Thursday, 1 November 2012


OPU Curators’ choice (part 2)

So why did I choose the other 2 books for the display? There are many fascinating items in the Official Publications collection and I wish I could display all the ones that have caught my eye over the last 25 years. This display just touches the tip of an iceberg of the wealth of material in the collection.

The 2 books that I chose to be displayed are books about my interests – gardening and history.

“Artists Kew” is a delightful book on paintings around Kew Gardens which I love as I am an avid gardener. I came across the book “Nelson” when answering an enquiry. At that time I had just finished reading a book about Lady Emma Hamilton and I started to become fascinated by Lord Nelson turbulent lifestyle.

Part 3 of the OPU Curators choice will appear on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


OPU Curator’s choice (part 1)

My name is Elaine Simpson and I have worked in this unit for 25 years.  In that time I have seen many unique, important and quirky items pass across my desk and I try to blog about the more unusual ones that catch my eye.
The OPU curators were asked to submit 3 items from the collection for the display.  It was quite a challenge to choose what I thought would be good to view, out of the approximately 2 million items the Official Publications hold. In fact I cheated I just had to have 4 items on display.
My first had to be a parliamentary paper, they might look boring on the outside but inside a wealth of interesting facts appear, from when the first motorway was created to the European Union thoughts on eggs and information on disinewed meat. I have learnt a lot from House of Commons papers. The one I eventually decided to choose was based on the fact it is very new and quite topical “The referendum on separation for Scotland: terminating Trident – days or decades.”
I also chose a Scottish parliamentary paper for the same reason, it is the Public Audit Committee’s fourth report “The Gathering 2009.”

Tomorrow I will blog about my other 2 choices.  In the next few weeks all the curators involved will be explaining why they chose their items. There are quite a few quirky items on display it will be quite interesting to see why they decided on these items.

The display is in the cabinets at the top of the stairs in the George IV Bridge Library.