My name is Alison Gage, and I am responsible for cataloguing and classifying the History, History of Science, Palaeography, Philosophy, Theology, New College of the Humanities and New York University in London collections.
One of the most interesting aspects of cataloguing and classification is the opportunity to learn about the subjects you are working on. I knew very little about philosophy and theology before I started to classify them, but now I find I can answer all kind of questions about philosophy on University Challenge.
However my main area of interest is History. My first degree was a BA in History from Queen Mary, and I recently completed a Masters in Medieval History at Birkbeck. My main interests are the History of Medieval Christianity, and Medieval monarchy. My dissertation was on medieval queenship, specifically John’s queen Isabella of Angouleme. The study of queenship is a growing area and as a result of my interest the History Research librarian, Jordan Landes, has brought many books from the Palgrave Macmillan Series, Queenship and Power, for example:
Some of my favourite items to catalogue are history books published by Yale University Press. There are so many interesting titles, and by the size of some of them, the products of considerable research, such as Kevin Sharpe’s trilogy on propaganda and the British monarchy from 1485-1714: Selling the Tudor Monarchy; Image wars; and Rebranding Rule. And I would highly recommend the Yale English Monarchs series which now has monographs for most English monarchs, the most recent of which, Henry IV by Chris Given-Wilson has just arrived in the library. These books were indispensable to me during my MA, and they are a fascinating and informative read for anyone who wants to know more about the lives of the various English kings.