Hiya, I'm Victoria and I'm a trainee at the Courtauld Institute library.
A bit about the Courtauld library: The Courtauld Institute of Art is a centre for the study of art history and conservation. Hence the majority of library users are Courtauld BA and MA art history students and Courtauld research and teaching staff.
The Library’s collection reflects this, covering the history of western art and comprises books, exhibition catalogues, permanent collection catalogues, sales catalogues, theses, rare books and pamphlets and some online and digital material.
The Institute is based at Somerset House (a pretty swell location) and the library itself is underground, in the old brick vaults which apparently used to be grain storage and cellars. This has the advantage of having no mobile phone reception but also a worrying tendency to flooding and leaks!
Most of the collection is catalogued on the online catalogue however there are still a large number of items only recorded on the old card catalogue. There are no plans for retrospective cataloguing, rather such catalogue such things are catalogued on an as-and-when basis, if a user wishes to borrow them.Most of the collection is borrowable and on the open shelves but some of the older and more precious material is stashed away and staff retrieve material several times a day.
My own background is in art and I’m a total bookworm so I love working here. On a day to day basis I do a bit of everything: issue desk, cataloguing, accessioning, serials and helping sort through some of the special collections.I’m currently torn between applying for library school or returning to art college!