Sunday, 9 November 2014

Give the Words Wings

So it's been a while since I posted anything, mainly because once again I have upped sticks and made another big move. I'm now into month 3 of my new job at University of Southampton, working as their Client Services and Support Manager.

The move has been tough. As when I moved to Bath I know (knew) no one in Southampton and although I gave myself a few days to settle in before starting, work has been pretty full on since day one. I'm enjoying it, but there are days I doubt myself, and certainly doubt the wisdom of a move that has taken me even further away from home.

I've also been in the final stages of pulling together a feature for CILIP Update, eating into what little free time I had. Couple that with training for a 16 mile off roader in December and I haven't exactly been idle. But once that article got submitted I promised myself some time to do some work and create.

The first piece I did was nothing more than a spur of the moment idea. I had maps, I had my knives, I'd been playing with some bird stickers I had recently bought to decorate a lampshade and this inspired the bird theme. The results were nice, if not really very stand out. I didn't really feel there was much behind it, even if plenty of people commented on it when I posted it on Facebook. 

(Apologies for all the bad photographs here, I wasn't originally intending of blogging this work so the snaps were meant purely for Twitter and Facebook)

Fairly soon afterwards we started clearing out what was to be become my old office at work. Amidst the years of accumulated cataloguing material, the floppy disks and the magnetic tape was a load of old Microfiche, including authority files for the Library of Congress and 1980/1990s version of Books in English. I of course saved these from the bin and started plotting. 

First off I needed to find out how easy it was to work with. And when I say work with, I mean cut. And it turns out it's not the easiest. It's slippery and tough and needs a really shape knife. However it does cut cleanly and doesn't split. All positives. 

The thing I love about the Microfiche, apart from it's properties, is that it holds so much content, so much information, all utterly unreadable to the naked eye. Those words could be anything, without a machine you would never know. You know there's something there, something more. But not what. 

I'm still working out what I want to do with the larger collections. (There are hundreds of films with the Books in English Collection) However with the Library of Congress Headings I cut individual birds in flight. What I really need to now is find a window or light box to place them against. But in the meantime here are the results:

Hopefully more to come. I have a lot Microfiche to work with!!

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