Hello everyone and welcome to another round up of news on the Sparrows’ Nest.
PLEASE NOTE: The Nest will not be open the next two Tuesdays, i.e. 22nd and 29th December 2015. However, we are around, so if you like to visit, please contact us. Normal opening times (see below), will resume from the 5th January 2016.
Aside from welcoming many familiar as well as some new faces at the Nest over the recent months, we have been busy trying to keep the memory of our movement alive and offering those fighting present and future struggles an opportunity to listen to the voices of the past.
As always we have been cataloguing and digitising the materials in our ever growing collections, as well as investing in archival materials in order to preserve the materials entrusted to us.
Of course fancy acid free archival boxes etc. come by no means cheap, whilst processing materials always requires a lot of labour. So if you are able to support us by donating either money or volunteering some of your time, that would be very much appreciated (of course many thanks to our regular volunteers and donors!).
Visiting the London Bookfair in October we were able to stock up on many of the latest publications. Thank you very much again for the generous rebates granted to us by the publishers!
We have also continued to receive exciting donations of archival materials and slowly work our way through all the collections, preserving, cataloguing and sorting hundreds of fabulous documents. On a number of occasions we were also able to helping out researchers to find and digitise hard to come by materials, for instance a number of issues of the bulletins of ‘Echanges et Movement’ (see e.g. Echanges #65).
Hugely exciting was the arrival of a massive collection of Freedom issues. Hundreds upon hundreds of copies arrived in boxes, bundles and folders, covering decades of this iconic publication, and which will become a primary focus of our activities in the foreseeable future. You can already access various digitised Freedom issues in our Digital Library, including rare issues from the 1920s, covering for example the General Strike of 1926 and the murdering of Sacco and Vanzetti. We hope we will be able to substantially extend our digital collection of Freedom issues in the near future.
One big job over the last months was a systematic overhaul our cataloguing system. It had become necessary to update the structure of our catalogue after almost eight years of constantly evolving collections and we are very glad that we were finally able to merge our various parallel catalogues into one. At the moment this will probably have a bigger impact on the Nest Collective than to those folks who physically or digitally visit the library. However, this has brought us a lot closer to be able to offer you more user friendly ways of searching the catalogue online. For the time being we are afraid you will still have to search HTML and PDF files, but for the first time everything is together in one place, hopefully helping you in finding awesome materials.
As always a reminder please do not throw out heaps of old, potentially awesome papers, but get in touch!
Our regular opening times are still every Tuesday 11am-2pm (contact us if you cannot make these days, we can always arrange for a visit on other times/dates). However, it is always a good idea to check your inbox before venturing to the Nest (please contact us if you like to be added to the mailing list), as we have to keep our doors shut around once a month for one reason or another.
Till next time, keep reading, archiving and fighting!