Today is World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO’s annual awareness raising celebration of the fundamental importance of the freedom of the press and the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Universal Declation of Human Rights.
The event, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is held on this date to mark the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of press freedom principles compiled by African journalists in 1991 which is regarded as a landmark in the ongoing battle for global press freedom as both a fundamental human right and an essential cornerstone of democracy.
In the UK press freedom has come into much scrutiny in recent years following the findings of the Leveson Enquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International hacking scandal which first came to light in 2005, and that has resulted in the closure of the News of the World paper in 2011 after 168 years in print, and several on-going high-profile court cases. The government and the newspaper industry remain locked in a bitter dispute about how to implement press reforms in the light of it.
We have a copy of the Leveson Inquiry in our High Demand section on Level 3. We also have many books on the subject of press freedom among our collection, as well as access to vast fund of electronic newspaper archives among our newspaper databases on Library Catalogue Plus, including the Times Digital Archive, the Daily Mirror Archive, and of course Nexis UK, which offers comprehensive coverage of UK, European and US newspapers.
If you’re looking for something beyond the standard text resources among our social science and humanities database, the Filmakers Library Online offers a visual interpretation across the subject spectrum through nearly 900 globally acclaimed documentary films and videos.
Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning video documentaries that cover literature and the arts, race and gender studies, multiculturalism, human rights and criminal justice, psychology, globalization and global studies, the environment and bioethics, politics and current events, and much more. It presents points of view and historical and current experiences from diverse cultures and traditions world-wide.
Among the collection are works by noted independent film makers including Academy Award nominated documentarians Josh Aronson, David Bradbury, Christine Choy and Roger Weisberg, as well as films produced through studios and producers including the BBC, the Discovery Channel and the National Film Board of Canada.
All the films are indexed and easily searchable through multiple points of access including thumbnail images and synchronised transcripts, allowing you to find your point of interest in hundreds of hours of video within seconds.
All films are free to view on the website, and require nothing more than a Flash-enabled browser to play.
The University of South Carolina have recently made available an archive that offers a unique insight into one of the leading American novelists of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Between 1919 and 1938 Scott Fitzgerald kept a concise journal in a 200-page handwritten ledger encompassing a year-by-year record of his life and achievements including publication details of all his works and the income of both himself and his wife Zelda, revealing for instance that he made merely $2000 on The Great Gatsby on its first publication in 1925, but earned a more princely $16,666 on selling the film rights to the novel the very next year!
The ledger has been thoroughly digitised, including full-text access and is keyword-searchable. It occupies pride of place in the University’s Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the most comprehensive research collection of the author’s life and work.
This Thursday the country goes to the polls as council elections are held in 35 local authorities in England and Wales, including Loughborough’s Charnwood Borough.
These elections are of particular note for some areas which are undergoing significant boundary changes, which will result in a decrease in the number of seats on certain councils. As it stands, more than 2300 seats are being contested. The Conservatives and Labour are putting up candidates in most seats, with 2,263 and 2,168 candidates respectively. The Lib Dems have 1,763 candidates, closely followed by UKIP with 1,745 candidates and the Green Party with 893 candidates. Other parties standing include the BNP, with 99 candidates and the English Democrats, with 38 candidates. There are around 900 independent candidates.
The BBC have a handy list of all the political parties on their politics website here, including links to all the various government ministries and departments as well as the House of Lords, the Scottish & Welsh Assemblies and the European Commission.
No, that’s not a general statement on weather conditions at the moment, but the winning slogan in a competition organised for this year’s World Water Day, which is celebrated today.
Every year since its establishment in 2003, UN Water helps countries attempt to achieve water preservation goals and promotes key messages to the world in general. This years’ theme seeks to highlight the importance of cooperation in striking a balance between different water needs and priorities, in order to share water equitably across the globe.
The University plays a significant role in preserving global water resources through the invaluable work of WEDC (Water, Engineering and Development Centre), based in the School of Civil & Building Engineering. WEDC is one of the world’s leading education and research institutes for developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation for low- and middle-income countries.
The Public Catalogue Foundation have teamed up with the BBC to launch a new digital archive containing over 200,000 of the nation’s publically owned oilpaintings.
The Your Paintings project was begun in 2003 and only a third of the paintings had been digitised when the BBC came on board with a dedicated website in 2011 and the mission was successfully accomplished 18 months later, concluding with the launch of the site last month.
211,861 oil paintings – many of which have never been photographed before – are included in the archive, and includes work that is hung in a wide variety of public and government offices, including hospitals, zoos and even a lighthouse! 37,000 different artists are featured, ranging from masters like Gainsborough and Turner to lesser-known (but no less famous) painters such as Noel Coward and Derek Jarman.
The paintings are free to access and include additional material from the BBC documentary archive as well as biographies compiled by art experts from Oxford University Press.
Not that you have to go very far for paintings in the Library – we have a vast collection of books on painters and paintings among our Art collection on Level 2, as well as access to databases featuring digital reproductions of paintings from across the world such as the Web Gallery of Art.
You can browse among the collection on the Your Paintings site – and participate by helping tag the pictures featured – by following this link:
This Saturday, the 8th December 2012, Dawsonera will be performing an essential upgrade on the dawsonera web service and will require an outage between the hours of 10am and 6pm, GMT. The outage window will be used to improve the resilience and service offering of dawsonera.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period.
As today is St Cecilia’s Day – the patron saint of music – what better time to remind you of some forthcoming musical events happening on campusover the festive season.
The Sir Robert Martin Theatre in Martin Hall will be hosting the Midwinter Cheese Madness on Saturday evening 1st December (6.30-10.30PM), a live musical event featuring bands local and national, co-organised by staff and students of the English Department, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. For tickets and further information email email@example.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/MidwinterCheeseMadness .
On Wednesday 5th December the University Choir will be staging its annual Christmas concert, featuring the music of Berlioz, Britten and Joubert among the usual seasonal favorites, and featuring a performance by the University String Orchestra.
Just after the New Year, on Friday 18th January, the University’s Martin Hall will be visited by the Maggini Quartet, one of the UK’s leading string quartets, internationally acclaimed for their concert performances, appearing frequently at home and abroad, along with regular media broadcasts. They will be performing a selection of Mozart, Britten and Schubert.
Full details of both events can be found via the University’s Arts site here.
Don’t forget we’ve got a wide range of books and journals on the subject of music among our collection on Level 2, covering the complete spectrum of musical genres from classical to jazz to hip-hop. You may also be interested in browsing Rock’s Backpages, an archive of music journalism going back to the 1950′s, or the British Library’s Sounds database, a two-year development project encompassing 3,900 hours of digitised audio freely available to the Higher and Further Education communities of the UK.
A new exhibition opens at the British Library this week on the theme of the Indian Mughal Empire showcasing never-before-seen treasures from the era.
Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire is a study of the mighty dynasty that stretched from Kabul in the northwest to cover most of the South Asian subcontinent. This exhibition is the first to document the entire period, spanning the 16th to the 19th centuries, through more than 200 objects including paintings, manuscripts and jewelry.
Fifty years ago this week the entire world held its breath as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union ignited into full intensity during what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Then President John F. Kennedy discovered that the Soviet and Cuban governments had begun to build nuclear missile bases in Cuba, well within range of striking the North American continent, in response to American siting of missiles in Europe and their part in the abortive CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. The Americans embarked on a naval blockade of Cuba which was vehemently denounced by the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and for almost a fortnight, the world teetered on the brink of a nuclear war, averted only after both parties agreed to withdraw their missiles from the offending sites and the Americans promised never to invade Cuba again.
We have several books on the crisis among our impressive history section on Level 2. And if you want to read about the affair as it happened, according to the media of the day, you’ll found full accounts through our electronic newspaper archives on Library Catalogue Plus, including The Times, the Guardian and the Mirror.
Fidel Castro & Nikita Khrushchev postcard courtesy of Radio Rover, reproduced under CC Licence from Flickr.