Library and Archives: Visits and Tours

Visit to London Library
Monday 18th November 2013




Having visited the London Library, I realise that I appreciate their collection policy of only acquiring books that will be central to their collection thus never disposing of anything. As a form of preservation and unique identification a lot of books are covered and labelled with a London Library book stamp.



Other unique features of the library is that out of the million books it has 97% are on open access either in the 1890's wing containing art and humanities books or literature session majority in English and some foreign languages. Winding around this maze it is easy to see the thought given to keep the library as it once was by ensuring the writers room has no electronic devices so have complete silence. However, also new editions such as T.S Elliot house for the art collection and The Times Room.



Taking the time to speak to the tour guide, it was great to find out why so many librarian aspire to work there. The majority of head librarians and /or cataloguers are either fluently bilingual or trilingual. You can imagine the step competition to be able to speak and write up to three languages. There are also some interesting projects such as retrospective cataloguing of the holdings of the times newspapers which is a very sort after skill.

I will be interesting to visit again just to see the art room once more. The blue lights are definitely my favourite part of the library.


Giving a tour of Kew Gardens Library, Art and Archives
Wednesday 27th November 2013




In November, me and the other graduate trainee at Kew carried out a tour for some graduate trainees at Reading University. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to a recipical visit either in the month so I really wanted to impress with a nice display of our rare books collection and ilustrations.
The day itinerary mainly consisted of:

  • Meet & Greet

  • Intro to Library and Archives Graduate Trainees
  • Tour of the Library, Art and Archives
  • Lunch
  • Display presentation


Some of the material on display form the oldest part of our rare books collections within the library dating back to the 12-14th century. I also decided it was a good idea to put books that I had catalogued on display also. The book with the red card inside is featured on my new blog post called the The Living Fossil

Next month, I will be shadowing and giving a tour of students and interns. So I am really looking forward to doing more tours.

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