Thursday 28 January 2016

Bookplate Society Complains

Bookplate Society Complains;
I copy below a Press release penned by the Chairman of The Bookplate Society as a complaint against The National Library of Scotland. In my humble opinion, use the headline Scottish Avarice was perhaps a little misguided when the complaint is not directed against the Scots in general but the National Library specifically however, the point being made is of heraldic interest:
Six scanned images are needed from the National Library of Scotland, without which The Bookplate Society is unable to publish a 3-page article planned for the next 72-page issue of The Bookplate Journal.

In addition to normal reprographic charges, the NLS is demanding licence fees of £60 ($85) per image. The NLS fees appear on its website at Such an outrageously high level of fees is unaffordable for a small not-for-profit society of 270 subscribers. The sum of £360 ($510) represents about 4% of the Society’s subscription income. In its journal and two-yearly book, the Society publishes over 250 images annually, so if all images were to be sourced from the NLS, the cost would be one-and-a-half times the Society’s total subscription income. Expressed in another way, the NLS has set a fee for the reproduction of an exlibris equal to roughly £2 ($3) per square centimetre of image or £13 ($18) per square inch. The required images cannot be sourced elsewhere because these are of 18th century items of which no other prints are known. This may in UK law be viewed as an unfair contract term and amounts to extortion.

The NLS introduced a new scale of charges last summer, claiming to reflect the principles established in the PSI Directive (the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 1415) which implement European Directive 2013/37/EU). However, the NLS interpretation and scale of charges is totally out of line with other similar institutions and with the spirit of the legislation. In an email dated 27 January 2016, the NLS refuses to modify its charges either for low usage or for not-for-profit entities. The NLS is deaf to suggestions that it is breaching the trust of those who in the past made bequests of collections now in the care of the NLS.

The Bookplate Society is run by volunteers who, it seems, will now have to spend time escalating a formal complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
We have already introduced a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for the NLS to supply an explanation with complete and detailed costings of how it calculates its fee for the re-use of still images. This is for the reason that the NLS is working out its licence fee on a fully-costed basis instead of a marginal costing basis, and we believe that the difference between the two methods is huge. The NLS has until 19 February 2016 to reply.
This is not a minor one-off issue, but is of material importance for any publisher who now wishes to print images sourced from the NLS.

Readers of this notice are invited to send emails of complaint to Dr John Scally, National Librarian and Chief Executive ( and to James Boyle, a former Controller of BBC Radio 4, recently appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees at the National Library of Scotland (

Anthony Pincott
Hon Treasurer and Membership Secretary
The Bookplate Society [End Quote]

Friday 15 January 2016

Grants of Arms by 'Private' Individuals in England and Wales

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at Macclesfield when The Cheshire Heraldry Society will be the hosting the talk Grants of Arms by 'Private' Individuals in  England and Wales c.1300-1450 to be given by Adrian Ailes F.S.A., F.H.S.

This talk was the Heraldry Society's John Brooke-Little Lecture in February 2015.

Thursday 14 January 2016

One step closer to equality with Wales and Scotland?

Yesterday the UK Parliament discussed the possibility of England and Northern Ireland having their own anthems for use at sports events and, after a debate, the proposition received support and it will move on to a second reading in March.

It was a reasonable debate and the result is most welcome however the contribution made by Jacob Rees-Mogg was naive and ill-informed to say the least. His view that to provide an anthem for each nation was divisive laughably ignored the fact that it is sport itself which has divided the nations; there is after all no UK or GB national team but teams for each individual nation.

His comment was also a further example of the rather unfathomable view that England must somehow represent the UK as a whole and it fails to recognise that Wales and Scotland have already removed themselves from the "National Anthem" of the UK and the divide has therefore already happened.

That said, what anthem should England adopt? Whilst I am very fond of Jerusalem (it was the only one that the boys at my Church of England school would sing with absolute flourish and enjoyment) I have reservations as to its value in an all inclusive English society. I agree that the use of the present National Anthem should be abandoned (in a sports context only you understand) but what to replace it with? The present anthem was never perfect in that it is a religious anthem and may well therefore have prevented sport enthusiasts who are atheists and agnostics from feeling fully included but at least the "God" in "God Save Our Gracious Queen" can be the God of any religion. There appears to be an instinctive call to replace it with Jerusalem but I am uncomfortable with this option; much as I love it, this is a specifically Christian Hymn and would likely alienate a great proportion of the English sports fans  who are non Christian in their belief or simply non believers. I remain open to suggestions for a suitable replacement.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Why do we avoid flying the English flag?

I have just received this year's list of dates which may be useful to those in Civic Office from the National Association of Civic Officers and, although I found it a useful document, I was once again disappointed to find that the advice completely ignores the existence of the "English Flag". Why, I wonder, do organisations who seek to give quasi official advice think that it is appropriate to instruct the English to fly the flag of the Union on England's saint's day when is perfectly proper that the Scots are advised to fly the saltire on theirs!

I have illustrated an edited image of their guidance.

Why advise that the Union flag should be flown on St. George's Day when not all of the Union celebrates it? I can't for the life of me understand why anyone should think that it would be inappropriate  to advise that the flag of St. George should be flown on St. George's Day; such a display would be no different to the saltire being flown on St. Andrew's Day.

Sometimes I despair.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

A wine ewer with Cheshire associations

I have been sent a copy of the Fall (Autumn) 2015 edition of the Blazon, the newsletter of the BC/Yukon Branch of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada which has something of interest to followers of Cheshire Heraldry. I have uploaded a copy for all to see.

Monday 4 January 2016

Canon Alfred Derrick WALKDEN

Congratulations are in order for Canon Alfred Derrick WALKDEN, organiser of the Salford Heraldry Day, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Preston, Lancashire.

A free heraldry symposium courtesy of the Yorkshire Heraldry Society

 The Yorkshire Heraldry Society will be hosting a free heraldry symposium on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Bradford Grammar School. You can do...

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