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Reader Bulletin: October 2013

 News

Open Days for new PhD students
Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics
Tell us your story
Shop sale
The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination
Century of Science now available
What research tools will British Library users want in 2020?
Digitising our Hebrew manuscripts

 Open Days for new PhD students

Our Doctoral Open Days are a chance for new PhD students to discover the British Library’s unique research materials. From newspapers to maps, datasets to manuscripts, ships' logs to websites, our collections cover every format and language and span the last 3,000 years.

The events run between October and February, and our events in Art & Design, Music and Social Sciences are available to book now. Please spread the word to friends and colleagues.

Find out more at What's On.

 Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics

Until 26 Jan 2014
The Folio Society Gallery
Free exhibition

This new exhibition explores ten classic children’s books from the 20th century. Discover how illustrators over the years have interpreted – and reinterpreted – our favourite tales in beautiful and imaginative ways. Through original artwork, rare editions and personal correspondence be reunited with much-loved characters including Paddington Bear, Peter Pan and Willy Wonka and classic works such as Just So Stories, The Wind in the Willows and The Hobbit.

Find out more at What's On.

 Tell us your story

Have you been working hard on a screenplay? Your first novel? Your fifth novel? A cookery book? We’d love to hear your story and how you’ve used our collections. We also want to learn what type of events and resources we can organise to support you both creatively and commercially. Need to know how to get an agent? How to promote your book through social media? How to use our sound recordings in your film?

Send your ideas and comments to Kissley Leonor, creative industries marketing manager at Kissley.leonor@bl.uk  Follow her on Twitter @BL_Creative and her Inspired by blog at www.bl.uk/blogs.

 Shop sale

Pick up a bargain in our sale with up to 75% off, which will run from Monday 19th October to Saturday 26th October in the Box Office, opposite the Shop in the St Pancras building.

 The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination

Brunei Gallery, SOAS, 11 October – 14 December 2013

British Library collections are featured in a new exhibition at SOAS, University of London. The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination is the first exhibition of its kind to provide a visual narrative of the history of Zoroastrianism, its rich cultural heritage and the influence it has had on the major world religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The exhibition takes you on a journey from the earliest days of the religion to its emergence as the foremost religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian empires of imperial Iran.

Visit The Everlasting Flame website.

 Century of Science now available

Did you know that you can now access Century of Science – an online backfile of references covering research in the sciences – at the British Library?

Century of Science extends the coverage of the Science Citation Index back to 1900, indexing articles from hundreds of scientific journals across all areas of science, technology and medicine. It includes references to many seminal works of the early 20th Century, including papers by Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Alexander Fleming and others. The cited reference feature allows users to track trends, authors and articles across the century and identify studies which form the basis of today’s research.

For more information about Century of Science, please speak to staff in the Science Reading Rooms.

 What research tools will British Library users want in 2020?

We are looking for volunteers to take part in workshops to explore the searching and information access tools the research community will need in 2020. At the workshops, which will last around two hours, we will be seeking feedback on ideas for new service and product developments from researchers representing a diverse range of needs and perspectives. The workshops will be held at 14.00 on the 28 and 29 October and 10.00 am on the 28 October. Refreshments will be provided.

For further information and to volunteer please contact: nigel.spencer@bl.uk and frances.lill@bl.uk.

 Digitising our Hebrew manuscripts

The Library’s Hebrew manuscripts collection is regarded as one of the finest and most important in the world. The collection is a vivid testimony of the creativity and intense scribal activities of Eastern and Western Jewish communities spanning over 1,000 years.

Funded by the Polonsky Foundation, a new three-year digitisation project aims at making these invaluable manuscripts freely available to scholars and the public worldwide on our website. We will digitise 1,250 manuscripts from a collection that covers all major areas of Hebrew literature. Its geographical spread is vast and takes in Europe, North Africa, the Middle and Near East, and various countries in Asia, such as Iran, Iraq, Yemen and China.

Highlights from the collections include:

  • 339 important biblical manuscripts including the London Codex, c. 10th century, one of the oldest Masoretic Bibles in existence;
  • Anglo-Jewish charters in Hebrew and Hebrew/Latin attesting to the Jewish presence in England before the expulsion of the Jewish population in 1290 by King Edward I;
  • Over 150 illuminated and decorated manuscripts representing all the schools of medieval Hebrew illumination in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

We are currently digitising these materials and they will start to be made available later this year.

View our manuscripts on the Digitised Manuscripts page.

 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.

Visual Urbanism: Perceptions of the Material Landscape
TalkScience@BL: Genetic testing in assisted reproduction: Selecting, not perfecting? Artificial Insemination
Evolution or revolution! The changing face of collection care
Myths and Realities 20: Challenging myths and understanding society
21st Century Rep (Theatre Archive Project event)
Doctoral Open Day: Art & Design

 Visual Urbanism: Perceptions of the Material Landscape

7 October 2013 / 10.00 - 17.00
Conference Centre
£25 / £15 concessions

How do material aspects of the urban landscape inform and inspire urban research? How can visual research methods enable urban researchers to investigate the city’s immaterialities? Researchers and practitioners from across the humanities and social sciences will come together to discuss contemporary concerns within visual urbanism in the second annual conference of the International Association of Visual Urbanists.

Presented in association with Urban Photo Fest and Goldsmiths, University of London.

 ITalkScience@BL: Genetic testing in assisted reproduction: Selecting, not perfecting? Artificial Insemination

9 October 2013 / 18.20 - 20.30
Terrace Restaurant
£5

IVF babies make up around 2% of all UK births. In the last twenty years pre-implantation genetic testing has allowed prospective parents to test IVF embryos for a range of serious genetic conditions. New developments now mean we can test whether an unborn child would make a suitable bone marrow donor for a sick sibling, or determine if the embryo would be susceptible to late onset diseases such as Huntington’s disease or breast cancer. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the field of reproductive medicine, but just how far should we go in the quest for a ‘perfect’ baby?

 Evolution or revolution! The changing face of collection care

14 October – 15 October 2013
Conference Centre, British Library
Prices vary

This two-day conference organised by the British Library discusses how change and development in the working environment – in acquisition, technology, publishing, storage, formats, access, use – are defining and redefining the roles and responsibilities of collection care professionals, forcing us to ask tough questions of ourselves and our collections.

 Myths and Realities 20: Challenging myths and understanding society

15 October 2013, 18.20-20.30
Terrace Restaurant
£7.50 / £5 concessions

The final event in this series will examine why people continue to believe the social myths that they do, often in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. Why, for instance, does research find that the general public over-estimate benefit fraud and immigration? Why are politicians tempted to rely on anecdote not evidence? This event will examine the role of the media in producing and maintaining social myths, and will look at what social scientists can do to address the issue. Our chair is Professor Dame Janet Finch, DBE, DL, AcSS, University of Manchester.

In partnership with the Academy of Social Sciences.

 21st Century Rep (Theatre Archive Project event)

25 October 2013, 18.30-20.00
Conference Centre
£7.50 / £5 concessions

The days when actors rehearsed a play one week and performed it the next are long gone, as are the resident companies who worked together on show after show. Or are they? Is there still a place for repertory and ensemble in Britain’s theatres? As a number of theatres across the country experiment with new takes on old ways of working, Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner and her guests debate the future of theatrical practice in the UK.

 Doctoral Open Day: Art & Design

28 October 2013, 10.00 - 16.30
Conference Centre
£5

The Library has fantastic resources for art and design research. We have a wide range of unique or rare visual materials, such as artists’ books, prints, drawings, and photographs, as well as beautiful collections of bindings and decorated papers. Our Doctoral Open Days are a chance for new PhD students to discover the British Library’s unique research materials. You will learn about our Art & Design collections, find out how to access them, and meet our expert staff and other researchers in your field.

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.