Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lambeth Library Online

Forwarded by Bob Schacht to the Ecchst List:

> ENGLAND: Lambeth Palace library to go online
> Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2007
> One of the oldest public libraries in the country is set to go into
> cyberspace. The printed book collection of Lambeth Palace Library -
> the historic library and record office of the Archbishops of
> Canterbury, and the main repository of the documentary history of
> the Church of England - will be added to an online catalogue for
> the benefit of the national and international research community,
> it has been announced today.
> The Library's printed book catalogue will be loaded onto 'Copac',
> which provides free access to the merged online catalogues of the
> major research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Lambeth Palace
> Library's holdings make it one of the key collections for Church
> history for researchers exploring the early Church to the present
> day, and the Library forms a major part of the national collection
> in the field of theology.
> Declan Kelly, director of libraries, Archives and Information
> Services for the National Institutions of the Church of England,
> says that the Library's users will benefit greatly from this
> development: "Researchers who discover Lambeth Palace Library are
> constantly amazed by the richness and value of the collections for
> their research. While many users already access the catalogue via
> our own website, exposure of the Library's collections in this way
> will raise the Library's profile enormously, not just to the
> research community, but also to the wider public."
> Copac is coordinated by the Consortium of University Research
> Libraries (CURL), a body that aims to increase the ability of
> research libraries to share resources for the benefit of the local,
> national and international research community. By building a
> 'one-stop' resource, researchers - wherever in the world and
> whatever their disciplines - are able to locate resources easily
> from their own desk.
> The addition of Lambeth Palace Library's catalogue over the next
> year was announced following an assessment of the Library's
> application to the CURL/British Library/Research Information
> Network Challenge Fund, an initiative designed to enhance the Copac
> scheme by significantly extending the range of research material it
> covers. From a pool of 60 responses seeking a presence within
> Copac, 12 successful applicants – including the Kew Royal Botaniic
> Gardens and the Natural History Museum - have been selected as new
> additions to the catalogue.
> Robin Green, executive director of CURL, said "I am delighted that
> through the Challenge Fund, CURL has been able to provide the wider
> community with this opportunity. Inclusion of the Lambeth Palace
> Library data in Copac makes it a much richer resource and increases
> access to relevant materials to all researchers, wherever they are
> based."
> The Library's catalogue is expected to be fully loaded into the
> Copac system by early 2008.
> Notes to Editors
> About Lambeth Palace Library
> The Library was founded as a public library in 1610 and is freely
> open for all to use. The Lambeth collection was formed from the
> private collections of archbishops of Canterbury and is
> particularly rich in terms of provenance and rare and unique items.
> In its early years the Library also acquired parts of the libraries
> of John Foxe (1516-87) the martyrologist, Robert Dudley, Earl of
> Leicester (1532-88) and Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-91). The
> Library contains some 120,000 books and 40,000 pamphlets from the
> 15th to 21st centuries. Included is one of the foremost national
> collections of early printing from the Gutenberg Bible onwards. The
> collection forms the leading national collection in the history and
> affairs of the Church of England, alongside a great diversity of
> other subjects.
> A 2004 assessment of Lambeth Palace Library by the British Academy
> states that: "Lambeth Palace Library … contains one of the most
> important colllections of early printed books in any of the great
> national libraries, recently enriched by the large pre-1850 printed
> holdings of Sion College. It would be difficult to overstate the
> value of the Lambeth Palace Library."
> In 2005, the entire collections held in Lambeth Palace Library were
> awarded Designated status under the MLA Designation Scheme. The
> scheme identifies and celebrates the pre-eminent collections of
> national and international importance held in England's
> non-national museums, libraries and archives.
> About CURL
> The Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles - is a
> consortium of 29 institutions in the UK and Ireland. CURL's mission
> is to increase the ability of research libraries to share resources
> for the benefit of the local, national and international research
> community. Further information about CURL, including COPAC - a
> freely available service allowing the catalogues of CURL Member and
> other libraries to be searched from a single point - is availableÂ
> here.
> © 2004, The Episcopal Church, USA. Episcopal News Service content
> may be reprinted without permission as long as credit is given to
> ENS.

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