Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maughan Library - 07/29/10

King's College London was founded in 1929 at the Strand Campus. There are several other campuses including Waterloo, Denmark Hill, and St. Thomas, most of these are in health related fields. It is one of the top 25 universities in the world and the fourth oldest university in England.

I visited Maughan Library at King's College and got to view the many amenities it holds that serve its students. It is home to many areas of study including Byzantine and Modern Greek, European Studies, English, geography, music, history, and philosophy. The facility provides audio-visual equipment including VHS, DVD, CD, LP, audiocassettes, and minidisc players. There are PAWS stations with large monitors, large print keyboards, disabled parking, deaf alerters, accessible workstations, page turners. Photocopiers, lockers, ergonomic equipment, and wireless networking are also available.

The collection includes over two million books and thousands of journals. The current building was vacant in the 1990's until it was taken as a library. Basically four libraries were brought into one when the collections were brought to this site. The cost savings of combining four libraries has allowed for longer hours of business. It was officially opened in 2001 after all the renovations were complete, and now it serves 11,000 students.

I visited the Foyl Special Collections Library which holds over 150,000 printed items. Here there are many historic medical collections from the King's College Hospitals, Florence Nightingale Collections which include statistical maps of the deaths and disease that occured during the Crimean War, a Treaty on Surgery dated 1514, a medical students manuscript of notes and recipes from 1607, and a booklet made by a Jew who was held in a consentration camp. This individual was expecting the arrival of the Red Cross and drew inaccurate pictures showing life in the camp not as it truly was, but with coffee houses, a butchery, etc. He did not survive. I was also able to see photographs of the bridge where the allies crossed the Rhine River, documents on slavery and the abolition of slavery, many items on botany and natural history, and a 4th edition Gray's Anatomy.

Conservation is not done in house and typical, basic steps for preservation is followed such as use of acid-free papers and boxes. They are currently trying to digitize collections but due to lack of time and money available, the librarians are trying to choose items that are unique to process first.


(Image available at

No comments:

Post a Comment