We are very lucky to have some fantastic volunteers working with our collections team on our archive and book collections.  Ann is one of our regular volunteers who is helping to number our enormous and ever-growing book collection; so far, the books numbered by Ann are in the thousands and span a large number of our collections.  Not only is she a pro at wielding a 2B pencil but she is also our star at crafting purpose-made archive-standard wrappers for board books and a regular face at our Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing groups.  Ann wrote us an account of her experience with our books from the Lit and Phil Collection which consists of books withdrawn from the Literary & Philosophical Society in Newcastle.

Volunteering for Seven stories you never know when the unexpected is going to hit you and send you spinning back in time to your own childhood.  My task was to number children’s books from the Lit & Phil Collection.  I had expected it to contain the usual classics Ivanhoe, Robinson Crusoe, even What Katy Did but here were Sue Barton, Student Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston, Return to the Wells by Lorna Hill and The Young Traveller series. 

The cover of the Young Traveller in Greece by Geoffrey Trease immediately transported me back to Berwick-upon-Tweed children’s library in the 1950’s eagerly clutching the latest arrival in the series.  At a time when international travel was rare, here was a way to lose oneself in the life and culture of other worlds.

Other discoveries among the Lit and Phil gems were the composer series by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher published by Faber and Faber which told the lives of composers such as Haydn, Mozart and Schubert amongst others, interspersed with extracts from their music.  These were presented in an attractive way, informative but not condescending.

Reluctantly I dragged myself back to numbering 001, 002, 003…

If you'd like to know more about the volunteering opportunities at the Seven Stories Collection let us know via collections@sevenstories.org.uk 

If you'd like to find out more about the Seven Stories Collection, then 
email: collections@sevenstories.org.uk or phone: 0191 495 2707 or comment on this blog.