Showing posts from April, 2015

What do Radiohead, the comedian Steve Martin, and Big Bird all have in common?

Ilka Heale knows . . .

Last month it was announced that 25 sound recordings have been selected for preservation and added to the US Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. Each year, the Library of Congress (LoC) chooses recordings that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

Amongst them was the public-nominated 'OK Computer' by Oxford's Radiohead. Released in 1997, this was the band's third album but their first to reach number one in the charts. The album's abstract lyrics, densely layered sound and wide range of influences laid the groundwork for their later, more experimental work.

Since 2002, the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) and members of the public have nominated recordings to the National Recording Registry. The Library is currently accepting nominations for the next registry at the NRPB website.

Another recording added was an album of songs from the US children's TV series Sesame Stre…

JSTOR is amazing

Academic Liaison Librarian, Ned Potter, explains how JSTOR can help you improve your research, essays and grades.

JSTOR is a massive collection of online journals and books, which you can access via the E-resources guide. It is full of literally millions of high quality academic articles (which Google can’t find!) for you to read there and then, and use in your research and cite in essays and reports. JSTOR is amazing. Not only can this resource save you time, but it can help make your grades better. You can access it from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection, including on your mobile, and as you can see, it covers many academic disciplines:

How to find what you need on JSTOR
As well as appearing on the E-resources guide, you may also see links to JSTOR on your Department’s Subject Guide. Accessing the resource in either of these ways ensures it knows you are from York, and so gives you the access you are entitled to. (The library has paid for access to JSTOR on …

Civil servants and faithful hounds

Tom Grady gets a bit lost in the Library catalogue. 

I was doing some research recently, trying to find pictures of greyhounds in the Library’s Art Gallery Gift Collection. It turns out they’re difficult animals to track down (in more ways than one). We have a few books devoted to ‘sporting and animal prints’ but most of the ones I found depicted only stilted hunting scenes, improbably high-stepping horses, and barrel-shaped pigs.

And then I came across this book and - as is often the case - I got a bit sidetracked: The German drawings in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle by Edmund Schilling [London ; New York : Phaidon, 1971].

It has an innocuous-enough sounding sub-title: “Supplements to the catalogues of Italian and French drawings, with a history of the Royal Collection of Drawings, by Anthony Blunt” but the name caught my eye.

Anthony Blunt. The wartime Russian spy.

The scandal of a Soviet spy-ring at the heart of the 1940’s British establishment tends to …

Taking your Library home

It's probably not escaped your attention that this is a busy time of year. Across the three buildings of the Library, we have over 1,200 study spaces - we know there are times when you'd like to see more, but safety requirements don't allow us to add any extra seats.
We have a system that shows you occupancy levels in various areas of the Library - it's updated hourly during term time, so you can see where you're most likely to find a space. You can check  the screen in the Library foyer or use the web page: Seating availability During the exam period, we've booked out rooms in the Fairhurst (LFA/144) and Burton (LBU/003) buildings to be used as additional study space. We're also encouraging everyone to find out about alternative study spaces on campus.

Working elsewhere in the University Have a look at the study spaces available elsewhere in the University - if you don't need immediate access to the physical resources in the Library they might be ideal …

Where does the feedback go?

Kirstyn Radford, Research Support Librarian, explains how your feedback is helping us to improve the Library catalogue. 

Regular users of YorSearch, our Library catalogue, can't fail to have noticed an insistent purple tab nudging their results.

This new feature was launched at the start of 2014/15 to make it easy for Library users to tell us about any difficulties they experience when searching the catalogue, and any noteworthy successes! You’re welcome to share a screenshot with us as a record of your experience.

Results from recent Library surveys have given us pause for thought: not everyone finds the catalogue interface straightforward. Exciting new additions to our collections might languish unnoticed on the shelves if they're not prominent in search results. Equally frustratingly, people who know our collections well occasionally report difficulty locating material they know we've got. Sometimes students (and staff) come to the Library Help Desk to ask for assistanc…

100 Books every Blues fan should own

Bringing the Deep South to Yorkshire, Stephen Town discusses the latest donation in his My Nightshelf series.

Komara, E., Johnson, G., 100 Books every Blues fan should own, in the University Library at LM 4.756 KOM

Time for a book on music, and a book by a Librarian, and a book about books. This donation fits all three criteria. The attraction of the blues to the white English middle class has been in question since the blues rediscoveries in the early 1960s. I was captured at about the age of five listening to my grandmother’s radiogram and hearing for the first time this extraordinary sound. I guess you either have it or you don’t.

Edward Komara is the splendidly-titled Crane Librarian of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, but was previously a blues archivist at the University of Mississippi. One can hardly imagine a more perfect role and location for a blues enthusiast.

We already have Komara’s encyclopedia in the Library, which provides a valuable reference reso…