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 (

Image  produced by familymwr and available via Creative Commons licence on FlickR

Are you an old researcher?

If there’s an historical element to your research, how about taking a look at the Archives Hub  This is a collection of descriptions of archives from nearly 200 institutions across the U.K.  It covers a wide range of subjects and could provide you with some unique information and a chance to demonstrate your depth of searching. 

The Archives Hub website has recently been updated and improved making it even easier to search or browse. The Hub doesn’t actually hold any archives, just descriptions of them, so you would need to contact the holding institution of any archive(s) you wanted to view.

Even if you are not ‘old’ you could still use the Hub for a personal research project, or why not have a look to see if your old school registers  are on there?

Football Crazy!

This summer sees the 19th FIFA World Cup Finals, to be held in South Africa. To mark the occasion, the Library is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the history of football’s most glittering tournament.

First held in Uruguay in 1930, the competition has been held every four years since 1950 and has gone on to become the most widely-viewed sporting occasion in the world, with the 2006 final between Italy and France boasting a staggering 715 million spectators globally.

On display within the library cabinets on Level 3 is a dazzling array of memorabilia, including  some of the balls used in the finals through the years. Among them is the official ball of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Jabulani, which has been developed in partnership with Adidas by experts at Loughborough’s Institute of Sports Technology. There are also a host of photographs and souvenir material from various finals, including a collection of material from England’s legendary 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley in 1966.

As well as enjoying the spectacle on your TV, why not pop in this summer and take a tour down this fabulous football memory lane too!

Book preservation – it's all in the smell!

Book preservation

A recent article on the BBC News web site tells of recent research into – literally – sniffing out decay in old books. The distinctive musty smell of old books is the result of volatile or semivolatile organic compounds escaping. Mmm, nice!

The Department of Information Science has a postgraduate module on Collection Management and Preservation which looks at why and how information artefacts decay over time and strategies for dealing with this. This module concentrates on the management aspects, including preservation needs assessment and developing and implementing preservation management policies. It also looks closely at digital preservation, but that is another story – and quite definitely does not involve sniffing old books!

If you’d like to find out more about book preservation, why not check up on what’s been written on the subject? There are many books catalogued at 025.84 in the Library’s book collection. Articles can also be found by checking the LISA database on MetaLib.

There are many organisations conducting research into conservation. Here are just a few – the Getty Conservation Institute, British Library Conservation Centre, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts,  University College London’s Centre for Sustainable Heritage.

The original research on this topic was contained in an article by Charles W. Schmidt called On the Smell of Old Books in the journal Analytical Chemistry (article available to Loughborough University members free on campus, off-campus use Athens details) volume 81, issue 21, p8656, year 2009.

Photo © quinn.anya, reproduced by Creative commons licence