“What’s On the Box?” World Television Day

Watching TV by Aaron Escobar, reproduced under CC License

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

As librarians, we tend to agree with Groucho Marx’s oft-quoted remark about the medium of television – even in the digital age, we still love a good book – but there is no denying that television is still one of the world’s biggest phenomenons – and is likely to remain so for long years ahead.

And so it was in 1996 that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21st November as World Television Day, in recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues. It is not so much a celebration of television as a communication tool, but as a symbol for communication and globalisation in the contemporary world.

We hold a huge range of books about every aspect of the medium among our collection, from historic studies to the nuts-and-bolts of television engineering and broadcasting. We also provide access to a number of very popular online resources all about television, most notably Box of Broadcasts (BoB), from which you can not only catch up with the latest episodes of your favourite shows, but also easily create your own clips from TV programmes, and create useful playlists of clips to refer to at a later date for further study or research. And if you’re more interested in more vintage television, try dipping into the British Film Institute’s archives in BFI Screenonline, where you can watch old episodes of classics like Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, and even University Challenge!

“It was all started by a Mouse…”

Plastic Mickey Mouse figure from the Glud Museum, Denmark, reproduced under CC License

One of the most iconic characters of modern times celebrates their 90th birthday this very day – the one and only Mickey Mouse!

Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1928 for Steamboat Willie, one of the Disney Studios’ earliest sound animations, the character has gone on to appear in over 130 films and countless spin-offs in every conceivable medium – and became the figurehead of the Disney phenomenon. Walt Disney himself acknowledged the debt his studio owed to the lovable cartoon rodent – “it was all started by a mouse”, he declared in an interview in 1954!

We have a wide range of books about Walt Disney, his films and Mickey Mouse among our art and cinema books on Level 2.

You can also explore more about the history and influence of Disney (and Mickey!) at the British Film Institute website and our online art databases including Art Retrospective and Art & Architecture Source.

Spotlight On… Vogue

Interested in fashion, either for your studies or just in general? Then settle down and treat yourself to a browse through the archives of the world’s foremost fashion magazine, Vogue.

The Vogue Archive contains the entire run of Vogue magazine (US edition), from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, reproduced in high-resolution color page images. Every page, advertisement, cover and fold-out has been included, with rich indexing enabling you to find images by garment type, designer and brand names. The Vogue Archive preserves the work of the world’s greatest fashion designers, stylists and photographers and is a unique record of American and international fashion, culture and society from the dawn of the modern era to the present day.

In addition to the editorial content, all covers, advertisements and pictorial features have been captured as separate documents to allow for searching and discovery. For advertisements, the featured company and brand names have been assigned to the document records, and all image captions are captured to a high accuracy, allowing accurate retrieval of photographs and illustrations. Contributor names that appear in image credits, such as photographers, stylists and illustrators, are also indexed.

You can also limit your search by journal editor, and specialist indexing of full-page images from photo features. There are separate designated fields for Fashion Items, Trends, Colour and Prints.

The Vogue Archive is available through Library Catalogue Plus and seperately via Proquest here.

World Space Week 2018

Boldly going where no one has gone before, it’s World Space Week, the annual celebration of mankind’s exploration of outer space.

Each year, the World Space Week Association (WSWA) selects a theme for the upcoming World Space Week (WSW) to provide a focus of the activities and events that take a place throughout the world, during 4th-10th October . The 2018 theme is Space Unites the World, which celebrates the role of space in bringing the world closer together.  The theme is inspired by UNISPACE+50, an historic gathering of world space leaders which will occur in 2018. UNISPACE+50 will promote cooperation between spacefaring and emerging space nations and help space exploration activities become open and inclusive on a global scale.

Launched specifically on 4th October by the UN General Assembly to mark the successful launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, in 1957, and the signing of the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ on October 10th 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 have many and various astronomical and astronautic resources in the Library, including access to the  National Geophysical Data Centre database, which provides the latest satellite geophysical data from the Sun to the Earth and Earth’s sea floor and solid earth environment, including Earth observations from space, and the NASA Scientific & Technical Information database, which includes up-to-date information about NASA’s space projects. We also hold a good selection of books about space & space exploration in general.

To find out more about World Space Week, visit their website here:

http://www.worldspaceweek.org/

Database Trial – North China Herald Online

This month’s database trial from Brill’s Primary Source Collection takes a trip east as we explore the archives of a venerable Chinese newspaper.

The North China Herald is the prime printed source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to 1940s. No other newspaper existed over such an extended period, and covers it in such incredible depth and variety. The fully text-searchable North China Herald Online will be one of the primary resources on a period which continues to shape much of China’s world and worldview.

To begin searching, visit this link:

 http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/north-china-herald-online 

Access is via IP address and the trial runs to 18th August 2018.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corns.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

100 Years of the Royal Air Force

Today marks the 100th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the Royal Air Force, highlighted by a flypast over Buckingham Palace of 100 RAF aircraft past and present, including the iconic Supermarine Spitfire and the new F35 Lightning stealth fighter, as well as the Red Arrows display team.

The RAF was formed 100 years ago on 1st April 1918 when the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the world’s first independent air service. It has since played a pivotal role in British and indeed world history, not least of all during World War 2 in the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.

Loughborough University has a long and proud tradition in the area of aeronautics through its Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering. It began life as the Loughborough Aeronautical College, which obtained a contract in 1942 to teach Fleet Air Arm engineers using many of the operational types of RAF aircraft as instructional airframes, including Spitfires and Hurricanes.

The department is now housed in purpose built facilities that includes laboratories, workshops, wind-tunnels a flight simulator and a technical display area where a BAE Systems Hawk jet plane – a type still in use by the RAF – takes pride of place.

It goes without saying that in support of this department the Library has a vast cornucopia of resources about aircraft design, engineering and history, as well as many books in our history section detailing the exploits of the RAF in the many conflicts they have operated in during the last century, from World War 1 to the post 9-11 era. Why not visit our subject guides to find out more?

Roll Up, Roll Up! Dip into our Exciting New Resource!

We’re thrilled to bring you our new acquisition, Victorian Popular Culture from Adam Matthew Digital. This primary source archive is an important research resource for historians, social scientists and literary scholars, spanning the period from 1779 to 1930 and showcasing popular entertainment in Britain, America and Europe.

Explore a wealth of media history in the form of printed books, early film, posters, playbills, photographs, objects and ephemera as well as contextual essays and an interactive chronology. Collections include: Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema; Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment, Spiritualism, Sensation; Magic and Circuses, Sideshow and Freaks.

Access is via IP address. To begin searching go to:

www.victorianpopularculture.amdigital.co.uk

Database Trials – Adam Matthew Resources

This month the Library is trialing four databases from the Adam Matthew stable.

Gender: Identity and Social Change

Essential primary sources documenting the changing representations and lived experiences of gender roles and relations from the nineteenth century to the present. This expansive collection offers sources for the study of women’s suffrage, the feminist movement, the men’s movement, employment, education, the body, the family, and government and politics.

To begin searching go to www.genderidentityandsocialchange.amdigital.co.uk – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 4th July 2018.

Literary Manuscripts Berg

The Berg Collection is recognised as one of the finest literary research collections in the world, and the Victorian holdings are the undisputed jewel in its crown.  A broad range of authors from across the nineteenth century make this an essential research tool for all scholars and students researching Victorian literature.  Most of these unique manuscripts are unavailable in any medium elsewhere. They are supplemented by some rare printed materials, including early editions annotated by the authors. Each author collection is included in its entirety, allowing users to browse and search the manuscripts as they would in the Berg Reading Room.

To begin searching go to www.literarymanuscriptsberg.amdigital.co.uk– access is via IP address and the trial runs to 27th June 2018.

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.

To begin searching go to www.londonlowlife.amdigital.co.uk – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 27th June 2018.

Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture: The History of Tourism

This resource presents a multi-national journey through well-known, little-known and far-flung destinations unlocked for the average traveller between 1850 and the 1980s. Guidebooks and brochures, periodicals, travel agency correspondence, photographs and personal travel journals provide unique insight into the expansion, accessibility and affordability of tourism for the masses and the evolution of some of the most successful travel agencies in the world.

To begin searching go to www.masstourism.amdigital.co.uk– access is via IP address and the trial runs to 27th June 2018.

Please note that PDF download options are not available from these databases during these trials.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn (s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk) with your comments.

Database Trial – Archives of Sexuality & Gender

Our latest trial comes courtesy of the Gale Group, and will likely be of great interest to humanities, media and politics students.

With material drawn from hundreds of institutions and organizations, including both major international activist organizations and local, grassroots groups, the documents in the Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 present important aspects of LGBTQ life in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The archive illuminates the experiences not just of the LGBTQ community as a whole, but of individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions, political orientations, and geographical locations that constitute this community. Historical records of political and social organizations founded by LGBTQ individuals are featured, as well as publications by and for lesbians and gays, and extensive coverage of governmental responses to the AIDS crisis.

The archive also contains personal correspondence and interviews with numerous LGBTQ individuals, among others. The archive includes gay and lesbian newspapers from more than 35 countries, reports, policy statements, and other documents related to gay rights and health, including the worldwide impact of AIDS, materials tracing LGBTQ activism in Britain from 1950 through 1980, and more.

To begin searching go to:

http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/loughuni?db=AHSI

Access is via IP address and the trial is available until 9th May 2018

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn ( s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk ) with your comments.

Stephen Hawking 1942-2018

Visionary scientist Stephen Hawking has died aged 76.

Famed for his study of black holes and relativity, he wrote several best-selling science books including most notably A Brief History of Time, which sold over ten million copies worldwide.

At the age of 22 he was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease, which left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser, but he defied the odds and overcame his disability to become the scientist widely regarded as the greatest since Albert Einstein.

He gained immense popularity outside the academic world, including appearances in popular TV shows including The Simpsons and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 2014, he was portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, a dramatic reconstruction of his early life and struggles.

We have several works by and about Stephen Hawking in the Library, including A Brief History of Time – you can find them here – http://bit.ly/2p8Nfqi