including Great War Dundee, Scotland’s print & publishing industries and Scottish landed estates, their owners & management.
including early modern ballads and elegies, theatre, Gothic & Romanticism, science fiction, and the Dundee comics industry.
including film art, illustration, animation, interior design, textiles, portraiture, and the visual culture of Gaelic Scotland.
With Scottish national identity playing a key role in the political landscape of the British Isles, notions of “Scottishness” are now under scrutiny like never before. The culture of Scotland before the Act of Union of 1707 and how Scotland represented herself in literary terms, however, is often overlooked in these arguments. Hosted by the Centre for Scottish Culture, Writings from Scotland Before the Union is a one-day conference that will examine the literary culture of Scotland prior to the Act of Union of 1707, with the objective of gaining a clearer, more rounded understanding of how Scotland saw herself in literary terms before formal Union. We extend a call for papers of twenty minutes in length, summarised in an abstract of no more than 250 words, topics for roundtable discussions or panels of no more than three speakers on the following (though not limited to) areas:
• Pre-“Written Culture” writings.
• Day-to-day or ephemeral writings.
• Politics and propaganda.
• Scotland and the wider world.
• The written languages of Scotland before the Union.
• Scotland’s written engagement with other parts of the British Isles.
• The influence of pre-union Scottish writings on subsequent works.
Travel bursaries for postgraduate and unwaged attendees are available subject to demand.Please send your abstract and a 2-3 line biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 20th, 2017.
Next month, I’ll be attending the Annual Meeting of the Association of Independent Libraries to talk about my project at Innerpeffray (described in the post below), and the benefits of academic partnerships for Independent Libraries. The meeting will be held at Bromley House Library in Nottingham from 10-12 June. Papers will explore the theme Sustainability and Relevance: The Independent Library in 2016.
‘Independent’ in this context can be defined by the institution itself, but as a general rule they are not funded by nor form any part of any broader institution. While unique and distinctive library collections can be found in a variety of settings (such as public libraries, universities, schools, museums, and professional organisations), Independent Libraries house many such collections due to the circumstances under which many were created. Some began as subscription libraries which sprung up in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, prior to the Public Library Act of 1850, such as the London Library and the Portico Library. The association also includes early public libraries, like Innerpeffray and Chetham’s, as well as parish libraries and all sorts of other foundations – from the Working Class Library founded in the 50s to the residential Gladstone’s library. Members of the association spread right across the country, and the AIL website hosts a full directory of members well worth investigation.
Each library as a unique story behind its foundation, and collections which reflect their individual histories. This is what makes them so exciting to researchers. But independence can be a curse as well as a charm. Funding, staff levels and the need raise awareness and build visitor numbers are always key priorities. The meeting tackles these issues, with papers exploring charitable donation, the use of volunteers and outreach. My own paper will look at how my project benefits Innerpeffray as an independent institution, and how academic partnerships more generally could benefit other independent libraries. I’m excited to have the opportunity to think and talk about what I can (and do) do for Innerpeffray as part of the SGSAH Applied Research Collaborative Studentship with the Universities of Stirling and Dundee, and hope to give other independent institutions the drive to pursue similar, and to consider an academic outreach on a par with other forms. Along with fellow Stirling PhD Student Erin Farley, who is working on her own collaborative project with Dundee central Library, I hope also to arrange an event in the future to promote opportunities with such partners to both students and academics.
I can’t wait to meet delegates representing all sorts of independent libraries in the UK. I am particularly looking forward to a talk by Kirsten Loach comparing the current state of UK Independent Libraries to those in the US, since in the coming year I may also be looking across the Atlantic for institutions comparable to Innerpeffray. I’ll report back from the conference in the coming months.