Hello and welcome to our lovely new blog!

I’m the Deputy Librarian at Trinity Hall in Cambridge and I’m utterly delighted to say that we were recently lucky enough to receive some funding from the College to embark on a challenging but very cool project to catalogue online the eighteenth-century books housed in our Old Library.  It’s a bit of a mammoth task—I couldn’t even estimate how many books there will be—but it’s one I’m very excited about.  Undertaking this sort of project is important for so many reasons.  It’s about making the resources of the Old Library more widely available to current scholars, it’s about preserving our special collections, it’s about finding out what’s actually in there and learning more about the Old Library and maybe even about the College itself.

An exterior shot of the Old Library

We decided to write a blog about this project because we want to document some of the more interesting things we come across during the process of cataloguing.  One of my favourite things about the Old Library is that you never know quite what you’re going to find—there are so many secrets still to be discovered, and hopefully the work that will be carried out over the next year will bring some of these hidden gems of information to light.  Which, of course, we’ll be more than happy to share!

There’ll be lots more information to follow, not just about the things that the books reveal, but about the Old Library itself and the process of cataloguing the books.  Not too much of the last bit though, hopefully.  Maybe by the time the year is out I’ll have enough tacit knowledge about the secrets of these rare books to become the next Dan Brown.  For now, though, and just to emulate Blue Peter for a minute, here’s one I did earlier…

From this:

Baronia AnglicaTo this:

Back to work, then, these books won’t catalogue themselves!