The NAG Award for Excellence 2014, sponsored by Nielsen, was presented at NAG’s Annual Conference held in York. Sara Pink and Ann Martin accepted the award for Guildhall Library for their Incunabula Project working with the Consortium of European Research Library (CERL).

(Pictured left to right: Ann Martin and Sara Pink receiving this year’s award from Corina Petcu, Key Account Manager from Nielsen Discovery Services).

Guildhall Library, City of London Corporation, holds 73 incunables (pre-1501 printed books) many of which are of interest to a wide audience including international academics and researchers but until now have been hidden treasures, largely uncatalogued, within the library.

Working with CERL, the Guildhall Library is in the process of capturing the wealth of provenance information found within these books to enhance their catalogue records and add the information to CERL’s new MEI database (Material Evidence in Incunabula). This project will enable worldwide access to provenance information for researchers and family historians and, by including digitised images from the collection; they are bringing it to life and encouraging researchers to transcribe the more challenging annotations and marginalia for them.

The project is anticipated to take 12 months to complete with cataloguing carried out book-in-hand and pages selected for digitisation depending on the presence of provenance information to add to MEI and to their collections site on Pinterest.

Dr Cristina Dondi said of the project “Progressive libraries are now offering images of provenance evidence on the web, either on their own website or using tools such as Flick or Pinterest. The enterprise is praiseworthy as it raises the quality of scholarly research exponentially. Linking pictures to MEI offers an excellent opportunity to assure that evidence of provenance, illustrated in a London library website, will be picked up in Massachusetts if relating to the same former ownership.”

Simon Skinner, Sales Director of Nielsen Book, Discovery Services commented “Nielsen is proud to sponsor the NAG award for the fourth year. It is all too easy to dwell on the challenges being faced by libraries, and in particular public librories, so the NAG Award offers a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate success and innovation. Nielsen would like to thank NAG and the judging panel for their work and to congratulate the Guildhall Library for their achievement”.

Download Nielsen’s press release here  GUILDHALL LIBRARY WINS NAG AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE