British Library don’t know what “manuscript” means?

From the BL, a request for clarification of my FoI query, “how many images of manuscripts did you license for online use last year?” How did I define ‘manuscript’, they asked?  I responded as courteously as possible by referring them to their own catalogue of manuscripts.  I suspect that I am dealing with a department that doesn’t get asked much about these!  Still, they’re turning it around promptly which is good, and better than I expected.

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2 thoughts on “British Library don’t know what “manuscript” means?

  1. Now that you’ve asked, they’re finding that they want to know — and probably should have been keeping track all along.

    Of course, the difference between someone who cares about service and one who doesn’t is whether one responds to a lack by filling it, or by trying to cover up the lack with bluster. So I’m glad the BL folks are stepping up instead of covering up.

  2. Me too. I agree; the question(s) that I have to ask should reveal information of real commercial importance for the BL, in terms of how it markets its stuff and how it engages with the scholarly public. As you say, most likely this material has never been put together in a manner that would allow the board members to engage with it.

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