‘Live a librarian – Sheila Craik’

Please click here to view this documentary from the homepage of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland.


What is it like to work as a librarian, and to live a librarian’s life? Sheila Craik worked at Glasgow University Library for 37 years. She worked firstly at the issue desk, and then she was made responsible for music recollections, including Henry Farmer collection. Farmer was “the first English-speaking scholar on Arab music”, and his collection attracted scholars, for whom she provided assistance. Her support was sometimes beyond what was usually expected for a librarian. “I was just interested in Farmer and his work, and in the researchers.” 

She started to help the compiling of a bibliography of Farmer’s work in 1983, and continued this after her retirement of 1992. Finally, “Henry George Farmer: a bibliography” was published in 1999, and it was credited to Carl Cowl, who had died two years earlier, and Sheila M. Craik. Another book, “Henry George Farmer and the First International Congress of Arab Music (Cairo 1932)” was published in 2015. It was credited to Israel J. Katz “with the collaboration of Sheila M. Craik.” A librarian’s work on Farmers collection seems to have enriched her life.

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Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Directed and edited by: Yushin Toda
Produced by Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda, Japan Desk Scotland
18  minutes
In English
© 2019 Japan Desk Scotland


This is part of Japan Desk Scotland’s documentary films production.

This has been screened:

(1) on Tuesday 4 June 2019 at University of Glasgow Chapel, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japanese Craft Documentaries co-organised by University of Glasgow Chaplaincy and Japan Desk Scotland as part of the West End Festival; and

(2) on Wednesday 6 November 2019 at Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘voices Heard (documentaries).