Author Archives: Anna Hughes

Planned LUNA outage

Please be aware that due to a planned upgrade of the Luna server over the weekend, there will be no access to the JRUL LUNA Image Repository from Friday (05/08/11) evening and Monday (08/08/11) morning. Please accept our apologies if this downtime inconveniences you.

Behind the scenes at CHICC….

There are three Collections and Research Support Assistants (Imaging and Visual Resources) working hard behind the scenes – Anna, Anne and Suzanne.  Our role is:

  • to assist in the delivery of CHICC
  • to assist in the day-to-day management and development of the Library’s image and visual resource collections
  • to help improve access to the Library’s image and visual resource collections

To put it more simply, half our time is spent administering the imaging service and the other half is spent cataloguing the digitised material in LUNA, who host our online image collections.

The delivery of the imaging service involves corresponding with customers; advising customers on the best digital format for their needs; retrieving, checking and assessing items for photography; liaising with the photographers and conservators, and maintaining records and statistics of all our work.

The majority of material we digitise is in response to orders from external customers with a small amount done internally as a response to the teaching demands from our own University departments.  Once an item has been digitised we also make the images freely available online in our image collections (as well as supplying customers with a set of their own images).

The metadata sheet we use when cataloguing the digital images is compliant with VRA 3.0 metadata standards, UK-LOM Core and Dublin Core compliant and also mapped to the Getty Crosswalk.  We also use Library of Congress Subject Headings and the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names for authority control, although we use English spellings. The metadata sheet has a mixture of fixed vocabularies (for example the subject headings field) and free text fields (for example the description field) and so far it has served us well in cataloguing our collections. Generally the metadata of each image includes all significant details about the item, plus image capture and storage information and we feel it is a very comprehensive information resource.

Our work might not be as glamorous as photography or conservation but it is just as important: we try to provide an efficient, friendly service to all our customers – any feedback is gratefully received!

Latin MS 420 and Latin MS 155

We have just added to our image collections images of the complete volumes of Latin MS 420 and Latin MS 155.

Latin MS 420 (Leges Angliae) is one of the earliest in our manuscript collections, dating from the middle of the twelfth century.  The MS is written on vellum by an Anglo-Saxon scribe in a beautiful hand.  It is missing the section containing the ancient laws of England from the reigns of  Canute I, King of England, 995?-1035 and Alfred, King of England, 849-899 but includes the time period from Athelstan, King of England, 895-939 to Henry I, King of England, 1068-1135.  The MS concludes with a copy of the agreement made between Stephen, King of England, 1097?-1154 and Henry II, King of England, 1133-1189 in 1153 where it was agreed that Stephen would remain king for life, and that Henry should succeed him upon his death.  This is the earliest known copy of this treaty.

Latin MS 155 (Leges Angliae) is a copy of, possibly the oldest known, of what Dr. F. Liebermann has called Leges Anglorum Londoniis collectae.  Similarly to Latin MS 420, it contains the ancient laws of England beginning with the reigns of  the early Anglo-Saxon kings through to the reign of Henry II, King of England, 1133-1189.

More images online…

More than 400 images have gone ‘live’ over the last few days. New contents of the Rylands Collection range from maps, charters, muniments and manuscripts to archive material, early printed books and more modern material.  Highlights include images from Persian, Latin and Hebrew manuscripts; archive material from the Guardian, Methodist and Christian Brethren Archives, and images from the Peterloo Relief fund.

A sermon preached July 19, 1692… (R100111.18)

We have recently published the complete text from ‘A sermon preached July 19, 1692 : at the consecration of a chappel built by the Right Honourable the Ld. Weymouth at Minsterly in Shropshire‘ by Charles Whiting, 1661-1711 (R100111.18) .  Charles Whiting was a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, and chaplain to the Right Reverend Father in God Gilbert Lord Bishop of Hereford.

English MS 17 (formerly Crawford 29)

Now available in our online image collections is ‘Descriptions of the Canary Islands and of the Azores‘, an early seventeenth century travel guide by Edmund Skory.  Dedicated to Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, and formerly owned by William Browning, the handwritten manuscript contains beautiful illuminated and decorated initials.  Folios one to forty-two contain a description of the Canary Islands, it contains the history of their first inhabitants called the Guanches, their religion, laws, wars and other memorable observations; folios forty-three to seventy-four contain a description of the Azores.


It has been a busy few days for the CHICC team, and will continue to be so over the next few months!

  • On Monday 6 June we all attended the Digitise, Deliver and Discover conference, organised by the JRUL.  The short talk by photographer Jamie & Middle Eastern studies Librarian Paul Tate covering the digitisation of the Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri from the history and importance of the Koran itself, to the virtual copy in Turning The Pages, and press coverage on was extremely well-received, and the CHICC stand was always surrounded by conference delegates.
  • On Tuesday 7 June Jamie, Elaine & Carol were off to Birmingham for the Open Culture 2011.
  • Next week Jamie will be attending the AHFAP 2011 international conference (follow him live using #ahfapconf).  This three-day conference (14-16 June) is aimed at photographers working in the cultural heritage sector, such as museums, galleries and libraries, and encourages photographers employed in this sector, from all over the world, to participate in a conference to discuss cultural heritage photography.
  • Gwen & Elaine are due to attend the CILIP Umbrella 2011 Conference on 12-13 July at the University of Hertfordshire… (follow us using the #UB11 hashtag).
  • Jamie and Carol will be going to the  Seventh Islamic Manuscript Conference, held at the University of Cambridge, on 12-14 July.

Introduction to Image Metadata – JISC training course

On 20th April, one of CHICC’s cataloguer / administrators, Anna, attended a one-day course run by JISC Digital Media (who are based at the University of Bristol). JISC Digital Media is a JISC-funded service that offers free advice on all aspects of ‘digital media’to the UK’s educational and cultural heritage sectors. Led by John Hargreaves, a technical support officer (and part-time law librarian at the University of Bristol), the course aimed to introduce the issues involved in creating metadata for image collections through explanation, discussion and practical activities. It was a long but interesting day. The programme was as follows:

  • Importance of metadata for image collections
  • Choosing appropriate standards for your collection
  • Metadata for different communities (e.g museums, libraries, archives)
  •  Metadata for different purposes (e.g retrieval, administration, preservation)
  • Different types of metadata (e.g. categories, controlled vocabularies, subject classifications)
  • Introduction to storing  image metadata (e.g. databases, image tagging, XML)
  • Introduction to some alternative approaches (e.g. content0-based retrieval, user-created metadata)
  • Critical review of real-world examples

Radio Manchester

Our photographer Jamie was on BBC Radio Manchester last Friday (04.03.11) talking to Alan Beswick about the Wallington diaries.  If you would like to listen again, you can hear the (short, 3 minute) piece by going to

Townend chapbooks

I’m pleased to announce that the collection of chapbooks from Townend in Cumbria are now ‘live’ in the Rylands Collection.  Chapbooks are cheaply produced booklets, usually printed on a single sheet folded into books of 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages, often illustrated with simple woodcuts.  This collection of chapbooks include religious tracts, poetry, songs, almanacs, folk stories and shortened versions of classic literature.

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