Man Booker Prize 2016 – It’s a Sellout!

Winner-announcement-graphicCongratulations to novelist Paul Beatty, who became the first American writer in 48 years of competition to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout.

The Sellout has been described as a topical satire on race relations in contemporary America as seen through the eyes of an African-American man living in a run-down fictional American town in the process of being torn apart by increasingly rising racial tensions.

Paul Beatty is the first American author to win the £50,000 prize after US authors became eligible in 2014. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.

We will shortly be adding The Sellout to our stock, but in the mean time you can find and read previous Man Booker Prize winning and nominated novels upstairs among our Leisure Reading collection on Level 4.

Database Trial – Illustrated London News Historical Archive

ilnWe’re offering another venerable newspaper archive in electronic format this month, in the shape of the Illustrated London News Archive 1842-2003.

On Saturday 14th May 1842, a publishing revolution occurred. The world’s first pictorial weekly newspaper was born: The Illustrated London News. Its founder, Herbert Ingram, was an entrepreneurial newsagent, who noticed that newspapers sold more copies when they carried pictures. The inaugural issue covered a fire in Hamburg, Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball, the war in Afghanistan and the latest fashions in Paris. The ILN commissioned a galaxy of great artists and draughtsmen to cover wars, royal events, scientific invention, and exploration. In 1855 it launched the world’s first colour supplement. Over the years the publication played host to distinguished contributors and continued to push the boundaries of journalism throughout its history.

To access the archive go to: – for off-campus access you will need your Athens username and password.

The trial will run until November 18th 2016.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn – – with your comments.

Database Trial – Telegraph Historical Archive

telegraphThis month we’re trialling the electronic archive of one of the UK’s most popular broadsheet newspapers, the Daily Telegraph.

Launched in 1855, The Telegraph was the first 1d morning paper (The Times was 7d). By 1876, The Telegraph was the largest-selling newspaper in the world, with a circulation of 300,000. The newspaper was directed at a wealthy, educated readership and is commonly associated with traditional Toryism, despite its more ‘liberal’ beginnings. However, this shifted in the late 1870s, when the newspaper began to support British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli over the Eastern Question.

Under the editorship of poet and Orientalist Edwin Arnold from 1873 to 1899, the newspaper published widely on foreign affairs and foreign cultures. This led to The Telegraph’s coverage of Henry Morton Stanley’s expedition to Africa in search of David Livingstone, which it co-sponsored with the New York Herald in 1874. Its dedication to foreign news coverage was evidenced by its employment of several renowned special correspondents over the years; Winston Churchill, who reported from India in 1897, Rudyard Kipling, who braved the trenches of the First World War, and Clare Hollingworth, who, as the first female war correspondent, relayed the start of the Second World War from Poland.

The Telegraph Historical Archive 1855-2000 has over 1 million pages of content and includes the Sunday edition from its inception in 1961.

To access the archive go to – for off-campus access you will need your Athens username and password.

The trial will run until November 18th 2016.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn – – with your comments.

National Poetry Day

Poetry-Day-logoToday is National Poetry Day, a nationwide celebration of poetry for everyone, everywhere, which falls every year on the first Thursday of October. Since it was first launched in 1994, the day has been marked by a nationwide celebration of all things poetic.

From 1999 onwards, National Poetry Day has been loosely “themed” – the theme is not prescriptive but it serves to kick start inspiration. This year’s theme is ‘Messages’, with the aim of encouraging people to literally “say it with a poem”!

Thanks to our own English & Drama School, we’ve built up quite an extensive range of poetry, ancient and modern, ranging from the Greek epic poetry of Homer to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, to the 19th century classics of Coleridge and William Wordsworth, to the contemporary poetry of Philip Larkin and Andrew Motion. Not forgetting our comprehensive range of literature databases available on Library Catalogue Plus, most notably Literature Online (LION), from which you can glean everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite poem or poem. Why not have a browse?

Explore Ancient Greece With the British Library

blHave you ever wondered what books looked like in antiquity? Perhaps you have pondered why some manuscripts are written on paper and some on parchment? Did you know that the ancient Greeks thought up machines and robots powered by steam? These issues and more are taken up on a new web resource launched by the British Library today dedicated to the study of Greek written heritage, Greek Manuscripts.

Intended to complement and promote the hundreds of Greek manuscripts digitised by the British Library in recent years, the website contains articles on a wide variety of subjects relating to Greek papyri and manuscripts, written by experts from the UK, continental Europe, and North America. Additionally, several videos provide short visual introductions to key topics. Collection items discussed in the articles are given separate item pages, with links to the online catalogue entry and full digital coverage on Digitised Manuscripts.

For more information, visit the British Library site here:

British Birds at the Loughborough Town Hall


A new solo exhibition featuring some familiar feathered friends by local artist Jannice Read opens in the Sock Gallery at the Loughborough Town Hall this week.

Jannice began painting in watercolour when she retired, starting with the study of botanical illustration.  More recently, the subject of her work has been birds and the paintings she will be exhibiting in Sockette for Emerging Artists at Loughborough Town Hall will focus on that very subject, depicting birds native to Great Britain that we all know and love.

The exhibition is running until 7th January. The Sock Gallery can be found within the foyer area of Loughborough Town Hall and is open Mondays – Saturdays 9am-5pm and when the venue is open for shows and events.  Entry to the Gallery is free of charge.

Sock Gallery Open Exhibition 2016

open 2016Loughborough Town Hall’s Sock Gallery annual Open Exhibition begins today.

The Open Exhibition offers the opportunity for local artists both professional and amateur to apply and exhibit two-dimensional work ranging from paintings, photographs, drawings, original prints and mixed media work in a professional gallery.

The exhibition is running from the 6th August to 3rd September and many of the wall pieces will be for sale. The Sock Gallery is free to enter and is open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 5.00pm and when the venue is open for shows.

Loughborough in Sketches

JS94685368A collection of sketches of familiar Loughborough landmarks by local artist Paul Gent are now available to view via the website of the local town newspaper, Loughborough Echo.

Paul draws the buildings from eye in pen and then colours them in afterwards. He has drawn a variety of places so far from the Loughborough Carillon to the Sock Man in Market Place. He has since been commissioned by Charnwood Borough Council to create a collection of pictures of the area.

You can visit an online gallery of Paul’s work via the Loughborough Echo’s website below:

1966 and All That!

England-1966-fifa-world-cup-logo_SEINNI_MYNDINThis weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the England football team’s World Cup final victory over West Germany at Wembley stadium on 30th July 1966.

A hard-fought contest over 90 minutes saw the match go into extra time with the score poised at 2-2, but two further goals by Geoff Hurst – making him the first and so far only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final – won the match for England 4-2. Not without some controversy – debate still rages over whether or not England’s third goal was actually legitimate, as certain camera angles appeared to show that the ball had not crossed the line.

England’s fortunes in subsequent finals have been mixed; a semi-final appearance at Italy 1990 under Bobby Robson has been their best achievement since 1966. Indeed, controversy seems to have followed England’s World Cup performances – on and off the field! Alf Ramsey’s ill-advised substitution of the talismanic Bobby Charlton during the quarter final against West Germany in 1970 has long since been deemed responsible not only for losing England the match 3-2 in extra time (after England led 2-1 with 8 minutes to go), but also subsequently – in a dour reflection of the black mood of the country – for then Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s surprise defeat in the 1970 General Election which took place four days after the match!

England fans would also choose to forget Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 2-1 quarter final defeat to Argentina at Mexico 1986, while German fans may claim a degree of cosmic football karma during their second round 4-1 knock-out of England at South Africa 2010, when Frank Lampard’s would-have-been equalising goal for 2-2 was disallowed despite having crossed the goal line – a reverse echo of Hurst’s goal in 1966, perhaps!

We hold a large stock of books about football and football coaching among our sports section on Level 2, and if you care to revisit England’s World Cup adventures as reported by the press of the time, why not take a trawl through our online newspaper archives?

Campus Art Trail


Ever wanted to know more about some of the weird and wonderful sculptures sited around campus? Then why not take the Campus Art Trail and visit this collection of outdoor sculptures – and learn the campus layout as you go!

The Trail represents the most impressive and well-loved of the sculptures on campus, but it is by no means exhaustive! The University has worked with numerous artists and is always keen to showcase the fantastic creativity of its students, so you’ll notice that there are many other sculptures dotted around the campus – the areas surrounding the School of Art are especially full of hidden gems donated by its former students.

Click here for a map of the sculptures’ locations.