Who got that job?

March 24, 2006

Mark Llewellyn, postdoctoral research assistant, department of English, Liverpool University, based at St. Deiniol's Library, Hawarden, Flintshire.

Job advertised in The Times Higher , August 19, 2005

At the foot of mountains in the North Wales town of Hawarden lies one of Britain's hidden treasures. St Deiniol's Library, the UK's only residential library, was founded by William Ewert Gladstone, the great Victorian Prime Minister, to house his vast book collection.

Gladstone annotated many of his 32,000 books, which are now mixed up among the library's 250,000 volumes. Over the next three years, Mark Llewellyn, who moved into the library in February, will track down all of Gladstone's books and build a database of the politician's annotations. The result should shed new light on Gladstone's thinking.

Dr Llewellyn said: "My job is to take the existing records from the current electronic catalogue, find the ones relating to Gladstone's books and supply enhanced details into the catalogue.

"Gladstone was a copious note-maker and a very busy reader. He referred to 22,000 different texts in his diaries and made notes in all his books using a series of shorthand notations. You can see how he argues with himself in his own notations.

"With the annotations in the database, we will have catalogued all his reading and we will have pieced together his thoughts."

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