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.

Talk Action at the Martin Hall Theatre

808Radar, the Unversity’s own arts programme, presents an evening of commissioned performances and films at the Martin Hall Theatre this Wednesday evening (27th March) which respond to research by the University’s Discourse and Rhetoric Group, which uses conversational analysis to examine how we communicate within our everyday lives.

Harvey Sacks, the American sociologist who is regarded as being the founder of conversation analysis was interested in looking at sequences of conversation and ‘tearing them apart in such a way as to find rules, techniques, procedures, methods, maxims that can be used to generate the orderly features we find in the conversations we examine’.  It is his interest in the technology of conversation that has led to an ongoing study of our social interactions within a range of everyday situations, a field for which Loughborough University has established an international reputation.

Cally Spooner, Gary Stevens and Imogen Stidworthy have been invited to respond to the work being undertaken by academics into discourse and rhetoric and develop new performances inspired by their investigations around speech and the verbal interplay between individuals.

The event begins at 7pm in the Martin Hall Theatre. Admission is free, but you will need to book a place online.

Databases on Trial this Month

Pilkington library after refurbishment

We have three databases on trial this month that may interest English, History and Social Sciences staff and students alike.

Artemis Literary Sources brings together Gale’s premier literary databases in a new digital environment that allows researchers, faculty and students to search across these resources to discover and analyze content in entirely new ways. No other publisher offers this unmatched combination of uniquely rich literary content, dependable metadata, and intuitive subject indexing – all enriched by features and design that breathes new life into the study of literature.

To begin searching please go to http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/loughuni?db=GLS – access is via IP address or from off-campus login via the VPN.

The Chatham House Online Archive contains the publications and archives of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the world-leading independent international affairs policy institute founded in 1920 following the Paris Peace Conference. The Institute’s analysis and research, as well as debates and speeches it has hosted, can be found in this online archive, subject-indexed and fully searchable.

To begin searching please go to http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/loughuni?db=CHOA – access is via IP address or from off-campus login via the VPN.

The Financial Times Historical Archive delivers the complete searchable run of the world’s most authoritative daily business newspaper. Every item ever printed in the paper, from 1888-2010, can be searched and browsed article by article and page by page. The archive is an essential, comprehensive and unbiased research tool for everyone studying the public affairs and financial history of the last 120 years.

To begin searching please go to http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/loughuni?db=FTHA – access is via IP address or from off-campus login via the VPN.

All three trials end on 5th April. We welcome feedback – good or bad – on these trials, so please contact Steve Corn with your comments.

Coming to a Cinema Near You…

Sorian Soosay

There’s a couple of special film screenings taking place over the next week that should be of great interest ot film buffs across campus.

This Sunday, 16th March, Flix Cinema and LSU Action present a traditional cinema experience with an old time film. Action volunteers become old fashioned cinema ushers and usherettes creating the feel of a traditional cinema experience where the 1944 classic National Velvet starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney will be shown at the Cope Auditorium. Doors open at 12.30pm with the film starting at 1pm, and there will be an old-fashioned refreshments interval too!

Then next Wednesday, 19th March, Eden Flix presents Flow: For the Love of Water, Irena Salina’s 2008 documentary about the perilous state of the world’s water supply. From both local and global perspectives, this documentary examines the harsh realities behind the mounting water crisis. Learn how politics, pollution and human rights are intertwined in this important issue that affects every being on Earth. With water drying up around the world and the future of human lives at stake, the film urges a call to arms before more of our most precious natural resource evaporates.

Flow is also being shown at the Cope, where the performance will start at 3pm. All students and staff are welcome to freely attend, though booking is necessary.

Cinema image by Soorian Soosay, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

womens-day-final

In celebration of International Women’s Day, which takes place on March 8th each year, the Sexual Politics Research Group, led by a number of staff based in the School of the Arts, is hosting a screen event across campus. This is part of a series of celebrations taking place this Friday, March 7th.

Throughout the day, the IT information screens will honour women’s achievements past and present, local and global, in the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, science and technology. Many of the names used on the IT information screens (including the example above) were generated by enthusiastic submissions and the organisers hope that people will enjoy seeing their choices on screens this Friday.

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. It has been celebrated every March 8th since the early 1900′s, usually highlighting a specific theme. This year’s theme is Inspiring Change, which calls for challenging the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance inspiring positive change on women’s behalf.

To find out more about the event, visit this website:

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

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:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8462839101017797634

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.

Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA) Trial

pymca logo

Between now and December we’re trialling a unique on-line social history and youth culture database that may prove of much interest to social scientists, artists and historians alike.

The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive (PYMCA) is a specialist resource featuring over 40,000 exclusive photographs, moving images, texts, graphics, digital magazines and supplementary research. With insight materials covering the last 150 years of youth culture, youth tribes and social history, PYMCA is an essential educational resource for many HE and FE subject areas from media to fashion, music to history, social sciences and much more.

To access the database please go to www.pymca.com  - when prompted follow the ‘Login via your home institution’ link, choose Loughborough University from the drop-down menu & input your Athens username and password.

We would welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, so please contact Steve Corn  with any comments you would care to make.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – Online Training Session

odnb-2Oxford University Press is running a free online training session next week for any Library users interested in learning more about how to use the online version of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which the Library currently subscribes to.

The session begins at 11am (UK time) next Monday (10th February) and will take about 40 minutes and will look at different search options, features and practical uses of the resource. There will also be time for questions at the end. You can access the session anywhere – all you need is a computer with an Internet connection and sound, but you can test that your system will be able to connect to the session by going to www.webex.com/lp/jointest/.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is a unique and authoritative resource, providing over 56,000 essays on the men and women who have shaped British life and culture from the 4th Century BC to the year 2004. The essays are written by 10,000 specialist contributors, making this the largest collaborative tool in the humanities in existence.

Please register here if you would like to attend. You will receive an invitation which contains details of how to log in to the session. There is a limit of 30 participants, but if OUP receive more requests than that they will be offering further dates.

Europeana 1914-1918

untitledThe British Library have joined forces with the European Union’s largest historical database to help compile Europeana 1914-1918, the most important pan-European collection of original First World War source material.

Launched this week by Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in Germany, the database is the result of three years of work by 20 European countries and includes:

  • 400,000 rare documents digitised by 10 state libraries in Europe
  • 660 hours of unique film material digitised by audiovisual archives
  • The personal papers and memorabilia of some 8,000 people involved in the war, held by their families and digitised at special events in 12 countries.

The British Library is leading the UK’s contribution to the project, and has contributed 10,000 items from its own WW1 collections to the site, including trench journals from foreign troops, iconic war poetry, London schoolchildren’s accounts of Zeppelin raids and many more. The British Library has also produced a new website offering curated access to over 500 digitised historical sources from Europeana 1914-1918, including over 50 newly-commissioned articles written by leading historians.

This site can be visited via http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one. Europeana 1914-1918 can be found here: http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en