In this Issue
Message from the Acting University Librarian
“Change is inevitable … Change is constant.” – Benjamin Disraeli
The sentiment expressed by Disraeli is no less true today than it was when the former British Prime Minister included it in a speech he delivered at Edinburgh in 1867. Nevertheless, I cannot help but feel that the Library has had more than its fair share of constant change in recent months.
Chief among these changes was the unexpected resignation of the former University Librarian Mr. Kendall Crilly for personal reasons at the end of August. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Ken for his contributions to the development of the Library during his tenure. He was always generous in sharing his insights and experience with me. As Acting University Librarian, I now intend to put what I have learned to good use in keeping the Library running smoothly until a new University Librarian can be appointed.
In this I find myself confident, mainly because I have complete trust in my colleagues at the Library to provide their full support. Despite recent departures and retirements, HKBU Library is still fortunate to count many dedicated, experienced, and enthusiastic staff members among its ranks. The University community may rest assured that the Library will continue to deliver its usual levels of outstanding service.
One of my favourite responsibilities over the past two years has been editing the Library Newsletter. I have taken great satisfaction in being the first to read all about the many and varied ways that Library colleagues contribute to the learning, teaching, and research activities of the University. In this issue, you will find updates from our Special Collections & Archives, the Chinese Medicine Library, as well as details of a recent collection enhancement. There is also an introduction from a recent new addition to the Library team – Ms. Wan Yu Wong, Special Collections & Archives Librarian. We are delighted to have her with us!
As much as I have enjoyed editing newsletter contributions, the time has come to pass the torch. Beginning with the 10th issue, my colleague Ms. Maggie Wong will take over as Newsletter Editor. I have no doubt that she will have as much fun with the role as I have had.
Thank you for reading, and enjoy the rest of the issue!
Acting University Librarian
2021 E-book collection enhancement project: Supporting multidisciplinary research
The Library is pleased to share that the University granted one-off funding in early 2021 for a collection enhancement project to strengthen HKBU’s multidisciplinary research capacity. This allowed 430+ new e-books to be purchased, which were hand-picked by our liaison librarians with reference to HKBU’s research clusters. Most relate to Science, Social Science, Medicine, and Technology. The majority of the purchased e-books are recent publications from 2019 to 2021, and represent over 80 academic publishers. We hope you will find them useful for your research projects!
Some of the interesting facts and data about these newly-acquired books:
By major subject
By year of publication
To find out more about these books, click here to view the title list.
Wing Woo (Text) / Connie Lam (Text and illustrations)
Resource Management Cluster
Completion of CML space enhancement project
The CML space enhancement and renovation project aimed to repurpose Study Room B and refurbish the leisure reading area in the Chinese Medicine Library (CML). The project was completed in August 2021. With the completion of this project, a lot of monotonous old furniture has been replaced by diverse new amenities. These include a group meeting area with sofa and panel to facilitate small group discussion, self-study tables with partitions for private study, bar tables for taking a break, soft benches for browsing our exhibition and new books, etc. To enhance the support for students with special educational needs, an electric height adjustable desk is also provided in this area.
This update to CML facilities provides a brighter and more comfortable learning environment. Some students have already provided positive feedback on the enhanced learning space. We hope that more users will come to enjoy the new environment in the future, and you are always welcome to visit CML.
Chinese Medicine Librarian
Introducing Wan Yu WONG, Librarian for the Special Collections & Archives (SCA)
Hi, I am the new Special Collections and Archives Librarian. You can find us on the eastern side of Level 4 in the Main Library and we house, well, special collections and archives. The piece below in this newsletter explains more about what gems we have got in this collection.
Although I’m new to HKBU, I’ve been a librarian forever. Starting in the HKUST Library, the main part of my library career was in the National Library of Australia. I’ve worked in a few sections there, including managing the Chinese collection, collecting publications from Australian publishers (called ‘legal deposit’ in library speak) and collection digitization. The National Library is located in the tiny Australian capital called Canberra, which is very different from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. Coming to work at HKBU is like coming full circle in my career and I treasure this opportunity to learn and contribute.
The collections in SCA are getting more diverse and I look forward to connecting and servicing different parts of the University community.
Wan Yu Wong
Special Collections and Archives Librarian
Special Collections & Archives (SCA) – Getting to know you
“Libraries are much more than books” – such a cliché isn’t it? But it’s true. Many university libraries have a special collections and archives section and HKBU is no exception. But due to their very nature, every special collections and archives are different. Your SCA is located on Level 4 of the Main Library and houses a wide range of materials both in subject matter and physical formats.
If SCA were a house, the main living room would be occupied by the Archive for the History of Christianity in China. This growing archive is a major part of SCA, in which you can find books, journals, magazines, microfilms, postcards, audio-visual materials, and personal papers relating to how Protestantism spread in China from the 19th century to the present day. Missionaries and their histories of course feature heavily in the early periods, with our oldest book dated back to 1810, but there are also many contemporary materials including church publications in Hong Kong. Quite a few of the personal archives in the collection support this field of study as well. Digitized materials to complement the physical collection are accessible from our website.
In 1984, the HKBU Library purchased a large research collection on China from the Union Research Institute. The books, journals, and newspapers are now in the general collection, whereas SCA manages the pamphlets and over 10,000 folders of newspaper clippings. Spanning 1950s to 1970s these clippings are still unique resources with no digital alternatives yet. There are two citation databases and three indexes that provide more in-depth subject access to some of the clippings, but this vast source will need to be further exposed in the coming years.
Just to illustrate the diversity of what we have, let me mention the personal papers of Elsie Tu and T. T. Chow. Mrs. Tu was a prominent political figure for several decades in Hong Kong, known for her fights on behalf of the underprivileged. Her papers are a valuable resource for researching the political and social history of Hong Kong between 1970s and 1990s. On the other hand, Prof T. T. Chow was a world-renowned scholar in Chinese art, culture and the classic novel Hong Lou Meng. His personal collections reflect these interests as well as his network with his peers and students.
Last but not least, SCA also looks after the HKBU University Archives. From official publications from the very beginning as the HK Baptist College to photos and posters, the Archives aims to be a repository of information that documents the history and life of the University. We have been supporting the HKBU History Gallery and will continue to gather materials for posterity. We appeal to all faculties/schools, departments, centers, and administrative units and offices to support this Archive and send us your publications regularly.
Your SCA welcomes members of the university community to come and use the collections. For those with research needs, contacting us prior to coming (+852 3411-5937; email@example.com) would be useful.
Wan Yu Wong
Special Collections and Archives Librarian
Last updated: 11 November 2021