Graduate intern update: Jenny

Graduate intern Jenny Coulton tells us what she’s been up to recently…

Hello again readers! I’m here to give another update on what I’ve been up to since October as an intern with Durham’s Archives and Special Collections.

One of the biggest projects I’ve been working on has been cataloguing my first collection. I’ve been working on the Backhaus family papers – a small group of material that will be part of our larger Else Headlam-Morley collection. The papers are centred around a woman (Frieda Backhaus nee Herzberg), her life in Germany 1893-1950, and her emigration and final years living in the UK under the employment of the Headlam-Morleys. It’s a fascinating insight into a family, and a great source for life in Germany just before and after the Second World War. One of the most interesting items, in my opinion, is a letter from Frieda’s father, Max, to the commander of the Russian occupation of Berlin, praising the Red Army and even sending the commander a copy of a manuscript he had been working on – and all this on a letter written only a few days after the end of the war! I’ve also been really enjoying the process of cataloguing, although learning how to not get sucked into reading every detail is surprisingly difficult. Nevertheless, it’s very satisfying to summarise, and even more fulfilling to realise that my work means that these collections are now mor easily accessible for future academics and research.

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Playful Learning Conference 20/21/22

A post by Faculty Librarian Ben Taylorson

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of attending the Playful Learning conference in Leicester. This was the second time I’d been able to attend – the last being in 2019 before everything went awry. The conference was back after a 2-year hiatus, and the organisers made up for it with a packed calendar of sessions, talks and activities.

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Open Days

A post by Faculty Librarian Ben Taylorson

Welcoming and introducing people to the University Library during open days is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. It’s always nice to see so many prospective students (and their families) coming onto campus for the first time, and looking to get a feel for both the university and the city. And being able to offer them guidance, information and – in some cases – reassurance (“don’t worry, you won’t have to read all of the books!) is particularly satisfying.

Earlier this month Durham hosted a couple of open days which were easily the biggest since Covid stopped such things. As always seems to be the case on open days, the sun was shining and Durham was looking particularly welcoming as 1,000s of people descended on Durham to take in as much as they could in the few hours they were here.

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#DULibIntroducing Kate Williamson

In the next of our series introducing members of staff, #DULibIntroducing meets Information Assistant Kate Williamson.

Kate Williamson (and Archie!)

Please tell us your name, full job title, and a brief description of your role.

Kate Williamson, Information Assistant. I work at the Bill Bryson Library in a customer service role. You will usually find me at the Help and Information Desk helping with queries, finding books for people, fixing printers, and passing out the ever so popular staplers and pens. I am also part of the team that processes resource requests, which is our service to help provide staff and students with Scan and Deliver requests, Postal Loans, Inter-Library loans, and book purchases through our Acquisitions team.

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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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Tutorials and our Faculty Librarians

We’ve posted previously about the suite of online tutorials we have been developing. There are now 12 of these that are live, covering a range of different topics:

  • Introduction to dissertation research
  • Catalogue and discover
  • Basic literature searching
  • Bibliographic databases
  • Accessing full text online
  • Referencing
  • Your reading list and beyond
  • The Information Cycle
  • Plagiarism and copyright in the academic context
  • Using archives and special collections in your research
  • Research in museums and galleries
  • Palaeography
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#DULibIntroducing Martin Gleghorn

In the next of our series introducing members of staff, #DULibIntroducing meets Repository Coordinator Martin Gleghorn.

Martin Gleghorn

Please state your name, full job title, and a brief description of what that entails:

Martin Gleghorn, Repository Coordinator. Which means I coordinate the repository… Alongside the legend that is Kelly Hetherington, and working as part of the Scholarly Communications team, I help look after the University’s open access repository, Durham Research Online. Day-to-day, this involves a lot of liaising with academic staff, providing training for whoever might need it, advocating for open access research more generally, working with metadata, and – ultimately – making sure that the research being published at Durham is as widely accessible as physically possible. I’m also one of the people behind the @DROdurham twitter account, which we use to promote that research.

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