Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 30 November 2012

Alain Badiou - The Century (required reading)

 It's a must! - Alain Badiou's The Century

Christina Guillaumier asked the Whittaker Library to buy this book as required reading for her 3rd year BMus class (Music in History 3 Russian Modernism course).  It will be useful for a forthcoming essay.

It's here, and it'll be living in the Library until the beginning of February.  Don't all rush at once ...!

We've ordered another 'How to Write a Lot'

Oh, they're dead keen, our scholarly community!  So many have reserved my recommendation that we've ordered another copy of Paul Silvia's How to Write a Lot!

 It's conversational.  It's conveniently-sized for reading on the Subway.  It'll give you a boot up the backside if you need a bit of "encouragement" to get you sitting down at the keyboard to write up that project.  What's not to like about it?!  Come and tell me that you've started writing.  All librarians love to hear that their recommendations hit the mark.

More details...

Scottish Storytelling Centre - Courses coming up

Latest programme - Spring 2013  (The Scottish Storytelling Centre is in Edinburgh.)

Music Librarian Cataloguing Nerd

I got ridiculously excited about this - the Library of Congress classification schedules as a PDF, online!  Very useful indeed.

Music and Music books  (M, ML, MT)

Happy St Andrew's Day

Scottish songs, anyone?  Or how about some Scottish plays? Scottish culture in general?

Whittaker Library - the one-stop-shop for all your Scottish information requirements!

SoundEffects, a new open-source electronic journal from Aarhus

'Whittaker' was alerted to this new electronic journal by a blogpost from Bibliolore.

SoundEffects was launched by Aarhus University in 2011. It is interdisciplinary, open-source and peer-reviewed.  It appears to be something you just sign up to, for free.  Very much worth a look! 


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Advent Calendar

What? I only get one chocolate?
From the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound - click here.  They warn us that these are old, archival recordings ... so, don't be surprised!

Or you could try the Penguin Books advent calendar - here.

Church musicians - Kevin Mayhew has an advent calendar, too.

Classic FM's advent calendar

Articles on Theatre Practice

Theatre Research International

Calling all theatrical researchers!  (Maybe we should rephrase that ...?)

'Whittaker' received an invite to a free trial for Theatre Research International.  Generous though this is, we do already subscribe.  Have you used it?

From the Theatre Research International website:-
"Published for the International Federation for Theatre Research
Theatre Research International publishes articles on theatre practices in their social, cultural, and historical contexts, their relationship to other media of representation, and to other fields of inquiry. The journal seeks to reflect the evolving diversity of critical idioms prevalent in the scholarship of differing world contexts."
Click here (the link will work for anyone with an institutional subscription - remember to login if you're off-site). 

Past and Present Performance Practitioners

Routledge Performance Archive Trial

"The Routledge Performance Archive is a developing resource produced in partnership with Digital Theatre, providing unique access to an unprecedented range of audio-visual material from past and present practitioners of performance.
This ground-breaking and constantly growing online collection delivers essential resources direct to the classroom, lecture theatre and library.
The video material spans more than fifty years of documented work direct from renowned practitioners and specialists, and ranges across the entire spectrum of theatre topics."

Our proactive Drama and Dance Librarian has organised a free trial of Routledge Performance Archive, until 22 December 2012.  Royal Conservatoire Staff and Students can request the login details from our Library Staff.  

Let us know what you think of this resource! 

Visit to gain online access.

If you have any problems, comments or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact Alan Jones.

Writing and productivity

Interesting blogpost from the London School of Economics - it's sure to be useful to everyone involved in research.

By the way, I’m whizzing through Da Silvia’s How to Write A Lot – and I’ve written half an article in my spare time since the weekend, to prove its worth.   Recommended.  I'll review it when I've finished it.

Un-making things: clothing in the 18th century

Here's an interesting post about making clothes in the 18th century.  It's on a blog called Un-making things, and it's from the Royal College of Art

The posting about 18th century clothes is called, CLOTHING CONSTRUCTION, CONFIDENTIALITY AND THE BODY IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY - here's the direct link to the posting.

National Review of Live Art Archive


The National Review of Live Art Festival ran from 1986-2010.  This link takes you to the audio-visual archive of live art performances and installations.  It's now based at the University of Bristol.  Click here for more info ...

Recommended to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland research community by our Research Lecturer, Dr Anna Birch.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Costume Inspiration

Whittaker's friends at Nottingham-based firm Sewing Online have suggested a Pinterest site that might interest our costume designers. 

Here it is - Costume Inspiration, in all its multicoloured glory.  Enjoy!

(Do follow @Sewing_Online on Twitter if you're a textile enthusiast!)
Source: via The World on Pinterest

Monday, 26 November 2012

Getting it Loud in Libraries - sound is turned off

Since 2005, there has been a BRILLIANT (no exaggeration) initiative bringing pop music to young people in public libraries around Britain.  It won awards, and rightly so.

Gigs were arranged, and teens/young adults flocked to hear them.  A disenfranchised group discovered that libraries were cool, and great places to borrow CDs and sheet music.

Now Lancashire Libraries has cut the funding.  Shame!  Read more ...

Bibliolore blogs about Lloyd Miller and Oriental Jazz

Staff and students on our Jazz degree course might find this blogpost interesting:-

Friday, 23 November 2012

Get Creative - a BUFVC film course

Get Creative

Raising awareness of moving image & sound content in your institution

Friday 7 December 2012, 10am – 3pm
The Geological Society, Piccadilly, London
As advertised on the BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council ... 
  • Do you promote the use of moving image and sound within your institution?
  • Do you find it difficult to engage students and lecturers to use audiovisual content?
  • Are your students concerned about how to reference audiovisual content in their work?

Composer for the Violin, Henri Vieuxtemps

Just been invited to a virtual exhibition.  The invitation explains itself:-

[You are invited to] "our virtual exhibition on the life and works of Henry Vieuxtemps (1820-1881).  The Music Department of the Royal Library of Belgium holds the largest collection of scores by the famous 19th century Belgian violinist and composer.  The exhibition gives a chronological survey of his career and features numerous unpublished documents including autograph scores, letters and illustrations. Available languages: French and Dutch." 
Visit it here.
- - - - -

Contact details:-

Bibliothèque royale de Belgique - Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België
Section de la Musique - Muziekafdeling
Boulevard de l'Empereur 4 - Keizerslaan 4
B-1000 Bruxelles - Brussel
Belgique - België
T. +32-(0)2-519.56.63
F. +32-(0)2-519.57.60

The forests whence instruments are made

Earlier this year, I blogged about Otis A. Tomas and The Fiddletree - his book documenting the making of a quartet of instruments from an old Cape Breton maple tree.  (I did a Storify page about it, too - it really caught my interest, as you can tell.)

You might guess that when a colleague told me about a quartet of instruments made from an Edinburgh sycamore out of Sir Conan Doyle's childhood garden (aptly named the 'Sherlock Quartet'), I simply had to know more.  Otis might be in Cape Breton, but Steve Burnett is, comparatively speaking, in our own back garden!

There was a 'Concert for Trees' in Edinburgh's Usher Hall last year to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Forests - read more here. (This is a posting on the Sherlock Holmes Society of London website.)

Of course, what you'll really want to know is, who made these instruments.  The luthier is Steve Burnett of Edinburgh.  He makes his instruments along the traditional lines, and using the traditional methods of the old masters.  Here's his website:-

At the bottom of his homepage, you'll find an MP3 recording of Burnett talking about the Sherlock project.  Worth a look!

Postscript.  I have just learned of an interesting BBC news item about choosing the best wood for a Stradivarius. Read on!  (BBC News 14 April 2013).

Thursday, 22 November 2012


For costume designers

Sometimes 'Whittaker' feels guilty that he doesn't find enough useful content for our technical students, so it's nice to be able to share this costume-making website.

The Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild is based in San Francisco Bay, but there are useful links on their website that might be of interest to our Scottish students of costumery.  Why not take a look?

My thanks to Nottingham-based Sewing Online for this suggestion.  (Tweet them @Sewing_Online - they're very helpful.)

Race and Racism in Today's Theatre

There was an interesting theatre review in Times Higher Education magazine at the beginning of November.  It's thought-provoking, so you might like to read it.  Here's the link:-

(It's a review of Red Velvet, by Lolita Chakrabarti, and is on at Tricycle Theatre London until this Saturday, 24 November.  Our Drama and Dance Librarian will be ordering the playscript, to add to our collection.)

Bass Culture in Scottish Musical Traditions

We have a blog for our AHRC-funded research project!



Other People's Library Catalogues

Searching for materials that your own library doesn't have in stock?  We can try to obtain it, either for permanent addition to our collection, or by temporary inter library loan from elsewhere.

If you have an enquiring mind, or a willingness to go and look elsewhere, then it's worth looking at other catalogues.

For students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it's worth checking Glasgow Libraries (the public library service, including the Mitchell Library and all Branch Libraries), or other university libraries. is a good place to look, too. It searches all British University and national library catalogues. 

Or you could check the British Library's own catalogue.

Here is Karen's Diigo list of useful library websites.  (You know how she's a Diigo devotee!)

(Get your own Diigo account and save those useful links for searching anywhere, on any device ...

Learning on Screen Awards

If you're doing anything innovative involving learning on screen, this might be of interest.  The entry deadline is 3 December.

More info here ...

Monday, 19 November 2012

What do dance librarians do?

So you thought we just stamped books?  A very interesting blogpost here, from Voices for the Library:-

Sir Philip Ledger, former Principal of the RSAMD (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

RIP Sir Philip Ledger

'Whittaker' is deeply sorry to note the death of Sir Philip Ledger, our former Principal. 

If I can share a personal memory, it is of the memorable Christmas concerts that Sir Philip used to conduct, and in particular, the one that I attended when Sir Philip appeared in the garb of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Our catalogue lists just some of the many recordings and publications that Sir Philip was responsible for - including some LPs of the Nine Lessons and Carols recorded during his time at Kings College, Cambridge.

Dissertation Time!

If you're a music undergraduate scoping your dissertation, this might be the biggest project you've yet had to manage.

Here are some useful websites to use while you're doing your literature search.  Your subject librarian team are ready and waiting to help you get started!

Jerusalem (an odd posting for a Scottish library)

In England's Green and Pleasant Land ...

From a blog at The Telegraph, with due acknowledgements

Blogger Bibliolore today offers us a posting about  Blake and Jerusalem.

Composer Hubert Parry wrote a stirring setting of William Blake's words, which has become one of England's favourite hymns.  Not universally, even in England, though.  Read on ....

Beyond England's green and pleasant lands, followers of Bibliolore (and of Whittaker Live) should understand that nationalism rears its ugly head when the hymn 'Jerusalem' is even mentioned in Scottish churches!

Fabulous image from The Telegraph -

Friday, 16 November 2012

Book Week Scotland

Okay, this isn't directly related to performing arts - but hey, we are a Library, and that means books (as well as music, recordings, electronic media ...)

So - you heard it first here:-  Book Week Scotland is 26 November - 2 December 2012, and here is their Events Page.

Scottish Roundup - the best of Scottish blogging

Worth a look:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Award for Early Career Music Librarians - the E T Bryant Memorial Prize

E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize

From the IAML(UK & Irl) website:-

'The E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize is awarded to a student of Library and Information Science, or to a librarian in their first five years in music librarianship, for a significant contribution to the literature of music librarianship. Publication does not preclude entry. The prize is £250, awarded jointly by IAML(UK & Irl) and the Music Libraries Trust ...'

Monday, 12 November 2012

Music Team at the Whittaker Library

Introducing Catherine Small, our new Assistant Librarian, who is working Tuesdays and Wednesdays while Music and Academic Services Librarian Karen McAulay is seconded as part-time postdoc research assistant on an AHRC-funded project.

Catherine Small and Karen McAulay

Rules of Social Media - useful guide

Here's a helpful social media poster, to help avoid any embarrassing boo-boos!

Independent Learning Week at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

We're still here!

Don't forget that the Whittaker Library is open as normal.  If you need help finding anything, please don't hesitate to come and ask us.

Or if we can demonstrate a database, introduce you to electronic journals, entice you into an e-book ...

Happy to help!

Book Week Scotland

A new event for booklovers - Book Week Scotland.

26 November - 2 December at Glasgow Libraries.  Find out more here.

Scots Trad Music Awards - don't forget to vote!

Hands up for Trad will be hosting the 10th MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards and Gala Concert on 8th December 2012, Nevis Centre, Fort William.
Here's the link you need.  Voting ends 21st November - don't miss your chance! 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Organ festival in Magdeburg, Germany

11-18 May 2013

For more details, visit

Creative Scotland Awards

Read all about it!

Mahara in Action - a slideshare by our E-Learning expert, Gordon McLeod

Here's a SlideShare of a presentation by Gordon McLeod about Mahara, part of our Moodle virtual learning network.

Independent Learning Week

Pleased to acknowledge
As our Weekly News says today,

"Next week in the Conservatoire is our first independent learning week.  This will be the first time our students will have the opportunity to engage in self-directed learning."
The Whittaker Library staff look forward to being of assistance to students as they engage in their independent learning.  You're doing the learning - and we're here to help! 

Research, Careers, and Making an Impact

Sometimes how you did something, can be as interesting as what you did. I gave a presentation about my research journey to research students at the University of Glasgow, yesterday.  So I thought I'd share it here:-

Research, Careers, and Making an Impact

By Karen McAulay

Wexford Festival Opera 2012: William Vincent Wallace and Mozart

Wexford Festival
The Magic Flute
William Vincent Wallace bicentenary recital

Here's a review of William Vincent Wallace songs, performed by pianist Una Hunt and mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly; and a performance of Mozart's Magic Flute.

William Vincent Wallace was born in Wexford - hence the connection with the Festival.  Singers may appreciate an understanding of his context, since his songs do occasionally feature in singers' recital repertoire.  Click here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Theatre History - Tartuffe, by Moliere

'Whittaker' discovered this website giving the background to different plays.  With the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland showing 'Tartuffe' this week, it seemed a good idea to share what we found!

Click here to see it on

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Word It Out - fab word clouds

Have you ever wondered which words most commonly appear in your writing?  'Whittaker' applied the acid test to Whittaker Live, and got this - 

For online link, click here.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Storify - different uses of a simple social media tool

Have you come across

I'm finding all sorts of uses for it.  I used it a few months ago for reviewing a book about a Cape Breton fiddlemaker:- Musings on Creativity

Then, thinking about all the different things I do as a librarian, I wondered if I could use it as an informal kind of CV, too.  Not the kind of CV you'd necessarily send to an employer, but maybe a useful link to show a different aspect of yourself.  (If you've ever wondered what librarians really do, both at work and at home, this might be enlightening ...!)

I'm quite sure Storify could be put to excellent use with video-clips or audio podcasts, too - ideal for a performer.  See what you think!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Little and Large

Tuesdays & Wednesdays in the Whittaker Library, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

'Whittaker' (aka Music and Academic Services Librarian Karen McAulay) has news for you!  While Karen is doing her postdoc research secondment thing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we're getting a new assistant librarian to provide cover.  

Her name is Catherine Small, and she's a music graduate who has just finished her librarianship Masters at the University of Strathclyde.  Catherine did a work placement with us earlier this year, and has been a cataloguing volunteer to gain experience of a vital skill.  Despite her name, she is taller (and slimmer) than Karen, so you won't get us mixed up!

All together, now - a big, warm, Whittaker welcome to Catherine, and we hope she'll soon feel very much at home with us.