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Reader Bulletin: September 2012

News

Final weeks to play Race for Knowledge and win an iPad
Meet our jewellery designer in residence
Adopt a Book recipient meets her book
Last chance to see our summer exhibitions
From the blogs: Untold Lives
Singing Svengali Takes Over The British Library

Final weeks to play Race for Knowledge and win an iPad

Don’t miss your chance to become the best athlete of the mind in the Library’s online quiz.

We have picked six iconic British brains, who have made their mark in history. Choose one to help you navigate your Race for Knowledge and get your brain in gear to take up the Library’s ultimate mind challenge.

The player with the highest score in the fastest time will win an iPad and remember you can improve your score by playing again or challenging friends to beat your score. All players will save £2 on full price adult tickets to Writing Britain.

Play the game: http://bit.ly/O5rueA

Meet our jewellery designer in residence

Choreographer and designer Sarah Warsop has been appointed as our first ever jewellery designer in residence. She will be delving into our collections to research music, notation, drawings and sounds to inspire her to create a new piece of work. She is investigating how movement and dance can be mapped through dynamic drawing processes, communicating a sense of the rhythm, direction, speed and flow of the original piece of choreography.

Find out more on the Inspired by… blog at http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/inspiredby/

Adopt a Book recipient meets her book

My thoughtful friends adopted an 1870 edition of my favourite Dickens novel, David Copperfield, as a birthday present many years ago. I have long been determined to go to the British Library and see the book in person, and nearly seven years later I finally got the opportunity. At long last I beheld the magnificent novel, which was quite surreal for this English teacher! I am honoured to be a part of the Adopt a Book programme.

- Carlie Frye, California, USA

Adopt a book for your friends at adoptabook.bl.uk

Last chance to see our summer exhibitions

To celebrate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the British Library is running an exciting program of summer exhibitions and events, including:

  • Writing Britain (part of the London 2012 Festival) – open until 25 September: a collection of 150 great English literature treasures, from the original manuscript for J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to the original draft for John Lennon’s In My Life and J R R Tolkien’s original artwork for The Hobbit: www.bl.uk/writingbritain
  • Olympex 2012 – open until 9 September: a free exhibition from private collections, which explores the history, symbolism and iconography of the Olympic Movement through some 2,500 stamps and intriguing pieces of Olympic memorabilia: www.bl.uk/olympex2012

Find out more and keep up to date with what’s on at the British Library: www.bl.uk/whatson

From the blogs: Untold Lives

Our Untold Lives blogs tells surprising and little-known stories from the Library’s collections. This month the blog covers an untold story of testing Britain's first jet plane. Dennis Higton, who died earlier this year at the age of 90, was a British aeronautical engineer who played a little known, but important part in the testing of Britain's first jet aircraft in 1942 and 1943. Later in the month we learn about exercise to ease a troubled mind: the use of exercise and recreational activities as an integral part of treatment in Victorian psychiatric institutions such as Pembroke House Hackney.

Visit the blog: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/untoldlives/

Singing Svengali Takes Over The British Library

Performer Christopher Green, Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the British Library, is developing a new show inspired by the Library’s collections. The Singing Hypnotist will be an entertaining evening of music and mesmerism based on Green’s research into stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy. You will have to wait until November for the final show but there will be a chance to see work-in-progress on Tuesday, 11 September 2012, when Green takes over the Library in his new-found guise as Svengali in Residence.

This may sound like an unusual prospect but Christopher Green has form when it comes to finding inspiration in the British Library collections. On a previous research trip he discovered the songs of music hall star Ida Barr, who he resurrected as a pensioner-turned-rapstar for the BBC Radio 4 series, Artificial Hip Hop. With this Leverhulme residency Green has taken a different tack by choosing to investigate two inter-connected subjects that have long fascinated him. As a qualified stage hypnotist and clinical hypnotherapist, Green set out to investigate the history behind these disciplines. In his attempts to untangle the science from the showbiz he has been delving into Victorian pamphlets, patents, rare books, sheet music and newspapers to discover who the early mesmerists were and how they operated. You can read more about the forgotten show-people Green has unearthed - from lady hypnotist Annie de Montford to the electricity-obsessed Dr Vint - on his residency blog.

Find out more in the Events section of this newsletter, or visit www.bl.uk/whatson

 Service updates

The Live Art Collection at the UK Web Archive
Visiting the British Library during the Paralympic Games
Remote access to Credo Reference database
Recent problems with WiFi access

The Live Art Collection at the UK Web Archive

The British Library’s UK Web Archive is a corpus of websites selected by leading UK institutions for their historical, social and cultural significance in the UK. The Live Art Collection was initiated in late 2008 in collaboration with the Live Art Development Agency.

The range of websites in the Live Art collection includes organizations supporting, promoting and curating Live Art; artists’ websites; sites that are artistic or project-driven by their nature; blogsites and online spaces engaging in critical reviews; through to online archival sites relating to Live Art. The collection also includes a small selection of international archives and related sites that reference, or focus on, UK artists and practices. The Collection is a snapshot of the diverse practices and approaches of artists today and the support and critical frameworks that exist to support, promote and comment upon Live Art and the ephemeral nature of this area of practice.

The Collection is an ongoing initiative and is free to access at: http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/collection/26312782/page/1/source/collection

Visiting the British Library during the Paralympic Games

We resumed normal Reading Room opening times on 13 August following a temporary change during the Olympic Games to allow for anticipated travel delays. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.

We have returned to normal opening times; however, Readers may experience some public transport delays and possible disruption to Library services until after the Paralympic Games (29 August – 9 September). During the Paralympic Games the Library will be restricting access, via our WiFi service, to websites streaming events. This should ensure that the WiFi service remains viable for Readers in our Reading Rooms who are undertaking research.

The PCs in the Reading Rooms are intended for research purposes only. Viewing live coverage of Paralympic events will be restricted to ensure that Readers have access to subscribed resources not available via other means in the Library.

It may be necessary to introduce bag searching for all visitors during the Olympic and Paralympic period if the Library is advised to do so by the Metropolitan Police or the security ‘threat’ level for Government buildings is raised. This may result in it taking longer for visitors to enter the building.

Travel information
For the latest information on public transport and to plan your journey, visit:
www.tfl.gov.uk
www.getaheadofthegames.com

Find out more: www.bl.uk/whatson/planyourvisit

Remote access to Credo Reference database

The Library has been running a trial to give remote access to a number of our e-resources, where we are permitted to do so by the publishers. Registered Readers can access a number of our historical Readex resources, and we have just added the Credo Reference database to the service. The database enables you to search across over 260 reference titles, including bilingual dictionaries, encyclopaedias, atlases and subject-specific works.

Find out more about remote access at https://eresources.remote.bl.uk:2443/login

Recent problems with WiFi access

In recent weeks Library users have experienced problems connecting to and maintaining a connection to our WiFi service at St Pancras. The Library is currently working with the external provider RegenerateIT, to identify and implement the measures needed to deliver a reliable service. We are aware that these problems have been a source of inconvenience and frustration, and would like to offer our apologies and to ask users to continue to bear with us while we work to restore a properly functioning service.

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.

‘Delius in 2012: an International Celebration’
Sound Cases: Gramophones in Central Asia
Sound Cases: A Resounding Place: listening to nature and industry
Christopher Green: Artist in Residenc
Show-and-tell with Artist in Residence Christopher Green
Speed dating - A meeting of the mind and heart The Singing Hypnotist

'Delius in 2012: an International Celebration’

22 and 23 September / 10.00 – 17.00 / £20/day

2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the composer Frederick Delius. This weekend symposium event, organised by The Delius Society in partnership with the British Library, comprises talks by renowned experts in the field, including Professor Tim Blanning, Dr Lionel Carley, Digby Fairweather, and Bo Holten, as well as a round-table discussion, live music and a screening of the recent BBC4 film ‘Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma’ by John Bridcut.

Sound Cases: Gramophones in Central Asia

Wed 5 Sep 2012 / 13.00 - 14.00 / free (booking essential)

Between 1902 and 1917, the Gramophone Company of London sent several of their recording engineers on epic journeys across the southern regions of the Tsarist Russian Empire, where they recorded the various cultures and ethnic groups they encountered. What resulted was an intimate view of pre-Soviet life, from the Caucasus mountains to the deserts of Russian Turkestan, in the form of several thousand commercial gramophone discs. Using extensive archive documentation from the UK and elsewhere, Will Prentice will explore the hidden stories of the artists and recording engineers, and ask in what ways the recordings reflect the social history of the region.

Sound Cases: A Resounding Place: listening to nature and industry

24 September / 13.00 - 14.00 / free (booking essential)

Mark Peter Wright is an artist whose work seeks to illuminate understandings of listening and place. His publications, broadcasts and installations often focus upon areas that have encountered both industrial and ecological forms of migration and abandonment. For Sound Cases Wright will present his latest doctoral research which focuses primarily upon South Gare in the North East of England – a site fraught with industrial upheaval yet flourishing with natural habitat.

Christopher Green: Artist in Residence

We have three upcoming events featuring Christopher Green, the Library’s Leverhulme Artist in Residence. Please note that no hypnotism will take place on 11 September. Live hypnosis will be performed on willing volunteers from the audience of The Singing Hypnotist on 29 November 2012. Christopher Green is both an accredited stage hypnotist and clinical hypnotherapist.

Show-and-tell with Artist in Residence Christopher Green

11 September / 13:00 – 14:00 / free

There will be a chance to listen to Green’s new songs and hear more about his creative use of collections at a lunchtime show-and-tell on Tuesday 11 September. In this second event in the series, Green will expand upon his research into hypnotherapy and recount his adventures in the field of past-life regression. There will also, undoubtedly, be a sing-a-long.

Speed dating - A meeting of the mind and heart

11 September / 15.00 – 19.00 / free

Having taken to the Svengali role with aplomb, Green will follow the show-and-tell with a matchmaking session in the main foyer aimed at bringing people together creatively, intellectually or romantically. Researching architecture? Pondering botany? Writing a play? Looking for a co-author or simply a hot date? This is your chance to connect with fellow Readers. Talk to the Matchmaker Extraordinaire and he will hook you up! There will be informal matchmaking between 15:00 - 18:00 and sit-down speed-dating sessions between

18:00 - 19:00.

The Singing Hypnotist

29 November / 19.30 – 21.00 / free

An entertaining evening of music and mesmerism with performer, writer and cabaret star Christopher Green. Through the course of his residency, Green has been investigating stage hypnotism and hypnotherapy in the Library's collections as background research for this brand new show.

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.