New to the Library – Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa (Aluka)

I’m happy to let you know that following a request from a member of HCA staff the Library  now has a subscription to the digital primary resource Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa (Aluka) from JSTOR. This extensive and fascinating resource contains 20,000 objects and 190,000 pages of documents and images documenting the liberation struggles in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

You can access Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa (Aluka) via the Databases A-Z list and the Digital primary source and archive collections guide. You can also access it via DiscoverEd. Read More

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New e-journal – Annual Review of Developmental Psychology

The Library now subscribes to the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology.

The Annual Review of Developmental Psychology covers the significant advances in the developmental sciences, including cognitive, linguistic, social, cultural, and biological processes across the lifespan. The invited reviews will synthesize the theoretical, methodological, and technological developments made over the past several decades that have led to important new discoveries relevant beyond psychology, including education, cognitive science, economics, public health, and public policy.

Access this journal via DiscoverEd or our e-journals AZ list.

Further info

The Library subscribes to all e-journals published by Annual Reviews.

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Edinburgh Research Archive Statistics: November 2019

Edinburgh Research Archive: November 2019 downloads infographic

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The Christmas Book Flood

Image: Engraving by F. Barnard from Christmas Books by Charles Dickens, (LRA.S.6660/1). Title page.

Here at the UCF, things are feeling firmly festive – the tiny office tree has been bedecked, mince pies are heaped in the break room, and staff are sporting some of their best knitwear – it’s definitely almost Christmas! Beyond all the feasting and gift-giving, one of my favourite moments of the season is having the time to slow down and relax, to cosy up in front of a warm fire and read a good book by the glow of fairy lights. And this is exactly the Christmas custom in Iceland. Every year in the few months approaching December, publishers release all their new titles in the prevailing tradition of Jólabókaflóðið, or the “Christmas book flood”. This practice dates back to World War II, where currency restrictions limited the amount of imported giftware. This did not extend to paper however, and therefore the humble book became the default gift. Christmas Eve is the main gift-giving day in Iceland, and after receiving their crisp new books many Icelanders spend the night cosied up and reading away, as in my idyllic winter image.

In the same spirit, I hope to introduce you to a deluge of Christmas books held here at the UCF. Amongst the more literary offerings, there are some unexpected instructive volumes; The history of the Christmas card (.74168 Bud.) for example, a guide to eradicating Christmas tree pests (Reference seq.) and the slightly less seasonal, An investigation of the coconut-growing potential of Christmas Island (F 634.616 Dir.). I’m not sure those titles are exactly what I’m hoping to find under my tree this year!

Offering us a more festive read is Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Christmas Sermon (LRA.S.3773). First appearing in the pages of Scribner’s Magazine in 1888, these musings were subsequently published in their own slim little volume by Chatto & Windus in 1906. Here, Stevenson considers how Christmas is a period of both reflection and celebration:

“There is no cutting of the Gordian knots of life; each must be smilingly unravelled. To be honest, to be kind – to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make, upon the whole, a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation – above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself – here is a task for all that a man has fortitude and delicacy. He has an ambitious soul who would ask more; he has a hopeful spirit who should look in such an enterprise to be successful…But Christmas is not only the mile-mark of another year, moving us to thoughts of self-examination: it is a season, from all its associations, whether domestic or religious, suggesting thoughts of joy (p. 14-16)”

A handwritten inscription in the opening pages, “With much love from…” shows us that this book too was originally given as a gift, which is a cheering thought.

Furthermore, I cannot think of Christmas and not think of Dickens. This may be because The Muppet Christmas Carol is the most beloved film in my household at this time of year, but I am firmly of the opinion that in this tale, Dickens created the best and most enduring Christmas story of all time. We hold several editions of this classic at the UCF, including within a collection of Dickens’ Christmas books published in 1892 by Chapman & Hall (LRA.S.6660/1). In the preface, Dickens writes of the volume: “My chief purpose was, in a whimsical kind of masque which the good-humour of the season justified, to awaken some loving and forbearing thoughts, never out of season in a Christian land.” Bound in an appropriate holly-green with gold lettering on the spine, this beautiful volume is further illustrated inside with 28 engravings by F. Barnard. Above you may see the decorative title page, whilst below is Ebenezer Scrooge encountering the ghost of Jacob Marley, and a transformed Scrooge carrying Tiny Tim through the streets on Christmas day.

Image: Christmas Books, opposite title page.

Image: Christmas Books, p. 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family will most definitely be receiving some rectangular-shaped packages this Christmas, although perhaps not a first edition Dickens. During my most recent bookshop trip I even accidentally picked up a little gift for myself – Stuart Kells’ The Library: a catalogue of wonders (Counterpoint, 2018). The blurb calls it, “A love letter to libraries and to their makers and protectors”, and I can’t think of anything better to curl up with on Christmas Eve. A Merry Christmas to us all, and happy reading!

 

Daisy Stafford, UCF Library Assistant

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Edinburgh Research Explorer Statistics: November 2019

Edinburgh Research Explorer: November 2019 downloads infographic

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How to be Popular (in Edinburgh Research Explorer)

Edinburgh Research Explorer • www.research.ed.ac.uk

These are conclusions from a survey of the Top 100 MOST POPULAR downloads from Edinburgh Research Explorer in August 2019, it contains some VERY obvious biases and doesn’t reflect the breadth, depth, or usefulness of the repository as a whole; and shows that whilst OPEN ACCESS can reach a wider audience, it can also be ignored by a wider audience.

1. STEER CLEAR OF SCIENCE

Top 100 downloads in Edinburgh Research Explorer by school: science and Non-science
Fig i. Top 100 downloads in Edinburgh Research Explorer by school: science and non-science

Research items from science-related schools made up 18% of the Top 100, dropping to 12% in the Top 50 and 0% in the Top 10.


2. DON’T COLLABORATE

Edinburgh Research Explorer: Downloads (x) vs. No. of authors (y)
Fig ii. Edinburgh Research Explorer: Downloads (x) vs. No. of authors (y)

With each additional author, the number of items and the average number of downloads decreased.


3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE IN ENGLISH, BUT IT HELPS

In the Top 100, one item was written in Italian, the remainder in English:
that was also one of only five items that month, that failed to find an audience outwith the UK.


4. GO OPEN-ACCESS

8 of the Top 100 items didn’t offer Open-Access Permissions, they averaged 25% fewer downloads than the overall average.

Read More

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LLC related database trials

There are quite a few database trials going on at the moment that are relevant to subject areas in the LLC School. The trials can be accessed from the Library’s E-Resources Trials website.

Read More

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On trial: Bayeux Tapestry Online

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA I’m pleased to let you know the Library currently has trial access to the Bayeux Tapestry Online from Scholarly Digital Editions. This online version allows you to scroll through the entire Tapestry and zoom in on the Tapestry to the level of the actual weave.

You can access  from the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 31st December 2019. Read More

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On trial: Medical Services and Warfare

Further to a request from staff in the Medical School the Library currently has trial access to the digital primary source database Medical Services and Warfare from Adam Matthew. This resource tells the story of medical advances during warfare from the mid-nineteenth century to the outbreak of the influenza epidemic in 1918 and the discovery of penicillin in 1927.

You can access Medical Services and Warfare from the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 16th December 2019.

Medical Services and Warfare allows you to explore multiple perspectives on the history of injury, treatment and disease on the front line. Chart scientific advances through hospital records, medical reports and first-hand accounts, and discover the evidence of how war shaped medical practice across the centuries. Read More

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On trial: London Low Life

Thanks to a request from a HCA student the Library currently has trial access to the digital primary source database London Low Life from Adam Matthew. This wonderful digital collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting you to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century’s greatest city.

You can access London Low Life from the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 16th December 2019.

From salacious ‘swell’s guides’ to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London’s bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the nineteenth century city. Children’s chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature. Read More

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