Where There’s A Will…

shakespeare by tonynetoneFittingly for World Book Night, today marks the 450th birthday of the world’s most famous writer, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

His work, which includes 38 plays and 154 sonnets, has been translated into virtually every conceivable language, is studied comprehensively in schools, colleges and universities and is performed daily in theatres around the globe. He’s often considered to be Britain’s greatest cultural export, and his influence on modern drama and literature is beyond description – so I won’t attempt it!

Within our own ”quick forge and working-house of thought” we have a wealth of Shakespeare related books and resources, including copies of all his works, along with famous adaptations of work on DVD. We also have access to the British Universities Film & Video Council‘s exemplary online Shakespeare resource, an authoritative  database of Shakespeare-related content in film, television, radio and video recordings which currently holds nearly 8,000 records dating from the 1890s to the present day. To read or to view, that is the question…!

Shakespeare portrait by tonynetone, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Forthcoming Events on Campus During Summer Term

795There’s a wide range of artistic and musical events happening on campus during the forthcoming summer term.

To kick things off, there’s a pair of free lunchtime concerts down at the Cope Auditorium (1.15 start). On Wednesday 30th April celebrate the musical achievements of the winners of Loughborough University’s Music Scholarship Award, Thomas Blundell, Qinjie Lin and Annabel Griffiths. Then on Wednesday 7th May the Sterling Trio will be performing a programme of well-known composers including Howard Blake (composer of The Snowman), plus a performance of the Techno-Parade by Guillaume Connesson (a contemporary fusion of techno and classical styles), by this intriguing and unusual instrumental trio.

On Saturday 10th May in the Cope Auditorium (7.30pm, tickets £12, £10 concessions) join the Cantamus Girls Choir for an enchanting and unmissable evening of choral music in a repertoire spanning the centuries, performed by a 40 strong choir of girls aged 13 to 19 who have been performing extensively in the UK, Europe, North America and the Far East.  Over their 45 year history they have amassed 28 First Prize wins at international choral festivals, most notably the World Choir Olympics in Germany and China.

The University Choir will be holding their annual Spring Concert on Wednesday 21st May in the Cope Auditorium (7.30pm, tickets £7, £5 concessions), who will be performing a soundbite of the musical fare that was popular in England in the years leading up to World War I.

On Wednesday 4th June, again in the Cope Auditorium (7.30pm, £12, £10 concessions), the Chamber Ensemble of London (pictured above) will be playing a selection of English music for strings. With a repertoire ranging from Baroque to Jazz the Ensemble has been gaining a reputation for their versatile programming, discovering and championing little-known or lost works.

History buffs are in for a treat in July when Alison Weir visits the Martin Hall Theatre (Tuesday 22nd July, 6pm, tickets £7). Alison is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.3 million books worldwide. Her most recent book is a biography of Elizabeth of York, whose marriage to Henry VII united the houses of York and Lancaster. She will be giving a new talk exclusively for the University entitled ‘“The Prince expected in due season”: The Queen’s First Duty’, exploring the practices and politics of the Royal birthing chamber.

For full details and ticket links, visit the following site:


World Health Day 2014

who dayToday is World Health Day, the World Health Organisation’s annual event highlighting the dangers of a particular medical condition. This year’s message is Small Bite: Big Threat, warning of the global threat posed by disease-carrying insects.

World Health Day was launched on April 7th 1948 during the World Health Organisation’s first World Health Assembly. The goal of this year’s campaign is to encourage better protection against diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other bugs, especially for families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by such insects, and travelers to countries where they pose a health threat.

We have a wide variety of medical databases available via Library Catalogue Plus, including PubMed, the United States National Library of Medicine resource containing more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from the MEDLINE database, life science journals, and online books, and the National Library for Health, a single search environment that will integrate the ‘national’ and ‘local’ information resources of 500 NHS library services across England.

To find out more about World Health Day and this year’s campaign, visit the following link:


Pay a Visit to the Land of Many Colours this Easter…


Appropriately for spring, a bold & bright new solo exhibition by the painter Carole Baker begins in the Sock Gallery at the Loughborough Town Hall this week.

Land of Many Colours has been inspired by the English landscape, specifically the places visited and sketched by the artist, resulting in exciting and evocative artwork with bold, vibrant colours and textures, painted with acrylics, mixed media and watercolours.

The exhibition is officially opened on Tuesday 1st April, beginning at 2pm when Carole will be staging a demonstration of her work, followed at 5pm with with wine and nibbles and live music, as well as the chance to meet the artist and find out more about her art.

The exhibition runs until 13th May and is FREE to visit. For further details, visit the Loughborough Town Hall website here.

Self-help, and Mood-boosting books now available!


Eleanor Trigg, Mental Health Support Team; Carol Neath, Loughborough Public Library, Sharon Reid, University Library.

The University Library, University Mental Health Support Team and Loughborough Public Library have been working together to make available a wealth of new material. Reading Well Books on Prescription is a scheme providing self-help reading based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for adults for a range of common mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. These titles can now be accessed from the University Library. Reference copies of most of the books in the scheme are located in the Leisure Reading Collection on Level 4. Take a look at this link for the range of titles available in the series. If you’d prefer to borrow a copy, multiple loanable copies are available from Leicestershire Public Libraries. Loughborough Public Library is located on Granby Street in the centre of town.

Alongside the Books on Prescription titles sit the aptly-named Reading Well Mood-boosting books, an intriguing range of uplifting novels, non-fiction and poetry. The Mood-boosting titles have all been recommended nationally by readers and reading groups. Why not come up and have a browse?

For further information about these schemes:


If you enjoy reading and discussing books in a relaxed and cosy environment, come and join Club 790, the Student Book Club. Contact Sharon Reid at S.D.Reid@lboro.ac.uk or jump into the discussion via the Club’s Facebook page:


Flock Along to the Sock Fair!

sock gallery

Loughborough Town Hall will hosting its annual Sock Fair, Leicestershire’s premier art and crafts Fair celebrating local art & artists this coming weekend (22nd-23rd March).

Now in its sixth year, the Sock Fair will displaying a wide range of quality arts, crafts, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, glass and homewares, much of which will be available for purchase in the Main Hall and Sock Gallery over the entire weekend.

Sock 2014 will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March 2014 in the Main Hall (situated on the ground floor) and in the Sock Gallery from 10am – 4pm on both days. Entrance to the public is free.

To find out more the day and the artists involved, why not browse the e-brochure for the event?

On the Radar – Making Something of Nothing


Next Friday (7th March) Radar, the University’s own art’s programme, is running a day-long symposium which will seek to explore the nature of artistic practices as ‘reproductive’ and ‘affective’ labour.

This symposium looks at how some recent artistic practices seem to be interested in interrogating the nature of labour, and artistic labour in particular, placing certain activities, such as printmaking and ceramics for example, in proximity to those Marx would have spoken of as ‘reproductive labour’, and also to what more recently has also been defined as ‘affective’ labour.

The title is borrowed from Lucy Lippard’s famous text ‘Making Something from Nothing’ (1978), in which Lippard was attempting an articulation of the contradictions arising with more women emerging in the art scene, between their artistic labour and the reproductive labour they performed in the home, connecting their artistic activities to traditional making activities not part of high-art or culture.

The symposium will be wondering if today, with the de-skilling, precarization and ‘feminisation’ of labour in post-Fordism, artists are starting to look at the question of reproduction in relation to making afresh. Print and pottery have been engaged with, in recent times, by artists interested in critiquing value production within the art system or involved in participatory and community-based work. It will look at raising questions about the status of the objects generated through these activities.

The symposium is part of a programme of activity organised by Loughborough School of the Arts’ Politicized Practice Research Group around the theme of value and a related series of commissions by Radar.

The symposium will be taking place in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building between 11am-5pm. Tickets cost £10, which includes lunch and refreshments. To book yourself a place, go to the Online Store.

Researching Propaganda at the British Library

britlib_logoThe British Library will be hosting a free hour-long webinar in March that will explore the British Library’s collections related to propaganda.

In Summer 2013 the British Library hosted an exhibition, Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, examining the communication of power, and attempts to persuade, through the use of visually striking material and the objects of everyday life. Examples of these can be found across the British Library’s collections, and this webinar will describe the types of material that were researched, found and used for the exhibition. It will cover posters, leaflets and pamphlets, maps, philatelic materials and recorded sound.

This webinar will be of most use to people planning to use the British Library collections and Reading Rooms in their research, but will also be of interest to those more generally interested in political history, propaganda and ephemera, and will be hosted by Ian Cooke, the Social Science Curator at the British Library and the curator of the Propaganda: Power and Persuasion exhibition.

It’s being run on Wednesday 12th March from 3pm (GMT). Booking is essential to participate, and to do this, visit the following link:


Eden Flix Presents ‘Objectified’

eden flix

Next Wednesday afternoon (26th February) at 3pm in the Cope Auditorium Eden Flix is presenting a free showing of Gary Hustwit’s acclaimed 2009 documentary Objectified.

Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.  Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Eden Flix are a series of highly acclaimed, thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries on issues related to engineering, design and social consciousness. All staff and students at Loughborough are welcome to attend.

Beautiful Science at the British Library

British_20Library_20LogoA new free exhibition begins at the British Library today on a scientific theme with an artistic twist.

Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight explores how our understanding of ourselves and our planet has evolved alongside our ability to represent, graph and map the mass data of the time.

From John Snow’s plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections on a map to colourful depictions of the tree of life, you can discover how picturing scientific data provides new insight into our lives.

The exhibition is running in the Folio Society Gallery until 26th May. For further details visit the British Library website here.