Monday, 10 August 2009

Greenwich National Maritime Museum Library

We visited the National Maritime Museum Library. Compared to the Shakespeare Library, it seemed much more well funded. They seemed to have much more of a professionally trained full-time staff, and took student interns or volunteers only when they needed them instead of relying on them as a regular part of the work flow. The library collects materials relating to naval history and the history of science (including astronomy and navigation). I found the signal book to be very interesting which had weights in the binding so that it would sink if the ship sunk. I also really liked the illustrated journals they had made by sailors during their travels. The library had very old wooden shelves which looked nice, but seemed hard to manage a collection. The library does not allow people to take materials out of the library, rather they have to come to the library (usually telling the staff what they would like to consult before they get there), and the staff will bring them the materials to consult while they are there. The patron can also only use pencil while they are in the library. The library also has many e-resources, but these can only be access inside the library. This seemed to be related to the librarians having worries about copyright infringement. I found their collection to be highly interesting and their staff to be incredibly informed and professional.

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