on social media:

Anna Sander

HT 2017 (February)


monthly report January 2017

A few numbers about archives & manuscripts activity during January:

  • Number of enquiries:  83 (from 16 December when the archives closed for the holidays)
  • Running total for 2017: 83
  • Number of researchers in person (unique users): 8
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 9 (open 12 days)
  • Collections consulted: Malcolm, Balliol Boys’ Club, Jowett Copyright Trust, Monckton (2), RBD Morier, college records (2)
  • No of non-research visitors: 4
  • Interesting events & activities: temporary medieval mss exhibition produced and open

monthly report December 2016

A few numbers about archives & manuscripts activity during December:

  • Number of enquiries: 25 (up to 16 December when the archives closed for the holidays; 10 days open)
  • Final total for 2016: 875
  • Number of researchers in person (unique users): 5
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 8
  • Collections consulted: Woods, Malcolm,TH Green, early modern MSS, college records
  • No of non-research visitors:9
  • Interesting events & activities: visit from Balliol Fellow and English students for an introduction to medieval manuscripts workshop; Anna visited the archives at Campion Hall re GM Hopkins, and attended the COLOUR conference and exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.

monthly report November 2016

A few numbers about archives & manuscripts activity during November:

  • Number of enquiries: 76
  • Running total for 2016: 850
  • Number of researchers in person (unique users): 9
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 12
  • Collections consulted: Woods, Malcolm, college records (2), Browning, medieval mss, Clough, Nicolson, Urquhart
  • No of non-research visitors: ca 85
  • Interesting events & activities: weekly Come Write In! sessions for local novelists participating in NaNoWriMo (4th year running); Balliol alumna using special collections for seminars with St Hugh’s & Worcester students (English); display of original and published material re Adam Von Trott for visiting Goettingen students; staffing college archives table at graduate history thesis fair; OUCS WW1 roadshow; 2 Unlocking Archives talks; Hebraica & Judaica Sunday symposium; display of special collections material for Balliol MCR private view; Tweets for #TheOxfordSomme

termly report Michaelmas 2016

Week 6 MT 16 (November) Library Committee: Archivist’s report

This article reports on the Archivist’s work June-October 2016.

Reader & visitor numbers by month

June

  • Unique Users: 10
  • Seats occupied: 12
  • Visitors (non research): ca 50: (Traherne seminar, NADFAS visit, individuals, Bodleian trainees, Unlocking Archives)
  • Collections consulted: college records, Jowett, medieval mss, Monckton, Hopkins

July

  • Unique Users: 9
  • Seats occupied: 10
  • Visitors (non research): ca. 40: (Donors’ Day, individuals)
  • Collections consulted in person: Monckton, Malcolm, Greene-Reid, Nicolson, Browning, Hopkins, Arnold, AL Smith, Chalet, medieval mss

August

  • Unique Users: 9
  • Seats occupied: 11
  • Visitors (non research): 1
  • Collections consulted: AL Smith, medieval mss (3), Monckton, Harris, Mallet, JA Smith, Malcolm

September

  • Unique Users: 6
  • Seats occupied: 6
  • Visitors (non research):  260+ (Open Doors, patronal evensong)
  • Collections consulted:  Hill, AL Smith, Malcolm, medieval mss, Von Trott, college records

October

  • Unique Users: 7
  • Seats occupied: 8
  • Visitors (non research): Ca 50 (Balliol Society, individual visitors, Brookes  publishing students)
  • Collections consulted: Malcolm, medieval mss, college records, Nicolson diaries

Totals

  • Unique Users 41
  • Seats occupied 47
  • Visitors (non research) 400+

Remote enquiries

  • June 66
  • July 60
  • August 53
  • September 41
  • October 74
  • Total 294
  • 2016 running total 774

A handful of research topics from the reporting period:

Carolingian sermon collections; Graham Greene’s Cuba connections; Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson in the Monckton Papers; reception of Bridget of Sweden in England; JA Smith’s connections with Hull University’s Institute of Applied Ethics; the role of aviation in state formation in South Asia in the fourth decade of the 20th century; Higden’s Polychronicon and a continuation based on Tynemouth’s Historia aurea to 1347(?), re issues of national identity, propaganda, and the ethics of war in English historical and political writing composed during the reign of Edward III (1327–77).

Engagement

  • Social media
    • Facebook: 14 posts (mostly weekly updates and event announcements), 937 total ‘Likes’.
    • Twitter: total 1670 tweets, 1380 followers.
    • Blog: 17 new posts, average 750 views/month, 45 followers.
  • Image management:
    • Oxfile (OUCS): used 48 times June-Oct, total 233 times, to send images, externally and within college, across archival collections.
    • Flickr: 2 million+ individual image views of 88,000+ images.
  • Outreach
    • ‘Document in Focus’ features prepared by Anna continue on display in Broad St Library
    • new antechapel displays: stained glass restoration, Remembrance (FS Kelly); decorative features quiz was very popular with visitors over the summer
    • planning George Malcolm centenary exhibition for HT with Giles Dawson
    • see also events, below

Events

June

  • Traherne Collator Seminar – new digital tools for old books. Organised by Chris Palmer, Balliol Lecturer in Physics, and Julia Smith, General Editor of Oxford Traherne. This is a return to St Cross for the Traherne editors after a successful editorial meeting last year.
  • Unlocking Archives illustrated talk with supporting display of original manuscripts – Lesley Higgins on GM Hopkins,  ‘Spelt from Hopkins’ Leaves: Considering Archival “Remains”.

July

  • college Donors’ Day visitors

September

  • Oxford Open Doors Days & Oxfordshire Churches Preservation Trust Ride & Stride – 250 visitors
  • Exhibition ‘Look to the rock from which you were hewn’: Hebraica and Judaica at Balliol’, co-curated by Prof. Elliott Horowitz and Anna Sander
  • Anthony Powell Society display (Broad Street Library) by James Howarth & Anna Sander
  • Evensong for the patronal feast of the Holy Cross
  • Academic Society reunion display
  • AL Smith family reunion presentation & display

October

  • Exhibition open for Balliol Society weekend
  • display and brief presentation for Prof. O’Hare’s VIP visitors & college officers
  • staffing college archives stall at graduate history research fair with colleagues

Arrangement & description and collection care

  • Adlib records: manual copying (with edits) of JHJ’s 2003 Archive List and extant lists for modern papers to the Adlib database is about 75% complete – 5930 records at fonds-file levels. The next step is detailed description and (re)arrangement at file and item level, including new accessions.

Future events:

November

    • hosting weekly half-day NaNoWriMo Come Write In sessions for local novelists for a 4th year
    • display for Adam Von Trott students visiting again (memorial lecture @Mansfield)
    • Anna invited speaker at WW1 history ‘road show’ organised with OUCS and International Society for WW1 Studies in conjunction with their conference
    • Unlocking Archives talk – Dr Matthew Balensuela: ‘Medieval Musical Illustrations: Balliol MS 173A’
    • hosting symposium on Balliol’s Hebraica & Judaica: speakers Prof Martin Goodman FBA, Dr Rahel Fronda, Prof Joanna Weinberg, Prof Elliott Horowitz
    • Unlocking Archives talk – Prof Elliott Horowitz: ‘Balliol Judaica and Hebraica: an exhibition’

     

    2017 so far:

    • EPBs and manuscripts workshops with English tutors and students
    • ongoing regular Documents in Focus in the Broad St library and display boards in antechapel
    • thesis preparation and special collections research training with History undergraduates
    • private medieval manuscripts evening for Development Office
    • George Malcolm centenary exhibition including spring open weekend and related Sunday Concert
    • Leslie Woods memorial display and event
    • JCR and SCR private views
    • exhibition of medieval manuscripts and their conservation

CPD/training/staff

Anna CPD:

  • attended Cambridge – London City – Oxford Archivists’ group meeting at Trinity College, Cambridge, on Records of College Servants and Domestic life in College (June)

Providing work experience & training:

  • hosted archivist & records manager at the Swedish Agricultural University (Alnarp-Lund) for a week in September under the ERASMUS Staff Exchange scheme, arranged visits to other Oxford archives

Anna Sander

MT 2016 (18 November)


monthly report August 2016

A few numbers about archives & manuscripts activity during August:

  • Number of enquiries (email etc): 53
  • Running total for 2016: 629
  • Number of researchers in person (unique users): 9
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 11
  • Collections consulted: AL Smith, medieval mss (3), Monckton, Harris, Mallet, JA Smith, Malcolm
  • No of non-research visitors: 1
  • Interesting events: fortunately, none, because see September’s report…

monthly report July 2016

A few numbers about archives & manuscripts activity during July:

(I was away for 2 weeks of July, and no archives & mss research visits were scheduled during that time. This report is for 10 normal working days rather than the usual 20 or so.)

  • Number of enquiries (email etc): 60
  • Running total for 2016: 577
  • Number of researchers in person (unique users): 9
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 10
  • Collections consulted: Monckton (2), Malcolm, Greene-Reid, Nicolson diaries, Browning, Hopkins, Arnold, AL Smith, Chalet, medieval mss
  • No of non-research visitors: ca. 40 – 30+ (Donors’ Day); individuals (2)
  • Interesting events: Balliol Donors’ Day event