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Showing posts from May, 2015

A new digital showcase: Special Collections scrapbooks

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Robin McKinlay introduces a fascinating showcase of scrapbooks held within the Special Collections.


Since starting in my Digitisation Assistant role in September 2014, one of the projects I have inherited and continued to work on has been to research a collection of four 19th century scrapbooks. These scrapbooks were handpicked by Elizabeth Carter after a visit to King's Manor Special Collections, which are now housed in the Raymond Burton Library. Although each of the scrapbooks has a different compiler, they are connected by common themes such as architecture, travel and York history. The Digital York team is pleased to present these scrapbooks to you in a new digital showcase:

Scrapbooks
The first scrapbook, entitled 'Scrapbooks of architectural photographs from various countries', is an impressive collection of photographs of cathedral architecture. These images were collected and compiled by George Wilson, about whom we know very little. You can read the detective work…

Macs-imising IT rooms

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With a smattering of terrible puns, Adrian Young explains how we're going about providing iMacs for students.


Some months ago, a student asked why IT Services don't provide Apple Macs in our IT rooms?

Good question I thought, why don't we do this? Is it because the hardware is too expensive, or that the systems to provide the service aren't available or are equally expensive? I decided it was worth having a look into this further to see exactly what we could do.

Putting a managed Windows PC onto a desk is pretty easy for us - we've been doing it for many years and the systems we use to manage them are effective and powerful. To do the same for Macs needed thought and investigation. We couldn't use the same systems to manage the Macs as we do the Windows PCs as obviously they use different technology. We had already experienced this when developing the managed Linux desktop. The fundamentals are the same - it's still some hardware with an operating system an…

Happy 15 year anniversary IEEE Xplore! Why you should make the most of this fantastic resource

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Academic Liaison Librarian, Clare Ackerley, highlights some of IEEE's features and their benefits.


In the 15 years since its launch, IEEE Xplore has become an essential tool for scientists - an impressive one billion documents have been downloaded by IEEE  Xplore users.

You can access IEEE Xplore's vast array of articles, conference publications, books, patents and more via the Library's E-resources guide:
E-resources  If you are new to IEEE Xplore or if it has been a while since you used it, why not take a quick look at their short self-paced tutorials? These 2-5 minute videos, which cover a range of topics, such as saving searches or browsing by topic, provide lots of tips and guidance to help you with your research.

IEEE tutorials
My Projects and My Settings You can set up your own free account in IEEE Xplore by selecting Create Account at the top right-hand corner of the homepage. You will need to do this in order to view your search history. You'll then have the opt…

Landmarks: the latest addition in our growing collection by Robert Macfarlane

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Escaping to the country, Stephen Town gets lost in this latest addition to his Nightshelf collection.

Macfarlane, R., Landmarks, in the University Library at N 42 MACF

One of the pleasures of being in Britain in Spring is the opportunity to walk out amongst the sheep and lambs on some ancient trackway, with a clear sky and springy turf beneath your feet. This pleasure is not easy to capture in words, but the author of my next donation has written a series of books which not only do this, but in a way that is fully satisfying in a literary and intellectual sense.

Robert Macfarlane produces great writing: described by others as erudite, beautiful and exquisite. His works stir the imagination, and reveal a world that might inspire anyone to take to the old ways of this island and beyond. Unsurprisingly, some of our readers have already discovered this great writer, and his previous books have been recommended to the Library and purchased through our Morebooks scheme.

I am pleased that Ro…

Finding past exam papers, Masters dissertations, and theses

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Academic Liaison Librarian Ned Potter explains how to access exam paper, dissertations and theses.

It can be extremely useful to go over past exam papers so you know what to expect, or to see examples of best practice when writing your dissertation or thesis. Happily, the Library has plenty of examples for you to look at.

Finding exam papers and Masters dissertations
York Digital Library is our own online repository for multimedia resources including images, past exam papers and Masters theses. A key thing to note about the Digital Library is that it is possible to follow the link above and search it without logging in - however, unless you log in with your York username and password it won't show you everything you're entitled to see. So use the log-in button in the top right hand corner before you start.

York Digital Library
Once logged in, click Browse. Choose University of York dissertations and exam papers (Login Required). You'll see a folder for Exam Papers, and a fo…

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time

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Stephen Town invites you to challenge your views on the Universe and physics as we know it, in the latest blog from his Nightshelf.

Unger, R., Smolin, L., The Singular Universe and Reality of Time, in the University Library at A13 UNG

This is an ambitious, controversial and probably difficult book for anyone who has not thought or read much about the nature of the Universe or taken a position on the debates about what the world we experience is made of and the laws that govern it (what the authors term ‘the foundational problems of basic science’). However it would be nice to think that any member of this University might feel inclined to at least give this work a try.

Unger and Smolin have been working for at least eight years on a new synthesis (in their words ‘a reinterpretation’) of twentieth-century cosmology and physics. This is accompanied by the recovery of the importance of the idea and methods of what used to be called ‘Natural Philosophy’. Smolin is a scientist reportedly c…

A wonderful new tool for our online research surveys

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SPRU have found a new tool to manage research surveys (and organise Christmas parties too!) Rachel McAllister tells us more...

The Social Policy Research Unit sends out a lot of surveys. In the past these were on paper, and this can still be the preferred medium, depending on the target audience. More often now we will want to provide people with an online survey to fill in. We had used Survey Monkey and Jotform in the past, until a particular need and an international collaboration brought us to Qualtrics.

Back in 2013 we were working with colleagues in Melbourne Australia to deliver a tool to measure stress in people who worked in paediatric oncology units. It was a very carefully produced scientific measure and part of it needed to be in a particular format; a central column of statements flanked on either side by a scale of frequency and a scale of stress. None of the online survey systems that we had access to could reproduce this format until we found Qualtrics, which had a grea…

Works of Art Losses and Survival – cultural legacies of conflict

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Alice Bennett explores a series of publications at the Minster Library that catalogue the losses and damage to art and architecture as a result of the Second World War. As we mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, it can be easy to forget the battles that continued to be fought after this landmark. These continued to the East, before Victory in the Pacific was declared on August 15th, as well as in the struggle to rebuild lives and countries ravaged by war. Commemorating the end of hostilities marks the beginning of peacetime efforts to restore normality. As part of this work to restore Europe in the wake of the war, questions were raised about the preservation of heritage that had been damaged and in some cases, all but lost.


From late 1945 and throughout 1946 a series of publications were produced cataloguing the losses and damage to art and architecture in occupied areas of Europe. These were issued by the snappily named British Committee on the Preservation and Resti…

I shall have to be a feminist…

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Sarah Griffin, Special Collections Librarian, introduces a new exhibition
Putting together an exhibition is always a thrilling and often an unexpected pleasure. My starting point for I shall have to be a feminist: 18th century women writers and their legacy in the Special Collections (currently found in the Harry Fairhurst corridor), was Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the rights of woman.  I was excited to find that we had a wide selection of women writers from around the same period and the idea of the exhibition was born.

I knew from the beginning that I would like to find a way to make the final case more up to date. I am strict about using material that can be found in the Special Collections so I expected that final case to be the biggest challenge. The collection does not hold the writings of such current feminists as Germaine Greer or Caitlin Moran, but I was pleased to find some interesting material from the first half of the 20th century which fitted very well with …