British Library Open Day for PhD News & Media Students


The British Library is hosting an Open Day for doctoral students in the fields of news and media on Monday 11 Dec 2017, 10:00 – 16:30.

The British Library is home to a vast array of news and media content across all formats. Their extensive newspaper and magazine collection covers international, national and local publications from the 17th century to the present day.  The British Library sound archive has millions of historic and contemporary recordings of speech, music, wildlife and the environment. Our online Web Archive provides permanent online access to key UK websites of cultural or scholarly importance, while our onsite Legal Deposit Web Archive has every UK website available since 2013, including news sites. The Reading Rooms provide access to tens of thousands of TV and radio programmes broadcast in the UK since May 2010.  At this event researchers will learn about the full scope of these collections and how to unlock their potential as primary sources.  You will also have an opportunity to meet expert staff and other researchers across a range of disciplines and subject areas.

This event is for first year PhD students who are new to the Library.

Booking details are here:

RLUK Joins The European Library

The UK consortium of scholarly libraries, Research Libraries UK (RLUK), has recently joined The European Library, a membership organisation that provides services to researchers, with access to more than 200 million records and digital items from all of Europe’s national libraries and a growing number of research libraries.

Designed to meet the needs of the research community worldwide, the European Library provides an online portal to access the collections of 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries. Users can cross-search and reuse over 18,644,265 digital items and 119,246,208 bibliographic records.

Music webcasts from Library of Congress

The following are twelve music webcasts delivered at Library of Congress: Franz Liszt Niccolo Paganini & Lady Gaga;  Dvorak in the New world;   Tchaikovsky & Taneyev: Mentor and ProtégéMessiaen’s QuartetWordless Music OrchestraSchumann Trio (playing works of Mozart and Brahms)Concert: Gautier Capuçon & Gabriela MonterioThe English concertMahan Esfahani: harpsichord concertWhat did harpsichords sound like in 1910?Coptic Orthodox liturgical chant and hymnody; and Jazz conversation with Jim Hall.  More are available from Library of Congress Webcasts Home Page


Developed by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica is a platform providing access to public domain and copyrighted digital material. You have access to thousands of books images, journals and sound recordings. The project is part of a European programme in which the BnF is the French aggregator for the implementation of  Europeana, the European Digital Library.  Back runs of French journals could be of particular interest.

National Jukebox

In May 2011 Library of Congress in collaboration with Sony Musical Entertainment launched National Jukebox  a website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public for the first time digitally. The collection includes popular music, dance music, opera, early jazz, famous speeches, poetry and humour.

“The agreement for the National Jukebox grants the Library of Congress usage rights to Sony Music’s entire pre-1925 catalogue, comprising thousands of recordings produced by Columbia Records, OKeh, and Victor Talking Machine Co. among others – and represents the largest collection of such historical recordings ever made publicly available for study and appreciation online…Visitors to the National Jukebox will be able to listen to available recordings on a streaming-only basis, as well as view thousands of label images, record-catalogue illustrations, and artist and performer biographies…This represents a strong step in the Library’s efforts to return out-of-circulation recordings to public access”.

Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets

Political pamphlets are essential primary resources for anyone studying British and Imperial history, politics and economics. The pamphlets are evidence of what people said at the time and are a means of tracking debate. Sometimes pamphlets incorporated statistical data and illustrations which are hard to find elsewhere.  A JISC funded project has made it easier to access much of this material. The contents of over 26,000 pamphlets from seven major university research libraries have been digitised and made available through the JSTOR database. Logon to JSTOR, choose the advanced search option, enter your search terms and limit your search by pamphlets. It will be of interest to students of Irish history. For example a search for Maynooth brings up over 300 pamphlets drawn from various pamphlet collections, and a search for Charles Stewart Parnell finds over 170.

For a research guide to the pamphlets click here.  For a brochure on the pamphlets click here.  For a Jstor video about the pamphlets click here. See also Connected histories in the Research Blog for information on a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain.

Today’s Document and Treasures

Today’s Document is a free mobile app available in the Android marketplace and Apple iTunes Store. It is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the US National Archives through a collection of 365 documents and photographs. Tap the “info” icon to read background information on the document and link to related websites.  You can share any of the documents via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Treasures  is a British Library app highlighting over 100 documents, including literary, historical, music-related and scientific items – alongside illuminated manuscripts and sacred texts. There are audio excerpts and nearly 50 WiFi-served videos.  See BL’s promotional YouTube video.  There is a charge for Treasures. It is available across multiple mobile platforms: iPhone, Android and, in an HD version, the iPad.

Jackie Clarke Library and Archive

The Jackie Clarke Library and Archive in Ballina is a collection of primary historical materials gathered together by Jackie Clarke (1927-2000). It contains over 100,000 items: manuscripts, photographs, legal papers, pamphlets, hand-bills, film, political autograph books, letters, cartoons, maps and proclamations. For a history of the Library see the Collection Booklet. The Library is currently closed to the public but for further information contact the Library’s curator. The Curator has placed a video about the Collection on You Tube.

Digitised Music Archives in European National Libraries

Promotional photographs of Dutch pop music; The Danish National Digital Sheet Music ArchiveMusic in the National Library of Spain This digital collection of printed books of music is composed of musical codex from the 12th and 13th century, choral books for organs, ‘zarzuela’ manuscripts, editions of Spanish opera, textbooks to study different instruments such as vihuelas, harps, violins, guitars, pianos and dancing. There are also books of Renaissance, Mannierist and Baroque musical theory; The Digital Library of the National Library of France scores & sound recordings; Digitised Heritage in the National and University Library, Croatia Sound recordings; Sound recordings in the Hungarian National Digital Data Archives  ; Digitised songs from Slovenia; New chords: digitised Slovenian music journal ; New music: which continues, New Chords; Music manuscripts of Alphons Diepenbrock; Self-playing musical instruments from the 15th to 20th centuries along with relevant musical programmes and documentation