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:

http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/olympex2012/index.html

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

The Olympic Torch Relay: Important Information for Library Visitors

You may already be aware that the Olympic Torch Relay will be passing through the University campus on Tuesday 3rd July. Obviously this will be effecting normal services  across the site, including the Library.

With that in mind, we wish to inform users and visitors to the Library on the day of a couple of important details:

  • The Library will not be open until 10AM on Tuesday morning.
  • The Library Carpark will be closed to all staff and visitors and other car parks across campus will be similarly effected. 

Please be aware as well that rolling road closures will be in effect on campus throughout the morning which may effect visitors arriving by car. Delays are also expected across routes in and around Loughborough as the Relay passes through town as well, so please allow extra time for your journey on the day.

For further details of planned events on the day, visit the University Torch Relay page here:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/london2012/torch-relay/

Think you know all there is about the Olympics?

 Here’s a question – how many times has London hosted the Olympic Games?*

OK, that one is easy, but you may well want to delve a little deeper into the history of the Games and what better way than to start with the Library? Sprint, jog or walk sedately (preferred option) down to shelf location 796.48 on Level 2 of the Library and you will find several bays of books on the subject.

 Alternatively, look into any of the Library’s 300 sports e-journals for specialist articles. How do you do that? I’m glad you asked. Just check out the Sports category of E-journals A-Z on Library Catalogue Plus or better still, use SportDiscus to search all things sport by subject. Did you know, for instance that there are 103 articles on the Olympics and Loughborough? No, nor did I. If you cannot wait to use this superb full-text database, in addition to finding it via Library Catalogue Plus, SportDiscus is also available via the EBSCOhost app on your mobile – just don’t try to search while jogging!

And it doesn’t stop there. Take a look at Nexis** for current and historic newspaper coverage from newspapers around the world, or the archival copies of The Times, Guardian, New York Times and Mirror with its wonderful collection of photographic images from the Games.

Just pop into the Library at any time and a librarian will be delighted to show you around our collections and resources.

* The answer is three times, 1908, 1948 (it should have been 1944 but the war got in the way) and 2012

** SportDiscus, Nexis and the newspaper archives are available from the Select Database options on Library Catalogue Plus.

Pictured is the 1948 London Olympic Games Poster, image copyright theirhistory, reproduced under CC Licence from Flickr.

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.

Are You Watching, Fabio?

BBC broadcaster James May with Dr Andy Harland of the Sports Technology Institute

The England football team has had a less-than-stellar record when it comes to taking penalty kicks in tournaments in recent years – but TV’s Top Gear host James May recently paid a visit to Loughborough University to find out if science can help improve this!

Filmed for inclusion in an episode of James May’s Man Lab recently broadcast on BBC2, Mr May visited researchers at the University’s Sports Technology Institute who, by using a range of measurement tools and high speed video cameras, captured the precise detail of his own penalty kicking technique before suggesting areas for improvement.

The ultimate aim of the excercise is to prove that an Englishman can successfully take a penalty and score a goal (some chance!!!)

If football is your game – whether as a player or an armchair pundit – the Library is well stocked with a variety of books about every aspect of the game, from its history and cultural aspects to coaching and training techniques. The database SPORTDiscus is also an invaluable resource for further up-to-date research.

If you want to watch this particular episode of James May’s Man Lab, it’s currently available via the BBC’s iPlayer at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b017jk97/James_Mays_Man_Lab_Series_2_Episode_4/

England fans may doubtless hope Fabio Capello sneaks a look to take a few tips before next year’s European Championship finals…!

Lighting the Way to London 2012

Organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games in London estimate that the Olympic Flame will come within 10 miles of 95% of everybody in the UK - and have come up with a new resource to show where precisely the Flame is going to be visiting near you!

An interactive map shows each of the 1000+ cities, towns and villages the Flame will be carried through, as well as the locations of evening celebrations in honour of the event. All you need to do is enter a postcode in the search box provided to find out where and when the Flame will be near you. For instance, the Flame is due to be visiting Loughborough on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 – something to put in your diary!

Look out also for details of a forthcoming exhibition from the Archives in the Library, featuring a genuine Olympic Torch (albeit not a lit one!)

The map is available from the official London 2012 site at http://www.london2012.com/olympic-torch-relay-map .

Library awarded grant for People’s Record London Olympics project

The Library has been awarded a further People’s Record grant award. The People’s Record aims to create a collective record of the public’s response to hosting the 2012 Games.

 

The work will be done jointly with the Centre for Olympic Studies & Research and will produce videos exploring the experiences of Loughborough University students who have volunteered for helping with the London 2012 Olympic Games. These videos will be published on the People’s Record website www.peoplesrecord.org.uk. Videos from two previous Library’s People’s Record projects are already available there. If you would like more information about the project please contact Dr Graham Walton (j.g.walton@lboro.ac.uk)

Image  produced by Prab Bhatia and available via Creative Commons licence on FlickR

Kicking Off the New Season

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux Stadium, photographed by Tony Evans, taken from Flickr, used under cc licence

The English Barclay’s Premier League kicks off its opening fixtures of the 2011-12 football season this Saturday, with the promise of another exciting year of top calibre football.
 
As usual, pundits remain divided as to who will lift the title next May, currently held by the ever-green Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. But they face stiff competition from big-spending neighbours Manchester City, as well as the strong London contingient of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, plus a resurgent Liverpool side under the steady guidance of their Kop hero, Kenny Dalglish.
 
But football isn’t just about the Premier League. The League Championship and Non-League football seasons have already begun, and way down in the Midland Football Alliance (some nine steps from the Premier League!!) our own Loughborough University football team has already made an excellent start to their campaign, winning their first two matches. Last season they finished a very creditable fourth in the league against a strong contingient of Midland semi-professional sides.
 
And on September 3rd, the team prepare to launch themselves at the first hurdle towards Wembley glory, with a home FA Cup preliminary round tie against Yaxley or Godmanchester Rovers.  The team will also be competing in the FA Vase, the British Universities and Colleges Sport Competition (BUCS) and the Midlands Universities League.
 
You can follow the team’s fortunes via their homepage here, and can find a comprehensive list of the division’s fixtures here. Why not pop along and cheer them on!
 
And if you’re interested in football – either as a fan or a sports science student – don’t forget that the Library has a comprehensive range of sports databases, including SPORTDiscus and and the Physical Education Index, as well as a wealth of football-related books on our shelves.

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

2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games People’s web site now available

The fast approaching London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have created much excitement and debate. The People’s Record web site has been developed to collect stories and experiences about the Olympics. It will create a record of the impact of Games on people across the nation. The People’s Record will be the first co-ordinated record by a host nation of the public’s reaction to the Games.

Creative Commons Licence - photographer Matsimpsk

The People’s Record web site is now available. Loughborough University Library and the Centre for Olympic Studies and Research have been collaborating on projects to be included on the People’s Record. Have a look at what individuals in the UK are saying about their sport, the Olympics and themselves.

Information is available about previous Loughborough University People’s Record projects and the current project.

Photo available thru Creative Commons Licence – photographer is matsimpsk