Fig Leaf Wardrobe

August 27, 2009



The V & A are hosting a new exhibition celebrating contemporary design Telling Tales : Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design

The V & A writes that the exhibition ‘ explores the recent trend among European designers for unique or limited edition pieces that push the boundaries between art and design.’

‘It showcases furniture, lighting and ceramics, designed by a new generation of international designers, including Tord BoontjeMaarten Baas,  Jurgen Bey and Studio Job, who are all inspired by the spirit of story-telling. Each tells a tale through their use of decorative devices, historical allusions or choice of materials, sharing common themes such as fantasy, parody and a concern with mortality’

The exhibition is free, open daily 10.00am -17.30pm and Fridays 10.00am -21.30pm, and runs until the 18th October. 


Rabbit Hutch Britain

August 17, 2009
Smallest house in Great Britain. Copyright: DerbyRed

Smallest house in Great Britain. Copyright: DerbyRed

It is is claimed that the  fisherman’s cottage on the quayside in Conwy and built in the 1800s is the smallest house in Britain. According to a survey for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) some houses still lack enough space in which their owners can live comfortably. Houses, flats and bungalows built between 2003 and 2006 are said to be far too small for children to play in. 2,500 owners of private new homes were surveyed: 57% said that they didn’t have enough storage space, 47% didn’t have room for all the furniture they needed and 35% said that there weren’t enough surfaces in the kitchen to store basic appliances like toasters and microwave ovens. Researchers said that economically disadavantaged households are more likely to suffer from a lack of space and having a larger living area would have both health and educational benefits. Families with a  proper dining area  are more likely to eat healthily and develop closer relationships. CABE says that the lack of space could also affect the current Government waste policy because 72% of house owners do not have enough space outside to store their recycling bins. Richard Simmons, CABE chief executive, said that local planning authorities needed to stipulate adequate space standards for houses before allowing developments to proceed.  If you want to research further into the social aspects of housing you can consult our resources,  ASSIA and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) and  Civil Engineering Abstracts will provide references and links to full text for all the technical aspects of housing.

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

The E-Reference Library

July 14, 2009
Part of my library. Copyright: Hamzeh Karbasi
Part of my library. Copyright: Hamzeh Karbasi

There is a lot of debate currently about the respective merits of books in hard copy and electronic format but what cannot be questioned is the value of the electronic reference book. From your desktop you can now access the equivalent of  several shelves of reference works like the ones depicted in the photograph.  If you need to check the spelling of a word, you can consult the Oxford English Dictionary and find that you’ll be tempted to browse for a while to check how your word’s meaning has changed through time. If it is biographical information you are searching for, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography will provide the answer if  you need to find out about  a deceased British subject or a person who has influenced British history. Among the subject specific works you will discover many social science and humanities titles.  The Sage collection includes the encyclopedias of children, adolescents and the media; social science research methods and even murder.  Among the Oxford Digital Reference titles are works on decorative and performance arts, British and American literature; linguistics and economic history. Take a look at the Library’s e-Books webpage and find out exactly how many reference works are available to you.

Project Muse

July 6, 2009


 question mark 1


Project MUSE is excited to announce two new features that help users more easily locate articles relevant to their research.

The new features are: 

A ‘Search this Journal’ search box. This search box appears on each journal’s home page, on the Table of Contents (TOC) of each issue, and on each article.

The ‘Search This Journal’ feature enables a user to quickly check all issues of the journal in MUSE, with a single search, for all articles in that journal pertaining to a particular subject.

Summaries (abstracts) for articles. MUSE now provides a link for the summary of each article. Users know that the ability to scan summaries of articles is essential to determining which articles are relevant to their research.

That ability is now available in MUSE. The Summary links appear on the TOCs and in search results, next to the article format options of HTML and PDF.

MUSE on MetaLib

Project Muse is available on MetaLib

Your Athens username and password is required to access this database.  If you do not have your Athens username and password please contact Ask a Librarian.

MUSE on Facebook 

MUSE has been on Facebook for some time now….Find MUSE at  Become a fan of MUSE! You can also follow Muse on Twitter, @ProjectMUSE.

Kew’s 250th Anniversary

June 4, 2009


flowerAnecdotes of His Late Majesty…

The King [George lll] loved more rural scenery….At Kew he expended considerable sums in converting a most uninviting and unfavourable spot into a a beautiful pleasure-garden, and made a paradise bloom in what was before a wild….’ 

‘His Majesty…formed with much assiduity his botanical garden at Kew, which he highly prized, as it contains a collection of exotics to be found no where else. ‘ Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, February 12, 1820; Issue 15359.

A scientific conference to mark the 250 year celebrations will be held on  12 – 16 October 2009,  looking at plant conservation, agriculture, management, politics and technology.  

There is also the current exhibition at the Pavillion Restaurant of the The International Garden Photographer of the Year , whose winner Jonathan Berman‘s photograph  In Tresco Abbey Gardens,  is on display with other entries for the competition.  The exhibition runs from 23 May – 13 September 2009.

Loughborough University Library holds many books on botanical illustration,  horticulture,  and garden design , as well as over a hundred e-journals covering horticulture, forestry, soil science, plant biology, landscape and garden history, all available via MetaLib.    Athens username and password required for off campus access

If you would like to learn more about the history of Kew Gardens, please see the links below.

Kew, History and Heritage

Artists  [Botanical artists associated with Kew]

Royal Mail    – Action for Species stamps

Plants and Fungie Species Profiles

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