Delightful dogs visit the Billy B

Promoting student wellbeing is always high on the agenda for us (see previous blog about self-care and wellbeing 😊). Particularly during Easter term, where pressures, anxieties and stress levels increase for many, thanks to the impending exam and assessment period. Planning study time, revision, getting enough sleep, eating well, taking breaks – all massively important but we know that sometimes, it can feel quite overwhelming to fit everything in.

To try and help with this, we’ve developed a schedule of wellbeing events and activities throughout May, kicking off with a visit last Wednesday during Deaf Awareness Week from the wonderful Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

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Study skills guidance

We have a wide range of guides available to help our users get the most of what Library and Collections offer. These include:

  • Subject guides
  • Site guides
  • Service guides
  • Archives and Special Collections guides
  • Museum guides
  • Research skills guide

The research skills guide offers advice and support on finding and managing information, keeping up-to-date, and the subject guides point to the different resources available for staff and students working in particular disciplines.

Until recently, one area we felt we were not offering specific support for was study skills – but that has change now, with our newest guide!

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Oddy Testing in Conservation

I’m Susan Hull, Graduate Intern in Book Conservation at Palace Green Library. I have been working with Katie Brew, Assistant Conservator, investigating the materials we use for long term storage of our collections.

Recently we received items packaged in unidentified materials. This is a cause of concern; the rate of deterioration of an archival object can increase by way of the substances surrounding it, including packaging. Unsuitable packaging can expose paper archives to volatile substances, which migrate to the object and ultimately contribute to its degradation.

To assess the materials suitability for long term storage, we contacted Archaeological Conservator Vicky Garlick who runs Oddy testing in the Dawson building, for the students of the Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects MA.

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Graduate intern update: Beth

Graduate intern Beth Hall updates us on what she’s been up to recently…

Hello! It’s Beth, back again with a long-awaited intern update. I’m glad to have the opportunity to sit myself down and reflect on these last few hectic and varied months. It’s been a busy year so far – just how I like it!

One of the largest and heaviest books I’ve ever had to retrieve – the Hartlepool Antiphonal, yes that is the size of an entire trolley!
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Bishop Tunstall: The man who survived the Tudors by calculating the odds

On the International Day of Mathematics, a post by Dr Elizabeth Biggs (Trinity College Dublin/TNA Postdoctoral Research Fellow) Dr Danielle Westerhof (Rare Books Librarian) and Gemma Lewis (Castle Curator).

How many of us who have lived, worked or explored Durham Castle have ever heard about the man who built the Tunstall Gallery and Chapel?

Cuthbert Tunstall (1474-1559), bishop of Durham from 1530 until his death, was a survivor.

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International Women’s Day 2022

Yesterday was International Women’s Day! This year’s theme was #BreakingTheBias and we wanted to explore and celebrate this concept in the Library by highlighting some of the inspirational women who are featured in our collections.

With our beloved mascot Billy Bee leading the helm, we took a dive into the many thousands of books here at Billy B and picked a selection of amazing female authors, scientists, medieval mystics, and poets!

#BreakTheBias
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Improvements to come…

If there’s one thing we’ve all seen a lot of in the last couple of years, its change – new routines, new methods and new normal. And we’ll be seeing more changes for University Library and Collections in the coming months and years, but they’ll be positive ones.

One of these changes is a new Library Management System (LMS). This is the software that underpins the core functions of the library, such as the library catalogue and the circulation system. We’ve had the current system in place – albeit with upgrades in the interim – since 1996. So change is somewhat overdue!

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Don’t judge a book by its cover – go on a Blind Date with a Book

Trying to find a new book to read isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Of course, you can easily take to the internet, searching for leisure title inspo, but inevitably you find yourself getting lost in the long lists of recommendations online. You spend all your time trawling through the titles, debating between this one and that one before realising the spare time you once had has now slipped away, resulting in you making your own list of ‘books to read when I find the time.’ Ironic, don’t you think? (Alanis Morissette classic – couldn’t resist!)

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