Favourite character from a Scottish book

As part of Book Week Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust are holding a vote to discover the most loved characters in Scottish fiction. Here, the Library Annexe staff put forward their own favourites.

One of the interests that the Annexe team has in common is a love of sci-fi, which has begun a continuous stream of talk over lunch breaks and has culminated in the recent founding of the (small and unofficial) Annexe Science Fiction Club.

In this vein, and to promote what I think is one of the most underrated Scottish fiction books of the last century my nomination for favourite character goes to Maskull, the protagonist of David Lyndsay’s novel A Voyage to Arcturus.

Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay

Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay

Maskull, a man from Earth, awakens alone in a desert on the planet Tormance, seared by the suns of the binary star Arcturus, and embarks on an extraordinary pilgrimage with an extraordinary revelation at the end.

Having sold only 596 copies of its initial print run of 1430, Lyndsay’s masterpiece has since found a place as a classic of speculative fiction, earning itself a place in Harold Bloom’s the Western Canon, and earning words of praise by masters from J.R.R. Tolkien to Philip Pullman.

Even though he is very far from the type of hero one can relate to, I often find myself thinking about Maskull (and Lyndsay’s wildly imaginative world) when I really should be working.

And if that is not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.

Iraklis Pantopoulos, Library Annexe Assistant

Find A Voyage to Arcturus on the University of Edinburgh online catalogue

When picking a favourite Scottish character from literature, I am drawn to my two favourite Scottish authors, Muriel Spark and Iain Banks, but I find myself struggling to choose a best character. The lure of the enigmatic Long John Silver is also hard to resist – a character so well drawn, he has become the template for all pirates since.

The Invisibles Vol. 1

The Invisibles Vol. 1

However, I am going to collectively go for Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, a weird and mysterious bunch, mainly because this is the book that introduced me to his work (and is the only DC comic that is ever likely to feature Greenock as a location).

Read about The Invisibles at Wikipedia

Morrison’s work on Batman has been exceptional, but somehow Batman doesn’t feel very Scottish… apart from in Batman: Scottish Connection, as drawn by Glaswegian Frank Quietly.

(It’s terrible).

Find Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum on the University of Edinburgh online catalogue

Why not vote for your favourite at the Book Week Scotland website?

Carl Jones, Library Annexe Supervisor

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MCG : Museums Beyond the Web Conference

Restless surface

Digital, like the earth’s plates: a restless surface!

The Natural History Museum in London was the setting for the Museum Computer Group‘s Museums Beyond The Web Conference, on November 7th. There was a certain aptness to the venue, given that the Digital Development Team are currently working closely with the Geology and Anatomy collections, with Natural History itself hopefully to follow….

2014-11-07 13.15.02

Layers. More going on than meets the eye

Certainly, while it is enough of a challenge to get the resources online, it is good to see what trends are coming up within museum spaces, and there is a lot of exciting work going on. Talks focused on museums going beyond simple catalogues, searching and retrieval: there was a huge emphasis on breaking down the barriers between the physical and digital manifestations of an object, and between visitor and curator. New methods of searching (“tumbling”, anyone?) also came up as signs that digital methods are evolving.

2014-11-07 13.15.29

That’ll do.

Some of the technologies mentioned included Google Glass, being trialled by MIT; iBeacons, in use at Kew Gardens; mobile apps which could turn Dartmoor and Oxford into living museums, and (of course!) a screen combined with a wooden magnifying glass, developed by Sheffield Hallam. However, there was also a lot of emphasis given to new curation techniques, through crowdsourcing, and online museum discovery.

This is a metaphor for either the web emitting lots of information, or us drilling further into objects.

This is a metaphor for either the web emitting lots of information, or us drilling further into objects.

All of the above informed a closing keynote which basically told us that digital is now bedded in, accepted, no longer a risk. We are past the nascent period (so should be delighted that we’ve got to this stage), and now, as we move into the post-digital age, it’s no longer about the content, as much as the magic, and what we DO with it.

2014-11-07 13.19.07

OK, we might not have got to Google Glass yet, but we’re doing better than this guy.


Scott Renton- Library Digital Development

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Love books? Get involved in Book Week Scotland 2014

book-week-scotland-logoI love books. I love reading. I love bookshops. And I love libraries (slight bias there as I am a Librarian after all). So Book Week Scotland is a perfect opportunity to remember why I became a librarian in the first place – I love books and I love reading and I want to share that with other people.

So if, like me, you love books, you love reading or you love libraries then why not take a quick break from your studies before exams start and get involved in Book Week Scotland, this week:

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Book Week Scotland – which characters did staff at the main library helpdesk vote for

Okay here goes………..

morningsidemaisie imageMaisie lives in Morningside and my girls when little, really liked the idea of this. We also had a soft toy of Maisie and they loved to take it along with them to….. Morningside!
Ornella

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Education at Alexander Street Press – new e-resource

logo We have added Education at Alexander Street Press to our catalogue and A-Z list.

UK-based Teachers TV has been producing instructional videos since 2008 and was government funded until the site closed down in 2011. Alexander Street Press has licensed this material and is pleased to make it available free to all libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Education at Alexander Street Press focuses on the development and training of teachers. Content includes primary-source footage of students and teachers in actual classrooms, demonstrations, lectures, and documentaries to help both new and experienced teachers develop their abilities to teach, mentor, understand, and communicate with students of all levels of need  and a list of the titles available in this collection is available here.

Further information about our databases can be found at http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/library-museum-gallery/finding-resources/library-databases

 

 

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Trial – Oxford Historical Treaties

4-OUP_LAW_publicInternational_oht_noURL_r9We have trial access to Oxford Historical Treaties until the 24th December.

Oxford Historical Treaties (OHT) is the premier resource for historical treaty research and home to the full text of Parry’s Consolidated Treaty Series, the only comprehensive collection of treaties of all nations concluded from 1648 through 1919. Available via the Oxford Public International Law platform, OHT is cross-searchable with Oxford’s leading public international law resources and benefits from a modern, intuitive interface and sophisticated functionality. This trial also includes access to the Oxford Law Citator and we are also currently trialling the Oxford Reports on International Law until the 12th Dec.

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of this e-resource as your comments influence purchase decisions so please do fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

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Trial – Mental Measurements Yearbook

logoEhostWe have trial access to the Mental Measurements Yearbook until the 21st December.  The Mental Measurements Yearbook is a guide to over 3,000 contemporary testing instruments. Produced by the Buros Center for Testing at the University of Nebraska, entries contain descriptive information (e.g., test purpose, publisher, pricing, population, scores) and edited review(s). To be included, a test must be commercially available and published in the English language. 1938 onwards.

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of this e-resource as your comments influence purchase decisions so please do fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

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Trial access to PsycINFO and PsycARTICLEs via Ebsco platform

logoEhostWe have trial access to psycINFO and psycARTICLES via the Ebsco platform until the 21st December.  We currently have access to both of these databases via the Ovid platform, we are interested in gaining feedback on using these databases on the Ebsco platform.

PsycINFO – 1806 onwards. Abstracts, citations and controlled vocabulary for contents of approximately 2,500 journals publishing behavioural science and mental health.

PsycARTICLES – Full-text from APA journals (mostly volume 1 onwards) and related imprints. Indexed in PsycINFO.

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of this platform to access these databases as your comments influence purchase decisions so please do fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

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Musical Instruments in Hi-Res

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 14.44.09 MIMEd and LDD can report on a bit of workflow closure! There is now a LUNA collection up for Musical Instruments Museums at Edinburgh, which can be accessed through the Images Online landing page, or from the individual record page at collections.ed.ac.uk (simply click on the icon under ‘zoomable images’). The MIMEd high resolution images come from a number of sources, including older website and MIMO photography by esteemed photographers Dominic Ibbotson and Antonia Reeve, as well as a smattering of publicity shots by our own DIU. We hope you enjoy getting a chance to see the instruments up close, not least because a lot of them won’t be publicly on show again for a while! Scott Renton – Library Digital Development

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Trial access to Digital Theatre Plus

Digital_Theatre_Plus_logoWe have trial access to Digital Theatre Plus until the 20th December.  This resource offers 54 high-definition films of acclaimed British theatre productions, 100 interviews with UK’s leading actors and directors revealing how theatre professionals transform text into live performance, as well as study guides written by experts in drama providing in-depth analysis and interpretation of dramatic writing and language.

A list of the productions on Digital Theatre Plus  and a preview clip is also available.

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of this platform and content as your comments influence purchase decisions so please do fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

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Collections

Restless surface MCG : Museums Beyond the Web Conference The Natural History Museum in London was the setting for the Museum Computer Group‘s Museums...
Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 14.44.09 Musical Instruments in Hi-Res MIMEd and LDD can report on a bit of workflow closure! There is now a...

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Ms39BookReader01 The Most Beautiful Book in Scotland and the Oldest Scottish Manuscript? We are delighted to announce that 2 manuscripts have been added to our growing collection...
Egyptian-mummies-300x249 Science From The Tomb… It’s nearly Hallowe’en, when spooky subjects are foremost in our minds. An ideal time, then,...

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