Thursday, 28 March 2019

Publishing, Printing and Authors

We are now two months in to the 2.5 year Unlocking the Treasures project, and at present almost one thousand books have been catalogued and are now available to search using the Hull Libraries online catalogue. Previous to this very few of these books were available to search using the libraries online catalogue. A large number of these books relate to local authors [Ref: L.001] together with books published or printed in Hull and the surrounding area, including Beverley or Hedon [Ref: L.003-L.009].

During the cataloguing process it was surprising to see the number of books published or printed in Hull especially as we think of London, Oxford and Cambridge at the centre of printing and the publishing of literature. Hull was not alone, however. Beverley and Hedon, and indeed other towns and cities around the United Kingdom were printing and publishing books.

Eleven Sermons, by Daniel Rowland – printed and
published by T. Briggs of Hull in 1788. Ref: L.003 BRI
The History Centre has some excellent examples of early Hull printing. These include T. Briggs, whose premises were on Church Lane and Innes & Gray with premises in Whitehorse Yard in the latter half of the 18th century. Printing, driven by the greater efficiency through industrialisation, expanded and with it printed material became cheaper and more widely available. 

The nineteenth century saw a dramatic increase in the number of printers in Hull. In 1851 at least 20 printers were present in Hull, but by end of the century this number had increased threefold to 80.

One of the earliest books in among our holdings is John Clarke’s An essay upon education shewing how Latin and Greek, published in 1711 [Ref: L.001 CLA]. Clarke became the Master of the Hull’s Grammar School, and it is possible that this book would be familiar to pupils at Hull’s Grammar School.

Captain Luke Foxe's account of his voyage to the 
North West Passage - printed in 1635. Ref: L.001 FOX
An even earlier book in the History Centre’s holding is that by Captain Luke Foxe of Kingston upon Hull [b.1586-d.1635]. As an explorer, Foxe sought to seek out the elusive North West Passage. 

Unfortunately Foxe never found the passage, and it was not until the early 20th century that this passage was eventually traversed. He did, however, leave his mark with the Foxe Basin and Peninsular named after him. 

You can, read the account of Captain Luke Foxe voyage at the History Centre [Ref: North-West or Fox from the North-west passage, L.001 FOX].

Portrait of William Andrews, from The F.O.S 
Portrait Gallery, publication unknown, 1903 
Of all the authors William Andrews has to be one of the most prolific. A native of Kirkby Woodhouse, William Andrews spent 30 years of his life in Hull. A distinguished antiquarian, he played a major role in all things connected with literary life in the city and beyond. He wrote articles and volumes, especially the bygone ecclesiastical customs and curiosities, (of which copies are available at the History Centre, Ref: L.001 AND). 

He was the founder and secretary of the Hull Literary Society, the originator of the East Riding Antiquarian Society and Vice-President of the Northern Counties Library Association. Added to this he was a member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society and founded the Hull Press, which had its office in Dock Street. It was here where a large number of books and antiquarian material was published and printed. 

He was later appointed as Librarian to the Hull Subscription Library where his knowledge of literature was of great assistance to the library. William Andrews died in 1908 but many of his local works can be found among the Local Studies books here at the Hull History Centre.

Don’t forget to keep checking the blog as the project progresses. And remember new books are added almost daily and can be searched using the Hull Libraries online catalogue. (the newly catalogued material will also appear on the History Centre online catalogue when the next update is processed). Searches can search by subject, author, or under the class number. You can even narrow your search to a specific publication date and library.

Happy searching!

Neil Chadwick
Project Officer, Unlocking the Treasures

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started!

I’ve been working as a trainee archivist for 3 and a half months as part of the Bridging the Digital Gap programme.  In that time, I’ve been introduced to traditional archives work, including record retrieval, depositing records, accessions and cataloguing. I’m now progressing into the digital world of archives work, including ingest and cataloguing, though I’m still new to the sector. When I started, I didn’t know about the wider aspects of operating within an archive, or some of the long term issues been worked on nationally and internationally.

I attended the recent DPC event “What I Wish I Knew Before I Started” down in London, hosted by Sharon McMeekin, Adrian Brown, Edith Halvarsson, Matthew Addis, and Glenn Cumiskey. It was aimed at students and recent graduates, but myself and a fellow trainee attended. It was the first proper conference I’ve attended, but the presentations and atmosphere were very easy going, and the speakers were really informative. They touched on subjects I hadn’t yet come across; such as the three legged stool model, problems with intangible assets, ethical implications of what archives hold, and many other ideas and concepts I hadn’t thought about before.

This event gave me an opportunity to see archives on a national scale. Until attending the event, my only experience of archives was through my work place and from limited visits to other repositories. The event gave me a sense of the inter-connectivity, the network behind individual archives. The end of the conference was rounded out by an open table, giving students a chance to ask the speakers questions. Loads of points were brought up, from short term career goals (how to get into archives and move around the sector) to developmental challenges overseas (how do you start and maintain an archive in an impoverished country). In the short amount of time I’ve spent at Hull History Centre, I’ve come to realise the positive impact archives can have to local communities and educational institutions. I’m only now considering the international community that surrounds the archival sector.

And that was my main take away from the event. The amount of communication advocating for digital preservation was fascinating to see; it was brought up several times throughout the event but really came to ahead with the open questions. On an international scale people are talking and progressing the idea of digital preservation. “What can we do for the future?” was asked several times by the speakers, and this was the first time I had thought about the long term implications of my career.

What is obvious is that I’ve entered the sector at a very interesting time. Things are changing, the digital side of archiving is becoming more prevalent, and my skillset is becoming more useful as the idea of digital preservation continues. I am excited for the future, and looking forward to continuing my development.
Jack Quinlan, Bridging the Digital Gap Trainee