GRAB Lunch Europe: international archives past and present

Antoinette and the pop-up displayby Antoinette Seymour

Anto here. In the spirit of internationalisation I’m on an attachment at Glasgow University Archive Services (GUAS), with a focus on archives & special collections: Bahamas to Scotland; sand to castle.

Therefore the Global Regional Activity Briefing (GRAB) Lunch on Friday 28 February was most appropriate for my attendance. GRAB Lunches, organised by the Recruitment & International Office (RIO), are informal working events for all University employees (‘inreach’ as opposed to outreach), providing updates on international collaborations and recruitment undertakings by region. The focus region for February’s event was Europe.

GUAS and Library Special Collections support the University’s internationalisation agenda by organising pop-up displays of heritage items at the GRAB events. And so I and work pal Alžbeta (Betty) Vicianová of Slovakia (ERASMUS student, here also in the spirit of internationalisation) tagged along with Nicky Imrie, International Heritage Project Support Officer, to assist with the transport, setting up and showcasing of treasures of the archives and special collections which all had an international partnership orientation, of course.

Prior to and after the lunch programme where the capacity audience in the Sir Alwyn Williams Building was apprised of internationalisation strategies and initiatives, the audience had opportunity to engage with, ask questions about, and discuss the displayed treasures. In essence, Nicky, Betty and I had the distinct privilege of sharing and raising awareness or publicising these items.

There was not enough table space for all the items we carried along but what we displayed the trickle of folks found fascinating. The reaction to the 1617 Astronomia instaurata, libris sex comprehensa, qui De revolutionibus orbium coelestium inscribuntu… by Nicolaus Copernicus was ‘lo-and-behold!’, in front of them!  Other unique and appealing items included: Congratulatory Addresses sent to the University on our 450th and 500th anniversaries (1901 and 1951) from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, Lund University, Sweden, and University of Münster, Germany; a book listing the recipients of honorary Doctor of Laws degrees bestowed by the University in 1731–1915, including professors Seved Ribbing and Johann Henrik Emil Schück of Lund University in 1901; Edmund Burke’s A philosophical inquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful (c.1757) and Rene Descartes’ Mediationes de Prima Philosophia (1698 edition).

We also had opportunity to highlight the work of GUAS itself, by speaking to visitors to our display and passing out brochures and postcards. And when there was a question on the extent of the archival collections at the Thurso Street repository, we were able to answer: 4720 linear metres!

The event was delightful. Glasgow Uni certainly has offered and continues to offer so much to the world. I look forward to the next GRAB lunch on Friday 14 March when the region in focus is Africa!

Categories: Archive Services, Library, Special Collections

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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