The Proteus project, funded by the Heritage lottery Fund, has reached the end of its funding period. The project originally set up by Ruth Muttlebury had a number of objectives, so how have we done?
Dr John Day, formerly of Exeter University and Father Gregory Carpenter of the Greek Orthodox church have been commissioned to write dissertations on the 18th century collection of naval papers by Commodore Windham and Essex M.P. and the prayer manual authorised by James III better known as "The Old Pretender." We have contracted a print run of 200 for each of these academic papers and these will be distributed to naval establishments, selected parishes in Devon and Cornwall, to other independent libraries, and the City library. PPL Members will receive a copy on request and they will be available to the general public to view also on request.
Dr John Day and Father Gregory Carpenter have presented their dissertations to attentive audiences.
Print runs of 200 copies each of:-
'The Windham Papers - held at Plymouth Proprietary Library'
'Godly Prayers 1716 - A unique Jacobite Prayer Book among the historic books of the Plymouth Proprietary Library',
are now available at the Library.
Coded papers in the Windham collection have been sent to secondary school students for interpretation and the library will give prizes for the best results. Successful de-coders will also receive a copy of the Windham dissertation and they and their schoolfellows will be invited to a tour of the library and a talk with Dr Day.
We have acquired and have equipment on loan to do routine bookbinding on the premises, although our staff will need further instruction if they and volunteers are to be confident in dealing with the preservation of non-rare books.
We have sent six rare and precious books for professional restoration and re-binding. These include the Lutterel Psalter and the three volume 'History of the Rebellion; and Civil Wars in England."
The care of books has been improved by the provision of blinds and a clean and damp-proof store for the book stack, allowing better access for members and staff.
Students and other volunteers have been preparing a digitised catalogue of the book stock. Their expenses have been met by the fund and PPL will continue to fund the rest of the work through to completion.
Computing and copying and lecturing facilities have been improved.
The web-site has been redesigned and we are now in a better position to reach out to a wider public.
Work will continue on some of these objectives, in so far as they have not been completed, and PPL will have to fund this continuation.