Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 8 February 2019

Aspects of Love: February in the Library

Since this is the month of love, the Library are thinking about all the different types of love that are out there - not to mention how we can love ourselves better!


Let us inspire you!

Come and have a look at our displays including our selection of self-help books, or use our eResources listed below!
Drama Online has over 500 plays looking at the theme of love (use advanced search, and you can limit your results by theme).  How about ...
A Brief History of Women / Alan Ayckbourn
A Brief History of Women charts the life of Anthony Spates: from his first job as an adolescent footman at a country manor house through to his retirement as manager of the hotel the manor house became. Over the course of six decades, the play follows him and the remarkable women he has loved, left and lost over the years.
Roles: Male (13) , Female (11) , Neutral (0)
Hushabye Mountain / Jonathan Harvey
Danny is a young man, waiting to be let into heaven. There seems to be some difficulty about it, but Judy Garland reassures him as she passes by in a boat full of stars. Away from the dreamlike and unexpected version of the afterlife, the people who were closest to Danny struggle with his death from AIDS. Hushabye Mountain reveals a world full of love, pain, laughter and friendship.
Roles: Male (6) , Female (7) , Neutral (1)




Be mindful

We have Mindfulness e-books ... try Mindfulness for Dummies or Mindfulness in the Academy

Enjoy a ballet or opera

Watch full length ballets and operas about love by composers who struggled with mental health on Medici TV ...
Such as Swan Lake by Nureyev after Petipa, music by Tchaikovsky (performed here by
Amandine Albisson, Mathieu Ganio, François Alu – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris)
Or Berlioz's Béatrice et Benedict - a whimsical and nostalgic take on Shakespeare’s great comedy Much Ado About Nothing, on the stage of Glyndebourne in 2016.  

Be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends

We've picked a few articles and book chapters looking at mental health and the performing arts - if this interests you, why not use our catalogue plus search to find more?


Friday, 1 February 2019

Archival Object of the Month - February in the Whittaker Library

Unrequited Correspondence ...

February’s Archival Object of the Month showcases a series of letters between the twentieth century composers Kaikhosru Sorabji and Erik Chisholm.  Chisholm was an alumnus of the Conservatoire, a composer, conductor, educator and impresario who founded the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music in Glasgow in 1930, which was responsible for bringing composers such as Béla Bartók and Paul Hindemith to Scotland to perform and premiere their own works.

Love poems and a lock of hair
Around the same time, Chisholm established a correspondence with the Avant-garde composer Kaikhosru Sorabji.  Initially they discussed musical theory and analysis, however soon a bond of friendship developed.  By 1933 the exchange had become more personal and Sorabji’s romantic feelings toward Chisholm began to emerge.  On display in the Whittaker Library are examples of this unrequited correspondence (Chisholm was married), including two love poems written by Sorabji to Chisholm and a lock of Sorabji’s hair.

 In the 1930s homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom, and these letters would have been enough to convict Sorabji of indecency as some of the content is particularly revealing.  The complete correspondence from Sorabji to Chisholm is held by our Archives & Collections ( 
A complete catalogue of the Chisholm collection can be found here.
Stuart A. Harris-Logan
Archives Officer 

Benedict Morris, We're Proud of You!

As you may know, one of our trad musicians, Benedict Morris, has just won the Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019 award.  We found this clip on YouTube, so we thought we'd share it with you. 

We're proud of you, Benedict!  Congratulations from the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Snow Queen Melts Away

We've been happy to have the Snow Queen costume exhibited in the library during December and January, but this is her final week watching over staff and students at the issue desk.  We've blogged and tweeted about her, in the context of costume design and creation. Click here if you missed the blogpost first time round:-
We had an Item of the Month displayed from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Archives, too - the
2016 programme of the production by Stuart Paterson and Dougie Irvine. 

Don't forget, there's a wealth of interesting performance related material in our archives up at Speirs Locks!  It's best to make an appointment with Stuart Harris-Logan, our Archives Officer.   (Ask us, if you need to know how to get there.)

Watch out for our February display theme!!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Trainee Teacher at RCS? Here's a Helpful Library Reminder

At the beginning of the year, we made a very short animation to summarise some tips about searching for things both IN the library, and electronically.

Here is the 90-second reminder in the version delivered to our Education students.  Watch it again, and see how much you remember!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

We Found an Event for Young Trad Musicians ...

We picked this competition up at a trad music conference not long ago.  You'll have to be quick, but this is certainly worth a look if you're a trad musician under the age of 24!  It's promoted by St Albans folk music with support from Hertfordshire Folk Association.
New Roots - An event for young musicians
"This annual event is for young performers of all styles of traditional or contemporary folk, roots or world music, whether you play traditional material or write your own. Categories are under 18 and 18-24."

Interested? We thought you might be!  Follow this link.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Wheesht! Happening here and now, right where you are ..

What would be the most perfect piece of music to hear in a library? Surely, John Cage's 4'33", that famous piece celebrating the sound of ....

well, silence.  The sounds of the environment around you.

Did you know it has been performed on orchestra? Yes indeed, here is a YouTube recording of
   4’33”by John Cage, performed live at the Barbican [orchestral version]

But then, we thought, what about all our wonderful electronic resources? Can we find anything there? Oh, you'd be surprised, even amazed by what we found! 

But what we're actually holding out for is the first live library performance of 4'33".  We'd surely make it into the Guinness Book of Records, if our patrons would only sit perfectly still for four minutes, thirty-three seconds!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Composers! Four Calls for Scores - Milan, March 2019

From our inbox this morning:-

NB the DEADLINE is 1 March 2019, and the festival takes place the same month. You would be well-advised to liaise carefully with the organisers, since there's not much time for last-minute adjustments.
"announcement for the Call for Scores promoted by Ned Ensemble in collaboration with Edizioni Suvini Zerboni in Milano.

1) Music applied to images
2) Piano solo
3) Ensemble from 1 to 6 instruments
4) Voice and piano
The NED Ensemble, during its 12th Contemporary Music Festival “Crossroads, strade incrociate” announces four "Call for scores" to find new compositions to be included in the 12th Contemporary Music Festival, scheduled in March 2019 in the concert hall "Andrea Celesti", located in Desenzano del Garda (Italy).

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Library and Archive News from Friends at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

Trad musicians, do you subscribe to the newsletter from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London?  We think you'd enjoy it!

Take a look at the latest online news.  And note, there's a broadside ballad day at the University of Strathclyde coming up in February 2019!

LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE NEWS from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

Working Behind the Scenes - Our ERA Licence

Quite a lot goes on behind the scenes in a library.  You don't see us ordering and cataloguing the stuff, deciding the best format, the best edition, the best place to put it ... or helping people find online or hard copies of information, or showing them how best to reference it ...

But you also don't see some of the resources we subscribe to.  Not just databases and journals.

 ERA = Educational Recording Agency

Today, we introduce to you ... our ERA Licence.  "A licence?", we hear you ask. What's that to do with me, a library user?

In a conservatoire, we need that licence to enable our teachers to share recorded clips for teaching purposes.  The ERA website tells you much more about this, but the summary just about says it all:-

"The ERA Licence enables educational establishments in the UK to legally make recordings or copies of our Members' TV and Radio programmes and clips for educational use."  Read more ...

Musica Scotica 14th Annual Conference Registration Opens

Musica Scotica 14th Annual Conference

Friday 3 - Sunday 5 May 2019
Tolbooth, Stirling
Registration for the Musica Scotica conference is now open. It is posted on Musica Scotica's Facebook page:-
Musica Scotica homepage:

Monday, 7 January 2019

Longer Whittaker Library Opening Hours

Welcome back to the new term. We are delighted to announce our extended opening hours from January 2019.

Our new hours are posted on the Library website, and are as follows:-
During Term - Time
Mon to Thurs - 8.45am to 8.30pm
Friday - 8.45am to 5pm
Saturday - 9am to 4pm
Sunday - 11am to 3pm
Wishing you all a wonderful and successful 2019!

Best wishes,
The Library Team