Tales From the Archives

3348593733_21c393a667_oOur very own archivist Jenny Clark has delved deep into Loughborough’s past and written a couple of new articles for the Loughborough History & Heritage Network.

The Empire Bazaar & Christmas Fete 1922 explores the longstanding link between ‘town and gown’ in Loughborough and tells the story of the part townspeople played in establishing ‘the Grove’ as a hall of residence.

Radio Times at Lougborough continues a record of the Loughborough University Wireless Society, the groundbreaking telecommunications group formed by the Electrical Engineering Department back in 1920.

The Loughborough History & Heritage Network is a collaborative project between the University and the local community, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund and hosted by the Department of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) in collaboration with Charnwood Museum. It aims to signpost historical events, local heritage organisations, and publications about Loughborough and Charnwood. To find out more, visit the site below.


Going Postal with the Olympic Games at the British Library

A new exhibition at the British Library this summer takes a look at the history of the Olympic Games through a slightly different media – postage stamps!

Olympex 2012 offers a unique insight into the history, symbolism and iconography of the Olympic movement, beginning with a long run up to the first modern Games in 1896, pacing the distance of the London Games of 1908 and 1948, before a sprint finish to London 2012.  The exhibition is drawn largely from the collections of private collectors and includes over 2500 stamps and postal items as well as other intriguing pieces of related Olympic memorabilia.

Our own Library isn’t short of an item or two of Olympic memorabilia itself, and some of it is still currently on display in our Olympic exhibition on Level 3, including a genuine Olympic Torch from the London 1948 Games. Why not pop in and have a look?

Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games runs from July 25th until 9th September and is free to visit. For further details visit the British Library website here:


1948 Olympic stamps first-day cover image courtesy of footysphere, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

PhD Theses – digitisation project.

During July & August the Library’s print collection of University PhD theses will be digitised. This will mean that during these months some PhD theses will be unavailable while they are being digitised. We apologise for any inconvenience that this will cause but will try to ensure that titles are digitised as quickly as possible and then made available via the University’s Institutional Repository.

Inspired by the Archives…

There’s a poetry showcase at the Martin Hall Theatre on campus this Thursday evening (24th May) which has drawn some of its inspiration from the contents of our very own archive.

The Department of English & Drama’s very own ‘Landscape Poet in Residence’, Mark Goodwin, will be leading a group of students who have collaborated on a series of poems based on the geography, history and aesthetics of the Loughborough Campus, helped by material held in the Library archives. For further details and ticket prices visit this site.

Continuing on an archive theme, our very own Archivist Jenny Clark has just written an article about one of British athletics’ most influential coaches, Michael Webster, who went on to become one of the guiding lights of the development of Loughborough University’s peerless sports department and facilities. To read the article, visit the Loughborough Sporting Club website here.

The Torch Is Coming!

The London 2012 Olympics this summer is looming up on the inside lane fast – and the Olympic Torch is lighting every step of the way. And some of those steps are going to be taking it through campus!

It has just been announced this morning that on Tuesday July 3, 2012, the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will pass through the Loughborough University campus.

The Olympic Torch will arrive on campus through the East Entrance on Epinal Way just after 9am. It will then make its way through campus via the athletics track, past the Library and Burleigh Court and through to the Sir Denis Rooke building, evntually leaving via the West Entrance at around 10.30am.

Full details of the Torch’s nationwide route, including its journey on campus, are available at the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) website. Further information will also be available on the University’s 2012 website.

The Library has a vested interest, too – our archives contain a genuine Olympic Torch from the 1948 Games. Look out for details of a forthcoming exhibition which will be displaying this wonderful piece of sporting history.

Wedding pictures taken in Library

The Library hosted a happy event on Saturday 3rd September when two former students now working in Hong Kong had their wedding photos taken in the Library. Wing Kai Alfred Leung studied BSc (Hon) Accounting and Financial Management and graduated in 2005 and his wife Jamie completed her BSc in 2007 and her Masters in 2010 (both at Loughborough).

Alfred said that “as Loughborough is the place we met and knew each other, we would really like to have our wedding photos taken there”. The photo shows the happy couple and Dr Graham Walton (Head of Planning and Resources in the Library) enjoying a (non-alcoholic) celebratory drink.

University Library’s London Olympics projects

The Library has been working with the University’s Centre for Olympic Studies & Research on 3 projects about the London 2012 Olympics. These projects were funded by the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).  The results of these projects are available to all:

  1. The first one was in 2009 and gathered views from Loughborough people about previous Olympics, the Beijing Games and the forthcoming London 2012 Games
  2. In 2010, videos were produced of elite Loughborough University athletes talking about the Olympics, their aspirations and what their sport means to them
  3. Further videos were produced for the next project in 2011 exploring with various groups the perceptions of the impact and value of the Paralympics Games.

These are part of the Peoples Record project (managed by the MLA) which is the first co-ordinated record by a host nation of the public’s reaction to the Games. If you would like to know more about the Library’s contribution, contact Dr Graham Walton (j.g.walton@lboro.ac.uk).

Image  produced by familymwr and available via Creative Commons licence on FlickR

Are you an old researcher?

If there’s an historical element to your research, how about taking a look at the Archives Hub http://archiveshub.ac.uk/.  This is a collection of descriptions of archives from nearly 200 institutions across the U.K.  It covers a wide range of subjects and could provide you with some unique information and a chance to demonstrate your depth of searching. 

The Archives Hub website has recently been updated and improved making it even easier to search or browse. The Hub doesn’t actually hold any archives, just descriptions of them, so you would need to contact the holding institution of any archive(s) you wanted to view.

Even if you are not ‘old’ you could still use the Hub for a personal research project, or why not have a look to see if your old school registers  are on there?

Football Crazy!

This summer sees the 19th FIFA World Cup Finals, to be held in South Africa. To mark the occasion, the Library is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the history of football’s most glittering tournament.

First held in Uruguay in 1930, the competition has been held every four years since 1950 and has gone on to become the most widely-viewed sporting occasion in the world, with the 2006 final between Italy and France boasting a staggering 715 million spectators globally.

On display within the library cabinets on Level 3 is a dazzling array of memorabilia, including  some of the balls used in the finals through the years. Among them is the official ball of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Jabulani, which has been developed in partnership with Adidas by experts at Loughborough’s Institute of Sports Technology. There are also a host of photographs and souvenir material from various finals, including a collection of material from England’s legendary 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley in 1966.

As well as enjoying the spectacle on your TV, why not pop in this summer and take a tour down this fabulous football memory lane too!

Book preservation – it’s all in the smell!

Book preservation

A recent article on the BBC News web site tells of recent research into – literally – sniffing out decay in old books. The distinctive musty smell of old books is the result of volatile or semivolatile organic compounds escaping. Mmm, nice!

The Department of Information Science has a postgraduate module on Collection Management and Preservation which looks at why and how information artefacts decay over time and strategies for dealing with this. This module concentrates on the management aspects, including preservation needs assessment and developing and implementing preservation management policies. It also looks closely at digital preservation, but that is another story – and quite definitely does not involve sniffing old books!

If you’d like to find out more about book preservation, why not check up on what’s been written on the subject? There are many books catalogued at 025.84 in the Library’s book collection. Articles can also be found by checking the LISA database on MetaLib.

There are many organisations conducting research into conservation. Here are just a few – the Getty Conservation Institute, British Library Conservation Centre, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts,  University College London’s Centre for Sustainable Heritage.

The original research on this topic was contained in an article by Charles W. Schmidt called On the Smell of Old Books in the journal Analytical Chemistry (article available to Loughborough University members free on campus, off-campus use Athens details) volume 81, issue 21, p8656, year 2009.

Photo © quinn.anya, reproduced by Creative commons licence