Special Collections is on Facebook!
We also have a blog, Echoes from the Vault. After a highly successful year long series on fascinating bindings from our rare books and manuscripts, we are now featuring a new 52 weeks series on inspiring illustrations from our collections.
There is also a new photographic blog, Lux, showcasing items from the Photographic Collection.
The long (long, long, long) awaited launch of our new Manuscripts Catalogue. It's worth waiting for.
Turning the pages technology which will allow us to put digitised copies of whole books on the web.
We have invented a new word!
Our Muniments Archivist Rachel Hart recently received a request from the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to check the source of the English usage of the word pro-rector.
In 1908, St Andrews University Librarian James Maitland Anderson had confirmed for the OED that the term had been used in Latin in the University's Acta Rectorum in 1685, and in English in its Senate Minutes of 1858.
Rachel's more recent researches, however, have now revealed an even earlier use. She discovered that a controversial pro-rectorial election in 1739 had resulted in a Senate committee looking back through the records to see whether there had been an earlier pro-rector. This led her to the "Rector's New Book," now known as Acta Rectorum Volume 2 (UY305/2), which contains a reference in Latin to the appointment of a pro-rector in the absence of a new rector. The first Latin usage of the word can therefore now be established as 1662 and the first English usage as 1739.
Rachel has communicated this to the editor of the OED, and in due course the entry for pro-rector should be updated.
We look forward to seeing the Library's further contribution to the history of the English language in print!