Although we’re not students any more, we can always tell when it’s deadline time at Kent. How? By the number of people visiting the library (and the queues at the café…)!
We thought we’d use this opportunity to wave our own flag and give you a quick refresher series on how to find material in our collections to really make your research stand-out. Today we’ll take a look at how to find Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) material through Kent’s Library catalogue, LibrarySearch:
1) Gather your locations
We have over 150 different collections here at Kent, and listings for these collections can be found in a number of different places: through LibrarySearch, on the SC&A website, via our Archive catalogue and through the British Cartoon Archive catalogue.
2) What’s on LibrarySearch?
Broadly speaking, items that are in book and playscript form can currently be found through LibrarySearch, which is the catalogue you (hopefully!) use to find books, e-books and journal articles here at Kent. We are working on making our archive collections findable through LibrarySearch soon, so check back for this.
3) Narrowing down results makes finding our material much quicker
Start by entering your search terms, then tick either ‘British Cartoon Archive’ or ‘Special Collections & Archives’ (or both) in the location box down the left-hand side. This will help narrow down the items LibrarySearch is exploring to only the material we hold.
Bonus tip: you can use the ‘sort by publication date – ascending’ to organise items so the oldest material will be the first thing you see. ‘Sort by publication date – descending’ will put the most recent items first.
4) Digitised or not digitised?
You’ll probably need to make an appointment to view items you find in LibrarySearch in our Reading Room. The majority of our windmill and playbill collections have been digitised, alongside artwork (not books or journals) from the British Cartoon Archive.
5) Get your orders in!
Once you’ve found an item, click on ‘Place Reservation’ (either the blue box next to the item summary or from the drop-down menu inside the item’s description) and select ‘Templeman Library’. Please note that at present, this option is only available to users who have a University of Kent login – if you’re visiting from elsewhere, jot down the reference numbers and details of the items you’d like to see and send us an email.
6) Make a date and come on in!
Special Collections & Archives staff check daily for any new requests that come our way via LibrarySearch, so we will send you an email once we’ve got your request. The email will confirm which items you’ve asked for and then ask when you’d like to come in to view material. It’s really important that you respond to this email as, unlike other Library items, you’ll need to make an appointment to visit. This is because all of our material is kept in secure stores and we need a little time in advance to get it ready. Check our website for when we’re open.
7) Know your limits (spoiler: there are none)
You can place as many requests for items you find in LibrarySearch as you like – there’s no maximum number. However, if you have a lot (more than about 5 things), we’ll probably check with you if there are any you’d like to see first, so you can get the most out of your time visiting us.
…And one final tip:
8) Drop in if you need help
Although you need an appointment to view material in Special Collections & Archives, we are always happy to receive queries during our opening hours. If you’re having trouble finding material in our collections, or would simply like to know more about what we hold, please do drop into our Reading Room on the First Floor of Templeman A and say hello!