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Showing posts from July, 2013

Art History journal now online and open access

St Andrews Journal of Art History and Museum Studies has been re-launched as an open access journal, and renamed as North Street Review: Arts and Visual Culture. "North Street Review publishes essays representing the diverse approaches to all facets of art history both within the University of St. Andrews, the United Kingdom, and abroad. Inclusive and interdisciplinary, the Review encourages research from all methodological perspectives and invites contributions concerning art history across all time periods and geographical areas." (http://ojs.st-andrews.ac.uk/index.php/nsr)

The journal started life in print as Inferno in 1994, and in 2004 articles from 3 volumes were added to our institutional repository. Over the years we have seen steady usage of these online articles: Asger Jorn and the photographic essay on Scandinavian vandalism by Niels Henriksen, was downloaded 72 times in the last year, and along with Saint Peter and Paul Church (Sinan Pasha Mosque), Famagusta: a f…

Student's initiative launches new open access journal

Just over a year ago, un undergraduate student in St Andrews put out a call for interest in starting an academic journal. The idea was to create the 'Journal of Sustainability', an open access journal which would feature distinguished research about the environment, development and sustainability in its widest sense. Since then Margot Cromwell has gathered a team of enthusiastic students from disciplines across the University to design and edit the new journal.

The University Library offered journal hosting services (using OJS software), and the students agreed that this was an ideal platform to meet their needs as it provides the structure and visibility they wanted for their venture. Our planning meetings helped tease out the usual copyright and policy issues, so that the journal had all the necessary agreements in place as content started to roll in.

As well as the support and guidance available from the Library, the new journal manager was able to meet with the student ed…

All good things...

Intern's log, stardate 12/07/2013: For the past six weeks I have been an intern here in the Repository Team, a post which I obtained through the St Andrews Summer Internships Scheme. It has been a busy time, and a description of all of my activities in detail would be far too lengthy, but I hope this summary illuminates some of the insights I have gained into the library’s operation. Most students, as I was myself, will only be familiar with the public areas upstairs, but this is only the tip of a large, multifarious iceberg. Think pre-global warming, with plenty of space for polar bears sipping a generic, unbranded coke.

The Repository Team works in what I have fondly come to think of as the ‘underbelly’ of the library, and deals with providing digital access to University research publications and theses. One of my primary tasks has been adding thesis content to Research@StAndrews:FullText, a great resource which I hadn’t really heard of or used before I started investigating th…

Ancestry investigator requests St Andrews thesis

Here at the library we don’t just do letters, but numbers as well. When a request came in to view a thesis entitled ‘Robert Beale and the Elizabethan polity’ by Mark Taviner, from a Mr Beale located somewhere in Cornwall, we quickly put two and two together to realise that this was probably somebody researching their ancestry. Following on from the BBC’s request last month, this is another great example of the diverse requests we have to view St Andrews theses. Thanks to the strong Open Access policy to which the university is committed, St Andrews research is given fantastic visibility and impact, and so Dr Taviner’s thesis is now helping to unlock family mysteries at the other end of the country.

Dr Taviner’s thesis is available in the Research@StAndrews:FullText archive here: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/3709, and let this serve as a reminder for my fellow historians – be careful what you write in your essays, because if you end up insulting somebody’s great?-grandmother, they might…

Thesis highlights academic value of Special Collections

Amidst the many treasures of Special Collections lies the Von Hügel Collection. At around five thousand volumes it represents a significant gathering of 19th and 20th century works on philosophy, religion, and history, as well as original and annotated manuscript papers. Assembled by Baron Friedrich von Hügel (1852-1925), Hon. LLD St Andrews 1921, it was bequeathed to the university upon his death in 1926.

Von Hügel’s philosophy is still debated, and this year St Andrews doctoral student Robyn Wrigley-Carr made a contribution to the scholarship with her PhD thesis: ‘The Baron, his niece and friends: Friedrich von Hügel as a spiritual director, 1915-1925’. This serves to prove that these documents, and many other Special Collection texts like them, although valuable for their beauty and antiquity, are also a key research tool for scholars.

Special Collections rightly keeps its valuable store well-guarded and looked after, so they probably wouldn’t be too pleased if you wandered in for …

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…