A 24-year-old Cambridge University graduate has secured the Bruynzeel CILIP bursary 2014 to attend this year’s CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group Conference in Aberdeen. Philippa Bell became interested in a career in libraries and special collections following her modern languages degree at Cambridge. “In my final year I saw a job as a librarian advertised at one of the colleges. I was curious, so I looked into what I needed to do to train,” said Bell. After graduation she worked as an intern at Trinity College Library, where she was given sufficient freedom to pursue a number of preservation projects and research avenues. She finished her formal training at UCL, where she completed her masters in Library and Information Studies this year. 

“Ultimately my aim is to work in an historic library as a preservation librarian. It’s a role that came from the US, but there is only a handful of jobs in the UK at the moment. It’s a fascinating area, working in a library where I can influence preservation policy.”

Advanced preservation for special collections
At UCL, Philippa selected historical bibliography and advanced preservation as her specialisms – choices, she says, that chime perfectly with the CILIP bursary requirements, and the subject matter of the Rare Books and Special Collections Conference. “I’m looking forward to attending conference. All the speakers and topics are really appealing for me … it will be a good learning experience at the start of my career. I hope one day to work with an historic collection again, like I did at Trinity. There are some lovely libraries with amazing collections in the UK.” Philippa will be blogging for Bruynzeel from the CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group Conference, which takes place at University of Aberdeen from 27-29 August.