Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Includes very useful pages on the history of the Concertina.  

Eg, article by Stuart Eydmann, The Life and Times of the Concertina: the adoption and usage of a novel musical instrument with particular reference to Scotland.

An Early Gaelic Manuscript - Eliza Jane Ross of Raasay

Blogged about on RILM Bibliolore, Eliza Jane's manuscript has been edited by Peter Cooke, Morag MacLeod, and Colm Ó Baoill, of the School of Celtic Studies in Edinburgh.

And see also Bibliolore's blogpost Take Six: Early Folksong Manuscripts, about some English 19th - early 20th century collectors.

(Almost too much excitement for a scholar-librarian on a Sunday night ...)

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Contemporary Music from Ireland

'Whittaker' was given a sampler of contemporary Irish compositions - Contemporary Music from Ireland Vol.9 - by the Contemporary Music Centre Ireland.  Great listening!  Look for it in our Library catalogue.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and his Fifteen Quartets

New book, by Wendy Lesser - Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and his Fifteen Quartets.  (Yale University Press, 2011)

Tempted to get this for Whittaker Library at RSAMD.  Any colleagues want to reserve it in advance?

Apps for getting organised

"I wish I was better organised!"  How often have you said that?  These days there are loads of ways of getting organised via your smartphone.  Why not try these for size?

Times Higher Education - The research lab in your pocket: apps and the academy
Dropbox - save stuff to all your computers and phones at once
Quick Cite - barcode to bibliography app for iPhone or Android

Ramesh Meyyappan - artist in residence, National Theatre of Scotland

Deaf performance artist Ramesh Meyyappan began his year-long residency during Deaf Awareness Week in May 2011.  Read more at the NTS website.

National Jazz Archive

The National Jazz Archive has just received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dame Cleo Laine announces. 

The UK’s finest collection of material detailing the history of Jazz and Blues is to be transformed thanks to an award of £346,300.

The National Jazz Archive tells the story of Jazz and Blues in the UK through photographs, printed articles, memorabilia, artworks and personal papers donated by leading musicians including Mike Westbrook and Ian Carr. The collection is based at Loughton Library in Essex, housing more than 3,000 books, periodicals and bulletins covering over 600 titles.  The Archive was founded in 1988 by Digby Fairweather.

The HLF award will mean that this varied and wide-ranging collection can be fully conserved and catalogued for the first time.

  • Many of the photographs and documents will be made available on a new “Story of British Jazz” website, hosting sound files not only of music but also recordings of iconic British jazz figures' memories. 
  • New exhibitions to be held at Jazz venues and festivals around the country
  • Some of the biggest winners from today’s announcement will be the next generation of British Jazz musicians, benefiting from new opportunities to enjoy this fascinating collection.
  • Find out more about the NJA here.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

IAML 2011

'Whittaker' had a busy weekend. 

Last Saturday, after chairing a session on nineteenth century music in Belfast, I reached my Trinity College Dublin room at 11.35 pm, in readiness for the IAML (International Association of Music Librarians) Dublin Conference starting on Sunday. An unearthly time to arrive, but there were still people there in the Accomodation Office!  Impressive, eh?

Delegates were surprised to find a handwritten note on their residence door one day requesting them NOT to slam their doors.  A shushing librarian?  On the contrary - our self-closing doors were disturbing a foreign summer-school student!

But what do music librarians do at conferences?

Civic Reception, Dublin
Sunday: 'Whittaker' observed a IAML Council Meeting and attended a civic reception in Dublin City Hall, also finding time to visit the vaults below for an exhibition of Dublin's history; and walking back to Trinity College via the historic statues of Daniel O'Connell and Thomas Moore.

Lecture theatre
Monday: Heard papers on Geminiani and Handel in Dublin (Christopher Hogwood) and Handel's 'Messiah' in Dublin (Katherine Hogg).  Then papers on the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland's Digitisation Project (Jonathan Grimes) and the National Archive of Irish Composers (by pianist Una Hunt).  After lunch, I gave the first paper of a session on Celtic music:- 'Minstrels and Metaphors' (Karen McAulay - see my pages relating to Minstrels and Metaphors, and a Bibliography); this was followed by Pirate editions of Scottish music (Almut Boehme, of the National Library of Scotland); and Joyce, Wilde and Yeats [as used in popular music] (Eleni Mitsiaki).  After tea, we heard reports from the national Branches.  Dinner with assorted UK and European colleagues.

IAML strategic forward planning
Tuesday: Dived into the University Library to post my bibliography on this blog, then attended a session by the Bibliographic Commission about how we can promote our service, and further discussion about using social media.  Next, we had a session on RILM (see the Bibliolore blog feed to the right of this posting); this was followed by a paper on musicology in Ireland (Maria McHale).  After lunch with colleagues, there was a plenary session on the future of IAML. (Now we've reached our 60th anniversary, it's time for reflection and strategic planning for the future.)  Very interesting talk by Harry White on the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Music in Ireland (Whittaker Library will be ordering this!); followed by an evening concert of cello and piano music by Ferenc Szucs and Una Hunt.  Dinner with UK and Australian colleagues, and our President, Roger Flury (New Zealand).
Una and Ferenc

Wednesday.  Rise and shine at 4 a.m., and regretfully head for the Airport.  I'm very grateful to the Music Libraries Trust for their kind bursary enabling me to attend this conference.  I shall follow delegates' tweets to find out what happens during the rest of the week.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Careers in Academia

Course: 13th September, Birmingham

Careers in Academia - a course offered by Vitae.

Vitae is supported by the Research Councils UK (RCUK), managed by CRAC: The Career Development Organisation and delivered in partnership with regional Hub host universities.

Athenaeum Library

Before the RSAMD moved to Renfrew Street, we were in the old Athenaeum building, in Nelson Mandela Place / 179 Buchanan Street.

Before the Whittaker Library, we were just the Athenaeum Library.  And this is what we looked like:-
Athenaeum Library
(before RSAMD moved to Renfrew Street, Glasgow)

Lots more pictures of the Athenaeum here.

Boosey & Hawkes - Prom Score Finder

A nifty idea - the B&H online Score Finder.  Select your Prom concert, then source a score.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Whittaker takes a break

'Whittaker' is on vacation at present.  More performing arts news and websites when 'he' returns, rejuvenated!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thomas Gray: The Bard: a Pindaric Ode. 1757

Margaret Maclean Clephane, of
Torloisk, Mull (before her marriage)
So why did 18th and 19th century poets and songwriters make so much fuss about bards and minstrels? Blame Thomas Gray. He knew that, according to tradition, King Edward I had all bards massacred. Gray wrote a poem about the last bard bemoaning what had happened, then committing suicide. It was a hugely, massively influential poem! Now read my page on Minstrels and Metaphors.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive

This might interest the musicians amongst us.  Here's how the homepage describes the archive:-
Welcome! The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive is a collection of texts used in 96,318 Lieder and other classical art songs (Kunstlieder, mélodies, canzoni, романсы, canciones, liederen, canções, sånger, laulua, písně, piosenki, etc.), as well as in many choral works and other types of classical vocal pieces. The archive contains 60,563 texts with 12,445 translations to English, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and others. The website has frequent updates.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Glasgow TV director Amber Comerford has documentary on BBC3

BBC3 has been running a competition, called the Fresh scheme, to give young directors new opportunities.

Josie: My Cancer Curse, is on BBC Three on Thursday July 14th at 9 pm.  It was made by director Amber Comerford with Glasgow-based TV company, Matchlight.

Find out more on the BBC website.

SYT: Prom Night of the Living Dead

2-6 August - Scottish Youth Theatre at the Tron theatre.

Written by Brad Fraser
Directed by Mary McCluskey (who trained in technical theatre at RSAMD).
Original music by Ross Brown

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Incredible Swimming Choir stars one of our alumni

RSAMD Alumna singer and actress Angela Darcy is one of the Incredible Swimming Choir, singing (and swimming) in a pool near you ...

  • Young Audiences Scotland website
  • Evening Times feature, Thursday July 7, 2011

Wet Scottish summer? Time for the cinema!


If T in the Park really doesn't appeal - or, like 'Whittaker', you had difficulty sourcing those elusive wellies - why not stay in Glasgow and go to the pictures instead?

In Edinburgh this summer? Events at National Library of Scotland

All the details, and more events and workshops, are here; just a selection appears below:-

Events organised by the National Library of Scotland. Places are limited, so we strongly recommend that you book in advance. Book online or phone 0131 623 3918. Events are free, unless we state otherwise. For further information, or to join the events mailing list, email
•28 July: Scottish PEN
•August (Fringe): 'Robert Burns: Not in my name'
•August (Fringe): 'Piaf'
•26 August: 2011 Donald Dewar Memorial Lecture
•12 September: 'In conversation on banned books'
•27 September: 'Writer in exile: Celebrating freedom of expression'
•29 September: 'The secret of East German censorship'
Sign up to be sent the NLS Discover magazine - it's a great, award-winning read!

Joanne Pirrie dances with Glasgow company, Cryptic, at CCA tonight




8 pm Thursday 7th July
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Box office 0141 352 4900

Press release for this event
Sneak Preview

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Whittaker Live is Live and Kicking

Just reminding you that 'Whittaker' is still here and will be posting 'his' stuff over the summer.  There's also a new page for anyone interested in Minstrels and Metaphors - click on the link under Pages.

(Whittaker was first Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow, 1930-41, and simultaneously Principal of the Scottish National Academy of Music.  Image from University of Glasgow Story website, with thanks.)

National Archive of Irish Composers

Introducing NAIC - a fabulous website displaying music late 18th and 19th century music at the National Library of Ireland.  Here's how the homepage begins:-

This site exibits high quality digital copies of sheet music from the collections at the National Library of Ireland dating from the late eighteenth to mid nineteenth century. Click Here.

The site’s searchable database has been created to make this music widely available while preserving the National Library’s precious and delicate collections. Irish pianist Una Hunt is the driving force behind this initiative.  Currently, fifty three pieces of historic piano music using Irish airs may be downloaded from the site. The majority of these works were composed by Irish composers or visiting composers to Ireland. Audio files of four of the works in the digital library are appended to the sheet music.

Behind the scenes at RSAMD 2011 Graduation

A glimpse behind the scenes at our RSAMD 2011 Graduation - the last graduation as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.  Next year it will be the first graduation of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2012.

Head, Timpani and Percussion
Kurt Hans Goedicke

Director, Academic Development
Professor Celia Duffy

Fellow Eric Rice

Professor Rita McAllister

Monday, 4 July 2011

Scottish Book Trade Index

The Scottish Book Trade Index is a listing maintained by the National Library of Scotland. Essential for historians of the printed word or music, here's how the database is introduced online:-

The Scottish Book Trade Index lists the names, trades and addresses of people involved in printing in Scotland up to 1850. It covers:

This online resource has been compiled using the imprints of books and other secondary sources (see the list of references). The Library's holdings of Scottish book trade archives are very strong. For details of these, contact Manuscript Collections.

The Scottish Book Trade Index is very much a work in progress. [...] You can find out more details about the Scottish Book Trade Index in the introduction.

Download the latest version of the Scottish Book Trade Index:

•SBTI A-M (PDF: 1,045 pages; 3.2 MB) Listings A-M
•SBTI N-Z (PDF: 505 pages; 1.6 MB) Listings N-Z

Saturday, 2 July 2011

eDance Project

Practice-led research in dance.  Demo of project at British Library Growing Knowledge exhibition.  Fascinating - we need to showcase this to our dancers!

'Dancing in the Streets' - a project commissioned by York City Council.

Weblink for this - with thanks to my colleague, community music guru Mary Troup!

#BLGK - Whittaker is at the Growing Knowledge exhibition at the British Library

Multi-Tasking as ever, 'Whittaker' hits London running - en route to an RMA Council Meeting, what better way to spend a birthday than to visit the Growing Knowledge Exhibition?  (It's been on Whittaker's wish-list for some months but 'he' doesn't visit London very often ...)

25 different digital tools to try - better get started!

  • UK Web Archive - fantastic. (I searched 'Gaelic' with the Education and Research filter.  Masses of stuff.)
  • British Library Microsoft Audio Search : turning speech into text (you have to be interested in the sample data for this demo to be much use, to be honest!)
  • British Library Video Server - live content from BBC since May 2011.  (I confess, I searched for Kate Middleton.  I got results!)
  • NYPL Map Rectification (rectify old maps in light of new knowledge. Fascinating. I found a map of Scotland dating from 1701- but couldn't view it in minute detail, which I'd have liked to have done.  Mull was there - but that was about as much as I could see!)
  • Hmmm - Semantic Web technology.  I need a definition!
  • - now this is interesting. You'd be astonished what you can learn about the running of our country (the UK, that is, not just Scotland ....)  2 minutes to find a whole load of meetings about copyright legislation, for example.
  • London Lives (1690-1800) - 'access to 240,000 records from eight archives.  Names, places, occupations and dates ...'  Truly mind-boggling in scope.