600 Years of Book Collecting, Issue 1: Divinity & Politics — Coming Soon!!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

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What is 600 Years of Book Collecting?

To commemorate the 600th anniversary of the founding of the University of St Andrews, the University Library has developed a six-part publication that is designed to promote its vast collection of printed books and the modern collection of its working library. Each copy of a book is a unique individual, made from covers and pages, words and illustrations, stories and histories. This publication has been designed to open the necessarily closed doors of some of the University’s greatest treasure rooms, to share the excitement that our collections inspire in our students, academics and librarians every day. It also features books found on the open shelves of the Main Library, “living treasures” available to all students at any time. This publication, to be released during the final academic year of the University’s 600th anniversary celebrations, is designed in a way that will hopefully build a buzz around the library from within the student and academic population, as well as further afield. It is being published as a large format (A3), glossy magazine, image-heavy and text-friendly.

600 years of book collecting iconsThe first three issues (Divinity & Politics, The Natural World, Language & Literature) will be released during weeks 3, 5 and 7 of Semester 1; and the last three issues (Astronomy & Mathematics, Geography & Exploration, Arts) during weeks 3, 5 and 7 of Semester 2. Each issue will be sold locally, from the Help Desk in the Main Library for £3. A limited edition, boxed set which will include all six issues in a deluxe, gold-foil stamped box will be released on St Andrews Day (30 November) 2013. This boxed set is limited to and hand-numbered edition of 600 and will be sold internationally; more information will be made available soon, however it is now available for pre-order here.

Issue 1: Divinity & Politics — available Wednesday, 2 October 2013!

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The first issue of 600 Years of Book Collecting will be available for sale from the Main Library on Wednesday, the 2nd of October. This first issue, themed “Divinity & Politics”, focuses on the subjects from which St Andrews was founded. From its earliest days, the University was all too familiar with the ways that religion and politics could interact with each others: several of the founding academics had been driven from Paris after the Papal schism and others had fled English universities during the Anglo-Scottish Wars.

The two-page spread for the Wardlaw Bible (Bib BS170.C40) from Issue 1 of 600 Years of Book Collecting
The two-page spread for the “Wardlaw Bible” (Bib BS170.C40) from Issue 1 of 600 Years of Book Collecting

For “Divinity & Politics” we’ve selected a wide range of books from the 15th to the 20th centuries: from Bibles to Montesquieu, from manuscripts taken from the East and books returned to the University after being “borrowed” for 300 years, books found on our open shelves in the Main Library and treasures from our most secure vaults.

The two-page spread for Karl Barth's Die kirchliche Dogmatik (BT75.B2) from
The two-page spread for Karl Barth’s Die kirchliche Dogmatik (BT75.B2) from Issue 1 of 600 Years of Book Collecting

issue 1 timelineEach issue of 600 Years of Book Collecting features a full chronological listing of the entire series, and each issue also features a part of a visual timeline of the University Library’s history. This series brings together the clarity of modern design and the inherent beauty of the Library’s strongest asset — its books. At £3 each, these beautiful magazines are a beautiful introduction to the University Library’s holdings and a great way to get excited about the Library and the University of St Andrews, recently named Scottish University of the Year 2014.

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