Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 7 November 2019

NT Archive Tours

If you would like to see being the scenes of the National Theatre Archive, this is your chance.

NT Archive,
Hansard by  Simon Woods 
with Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings


The NT Archive is offering public tours of its collections in January and February next year. You can book these through the NT website:
Click here for access to website.

Theatre Voice -

Get to Know Theatre Voice - a key podcast concerning British Theatre. Ideal to dip into to improve or up date your knowledge about the West End theatre scene.

The latest TheatreVoice interview is now available online:

Julie Taymor

To mark its 20th anniversary in the West End, The Lion King's director joins Dominic Cavendish to look back at the show’s beginnings. Surveying its astonishing success – the highest-grossing Broadway show in history – they move onto the question of its aesthetic politics, from progressive casting to cultural appropriation. Recorded in London, October 2019.

Click Here to visit Theatre Voice Podcast


Also on iTunes

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Modern and Contemporary Female Playwrights – a brief history

Remember RCS students & staff have access Drama Online. 

Drama Online have this week published a feature to discover female playwrights and their writing. This new introduction feature is free to view along with 13 linked plays, until the end of 2019. 

Click here to access Drama Online 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Nationl Theatre Archive

The National Theatre Archive is a treasure trove of material, covering all of the creative, technical and administrative records of the National Theatre. The Archive is open to everyone by appointment. The collection covers the movement to found the National Theatre and the period from the start of the company in 1963 right up to the present day. 

Click here to visit the website & catalogue of N.T. Archive

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Now Digitised! Contact: a Journal for Contemporary Music (1971-1990)

Ah, the Seventies! The Eighties!  It all seems such a long time ago.

However, we've just heard that a contemporary music journal from those halcyon days has been digitised, so now you can re-visit what was new then.  We're particularly pleased to learn this, because our own former Head of Research, Celia Duffy, was involved in the editing of this journal at the very beginning of her career.

The digitisation of the journal Contact has been completed by staff at Goldsmiths, University of London.  It is now freely available at

Contact: A Journal for Contemporary Music was active from 1971–1990, and independently published by its editors. As with many independent print publications of that era, this has meant that, for readers and researchers operating in a contemporary digital landscape, the richness of its resource has been all but inaccessible.

In recognition of this situation,  the entire journal has been digitised and made available over the course of a three-year research project.  It was led by Dr James Bulley, Research Associate in the Department of Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, in collaboration with former editor and co-founder of Contact, Professor Keith Potter, and with the assistance of Dr Settimio Fiorenzo Palermo and Gregory White.

Such projects entail more work than you might think.  The project included:-
  • Developing best-practice techniques for the use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on each article of Contact (creating a searchable, accessible and machine-readable database)
  • Aggregation of digitised articles across contemporary research search engines
  • Digital preservation to the highest global standards
  • The creation of metadata, licensing and digital object identifiers for each issue and article within the archive.
Do take a look!  You might be surprised at how what was "new" then, is now accepted practice.  Or, conversely, maybe composers tried new techniques but they didn't catch on.  You won't know unless you take a look!

A Happy Halloween from Whittaker Live! Witches in Scotland!

Happy Halloween to all you RCS ghouls and ghosts!  Click the link below to read a really interesting New York times feature on witches in Scotland or click links below to see items held in the library with a Halloween theme!

The Wizard of Oz , 1939 

Witches of Scotland ( New York Times)!

Did you know the library has 9 plays about witches!

Click here to see list in catalogue

Did you know the library has about 25 items music, vocal score and DVD that relate to Halloween.

Click here to see list in catalogue of Halloween items 

Get to know the library catalogue better and the power to find things via a subject index search!

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Hey, Hey, we have a new BSL-signed, Captioned Library Video

We wanted to share the new library video with you - we're absolutely delighted with it!  We hope it will help explain some of the important things about the library here at RCS.

You can find it on YouTube here:

And on the Portal at the library's Help and Support page:-

The captions can be turned on using the CC button on YouTube. 

Our thanks go to our RCS alumnus actor, and to our RCS colleagues for helping us put this all together!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Black History Month - a Research Event at RCS

We're very happy to help promote this research event here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland!

Event: Black History Month (BHM) Doctoral Researchers’ Event
Event Date: 25/10/2019
Deadline for abstracts: 7/10/2019

The Equality and Diversity Forum in partnership with the Research and Knowledge Exchange directorate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is pleased to present the first Black History Month (BHM) Doctoral Researchers Event to be held at the RCS on 25th October. 

This event is to promote and celebrate BAME researchers and their work.

Call for presentations: We would like to invite abstracts for a fifteen-minute presentation (performances are also encouraged) followed by discussion and questions. This call is open to all BAME arts and humanities doctoral researchers from the UK. The programme allows for 8 presentations and presenters are free to choose whether or not their presentation will directly address the challenges and/or opportunities of being a BAME researcher.

Please send a title and a 250-word outline of your presentation to by Monday 7th Oct.

The event is free to all. If you would prefer to just attend the event or are interested in chairing or moderating please email Please note that there are limited places due to the venue capacity.

Non-BAME doctoral researchers are also welcome to attend and can email

Presentations will be followed by an evening event of poetry, opera and a panel discussion focused on ‘Decolonising the curriculum in the arts.’ All participants will be eligible for a free ticket.

Monday, 23 September 2019

RCS students just LOVE entering competitions - the John Byrne Award is announced

We heard of an award that might interest our students and staff:- 

John Byrne Award

"Creative competition & online platform welcoming entries from everybody over 16 living or studying in Scotland. £7,500 top prize." Enter now via link above.
" ... now open to everybody over 16 living or studying in Scotland PLUS.... have tripled annual prize money to £7500!"

Are you attracted by the idea of Technology in Musical Performance?

We've been asked to circulate this invitation to anyone researching the use of technology in musical performance.  So, here we go:-

Joe Wright would like to let you all know about a new symposium that he's co-organising.  Do share this call for papers amongst any research students and fellow staff members that you think may be interested in participating. The symposium aims to bring together researchers  and practitioners who have an interest in technology in musical performance, with a view to creating a new RMA study group, and opportunities for publication in the new year. Full details are below.

Call for Contribution:

Technology in Musical Performance Symposium (TiMP)

3rd of December 2019 - Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University

Technology in Musical Performance (TiMP) is a forum for all who engage with electronics in live music performance. The symposium aims to stimulate discussion and collaboration between performers, composers, sound artists, practitioners, programmers, software developers and sound designers on musical performance with/mediated by technology.

Performative electronics is an area of music that is constantly evolving and developing. Among composers and practitioners, the desire to realise specific musical ideas leads to creative technological solutions. For new developments in music and live electronics to be thoroughly tested and evaluated, dialogue between creators and practitioners is vital.


More info and application instructions at 

Joe Wright, on behalf of the TiMP organisational team

Friday, 20 September 2019

Longer Opening Hours for the Library at RCS

Good news for staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland!

Responding to readers' requests, we shall be trialling longer opening hours in the new term, starting on 30th September.  So if you've always wanted to drop into the library early on Friday evenings ... now's your opportunity!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Are You the Next UK Young Musician of the Year?

Congratulations in advance!

You've got to be in it to win it! - so here's the link you're looking for.  We understand it's run in conjunction with the Mrs Sunderland Festival in Huddersfield Town Hall this year.

Friday, 30 August 2019

How Can We Excite You About Moodle and the Portal?!

How can we excite you about 

Moodle and the Portal?

RCS uses Moodle for teaching and learning, course-related documentation, and the RCS Portal is for useful links relating to other aspects of our working environment.  Both are on web-pages only accessible to the RCS community.  

RCS staff and students are probably aware that there are special library pages on the RCS Portal.  Here's the link, just now:-

It gives you links to our resources, and lots of FAQs and other guides and mini-videos about different aspects of using the library.

If You Thought You Knew All About Us, there's an Important Update!

The Library Equivalent of "Pimp My Ride" ....

You need to know that the library portal is getting a makeover.  Somewhere between a substantial and an extreme makeover.  Much of the same information will be there (it was useful when we wrote it, and is still relevant) - but it will be in different places on a reformatted page.

Don't panic!

When it's all been rearranged and is nice and tidy - and live - we'll tell you all about it.  Today's posting is just to warn you that there are changes ahead.  Change is good.*

*Usually.  But on this occasion, we're pretty confident!

Monday, 26 August 2019

Ethical Drama Wins Edinburgh Theater Prize

On the last day of the Edinburgh Festival.  This New York Times feature will give you an insight into some of the new writing plays doing rather well at the moment ! Ideas for showcase anyone?? 

Credit Lara Cappelli

Click here for NYT feature. 

New York Times Article

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Sharing News: Early Music Monographs (Books) Digitized!

This is a piece of news that we received via IAML (International Association of Music Libraries) and the MLA (the Music Library Association, an  American organisation).  Copying and pasting shamelessly, because this is news that's bursting to get out, we offer you this exciting snippet:-
"The Music Division of the Library of Congress has launched a new site with scans of approximately 2,000 books on music published before 1800.  The scans were made from microfilmed versions of the books."
Karen C. Lund is the Digital Project Coordinator for the Music Division.

Tracing Book Details? COPAC is dead, bring on Library Hub Discover

If you've ever used Copac - the database that brought together all the university and national library catalogues in Britain - then this news affects you!

Copac has been replaced by Library Hub Discover.  It does the same thing (tracing books in libraries), but has other additional features too.  This is the link you'll go to, instead of the old Copac link:-

Read about the changeover - which happened at the end of July 2019 - here:-

"Library hub discover, library hub compare, and library hub cataloguing will make it easier for UK higher education libraries and researchers to access, discover and manage academic collections."

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Scottish Composers, Seize This Opportunity!

Quoting from the Sound-Scotland website:-

Development opportunity for Scotland-based composers

sound is a new music incubator based in North East Scotland, initially set up to give local audiences access to new music. It is now renowned in and beyond Scotland for producing and promoting high-quality work, for its support to composers of all generations and for attracting new audiences through its varied programming and inclusive nature....  [Read about the whole opportunity here.]

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Musical Pedagogues! Remember ISME

Remember we hosted the ISME conference (International Society for Music Education) here at RCS a few years ago?  Well, this year it's in Helsinki.

We've just received the CFP (Call for Papers), so we thought we'd share it with you:- 

"Welcome to the website for the 34th ISME World Conference.
The call for papers is already out and planning is underway for submissions. The submissions process will open later this month. Note: submissions close on 1 October and there can be no extensions, so start your planning now.
In response to feedback from the previous conference, the call for papers outlines several new opportunities to enable members to interact in different ways and to help members connect and engage even more.
The call for performers is also announced. Submissions will open in the next few weeks and closes on 31 August.
Both the venues - Finlandia Hall and the Music Academy (home of the Sibelius Academy, part of UniArts) -  are very close, almost side by side, so the conference precinct is very walkable. The venues are also accessible."
All you need now is the website, so you can follow up these opportunities! 

Monday, 3 June 2019

Are you a Trad Musician, Influenced by English Folk Tradition? A Bursary!

The English Folk Dance and Song Society has just announced a fabulous opportunity. Quoting directly from their tweet, here it is:-

Applications are now open for the Alan James Creative Bursary! If your work is inspired by or draws from traditional English folk music, apply for research and development funding here:

Pianists, Violininsts! International Johannes Brahms Competition

When we receive competition announcements, we share them with our readers!  If you're a violinist or a pianist, this may be right up your street!  (Well, it's in Austria, but you know what we mean ...)

 26th International Johannes Brahms Competition
1st to 8th September 2019 in Pörtschach/Austria
All details are on the website - just click on the links.  But here's a quick clip from the organisers:-
The 26th International Johannes Brahms Competition will be held from 1st to 8th September 2019 in the categories piano, violin, voice and chamber music.
The regulations have changed only slightly compared to the past years.
  • Piano: L.v. Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 4, G major op. 58 replaces Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in the finals.    
  • Violin: P.I.Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35 replaces Dvořák, in A minor, op.53in the finals
Registration is possible from March 2019 until July 1, 2019.
The website is currently being redesigned to accommodate this year’s contest.