Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday 13 July 2020

The Whittaker Library Blog is now on WordPress

Due to technical issues, we have migrated our library blog to WordPress.  

The Blogger platform served us well for two decades, but some followers have recently been unable to click weblinks on individual blogposts - it seems to depend which browser you're using.

If you have enjoyed our postings, please do migrate with us, and bookmark our new website so that you can continue to keep abreast of news!

Friday 1 May 2020

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining - more E-Resource Access for RCS this week!

Whilst we are in lockdown, e-resource providers are kindly upgrading our access to a number of databases.

So, musicians, we now have Music Index with full text - you will remember how important those three little words are!  Experimental searches have yielded great results, so do give it a try.

We also now have RILM abstracts with full text, again making results much more accessible and useful.

And the giving just doesn't stop - there's also RILM Music Encyclopedias and RIPM Preservation Series, which searches music periodicals.  

New content is being added every week, so do keep checking back. 

  • we have almost 18,000 e-format items in the Library catalogue
  • this includes over 12,000 online scores, 3195 e-books, and 2471 e-playscripts/drama e-books. 
  • Top Tip: Use the advanced search and narrow using item type, location & collection.

If we can help with any enquiries, please do get in touch at

Best wishes,
The Library Team

Thursday 30 April 2020

Watch Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland

Former graduate of RCS David Ireland's play Cyrus Avenue can be watched on the Royal Court website at this time.  
Starring Stephen Rea and directed by Vicky Featherstone, the award-winning Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland mixes live capture of performance from the iconic Royal Court Theatre stage production with location shooting in Belfast.
Eric Miller (Stephen Rea) is a Belfast Loyalist. He is experiencing a psychotic episode and mistakes his five-week old granddaughter for Gerry Adams. Generations of sectarian trauma convince him that his cultural heritage is under siege. He must act.
This hard hitting black comedy Cyprus Avenue tells the story of a man struggling with the past and terrified of the future. It was awarded Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama in 2017. For his portrayal of Eric, Stephen Rea won Best Actor at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017.

Royal Court Theatre - Court at Home

Photo of the Royal Court Theatre in Chelsea in London, Burnley. (CC)
Court at Home

If you are wondering what to do with yourself during the lockdown the Royal Court Theatre has a nice wee film project for you to do at home. 

For Court at Home they are asking you to think back to moments from those plays that have impacted you and ‘stage’ and capture one line sharing how you’re existing in this new world. All you’ll need is a phone with a camera, each tiny film should be no more than 25 seconds.

The Whittaker Library collects all plays put on by the Royal Court. You can search for plays from the Royal Court on our library catalogue or or via Drama Online. Please note, access to all Acting digital resources can be done via the library portal. The work of the Royal Court is an ideal choice for a showcase scene or for audition materials. 

So visit Drama Online find a Royal Court play you know or do not know selection your one line and then follow the process outlined on the Royal Court website. Do let us know at the Whittaker Library what you create! 

Click Here to Access : DRAMA ONLINE 

Click Here to Access : COURT AT HOME

Monday 27 April 2020

Free Access to Stress Management Techniques


Finding things hard going at the moment? 

Check out this stress management resource , the link below gives you free access to Headspace and a collection called Weathering the Storm. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you're feeling.

                                                                                 TUMISU /  CREATIVE COMMON 

Druid's production of The Playboy of the Western World now online

The celebrated Irish theatre company Druid Theatre and Wildfire Films have made the 2005 award-winning production of The Playboy of the Western World by JM Synge available online for free.

Synge, John Millington, 1896, Trinity College Dublin. 

In 2005, Druid theatre presented the first ever staging of all John Millington Synge’s entire theatrical canon including The Playboy of the Western World. Directed by Garry Hynes, starring Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen and Catherine Walsh, this project was filmed live by Wildfire during production.

Synge’s great comic masterpiece tells the story of Christy Mahon, who stumbles into a public house in County Mayo claiming he has killed his father and so capturing the romantic attention of the daughter of the house, Pegeen Mike. Druid’s The Playboy of the Western World, by JM Synge, directed by Garry Hynes is now available via Vimeo for a limited time.  

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Happy Birthday Shakespeare! 23rd April.

Shakespeare's Birthday 2020: Virtual Events

Join the Folger for virtual events to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday at home. The Folger is the America's national Shakespeare library and along with the Royal Shakespeare Company, they have created lots of events to access at home.   

They are delighted to be collaborating with you (yes, you the audeince, the library user!), along with friends at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday at home on Thursday, April 23, using the hashtag #ShareYourShakespeare.

For a run down of all events: Click Here to Access the Folger Birthday Homepage

This virtual birthday event is open to all ages, with every activity including many options for kids and families. Please join in by sharing your creations—from super quick-and-simple ideas to more ambitious ideas—or just get ready to enjoy and revel in others' contributions. Try any of the following options:

Speak the speech

Make a picture

Write a sonnet

Throw a Shakespeare party

They are live on April 23 throughout the day with talks, #Staxpeditions in their collection, and a Macbeth Watch Party with the cast—on Facebook and YouTube. Tune in! Remember things will take place in Washington D.C., USA, time zone. -5 hrs

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Bachtrack: Free Opera & Concert Streaming

Bachtrack are curating a list of performances that can be streamed online from opera houses and concert halls. So check out what Bachtrack has to offer by clicking the link below. During the coronavirus lockdown period you can get free access to many operas from OperaVision via Backtrack.  Concert performances come from 29 partners and 17 countries. 

Click here to access

The Met Opera - Nightly Opera Stream.

The Met Opera, New York. 

Met launches "Nightly Met Opera Streams", a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure. Tuesday the 21st you can see Elektra. Nina Stemme takes on the title role, headlining a gripping production by legendary late director Patrice Chéreau. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts a powerful cast that also features Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, and Eric Owens.

Berlin Philharmoniker Free Access to Archive

Berlin Philharmoniker
During the coronavirus lockdown period the Berlin Philharmoniker has given 30 days of free access to the Digital Concert Hall with over 600 orchestral concerts, bonus videos and documentaries.

Cambridge University Press

Access to over 700 textbooks on Cambridge Core for third level students. (login with institutional password) 

CUP have made higher education textbooks in HTML format free to access online during the coronavirus outbreak to support universities and their students. More than 700 textbooks, published and currently available on Cambridge Core – our online home for academic books and journals – are available online to students through their university library regardless of whether they were previously purchased.

You can access via  CUP content via the Whittaker library catalogue and are also via the library portal. 

Click Here To Access Via Library Online Resources

Click Here For CUP Website

Monday 20 April 2020

Wigs, Hair, Make-up at the National Theatre (GB)

In this time of lockdown why not rediscover Theatre Voice. A platform for podcasts about UK theatre.  The latest podcast is an interview with GIUSEPPE CANNAS. 

Click here to access

Sam Marlowe sits down with Giuseppe Cannas, Head of Wigs, Hair and Make-up at the National Theatre, to find out about the extraordinary craft and minute detail involved in creating a production’s special effects. From hand-stitching every single hair, to creating exploding eyeballs, Cannas’ work not only involves a wide range of disciplines, but also managing a team of almost two dozen people. Recorded on 03 March 2020 at the National Theatre in London.

Thursday 16 April 2020

Sadler Wells : Ballet Performances Online:

Sadler Wells have launched a Digital Stage and will be screening archive performances, special one-offs created just for the screen and dance workshops aimed at a variety of ages, from a family workout for ages two-to-six, to classes for the over-sixties.
All of this will be rolled out out over the next several weeks, but things kicked off on Friday March 27 with the release of Balletboyz’s ‘Deluxe’  – the show that was meant to be playing at Sadler’s Wells that night. 
Other performances will include a new version of Wilkie Branson’s dance for camera installation TOM, which would have formed part of Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Edition in April, and Rumpelstiltskin from balletLORENT, who were due to perform as part of Sadler’s Wells’ Family Weekend this Easter.
Sadler’s Wells is also expanding Take Part, its series of projects available to the wider community, from Wednesday 1 April by presenting online workshops and activities for audiences to dance along to in their own homes.
There will be a family workshop created by Cherie Coleman, who runs Family Friday sessions at Sadler’s Wells, for children aged 2 to 6 years and workshops for people aged over 60, inspired by Sadler’s Wells’ Company of Elders programme, hosted by artists including Clara Andermatt, B.Dance, Lucia Caruso, Seeta Patel, Simona Scotto, Alessandra Seutin and New Adventures’ Resident Artist Paul Smethurst. Workshops will be available as YouTube playlists, which will remain online.
Sadler’s Wells will also share dance films specifically created and choreographed for the screen, including MADHEAD, directed by Ben Williams and choreographed by Botis Seva for National Youth Dance Company, and will continue to share its own commissioned film content across social media channels.
Check website for updates and for whats on. 
Lots more shows, films and workshops will be released over the coming weeks

Access Digital Stage.

The National Theatre : Online Performances.

In this time of lockdown the NT (National Theatre UK) will be broadcasting some of their most popular productions weekly on Thursdays at 7 pm. Productions will also be on demand for 7 days after each broadcast. So book your seat at home and log on tonight!

On the 16th April they will be  Polly Findlay's acclaimed production of Treasure Island.


Thursday 26 March 2020


Audio Interview with Directors CHRIS SONNEX AND DAVID RALF. In 2016 Joshua McTaggart and Joel Fisher converted an underground car park in south London into a theatre, and very quickly the Bunker established itself as a leading fringe venue. Find out more about this innovative theatre company at Theatre Voice. 

Click Here To Access: 

Check out THEATRE VOICE for a wealth of interviews and information of current UK theatre professionals. Audio content about British theatre, and features journalists from across the UK press and practitioners from across the theatre industry. It was set up in 2003 to see if theatre could be talked about in a new way: allowing critics to be more expansive than the usual space constraints of the print media allowed; to enable actors, writers, directors and designers to be heard talking in detail and at length about their work; and to help members of the public interact more directly with theatre-makers and commentators.

Monday 20 January 2020

LSO Donatella Flick Conducting Competition

We've just been sent fliers for a prestigious conducting competition.  The competition takes place in March 2021, but the deadline for applications is Friday 26 June 2020.

If you're an ambitious conductor, you'd better take a look at the details right now!

Monday 6 January 2020

Brio - Special Issue Celebrates Claimed From Stationers' Hall network

A couple of years ago, one of our librarians was awarded an AHRC networking grant to establish the Claimed From Stationers' Hall network, studying early British legal deposit music and the libraries that received it.

THIS WEEK, a special issue of Brio will hit library shelves in the UK and beyond - it's dedicated to papers about not only early legal deposit music, but also modern musical copyright issues.  A fascinating read - look out for it!

Brio is the official professional journal of the International Association of Music Libraries (UK and Ireland Branch).  We are grateful both to the branch for allowing us to produce this issue, and to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who kindly granted an Athenaeum Award towards the publication of this special issue.

From the Claimed From Stationers' Hall blog:-

Digital Music Exhibitions

Whilst we were closed, we were notified of a couple of lovely Irish digital music exhibitions from the Irish Traditional Music Archive.  Do take a look - you'll find it interesting!

" ... some information on our latest traditional music digital exhibitions freely available online.

Furls of Music: a digital exhibition based on field recordings made by Leitrim flute player Michael McNamara 1959-mid 1990s

Dusty Bluebells: a digital exhibition based on field recordings of children’s songs made by Hugh Shields 1961-1975"

Friday 13 December 2019

Stories of British Songs from 1750-1850

A research network based at the University of Glasgow has created a beautiful website detailing the stories behind a wide range of songs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales during the Georgian and early Victorian eras.

Do take a look at the Romantic National Song Network: Exploring the Songs of Britain 1750-1850 - you might find a few surprises about those well-loved national songs!

The Stories Behind Christmas Carols

A rather interesting series of blogposts was recently announced by rare music and
manuscripts dealer, Simon Beattie. Chiming nicely with the festive season, he's sharing the history of a Christmas carol each day in December.

Do take a look - you're sure to learn something new! 

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay