Devoted and long-standing (long-suffering?) readers will know that it is now nearly two years since the Cambridge Library Collection was launched with 475 books. We have just published our 3,000th title, and were really thrilled to learn a fortnight ago that we had won the ‘Specialist Book Award’ given by the Cambridge Association for Local History (which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year) for our series of books on the history of Cambridge – university, town and county.
This was all the more exciting as it was completely unexpected – we had not approached the Association ourselves, and didn’t even know that it awarded prizes. I went on 4 June with Sarah to the Association’s AGM, held in the appropriately historic venue of the big barn at Denny Abbey Farmland Museum, and was presented with a handsome certificate (the Great Bustards on the county shield are really something!) by the President of the Association.
We discovered that CLC had in fact been nominated by the librarian of the Cambridgeshire Collection (the outstanding collection of historical material held at the Central Library in Cambridge), who felt that we met the criterion of ‘publishing books of outstanding quality’, with which view we of course (modestly) agree.
After the ceremony, refreshments were served, and we had the opportunity to give out flyers about the books, and sell a few as well. There was a great deal of interest in the project, and we made some useful contacts among a group of people united by a keen interest in and expert knowledge of the past in our area. We have been aiming from the start to cater not only for academic researchers and students but also for individual enthusiasts and small, specialist societies, particularly those who don’t have ready access to major research libraries, and we are absolutely delighted that in this case we seem to have hit the mark!