ASL2018 - Keynotes

Duncan Chappell - Academic Liaison Librarian at Glasgow School of Art


Duncan Chappell is currently Academic Liaison Librarian at Glasgow School of Art, where his role includes collection management, rare books and special collections, learning and teaching, and research support. He is a past recipient of the Outstanding Library Team at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, and the Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year Award. He has held roles across the education, arts, and third sectors, having worked as Digital Librarian at City of Glasgow College, Digitisation Manager at the Scottish Civic Trust, and at the libraries and archives of the National Portrait Gallery and London School of Economics. He has published widely in the professional literature across a broad variety of topics. In 2018 he will begin an intensive two-year project to re-establish the collections of the School’s fire-destroyed Mackintosh Library, in preparation for its reopening in 2019.


Abstract: In May 2014 a devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art totally destroyed the renowned 1909 art nouveau library designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, along with its important historical collections. The devastating fire was widely reported and discussed at the time, and continues to feature prominently as the School moves from a period of rescue and salvage to a period of rebirth and reconstruction. This keynote paper by GSA Librarian, Duncan Chappell, will discuss the immediate aftermath of the fire, including salvage and conservation, as well as exciting progress on the restoration of the library, due to reopen in 2019. Duncan will reflect on the effects of the fire both on the library service as a whole and on individuals within it, and share his experiences of maintaining a high-quality library for users whilst concurrently dealing with the inevitable pressures of disaster. 


Andrea Lydon - Head of Library and Archives in the National Gallery of Ireland

Andrea Lydon is Head of Library and Archives at the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI). She has a background in art history and holds post-graduate qualifications in Irish art and library and information studies. She has over twenty years professional experience working in library and information management roles in public bodies, university libraries and the museum sector. A member of the Gallery’s executive management team, she is responsible for leading the management, development and promotion of the NGI’s extensive library and archive collections.  These include the Art library and institutional archive, the Sir Denis Mahon library and archive, the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art and Yeats archive.  These collections play an invaluable role supporting the work of the Gallery and are regularly consulted by artists, students, scholars and academics, art dealers and collectors and members of the public. Andrea is also involved in the digital development of the Gallery and was responsible for management of the Gallery’s web and social media sites for over ten years. She is passionate about public engagement with the collections and is a regular contributor to the Gallery’s exhibition and public programmes.

Abstract: The art of survival

The National Gallery of Ireland is the country’s premier art institution housing the nation’s collection of fine art.  The Gallery also holds a comprehensive collection of library and archive material relating to the visual arts. Comprising over 100,000 volumes and substantial archival holdings, this collection is an important resource for anyone interested in researching art. Surprisingly, for more than a century there was no dedicated space for the library and archives.  The paper chronicles the historical reasons for this, the external factors and internal priorities which impacted on the efforts to secure a permanent and suitable location for the collection and the resulting consequences for the collection and library service. Today, despite significant expansion in the Gallery over the last 150 years, there is still no one space fully dedicated to the library and archives. The paper will explore the current situation highlighting developments and initiatives in recent years which have helped increase public awareness and supported the development of the library and archives.  The paper will conclude with details of the Gallery’s exciting future plans and its ambition to develop a large dedicated, secure and publically accessible space that will be a fitting home for this remarkable library and archive collection.