Queering the Archive: Chat with Lady Rampant

We once again have another podcast to showcase as part of the ongoing Queering the Archive initiative! For the third in a series of podcasts, Archive and Library Assistant, Elliot, recorded a session with Lady Rampant, Scotland’s political drag queen.

Lady Rampant got her start in the drag scene in Amsterdam, and has worked across both Amsterdam and Scotland. With a background and interest in Law and politics, Lady Rampant has blended politics and drag in her performances and activism. Her work as well as her podcast, Rampant Rundown, has featured causes such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, HIV awareness in Scotland, and encouraging voting within Scotland and much more. She has also worked with politicians and political parties as well as Scottish third sector LGBTQ plus charities like TIE Scotland, HIV Scotland, and LGBT Youth Scotland.

Lady Rampant has also recently performed at events at the Edinburgh Fringe, including the pre-show for ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ the musical, as well as ‘Aye Cons’, a celebration of Scottish drag that platforms kings, queens, and other performers and icons in Scotland.

In this recording we discuss all things performance, drag and politics, the current political climate, and issues facing the LGBTQ plus and specifically the Trans, Nonbinary, Gender Nonconforming community and wider LGBTQ plus community and more.


Listen to the podcast with Lady Rampant here: https://edin.ac/2W2BSE7



You can find Lady Rampant on the following Social Media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LADYRAMPANT/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ladyrampant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ladyrampant/

And the Rampant Rundown Podcast here: https://anchor.fm/lady-rampant


Lady Rampant:

The International Scottish Lioness

Best Political Queen GDA 2020

Bookings: DM or email ladyrampantqueen@gmail.com


For more updates on Queering the Archive, keep following our blog and Twitter @EU_SSSA.

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Things I Wish I’d Known: Graduate Reflections on using the Library

Photo: Paul Dodds

As a recent graduate from Edinburgh, you can imagine I’ve spent the summer reminiscing and reflecting on my time at university. Over my four years studying Geography I spent a lot of time in the Main Library, whiled away hours on DiscoverEd, and thought I had the whole library thing down. Reader, I barely scratched the surface.

For the past few months I’ve been lucky enough to intern with the Academic Support Librarian team at the university. I have found myself learning things about the Library I wish I’d known sooner – and remembering things that I discovered during my studies that made it all a bit easier.  

This blog will cover some ideas for how to get the best out of the Library, where you can go to broaden your reading and research, and things that will make studying easier (*cough* reference manager *cough*). 

So, to save you some time, here are six things I wish I’d known sooner about the Library…

1. Find your Subject Guide ASAP

Subject guides are your one-stop shop for finding resources relevant to your subject. You’ll likely find a ton of ideas for places to look for reading material, as well as study advice and exam prep resources. You’ll also find your subject’s Academic Support Librarian (ASL) there, who you can contact if you have any queries about finding resources. Can confirm, they are the coolest.  

2. There are amazing things in the Main Library you might not know are there… 

I was pretty chuffed to discover the boiling water tap on the fourth floor (bring your own tea bags!), so imagine my thrill when I found out there’s a place in the Main Library where you can learn to use amazing tech, make (almost) anything, and borrow equipment – for free! If you haven’t already heard about the uCreate studio, follow the link and sign up for an induction immediately. You don’t need to be doing any kind of STEM studies or be a computer whiz, anyone can go and learn from the amazing team. Why are you still here – go sign up 

Wolfson Reading Room, CRc. Photo: Paul Dodds

On the subject of amazing things in the Library, the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) must be mentioned. Hidden away on the sixth floor, the CRC is the main space for anyone using the university’s cultural and heritage collections. You can view some of the collections online (find artarchives, and musical instruments!), and you can book to use the space for viewing collection items for research. You might even be lucky enough to have a class in the Digital Scholarship Centre. They often host amazing exhibitions so keep an eye out for those too – for some, you don’t even need to leave the house, head online! 

3. Enrol on LibSmart 

Do you struggle with finding resources? Does referencing send you into a spin? Do you find yourself drowning in research material but unable to write an essay? Then LibSmart is the hero you’ve been holding out for. LibSmart is a self-enrol course you can take on Learn that will teach you how to get the best out of the Library.  

LibSmart I is a basic overview of using the Library, whereas LibSmart II is great for Honours students and those doing dissertations. There’s something for everyone, wherever you are in your studies.  

You can take the courses at your own pace, so you can fit it around all your other activities. I have the excuse that this wasn’t around when I started my course, you do not – go sign up and be better than me.  

For more information, check out this introduction to LibSmart: https://media.ed.ac.uk/media/1_42gqg6y0

4. Use Resource Lists  

Photo: Paul Dodds

Resource Lists is an amazing site where you can access tons of reading lists from courses across the university. Just sign in with your University Login and start browsing. The lists link to DiscoverEd so you can easily access the things you find.  

One of the best things about university is challenging yourself and going beyond your academic comfort zone. When you find yourself wanting to research a topic you are unfamiliar with, or you are starting your dissertation research, Resource Lists can be a good place to start. You can find courses relevant to your topic of interest, and access reading lists created by an academic in that field.  

They’re also great if you’re just nosy.  

5. Request a Book 

If there’s something you desperately need for your studies, and the Library doesn’t already have it, it is possible to request resources. Of course, not every request will be possible, but the librarians do their very best and often requests come through. So don’t be shy – if you need it, request it 

6. Reference Managers

Something I really wish I’d figured out sooner is reference managers. Reference managers like Mendeley are free and easy to use. There’s also EndNote, which you can get free support and access to through the university. Using a reference manager will save you a lot of time and energy. Suffice to say I was late to the reference management party and, believe me, I felt like a fool (a fool!) when I realised how much they ease your workload. I’ll get off my soapbox now.  

Thank you for reading. If you are new to the university, I hope some of this advice helps. The main thing to take away from this is that the Library is more than a building – it’s a huge collection of resources that you’re lucky enough to have access to, in-person and online, so make the most of it! 

Good luck and have a wonderful time! 

Maddie Cayley


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LibSmart 2 – Taking your information literacy skills to the next level

Last year LibSmart 1 was launched with the aim of helping students develop their information literacy skills. The feedback has led to LibSmart 2!

This new resource consists of subject specific modules and allows you to pick and choose the most relevant modules to your research.

  • Business information
  • Data mindfulness: finding and managing data for your dissertation
  • Digital news sources
  • Digital primary sources and digital scholarship
  • Finding and using digital images
  • Health literature
  • Information resources for government and policy research
  • Legal information
  • Special Collections Fundamentals
  • Literature searching for systematic reviews

Full detail of both courses is available at:


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New to the Library: World War Two Studies

Thanks to a request from HCA staff the Library now has access to Research Source: World War Two Studies from Adam Matthew Digital. This resource includes important primary sources, offering insight into many aspects of the conflict, including government policy, the war in the Pacific, and the war in Europe.

You can access Research Source: World War Two Studies via the Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide, the Databases A-Z list or via DiscoverEd. Read More

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Resources Lists- what are they and where do I find them?

At the start of a new semester it is always a priority to find your course reading material.

Many of the Law School courses use Resource Lists to detail the course readings, and the links to these lists are in your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learn. Look out for the link to Library Resources or Resource List on your course pages.

Not every course uses this type of list for their readings but an increasing number of  courses do. Whatever way your course uses to tell you about course readings if you have an issues about accessing library resources then don’t forget you can always get in touch with your Academic Support Librarians (Law.Librarian@ed.ac.uk).

To see the full details of what you can do with Resources Lists and how to get the best from them (using personalisation features) then go over to the Resources Lists pages at:


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New! Uganda and Malawi under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library now has access to two more digital primary source collections covering colonial rule in African countries in the 20th century. The two databases are Uganda Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1903-1961 and Malawi Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1907-1967 from British Online Archives. Between them they contain 92 documents with over 84,000 pages of original primary source material.

You can access both of these databases via the Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide, the Databases A-Z list or the African Studies subject guide. Read More

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New to the Library: South Asia Archive

I’m happy to let you know that the Library now has access to the South Asia Archive from Taylor & Francis, a specialist digital platform providing global electronic access to culturally and historically significant literary material produced from within, and about, the South Asian region.

You can access South Asia Archive via the Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide or the Databases A-Z list. You will also be able to access it from DiscoverEd within the next few days. Read More

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Data Mindfulness training integrated in new resources

The Research Data Service is pleased to announce an update to our ‘Data Mindfulness: Making the Most of Your Dissertation Data’ training materials.

Originally developed to provide face to face research data management (RDM) training for undergraduate students undertaking a dissertation project, the newly revised course is now available as one of ten units within the Library’s new LibSmart II training course.

‘Data Mindfulness: Your Dissertation Data‘ combines videos, reading material, and short interactive exercises to help students think about data management issues as they prepare to undertake a research project, potentially for the first time.

The course is designed to follow the research journey from beginning to end, from developing a research question and conducting a literature search, through to generating and managing project data and files during the life of the project and beyond.

The ‘Data Mindfulness’ unit provides an approachable introduction to the subject of RDM, with up-to-date and relevant information and guidance for undergraduate and masters students. The updated content also includes expanded material on finding and accessing secondary data sources, as well as links to wider training and resources provided by the Library.

You can find more information about the new LibSmart II course, and how to enrol here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/rm-and-consultancy/academic-support-librarians/libsmart.

In addition to LibSmart II, we are also pleased to be working in conjunction with the Research Training Centre, based in the School of Social and Political Science, to deliver an updated version of the ‘Data Mindfulness’ course as part of the Micro-Methods Workshop series. You can find details of the Micro-Methods Workshops series here: https://research-training-centre.sps.ed.ac.uk/micro-methods.

Finally, we have made the ‘Data Mindfulness’ training materials available for re-use under an open CC-BY license, and you can find links to the videos and download a PDF of the revised ‘Data Mindfulness’ course handbook from the Research Data Service site (a Word version of the handbook is available on request): https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/training.

We hope these ‘Data Mindfulness’ materials are useful and relevant and appreciate any comments or feedback that you may have at data-support@ed.ac.uk.

Bob Sanders
Research Data Support Assistant

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What is LibSmart I?

LibSmart I is designed to give you an introduction to library resources for your study and research! The course enables you to take control of your learning as you self-enrol (click here to find out how) and choose the modules you cover. I personally love the flexibility of the course as you can recall the information provided by LibSmart easily on Learn.

Image of Students studying in the library.

Students studying in the library [Paul Dodds copyright of the University of Edinburgh]

So what does LibSmart I review? 

In short, by completing LibSmart I you will develop your information literacy skills and understand what library support is available to you. For a more detailed overview keep reading or better yet check out the course for yourself!

A brief overview of LibSmart I and its learning objectives 

Within the LibSmart I course there are five modules that cover key areas:

  • Introduction to using the library
  • Your information landscape
  • Finding and retrieving information
  • Managing information
  • Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

LibSmart I banner

With each topic, you will gain the confidence and knowledge to effectively research and use resources provided by the Library. My favourite module would be “Finding and retrieval”, I found the tips on research strategy construction and explanation to Boolean operators have been extremely useful when exploring a topic area. 

The course has clear goals that you can use to guide your learning and ensure you are finding the support you need. There are also activities and reflective quizzes to help you consolidate your learning to discover the subject matter you need. When you’ve completed the course you’ll also be awarded a Digital Badge, which you can use to show off your newfound expertise. 

Ready to get started?

Visit the LibSmart webpage to find out more about how to self-enrol for this course. If you’ve completed LibSmart I, you also read more about how to build on these skills with the next level of research support in LibSmart II!

If you have any questions or concerns about LibSmart you can contact us via the EdHelp portal.

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Al-Ahram Digital Archive – on trial

Thanks to a request from a student in Politics & International Relations the Library currently has trial access to the Al-Ahram Digital Archive from EastView. This gives you access to one of the longest-running newspapers in the Middle East.

You can access the Al-Ahram Digital Archive via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 1st October 2021. Read More

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