30 March 2015

Save our Sounds - help to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections

Selecting a tape from the shelfThe British Library's Save our Sounds initiative - to try to preserve as much as possible of the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings - has a final deadline for collecting information of 31 May.
International archival consensus is that there are around 15 years in which to preserve our sound collections by digitising them before they become unreadable. By 2030, the scarcity of older equipment and the physical degradation of media will make their preservation costly, difficult and, in many cases, impossible. 

To help plan for preservation, The British Library's project has been mapping the extent of UK sound collections, to identify the risks they face, and to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections.

Since January, it has received details of over 800,000 items - from oral history interviews to experimental music, church bells, fairground organs, trains and silence, lost radio broadcasts and recordings of Tolkien, Ella Fitzgerald and J.B. Priestley, held on everything from wax cylinders to digital files.

Find out more at the project website: www.bl.uk/projects/uk-sound-directory

The results of the survey will be available in June 2015, together with advice on looking after local collections.

24 March 2015

BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National - use continues to increase

BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National, our shared online TV and radio streaming service subscription, is one of the Library's most popular databases.
In the last 8 months (July 2014 - February 2015):

117,662 programmes were watched

1,611 more users have registered for access
(please use your University of St Andrews e-mail address)

1,447 programmes were requested for recording

1,189 clips were created

20 March 2015

Trial e-Resource - Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Science Technology and Medicine 1780-1925

Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925, Part II
Engraving of a triceratops, 1891
Universal History Archive/UIG/The Bridgeman Art Library
We also have trial access to both parts of the Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Science Technology and Medicine 1780-1925 database, until 13 April.

More than 3.5 million pages of digitised documents cover an exceptionally creative period in scientific research and discovery, and permit the rapid advances in scientific, technical, and medical knowledge during this period, to be explored.

The archive covers every aspect of 19th Century science, and traces the changes from the Newtonian mechanical universe to Einstein's theory of relativity; from the horse to the automobile, from medical treatments based on humors and bloodletting to antiseptics and epidemiology.

It also includes documents representing the last great age of discovery, by explorers charting the interiors of the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Part II of the archive provides over 3 million pages from scientific documents in four major areas: Academies of Science Publications (1665-1925), natural history, public health, and entomology. Thousands of digitised volumes contain articles by every major scientist from this era.

19 March 2015

Trial e-Resource - Archives Unbound: Witchcraft in Europe and America

A trial of the Archives Unbound: Witchcraft in Europe and America database, has been added to our current trial of Archives Unbound: French Royal Acts 1256-1794. We have access until 13 April.

To select a specific database, click on the Browse Collections link (via the link above) and choose the database you want.  

This comprehensive collection of digitised historical documents on witchcraft allows the exploration of the social, religious and intellectual conditions that fostered the witchcraft hysteria and allowed the deaths of a quarter of a million people

The texts date from the 15th-early 20th centuries, with most of the material from the 16th-18th centuries.  They include many rare manuscripts containing eyewitness accounts and court records of the trials of witches, including harrowing original manuscript depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber.

The collection also includes:
  • Anti-persecution writings
  • Works by penologists
  • Legal and church documents
  • Exposés of persecutions
  • Philosophical writings
  • Transcripts of trials and exorcisms
This collection unlocks much more than the world of witchcraft alone; spanning the 15th to 20th centuries, it also enables researchers to trace the history and culture of European civilization during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. 

Fact Sheet

16 March 2015

Trial e-Resource - Archives Unbound: French Royal Acts 1256-1794

YourCollection Image
Archives Unbound: French Royal Acts 1256-1794 is our latest database trial. We have free access to it until 13 April 2015. 

French Royal Acts, 1256-1794 is a unique collection of over 16,000 pamphlets and pronouncements, detailing the financial and political government of France, from the late 13th century to the end of the monarchy.

Nearly three-quarters of the pamphlets are concentrated in the 18th century; a considerable number are of earlier origin. Among the topics covered are: 
  • Fiscal matters in the Chambre des Comptes, including annuities, appointments and sales of offices
  • Taxation and tariffs on goods
  • Toll collections, primarily of the 18th century; including tax on river passage through land-owners’ property
  • Bridge and road toll disputes
  • Salt taxation, trade and smuggling
  • Criminal justice, primarily from 1720 forward
  • John Law’s attempts at reorganization of the financial system, including Compagnie des Indes and currency devaluation
  • Military administration, including Army and Navy Book printing and prohibitions, especially those of religious or political nature
French Royal Acts, 1256-1794 supports research in French and European history, 20th century France, French monarchy, French life and law, politics, trade, criminal justice, treaties, financial administration of France, and French literature and language.

Fact Sheet

11 March 2015

Trial e-Resource - British Newspapers Parts III and IV

We have been given free access to British Newspapers Parts III and IV, until 13 April 2015.

We already have subscribed access to British Newspapers Parts I and II which also cross-searches The Burney Collection, a large collection of 17th and 18th century newspapers.
Part III adds even more regional and local papers from the late 18th - mid 20th Century, adding more than 30 newspapers and nearly 1.2 million pages
Part IV provides a range of publications to reflect the social, political, and cultural events of the times, and includes such titles as:

Aberdeen Journal - 1901-1950
The Belfast Morning News - 1857-1867
Cambridge Independent Press - 1939-1920
Dundee Courier - 1901-1950
Edinburgh Evening News - 1873-1906
Liverpool Daily Post - 1855-1867
 We are interested in your opinion of this database - please use the Comments link below, to provide us with feedback. Thank you

3 March 2015

European Sources Online - free access

European Sources Online (ESO) is a free information service provided by the European Documentation Centre at Cardiff University.   

It provides access to information on the institutions and activities of the European Union, the countries of Europe, and on issues of importance to European researchers, citizens and stakeholders, and allows you to:
  • search a wide range of information sources - primary and official sources plus blogs, commentary, analysis, summaries, think tank reports, news sources and academic literature from a wide range of European perspectives - in most cases offering immediate full text access
  • find the full text of Europe-related articles from the Financial Times, one of the most authoritative newspapers for European information - plus links to many other news sources such as EurActiv, BBC News, Deutsche Welle, Spiegel Online International, France24, Polskie Radio, PressEurop etc
  • receive weekly e-mail alerts of new information of relevance (RSS feeds also available)