Different significations

August 13, 2009



 Samuel Johnson Tercentenary 2009 

‘This Month will be publifhed, in Two large VOLUMES in FOLIO (Price bound Four Pounds Ten Shillings) A DICTIONARY of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE ; In which the Words are deducted from their Originals and illuftrated in their different Significations, by Examples from the beft Writers.  To which are prefixed, a GRAMMAR and a HISTORY of the LANGUAGE by SAMUEL JOHNSON A.M. ‘

Public Advertiser (London, England), Saturday, March 1, 1755; Issue 6346

Creating and publishing dictionaries had been popular by Johnson’s time,  when previously the idea of looking up information in a book, using the front and middle and end of a book, A-Z , had been a relative novelty.

Johnson was an extraordinary writer, always strapped for cash, and the dictionary became a great challege for him to compile over many years, sifting out words and descriptions suitable for his readers from those he felt were not suitable  [every language has … its improprieties and absurdities, which it is the duty of the lexicographer to correct or proscribe..  ‘ Preface to the Dictionary]

It is interesting to note that Johnson was well aware that despite the publishing of a list of words and their meanings, the English language would still grow and develop.  In the preface of the the Dictionary he tells his reader that ‘sounds are too volatile and subtile for legal restraints….Those who have much leisure to think, will always be enlarging the stock of ideas, and every increase of knowledge, whether real or fancied, will produce new words, or combinations of words.’

Johnson’s friends were perhaps rightly aggreived to see the poor send off the author received at Westminster Abbey when Johnson died in 1784.    Wax candles had been ordered, along with the playing of the organ, however one person observed  that ‘not a key of the organ was ftruck, or a fingle taper was lighted up on the occaifon.  The fervice, the mutilated fervice, was mumbled over …in the moft unfkilful and unfeeling manner….’ Public Advertiser (London, England), Tuesday, December 28, 1784; Issue 15785


If you would like to learn more about Dr Samuel John and his time, please see the resources below.

Domestick privacies :Samuel Johnson and the art of biography /edited by David Wheeler  shelved on Level 2 at 828.6 JOH/DOM

The political writings of Dr. Johnson /edited by J.P. Hardy shelved on Level 2 at 942.07/JOH

The life of Samuel Johnson /James Boswell ; edited, abridged and annotated by John Canning shelved on Level 2 at 828.6 JOH/BOS

BBC Stoke and Stafforshire

Icons – a portrait of England

Johnson Collection

Dr Johnson’s House

Samuel Johnson Tercentenary

Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum


Defra – making the most of packaging

July 22, 2009


Snowfall Before 2009 - Photo by Steve Keys

 Snowfall before 2009   –  photo Steve Keys

Defra has published  a new strategy for managing waste packaging: New Packaging Strategy, Making the most of packaging,

Defra writes that the new publication ‘ outlines packaging policy’s direction for the next decade. The Strategy’s overall aim is to minimise the environmental impact of packaging, without compromising its ability to protect the product and also sets out plans to improve the recycling of packaging waste.’

‘In 2008 the UK disposed of an estimated 10.7 million tonnes of packaging waste, of which around 65 % (Source NPWD) was recovered.  This is a significant achievement when compared to the fact that only 27% of packaging waste was recovered in 1998 (Source publication: e-Digest of Environmental Statistics, March 2006). However, more still needs to be done and Defra will continue working to:

  • minimise the amount of packaging used and so the amount of packaging waste, and
  • ensure that a high proportion of packaging materials are recovered and recycled

The management of packaging and packaging waste is enforced by EC directive 2004/12/EC which seeks to reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment by introducing recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste and by encouraging minimisation and reuse.

Loughborough University subscribes to several  online journals which cover packaging and the environemt,  such as  Packaging Magazine,    Paperboard Packaging,   Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management and Waste News etc,  which can be accessed via MetaLib.  [Athens username and password required for off campus access.]. 

The University Library also has a comprehensive collection of books on packaging design, graphic design and  aesthetics of packaging, innovation, sustainability,  structure  and environmental issues.

If you would like to learn more about UK packaging and waste mangement, please see the links below.

 Packaging & Packaging Waste – recycling and recovery targets

EU directive 2004/12/EC


The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP)

Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University


Sea of Tranquillity

July 21, 2009



 Apollo 40th Anniversary


 ‘Apollo 11 makes its thunderous, fiery exit at tea time on July 16th with its three man crew: Mr. Neil Armstrong, a civilian who is destined to be the first on the moon, Lieutenant-Colonel Edwin Aldrin, who will walk the surface with him, and Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Collins who will stay in the orbiting command module………Perhaps the greatest prize awaited from the journey is the 50lb. of lunar rock and soil the astronauts are expected to gather ……… ‘The Times Tuesday, Jun 03, 1969; pg. III; Issue 57576; col A

The lunar rock samples brought by the Apollo missions show us that the moon contains familiar material such as iron, aluminium, potassium, magnesium, feldspar, basalt, ranging in form from fine dust to rugged rocks and boulders.  

Samples were distributed to a selection of  scientific institutions throughout the world,  and lunar rock samples went on public display at the Museum and Institute of Geological Sciences, London, in September 1969 [Edinburgh University’s sample is said to have ‘arrived in a tiny phial wrapped in a pair of pyjamas …. Five grams of  greyish brown dust … estimated to be worth more than £1m.’   The Times Saturday, Sep 20, 1969; pg. 1; Issue 57670; col A]

Loughborough University subscribes to over 40 aeronautical and astronolical journals online, such as Acta astronauticaAstronomy & geophysicsAstrophysics and Space Science  and Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy , all of which can be accessed via MetaLib.   [ATHENS username and password required for off campus access]

Image collections are available also in MetaLib, giving a wide range of pictures of the moon, footage from  NASA space missions, interviews with former astronauts, audio tracks of the moon landings, – for audio visual material you can use  Newsfilm online  [ some 3,000 hours of footage; c. 60,000 stories] and  BBC Motion Gallery [which contains over 30,000 clips are available, spanning 70 years].   [ATHENS username and password required for access].

If you would like to learn more about the Apollo missions, please see the links below.

Google Moon

Film of Apollo 11

Audio Apollo 11 landing

NASA – Celebrating the ‘giant leap’

Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University.

Department of Geography at Loughborough University

BBC to launch political webcasting service

June 23, 2009

Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow

June 18, 2009



 Henry Purcell 1659 – 1695

350th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s birth

‘Swifter, Isis, swifter flow, Muster all your streams together, Then in a full body go, And guard Great Britain’s monarch hither. Charles, lord of the exhaustless main, From whose fountain every tide Your dead low waters are supplied, Land him safely on her shore, Who his long absence does deplore…’ 

While working as musician of the Chapel Royal and organist at Westminster Abbey, Henry Purcell was comissioned to composed annual odes for the return Charles II from his summer travels, back to London for the autumn and winter.  

‘Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow’  was the second such ‘welcome back’ odes which Purcell composed in 1681 – and as well as composing serveral operas, keyboard music, sonatas, and anthems Purcell also found time to write birthday odes to other monarchs in his lifetime, such as the king’s brother James II, after his accession to the throne, and later for William and Mary [see also links to the funeral march of 1694 below].

You can find out more about the impact of Purcell’s music through the Library resources, both paper and online.

Loughborough University Library subscribes to over 80 online journals on music and music history, such as Musical Quarterly which are available via MetaLib.

There are also books available on the composer’s life and work, available on Level 2,  shelved at 780.92 PUR and 780.84/PUR.

For more information on the life and music of Purcell, please see the links below…

 Henry Purcell – Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary

Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell 1659-1695, the glory of the temple and the stage

Henry Purcell timeline

The restoration anthems of Henry Purcell and their political implications during the reign of Charles II by Linda Carol Chelf

The masque in Timon of Athens

Henry Purcell 1659-1695 Essays On His Music

BBC Composer of the Year

Rock’s Backpages

June 3, 2009


Guitar2 Loughborough University Library now subscribes to the new database Rock’s Backpages.

Rock’s Backpages is an online database of rock music writing, with material dating from the late 1950’s to the present day.

The library of articles includes reviews, interviews and features, which are fully searchable and presented in full-text.

The database also includes Mp3 audio files of original artist interviews, which are available for the first time.

There are now over fourteen thousand articles on the site, featuring over two thousand artists with up to fifty new articles added each week.

You can access the database from on-campus via MetaLib

For off-campus access please login to the Library pages via the Remote Working Portal .

Loughborough University Department of Social Sciences.

Loughborough University Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies


BBC to launch political webcasting service : Democracy Live

May 11, 2009
Motorway sign on M6 7/7/2005. Copyright David Wulff www.flickr.com
Motorway sign on M6 7/7/2005. Copyright David Wulff http://www.flickr.com

The above photograph was taken on July 7th 2005, the day when the London tube bombings took place. On this date the BBC received a thousand stills and videos, 3,000 texts and 20,000 e-mails. According to the director of BBC News, Helen Boaden, this was the day that news gathering in Britain changed forever – ‘it introduced citizen journalism on an unprecedented scale fuelled by the use of mobile camera and video phones’.

In response to the growth in this new kind of  journalism the BBC is to launch a political webcasting platform in the autumn known as ‘Democracy Live’ . The site will offer ‘live and on-demand video from all the main UK institutions and the European Parliament’. Users will be able to search the site for video footage of officials and the topics that are of interest to them.
They will be then be able to follow the contributions of elected representatives in the various parliaments and find out more about their backgrounds.
As well as providing an important resource for current affairs, the site will also include information on the workings of the institutions of the UK government and their powers .
The aim is to make ‘Democracy Live’ a resource that is to be shared with its users who will be able download video and text content and place it on their own blogs and sites.