19th January 2017 – King’s College Archive Project Talk
Mary Sabiston, Archivist for the King’s College Archive Project, delivered a fascinating and insightful talk entitled ‘The Scholars of King’s College’ to over 30 guests and members of the Friends of Aberdeen University Library.
Following the successful completion of the project in September 2016, Mary discussed the process of cataloguing such a large and varied collection of papers, highlighting the methodologies used and some of the hidden treasures discovered within the collection.
Mary also highlighted some of the more humorous and scandalous stories from the history of King’s, such as the statements of the students and bystanders involved in the riots of 1659, which purportedly started as revenge by the students of the rival colleges for ‘poaching’ and ‘soliciting’ of students from one college to the other. The resulting bloody confrontations between the students, and the chaos of the night, are documented in the papers.
The professors and masters were not without their problems and confrontations, such as Marischal College’s claim to the Privy Council that ‘education of the young is everywhere deficient in the North of Scotland’ and King’s College staff taunting Marischal staff and students alike by referring to the new college as ‘the Broad Street College’.
As a result of the project, over 2889 individual catalogue entries were added to the catalogue, of which 130 records were for material previously unlisted.
The catalogue to the King’s College archives can be viewed here.
26th-27th January 2017 – Beyond The Lecture Theatre Conference
A joint conference hosted by University Museums in Scotland (UMIS) and Scottish Universities Special Collections and Archives Group (SUSCAG) was held at the University at the end of the month. Organised by Siobhán Convery, Head of Special Collections and Neil Curtis, Head of Museums, the conference focused on the wide range of outreach activities undertaken by staff working in this sector, including museum staff, archivists, librarians, researchers, students and others. They were able to draw on their own experiences and discuss the positive outcomes and challenges of developing programmes to engage with students and the wider community, from supporting research and teaching to volunteer programmes, social events and the co-production of exhibitions and public events.
Sarah Chapman, Learning and Outreach Officer, delivered a short presentation about “late”-style events at Special Collections and took part in a panel discussion about hosting evening outreach events and encouraging people and family groups to visit Museums out of hours and interact with the building and the collections in different ways.
The programme for the conference can be viewed here: conference-programme