Dr Karen Attar
Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
library history, especially of 19th-century private and institutional libraries; bibliography.
- Publication Details
Date Details 31-Aug-2016 Review of: A History of Modern Librarianship: Constructing the Heritage of Western Cultures, ed. by Pamela Spence Richards, Wayne A. Wiegand, and Marja Dalbello
Library & Information History, 32 (2016), 229-30
01-Aug-2016 'National Service: The University of London Library during the Second World War'
Historical Research, 89 (2016), 550-66.
20-Jun-2016 Review of: Andrea Immel and Brian Alderson, Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song-Book
Review of: Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song-Book: The First Collection of Nursery Rhymes. A Facsimile Edition with a History and Annotations. By ANDREA IMMEL and BRIAN ALDERSON. In: The Library 17 (2) (2016), pp. 193-194
27-May-2016 Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, 3rd edn
London: Facet Publishing, 2016
01-Mar-2016 'The University of London’s Earliest Books (1838): 185 Volumes Presented by Nathaniel Vye, Esq.'
Library & Information History, 32 (2016), 100-11
13-Feb-2015 ‘Victorian Readers and their Library Records Today’
In: Matthew Bradley and Juliet John (ed.), Reading and the Victorians (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 99-110
30-Jan-2015 Review of: Historical Dictionary of Librarianship, by Mary Ellen Quinn
Library & Information History, 31 (2015), 59-60
01-Jan-2015 ‘Books in the Library’
In: The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book, ed. by Leslie Howsam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 17-35
22-Dec-2014 ‘London Pride in Context: Treasures and the Library Treasures Volume in Britain Today’
IFLA Journal, 40 (2014), 244-53
13-Nov-2014 'The Establishment of a First-Class University Library”: The Beginnings of the University of London Library'
History of Universities, 28 (2014), 44-65
17-Mar-2014 Review of: Robert J. Kirkpatrick, From the Penny Dreadful to the Ha-Penny Dreadfuller ...
The Library, 7th ser. 15 (2014), 89-91
07-Oct-2013 Review of: A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse ..., by Roger E. Stoddard
The Library, 7th ser. 14 (2013), 355-7
07-Oct-2013 'Making Treasures Pay? Benefits of the Library Treasures Volume Considered'
SCONUL Focus, 58 (2013), 56-61
01-Jun-2013 ‘Modern Special Collections Cataloguing: A University of London Case Study’
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 45 (2013), 168-76
05-Mar-2013 Review of: A Bibliography of Unauthorised American Editions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 1904–1980, by John R. Turner (Stroud: Ian Hodgkins and Co., 2012)
The Library, 7th ser. 14 (2013), 99-100
01-Jan-2013 Review of: The Library and Archive Collections at the University of Aberdeen, ed. by Iain Beavan, Peter Davidson and Jane Stevenson
Library & Information History, 29 (2013), 59-60
01-Jan-2012 Senate House Library, University of London
Ed. with Christopher Pressler (London: Scala, 2012)
01-Jan-2012 'Senate House Library: The First Hundred Years'
In: Christopher Pressler and Karen Attar (ed.), Senate House Library, University of London (London: Scala, 2012), pp. x-xxi
01-Jan-2012 ‘The Cowell Manuscript, or, The First Baconian: MS294 at the University of London’
Shakespeare Survey, 65 (2012), 323-36
01-Jan-2012 'Rare Book Librarianship and Historical Bibliography'
In: J.H. Bowman (ed.), British Librarianship and Information Work 2006-2010 (London: J.H. Bowman, 2012), pp. 184-206
01-Jan-2012 ‘Illustration, Book History and Research Facilitation: Some Observations’
Art Libraries Journal, 37(3) (2012), 8-14
01-Jan-2011 ‘The M.S. Anderson Collection of Writings on Russia Printed Between 1525 and 1917: An Introduction’
Solanus, 22 (2011), 63-78
01-Jan-2011 'J. Meriton and C. Dumontet (ed.), Small Books for the Common Man'
In: The Library, 7th ser. 12 (2011), 300-302
01-Jan-2011 J.H. Bowman (ed.), A Critical Edition of the Private Diaries of Robert Proctor: The Life of a Librarian at the British Museum
Library & Information History, 27 (2011), 52-3
01-Jan-2010 M. Bland, A Guide to Early Printed Books and Manuscripts
Library & Information History, 26 (2010), 289-90
01-Jan-2010 various entries
In Henry Woudhuysen and Michael Suarez (ed.), Oxford Companion to the Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
01-Jan-2010 G, Mandelbrote and B. Taylor (ed.), 'Libraries within the Library: The Origins of the British Library's Printed Collections '
The Library, 7th ser. 11 (2010), 358-9
01-Jan-2010 ‘Russia Revealed, or, Special Collection Promotion: A Senate House Library Case Study’
SCONUL Focus, 50 (2010), 79-83
01-Jan-2009 'Incunabula at Senate House Library: Growth of a Collection'
Library & Information History, 25 (2009), 97-116
01-Jan-2009 D. McKitterick (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, vol. 6: 1830-1914
Library & Information History, 25 (2009), 282-3
01-Jan-2008 A. Black and P. Hoare (eds), The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland, vol. 3: 1850-2000.
Library History, 24 (2008), 93-4
01-Jan-2008 M.M. Gatch, The Library of Leander van Ess and the earliest American Collectors of Reformation Pamphlets
Library History, 24 (2008), 94-6
01-Jan-2008 'What, How and Why: Accessing Incunabula at Senate House Library, University of London'
Alexandria, 20 (2008), 105-20
01-Jan-2007 'From Private to Public: The Durning-Lawrence Library at the University Of London'
The Private Library, 5th ser. 10 (2007), 137-56
01-Jan-2007 'Rare Book Librarianship and Historical Bibliography'
In J.H. Bowman (ed.), British Librarianship and Information Work, 2001-2005, (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 149-172
01-Jan-2006 'Why Appoint Professionals? A Student Cataloguing Project'
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 38 (2006), 173-85
01-Jan-2005 'Douglas Foskett's Uzanne Collection'
The Private Library, 5th ser. 8 (2005), 111-26
01-Jan-2005 'Provost George Thackeray of King's College Cambridge and his Books: a New Look'
The Book Collector, 54 (2005), 389-407
01-Jan-2004 'Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence: A Baconian and his Books'
The Library, 7th ser. 5 (2004), 294-315
01-Jan-2003 'Durning-Lawrence Online: Benefits of a Retrospective Catalogue Conversion Project'
Libri, 53 (2003), 142-8
01-Jan-2002 'A Forgotten Donor to King's College Cambridge: John Heath'
Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 12:3 (2002), 293-312
01-Jan-2002 'More than a Mythologist: Jacob Bryant as Book Collector'
The Library, 7th ser. 3 (2002), 351-66
01-Jan-2002 'Jane Austen at King's College Cambridge'
The Book Collector, 51 (2002), 197-221
01-Jan-2002 'The Practice of Bliss'
Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 34(4) (2002), 47-65
01-Jan-2001 'Stefan Heym's King David Report: a Microcosmic Precursor'
Neophilologus, 85 (2001), 273-86
01-Jan-2000 'The Archive and the Artist: the Stefan Heym Archive Revisited'
German Life and Letters, N.S. 53 (2000), 73-88
01-Jan-2000 'The Application of the Bliss Bibliographic Classification in Cambridge College Libraries'
New Review of Academic Librarianship, 6 (2000), 35-49
Publications available on SAS-space:
Date Details Sep-2006 Why Appoint Professionals? A Student Cataloguing Project
Students have provided cheap successful labour for routine retrospective cataloguing projects. The current article examines a library project which went further, using university students with minimum training to catalogue its undergraduate stock from the book in hand to AACR2, level 2, allegedly to professional standard. The article discusses the faults made in MARC coding, descriptive cataloguing and subject cataloguing, noting the nature of the errors and their results. The investigation concludes that intelligence alone does not guarantee library ability, and that cataloguing beyond the creation of minimum records is not an intuitive task to be picked up without training. Hidden expenses are attached. A derisory attitude towards library skills is unjustified, and a place remains for qualified librarians to do qualified library work.Pre-print of article published in Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 38(3) (Sept. 2006), 173-85.
Jun-2003 Durning-Lawrence Online: Benefits Of A Retrospective Catalogue Conversion Project
The University of London Library has recently undertaken a project to catalogue one of its special collections online, that of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837-1914), a protagonist of the Baconian theory in the controversy over the authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare. The collection is especially rich in editions of Bacon's works and other Baconiana and in seventeenth-century English drama, with other strengths being emblem books and early editions of the works of Daniel Defoe. This article places the retrospective cataloguing project in the context of the international drive for retrospective conversion of antiquarian material and of the Library's mission to support research within the federal University of London and the region and internationally. It describes the method used for cataloguing, then focuses on the benefits of the project both academically for researchers and administratively. In addition to the commonly acknowledged benefits of multiple access points in online catalogue records and speed and precision of searching from anywhere in the world, others include the opportunity as part of the project to conduct a preservation survey with little extra cost of time or handling, establishing the rarity of particular items and classes of items in the collection, and insight into the collector provided especially by provenance notes in the catalogue records, enabling scholars to learn a considerable amount about Durning-Lawrence and his collecting patterns from direct electronic access. The value of projects conducted along similar lines may easily be inferred.Pre-print of article published in Libri, 53(2) (June 2003), 142-8.
Aug-2005 Douglas Foskett's Uzanne Collection
- Relevant Events
Date Details 18-Oct-2016 'A Tale of Special Collections: The Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 3rd Edition
Lecture to the Aberystwyth Bibliographical Group, Aberystwyth, 18 Oct. 2016
15-Apr-2016 ‘Mummifying Collections: An Institutional Overview’
Conference paper (invited speaker), ‘Collectors, Collections and Collecting in Britain: From Sloane to Chester Beatty’, Institute of English Studies, University of London, 15 Apr. 2016
24-Mar-2016 'Rare Books and Special Collections: The Scottish Scene’
Lecture to the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, Edinburgh, 24 Mar. 2016
15-Dec-2015 'Collecting Shakespeare at the University of London'
Lecture to the Bibliogaphical Society, 15 Dec. 2015
13-Nov-2015 'Collecting Magic: Harry Price et al.'
Symposium paper (invited speaker), 'The Arcane and the Archive', Senate House Library and the Warburg Institute, University of London, 13 Nov. 2015
02-Sep-2015 'Discovering Collections for the Directory'
Keynote address, Rare Books & Special Collections Group Annual Study Conerence, London, 2 Sept. 2015.
23-Jan-2015 ‘Piety at the Godless Institution: The Earliest Books at the University of London Library’
Conference paper, ‘Community Libraries: Connecting Readers in the Atlantic World, c.1650-c.1850’, Dr Williams’s Library and Queen Mary University of London, 22-24 Jan. 2015
25-Nov-2014 'Our Island’s Printed Heritage: Special Collections in the British Isles Today'
Senate House Library Friends annual lecture, 25 Nov. 2014
23-Jul-2014 ‘”The Show Must Go On”: The University of London Library’s Book Acquisitions, 1939-1945’
Conference paper, Print Networks Conference, Oxford, 22-23 July 2014
09-Jul-2014 ‘Trash, Treasure or Trashy Treasure at the Institutional Library’
Conference paper (guest speaker),6th annual conference of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, ‘Victorian Treasures and Trash’, Institute of English Studies, University of London, 8-10 July 2014
04-Jul-2014 ‘The University of London Library during the Great War’
Conference paper, 83rd Anglo-American Conference of Historians, ‘The Great War at Home’, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 3-4 July 2014
23-Nov-2013 'A Straitened Citizen: The Legacy of Herbert Somerton Foxwell'
Conference paper, 'Blackburn's "Worthy Citizen": The Philanthropic Legacy of R.E. Hart', Institute of English Studies, University of London, 23 Nov. 2013
23-Jul-2013 Bookish Delights: Selecting Russian and English Treasures
Conference paper, 4th international conference, ‘Language, Culture and Society in Russian/English Studies’ conference, Institute of English Studies and Russian Academy of Sciences et al., London, 22-23 July 2013.
01-Jul-2013 The History of Libraries from the Middle Ages to the Present
Course convener and tutor. London Rare Books School. July 1-5, 2013.
16-Mar-2013 'A Writer and his Library: Augustus De Morgan'
Conference paper, 'Writers and their Libraries: an International Conference, Institute of English Studies, University of London, 15-16 March 2013
01-Jan-2012 ‘The University of London Library during the Second World War’
Seminar paper, History of Libraries Seminar (Institute of English Studies / Institute of Historical Research / CILIP Library & Information History Group), 1 May 2012
01-Jan-2012 “The Collections of Senate House Library”
Lecture, London Rare Books School (25 June and 2 July 2012)
01-Jan-2012 The Origins of the University of London Library
Conference paper, "Buildings, Books, and Blackboards: Intersecting Narratives", ANZHES, MIV and Australian Library Forum conference, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, 28 Nov. - 1 Dec. 2012
01-Jan-2011 ‘FULL and SHeLF: One Library’s Experience of Friends’ Institutions’
‘Hard Times’, Historic Libraries Forum annual meeting, London, 15 Nov. 2011
01-Jan-2010 'Views of Culture and Society: the M. S. Anderson Collection of [Western] Writings about Russia, 1525–1917'
Conference paper, ‘Language, Culture and Society in Russian/English Studies’ conference, Institute of English Studies and Russian Academy of Sciences et al., London, 20 July 2010
01-Jan-2009 ‘Augustus De Morgan: his Library, his Reading, and the Records’
Conference paper, ‘Reading and the Age of Gladstone’ conference, St Deiniol’s, Hawarden, 23 Jan. 2009
01-Jan-2008 ‘Notes in Books and Elsewhere: the Senate House Library Experience’
Conference paper, ‘Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence’, IES conference, London, 21 July 2008
01-Jan-1900 Reviews Editor and member of editorial board, Library & Information History