Sorry everyone. I’ve been having trouble posting to the group this morning. Hopefully this will now work.
From: Matthew Baalham
Sent: 15 April 2015 11:04
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Routes into Rare Books
My route into rare books cataloguing has, I suppose, been partly deliberate and partly by accident. My degree was in history and I’ve always maintained this interest, which is what mostly attracts me to rare books. I started out doing a one year graduate trainee job at Lambeth Palace Library, where I was exposed to rare books and archives, and learned cataloguing on the job. I continued working at Lambeth Palace whilst completing my MA at UCL, and opted for the rare books module while there. After qualifying, my first job, after some temping, was at the RIBA library, as a cataloguer, but I did not really get to work with the rare books or archives at that library, though it had them. After a short spell away from libraries in the USA, I subsequently landed a job with the Bowes Museum in County Durham for one year, working on an HLF project to establish a library and archive in the museum. Unfortunately, one year’s funding was not nearly enough to do this, and in many ways the project had been poorly conceived. I was working with the rare books collection, but was not able to develop it in ways I would have liked to. After this I worked for Tyndale House in Cambridge, a theological library with a modern working collection. As the role was part time, I was able to do some voluntary cataloguing work at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and at the Rare Books Department in the University Library. After about a year of this, I obtained the position of Assistant Librarian/Rare Books Cataloguer at Longleat House in Wiltshire, where I have been for about 4 years.
I’m doing what I love, but also making the most of the experiences I happened to have.