Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Whitaker Library Trial of Medici TV

We currently have a trial of Medici TV for all of our staff and students.

Medici is a streaming service that covers concerts and archived historical concerts, operas, ballets, documentaries, artist portraits, educational programs and master classes. There is so much to get your teeth into!

The events that are broadcast live are from venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Concertgebouw, Teatro alla Scala, Berliner Philharmonie, Salle Pleyel, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Verbier Festival and Salzburger Festspiele.

You can access this resource at the RCS as well as at home and it is available on all digital devices including tablets and smartphones (iOS and Android).

The trial ends on the 6th of February so please make the most of it and let the Whittaker Library know what you think!

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Library Discovery Layer: Improvements Ahead

90 Years in the Library

Wikipedia picture
Whittaker Library catalogue today

Rather to our surprise, casual conversation revealed the fact that by 2018, three of the library staff will each have been here for thirty years.  Heavens!  We've amassed a wealth of expertise, and seen the library change from using a card catalogue (imagine!) through several online systems, to the present library catalogue

Material for your Learning and Teaching

We're looking forward to a new library management system later this year.  It's a system already in use at the University of the Arts London.  We can't wait!  Of course, ours will be branded and designed for RCS Whittaker Library, but the underlying structure will work like the University of the Arts London catalogue.

What's a Discovery Layer?

In technical terms, we're getting a discovery layer.  So what will change?  At the moment, you either check the catalogue or you check our e-resources pages.  By the summer, you'll be able to look for online material via the library catalogue, just like you look for physical, hard-copy books, music and audiovisual content.  (Look at the UAL catalogue - they have two buttons, one for library materials and the other for database content via Articles Plus.)  

The Right Stuff, whatever the Format

We hope this will revolutionise information searching at the Conservatoire, because you'll find the right stuff for your studies, regardless of whether it's digital or sitting on a shelf.

It's not so long since we were asked, 'Where do you keep your electronic resources?' (Well, they're online ... )  But when we get our new system, the answer will hopefully be, 'Just click here ... '

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Historic Dance: Quadrilles in Edinburgh

Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band

RCS tutor promotes concert and workshop

 Talitha Mackenzie is promoting a concert and dance workshop as part of a Bicentennial Celebration to honour Nathaniel Gow’s introduction of Quadrilles to Edinburgh.  The events are on 20th and 21st January 2017:-
  • Concert: Friday 7.30 pm
  • Quadrille Dance Workshop: Saturday 2.00-5.00pm

Edinburgh Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms Ballroom, 54 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
  • Concert Ticket now New Year Sale price £10!
  • Workshop Ticket £15/£12 
  • Combination Ticket now £20!
 “This is a brilliant and worthy project that is of great importance to our nation’s history of dance.”- Stuart Marsden.

Nathaniel Gow Dance Band - a stellar line-up of performers

Aaron McGregor Violin ~ Alison McGillivray Cello
Callum Armstrong Scottish Smallpipes, Recorder ~ Marie Fielding Violin
Featuring Simon Chadwick 18th century Clàrsach and Les Danses Antiques
led by Alena Shmakova, performing French Quadrilles and Scottish Country Dances
For more information: or phone 0131 447 0091 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Death of a Maestro: Conductor Georges Pretre, aged 92

French opera conductor Georges Pretre died on 4th January 2017, aged 92, after a career spanning six decades. He was particularly known for his recordings of Bizet and Poulenc, and worked regularly with Maria Callas.  You may have seen him conduct the televised New Year's Day Concerts in Vienna in 2008 and 2010, when he displayed remarkable verve and agility for a gentleman in his mid-80s.

Here at the Whittaker Library, we have a few recordings of his output (including a recording of Maria Callas' output from 1957-1963), but our staff and students will find further recordings online via Alexander Street Press Classical Music Library - particularly the Hommage a Georges Pretre 3 CD set released in 1995. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Idiosyncratic Theatrical Artist? Creative Musician?

We've found two interesting postings that we'd like to share with you today! 

 Idiosyncratic Artists ...

The University of Strathclyde presents The Keith Wright Theatre Talks with Ronan O'Donnell - 1st February 2017, at Tron Theatre.  Further info:-  "... a series of discussions between Keith Wright Literary Fellow Alan McKendrick and some of the most idiosyncratic artists operating in theatre today. [...] extracts of work by the featured speakers, followed by a discussion of the different ways in which they conduct themselves as working writers, with a focus on what that constitutes for them in practical terms."  CLICK THIS LINK

... And Residential Musicians ...

Enterprise Music Scotland is offering chamber musicians the opportunity to take part in ‘Creative Exchange’.  This is the chance of a residency - surely every musician's dream.  Further info:- "The dates of the residency are 6th – 9th March 2017.... formally express your interest by completing the brief application form ... which will help ascertain which ensembles will benefit most from participation.  [...]  attach a summary of your work to date as an ensemble, this may take the form of a short biog or CV." The DEADLINE for applications is 5pm, Friday 13th January.  CLICK THIS LINK

Aye, You Better Believe It - the Ayoub Sisters' Single on Classic FM

Sarah Ayoub is an alumna of RCS, so we were very excited to find out about Sarah and her sister Laura's new festive single.  Here's the link on the Classic FM website:-
The track is available on iTunes, so readers can buy it for themselves, or look at the video clip on the Classic FM website link above.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Theatre's biggest stars speak exclusively to Digital Theatre Plus


How They Got To Where They Are ...

Staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland know that we're proud to subscribe to Digital Theatre Plus, because there's so much great content.  Here's a taster of what's new on the website:-

DT+ are proud to announce that Theatre Lives, a series of exclusive in-depth conversations with some of the biggest names in theatre, is now available exclusively on the platform.

In this series of revealing 40 to 60-minute interviews, Fiona Lindsay (Creative Director, Digital Theatre+) speaks candidly with practitioners about their educational backgrounds and the shaping of their careers. The series includes conversations with:
  • Adrian Lester
  • Juliet Stevenson
  • Michael Grandage
  • Julie Walters
  • Imelda Staunton
As part of the Theatre Lives series, DT+ subscribers will get access to all 5 full interviews, adding to the 340 video and audio productions, 200 interviews and 80 study guides already available.
RCS staff and students can access all this material by visiting our e-resources website and clicking on the link they'll find there!  (You'll need to use your institutional login if you're not on campus.  Find the Royal Conservatoire in the list of colleges and universities, then use your usual login.)  Search on THEATRE LIVES.

Podcast of Seminar at NUI Galway - Abbey Theatre Digital Archive Project

The James Hardiman Library at National University of Ireland, Galway, hosted a seminar on Tuesday 4 October which told the story of the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive, created by one of the largest theatre archive digitisation projects undertaken worldwide. It reflected on challenges faced, lessons learned, new opportunities and impact on academic mission, library and archives. All talks have been recorded with audio podcasts available at the following link:

Slides from many of the presentations are available here:

Plainsong for Glasgow Saint Mungo

Full details of the event on 12th January
Have you ever heard live plainsong?  Are you curious about Glasgow's patron saint, variously called St Kentigern or St Mungo?

For the first time since the Reformation, First Vespers will be sung on the Eve of the Feast of St Kentigern, or Mungo, in Glasgow Cathedral.

  • 5.00 p.m. DOORS OPEN for viewing Tom Allan’s sculpture and facsimiles of the Office for St Kentigern from the manuscript
  • Ensemble: The Cantors of the Holy Rude, directed by Alan Henderson
  • Admission Free (Retiring Collection)

Faculty of Dance, Trinity Laban. 70th Anniversary. Find out more.

This year marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Art of Movement Studio (now the Faculty of Dance, Trinity Laban). To celebrate, the Laban Library and Archive has written a blog post each month of this year focusing on the history of the Studio and the personalities involved in its development.
To find out more, take a look at our blog at

All the Archive’s A Stage

If you happen to be in London this festive season why not visit this exhibition  ‘All the Archive’s A Stage- The Theatre Collections at Kingston University’. It looks at some of the many highlights from Theatre Collections.

The exhibition aims to examine the many aspects of theatre as recorded in the University's collections such as the vast amount of memorabilia collated by theatre critic Sheridan Morley, the personal archive of musical theatre composer David Heneker, and the collection of theatrical ephemera present in the Stephen Sondheim Society Archive.

For more information visit the exhibition webpage

Dates: 15 Dec 2016- 10 March 2017 within Library Opening Hours

Location: Archives Gallery, Ground Floor of the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at our Penrhyn Road campus

Free Entry

Thursday, 8 December 2016

See What's New in the Whittaker Library

Someone just asked if we had any new plays in the library.  You can always see what we've been adding to stock! There's a link on our catalogue homepage to share details of new materials.  Drama, education, study skills, music ... it depends what people have been requesting!

Take a look here.

We always have a new book display, too.  (And of course, we'll soon be exhibiting some seasonally-inspired library materials as well!)

Dundee Connection? You need a Friends of Wighton CD!

We have news of a new CD!
The Friends of Wighton” limited edition CD is now available! Only 100 copies, each numbered and signed, have been made and there will be no reissues.
Created to raise funds for conservation work on the eclectic music book collection of the late Sir Jimmy Shand, the CD reflects the maestro’s wide musical interests.
Scottish music, song and poetry, mainly rarities from the Wighton Collection, was specially recorded in the Wighton Heritage Centre where Ronald Stevenson’s 'Sonata For Harpsichord & Piano', 2nd Movement’ was played on the beautiful Wighton harpsichord by Mark Spalding. Other artists featured include Simon Chadwick, Morag Anne Elder, Katie Grieve, Heelster Gowdie, Ellie MacDonald, Gavin Marwick, Bob Turner, Sheena Wellington, the Wighton Singers and Fiona Wilson.

The hour-long CD also has tracks generously donated by Phil Cunningham, Karine Polwart, Barbara Dymock and Chris Marra, Frieda Morrison and Helen Forbes with Fon A Bhord.

Friends of Wighton gratefully acknowledge the support of Leisure and Culture Dundee, TASGADH, Dundee Festival Trust, MMG Archbold, HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND

An Ogre?! What Adult Learners Say about their Music Teachers

Researcher Rachel Shirley has been looking at the significance of what adult music learners say about their learning experience.  She has uploaded a poster to her page with some informative detail.  You may need to sign up to to be able to download it, so ...

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Quantock Carol by Ange Hardy

We came across English folk singer Ange Hardy's Quantock Carol recording on Twitter, and immediately fell in love with it.  So we thought we'd share the link with you.  Enjoy!

If you like that, maybe you'll also like this: we have Ange's earlier CD, The Lament of the Black Sheep in the Whittaker Library here at RCS. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Beyond the Lecture Theatre (and in the Distant North)

UMIS/SUSCAG conference, 26-27 Jan 2017 

Two organisations combine to bring you this event - University Museums in Scotland, and Scottish Universities Special Collections and Archives Group.  If you're interested in how to increase interest in your rare books, special collections, archives or other unique collections, it sounds like a must!
Library and Archive staff alike will be drawn to this conference, being held at the University of Aberdeen in January 2017.  We certainly are!  For further details, visit their website:-

Whittaker's Christmas Jokes

We do like our Christmas puns and jokes ...

  • Why did Santa’s workshop get shut down?   Elf and safety! 
  • What’s the best Christmas present in the world?  A broken drum. You just can’t beat it! 
  •  "Mother, don't get alarmed, but I’m at the hospital.”  "Son, please. You’ve been a doctor there for eight years now."  
  • a picture shared by Eliana today:-

  • HUSBAND: What’s that banging on the roof?? WIFE: I’ll go and check….. *gasp* I can’t believe it! It looks like reindeer!!
    HUSBAND: I can’t believe it either, dear. Forecast was for snow.

  • What did Adam say to his wife at Christmas?  (Wait for it ...)  It's Christmas, Eve! 
  • In Tesco, a man was attempting to shoplift a whole turkey. As he was making for the door, the security guard shouted: “Haw, what are you doing with that?” To which the shoplifter replied: “Roast tatties, stuffing and cranberry sauce”