Showing posts from April, 2014

Twitter and blogging for researchers

(Reblogged from our Digital Scholarship Blog)

The Library works with the Researcher Development Team here at York, to deliver training on the aspects of Web 2.0 that impact on academia most. There's a whole suite of workshops around the idea of becoming a networked researcher - Russ Grant in RDT runs an introduction to social media, a session on enhancing your online reputation, and one on social networks for researchers (eg ResearchGate,, and LinkedIn). I run the sessions on Blogs and Blogging, and Twitter.

Here are the slides from my sessions this term (the handouts we used are linked to at the relevant point in the slides):

Twitter for Researchers from University of York Library
(If you're interested in the teaching side of using Twitter, see our previous blog post on the subject!)

Blogs and Blogging: Becoming a Networked Researcher from University of York Library
If you're interested in these, we're running the whole suite again next term - all the det…

Taking your Library home

It's probably not escaped your attention that this is a busy time of year. Across the three buildings of the Library, we have over 1,200 study spaces - we know there are times when you'd like to see more, but safety requirements don't allow us to add any extra seats.
We're currently trying out a system that shows you occupancy levels in various areas of the Library - it's updated regularly over the course of the day, so you can see where you're most likely to find a space. You can check the web page or use the screen in the Library foyer: Seating availability During the exam period, we've booked out rooms in the Fairhurst (LFA/144) and Burton (LBU/003) buildings to be used as additional study space. During Week One, we've been encouraging everyone to find out how to make the Library work for them, whilst respecting the needs of others:
You and your Library But what do you do when you can't find a seat in the Library, or when you'd rather work at …

World Book Night & Tales of the City

Mr. Maupin invented San Francisco.” Quentin Crisp ‘Much-loved’ is a phrase often used about writers and their work. There are few, however, to whom it genuinely applies; Armistead Maupin is one such author. First published in 1978, Tales of the City made an immediate impact and won the hearts of readers the world over. San Francisco in the late 1970s, a place of dreams and free love... who could have guessed that Maupin’s collection of unconventional characters at 28 Barbary Lane, with its almost mystical landlady Anna Madrigal, would go on to span nine novels and three decades?

It's rumoured that people have uprooted and moved body and soul to San Francisco, so passionate is their love for ‘the Tales’. So it makes perfect sense that Tales of the City is one of this year’s World Book Night selected novels. An event that seeks to ignite a passion for reading in those who never normally read, the World Book Night selectors choose books based on the strength of their appeal.

The aut…

World Book Night and The Humans

"The wonderful thing about World Book Night is that while everyone talks about getting books into the hands of people who probably wouldn't read them otherwise, World Book Night goes out there in the real world and does exactly that.” Matt Haig, author. Matt Haig’s new novel, The Humans, is one of the titles being given away as part of this year’s World Book Night. Born and bred round these parts, Matt lives in York and has written a number of successful titles; his latest, The Humans, is described by The Independent as a ‘wryly humorous look at the human condition as seen by an alien’.

We’re giving away a free copy donated by the author himself.

The fundamental aim of World Book Night is to ‘place books into the hands of those who don’t regularly read’ - volunteers give thousands of books away by applying to be a World Book Night Book Giver. If they're selected, the Book Givers share out copies of their chosen novel among their local community, thereby promoting their ow…

Blood, Guts and Shipwreck

Tales of shipwreck, disaster and survival always make a compelling story; particularly so when based on a true account written by the Captain of a doomed ship.

The external appearance of a slim volume within the Raymond Burton Special Collection entitled A narrative of the loss of The Shannon of Hull on the 26th of April, 1832 gives little clue to the tale of drama described within its thirty close-typed pages…

On 27 March 1832 the 360 tonne whaling ship Shannon sailed out of Hull with a crew of 29 men and boys under the eye of Captain George Davey. On leaving the Humber they steered north to Lerwick in Shetland (picking up an additional 20 crew to make a total of 49) before starting on their journey to the whaling grounds in the Davis Straits, off the coast of Canada.

Four months later, following a hellish journey, the surviving crew – only 19 sailors – limped home to Hull on August 25.

The journey to the whaling grounds meant sailing though dangerous and unpredictable ice fields and…

Caravaggio - self-portrait as a severed head

As we gradually catalogue more of the York Art Gallery Gift Collection, we’re beginning to unearth some real gems.

This image of David with the Head of Goliath appears in The Complete Paintings of Caravaggio and it’s noteworthy because the severed head - mouth agape, blank eyed, dripping blood - is actually a portrait of Caravaggio himself.

The artist was reportedly something of a firebrand: according to Michael Kitson’s introduction "[Caravaggio] is recorded as sometimes walking the streets... carrying a drawn sword in front of him, and he was often involved in fights, one of which (in 1606) ended in a murder and his subsequent flight from Rome" (p. 7).

You can find this painting hanging in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, or on page 63 of the book if you don’t have the airfare.

(Image and quoted text from The complete paintings of Caravaggio London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1969 found in the JBM Library at LJ 9.5 CAR Quarto Oversize Books)

Want to work at Harvard University’s library? They’re hiring now…

The "oldest institution of higher learning in the United States" is advertising for a Wikipedian-in-Residence. It pays $16 an hour (which is just under £10 an hour at today’s exchange rate) and requires the successful candidate to be a “registered Wikipedian in good standing”.

The job is based at the Houghton Library where Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts are kept, including collections of papers from W.H. Auden, Henry James, James Joyce and Emily Dickinson (among many others). Whoever gets the job will be uploading public domain content to Wikipedia and “creating new pages on notable topics”.

You can read the full job advertisement here but it’s a temporary 13 week position, so you might have to get an extension on your dissertation if you’re successful.

And, if you’re interested in rare books and first editions, did you know that the Dyson Collection in our own Special Collections holds first editions of works by William Wordsworth and John Keats? Also, the Milner-Whit…