Jemima Bennett, New College Library

Hello, I’m Jemima, the trainee at New College Library. After a month of working here, my favourite element so far has been my involvement with the special collections. As a Classics graduate, I’m constantly looking for ways to put my four years of studying dead languages into practice, not always easy beyond university. At New College, however, I have been able to use my Latin to help to choose an image of one of our manuscripts for a Christmas card. I read and translated the Latin texts to check whether their meanings were appropriate for Christmas, rather than one of the more challenging, or perhaps less festive, Bible passages.

I’ve had a fantastic time this morning, helping to make a video for our Curators’ Choice series, which will go out next term. This video focused on the Atlas of the countries of England and Wales, produced by Christopher Saxton in 1579 – the first atlas created of any country! I’ve always loved poring over old maps and I felt so lucky to be able spend time with this fascinating book.

My Classics degrees (from Exeter and Oxford) and my experience of working in a county museum were definitely key factors that directed me towards library work, especially in special collections. Most recently, I’ve been working in a reception/admin role at a GP surgery, an experience which was really valuable in showing me how much I enjoy working directly with people. I’m very much looking forward (albeit with some apprehension) to when the students return for term time and there can (hopefully) be more face-to-face contact.

Apart from work with special collections, my day-to-day work includes processing new acquisitions to the library, helping to run our social media accounts, dealing with readers’ requests for specific books, and updating our new books display. It’s also been lovely to be able to attend training sessions, and meet the other trainees, in person. I’m excited to learn more about librarianship and to see where the year takes me.

New College Library

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