Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Online Trials of LGBT Videos

As we come to the end of LGBT month, the Whittaker Library is happy to announce that we have been kindly offered a trial access of the online resource, LGBT Studies in Video.
From today through 13th March 2013, all students, faculty, and staff may access LGBT Studies in Video here.  (NB, the trial is designed for on-campus use.)
"LGBT Studies in Video is a cinematic survey of the lives of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people and the cultural and political evolution of the LGBT community.  This first-of-its-kind collection features award-winning documentaries, interviews, archival footage, and select feature films exploring LGBT history, gay culture and subcultures, civil rights, marriage equality, LGBT families, AIDS, transgender issues, religious perspectives on homosexuality, global comparative experiences, and other topics.  The collection will have cross-disciplinary relevance beyond LGBT courses, serving research and teaching in different academic and performance fields.  The plan is to expand the collection to 500 hours in the not too distant future."
Please make use of this while we have access to it.  Do let Drama and Dance Librarian Alan Jones know what you think of it - you'll find his details on the Whittaker Library website.

Online Trials of Drama and Dance Resources

A Free In-House Trial for staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - use it now and let us know what you think of it!

Theatre in Video

From today through 13th March 2013, all students  and staff may access Theatre in Video here.  (The trial can only be accessed on-site.)
"Theatre in Video contains hundreds of the world’s most important plays and video documentaries online in streaming video. For the first time, students, instructors, and researchers can bookmark specific scenes, monologues, and staging examples and then include those online links in their papers and course dissertations. Theatre In Video contains more than 250 definitive performances of the world's leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video - more than 500 hours in all, representing hundreds of leading playwrights, actors and directors.
This release includes 265 videos, equalling approximately 338 hours."

Dance in Video

From today through 13th March 2013, all students, faculty, and staff may access Dance in Video here.
"Dance in Video is the definitive video collection for the study of 20th Century concert dance, featuring the most influential performers and companies together with dozens of documentaries, interviews, and dance instruction videos. The collection provides coverage in breadth and depth for modern dance forms, and is relevant to dance history, dance analysis, dance instruction.  It includes an overview of 20th Century concert dance, including the forerunners and pioneers of modern dance, covering ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisation; an invaluable resource as dance is an inherently visual medium."

To get started, take a look at these custom playlists that feature samples of some of the great content included in this collection: Great Tappers, Partner dances, and CRWDSPCR.

These collections can be cross searched with all of our other video collections via 

Now that you're connected, please let us know what you think about it.  Email Alan Jones, our Drama and Dance Librarian via the Library website.

Make use of it while it is there.


Online Trials of Music Resources

Alexander Street Press has offered staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire the opportunity to trial some of their other music offerings.  The Whittaker Library staff are keen to know what our readers think of them.  NB, The trial is designed for use on RCS premises, and links may not all work off-site.

From today until the 29th March 2013 all staff and students can access:
Classical Music in Video here.

The videos in Classical Music in Video are cross-searchable with Alexander Street Press’s scores, reference works, and audio recordings.
"Classical Music in Video will be the definitive online collection for the study of classical music in video format. This collection contains performances of all forms of classical music, including major performances by leading orchestras, plus chamber music, oratorio, and solo performances, along with masterclasses and interviews with master teachers from around the world." 
Opera in Video here.

This collection can be cross searched with all of our other video collections via

"Opera in Video is a comprehensive collection of operatic performances covering the most commonly studied operas in music history, opera literature, and performance classes. The collection contains hundreds of hours of video and is relevant to a broad range of studies, including music history, music appreciation, opera performance, analysis and theory."

Classical Scores Library: Vols. 1 and 2 here.

Please let us know what you think of these resources,

Catherine Small
Assistant Librarian – Music

Love Books? Some Places to Escape!

Drama Librarian Alan Jones shares this link with our readers :- 

The 30 Best Places to Be if You Love Books

Monday, 25 February 2013

Do you write poetry? Here's a competition!

Write a Poem: the Neil Gunn Competition

Yesterday evening, another librarian told me about this Scottish competition.  But you'll have to be quick - the closing date is this Friday!
It's the Neil Gunn Writing Competition.  Details here.
From the competition website:-
"The theme for both the adult prose and adult poetry sections is ‘The Tenderness of Stone’. [...]  Writers worldwide are invited to interpret this theme in any way they wish – the entries do not have to be set in Scotland or during the time when Neil Gunn himself was writing. Please see the entry rules for full details about the competition.

This biennial competition is organised by High Life Highland and The Neil Gunn Trust, who gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of this year’s competition by Dingwall & Seaforth Ward 9, The Highland Council; Rhoda Michael, and David Lynch of The Greenhouse ([...]. We are delighted that the lead judge for this, the 13th competition is Scottish author Jackie Kay."*
*Whittaker Library patrons will recall Jackie Kay's memorable visit to the Library last year, when she gave readings from her books.

The Scots Language: Guest Blog by Wojciech Gardela

After blogging about Scots pronunciation, a few days ago, 'Whittaker' was offered further advice on the Scots language.  So much useful advice, in fact, that it merits a blogpost of its own. So here is a guest blogpost by Wojtek Gardela, Lecturer in Scots Language at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Pronunciation, Dictionaries and Online Resources
  • The online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) has pronunciations, depending on the region. They're in square brackets, but are not given for every word. 
  • While using the DSL, you can also look up words using the SND + SND Supplement searches, as this will give pronunciations of words from 1700 onwards (i.e. Modern Scots), where such pronunciations are available. 
  • There's ongoing work on a newer version of the DSL, but it only contains material for Older Scots (i.e. up to 1700).
  • An alternative may be a paper copy of the Concise Scots Dictionary (CSD), which, as far as I remember, has more pronunciations.   (Here is our Whittaker Library copy in the catalogue.)
  • You should remember, though, there are a number of non-linguistic dictionaries of Scots on the market, too (published under various names), but only those published by the Scottish Language Dictionaries are 'official' and most comprehensive, backed up by decades of evidence gathering by specialists in the field.
  • There are more publications by the Scottish Language Dictionaries here:
  • Although I don't know of any books that would give International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciations of Scots words, info on IPA can be found here, if you're interested in phonetics:-

There are also other websites, which are not dictionaries but may be helpful to those studying Scots song - see below.

Websites which may assist in studying Scots song

Lastly, Wojciech has recommended a new Scots language book - Modren Scots Grammar, by Christine Robinson. It was launched literally last week, and we're ordering a copy of it.  (If you have a Kindle, you can buy a copy in Kindle format at a lower price.)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

What Karen Read (Irish Folk Culture)

Karen did a ‘What are you reading?’ contribution for this week's Times Higher Education, about Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s The House on an Irish Hillside.  It’s about Irish folk-culture: would you like to see it in the Whittaker Library?  Read the review here.

Classical Music Library, via Alexander Street Press


Whittaker has just received a news bulletin about one of our streamed music services.  Alexander Street Press tell us that Classical Music Library has added a whole load of new recordings this month. 

This news is too good not to share!

"This week, we have added 5,904 albums (100,261 tracks) into the collection - now around 246,000 tracks in total!
Content is included from a wide variety of genres and labels, including Analekta, Arts Productions, Ltd., Cedille Records, Claves, Delphian Records, K&K Verlagsanstalt, Labor Records, Parnassus Records, Qualiton, Soli Deo Gloria, Tactus, and more.
Artists and ensembles include: London Concertante, Westminster Choir, Kathleen Ferrier, NBC Symphony Orchestra, NY Philharmonic, Franco Corelli, Kirsten Flagstad, Sviatoslav Richter, Janos Starker, Marian Anderson, Borodin String Quartet, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Anthony Braxton Quartet, Martha Argerich, New Arts Trio, Lukas Foss, Quartet Glinka, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
New content includes:-
·         Douglas Lilburn: The Three Symphonies
·         Music of Ysaye, Rozsa, Noon, Paganini/Bednar
·         World Of Robin and Marion: Songs and Motets From Time of Adam De La Halle
·         NBC Recordings: 1946 / 1948
·         Joaquín Turina: Grabaciones Históricas
·         Stravinsky & Prokofiev Conduct Their Works
·         The Platinum Collection - Mario Lanza
·         Max Bruch: MOSES (Oratorio Opus 67)
·         Hosanna In Excelsis - Texts and music from the spiritual world of the Middle Ages
·         Richard Wagner: Organ Transcriptions by Edwin Henry Lemare"

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Flying High: Catherine's Big News


Our Assistant Librarian, Catherine Small, has won the IAML(UK & Irl) E. T. Bryant Prize for her recent postgraduate Librarianship dissertation on dating musical scores.  This is a fantastic achievement, and we're all enormously proud of her.  The University of Strathclyde will also be delighted that one of their recent graduates has done so well.

Closer, Closer ... the Birth of a Book

Excitement is rising as publication date comes closer: 

Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, by Music and Academic Services Librarian Dr Karen McAulay

Watch this space for further news of the book-launch on Friday 26th April at 4 pm.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Theatrical Ephemera - The Roy Waters Theatre Collection

Royal Holloway has recently launched a new archive collection - the Roy Waters Theatre Collection.

'The Roy Waters Theatre Collection was bequeathed to the Royal Holloway in 2010, and is now searchable via our online catalogue. The collection includes an impressive array of theatrical ephemera amassed over forty years by the former teacher and school inspector Roy Waters (1928-2010).'  Read more here.

A blogpost on Lecturing

What makes lectures good, and interesting?  

'Martin' is the blogger behind TheUniversityBlog. He writes about higher education from the student viewpoint. Today he blogs about,

Why Lectures Aren’t Dead & How to Deal With Difficult Lectures

Friday, 15 February 2013

Singing Scots Songs - Pronunciation

'Whittaker' was asked for a book about pronouncing Scots songs, yesterday.  To be honest, the helpful, 'it's a blue one with gold lettering' didn't offer much to go on.

Whittaker found Scottish song books with glossaries at the back - useful to a point, but they only informed the singer what the words meant, and not how to pronounce them.

Enter the helpful Tweeps on Twitter!

By 'return of post', came two great suggestions, Marjory Kennedy-Fraser's Lowland Scots  Pronunciation (not only have we got the book here in the Whittaker Library, but it's also available online via the Internet Archive), and ScotSpeak, by Christine Robinson

And as though that wasn't enough, a couple of new items arrived in the post at the Whittaker Library today - the new Faber books, The Language of Folk, Vols.1 and 2.  How's that for a fortuitous coincidence?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Free Bagpipe Music

If you're a piper, you really should take a look at the Petrucci Music Library.  Old printed music sources, digitised and freely available to download - here's the list:-
Anyone playing Northumberland smallpipes might like this 1805 collection by Francis Peacock:-

A Favourite Collection of Tunes with Variations

Longman and Broderip's Selection of Music for the Pedal Harp

The Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP) has so much interesting material!  Here's a very early pedal harp collection - Longman and Broderip were founded in the eighteenth century.  Material like this is out of copyright, and there just for the playing!  Go on - enjoy!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Music manuscripts from Ireland (pre-20th century) - RISM listing

Kilcormack Missal,Trinity College Dublin
'Whittaker' gladly shares with you this excellent news of improved bibliographic access to Irish music manuscripts.  Here's the communication from Dr Catherine Ferris:-

"First Phase of the RISM Ireland Database Launched

RISM Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of a new Irish-focused free-to-access database of pre-twentieth century musical materials held in repositories throughout the island of Ireland. This new resource highlights the contents of Ireland’s collections in a national context. In addition, records from the RISM Ireland catalogue are shared with the RISM Zentralredaktion in Frankfurt, which publishes the collective work of RISM groups in thirty-five countries throughout the world, thereby placing the Irish sources in a worldwide context.
The work of RISM Ireland is project-based, focusing on diverse areas of Irish musical life and individual institutional holdings. This launch highlights the first major research project to be published in the database: The Mercer’s Hospital Music Collection. This project, undertaken in collaboration with RISM Ireland and RISM UK, resulted from a DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama research scholarship. The scholarship to carry out doctoral research on the collection was awarded to Tríona O’Hanlon and supervised by Dr Kerry Houston.

For further information, see the IAML (UK & Irl) February 2013 Newsletter or contact Dr Catherine Ferris."

Bibliolore writes about Fred Astaire

Our dancers might be curious to read this blogpost, by Bibliolore: Fred Astaire's Drunk Dances.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

David Rizzio - NOT the inventor of Scottish music!

James Oswald attributed some Scottish tunes to David Rizzio, secretary and possibly lover of Mary Queen of Scots.  It didn't take long before people realised how unlikely it was  that one private secretary, not even Scottish, could single-handedly have invented Scotland's traditional music repertoire.  

Matthew Ward, who tweets as HistoryNeedsYou, found this fabulous seventeenth century portrait in the Royal Collection.  It may be the hapless David Rizzio.  Rizzio was ultimately assinated at Holyrood, which is what you get for messing around with the Queen of Scotland!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Missenden Masterclasses

An opportunity for academic staff has been circulated to the Whittaker Library.  Here are the details:-

"Missenden Masterclasses - 5 places left
a unique opportunity for your university to signal its support for outstanding research pioneers by sponsoring aspiring academic staff to convert their ideas into successful applications for funding.
Available in two forms:
1.     A week’s intensive residential programme at Missenden Abbey

2.    A non-residential alternative at Woburn House in central London: four successive Fridays from 19th April 2013 5 places available

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Swan Lake in the Gorbals Pool? Making a splash!

Here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it's Bridge Week, when students embark upon projects all their own ...

Here's one of them.  Yes, it does involve Swan Lake, and a swimming pool, and musicians.  IN the pool!

Last Saturday was National Libraries Day!

National Libraries Day, Saturday 09/02/13
Tweet a snapshot of Scottish Libraries

  • What do you use your library for?
  • What does your library mean to you?
Twitter was a-buzz on Saturday, with hashtags #nldScot or the official one #nld13.  The aim was to gather the tweets together into a document which we hope will be the start of a larger project celebrating Scottish libraries.  And here is Anabel Marsh's posting on the Glasgow Library Tweetups blog:-