Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Let Them Eat Cake


We can't encourage cake-eating in Whittaker Library, so the library staff had their Marie Curie coffee-morning downstairs in the Cafe-Bar this morning.  Sorry to relate, everyone at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is now high on caffeine and sugar ... but happy!  

Coffee was free - the cakes raised funds for

Monday, 27 June 2016

Learning to Write - Talking with Sam Shephard on Digital Theatre Plus

Staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland benefit from our library subscription to Digital Theatre Plus.  Here's the latest offering!  As described online ...
This extensive insight into Sam Shepard's 'Family Trilogy' has been created for Digital Theatre Plus by Ed Madden. Ed is a freelance theatre director, creative associate at the Gate Theatre, and co-founder of new writing company Walrus. 

Ed's work has featured at Warwick Arts Centre, the National Student Drama Festival and Latitude Festival, and achieved sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and Camden People's Theatre. 

Read more of Ed's work in our The Crucible Study Guide and our Death of a Salesman Study Guide.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Free Play-Readings at the University of Glasgow This Thursday

Invitation to Expositions: Play Reading Event

 Expositions: Play Reading Event – Thursday 30th June, 7pm, James Arnott Theatre, Gilmorehill Halls

You are warmly invited to the MLitt Playwriting and Dramaturgy annual play reading event. Extracts will be presented from the following plays written by this year’s playwriting students:

Silk Worm by Vlad Butucea

The Many Reincarnations of Rudolph Starborough by Sean Byrne
Fifteen: Eleven by Andi Denny
The Stone Lotus by RCS Drama Librarian Alan Jones
The Dogwood – Pt. 1 - A Play for Non-Adults by Nelly Kelly
Soul Science by Ruby McCann
Mrs Mackintosh by Bryan McCormack
Elephants by Karina Youle de Lage

The Triangle by Yi Wang

The play reading event has been dramaturged by this year’s dramaturgy students from the MLitt Playwriting and Dramaturgy and MLitt Theatre Studies programmes. The play readings will be directed by Philip Howard (former co-artistic director of Dundee Rep Theatre) and feature professional actors.

The event will last approximately 2 hours 30 minutes and includes a short interval during which there will be a wine reception.

Tickets are free but must be reserved through Eventbrite, where you can also find more details about the event.

If Anyone Mentions Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle - Here's Where to Look

Are you doing a teaching degree or postgraduate certificate?  We have a library subscription to Sage Reference, and there's plenty to find when it comes to educational theory.  How about this, for starters - by David Kolb himself!

David A. Kolb
Edited by: Eric H. Kessler

Start by going to our e-books page and clicking on Sage.  It certainly works from inside RCS buildings, but if any of our staff or students have any difficulty logging in from outside, please do let us know.  You need to look for the "institutional" "Shibboleth" login and select the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Cambridge Books Online (also on our e-books page) is another great source of information on teaching and learning.  And everything comes with pre-packaged bibliographic details - the stuff you need to cite in footnotes or a bibliography.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Collections of e-books

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Record of a Day - UWS Social Medians Visit Whittaker Library

Evidence of a great visit!  We do enjoy talking to our counterparts about issues that we all hold dear!

You Won't Believe What Shakespeare Has Done Now!

School’s results go from Bottom to top, thanks to Shakespeare 

by Sarah Cassidy

This was in today's Guardian.  The Royal Shakespeare Company has been working with schools to get Shakespeare used more in the curriculum.  In an unremarkable school in Thanet, Kent, remarkable things are happening.  Even in other unrelated subjects! Read on! 

This is sure to make teachers sit up, whatever subject they teach.  Any of our alumni working in drama education have a head-start, you would imagine.  And it reinforces the power of active learning, as far as our pedagogues are concerned.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Can You Afford to be a Theatre Director, Derek Bond asks

Here's a Guardian Theatre posting - a bit worrying, really:-

The secret of theatre directing? Finding another job to pay for it 

Posted by Derek Bond on 15th June 2016.

Library Social Medians!

Meet Whittaker!

Social Media: Library Outreach and Professional Networking

We're having a get-together with social medians from the University of the West of Scotland library service tomorrow. It'll be a good opportunity to talk about what they do, and what we do at the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

 Sometimes Karen wonders if you can have too much of a good thing, because she also uses social media for research purposes, too.  And then she talks about it (the social media, and the research) - here's something she blogged about a couple of years ago.  Things have changed a bit since then, research-wise, but you might find this summary interesting:- 

The Jungle Beat of the Tweet

(And this is Karen's all-purpose research and teaching blog.  Libraries do get a mention, but in a rather different way!

Actor, or Wannabe? Book Review on Becoming an Actor

Do you keep an eye on It's one of the social media sites specially for scholarly types interested in research publications and activities. Today, we spotted a book review for a book we actually have here in the Whittaker Library - Becoming an Actor, by Thomasina Unsworth.  Aimed at people entering drama school, it looks like an ideal read for people just starting along the road to an acting career.

If you'd like to read Stephe Harrop's book review on, click here.  Or if you're one of our staff or students in Glasgow, just head straight for the shelves!  Here.

We're in Trimester 3 now, so our opening hours are basically 9-5, Monday to Friday.  The library website will keep you right, but do check with us in advance if you're travelling a distance, just in case there are any one-off changes.

Whittaker Library website

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

From Whittaker to the Library and Beyond!

A Symphonic Tale

Once upon a time, Brahms wrote a symphony - his first, as it happens. Later on, Simrock publishers in Berlin produced a piano duet version - these were all the rage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of our early Principals, William Gillies Whittaker, later bought a copy and signed it.
Eventually, he gifted it to the library of the Scottish National Academy of Music.In the early days, the janitors had time to catalogue the music and add it to stock,giving each item a shelf,  box and item number so it could be found again. 
Well, as time went by, the college acquired a drama school, and more and more staff and students. In 1987, the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama moved from the Athenaeum building (in what is now Nelson Mandela Place) to Renfrew Street, and eventually the score was recatalogued with a new shelf-number. By this stage we were using a standardized classification scheme, so "M209 B" meant the score would sit alongside other symphonic duet arrangements.  And then it got a barcode when we computerised the issue system back in the 1990s.
In its new guise, the score got well used, and grew gracefully and then disgracefully old. Today it reached the end of its life. We discovered there's a nice new Urtext Henle edition, which will enable today's pianists to go on enjoying playing Brahms's First Symphony, op.68, in C minor.  Before too long, there will be another entry in our catalogue. And the old one can rest in pieces! 

Monday, 13 June 2016

More Flute Music From the David Nicholson Bequest

Karen has been busily cataloguing the last of the David Nicholson flute music bequest.  What a lot of music he had!  We are so fortunate to have been the recipients of this collection.

Flautists, have you any idea how many books of studies and exercises Marcel Moyse authored or compiled?  No?  We have far more now than we did before we got this bequest, so do take a look. It's an impressive list!

Check the catalogue here.

Post-modern violin music from Brazilian composer, Andersen Viana

Just added to stock today, a donation from Brazil. Publisher Cinemusic have recently sent us a copy of Viana's latest publication - if you're a violinist, you might like to look for it on our new book display!

Details here

Compete in Vienna in 2017 (String Quartet and Piano Trio)

We haven't shared details of a competition for a while, but we've just come across this one - sure to interest some of our RCS performers:-

7th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition, Vienna

String Quartet and Piano Trio

The competition is 20 February - 2 March 2017 and the application deadline is 1 September 2016, so hurry! Visit:-

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Manx Music - a Generous Donation

Rachel Hair, from
Harp player Rachel Hair is an RCS alumna, and has taught Celtic harp on the Isle of Man for several years. It was with great pleasure that we received a generous donation of Manx music and recordings that Rachel brought to Glasgow from Culture Vannin earlier this week.
If you keep an eye on our new accessions list, you'll be able to see the goodies we have been adding to stock. There are two harp collections newly published by Rachel herself, and a number of other exciting collections.
  Please just click here.

Out Now: an Interview with Dominic Cooke

Director Dominic Cooke has a wealth of experience in staging both classic and contemporary theatre, having worked at the RSC before an eight-year tenure as Artistic Director of new writing playhouse the Royal Court.

On Digital Theatre Plus, Dominic talks of his surprise at being approached by Sam Mendes to bring four Shakespeares to the small screen in The Hollow Crown, why directing Shakespeare is a particular craft, and what a theatre director can bring to film.

Staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have access to this interview through our Digital Theatre Plus subscription.

On campus, here's the direct link.  Off campus, please use the special RCS login available from the library.  Then select Digital Theatre Plus on our e-resources page.

Times Higher Education - TEACHING in Higher Education. We spotted this ...

Here's an interesting article in today’s Times Higher Education. We thought it might interest our PGCert students working towards their teaching diploma.  And indeed, any educationalists!
 Stop clinging to the way you’ve always done things and work a little smarter, says Chris Moore
(Want more books about teaching?  Check out our catalogue!)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Find me a Trumpet Duet!

Sure - not a problem.  You can search our catalogue using our special instrumentation index.  Let's show you how it works.

Type Trumpet2 for any ensemble that includes 2 trumpets - including all our brass quintets!
Type Trumpet2, piano if you want trumpet duet accompanied by piano.  (This also eliminates all the brass quintets that will otherwise be retrieved.)

Want to have a go? Here's the Whittaker Library catalogue - click here!

We posted about our instrumentation index in a more detailed blogpost last week.  Do take a look if you need to know more about it.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Finding Chamber Music Repertoire at RCS

A very long time ago, before we even had a library computer system, we built a database for finding chamber music for different ensembles. The database was incorporated into the library computer system in due course, and we've had it on board ever since.  We index anything that has parts, up to and including nonets.

Because it is a 'heritage' database, we had to encode it a certain way, so you could tell how many of any particular instrument would be required.  Time for an example: here's a string quartet!   

Violin2, viola1, violoncello1

And to reinforce the point, here's a wind quintet:

Flute1, oboe1, clarinet1, bassoon1, horn1

Because computers are more sophisticated now, it doesn't much matter which order you enter the instruments, but there are three basic rules: 
  1. Enter instrument name in the singular (Violin not Violins)
  2. Enter the number immediately after the instrument - no spaces (Flute1 not Flute 1) 
  3. With the exception of piano duets, we don't put a number after a single piano.  So a piece for flute and piano is Flute1, piano, but a piece for piano duet is Piano1 (4 hands) or Piano2 (4 hands).
You can also look for items with voice and a chamber ensemble:

Voice1, violin1, piano

To try out the chamber music search, visit our online catalogue and see what you can find! Happy hunting!