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Team meeting jan 2014

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  • 1. Science at the British Library - a historical background to the reading rooms, collections and services Richard Wakeford January 2014
  • 2. 2 Patent Office Library  1852 - Patent Law Amendment Act 1852 requires “true copies of all specifications to be open to inspection by the public”  1853 - Report of the Commissioners of Patents recommends that the Patent Office Library should cover “the scientific and mechanical works of all nations”
  • 3. 3 Patent Office Library 1855 - Patent Office Library opens at Southampton Buildings 1902 - New purpose Patent Office Library is built
  • 4. 4 National Reference Library of Science and Invention  1966 - NRLSI opens  Management transferred from the Board of Trade to the British Museum
  • 5. 5 The British Library  1972 - British Library Act declares that “The British Library shall be under the control and management of a public authority, to be known as "the British Library Board", whose duty it shall be to manage the Library as a national centre for reference, study and bibliographical and other information services, in relation both to scientific and technological matters and to the humanities.”  1974 - Science Reference Library (SRL) opens as part of the new British Library  1984 - Renamed Science Reference and Information Service (SRIS)
  • 6. 6 St Pancras  1976 - St Pancras site is bought and design of the new building starts  1984 - Construction starts  1997 - Humanities reading room opens  1999 - The Science, Technology and Business (STB) reading rooms open  2005 - Science Reading Room, SPIS Reading Room, Business and Intellectual Property Centre open
  • 7. 7 Collections and catalogues  1855 - Patent Office Library collection covers engineering and physical sciences  1880s - POL classification scheme introduced  1930 - POL card catalogue
  • 8. 8 Collections and catalogues  1960 - Biomedical and earth sciences collections transferred from the BM to NRLSI  1963 - 1978 NRLSI/ SRL/ SRIS classification scheme  1987 - SCICAT online and fiche  1989 - BL OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue)  1994 - Patent jukebox for digitised full text  1997- OPAC97 web based catalogue
  • 9. 9 Collections and catalogues – St Pancras  2003 - Dewey classification scheme  2004 - Digital access replaces printed patent collection  2005 - Primo/ Explore  2013 - Non-Print Legal Deposit
  • 10. 10 Reader Services  1855 - Reference services  1918 - Photocopy service  1972 - Online search service  1976 - Medline via Internet/ARPANET pilot (BL R&D/ NLM)  1977 - British Library Automated Information Service (BLAISE)  1984 - Business Information Service followed by information services for biotechnology, environment, health, and social policy  1988 - CD-ROM databases in RR
  • 11. 11 Index to foreign scientific periodicals contained in the Patent Office Library  1856 - the Prussian Patent Office publish Repertorium der Technischen Literatur. POL translated it into English and adopted its subject headings  1865 - Bennet Woodcroft starts Index to foreign scientific periodicals contained in the Patent Office Library  Author / title / classified - fortnightly publication and 6 month cumulations with index  First modern bibliographic source in English  “ This knowledge is diffused through so many channels and hidden under languages so various as to be difficult of access even to the rich and learned, whilst it is entirely beyond the reach of the operative classes.” Benjamin Woodcroft
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  • 14. 14 A Room near Chancery Lane by Charles Dickens . Mr. Woodcroft has collected a valuable store of books of reference relating to patents;………….. The room near Chancery Lane, opened for the reader's especial benefit,, remains yet to be noticed. The building once occupied by the Masters in Chancery, is now placed at the disposal of the Commissioners of Patents. One among the many rooms in this building is now a reading-room, open to the public for the study of any and everything relating to patents. A small room it is: much too small, indeed; but as it is the beginning of a good thing, its gradual growth may be pleasantly watched hereafter. It is well filled, and tended by officials, who show the utmost courtesy to visitors having any reasonable motive for going thither: mere curiosity is hardly a reasonable motive. ……..This he can do, either by his own researches, or still more readily by the aid of the polite attendants. Household Words - 21 February 1857 pp 190-192
  • 15. 15
  • 16. 16 Our Founder - Bennet Woodcroft
  • 17. 17 Southampton Buildings in 1799
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  • 21. 21 Patent Office Library - 1902
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  • 24. 24 St Pancras in 1799
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  • 27. 27 An Alternative History …….. And some things that didn’t happen…….  1944 - Southampton Buildings survives a near miss from a V1  1966 - Project to move NRLSI to the South Bank abandoned  1974 - Project to move NRLSI to Bloomsbury abandoned  c1985 - St Pancras Phases II and III abandoned  c1990- St Pancras Kings Library replaces the card catalogue hall
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  • 33. 33 Science at the British Library – a historical background Alan Edwin, D. & Day, A.E. Inside the British Library / Alan Day. London: London : Library Association, 1998. General Reference Collection YC.1998.b.4193. Alan Edwin, D. & Day, A.E. The new British Library / Alan Day. London: London : Library Association Publishing, 1994. General Reference Collection 2719.e.2919. Geoffrey, T. & Tyack, G. Sir James Pennethorne and the making of Victorian London / Geoffrey Tyack. Cambridge: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1992. General Reference Collection YC.1993.b.3917. Hewish, J. 2000. Rooms near Chancery Lane : the Patent Office under the Commissioners, 1852- 1883 / by John Hewish. London: London : British Library, 2000. Richardson, A.E.S. 1984. Monumental classic architecture in Great Britain and Ireland / Albert E. Richardson. New York ; London: New York ; London : Norton, c1982. St. John Wilson, C. 1998. The design and construction of the British Library. London: London : British Library, 1998. Tyack, G. 1992. Sir James Pennethorne and the making of Victorian London / Geoffrey Tyack. Cambridge: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1992. Records exported to www.myendnoteweb.com