Appreciate Cows!

Today (9th July 2019) is Cow Appreciation Day. Join SUNCAT in giving your appreciation to these wonderful creatures! Here are some weird and wonderful journal titles on the theme of cows.

  • Hot rum cow.
  • Cow’zine.
  • Moo-Cow Fan Club newsletter.
  • Cow in the road.
  • The adventures of Capt. Plaid Cow.
  • The New cow of Greenwich Village.
  • The purple cow.
  • Mad cow: newsletter of the Berkshire South-East branch of CAMRA.
  • Black Book – European Publishing: Why Buy the Cow When the Milk Is Free?
  • The duchess of Devonshire’s cow; a poem.
  • Cow Longevity Conference, 28-29 August 2013, Tumba, Sweden.

This is our last ever weird and wonderful SUNCAT post. We have come across some amazing weird and wonderful journal titles through the years. (One of the most memorable has to be ‘Hearse : a vehicle used to convey the dead’!) As well as individual posts, we have had some great series, including that of football fanzines and Olympic sports. We hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as we have enjoyed compiling them.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service this week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Aberystwyth University (01 Jul 19)
  • Bath University (01 Jul 19)
  • Birmingham University (01 May 19)
  • British Library (04 Jul 19)
  • Brunel University London (27 Jun 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (03 Jul 19)
  • Dundee University (01 Jul 19)
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  • Imperial College London (01 Jul 19)
  • King’s College London (01 Jul 19)
  • Leeds University (29 Jun 19)
  • London Business School (28 Jun 19)
  • London Library (28 Jun 19)
  • St. Andrews University (29 Jun 19)
  • Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) (28 Jun 19)
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery (27 Jun 19)
  • Southampton University (30 Jun 19)

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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service last week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (27 Jun 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (26 Jun 19)
  • Cranfield University (20 Jun 19)
  • De Montfort University (21 Jun 19)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (24 Jun 19)
  • London Metropolitan University (26 Jun 19)
  • Oxford University (23 Jun 19)
  • Reading University (08 Jun 19)
  • Southampton University (23 Jun 19)
  • Strathclyde University (01 Jun 19)
  • Sussex University (01 Jun 19)
  • University of the West of England (24 Jun 19)
  • Warwick University (14 Jun 19)

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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service last week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (13 Jun 19)
  • Canterbury Christ Church University (08 Jun 19)
  • Cardiff University (01 Jun 19)
  • Durham University (06 Jun 19)
  • Kent University (02 Jun 19)
  • King’s College London (02 Jun 19)
  • London Library (05 Jun 19)
  • NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) (05 Jun 19)
  • Northumbria University (01 Jun 19)
  • Queen’s University, Belfast (05 Jun 19)
  • Royal College of Music (16 Jun 19)
  • Sheffield University (01 Jun 19)
  • Southampton University (16 Jun 19)
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David (01 Jun 19)
  • Warwick University (07 Jun 19)
  • York University (01 Jun 19)

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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service this week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bath University (01 Jun 19)
  • British Museum (01 Jun 19)
  • Brunel University London (29 May 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (12 Jun 19)
  • Dundee University (01 Jun 19)
  • Edinburgh Napier University (01 Jun 19)
  • Edinburgh University (01 Jun 19)
  • Imperial College London (01 Jun 19)
  • Kingston University (01 Jun 19)
  • Lancaster University (01 Jun 19)
  • Leicester University (01 Jun 19)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (01 Jun 19)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (01 Jun 19)
  • Manchester University (01 Jun 19)
  • National Library of Wales (01 Jun 19)
  • Natural History Museum (01 Jun 19)
  • Open University (01 Jun 19)
  • Sheffield Hallam University (01 Jun 19)
  • Southampton University (09 Jun 19)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service this week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Aberystwyth University (01 Jun 19)
  • British Library (30 May 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (29 May 19)
  • Glasgow University (24 May 19)
  • London Metropolitan University (25 May 19)
  • St. Andrews University (30 May 19)
  • Southampton University (26 May 19)
  • University of the West of England (24 May 19)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service this week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (23 May 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (22 May 19)
  • Cranfield University (20 May 19)
  • De Montfort University (21 May 19)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (20 May 19)
  • Oxford University (23 May 19)
  • Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (16 May 19)
  • Southampton University (19 May 19)

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Contributors to the Old Statistical Account: Reverend Doctor James Octavius Playfair (1738-1819)

This is the second guest blog post from the independent researcher John Moore, who is writing to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of a number of contributors to the Old Statistical Account. This time, he is focusing on the Reverend Doctor James Octavius Playfair.

________________________________

On 26th May 1819, the Reverend Doctor James Octavius Playfair, minister of the Perthshire charge of Meigle (1777-1800), died and we commemorate the bi-centenary of his death this month. Playfair was the author of the entries for both Meigle, a parish lying in the centre of Strathmore (OSA, Vol. I, 1791, p. 503-518) and the adjacent Angus parish of Eassie and Nevay (OSA, Vol. XVI, 1795, p. 212-221) in the Statistical Account.

Born the son of a farmer at West Bendochy in Perthshire, he studied at St. Andrew’s University before becoming minister of Newtyle in 1770, having been presented by James Stuart Mackenzie, Lord Privy Seal. In 1773 he married Margaret Lyon, daughter of the Reverend George Lyon of Longforgan. Seven years later, he transferred to the neighbouring parish of Meigle. During his time there, he wrote A System of Chronology in 1782, his alma mater awarded him an honorary doctorate in divinity (DD) in 1779 and in 1787 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Meigle description appears in the first volume of the Old Statistical Account (1791) and much of the text reflects Playfair’s interests. He notes the heights of several local hills with great accuracy as ascertained by barometrical measurement and describes carefully the course of the river Isla. However, his discussion of local antiquaries, Playfair is quite scornful of early writings, stating that ‘the tales and stories related by fabulous writers are, for the most part, too wild and extravagant to merit belief’ (OSA, Vol. I, 1791, p. 505). In describing a monument in Meigle churchyard said to be dedicated to Vanora (or Guinevar), he comments that ‘the antiquary  may amuse himself with the fragments that remain; but he can scarcely form one plausible conjecture with respect to their original meaning and design’ (OSA, Vol. I, 1791, p. 507).

The memorial to Rev James Playfair, St Andrews Cathedral churchyard

The memorial to Rev James Playfair, St Andrews Cathedral churchyard

By 1791 the parish had a population of 1148 but the description of Meigle as an ancient, inconsiderable and meanly built town suggests that Playfair had little love for his charge, particularly as he scarcely mentions the conditions of its people. There can be no doubt, however, about where Playfair’s loyalties lay. He praises the period since 1745 as a fortunate epoch for Scotland, contrasting the formal rude and uncivilised state of the country with the benefits enjoyed following the introduction of many agricultural improvements, including his own use of a better quality of oats. The production of linen was the parish’s principal manufacture and Playfair details how progress would result from the construction of a canal between Perth and Forfar.

The account of Eassie and Nevay did not appear until four years later. Local rivers are again detailed and Playfair makes mention of James Mackenzie as its chief proprietor. Most of the text discusses various aspects of agricultural change – farms, inclosure, manures and livestock. With a population of 630, the parish inhabitants are described as ‘sober and industrious, strangers alike to intemperance and dissipation of every kind’.

At the end of 1799, he was appointed to be principal of the United Colleges of St. Leonard’s and St. Salvator’s in St. Andrew’s and moved to become minister of the congregation of St. Leonard’s in that city. It was during his time there that Playfair came into his own as a writer on geography. He published a sizeable System of Geography, Ancient and Modern between 1810 and 1814, followed by a four-volume General Atlas, Ancient and Modern (1814) and a Geographical and Statistical Description of Scotland in 1819. This final work is almost entirely based on the original Statistical Account of Scotland. In addition, Playfair was the official historiographer of the then Prince of Wales. He admired the work of Robert Burns and was one of the defenders of the authenticity of Ossian’s poems.

Playfair died at Dalmarnock near Glasgow soon after his Statistical Description appeared. Of his sons, Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair (1786-1861) was born at Meigle manse and served as an officer in the East India Company’s Bengal army. On his return to Scotland, he settled in St Andrews and was elected provost in 1842 – a post he held until his death. His older brother, George (1782-1846) became Inspector General of Hospitals in Bengal.

________________________

We would like to thank John for this guest post.

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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service this week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (16 May 19)
  • Canterbury Christ Church University (10 May 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (15 May 19)
  • London Library (10 May 19)
  • Queen’s University, Belfast (08 My 19)
  • Royal College of Music (16 May 19)
  • School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) (13 May 19)
  • Southampton University (12 May 19)
  • Trinity College Dublin (11 May 19)

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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service last week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bath University (01 May 19)
  • British Library (09 May 19)
  • British Museum (01 May 19)
  • Canterbury Christ Church University (08 May 19)
  • Cardiff University (01 May 19)
  • CONSER (Not UK Holdings) (08 May 19)
  • Dundee University (01 May 19)
  • Durham University (02 May 19)
  • Edinburgh University (01 May 19)
  • Exeter University (04 May 19)
  • Hull University (01 May 19)
  • Imperial College London (01 May 19)
  • Kent University (02 May 19)
  • King’s College London (02 May 19)
  • Kingston University (01 May 19)
  • Northumbria University (01 May 19)
  • Open University (01 May 19)
  • Sheffield Hallam University (01 May 19)
  • Sheffield University (01 May 19)
  • Southampton University (05 May 19)
  • Strathclyde University (01 May 19)
  • Sussex University (01 May 19)
  • Swansea University (01 May 19)
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David (01 May 19)
  • Warwick University (26 Apr 19)
  • York University (01 May 19)

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