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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Maughan Library-King's College

The Maughan Library is one of the libraries of King's College London. Founded in 1829, King's College was known as the "Godly" institute. It was established by many benefactors who had large religious believes. During our visit we saw a large display of old bibles which included a second edition King James bible from 1613.

Maughan Library's current location is newer; it was opened in the old public records office of England, which used to house important old documents such as the Magna Carta. King's College moved in in 2001. The building was built as the first fire proof building in London; there was no wood inside. The building is still owned by the crown and is leased to King's College.

Currently the collection houses over 3/4 of a million items. There are 300 computers, 1,000 reader places, and 11,000 students from the campus who use the library. The collection houses mostly works based on the humanities, law, social sciences, and engineering. They do not have many science or medical works because there are other libraries throughout King's College who specialize in those types of works.  Maughan Library is open to visitors; they have over 1,000 registered visitors. They are mostly known for their large and historical collection of works on theology.

Wireless access is available to all users throughout the building. Self-service is also in place so that books can be checked out by individual patrons without the need for having a library employee do it. Employees also explained to our class that traditional reference practices are not in place; roaming is the method of choice here.

Maughan Library also contains a decent size special collections. Mostly containing books and not manuscripts, the collection has a large amount of early medical books such as Garden of Health from 1491. Special collections puts on three exhibits per year. Once these exhibits have closed, the entire exhibit is digitized and placed online for users to look at. An interesting item that was shared with our class was a coronation album from 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II. It included photographs, reports, letters, and brochures from places across the globe, all of which were part of the British empire at the time, celebrating the coronation of the new queen.

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