Tag Archives: Macmillan Brown Library

How to: Use the Macmillan Brown Library

Have you ever searched the Library catalogue and found the only available copy of the exact thing you need says “Library use only –ask at Service Desk”?  What did you do? Catalogue recordWe know that it can be a bit confusing since we do things a bit differently to the other Libraries on campus as well as being a bit out of the way for many students, so here are some top-tips and FYIs to make visiting and using the Macmillan Brown Library (MB) as stress-free as possible.

1. Firstly, when it says “- ask at Service Desk” you can make a request online, it just means that you will need to come to the desk at MB to collect the book – we don’t have a self issue machine.  If you request it through the catalogue we will have it ready and waiting for you when you come in.

2. If you are searching from within the Library we have some rather old-fashioned ‘Item Request Cards’ which you can complete with details of what you need and bring it up to the desk where we will retrieve the item on the spot. The important information to write down is the Call Number so we can locate it for you quickly.

3. There is no time limit on how long you can use an item. If you haven’t finished and you need to get to class or we are closing for the day, just let us know and we will keep it aside for as long as you need.

4. Only a fraction of MB’s collections are on the open shelves in the Aotearoa Room and only around half those are lending copies. You can easily identify which books can be taken out from the Library by this red motif:Red motif

5. Most items are stored safely in the closed stacks until needed. We also take care of and provide access to the University’s Archives, Art and Rare Books and other Special Collections. As UC students you are entitled to use any of these in support of your studies, talk to one of our specialist staff to arrange access or go through Kā Kohika for Art and Archives.

6. When an item is added to the collection at MB we mean to keep it FOREVER, and FOREVER is a really long time. So we do have good reason to be strict on the no food or drink policy (water in sipper bottles is fine). Some items in the collection are very old and fragile so occasionally we might ask you to take extra special care by wearing gloves or cradling the book on a pillow. It is because of these practices that we have the amazing heritage collections we do.

7. Finally, please don’t be shy! We’re the only Library where you will have to talk to an actual person to borrow books but we’re all pretty friendly over here so come and have a chat. Remember library staff and resources are here to support you, feel free to ask – you might be surprised at how much we can help!



Ernest Rutherford’s connection to UC

The Nobel Prize Medal 1908. UC/RMED/405, Erik Linberg,
The Nobel Prize Medal 1908, UC/RMED/405, Erik Linberg.

Ernest Rutherford: New Zealand icon. He was born in Nelson in 1871 before attending Canterbury University. Rutherford was both the creator of modern atomic physics, and one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. The first discoveries made by Rutherford included: that elements can change their structure and that the atom was made up of a nucleus surrounded by electrons. However, Rutherford’s most important contribution to modern science was the splitting of the atom which secured his title as the world’s first successful alchemist. In 1890 as a young man Rutherford started at UC, which used to be called Canterbury College. Then in 1908 Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery that elements can change their form from heavy, to slightly lighter. In 1914 Rutherford was knighted for his contribution to science. Rutherford died in 1937 as Ernest, Lord Rutherford of Nelson.

The University is closely connected to Rutherford. In 1971 the University honoured the legacy of Rutherford by naming the chemistry/physics building the Ernest Rutherford building. UC holds the Rutherford Medal Collection which was placed in the University’s care in 1938, following Rutherford’s death. The collection contains 36 medals, insignias and plaques. You can find more information about Ernest Rutherford in the Macmillan Brown Library collection and see replicas of the original medal collection on level 1 of the Rutherford building.