Database Trial – Oxford Art Online/Grove Art Online

Art students and art lovers alike will find our latest database trial of great interest, as we take a trip through the archives of Oxford Art Online’s Grove Art Online.

This trial provides access to the foremost scholarly art encyclopedia, covering both Western and non-Western art. First published as the landmark 34-volume Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner, the content of Grove Art encompasses all aspects of visual culture.

To begin searching go to:

No need to sign in as access is via IP address.The trial is available until 21st March 2018

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn – – with your comments.

Database Trial – Art & Architecture Complete

Our latest database trial should appeal to artists, architects and building designers.

Art & Architecture Complete provides full-text coverage of 380 periodicals and more than 220 books. In addition, this database offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 780 academic journals, magazines and trade publications, as well as for over 230 books. Art & Architecture Complete also provides selective coverage for 70 additional publications and an Image Collection of over 63,000 images provided by Picture Desk and others.

To begin searching go to

Access is via IP address and the trial runs to 30th June 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn with your comments.

Database Trial – DETAIL Inspiration

Our second database trial for June is also likely to interest architects and building designers.

DETAIL Inspiration is an image and reference database that uses precise, relevant visual inspirations to support architects in their search for construction solutions. With more than 3,300 projects from the last 32 years, DETAIL inspiration is a highly valuable source of research and inspiration for architects, giving access to reference photographs, sketches, technical product information, within a clearly structured search and filter system.

All project descriptions are available for download. The database design is optimized for smart phone, tablet and desktop.

To begin searching go to – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 24th June 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn with your comments.

Database Trial – Birkhäuser Building Types Online

Architects, artists and building engineers may find our latest database trial of great interest to them.

The database Building Types Online draws on the expertise and the high international standing of Birkhäuser and comprises the knowledge and content of selected Birkhäuser manuals in typological order. The approx. 850 case studies are documented with texts by authors who are experts in their fields and with approx. 5000 architectural drawings of high quality as well as 2000 photographs of the buildings.

Using a systematic and analytical search and browse structure that allows all kinds of combinations, the database provides solutions for numerous design tasks in study and practice. This tool will facilitate research on building typology and architectural design assignments.

Thematic articles provide background information on individual building types or explain specific aspects such as lighting, acoustics, urban considerations, access types or planning processes. The users, be they in academia, architectural practice or students, will be offered a comprehensive online resource on building types based on seminal buildings of the past 30 years. Housing as one of the most frequent design tasks forms a large focus of the database.

To begin searching go to – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 31st July 2017.

A user guide is available at:

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn with your comments.

Eden Flix Presents 'How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?'

118_posterThis Wednesday afternoon at 3pm in the Cope Auditorium Eden Flix presents a free showing of the documentary film How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?, introduced by Professor Jacqui Glass, Professor of Architecture & Sustainable Construction in the School of Civil and Building Engineering.

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

Tickets are free, but booking is necessary – follow this link to do that.

Eden Flix are a series of highly acclaimed, thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries on issues related to engineering, design and social consciousness. All staff and students at Loughborough are welcome to attend.

Our (Local) Petrol Heritage!

A local architectural landmark has just achieved a rare – and indeed unusual – distinction; it’s become the first petrol station to attain the status of a listed building from the English Heritage Society.

The Esso station on the A6 at Birstall in Leicestershire was selected primarily for its unusual mushroom-like forecourt canopies, built in the late 1960’s by an American designer. Although such canopies were once a common sight, these are the last in the country that are completely intact, and Heritage Minister John Penrose awarded the site a Grade 2 listing in recognition of a time “when road travel captured the public’s imagination and the motorway was full of futuristic glamour”.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the local history of the Leicestershire area, we have a wide range of reading matter on the subject. We also have many books on the subject of industrial architecture and historic buildings.

To find out more about English Heritage, and other listed locations in the local area, why not visit their website?

The Esso Station on the A6 at Birstall, image copyright Ned Trifle, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Of Sharks and Sheep

A new exhibition celebrating the work of the notorious contemporary British artist Damien Hirst has just been launched at the Tate Modern Gallery in London.

The retrospective, which runs from April 4th to September 9th, will include iconic sculptures from his Natural History series, including The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living from 1991, in which he suspended a shark in formaldehyde.

The Library owns a variety of books by Hirst and featuring his work, and you can find out a lot more about the artist by browsing among our art & design databases through Library Catalogue Plus.

Damien Hirst’s Dead Calf at the Tate Modern, image copyright Jim Linwood, reproduced under CC Licence from Flickr.

Library in a… Phone Box?

Villagers in the aptly-named Gloucestershire village of Box have come up with a ‘novel’ use for their recently decommissioned British Telecom phone box… they’ve turned it into a mini lending library!
Although not as infinitely capacious as Dr Who’s TARDIS, this phone box currently contains around 40 books, all donated by the villagers, which people can borrow for as long as they like, whenever they fancy a read… with no fines for late returns either!
The kiosk was bought from BT – for the princely sum of £1 – because the villagers wanted to keep what they believed was an “integral part” of the local area. The idea to turn it into a library apparently was inspired by an episode of the BBC radio serial The Archers!
This isn’t the first time a local community have found such a literary use for an old phone box – villages in Derbyshire and Hampshire have already done so – besides other ‘interesting’ uses as well. Villagers in Shepreth, Cambridgeshire converted their kiosk into a temporary pub for the local village fete following the closure of their local inn!
BT have said that the Box ‘Box’ was the 1,500th phone box in the UK to have been adopted by its local community – a remarkable form of preservation for one of the most enduring icons of 20th century British heritage.

The 2011 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture

The Neues Museum in Berlin is the winner of the 2011 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Commission announced this week.

The building is a reconstruction, blending old and new, by the British architect Sir David Chipperfield. The original Neues Museum, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, was built in the mid-19th century. The building was severely damaged in the Second World War and reconstruction began in 2003, with the aim of restoring the site to its former glory.

Launched in 1987, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award is presented every other year. The Prize is supported by the European Commission in the framework of its Culture Programme and by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation.

The winners were chosen from 343 submitted works in 33 European countries. Six works were shortlisted for the main award. The other finalists were: Bronks Youth Theatre (Brussels, Belgium); MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome, Italy); Concert House Danish Radio (Copenhagen, Denmark); Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece) and Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal (Arnhem, The Netherlands).

The award ceremony will take place on 20 June at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

To find out more about the award and the ceremony why not visit the Europa website here. The library has access to a wide variety of databases concerning the subject of architecture and civil engineering on Metalib. Why not have a browse?