When I was a student of prehistory and the archaeology of the middle ages and in need of money I got a job as the librarian’s assistant at the Charles University of Prague’s Department of Prehistory and Early History’s library. I loved this job. After I got my Master’s degree, I worked in the National Museum of Prague. My responsibilities included curating their Bronze Age collection and managing their library. Now I have lived on Crete for 14 years and for five of those years I have been the Secretary of the Association for History and Folklore in East Crete. I am a member of the editorial board of Association’s Amaltheia journal and I am also responsible for their library.
When I learned, therefore, that my application for the INSTAP Library Fellowship was successful, I was very excited. I have been a reader at the Study Center’s library since 1998 so I know it very well and love to use this very rich collection which exists in a comfortable and friendly environment. The Center’s library has always helped with my studies and research and its collection is essential for the compilation of my dissertation titled A Review of Current Historical Interpretations of the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean and other European Regions for the Charles University’s Department of Classical Archaeology under the direction of Professor Jan Bouzek.
I want to express my appreciation to Melissa Eaby (the Library Fellow from 2008 to 2010) for her methodical and consistent work. She introduced me to all of the librarian’s duties, and her guidelines have been extremely useful. Melissa’s contribution to this library has been immense.
As the 2010 to 2011 Library Fellow, I divide my activities in the library into three different but related units: everyday maintenance of the collection which includes monitoring our patrons’ needs, the enlargement of our collection, and the maintenance of the library’s archive.
Many of the books we have are acquired through exchange with about 20 other organizations. Many scholars have also donated their works to our library. Authors’ donations represent a significant source as is clearly visible in the chart below.
We are not, however, simply passively collecting donations to the library. We are systematically following new publications and making them immediately available to our readers. We also expand the collection at the suggestion of scholars and experts. We are also very proud that we can satisfy the most special requests. For example, in May 2010 we were able to acquire a dissertation submitted to Frankfurt University in 1970 (Manfred Korfmann’s 1972 Schleuder und Bogen in Südwestasien. Vom den Frühesten Belegen bis zum Beginn der historischen Stadtstaaten) and many other rare monographs and articles.
Last year, several important additions were made possible due to generous donations in the names of Phillip and Mary Betancourt (Kentro 2009, p. 12) on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. The Center still continues to buy books from this fund.
At the beginning of the summer of 2010, we were given a great opportunity to obtain a significant part of Ellen Davis Library collection, which resulted in about 200 books being added to the library during August and September. There are special monographs on prehistory, the history of art, enviroment, and the history of Crete, Aegean, Near East, Egypt. Today, the Study Center’s library owns about 7,500 books and offprints.
|Figure 2. The interior of the pithos immediately before recovery.
Although the Center was very busy in the summer months, I managed to reorganize the collection of periodicals in order to make it easier for readers to use. Duplicate copies in the archive have been inventoried and reorganized so that it is now very easy to see what we have and to locate the items. I have also been happy to be able to help where I can with other projects unrelated to the library, such as photographing, cataloging, and storing archaeological artifacts.
I am also working on enlarging our media collection of books, articles, and maps in digital versions. This is related to the librarian fellow’s responsibility with the archive. The main objective is the digitization of all the archaeological data. This project was started by Melissa Eaby. Melissa scanned and archived on discs the majority of all of the field notebooks and other excavation records of projects who have used or are using the Study Center. One of my goals is to continue the process she so successfully started. My main goal, however, is to contribute to making the unique library at the Study Center even better and more helpful to all scholars, students, and visitors.