Football Rules OK… at the British Library

footballs by beefy_n1

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association the British Library have just put on display the very first FA football rule book in their Sir John Ritblat Gallery as part of their Treasures of the British Library display.

On 26 October 1863, at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London, a group of men came together to form The Football Association, with the objective of establishing a unified code of rules to regulate the sport. It took six meetings to agree on the original 13 laws of football, which were reproduced in the FA Minute Book, lovingly compiled and handwritten by Ebenezer Cobb Morley, and is today regarded as the most important book in the history of the world’s most popular sport.

The rule book will be on display in the gallery between 21st August – 17th December. It is the latest addition among a host of treasures from the British Library vaults, including a 13th century reissue of the Magna Carta, William Shakespeare’s first folio, some of the very earliest versions of some of the classic works of English literature, and a selection of original written lyrics by the Beatles.

For further details of the exhibition, visit the British Library website here:

Footballs image by beefy_n1, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Ashes to Ashes

WG Grace by Happy AToday not only marks the start of the second ‘Ashes’ Test Match between England and Australia at Lord’s cricket ground, but also the 165th birthday of the man who not only played an instrumental part in the formation of the ‘Ashes’ series, but who was also one of the greatest – if not the greatest – figures in cricket history – W.G. Grace.

William Gilbert ‘W.G.’ Grace was born on 18th July 1868 and over the course of a career that lasted nearly five decades spanning almost 30 teams he scored over 54000 runs and took over 2800 wickets. He was a formidable all-rounder, excelling in batting, bowling and fielding.

He played in 22 Tests for England including the notorious England v Australia Test at the Oval in 1882, which Australia pipped England to win by 7 runs and gave birth to the ‘Ashes’ legend which has been played out ever since. It is said that Grace inadvertantly played an instrumental part in Australia’s victory after riling them through a piece of gamesmanship (of which the ultra-competitive Grace was notorious for throughout his career) involving the run-out dismissal of an Australian batsman. So perhaps Stuart Broad shouldn’t feel so guilty after all…!

We have a considerable range of books about the history of cricket (including works about W.G. Grace) as well as a wide variety of coaching texts to assist budding Grace’s. You can also find out a lot more about the science of cricket through SPORTDiscus, while armchair enthusiasts can read all the reportage from past Ashes series among our online newspaper archives, including The Times and The Daily Mail. Howzat?!?

W.G. Grace portrait in the Long Room at Lord’s, photo taken by Happy A, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

They think it's all over…


 The 2012 Olympics lit up the nation and provided Loughborough with a chance to show off the University’s well-deserved reputation for sporting achievement. With the news that Loughborough will shortly be opening a London campus on the Olympic site we know that there will be a tangible, physical Loughborough presence which will outlast the Games.

But what of the wider legacy of the games? A recent blog entry by CABI discusses the London Legacy and, as the final paragraph states, provides links to over 100 papers on the subject from the Leisure Tourism database. (Leisure and Tourism database) has been providing abstracts to articles and reports on the subject of sport, leisure, tourism, travel for over 30 years and is freely available to Loughborough members by visiting the Library Catalogue  and searching for leisuretourism from the Select Databases link. In addition to the custom search on the London Legacy why not try out the database for a search of your own? And while you are there, take a look at the e-books which are available to Loughborough members.

Other databases you may be interested in for articles on the London Olympic Legacy include SPORTDiscus and Business Source Complete – also available from the Select Databases link of the Library Catalogue.

Olympic rings picture reproduced under CC License from Flickr (courtesy of  spcbrass)

Conquering Mount Everest – 60 Years On

hillary and tenzing new zealand librarySixty years ago today two members of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the very summit of Mount Everest.

Reaching the peak at approximately 11.30AM local time, the men paused a short while to take some photos and bury a few momentos before descending. News of their success arrived in England on the very morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. As well as passing in mountaineering history, Hillary was subsequently knighted and Tenzing was awarded the George Medal.

The Student Union’s own AU Mountaineering Club keeps the spirit of Hillary and Tenzing alive through its admittedly smaller scale activities, while for those who’d like to know a little more about the activity (or simply want to look at nice pictures of other people doing the hard work!) we have, if not a mountain, then a reasonably-sized hill of books about mountaineering downstairs among our sports and physical education books on Level 2, including a variety of accounts of other Everest expeditions by mountaineers such as Chris Bonington. Why not climb down and have a peak – sorry, peek…?

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay pictured in Wellington, New Zealand in 1971, picture courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand, reproduced under CC License from Flickr

UEFA Under-17 Championship Football at Loughborough


There’s a golden opportunity to see some of the international football stars of the future (for free!) at the University’s Holywell Park Stadium over the coming week as the UEFA Under-17 Championship kicks off its elite round at Loughborough.

Three matches from Group 6, comprising of England, Portugal, Slovenia and Russia, are taking place at the following times and dates:

  • Saturday 23rd March, 2-4PM, Russia v Slovenia
  • Monday 25th March, 2-4PM, Portugal v Slovenia
  • Thursday 28th March, 3-5PM, Portugal v Russia

Admission is free for all three matches.

The UEFA Under 17 Championship has been held annually since 1982 and is organised by the sport’s European football governing body, UEFA. The Elite Round is the final qualifying stage for the finals which will be held in Slovenia in May. Holland are the current holders of the trophy, which was last won by England in 2010 with a team which included budding Premiership stars Jack Butland, Andre Wisdom and Connor Wickham.

For further details, visit the Loughborough Sport site here.

Forthcoming Events at the University During the Autumn Term

There’s a glittering array of sporting, literary and musical events to greet the start of Term this Autumn at Loughborough University.

On Wednesday 10th October at the University’s new stadium the Loughborough Students football team take on Manchester United’s famed Academy side. Luminaries as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are previous graduates from this team and thus this match represents a wonderful opportunity to see some potential stars of the future in action!

On Thursday 25th October the ‘Bard of Barnsley’ Ian McMillan brings his touring show Talking Myself Home to the University’s Martin Hall theatre, promising an evening of humour, reminiscences and, of course, poetry.

And on Wednesday November 21st the New Zealand String Quartet will be playing at the Cope Auditorium. The Quartet has established an international reputation for their dynamic performing style, eloquent communication and insightful interpretations of the string quartet repertoire, and they will be performing a selection of music by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Jack Body and Beethoven.

Full ticket details are available via the links or from the Arts at University homepage here:

Lougborough University LIbrary Olympics video

In what has been a fantastic week for the Olympics, Loughborough University Library has produced a video about how it is has been involved in past and current Games. The video shows some of the archival material held in the Library from the last time the Games were in Great Britain and also Library involvement in capturing the legacy from the current Games.

The above photograph was taken by Library staff member Ginny Franklin and shows the Olympic torch procession as it passed the Library on the 3rd July 2012.

Chris Marker, documentary film-maker, writer and media visionary dies aged 91

Quote from – and rare photograph of – Chris Marker. Image from entropiK reproduced under CC license from Flickr.

Chris Marker has died on his 91st birthday. Marker, who was born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve, was a documentary film-maker, writer, artist and leading light of the French avant-garde.Very little is documented about his early life, although it is known that he served with the French Resistance during the Occupation. He rarely gave interviews and the few photographs available of him, including that which appears on the image reproduced above, were usually taken without his knowledge. He did leave us, however, with a fascinating body of work from a wide range of artistic disciplines. One of Marker’s first films was Olympia 52, a record of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. This, like much of Marker’s work, can be seen on YouTube. I wonder what he would have made of today’s London Olympics?

Perhaps his most famous film was La Jetée which imagined a post-nuclear war world with survivors attempting to return in time to try to avoid the catastrophe. Made almost entirely from still photographs, the film gave a new meaning to the term “motion pictures”. Marker made films right up to the turn of the century and influenced many other film-makers and artists. Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film 12 Monkeys owed much to La Jetée  and Batman director, Christopher Nolan, found much to admire in Sans Soleil when making his 2000 film, Memento. The Library has both films paired together on DVD.

You can find plenty of articles on Chris Marker’s life and works in Library Catalogue Plus and in the specialist database Art Full Text found listed under Select Databases, also on Library Catalogue Plus.

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:

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: