August 3, 2016, by Kathryn Steenson

Beyond the Reading Room: 5 Minutes With Debbie Crookes

It’s 10 years this month that Manuscripts & Special Collections moved to King’s Meadow Campus! Many people have visited the Reading Room over the years, but this is only a small part of the department. As part of the celebrations, we’re giving you a look at what goes on Beyond the Reading Room, starting with…

Name: Debbie or Debs Crookes.

Job title: Administrative Assistant (part time).

Debbie in the office processing customer copying orders

Debbie in the office processing customer copying orders

So what does that actually mean? I take care of all financial, secretarial and admin jobs for the department.

What have you been working on recently? Making sure all the orders are completed by the end of the financial year, especially those for the refurbishment of the Reading Rooms as a lot of our funding has deadlines, also the payment for the purchase of the DH Lawrence manuscript of Flying Fish from an auction in the USA.

Your face seems familiar, have I seen you before? Mayfest, Staff Open Days, Hallward Library where I work term-time.

Debbie supervising families playing games and doing puzzles at Mayfest

Debbie at Mayfest 2015

What is one thing you wish people understood better about libraries or special collections? How valuable some of the collections are, and that we don’t actually own all of them so don’t have the right to say yes to all requests for copies etc.

Finally, if you could have a super power, what would it be and why? To be in more than one place at one time, as I have so many hobbies, a large family and many things I want to do!

Debbie (r) and Caroline (l) both wearing historical costumes

Debbie (r) brings her historical re-enactment hobby to work promoting our Napoleonic War-themed exhibition in 2015.

Manuscripts & Special Collections on King’s Meadow Campus holds the University’s collection of rare books and archives. More information about the collections and how you can access them is available on our website.

We’re holding an Open Day to celebrate our 10th anniversary on Friday 9th September. There will be an opening ceremony for our newly refurbished Reading Room, displays, behind-the-scenes tours, goodie bags and refreshments over lunch. If you’d like to join us, please email us at for more information and to book a place on the tours and refreshments.

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