Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song

Matt Wigzell marks the centenary of the Queen of Jazz, and highlights resources both by and about her available from the Library.

Ella Fitzgerald, November 1946, by William P. Gottlieb
From Wikimedia Commons
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, the American jazz singer known as the First Lady of Song. She had a prolific and highly successful career, recording over 200 albums and 2,000 songs.

She began her career aged 17 with an appearance at the renowned Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Spotted by drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, Ella joined the band as singer, eventually taking over the role as bandleader after Webb's death in 1939. She rose to prominence with the recording of a version of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket".

She began a solo career in 1942, and formed a successful partnership with manager and producer Norman Granz. A series of Songbooks, comprising cover versions of other jazz musicians' songs proved tremendously popular, as did her many live performances. One of the most famous of these was the 1960 performance in Berlin, for which Ella received two Grammy Awards, and included an improvised performance of "Mack the Knife", after forgetting the lyrics. A number of other live performances were recorded and released as albums, such as the 1961/62 recordings of Twelve Nights in Hollywood.

The University Library has access to the Jazz Music Library, a large online collection of jazz songs. Many of Ella Fitzgerald's songs can be heard on the platform, including her collaborations with, amongst others, the famous bandleaders Duke Ellington and Count Basie, as well as trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

You can also read about Ella's life and career in her biography by Stuart Nicholson, held in the Music section of the Library.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Data resources: What's available at York and beyond?

Martin Phillip, Academic Liaison Librarian, summarises the resources you can access at the University

This post is a summary of a session that was delivered during  That Figures, a week of statistics analysis workshops that were held in February. For information take a look at the event’s programme and presentations.

What’s available at York?

The University of York subscribes to a number of different data resources that you can access via the E-resources Guide. E-resources cover all sorts of different subject areas and includes the UK Data Service which contains socio-economic data and Digimap which provides maps and geospatial data.

In addition to subscription resources we also list a number of high quality free databases on the E-resources guide, one of which (Eurostat) is detailed below.

Numbers © 2010 duncan c (https://flic.kr/p/7XEruh)

OECD iLibrary

OECD is short for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and, according to their website,  it “exists to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world”.

OECD began as a European organisation however it is now much more of a worldwide organisation with 35 member states including Australia and the US.

The OECD iLibrary are a statistical agency who publish comparable statistics on a wide number of subjects. They provide datasets from all member states (and others) and are organised into 17 themes on areas such as financial affairs, social expenditure, and further series relating to industry, agriculture, employment, health and more.

The same data is presented in different ways providing choice in how you can access and manipulate it. This includes over 10,000 ebooks with data often presented with commentary and a searchable abstract of data series that indicates origin, start date and periodicity of the data. Data tables can also be constructed according to your own specifications for viewing online, then exported as a spreadsheet to analyse and manipulate further.


Passport (or Passport GMID as it is sometimes referred to) is a market research tool that monitors industry trends and provides strategic analysis, market size and a market share database for all key sectors and products across key countries.

Passport provides unique datasets developed specifically for the industries it is reporting on meaning you are using a tool that isn’t just used in academia. Reports are created by local analysts that look closely at the characteristics of each country. Passport provides access to historic data and forecasts and can compare these trends across countries. Presentations are also offered to explain regional trend comparisons.

Like OECD iLibrary, multiple options are provided when accessing the data. You can browse which allows you to click on an industry heading and you can then explode the heading to reveal further categories in order to access data related to a specific product type. You can also explore dashboards that are visual and interactive to understand high-level trends in industries, economies and consumers.

Passport helps you keep organised and up-to-date with the latest developments if you register with the service which allows you to create alerts and save your research to access at a later date.


Eurostat is the European Commission's official website that provides access to publicly-available socio-economic data regarding EU member states.

Eurostat provides publications including regional yearbooks, manuals and guidelines, statistical working papers, leaflets and other brochures.

Looking for statistics using the tool is pretty straightforward as you can search for a publication by theme including: general and regional; economy and finance; environment and energy and so on. Once you’ve clicked on a collection you then have further choices such as datasets and pocketbooks.

Over the last few years, Eurostat has started producing infographics, such as this one that was published to coincide with International Woman's Day 2017. Infographics can be really helpful to visually understand a topic.


If you have any questions about the data resources we subscribe to or recommend please get in touch at lib-economics@york.ac.uk.