The Landgrabber at LU Arts


Loughborough University Arts in association with the Royal Geographic Society are hosting a special talk with an environmental theme at the LU Arts Project Space at the Edward Barnsley Building on Tuesday 10th February.

Land is suddenly a scarce resource. African plains, Asian paddy fields and South American jungles are being snapped up. In his lecture, Fred Pearce, journalist, author and environmental consultant at New Scientist, discusses who are the grabbers and who the victims.

Fred Pearce has reported on the environment, popular science and development issues from 64 countries over the past 20 years. He specialises in global environmental issues, including water and climate change, and is the author of popular books including ‘When the rivers run dry: what happens when our water runs out?’ and ‘The landgrabbers: the new fight over who owns the earth’, which will be the topic of his 10 February lecture.

The talk begins at 5.45pm and should be finished by 9.30pm. The event is free, but booking is necessary as space is limited. To do that, visit this link:

Follow the Lines in the Ice at the British Library

British_20Library_20LogoA new exhibition with a decidedly wintery theme begins at the British Library this week.

Lines in the Ice examines why Europeans are drawn to explore the Arctic and, in particular, the fabled Northwest Passage. Arctic exploration has influenced our culture, changed the societies of indigenous peoples, and had a powerful effect on the making of the modern world.

The exhibition displays early European maps of the Arctic, Inuit accounts of the coming of the explorers, writings from the search for Franklin, early Arctic photography and much more. It also unearths the history of the North Pole’s most famous resident – Santa!

On display in the British Library entrance hall, the exhibition runs until March 2015 and is free to visit. Further details can be found via the British Library website here.

Adam Matthew Databases on Trial this May

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We have a variety of Adam Matthew archive databases on trial throughout May that may be of great interest to social scientists, geographers, historians and English literature students.

Mass Observation Online (

Mass Observation Online provides integrated access to almost 400,000 digital images of material from the Mass Observation Archive (MOA). In addition, it functions as a finding aid for all material held on Adam Matthew Publications microfilm, and in the Mass Observation Archive. The Archive holds all the material generated by Mass Observation (MO) between 1937 and 1949, with a few later additions from the 1950s and 1960s.

Archives Direct (

Archives Direct is a suite of collections sourced from The National Archives, Kew – the UK government’s official archive. With our new digital facility based at Kew, Adam Matthew Digital will be releasing major new content from this world famous archive of information over the coming years.

Archives Direct titles are self-contained collections, clustered in a portal for ease of cross-searching and browsing. Your search results will include both documents your institution has purchased, and documents available elsewhere within the Archives Direct portal, giving you access to a huge range of documents from the UK government’s archives.

Perdita Manuscripts (

This resource is produced in association with the Perdita Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University. “Perdita” means “lost woman” and the quest of the Perdita Project has been to find early modern women authors who were “lost” because their writing exists only in manuscript form. Thanks to the endeavours of the Perdita Project the valuable work of these “lost” women is being rediscovered

Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History (

This resource brings together hundreds of accounts by women of their travels across the globe from the early 19th century to the late 20th century. Students and researchers will find sources covering a variety of topics including; architecture; art; the British Empire; climate; customs; exploration; family life; housing; industry; language; monuments; mountains; natural history; politics and diplomacy; race; religion; science; shopping; war.  A wide variety of forms of travel writing are included, ranging from unique manuscripts, diaries and correspondence to drawings, guidebooks and photographs. The resource includes a slideshow with hundreds of items of visual material, including postcards, sketches and photographs

London Low Life (

London Low Life is a full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London. It is designed for both teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond.

In addition to the digital documents, London Low Life contains a wealth of secondary resources, including a chronology, interactive maps, essays, online galleries and links to other useful websites.

All these databases are available until 27th May, accessible via the following username & password:

Username: Lu228yt

Password: SC929aMP

Please note that download options are not available during trials.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on these trials. Please contact Steve Corn with your comments.

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.

European Union on the Radar

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Radar, the University’s contemporary arts programme, gets the new term under way with a new European-themed project running throughout October which will interest artists and students of European history and politics alike.

‘Welcome to European Union’ is an exhibition of photography, video and works on paper which examines the transformations that have taken place in the newly created borderland areas between Narva in Estonia and Ivangorod in Russia. As new EU lines have been drawn on a map the public spaces ‘inbetween’ the borderlands are contested and new rules and regulations applied, redefining the physical and social boundaries, and reshaping communities. It’s been developed as an interdisciplinary cultural project by the sociologist Alena Pfoser and artist Eva Engelbert, with participation and contributions from the photoclub ‘Narva’, Estonia, and opens tomorrow (Tuesday 8th October) daily between 10AM-4PM  in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building (next to the Cope Auditorium in the campus’s East Park) and runs through until Friday 25th October. Admission is free.

Accompanying the exhibition on Friday 18th October, also at the LUA Project Space, is a day-long symposium of presentations and discussion, European Borderscapes, exploring the reconfiguration of European borders after the fall of the Iron Curtain and Eastern enlargement, and how rather than dissolving, the number of borders has multiplied and become more differentiated. Alena Pfoser has programmed the event in collaboration with the CulCom Research Group and has been financially supported by Radar, the Graduate School Research Culture Fund and Loughborough University’s Department of Social Sciences. This event is also free, but booking is required via this link.

For further information, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here.

Polar Film Festival

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Next week the University’s own Geography Department, in association with the International Glaciological Society-British Branch and the UK Polar Network, will be presenting an evening of films and discussion on the thorny issue of the development of the polar region and its potential effect on the environment.

The Polar Film Festival features four films – Greenland Ice Sheet Research – Life in the Field, Science at 90 South, ASH, ICE, MUD and The BBC’s Frozen Planet – all examining a different aspect of living, working and filming at the North & South Poles, as well as the history and science behind mankind’s first steps towards understanding not only more these beautiful but forbidding regions, but also about how human growth and technological development is effecting it – with catastrophic implications.

Each film will be introduced by a leading polar scientist, all four of whom will chair a discussion panel after the final showing.

The event will be taking place at Holywell Park on Tuesday 3rd September between 6.30-9PM. Admission is free, but you will need to register if you wish to attend, via this link:

Free Screening of ‘Thin Ice’ Climate Change Film

thin iceThe Geography Department have arranged for a FREE screening of the climate change information film Thin Ice this coming Tuesday evening.

Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science – is a unique project: a film about climate science made by a scientist – geologist Simon Lamb. For over three years he followed scientists from a wide range of disciplines at work in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the USA. They talk about their work, their hopes and fears with a rare candour and directness. This creates an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet’s changing climate, and provides a compelling case for rising CO2 as the main cause.

400 free tickets are up for grabs for this screening, which is being held in Room J104 in the Edward Herbert Building between 5.30-7PM. To register visit this link:

World Space Week

Today marks the beginning of World Space Week, an annual international celebration of the many benefits of the exploration of outer space.

This year’s theme for the event is “Space for Human Safety and Security”, which seeks to extol the virtues of how much Earth observation, navigation and telecommunication satellites are used everyday to protect humans and safeguard our environment.

Chosen specifically for this date by the UN General Assembly to mark the succesful launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, on October 4th 1957, and the signining of the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activites of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ on October 10 1967, World Space Week has been held every year since 1999, and seeks primarily to educate people about the positives of space exploration and encourage better public understanding and support for space programmes.

We’re very keen on space in the Library, and not just the kind students look for for studying in! We possess a large range of material about space flight and the history of astronautics, including access to NASA’s Scientific & Technical Information (STI) web site among our extensive array of Aeronautical databases.

For more information about World Space Week, including an opportunity to participate in a ‘Tweet-up’ with legendary Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, visit their website here:

Black History Month

This month is Black History Month, an annual observance of the importance of the African diaspora on modern British civilisation, culture and history, marked by a series of special events across the country and a website hosting a wide range of specially written articles and essays on the subject, as well as video clips and music.

These include a potted history of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush in 1948, which marked the beginning of the post-war mass immigration, a biography of Joe Clough, London’s first black bus driver in 1910, and a rarely-seen war-time documentary film shot in 1944 called West Indies Calling, which highlights the important role played by the people of the Carribbean in the British war effort.

The Library has a considerable range of material about black history and culture and the African diaspora across the globe, available in book form and electronic format via our vast range of electronic resources available through Library Catalogue Plus.

To look at the Black History Month site, follow this link:

Drip Drip Drop Little July Showers…

Jokes about wet English summers have been a staple for self-depreciating British residents since the age of the Caesars, but it was no laughing matter for those caught in the shock deluge that water-logged Loughborough (and the rest of the country) during Open Day a week or so ago.

Indeed, so severe was the rain that the Library even had its own moat (pictured above) and flooded the fire escape exit down on Level 1 (fortunately for users and our stock, only up to the level of the first step!!). Other buildings across campus were similarly effected, too.

While there doesn’t appear to be very much one can individually do in the face of such a watery onslaught (apart from investing in a bigger umbrella!) research is on-going into how society can better cope with climate change and the unpreditable weather it brings down upon us. The University’s own Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science (CHES) in the Geography Department is one such facility, plus we ourselves have access to a wide variety of up-to-date information on the topic via databases such as RealClimate and Water Resource Abstracts. Something to look at while you’re waiting for the skies to clear, anyway!

For further pictures of the Great Library Flood of 2012, check out our Flickr photostream here.