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Clive Field interviewed by Stephanie Kenna

Field, Clive (speaker, male; interviewee)
2012-11-08, 2012-11-14, 2012-11-28, 2012-12-05, 2013-01-17


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  • Title:
    Clive Field interviewed by Stephanie Kenna
  • Contributor: Field, Clive; Kenna, Stephanie
  • Other Titles:
    Collection title: British Library staff oral history interviews

  • Rights: British Library
  • Place Name: British Library, London
  • Description:
    Track 1 [23:38] [Session one: 8 November 2012] Clive Douglas Field [C.F.], born Luton, Bedfordshire, 1950. Comments on why named Clive Douglas. Mentions half-sister, Evelyn, born 1943. Parents born and brought up in Bedfordshire; married in 1949. Description of paternal and maternal grandparents. Remark that maternal grandmother lived with C.F.’s family until 1970. Comments on father leaving school; variety of jobs ending at F.W. Woolworth until retired, 1982; mother in millinery trade. Comments on Luton as hat-making centre. [06.24] Earliest memories. Description of family holidays at Clacton. Mention of early liking for historical outings. Comment that mother didn’t like to travel very far. Description of guest house in Clacton; travelling to Clacton. [14:04] Description of home in Luton: council house built in the 1930s on Selbourne Road. Comments about inter-war slum clearance and housing development. Remark that father only bought house after mother died because she believed in renting. Mentions moving there in 1952; born in High Town in property later demolished as slum dwellings. [16:36] Description of Selbourne Road estate. Comment about Vauxhall being major local employer. Mentions beginning of Afro-Caribbean immigration in 1950s; Asian immigration in 1960s and 1970s. Comment that Bury Park now the Asian centre of Luton; transformation of area since 1968. [18:11] Description of rooms and facilities at Selbourne Road; comparison with house where born. Comments on living and sleeping arrangements. Description of C.F.’s room. Comments on later modernisation of house. Mention of early television set. Comments on poor pay from both hat work and Woolworth’s.

    Track 2 [56:22] Comments on financial hardship and sacrifices of parents in giving C.F. educational opportunities. [04:30] Comments on C.F.'s half-sister: education and employment; marriages and family; living in Luton; involvement in a major road accident; relationship with C.F. [08:00] Comments on attitudes to immigrants in Luton in 1950s and 60s; economic conditions and immigration. [11:08] Mentions going to grammar school in Dunstable. [11:56] Comments on leisure activities as child: playing with Lego; stamp collecting; watching television. Mentions lack of space and privacy at home. Comments on going to cinema; watching Luton Town Football Team with father; playing cricket with father. [16:37] Comments on love of books and reading; preference for factual books; mentions favourite fiction genres and authors: W.E. Johns and Biggles; Georges Simenon and Maigret; C.S. Forester and Hornblower; particular interest in history and military history. [19:26] Comments on collecting books; new books from Paperback Parade, Luton; second-hand books from the Foye Gallery. Description of first bookshelves; displaying memorabilia and family heirlooms. Comments on interest in First World War; making model planes from Airfix kits. [23:35] Comments on using Luton public library; library and bookshops as focal points; using public library for research while at grammar school; involvement with local branch of Historical Association; interest in local history; personal projects on: medieval Dunstable; etymology of place-name of Dunstable; witchcraft in Bedfordshire; family outings to places of historical interest. [27:46] Comments on grammar school friends; playing female parts in school plays. [29:14] Comments on involvement with local Methodist church; relationships with relatives. Mentions 'The Beano and 'The Dandy'. Comments on being a loner and independent. [31:51] Comments on non-conformist chapel as centre of mother's social life in 1920s and 1930s; mother losing touch with the church after having illegitimate child; mother still regarding church as important: getting married in church; sending C.F. to Sunday School. Mentions household not strongly religious. Comments on drifting away from Sunday School as teenager; later academic interest in religious history. [36:18] Comments on meals and food eaten; shopping for groceries; eating sweets; happy childhood and parental support; indebtedness to parents for educational and career opportunities. [42:16] Comments on mother being diagnosed with breast cancer, 1968; having radical mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment; father juggling work, home and care for mother and maternal grandmother. Comments on how mother's illness kept from C.F. until end of first term at Oxford University, 1968; being very close to mother and affected by her illness; mother's on-going treatment at Mount Vernon Hospital; her illness and death, 1982; C.F.'s last memories of his mother. [50.02] Comments on parents' political views. Mentions Labour Party and Harold Wilson becoming Prime Minister in 1964. Comments on own political views. [54:39] Comments on family finances.

    Track 3 [1:44:50] [Session two: 8 November 2012] Comments on food; attitude to foreign food; eating out. [02:04] Comments on Christmas; parents largely teetotal; birthdays. [04:56] Comments on relationships with maternal and paternal relatives. Mentions mother's interest in family history. [06:50] Comments on going to local Maidenhall Primary School, 1955; separate schools for infants and juniors. Description of journey to school. Mentions being frightened of dogs; mentions parents' pet budgerigar and canary. [09:36] Comments on class size and discipline; school reports; being fairly good all round academically. Describes subjects taught. Mentions liking maths and practical subjects. Comments on limited resources for art; lack of excursions and practical field trips. [14:00] Comments on friendships; homework; discipline and corporal punishment. [16:57] Description of music at school; lack of interest. Mentions regular examinations and tests. Comments on 11 plus examination. [18:55] Comments on choice of Dunstable Grammar School; being the only one to go there from Maidenhall School; first day; academic streaming at end of first year; form size; C.F. in top group through school. [22:15] Comments on school uniform; range of sports equipment required; expense for parents; parents' reactions to C.F. going to grammar school. [24:58] Mentions different teachers for different subjects. Comments on dislike of sports; lack of interest in woodwork and music; school's six day week. Mentions liking maths; developing strong love of history. Comments on sports in the sixth form. [30:10] Comments on eye problems. [31:29] Comments on homework; project work; writing essays and developing writing skills; C.F.’s lack of creative imagination. Mentions Headmaster, L.P. Banfield. Comments on educational opportunities; growing self-confidence. [35:34] Comments on O level subjects and results. [39:45] Comments on going on to do A levels; awareness that career would involve history in some way. [42:36] Description of being in sixth form; choice of history, French and German; teachers and teaching of A level subjects. Mentions Geoffrey Elton's 'England under the Tudors' and 'Emilia Galotti' [play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781)]. [47:40] Comments on staying in 1967 with family in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne; attending a French language course at University of Nice. [49:38] Comments on development of historical awareness. Mentions 'The Great War' television series and A.J.P. Taylor's television lectures. Comments on influence of history teacher, R.F. Moore, graduate of Wadham College, Oxford; sitting Oxford entrance exam in second year of sixth form; choice of Wadham College. [54:11] Description of duties as a prefect. Comments on volunteering in school library; school plays; cost of foreign trips. [01.00:32] Comments on applying to university; interviews at Wadham College; concerns about fitting in. [01:04:58] Comments on being offered place; A level results; reactions to news. [01:08:16] Comments on financial implications; local authority grants; parents' contribution; scholarship; concerns over mother's and grandmother's health. [01:10:13] Comments on preparatory study in summer vacation; first impressions of Oxford; Blackwell's bookshop. [01:13:42] Comments on first year accommodation in College; mixing with fellow history students; being focused on work. Mentions attending meetings of Oxford branch of the Historical Association. [01:16:39] Comments on Oxford bookshops: Blackwell's, O.U.P. [Oxford University Press], Parker's. Comments on changing rooms after first term; sharing with Richard Koch, big figure in P.E.S.T. [Pressure for Economic and Social Toryism]. [01:19:47] Mentions Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia and events in China, 1968. Comments on student unrest in Oxford; C.F.'s lack of engagement; issues about college catering. Comments on being homesick; writing home every day. [01:23:30] Comments on accommodation beyond Folly Bridge after first year; tensions between town and gown; being mugged. [01:26:12] Comments on buying books; using College and History Faculty libraries and Upper Camera and Upper Reading Rooms of Bodleian Library; reading lists; value of periodicals in study of history. [01:29:31] Comments on tutorials, lectures and essay writing. [01:32:18] Mentions A.F. [Pat] Thompson, senior history tutor at Wadham; Cliff Davies junior history tutor at Wadham; studying Bede's 'Ecclesiastical History' in Latin with early French historian Peter Lewis [P.L.]. Description of P.L.'s rooms in All Souls. Comments on study of modern history at Oxford; compulsory subjects, further and special options. Mentions Angus Mcintyre of Magdalen College. [01:36:39] Comments on lack of other interests; studying in vacations; working at Woolworth's and Luton airport after final examinations; not meeting girls. Mentions Anne Whiteman, history tutor at Lady Margaret Hall. [01:39:42] Comments on viva examination; not getting a first class degree; Oxford undifferentiated second class degrees; not affecting career; reactions of family.

    Track 4 [01:58:22] [Session three: 14 November 2012] Comments on postgraduate research at Oxford University; registering as B. Litt. student, 1971; studentship from Social Science Research Council [S.S.R.C. now Economic and Social Research Council, E.S.R.C.]. [05:29] Comments on first supervisor, Pat Thompson; interest in Methodist history; impact of E.P. Thompson's 'Making of the English Working Class', 1963. [08:20] Comments on identifying source material and research theme; interest in use of statistics to measure activity; upgrading to full B. Litt. status. [12:02] Comments on new supervisor, historian John Walsh, Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; identifying wider context for research; lack of training for postgraduate researchers; 1972 paper detailing progress; focus on Methodism in London, 1850-1920. [15:53] Comments on search for appropriate supervisor; C.F.'s suggestion of Eric Hobsbawm; appointment of David Thompson, Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Describes visits to supervisor; continuing discussions with John Walsh. Mentions life as postgraduate researcher; Modern British History seminar series at All Souls College. [20:08] Comments on shortcomings of Bodleian Library for C.F.'s research; use of Methodist Archives and Research Centre; archivist Jack Bowmer and assistant Daisy Baslington; state of collection; culture of organisation. [23:25] Comments on Wesley Historical Society Library, started in 1950s by F.F. Bretherton; chapel archives at Greater London Record Office; Wesley's Chapel and Leysian Mission archives; archives of former Primitive Methodist chapel; archives of Westminster College; private library at Lincoln College, Oxford, founded by A.F. Hall. Mentions sources not used: archives at London School of Economics of Charles Booth's 'Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London'; sources at Public Record Office. [27:08] Comments on use of oral history to fill gaps in official records. [30:10] Comments on identifying and contacting potential respondents; response rate. Mentions Lord Soper; reminiscences from older respondents. Comments on sensitive issues; value of oral history; article in 'Oral History' in 1976; plan to deposit original materials in suitable repository. [36:07] Comments on completing doctorate in three years. Mentions examiners: John Walsh (internal) and Professor John Kent, University of Bristol (external); viva and award of doctorate 1974. Comments on typing and correcting theses. [38:59] Comments on possible publication by O.U.P.; article on social structure in Methodism in 'British Journal of Sociology'; continuing development of research skills; role of B. Litt. [43:13] Comments on meeting future wife; vitreous haemorrhage in left eye, winter 1970-1; bed rest at Oxford Eye Hospital; meeting Swiss nurse, Verena Duss [V.F.]. [48:19] Comments on courtship; marriage in Oxford, May 1972; renting flat in Summertown House, Banbury Road, N. Oxford. Description of flat. [51:45] Comments on ages at marriage; V.F.'s mother and step-father working at U.B.S. [Union Bank of Switzerland], Zurich; mother's opera singing; V.F.'s love of opera. Description of V.F.'s nursing career. [55:01] Comments on C.F.'s hopes for academic career. Description of academic employment market; C.F.'s prospects. Mentions Robbins report [‘Report of the Committee on Higher Education’, chaired by Lord Robbins, 1963]. Comments on seeking posts in UK, 1973-4. Mentions 'Times Higher Education Supplement'. [59:38] Comments on job applications; interviews for: history post at University of Warwick, mentioning Jack Scarisbrick, historian; sociology post at Bedford College, London; oral history project at University of Kent, mentioning book by successful candidate, Michael Winstanley ['Life in Kent at the Turn of the Century', 1978]. [01:02:36] Comments on failure to secure post; decision to try school teaching; experience of teaching as postgraduate. Mentions Ed Greene’s College [Edward Greene’s Tutorial Establishment, now Greene’s Tutorial College, Oxford]. Comments on Postgraduate Certificate of Education [P.G.C.E.]; studying at Westminster College, Oxford, 1974-5. Description of P.G.C.E. course. [01:08:49] Comments on students; getting to College; lack of engagement in College activities; impressions of College culture. Mentions later contact with College through Methodist history; now part of Oxford Brookes University. Comments on course; intention to teach at O and A level; being offered post as Head of Sociology, Havant Sixth Form College. [01:14:37] Describes new S.S.R.C. fellowships; submitting proposal on historical sociology of religion; offer of fellowship for two years. Comments on withdrawal from Havant post. [01:19:47] Comments on teaching practice at comprehensive: Banbury School and public school: Abingdon School. Mentions headmaster, Eric Anderson, later headmaster of Eton College. [01:21:17] Comments on S.S.R.C. award and pension contributions; research into changing patterns of religious practice from 1689 to present day. Mentions periodic progress reports; consulting c.5,000 sources; preparing draft papers. Comments on option to extend award; decision to seek permanent post. Mentions picking up research in retirement; publishing in 'Journal of Church and State', 2008. [01:26:59] Comments on interest in public opinion polls as historical evidence. Mentions British Institute of Public Opinion. Comments on academic research. Mentions approach from Macmillan, now Palgrave Macmillan about book on sociology of religion. [01:30:05] Mentions birth of son, James [J.F.], April 1976. Comments on job applications; offers of: interview for lectureship in English theology, Durham University; post as Secretary to Economic and Social History and Statistics Committees at S.S.R.C.; Assistant Librarian post at John Rylands University Library of Manchester [J.R.U.L.M.]; consideration of options. [01:35:55] Mentions not having considered career in librarianship; not wishing to do another postgraduate qualification; University of Manchester Librarian, Dr Fred Ratcliffe [F.R.]; recruitment of Assistant Librarians with academic background. Comments on offer of Manchester post; decision not to pursue Durham University interview; S.W.O.T. analysis of S.S.R.C. and Manchester posts. [01:40:35] Comments on decision to take Manchester post. [01:43:59] Comments on accommodation in North Oxford, while at Westminster College; V.F.'s Mini; renting flat North of Summertown from Head of Oxford University Accommodation Office during S.S.R.C. Fellowship. [01:47:31] Description of flat. Mentions attempts at gardening. [01:49:56] Comments on holidays in Luton with parents; visits to in-laws in Switzerland; honeymoon in Pfaffenhofen, Austria, with Cosmos Holidays; memorable holiday in Bournemouth. [01:53:52] Mentions visiting Stratford; going to cinema; rarity in Oxford of big-name orchestras, travelling operatic and theatrical productions; listening to Saturday night radio plays. Comments on family finances; cooking; V.F.'s cooking skills; looking after J.F.

    Track 5 [59:13] [Session four: 14 November 2012 – date stated on track 6] Comments on keeping in touch with parents; their reaction to move to Manchester. [05:04] Comments on seeking accommodation; renting in Prestwich; describes property. Comments on salary; house hunting; inability to afford house near University; buying house in Little Lever, near Bolton. [09:41] Describes journey to work; University library buildings on main site; original John Rylands Library [J.R.L.]. [13:57] Mentions variable quality of library buildings; physical format of library collections; F.R. growing collections as measure of success; recommendation that J.R.U.L.M. might become copyright library. Comments on University Grants Committee [U.G.C.] funding for new library building; opened by Queen, May 1982. Comments on responsibilities of assistant librarians; cataloguing humanities and social science material. Description of cataloguing department and work. Mentions use of Dewey Decimal Classification, Edition 13. [17:44] Comments on value and cost-effectiveness of cataloguing. Describes other responsibilities; social science related work with Tom Kabdebo; his career; choosing books to catalogue; donations and purchases. [21:08] Involvement in audio-visual services after 1979. Describes large collection of microform materials. Mentions small collections of slides, recordings and moving images; responsibility for photocopying services; administration of copyright law; Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988; responsibility for photographic work. Describes audio-visual services; mentions responsibility for cataloguing university theses. [25:08] Comments on semi-autonomous nature of role; mentions enquiry desk rotas; evening duties; involvement in library publications. Comments on looking for other jobs; application for academic post at Preston Polytechnic [now University of Central Lancashire]; decision to focus on library career; applying for library jobs at next level; involvement in move to new library building. [29:58] Comments on continuing academic research; mentions Dr Michael Pegg succeeding F.R.; comments on sabbatical leave scheme; C.F.'s study leave; publication of 'Religion. Reviews of UK Statistical Sources: Vol XX', 1987, Pergamon Press; mentions Robert Maxwell; work commissioned by Royal Statistical Society and Economic and Social Research Council [formerly S.S.R.C.]; contribution of bibliography section to Volume 4 of ‘Official History of Methodist Church’, 1988. [34:20] Comments on appointment to Methodist Church Archives and History Committee; liaison over deposit of Methodist Archives and Research Centre at J.R.L.; tensions related to deposit; membership of sub-committee on Methodist oral history; seeking repository for recordings of services and sermons; negotiations with British Institute of Recorded Sound, now British Library [B.L.] Sound Archive. [39:02] Comments on Methodist Sociological Group; Inter-Church Research Group. Comments on lack of professional development for assistant librarians; F.R.'s involvement in review of ['Preservation policies and conservation in British Libraries', 1984]; careers of Manchester colleagues, mentioning John Hall. [43:40] Comments on professionally qualified staff; mentions mentoring roles of Ethel Parkinson and Bill Simpson. Comments on J.R.U.L.M.’s slow adoption of library automation; University of Birmingham’s early adoption, mentioning Birmingham Libraries Co-operative Mechanisation Project [B.L.C.M.P.]; comparison of Birmingham and Manchester; S.C.O.N.U.L. [Standing Conference of National and University Libraries, now Society of College, National and University Libraries] trainees. [48:46] Comments on line managers; mentions Anne Pilkington, Head of Cataloguing; absence of annual appraisals; comments on J.R.U.L.M. job descriptions; C.F.'s own records; 1980s funding environment; C.F.’s management style; recruiting John Tuck [J.Tu., later at B.L.]. [54:08] Challenges of combining work, research and family life; likes and dislikes; standing apart from trade union and professional organisations.

    Track 6 [01:16:19] Comments on appointment as Sub-Librarian at J.R.U.L.M.; Deputy Librarian, Keith Farmery; Dr Frank Taylor, Librarian of J.R.L.; comments on appointment of David Miller [D.M.] as second Deputy; his career. [03:37] Comments on D.M.'s plans to strengthen leadership of J.R.U.L.M.; challenge of opening up special collections at J.R.L.; culture at J.R.L.; opportunity for C.F. [06:17] Comments on appointment process; responsibilities; raising awareness of special collections; developing publications policy; editing 'Bulletin of the John Rylands Library'. [09:28] Description of editorial work; journal content; time commitment. [13:41] Comments on developing facsimile and microform publications. Mentions Rylands Haggadah, published Thames and Hudson, 1988; contributing to microfilm collections based on Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue [E.S.T.C., now English Short Title Catalogue]; editing 'The People Called Methodists' collection; research guides to uncatalogued collections; guide to non-conformist collections, 1989; Manpower Services Commission funded cataloguing project; developing relationship with Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue [N.S.T.C.] and Gwen Averley [N.S.T.C. editor]. [17:28] Comments on exhibition and events programme; raising Library profile; launch of John Rylands Research Institute [J.R.R.I.], 1988; its activities. [22:27] Comments on financial issues; controversial decision to fund J.R.R.I. with endowment funded by book sale; C.F. not involved in decision; possible involvement of David Riley, Keeper of Printed Books in book selection. [25:43] Description of books chosen for sale at Sotheby's; incunables from Althorp Library of Second Earl Spencer; Christie Collection of Renaissance French and Italian literature, formed by Professor Richard Copley Christie. Comments on de-duplication in libraries; importance of material sold. Mentions contemporary sale of paintings by Royal Holloway College. [28:51] Comments on opposition to sale; University's legal position; C.F.'s role in dealing with media; opposition led by F.R. and Nicolas Barker [Head of Conservation at the British Library, 1976-79]. [32:03] Mentions sale raised c. £1.1m. Comments on use of money; C.F.'s review of special collections at J.R.L., 2008. Discussion of issues around sale. [37:09] Comments on impact on university; withdrawal by Lord Crawford of deposited collections; impact on C.F.'s career; hostile interview for Deputy Librarian post at University of Cambridge Library. [43:21] Comments on working at J.R.L.; management of staff. Mentions J.Tu. Comments on professional development. Mentions Library's management group; no involvement in S.C.O.N.U.L. or Consortium of University Research Libraries [C.U.R.L. now Research Libraries UK, R.L.U.K.]. Comments on continuing involvement with Methodist Archives; unsuccessful negotiations for relocation of Moravian archive and library to J.R.L. [47:28] Mentions membership of International Group of Publishing Libraries set up by Jane Carr and David Way of B.L. Publishing. Comments on lack of opportunities for external representation. Mentions J.F. starting junior school; secondary school in Little Lever. Comments on being parent governor, 1988-1990; sitting on school interview panels; J.F.'s interests at school. [53:00] Mentions lack of time for research; comments on family outings and holidays; opera at Palace Theatre, Manchester; Halle Orchestra at Free Trade Hall. Comments on salary; mentions Association of University Teachers [A.U.T., now part of University and College Union]; against annual appraisals. [58:05] Comments on seeking post at next level; mentions Nancy McAulay, Librarian at University of Durham; comments on job applications; family considerations; mentions Michael Hannon, Librarian at University of Sheffield. Comments on decision to apply for post at University of Birmingham; dislike of weather in North West. [01:03:08] Comments on father's health; knowledge of Birmingham; changing nature of interviews; university library committees. Mentions Professor Brian Cox, Chair of Library Committee, University of Manchester; his career. [01:07:10] Comments on interview at Birmingham; mentions panel chaired by Pro Vice Chancellor and Tudor historian, Eric Ives; more on changing nature of interviews. Mentions applied for post of Deputy Librarian; university library service not converged with computing; comments on role of deputy librarians; mentions University of Birmingham Librarian, James [Jimmy] Thompson [J.Th.]; his career; views on role of the University Librarian. [01:12:55] Comments on move to Birmingham; last weeks in Manchester; relocation package. Mentions role of Black Horse Agency, part of Lloyds Banking Group.

    Track 7 [01:43:46] [Session five: 28 November 2012] Comments on house hunting in Birmingham; considerations. [02:31] Comments on seeking new school for J.F.; discussion of places offered at Old Kings Norton and Five Ways grammar schools; choice of latter, located at Bartley Green. [06:22] Further comments on house hunting; renting in Harborne; C.F. staying in Manchester to complete work at J.R.U.L.M.; buying new house in Edgbaston. [11:44] Comments on history of Birmingham University; founded 1870s as Mason Science College; originally located Edmund Street area; new Edwardian campus in Edgbaston designed by [Sir] Aston Webb; split between locations. Comments on library provision; move of University to Edgbaston, 1950s; description of main library; legacy of departmental libraries; mentions Barnes medical library. [15:43] Comments on condition and status of University Library [B.U.L.]; mentions B.U.L. was founder member of B.L.C.M.P. [now Talis]; accommodation and funding problems; special collections; Dr Thomas Pretious Heslop’s donations. [17:15] Comments on careers of: J.Th.; previous Deputy, John Henshall; J.Th.’s view of roles of University Librarian and Deputy; impact on C.F. [20:28] Comments on trends in Higher Education in 1990s; impact on university libraries; funding issues; improving B.U.L. finances. [26:46] Challenges of charging library costs to devolved budgets; acquisitions budgeting; mentions B.U.L. modelling shared with Follett Report [Joint Funding Council's Libraries Review Group Report, chair Sir Brian Follett]. [29:49] Comments on accommodation issues; unsuccessful bid to Higher Education Funding Council for England for library extension; programme of refurbishment and re-modelling of space; mentions donation from Jonny Johnson for new Shakespeare Institute Library, Stratford upon Avon. [32:59] Comments on problems of departmental libraries; difficulties with History Department; extending library store; mentions relocating bindery; re-using space for storage; disappointment at inability to improve accommodation significantly.[36:40] Further comments on problems of departmental libraries; B.U.L. staff structure; staffing issues; re-structuring; its impact; mentions Will Wakeling [W.W.], Karen Stanton, Michele Shoebridge; their careers. [41:17] Comments on special collection issues; mentions Dr Ben Benedikz [B.B.]; his career; re-structuring as Research Library Division; mentions Shakespeare Institute Library; Baykov Library, Centre for Russian and East European Studies; Barber Institute libraries; National Centre for Athletics Literature; Public Policy Library. C.F.’s sub-librarian role alongside B.B.; improving special collections budget; seeking project funding; mentions B.L. cataloguing grants; National Manuscripts Conservation Trust grants. [46:14] Comments on Non-Formula [Follett] Funding [N.F.F.] to open special collections. Describes successful B.U.L. projects; mentions Shakespeare Institute and Baykov Library catalogue conversions; describes special collections storage redevelopment; microfilming Chamberlain Collection; mentions developing special conservation unit. [51:22] Comments on information technology [I.T.] developments; C.F.’s involvement. Describes Academic Computing Service [A.C.S.]; staffing and trade union issues; mentions A.U.T.; Dr Jim Hendry, Head of A.C.S. [56:36] C.F.’s involvement in: campus information service initiatives; computer misuse cases; review of A.C.S. Comments on Follett report, 1993; leveraging investment from funding councils; focus on integrating library and computing services and skills. [01:00:15] Comments on value of converged services; resource planning with Professor David Westbury, Vice-Principal; C.F.’s profile within University. [01:02:24] Discusses job opportunities; posts at Saskatchewan and Exeter Universities; concerns at Birmingham about C.F.’s possible move; lack of people with both I.T. and library skills. [01:06:58] Comments on discussions, 1994, about staying at Birmingham; mentions J.Th.’s early retirement; C.F.’s formal response to Follett report; University decision to move to convergence model; combining B.U.L., A.C.S., Centre for Computer Based Learning and T.V. [audio-visual] Services. [01:10:21] Comments on specification for head of service post; decision to consider C.F. initially; describes formal procedure; mentions external advisors: Chris Hunt, Reg Carr, Bill Simpson; their current posts. [01:13:07] Comments on concerns of A.U.T., academics and A.C.S.; decision to appoint C.F. to post of Librarian and Director of Information Services [from October 1995]. [01:16:08] Comments on difficulties of pursuing own research; mentions ‘Gender in the English Free Church Constituency’ in ‘Journal of Ecclesiastical History’, 1993. Comments on hours worked; using computers; mentions stand-alone Amstrad computer at home. Comments on preparing statistical return for Follett report. [01:20:27] Comments on leisure activities; J.F.’s difficulties at school; his move to Cadbury Sixth Form College; mental health problems; unhappiness reading business studies at Carlisle campus, Northumbria University; transfer to University of Central England; deteriorating mental health; aegrotat in sociology. [01:25:53] Comments on first using computers at J.R.U.L.M.; interest aroused by Keith Farmery’s [K.F.] number crunching; mediated access to online resources; accessing E.S.T.C. database for ‘The People Called Methodists’ project; using K.F.’s computer on his retirement. [01:30:23] Comparison of B.U.L. with J.R.U.L.M.; unionisation at B.U.L.; stronger service ethos; impact of new agenda. [01:33:18] Comments on challenges of Deputy Librarian role; keeping abreast of I.T. developments; working with J.Th. Reflections on enjoyable elements; building the team. [01:36:55] Comments on difficulties with trade unions and academics; dealing with conflict. Comments on successes: laying foundation for converged service; improving finances and accommodation; recruiting staff; improving service quality; developing relations with Guild of Students. [01:40:00] Comments on failure to deliver major new university library or library extension. Comments on invitation to join C.U.R.L., 1993; lack of involvement in external activities; mentions lecture, ‘Towards a Contemporary Political Economy’, discussing funding for special collections.

    Track 8 [01:20:10] [Session six: 28 November 2012] Comments on convergence in UK higher education; internal and external interest in Birmingham implementation. Details of C.F.’s articles about process: S.C.O.N.U.L. Newsletter, 1996 and 1999; Liber Quarterly, 2001 [partly re-published in ‘Managing Academic Support Services in Universities’, Terry Hanson (ed.), 2005]. [04:33] Comments on implementation; initial scope of service; expansion of operation, 1995-2001; incorporation of additional, mostly problem, areas; mentions administrative data processing unit. [09:30] Comments on difficulties with teaching accommodation unit; mentions introduction of Teaching Quality Assessments, late 1990s; assessment of learning resources; centralisation of space control; incorporation of: language laboratories; university web site; university press. [13:00] Comments on developing initial structure and service model; challenges presented by expectations of cost-neutrality; staffing challenges. [16:29] Comments on preference for flat reporting structure and team working; not appointing a Deputy at outset; C.F. reporting to David Holmes, Registrar and Secretary, then David Allen [D.A.]; their careers; D.A.’s concerns about lack of Deputy; appointment of titular Deputy to cover periods of absence. Comments on restricting number of direct reports to five; incorporation of academic computing service. [21:36] Comments on restructuring within library departments; describes component divisions: collection management; reader services; learning and research support; administration and planning; each division headed by Assistant Director; comments on recruitment process. [25:50] Comments on appointments: Karen Stanton from Sheffield Hallam University responsible for Learning and Research Support; W.W. for Collection Management; Michele Shoebridge for Public Services; Jim Hendry [J.H.] for Information and Computing Systems. Mentions J.H. later moved sideways to Year 2000 planning project; appointment of Ray Tier from Aston University. [30:18] Comments on difficulty of filling Administration and Planning post; appointing Christine Abbott from Aston University. Reflections on team; comments on implementing changes throughout organisation; recruitment process. [33:37] Comments on financial issues; reflections on new structure; mentions recruitment of Assistant Director for Corporate Information Systems; support from H.R. [Human Resources]; H.R. Director, Peter Scott; Finance liaison officer, Helen Taylor. [38:17] Comments on communications with staff during re-structuring; staff training; mentions hybrid library environment; Joint Information Systems Committee [J.I.S.C.] exemplar project: Birmingham University Integrated Library Development and Electronic Resource [B.U.I.L.D.E.R.]. [41:45] Comments on learning and teaching issues; mentions working with Professor Frances Young, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, and Guild of Students. Comments on library and teaching accommodation issues; computer provision for students; development of integrated accommodation strategy. [45:04] Comments on plan to co-locate library, I.T. and teaching provision at key points on campus; reasons for failure to complete programme. Describes continuing programme of incremental improvements for teaching and learning; impact of Assessment of the Quality Education [A.Q.E.], later Teaching Quality Assessment. [49:32] Comments on impact of convergence on student experience; difficulties of assessing impact of convergence on research; mentions Research Assessment Exercise [R.A.E.]. Comments on review of Birmingham Information Services in 1999 by Lynne Brindley [L.J.B.] then Pro Vice-Chancellor for Information Services at University of Leeds; recommendation to strengthen link with research strategy. [52:33] Comments on C.F.’s involvement in University planning process; Information Services planning process. [55:29] Mentions review of Estates Services overshadowing L.J.B.’s review. Further comments on L.J.B.’s review and recommendations. Comments on C.F.’s reviews of other converged services; universities considering convergence; international interest. [01:00:05] Mentions Lyndon Pugh’s convergence case studies commissioned by B.L. Research and Innovation Centre; further information about Birmingham convergence available in Information Services annual reports; changes after C.F. left B.U.L., 2001. Comments on staffing; professional library qualifications. [01:04:11] Comments on West Midlands regional activities; mentions Birmingham Pals group; discussions about access to resources across sectors; West Midlands Higher Education [H.E.] Group. [01:08:35] Mentions collection mapping; role of West Midlands Regional Library System; B.L.-funded Futures Together project mapping special collections; Touchstone project mapping Shakespeare collections. Comments on B.U.L.’s regional role; mentions Inspire programme. Comments on I.T. collaborations; describes Metropolitan Area Networks. [01:11:52] Comments on collaborations with other cultural institutions; mentions Higher Education Funding Council for England [H.E.F.C.E.] study of B.U.L. collaborations; comments on discussions with institutions in Shropshire. [01:13:49] Comments on national activities; describes role on C.U.R.L. Board; C.U.R.L. Database Management Committee. [01:17:52] Involvement in scholarly communication discussions; mentions giving evidence, with Paul Ayris of University College, London, to Competition Commission Inquiry, 2001. Mentions involvement in C.U.R.L.-B.L. project on Future of National Bibliographic Resource.

    Track 9 [35:46] Comments on involvement with J.I.S.C.; work of Committee on Electronic Information; charging models; chairing Scholarly Communications Group. Comments on B.U.L. involvement in Electronic Libraries Programme; describes Internet Library of Early Journals project; mentions SuperJournal project. [04:50] Mentions ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’; comments on challenges of digitising early journals; written up in 'Serials' U.K. Serials Group journal, 1997. [06:24] Comments on Research Support Libraries Programme [R.S.L.P.]; B.U.L. participation in retrospective catalogue conversion projects; describes 19th Century British Pamphlets, Revelation, Ensemble projects; lack of further funding; mentions Research Support Libraries Group [R.S.L.G.] and [Research Information Network, R.I.N.]. [11:23] Comments on involvement with B.L. on R.S.L.P. projects; relationship between B.L. and H.E. Comments on involvement in B.L. zero-based budget review of H.R., 1998-9, mentions Graham Jefcoate; Ann Clarke; helping recruit new H.R. Director. [15:29] Comments on B.L.-led Full Disclosure initiative; issues around retrospective catalogue conversion. Mentions involvement in Department for Education and Employment study on future of I.T. in H.E.; comments on involvement in J.I.S.C.-funded feasibility study for U.K. union serials catalogue. [19:53] Comments on profile of C.F. and Information Services. Comments on lack of time for research; mentions edition of 1851 Religious Census for Shropshire, begun 1998, published 2004; relationship between own research and professional role; family holidays. [23:16] Comments on deteriorating eye-sight; registered partially sighted, 2000. [25:30] Comments on approaches from other institutions at home and abroad; approach, 2001, by headhunters, Whitehead Mann, about B.L. Director posts; mentions appointment of L.J.B. as Chief Executive [C.E.O.], 2000; describes re-structuring of top team. [30:00] Comments on decision to apply for post of Director of Scholarship and Collections [S.&C.]; comparison with process in H.E. Comments on interview; professional and domestic issues considered before accepting post; decision to commute from Birmingham; start date 1 August 2001.

  • Notes:
    Recording: 2012-11-08, 2012-11-14, 2012-11-28, 2012-12-05, 2013-01-17;
    - Field, Clive (speaker, male; interviewee);
    - Kenna, Stephanie (speaker, female; interviewer)
    Recording Notes: audio files 16 WAV 16 bit 48 kHz 2-channel
    Access restrictions: Tracks 10 to 16 are closed for a period of twenty years until January 2033, or until the interviewee's death, whichever is earlier. Tracks 1 to 9 have no restrictons.

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