A partnership between two of Lincoln’s landmark institutions has been strengthened with the appointment of a Special Collections Librarian for the University of Lincoln and Lincoln Cathedral.
Heritage specialist Claire Arrand will work with the Cathedral and the University to ensure existing historic materials support research and learning in Lincoln, and to bring valuable new collections to the city.
Claire, who started the role in March, said: “The relationship between the Cathedral and the University of Lincoln provides a fantastic opportunity for students to work closely with a special collection of books and documents, housed within one of Europe’s most celebrated gothic buildings.
“Lincoln Cathedral is awe inspiring, and I have witnessed the fantastic impact that the University’s success has had on the city in recent years, so to be working in a role that connects the two institutions is extremely exciting. This is a brand new venture for everyone involved, yet the wealth of material and the passion for knowledge at both the University and the Cathedral make it an ideal partnership.”
Claire will oversee the development of special collections across all subject areas. She will work to identify new and existing materials that will enhance the University learning experience, and ensure all relevant collections can be exploited by students and researchers alike.
Claire added: “Using the Cathedral Library’s ‘Adopt a Book’ scheme, I hope to fund raise with the students in each subject area, having identified a relevant text for them, to permanently cement these ties. From 17th century fashion to Armenian computer fonts, there is an extraordinary array of material tucked away within the libraries, and this will undoubtedly prove instrumental in supporting scholarship across the city.”
With experience in military, medical and nursing libraries, Claire worked for more than 20 years at the Lincolnshire Archives, the County Council’s record office which holds the surviving written history of Lincolnshire.
Dr Mark Hocknull, Canon Chancellor at Lincoln Cathedral and Visiting Senior Fellow at the University of Lincoln, said: “Lincoln Cathedral has been a centre for learning and thinking for nearly a thousand years, and we are delighted that our developing partnership with the University of Lincoln is bearing fruit. This new appointment will help us to ensure that the Cathedral’s historic archive and library collections become more readily accessible to scholars both here in Lincoln and internationally.”
Ian Snowley, University of Lincoln Librarian, added: “This is a great opportunity to develop the University Library’s collections and work collaboratively with the Cathedral Library for the benefit of scholars across the county.”
Claire is now based between the University of Lincoln’s Great Central Warehouse (GCW) Library and Exchequer Gate at the Cathedral, where she works with the Cathedral Librarian, Julie Taylor.
A collection of manuscripts lies at the heart of the Cathedral’s collection, with the 10th century copy of Bede’s Homilies older than the Cathedral itself. The Medieval Library was built in 1422 to give the collection a secure home, and the Wren Library was established in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren, one of Britain’s most renowned architects.
The University of Lincoln’s Library opened in the former Great Central Warehouse building in 2004, following a £5-million restoration of the historic building. The award-winning facility has since been extended further, and its newest wing was opened earlier this year by HRH Prince Edward The Duke of Kent.