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Reader Bulletin: January 2013

 News

Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction
Inspiring Science events and activities
Digitised manuscript: Codex Alexandrinus
Enter our Spring Market competition
Patrons discovering Mughal India

 Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction

Free exhibition
18 January - 12 May 2013

Classic locked-room mysteries, tales of murder and mayhem in quaint villages or gritty adventures on mean city streets.

Crime fiction, which currently accounts for over a third of all fiction published in English, holds millions of people enthralled. Our new free exhibition Murder in the Library will take you on a fascinating journey through the development of crime and detective fiction, from its origins in the early 19th century through to contemporary Nordic Noir, taking in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first appearance of Miss Marple and the fiendish plots of Dr Fu Manchu along the way.

Free / Folio Society Gallery.

 Inspiring Science events and activities

The Science, Technology and Medicine team have co-ordinated a series of events and activities, which celebrate science and scientists. We will be opening up our collections and spaces from 11 – 24 March.

The events schedule includes an exhibition of science-inspired art installations displayed in various locations around the St Pancras building, an evening of science, comedy and cabaret with ‘Festival of the Spoken Nerd’ and a discussion around addiction – are compulsions biologically or socially driven?

Find out more about all the events: www.bl.uk/inspiring-science.

 Digitised manuscript: Codex Alexandrinus

The New Testament volume from one of the Library’s most valuable treasures, Codex Alexandrinus, has been made available online for the first time on the British Library’s website. Codex Alexandrinus, which translates simply as ‘the book from Alexandria’, dates from the fifth century and is the most complete Bible preserved from early Christian times. The New Testament volume of this unique book has been digitised in full as part of a project to transform access to some of our oldest and most valuable handwritten books.

View the manuscript at www.bl.uk/manuscripts.

 Enter our Spring Market competition

Are you a designer or maker? Have you used the Library to develop your ideas?

Win a stand at our Spring Market on Monday 4 March on the British Library Piazza in London. The Market is part of our Spring Festival and will show off the work of ten of the most innovative jewellery, fashion, homeware and craft designers who have used the Library. If you have attended an event, used our Business & IP Centre, seen an exhibition or have a Reader Pass you are eligible to enter. The deadline is Sunday 27 January 2013.

Find out more at www.bl.uk/spring.

 Patrons discovering Mughal India

In December, the Library’s Patrons celebrated the festive season at an exclusive reception. Guests heard from CEO Roly Keating and viewed our major exhibition Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire in the company of the Library’s expert curators.

Patrons provide vital funds to the Library and in return enjoy an exclusive programme of events.

Find out more at support.bl.uk/page/become-a-patron.

 Exploring the collections

Inspired by the Library: Shakespeare
Unlocking our digital collections: British Library Labs
Collection items temporarily unavailable
An oral history of Parliament
Web in Feb at the Business & IP Centre
Science Level 2 Photocopy Counter: Extension of Opening Hours

 Inspired by the Library: Shakespeare

David Kastan is a Professor of English at Yale University. He is primarily a Shakespeare scholar and editor, and is interested in the relations of literature and history in early modern England. He has been using the Library since the early 1980s, usually every summer during sabbatical time.

David has used the Library for some of his research for all his books, including his edition of the Arden Henry IV, part one and Shakespeare and the Book (Cambridge UP). For both books the depth of the Library’s collections was crucial. He says:

The Library has for my purposes the greatest collection in the world; it's holdings are indispensable, but no less valuable is the community of scholars that forms around the collections.

 Unlocking our digital collections: British Library Labs

British Library Labs is a Mellon-funded initiative to enable us to gain a deeper understanding of researchers’ needs and to implement changes supporting digital scholarship. The project seeks researchers who will benefit from full access to the Library’s digital collections and from working intensively with the Lab; which will facilitate analysis of entire collections, rather than just individual items.

This collaboration will inform a review of the BL’s approach to licensing and also aid development of future services and tools to access and analyse digital content; including linked data and semantic linking services.

For further information email labs@bl.uk.

 Collection items temporarily unavailable

There will be some disruption to the availability of items in our collection from January 2013 onwards as a result of a major digitisation project the British Library is running with the Qatar Foundation. These items will include archival material relating to the Gulf from the East India Company and India Office, and some medieval Arabic scientific manuscripts. Once digitised the material will become available online, as well as in our Reading Rooms.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and strongly advise readers to check the availability of materials online and to contact Asian & African Studies reading room staff for advice.

Further information on the project can be found at www.bl.uk/notices/item_availability.html.

 An oral history of Parliament

The History of Parliament project aims to create an archive of people involved in political at national and constituency level. The first tranche of 25 interviews with former members of Parliament have been catalogued and are available now (Sound & Moving Image Catalogue reference C1503). The project is run by The History of Parliament Trust in collaboration with the BL's Oral History section, and supported by Dods, and is one of several political oral history collections at the Library.

Find out more at www.bl.uk/reshelp.

 Web in Feb at the Business & IP Centre

The United Kingdom is a leading digital nation. According to Ofcom, Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other major country and 16% of all web traffic in the UK is being driven by mobiles, tablets or other connected devices.

It has become essential for any growing business to capitalise on the power of the Internet.

‘Web in Feb’ 2013 will help you and your business capture the attention of the booming digital market and boost your online presence. The Business & IP Centre will be running a programme of special web related activities designed to help you use the web as a business tool to:

  • Improve your search engine optimisation;
  • Find new ways to think about your online market;
  • Promote your business online;
  • Protect your original material.

Find out more at www.bl.uk/bipc.

 Science Level 2 Photocopy Counter: Extension of Opening Hours

With effect from Monday 7 January, the Photocopy counter in the Science Level 2 Reading Room will remain open until 19.30 on Monday to Thursday evenings. This will bring the opening hours of the Science photocopy counter in line with those already in place within the Humanities 1 and Rare Books & Music Reading Rooms, ensuring a more consistent service is offered throughout the Reading Rooms.

 Event highlights

We run a wide range of fascinating events for the general public as well as researchers and businesses. Explore our full events programme online at What's On.

Real Crime, Real Fiction
The Singing Hypnotist Returns
I was a number... Memories of the Holocaust
The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson
Myths and Realities 16: Are 'friends' the new 'family'?
What Can You Do? A Neil Bartlett Retrospective

 Real Crime, Real Fiction

21 January, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50/£5

Does the consumption of crime novels influence the way we read about real crime? Where does ‘true crime’, which takes its inspiration from actual events rather than mere imagination, fit in? In this panel discussion, writers, curators and journalists explore the impact of real-life crimes on the writing and production of crime fiction, both on television and in print. Joining our host, writer and journalist Barry Forshaw, will be authors Laura Wilson and Mark Billingham, alongside screenwriter Nick Dear and Carla Connolly, curator at St Bartholomew’s Pathology Museum.

 The Singing Hypnotist Returns

25 January, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50/£5

Back by popular demand, a second chance to catch an evening of music and performance with writer and cabaret star Christopher Green, the British Library's Leverhulme Artist in Residence. This entertaining show is based around the history of stage hypnotism and hypnotherapy.

 I was a number... Memories of the Holocaust

29 January, 18.30 - 20.30 
£7.50/£5

This contemplative evening uses film, music and conversation to explore the role memory and guardianship plays in preserving awareness of the Holocaust. Join survivor Ben Helfgott, Dr James Smith (The Holocaust Centre), Jonathan Salt and musician Katy Carr to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. 27 January is marked in commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, providing an opportunity to learn lessons from genocides and to challenge hatred and persecution. In association with The Polish Cultural Institute.

 The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson

1 February, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50/£5

The first-hand accounts of the Royal Navy's sea battles of 1794 to 1806, including The Nile and Trafalgar, exist in a little-known but immense volume at the British Library. Join Sam Willis, author of new book In the Hour of Victory, as he tells the compelling story of these collected dispatches.

 Myths and Realities 16: Are 'friends' the new 'family'?

11 February, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50/£5

An exploration of how changing social conditions have had an impact on the different relationships we form. Professors Lynn Jamieson and Graham Crow will offer social and cultural evidence around the importance we attach to families and friendships. Please come along and join in the discussion! In partnership with the Academy of Social Sciences.

 What Can You Do? A Neil Bartlett Retrospective

22 February, 19.30 – 21.00 
£7.50/£5

An evening with director, performer, writer and gay rights campaigner, Neil Bartlett. To celebrate the donation of his archive to the British Library, Bartlett will be performing some of his acclaimed solo pieces and discussing his career across the last three decades. Presented by the British Library and De Montfort University’s Theatre Archive Project. In association with the Live Art Development Agency, which helped to make the donation possible.

 Free Reader Training Sessions

To find out more about all our workshops and book your place, visit the workshops page. There is a heavy demand for these courses so if you are booked on one and later find that you are unable to come, please let us know so that we can offer the place to someone else. your needs.

 Service updates

Need a new Pass?
Keep updated via Twitter - @BL_Ref_Services

 Need a new Pass?

Please remember that when you need to renew or replace a Reader Pass, you must provide appropriate identification – two original documents, one showing proof of your home address and one showing your signature. For details of the forms of identification, please see Reader Registration, email Reader-Registration@bl.uk or call +44 (0) 1937 546060.

Please note that records you have saved in 'My Workspace' in Explore the British Library, will still be available for you to view if you renew your Pass before it expires. Otherwise these records will be deleted.

There is a £10 charge to replace a lost or damaged Pass.

 Keep updated via Twitter - @BL_Ref_Services

If you're visiting the Library you can keep up to date with developments by following Reference Services on Twitter (@BL_Ref_Services). We're tweeting updates on how busy the Reading Rooms are, giving top tips on getting the most out of your visit, and which days the Reading Rooms are closed. You can also find out about new services, free workshops, new e-resources, events and exhibitions. If you haven't got a Twitter account, it's free and easy to join – just go to Twitter Signup.

Tell us what you think about the 'new look' Reader Bulletin

We are keen to hear what you think about the Reader Bulletin – what you find interesting or helpful and what you feel we could improve. We are also interested to know the format you prefer, whether a printed copy or an electronic version, as well as your views on other possible forms of communication. Please email Melissa Byrd.