11 July 2013

BBC request St Andrews thesis

Every student to pass through St Andrews leaves a legacy in one form or another, and for our postgraduates this often takes the shape of a thesis. The university requires students to submit a copy of their thesis to the library in order to graduate, but who is it that might end up reading your precious creation, years or even decades after you have gone?

Well, you’ll be pleased to know they’re not just propping up the desks here in the underbelly of the library where the repository work takes place, and unfortunately they make for rather unwieldy coasters. In reality, whether in digital or print form they are a tangible monument to our university’s research excellence, and recently an urgent call came through from the BBC. It’s not unusual for us to receive requests for viewings from scholars around the country, primarily through the British Library’s EThOS service, but last month the team behind ‘Coast’ requested a copy of F. M. Fraser’s 1977 PhD thesis: ‘The Lewisian and Torridonian geology of Iona’ – on the double!

With a tight filming schedule on Iona to be met, there was no time to send it off to London for digitisation as would usually happen, and so it was rushed off to Special Collections to be scanned in-house. One week later we presented the BBC with four hundred pages of geographical goodness, saving the day by assuring there would be sufficient educational content to match the moody shots of Neil Oliver’s locks flapping about in the wind. Whoever said that library work isn’t glamorous?

Season 9 of ‘Coast’ will be hitting our screens in 2014, but for the keener amongst you, here is a link to Dr Fraser’s thesis in Research@StAndrews:FullText:
http://hdl.handle.net/10023/3812

Heather Curtis (Guest blogger & intern)

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