At the University of St Andrews Library we are keen that Special Collections materials are used to support teaching through workshops, seminars and show and tell events.
We have had a very busy year, with both class contact hours by students and numbers of external visitors from the community and conferences both rising dramatically in the last year. We hope that this will mean that we will continue to see in 2018 the same evidence of healthy engagement with our collections as we have recently collated for the past 4 years.
One other very encouraging sign is that our contact with undergraduates is increasing in both repeat and new classes:
Below we have just a few highlights of the teaching involving Special Collections this semester. You can read about some of our teaching in Martinmas Semester at (https://standrewsrarebooks.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/special-collections-teaching-2017-2018-martinmas-semester/)
AH5164 – The Book as Object and Idea – with Dr Ilse Sturkenboom
This new module considers the book as cultural artefact and idea as well as repository of information and vehicle for conveying the messages contained in texts and images. It works with a broad definition of the book, which has space for accounting and commonplace books, diaries and formularies, fiction and non-fiction books, private and public books, religious and secular books, and more.
Students were able to see items from our manuscripts collection, including:
AH5140 – The University of St Andrews Photographic Collection – with Rachel Nordstrom
This module explores, interprets and analyses photographic materials in the University of St Andrews Special Collections. The collection includes some of the most prized treasures in the photographic canon; this includes work by Hill and Adamson, Sir David Brewster, and William Henry Fox Talbot, as well as contemporary photography.
Students were able to see items such as Through Cyprus with the camera, in the autumn of 1878 (Photo DS54.T5)
GM2013 – Mediaeval German Language and Literature – with Dr Christopher Miller
This second year undergraduate module introduces students to Middle High German language and literature. It is a module that usually provides the first opportunity for students to come face to face with real medieval manuscripts and early printed books.
Students were able to see the St Andrews edition of Rolevinck’s Fasciculus temporum.
ME5016/MS5122 – Medieval palaeography – with Dr Margaret Connolly and Rachel Hart
Palaeography students took part in the annual class trip to Special Collections at the University of Aberdeen (https://standrewsschoolofhistory.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/postgraduate-class-trip-aberdeen/) to view their medieval manuscripts. This is the culmination of a year-long engagement with original sources. This time, as well as visiting the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project (see https://standrewsrarebooks.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/palaeography-class-trip-201617/ for details of last year’s visit which was repeated this time), they were able to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the University of Aberdeen’s stores and conservation suite.
Students were able to look at a Book of Hours and manuscript volvelles.
AH5167 – Writing on the Visual – with Dr Kimberly Skelton
This module examines verbal responses to the visual, from the origins of art criticism as a literary genre, to contemporary modes of art writing.
Students were able to look at Luca Pacioli’s Divina proportione (Venice, 1509) (For NC745.A2P2)
We look forward to next term and the new cohort of students. In the meantime, the Napier Reading Room at Martyrs Kirk is open throughout the summer for the students, staff and the public who wish to consult our collections. Please get in touch with us to book an appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Digital Archives Officer