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Discovering the treasures

Posted Friday, 14th August 2015

August is a somewhat strange month here at the Angus.  We are closed to the public for the month which allows us time to get on with other jobs which are not that easy to perform when we have visitors.  For example, I was able to do a stock take last week (using both of our large tables in the centre of the reading room!) and list some books for sale on Amazon.

Another task I have been enjoying very much this week is preparing some more books in the Angus archive for cataloguing. Our cataloguers, Lucy and Anna, have been doing an amazing job cataloguing everything (they’ve catalogued over 9,300 items since the start of the project) so in order to help speed up the process a bit, I have been inserting barcodes on little slips of card. I’ve also been identifying whether a book is pre-1830 (that get’s a little slip of green paper inserted into the book) or post-1830 (orange slip of paper).  I think Lucy must have been inspired by Tic Tacs to choose those two colours…


Some might think this a rather odious task; after all we have lots and lots of books. Thousands of them in fact.  And old books are dusty, and leave your clothes covered in a fine light brown powder (not to mention your hands).   It has, though, been absolutely wonderful (and has been greatly assisted by the Beautiful South, Norah Jones and Radio 4 on occasion).  Listening to the radio aside, it is all the little treasures that have been falling out of the books that have inspired me to write this blog post to you this afternoon and to share a few photos of them with you.

Here’s one of the first I inserted a barcode into.  It’s a tiny little book called Meditations, complete with a lock of very fine blonde hair.  The inscription made me well up…


There’s love poetry (not something you would perhaps expect in a Baptist library). This one was my favourite in this little book.


There’s something for those interested in the Clan Angus, a book printed by an Angus Watson and seems just circulated amongst friends and family.



Some of the books have amazing illustrations, like these which are in books which have clearly been well used (their covers having fallen off at some point and now held on with binding tape) and probably well loved 14081513



There are some wonderful examples of illustrated Victorian/Edwardian book covers…



And some 17th and 18th century writing inside the first few pages…




Beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favourite find this week has been this (sorry the photo is so rubbish)


More discoveries will be shared next week…

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