Library Pecha Kucha: Favourite Things

With the help of three cups of tea and two caramel cakes, I was ready to know more about the Library, which I’ve only recently become acquainted with as a postgraduate student. Today I attended an hour-long “Pecha Kucha” event presented by staff members of the Library and Collections about their favourite things.

After a quick google of “Pecha Kucha” I discovered that this phrase refers to a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. Originating in the Japanese graphic design community, “Pecha Kucha nights” often feature between 8 and 14 presentations.

So I thought, this sounds cool – innovative presentation style, sort of a TED-like event. I was impressed with the offerings, things I literally had no idea were in the possession of the library.

One of the items, an antique rectangle piano, was the affordable household model that essentially made the harpsichord obsolete. The musical instrument collections held by the university seemed to have a special place in the hearts of several staff members. One of the presentations explored the role of musical instruments as historical documents, and also the curators’ dilemma about keeping them in playing condition.

Art is also a passion among collection staff, it seems. The curator for the art collections of gave a whirlwind 400-year tour sampling some of the most significant pieces from the University’s collections. The archives from the Edinburgh College of Art were also explored, highlighting works by some significant alumni.

Overall, I didn’t have much of a benchmark to go off – being brand new to the University, and only being briefly acquainted with our resources. I hadn’t previously thought beyond the books when it came to university collections, but I think I might have a look now.


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