Saturday, 20 July 2013

Class 1: The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (01/07/2013)

After a long and very fun weekend, the first day of class quickly hit our group on Monday. However, what better way to kick things off than with a lovely boat ride down the Thames River? Not one I can think of, that’s for sure. Along the commuter route, we passed many sights, such as the London and Tower Bridge and the Globe. With the sun shining, the breeze blowing and a fresh notebook ready to take notes in, I knew this was going to be a great day one in British Studies. 
Royal Naval Academy 
Upon docking, I quickly realized that my expectations were far exceeded. With a brief walk past a huge ship, the birthplace spot of the Tudor Family and a class picture in front of the Old Royal Naval College, it was time to make our way into the National Maritime Museum. Greeted by Mike Bevan, Archive Manager, and Graham Thompson, Archives Assistant, our class was split into two groups and given a tour of the library and a closer look at some of the materials in the collection. 
1st of many name badges.
So official and exciting!
First up for my group, lead by Mr. Thompson, was a closer look at some of the materials that are housed in the Greenwich collection. With boxes labeled Armada, Georgian and Pirates, we were allowed to see and handle some of the documents. Among my personal favorites was the Book of Intelligence from Spain, which dated back to 1580, the song that was allegedly written by Queen Elizabeth for a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s, the illustrations of notorious pirates and the book from 1736 that contained illustrations of authentic pirates, still used to this day to recreate authentic looks and costumes. Being able to handle to all of these old documents was a first time experience for me, and it was an amazing moment to actually realize how old some of this manuscripts were and how long they have lasted. It truly was a special moment, and one that I know will stay with me. 
Examining materials and manuscripts 

From there, we were taken on a tour of the Caird Library. Located on an upper floor, the library is open to everyone and free to use if there is a purpose for it. Currently the staff is working on getting more people in the doors and keeping traffic up. Major improvements are being made and they are working more closely with the museum to have exhibitions tie in together. From there, we were taken to see the state of the art systems, taken into the basement stacks and allowed to see what goes on behind the scenes at the library. Once again, this was a first time experience for me and it was such an awesome experience. 
All in all, day one of classes was a complete and utter success in my book. Having never worked in a library setting before, I was exposed to some many behind the scenes things that I never saw before. It was fantastic to see what lies ahead of me in my journeys, and I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of this class had in store. 

Also, for more information on the National Maritime Museum and the Caird Library, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment