Thursday, 8 November 2012

Day 4 of the OPU display

Today's choice is from Carol Campbell...

My first choice is not a major publication it’s a colouring book - ABC pictures to colour and I came across it when I was working on an enquiry a few years ago. It instantly reminded me of my childhood visits to the National Museum of Scotland, I think I insisted on being bought a new one each time I went!

My next item is another smaller ephemeral item, Be the voice that counts, is careers information leaflet for recruiting female Post Office telephonists published in the early 1970s. I chose this leaflet because it is very much of its era. Looking at it forty years after publication the contents could be viewed as quite sexist – reflecting the attitudes of a pre-equality legislation society. I am really interested the more ephemeral government publications like pamphlets and posters. These are often published in quick response to an emergency like Bird flu or in this case as temporary publication, easy to update as situations change, and were seen as items to be discarded after they stopped being useful. They provide an interesting snapshot of a moment in time, and we are fortunate that the National Library of Scotland retains these items in the collection.

Native American Photography at the Smithsonian is my last selection. The official publications collection includes a very interesting selection of United States material, including Congressional publications on print and microfiche. This item is a republication of the catalogue of the first photography exhibition held at the Smithsonian, but is more than that. This book gives an insight into attitudes of the time – the Native Americans appear to be treated as specimens rather than people and they are often wrongly identified, something that has been rectified where possible in this republication.

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