Echoes from the vault: a blog from the Special Collections of the University of St Andrews and its 2015 project

Echoes from the Vault, the Special Collections blog of the University of St Andrews, is undertaking 52 weeks of reading in 2015.

The idea behind the year of blog posts is to commit to the oft wrongly cited notion that Librarians spend their days reading books – tossing those pesky reports and user enquiries to one side – and actually spend time reading parts of the collection.

It is a great idea and one, considering the collection involved, full of interest not just to those doing the reading.

The blog explains in the introduction for the project how the contributors will select a book and be allowed some time with the original but then be given either a photocopy or electronic copy to read after hours. So no getting away from the reports and hard work after all.

The weekly posts already show the year ahead is going to be an eclectic list, ranging from a book of floral biology to The 39 Steps to family letters sent to Lt. Thomas Harrott during the Napoleonic Wars. The posts include a personal account of the reading as well as historical insights and each is copiously illustrated from the book.

To view all the posts uploaded as the year goes on, go to the blog and click on the blog tag ‘Reading the collections’.

If not quite the same as reading books all day, the blog is a delightful compromise to spend a little time if you are a librarian.

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