For my work experience I was based at the York Minster Library. I worked there for a week and I did a variety of jobs, involving old collections of books and other items.
For the first two days of the week, I was cataloguing the items - mainly books - from Cage XV in the ante room onto a spreadsheet.
I found many interesting things there, including a list of books in the Minster Library dating from 1687, and an advertisement for services at the York Minster to mark the opening of the South Transept, dating from 1874. What was even more interesting about this advertisement was that it appeared to have been used as rough paper, as it had notes on the back of it.
|Left: York Minster programme 1874. Right: The Simmons Bequest|
On Wednesday, I was working in the reading room as the ante room and exhibition hall were being used for a private function. I was doing a very similar thing to the days before, in the fact that I was sifting through items in these shelves but by now, I had sorted all of the books, and instead had to tackle the piles of loose sheets that were present.
|The catalogue dating from 1687. It was written in Latin and in ornate manuscript text|
The most interesting thing for me was the York Minster Library visitors book, dating from 1988, that I found on Wednesday. It was fascinating because it showed the reach of the Library with many entries from exotic or far flung countries, such as New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
|Our visitors book, with people coming from Australia, New Zealand, |
New York, Alabama, Warsaw, San Francisco and Doncaster!
Thursday was different as I was using item details, and then searching for them in the catalogue. I then had to check that all details had been entered into the catalogue, and once I had identified any details that hadn’t been included, put them back into the organised piles.
Overall, I enjoyed my time here. I came across some very interesting books and although some jobs must be tedious at times, they are vital to ensuring that this Library can continue and look forwards into the future. I found looking at older texts, dating before 1780, interesting as it gave me an insight into the history of the Library and how important it was in the past, and also, as said previously, how important it can be for the future.