#DULibWellbeing Guide

Exams and assessment period. Self-care and wellbeing.

Two phrases that should go hand in hand, right?

We know what you’re thinking. “Wellbeing? Yeah, right – I don’t have time for that! I’ve got so much studying to do!”

But did you know that taking a break from your studies can actually be very beneficial? Believe it or not, breaks can help to have a positive impact on your productivity and help to boost your performance. Not to mention your wellbeing which, let’s face it, might have taken a bit of a battering over the last 12 months or so…

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World Bee Day

Almost every day it’s international ‘something’ day. You may not know it, but already in just the past month it has been ‘International Hummus Day’, ‘World Naked Gardening Day’ and ‘World Penguin Day’.

So what is the purpose of such days? Well, to celebrate and/or raise awareness…of hummus. And naked gardening. And penguins. But in short, it’s all about the dissemination of information. And as you can imagine, as a library service we’re all for that.

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Easter Term at University Library and Collections

Easter Term, also known as the exams and assessment period (we’re sure there are plenty of other names for it too!) can be stressful at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic. The way in which teaching and exams are being done is different; we’re all still affected by the lockdown restrictions (although happily easing in line with the Government’s roadmap) and all of us, students and staff, are getting to grips with these changes in the way we operate and study on or off campus.

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Creating a tutorial

Over the course of the last couple of months I have been working the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) to produce an interactive online tutorial titled Your Reading List and Beyond.

This tutorial is part of ‘phase 2’ or our overall tutorial programme. Phase 1 was designed, constructed and delivered in 2020 and consists of 6 tutorials which are available individually, whilst also designed to fit together to support the needs of dissertation students, whilst been available to all as standalone tutorials.

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Intelligent, demanding, and meticulous: getting to know Bishop John Cosin

Over the last year, History PhD student Lily Chadwick has been cataloguing the correspondence of Bishop John Cosin, founder of Cosin’s Library on Palace Green in the centre of Durham. Reading through his letters, she caught a glimpse of his personality.

Cataloguing the correspondence of Bishop John Cosin over the course of the last eight months has provided considerable insight into the personality and mind of one of Durham’s most imposing figures. Certainly, there are limitations to the source material, which mean that we cannot draw definitive conclusions about Cosin as a person.

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Waving goodbye to REF 2021

Last week, staff in the Library waved off 12 boxes of books and other publications authored by current and former Durham staff as a final (for now) step in our university’s REF submission. This submission involved a huge commitment from staff across the university, across professional support and academic departments. Colleagues from across Durham University Library and Collections service have been involved in collecting publications, enabling open access and reviewing compliance with REF requirements, supporting Impact case studies and providing support for our poor academic colleagues tasked with drafting Research Environment statements.

Here we provide some brief figures to show some of the effort made to be able to wave off the final boxes one sunny morning last week…

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The miraculous cure of Sister Aloysia Gonzaga O’Connor: Spotlight on the collections

One of our archivists, Dr Jonathan Bush, retells the story of a miraculous cure that stunned doctors and caused quite a stir in 19th-century England. The account of Sister Aloysia’s healing is found in the archives of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, which Jonathan has been cataloguing.

The substantial archive of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, dating back to its foundation in Liege in 1642, documents the rich and colourful history of an English convent abroad. The records in the collection tell the story of the community in Liege, its evacuation to England during the turbulent years of the French Revolution, and its subsequent flourishing as a school and convent at New Hall, near Chelmsford, Essex.

One of its more remarkable personal stories concerns the extraordinary ‘cure’ of Sister Aloysia Gonzaga O’Connor. News of the case caused something of a sensation in a country where Catholics and their tales of ‘miracles’ were treated with suspicion and derision by a predominantly Protestant media.

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Conservation training during Covid-19

Katie, one of our conservators based at Palace Green Library, is studying for her ARA certificate in Archive Conservation. A significant element of her training is getting practical experience – not the easiest thing to accomplish at the moment. But last year, in between lockdowns, she managed to head to Flintshire Record Office for her placement with Conservator Mark Allen. In this post, she shares the results of her training.

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