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Reader Bulletin: January 2014

 News

Voices of Science
A million images on Flickr
Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight
Your feedback on using the Reading Rooms
Indian, Chinese and Indonesian manuscripts online
Do you need to stay up to date with the latest information on agriculture and the environment?

 Voices of Science

We have just launched a new online archive, featuring the voices of 100 leading British scientists. Voices of Science is drawn from a National Life Stories programme ‘An Oral History of British Science’, and features interviews with 100 leading UK scientists and engineers, telling the stories of some of the most remarkable scientific and engineering discoveries of the past century as well as the personal stories of each individual.

Visit Voices of Science.

 A million images on Flickr

We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books from the Library’s collections, digitised by Microsoft. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.

See the images on Flickr.

 Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight

There’s a lot to look forward to this spring at the Library. On 20 February we open Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight – a new exhibition exploring the way that visualising scientific information helps to reveal its meaning. This will be accompanied by a host of science-related events, ranging from comedy with the Festival of the Spoken Nerd, to an interactive evening on the science of sleep.

Find out more and book events at Beautiful Science.

 Your feedback on using the Reading Rooms

We regularly run Reader surveys to get feedback on our services and to understand where we need to improve. We’re delighted to see that in our recent survey 94.8% of respondents gave positive feedback about the Library. This is the highest satisfaction rating we’ve achieved in the last two years, and it’s clear that improvements to our WiFi service have made a big difference to Readers. Thanks to everyone who responded, and we’ll continue to work hard to improve your experience of using the Library.

If you’d like to make a comment about our services you can email us at customer-feedback@bl.uk.

 Indian, Chinese and Indonesian manuscripts online

To celebrate the start of 2014, the Library’s Endangered Archives Programme has put four new collections online, with over one hundred thousand images. Two of these collections come from India with the other two collections originating in China and Indonesia. These include EAP143, which preserved Shui manuscripts in China. These are considered to be one of the few remaining types of documents in China that are written in a hieroglyphic style. EAP281 located and identified Lepcha manuscripts in Sikkim, India. The Lepcha people are local to Sikkim but represent a minority of the population. The culture and language has been diminishing for over a century as many young Lepcha give preference to learning English or Nepalese and are less interested in their traditions.

Find out more at Endangered Archives.

 Do you need to stay up to date with the latest information on agriculture and the environment?

The CAB Abstracts database, compiled by CAB International (CABI), provides references and abstracts to a wide range of literature in agriculture and the applied life sciences. The database embraces agriculture in its broadest sense and includes subjects such as forestry, the environment, veterinary medicine, crop production, food science and nutrition. Alongside scholarly articles, the database also offers extensive coverage of non-journal literature, including conference proceedings, books, reports, theses and more.

One of the strengths of CAB Abstracts is that it covers literature from around the world - indexing publications from over 100 countries in 50 languages - to give a more comprehensive, international view. Coverage is back to 1910, allowing users to search over one hundred years of agricultural literature and discover important earlier scientific work. The database also provides full-text access to over 3,000 digitised scientific reviews published by CABI.

For further information, please see reference staff in the Science Reading Room.

 Service updates

Lost or stolen pass?
Follow @BL_Ref_Services

 Lost or stolen pass

Check our website for details on renewing - you’ll need to provide proof of your home address and signature. Your records in Explore the British Library will be saved until your pass expires. Please see Reader Registration.

 Follow @BL_Ref_Services

@BL_Ref_Services on Twitter for tips on using the Library and updates on how busy it is in the Reading Rooms.

 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.

 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.

Panizzi Lectures: Professor Robert Darnton
Doctoral Open Days
W T Stead Lecture: James Harding, Director of BBC News
Dan Cruickshank: A Georgian House
Austentatious: An Improvised Novel
Puttin' on the Glitz - Fashion & Film in the Jazz Age

 Panizzi Lectures: Professor Robert Darnton

6,7, 9 January / 18.30 – 19.30
Conference Centre
Free, no booking required

Join Professor Robert Darnton for a series of three lectures exploring censorship, called Censors at Work. The lectures will look at Bourbon France, Imperialist India and Communist East Germany. Professor Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard, his latest books are The Case for Books (2009), The Devil in the Holy Water, or The Art of Slander in France from Louis XIV to Napoleon (2010), and Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (2010).

 Doctoral Open Days

13, 17, 20, 31 January / 10.00 – 16.00
Conference Centre
£5

These one-day events introduce new PhD students to the British Library’s collections. It’s a chance to learn about materials in your subject area, meet our expert staff and network with other researchers. Events in January cover Environmental Science (13), Digital Research (17) and History (20, 31). Lunch and refreshments are included, and a number of £20 travel bursaries are available.

 W T Stead Lecture: James Harding, Director of BBC News

13 January / 18.30 – 20.00
Conference Centre
£8, (£6 Over 60's), £5 concessions

James Harding (Director of BBC News & Current Affairs and former editor of The Times) gives the first W.T. Stead Lecture. We now have more ways than ever before to access the news, but how does this affect the way that news is produced, communicated and consumed? With experience in both print and broadcast journalism, Harding reflects upon the place of news in a changing media landscape. The W.T. Stead Lectures are named in honour of the pioneering and tenacious journalist who met an untimely death onboard the Titanic. Stead explored what journalism could be in his time; the W.T. Stead Lectures continue to explore journalism in ours.

 Dan Cruickshank: A Georgian House

24 January / 18.30 – 20.00
Conference Centre
£8, (£6 Over 60's) and £5

Broadcaster and historian Dan Cruickshank has been actively involved in the repair and refurbishment of 18th-century houses and buildings. His home, built in 1772 in the East End of London, has been painstaking and sensitively restored. Join him for an exploration of Georgian architecture with a detailed look at the emblematic Georgian area of Spitalfields in East London; an exploration of the characteristic Georgian building-type - the speculatively-built terrace house, and a personal account of his direct experience with an 18th-century building – his own home.

 Austentatious: An Improvised Novel

7 and 8 February / 19.00 – 20.00 and 14.30 – 15.30
Conference Centre
£10, (£8 over 60’s) £7 concessions

Austentatious: An Improvised Novel is a comedy performed in the inimitable style of Jane Austen. Marvel as a deliciously witty story, based entirely upon audience suggestions, is concocted before your very eyes! Swoon at the period costumes and live cello accompaniment!

 Puttin' on the Glitz - Fashion & Film in the Jazz Age

28 March / 18.30 - 20.00
Conference Centre
£8, (£6 Over 60's) £5 concessions

Fashion historian extraordinaire Amber Jane Butchart transports you to the glitz and glamour of Jazz Age Hollywood and the costumes that impacted London fashion. She draws on the Library’s collection of vintage magazines in this talk with Chris Laverty, editor of the popular blog Clothes on Film.

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.