I went to my first Young Stationers event on Thursday 5th February and it was very interesting. A merry trip down to Oxford University College and I was welcomed by some new faces of the Oxford University Society of Bibliophiles and some recognizable Young Stationers. All to be launched into the fascinating talk about the traditional history of bookbinding at Shepherd's Bookbinders and how they have adapted to trading within modern times by Alison Strachan.
At the Stationer's New Members Evening late last year, I finally met my mentor for the first time. Sarah Mahurter, is the current Manager of University Archives & Special Collections Centre (ASCC) at University Arts London (UAL) and she invited me on a tour of her workplace.
It was interesting to learn that the Centre were created around 2007 with the Stanley Kubrick Archives as one focal point of the collections. As a mainly film and design archives and special collections, the layout of centre is a futuristic glass reading room and office space with red chairs, modelled after a clip in the movie Odyssey. The centre does not hold any university records (as they are located elsewhere) but the collections are embedded into the university courses curriculum. Furthermore, half of all users are students and the other half are external users such as film historians and actual film companies which is an exciting prospect.
In my opinion, the major strength of these collections is that they truly support academic teaching and foster learning development, as the student has physical resources to use as reference. The academic staff and library staff also understand the need for these resources and support their use. However, one downside is that there is usually only one copy of each resource and if damaged the chances of it being replaced is slim. Conversely, this explains the importance of the collections and why trained archivists work with the collections and supervise their use.