The British Textile Design Awards

April 29, 2009




Clothes Show London 2009  


Winners of the The British Textile Design Awards will announced at the Clothes Show London 2009 [29th – 31st May 2009]. 

The organisers announced that the wining design will be ‘used on a prom dress and featured in stores of New Look, Summer 2009. Prize also includes £1000, dress modelled on the Clothes Show London Fashion Theatre Stage and seen profiled in Drapers magazine’  


Loughborough School of Art & Design – Textiles 

Clothes Show on Twitter  





World Digital Library (WDL)

April 27, 2009




The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

  • Promote international and intercultural understanding;
  • Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
  • Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
  • Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries


The World Digital Library (WDL), hosted by The Library of Congress and on mirror sites, provides links to its partner organization Web sites.

The WDL home page contains a world map and a timeline.  The content is organized by geographic region on the map.  

Each region is associated with a group of countries.  

Each region includes content-rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, prints, sound recordings, films-about the countries in that region

Library survey

April 23, 2009

CC licenced photo - "Speech"

If you could change ONE THING about the Library, what would it be?

Now’s your chance to have your say about the Library. Please take a few minutes to visit and complete our survey before 15 May 2009.

[Originally published on SCINews].

Handel bars

April 22, 2009




The year 1749.  The scene – London

‘Thurfday Orders were iffued to the Officers of the Horfe and Foot Guards, for their feveral Difpofitions on the Night of the Fireworks are to be exhibited.   Monday the Musik compos’d by Mr Handel for the Firework in the Green Park, was rehears’d  at his Houfe in Brook Street, Grofvenor Square.  The Band confifts of upward of 100 Trumpets,  Baffoons, Hautboys, French Horns, Kettle Drums, and other Inftruments.   We hear that 3672 Tickets for the Fireworks are to be given to the Nobility, Gentry and Citizens, 1800 of which, we are affured,  are for the latter.  The Building for playing off the Fireworks is near finifhed, some of the Statues, and feveral of the Paintings  being already fix’d. ‘ Old England (London, England), Saturday, April 22, 1749; Issue 260

After returning to London in 1712, and settling to stay,  Georg Friedrich Händel’s music was always in great demand for state occasions, for concerts, opera and the theatre, for sacred and private performances.   Händel’s music was so popular that when the second rehearsal for the Fireworks music took place in 1749 it developed into something like a free concert for passers-by and daily traffic, who are said to have stopped and jammed London Bridge for up to three hours.  


Händel lived through unquiet times.  He had been born the same year as Charles II died, the Nine Years War started two years later, in 1702 the War of the Spannish Succession began, later in 1715 the first Jacobite Rebellion started, 1718 saw the War of the “Quadruple Alliance”, 1740 War of the Austrian Succession, 1745 the second Jacobite Rebellion started.  Händel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks turned out to be the last music he wrote as a royal ceremonial commission.   The music was writtent to celebrate the Peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended to War of the Austrian Succession in 1749, which had been raging for around eight years.


Like today, fireworks were a popular form of entertainment in the 18th century.  In one piece of music Händel used the theme of fireworks in a composition entitled ‘Celebrated Fire Musick”, originally written for Atalanta, performed in Dublin in 1741 before using the idea in the Music for the Royal Fireworks.  A contempory account of the event has come down to us from the newpaper Old England…


‘On Thurfday Night, the Fireworks, on Account of the Peace, were exhibited from the Building, erected in the Green Park, St James’s, for the Purpofe.  They were mighty fine,  &c.  and gave more than general satisfaction .  The Sun diffufed it’s Glory a very confiderable Time,  near Fifty-Seconds.  The whole was conducted with great Skill and Dexterity, and the right Side of the Machine, increafing the Illumination, would have concluded the Night  with a Bonfire of the whole Building, not withftanding the Playing of the three Engines to extinuifth it , had not the Grenadiers not intercepted the Flames by pulling down part of the Edifice to fave the reft.    We hear of no Mifcheif done among the Mob, except a lufty Man who, having the Folly to think himfelf a Climber,  fell down from a Tree, and pretty much bruifed himfelf…’   Old England (London, England), Saturday, April 29, 1749; Issue


Johann Sebastian Bach is reported to have said “[Handel] is the only person I would wish to see before I die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach.”


If you would like to find out more about the life, times and music of Georg Friedrich Händel, please see the links below.



Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks 1/2 (Ouverture)


G.F. Handel Home Page


The Handel Institute


The Foundling Hospital


Handel House Museum



Music scores are avaiable for borrowing from Loughborough University Library, on Level 2, for example…


The Musick for the Royal Fireworks. Shelved at 780.84/HAN 

Keyboard works / Klavierwerke Second set of 1733.  Shelved at 786.405/HAN 

Twelve concerti grossi for string instruments , op. 6, no 1-12  Shelved at 786.405/HAN 

The Water music.  Shelved at 780.84/HAN


Books avaiable for borrowing from Loughborough University Library, on Level 2, for example…

Music in eighteenth-century England :essays in memory of Charles Cudworth /edited by Christopher Hogwood and Richard Luckett     Shelved at 780.942/HOG

Handel and his world by Howard Chandler Robbins    Shelved at 780.92 HAN/LAN
The Possessor and the possessed :Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the idea of musical genius  by Peter Kivy  Shelved at 780.92/KIV


Online journals available for research from Loughborough University Library, available form MetaLib, for example…


Early Music

Leonardo Music Journal

Eighteenth-Century Music


[Off campus access available using Athens username and password or by logging in to the Remote Working Portal]


Books available on the web


Water music ; and, Music for the royal fireworks  By George Frideric Handel [score]


Handel  By Christopher Hogwood 


Henry VIII

April 20, 2009




Sir Walter Raleigh wrote: “If all the patterns and pictures of a merciless Prince were lost in the world, they might all again be painted to life, out of the story of this king.”

Henry VIII came to the English throne  in April 1509 and during his life and after his death in 1547 there have been may representation of the king in the portraits, theatre, in film and in television.   Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII was not first performed until around 1612, safely after both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had died, however the Prologue still informs the audience right at the start ‘How soon this mightiness meets misery’.

The residual character of Henry VIII comes down to us as a powerful and dreadful ruler, marrying six women, divorcing two [telling his first queen Katherine, during the divorce  ‘…to settle the whole matter in such a way that it would be satisfactory to God and her own conscience, to the glory and fame of her own name …rather than risk the danger of a sentence….considering how great her grief and trouble ‘ and beheading two, one of which he constantly wrote to as  ‘Mine own sweethart’,  calling her ‘Darling’, ‘My mistress and my friend’  in letters ‘Written by the hand of his that longeth to be yours…‘. Even his close friends and advisers felt his wrath – Cardinal Wolsey once received many letters from a king who signed them ‘…with the hand of your loving Soverign and Friend, Henry R’, only to find himself some years later out of the king’s favour, deprived of the Great Seal, and reduced from once being Chancellor to a broken man signing letters written to Mr Crumwell  [Thomas Cromwell]  ‘Thus, with wepyng terys, I byd [you] … [Sou]thwell, with [the trembling hand of] …”

Later representations in film follow the king’s charcter a similar pattern.  Ingnoring the difficulties and intricacies of  renaissance foreign and domestic politics, religious reform, the flourishing of renaissance music and literture at Henry VIII’s court,  Alexander Korda cast Charles Laughton in 1933 with a more boisterous approach in The Private Lives of Henry VIII .  In 1966 A Man for all Seasons starred Robert Shaw as a more dangerous Henry VIII, with Paul Scholfield as memorable Thomas Moore in the film version of Robert Bolt’s play by the same name,  and in 1972 came the portrait of the king  Henry the VIII and his Six Wives, starring Keith Michell, looking back over his life from his death bed.

More  modern screen productions have been Henry VIII  powerfully realised in 2003 by Ray Winston, with a less historical Henry VIII by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 2007.  The ulitmate parody has to be Sid James and his Carry On team in Carry On Henry  from 1971.

If you would like to find out more about Henry VIII, please see the links below…


Henry VIII – J.J.Scarisbrick

Political Identities in Changing Polities – Charles Tilly

The matrimonial trials of Henry VIII   –  by Henry Ansgar Kelly

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII

The Letters Of King Henry Viii

Henry VIII exhibtion  at the Royal Collection

Henry VIII at the National Archives

Henry VIII; Man and Monarch


Loughborough University Library also has access to many journals and e-resources which contain information about the life of and times of Henry VIII and the time of the Tudors.

Renaissance quarterly

The medieval review

Fifteenth century studies

European history quarterly

The English historical review

The medieval history journal

Renaissance studies

Journal of Medievel and Early Modern Studies

Early English Books Online

The Journal of Medieval History


Reading habits

April 20, 2009
Jackdaw reading drain cover. Copyright foxypara4

Jackdaw reading drain cover. Copyright foxypara4

 The results of a survey jointly conducted by the National Year of Reading and the publisher HarperCollins show that a  percentage of the British population regards reading as “irrelevant”; readers are thought to be “losers” or “at best loners” and characterised as “people who don’t know how to live”. The respondents did not feel they were losing out by not being readers; they considered that reading is not  a profitable activity. The families in question tended not to have a reader among their number and  if there was it would most often be a grandparent. People who would want their children to read well at school, would not encourage them to read at home.  They think that reading is a solitary occupation while pursuits  like playing Wii games are activities which can be shared with all the family. The  survey showed that some of the respondents became very anxious if they went into a bookshop. The researchers recommended that bookshops and libraries must become more user-friendly and that books should be available from more outlets.

 These survey results are difficult to square with reality. Bookshops seem to be lively friendly places with helpful staff and coffee shops where you can relax with friends and look at the books on sale.

Libraries are now places where you can eat, drink and use your mobile phones.   Recent  newspaper articles on the relaxation of rules in public libraries have deplored changes but since there are usually rooms in libraries for private study, the complaints about “dumbing down” seem misplaced.

Loughborough Public Library offers all kinds of services including DVDs, CDs, homework help for school students, storytelling for children and much more. The Library has comfortable chairs and a spacious interior so it is hard to see how anyone could be intimidated when they visit the building.

Books are available from many outlets now:  many supermarkets  sell  books most of which are cheaper than those available from the major retailers. It could be that not enough retail outlets sell books: they could be sold from clothes shops  – or cinemas where “the book of the film” could be displayed in the foyer.