Kensington Central Library – July 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello from us all at Kensington Central Library! We’ve certainly been enjoying the better weather (& we hope you all have too) – so our blog post this month certainly has a summery feel – from Wimbledon to summer reading.

Well done Andy Murray!

Andy Murray with his Wimbledon trophy
Andy Murray with his Wimbledon trophy

Well that was certainly an exciting Sunday afternoon! I did at times think that Andy was keeping it going so that I could get home in time for match point. Sadly I wasn’t but I’m not sure my nerves could have coped with the tension anyway so probably not a bad thing! Indeed, he managed to finish him off relatively quickly in the end and I was able to have my celebratory ice cream and watch his Centre Court celebrations!

After a long wait there is certainly an element of relief as well as cheer in my heart at Murray’s victory; it was certainly a while since a British player won the Men’s singles Wimbledon – although I suppose he did win last year as well – does Olympic gold count?

We must all have had a feeling that this was coming after that gold medal, last year’s final, the doubles victories of Jonny Marray (last year) and Jamie Murray in 2007 and all those years of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski so nearly getting to the final! You can read the stories about these victories and Andy Murray’s in the newspaper articles within UKNewsstand – a fully searchable database of UK national and local newspapers. 

Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade

So although we may’ve been provided some consolation by the doubles victories, it was really the singles where we wanted to be victorious; it was certainly a long time since anyone had been singles champion. Virginia Wade “fought for 16 years” to win her women’s singles title in 1977 and for a men’s winner you had to go even further back – to 1936 with Fred Perry winning his third title. Fred’s final was much easier than Andy’s as von Cramm injured himself in the first game of the match.

You can read about both of their victories and the reaction in the Times Digital Archive – this is an online, full-text facsimile of more than 200 years of The Times. Judging by the reaction to Fred’s win with his “murderous forehand” I don’t think they knew just how long we would have to wait until they could next celebrate such a victory at Wimbledon!

Fred Perry
Fred Perry

Fred was a very interesting chap as well. You only have to read his biography, did you know he had also been the world table tennis champion?! And it wasn’t just these competitions that he won – have a whiz through his fascinating life story in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – this lists remarkable people in any walk of life who were connected with the British Isles, excluding living people.

Finally, as we look on into the future wondering whether Andy can compete with Fred’s records why not have a read of the Oxford University Press’ blog piece, ‘An Oxford Companion to Wimbledon’  (I especially like the ending) which perhaps expresses some of our pre-victory feelings.

Owen Grey

Triborough Reference Librarian

The heat is on – so cool down with a book!

Summer Reads on display
Summer Reads on display

The hot weather has inspired us to have a look at some books about cooling down, such as a great book about ‘Wild Swimming’ by Daniel Start.  And we have also been picking out some great stories to get stuck into on lazy summer days.  Take a look at our selection at the Kensington Central Library.

London 60s Week book display
London 60s Week book display

The 19 to 28 July is London 60s Week – an annual festival celebrating the golden anniversary of the 60s.  The festival celebrates the creative explosion from this period, and we have found lots of evidence of this creative talent in our books!

More information about this festival can be found on the London 60s Week website.

We’ve also got some summer reading displays in our children’s library – especially for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge! More information about the challenge and our special events during the school holidays can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge webpage.

Gillian Nunns, Reference Librarian
Gillian Nunns

Gillian Nunns

Lending Librarian

Hot Off the Press – from the Titanic to Picasso

This is the final blog post in a series of four from Nina Risoli, one of our Tri-Borough Reference Librarians about two of our online reference databases:

You can catch up with last three posts, an introduction to both databases, more about  UK Newsstand and the Times Digital Archive.

This week Nina demonstrates how two very different subjects – the Titanic and Pablo Picasso –  can be researched on the Times Digital Archive and UK Newsstand.

Sinking the Unsinkable

Titanic
The Titanic

You can experience the drama of events such as the sinking of the Titanic, for example, and follow the awful event as it was reported as the news trickled in.

Boarding Pass for the Titanic
Boarding Pass for the Titanic

This is a string of some of the results you get when you search the database inserting a single search term: Titanic.

  • Launch Of The Titanic. Vessel Successfully Takes The Water. (News) from our special correspondent
    The Times Thursday, Jun 01, 1911
  • The Largest Vessel Afloat. Maiden Voyage Of The Titanic. (News)
    The Times Thursday, Apr 11, 1912
  • The Titanic Disaster. (Editorials/Leaders)
    The Times Tuesday, Apr 16, 1912
  • Titanic Sunk. Terrible Loss Of Life Feared., Collision With An Iceberg., Official Messages. (News) (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.).The Times Tuesday, Apr 16, 1912
  • Position Of The Titanic At The Time Of The Disaster. (Picture Gallery)
    The Times Tuesday, Apr 16, 1912
  • The Marine Insurance Market. The Disaster To The Titanic. (Shipping News)
    The Times Tuesday, Apr 16, 1912
  • The Titanic Disaster. A Death Roll Of 1,328., List Of Survivors., World-Wide Expressions Of Sympathy. (News)
    The Times Wednesday, Apr 17, 1912
  • New York Stock Exchange. Dull On The Loss Of The Titanic. (Stock Exchange Tables)
    The Times Wednesday, Apr 17, 1912
  • Help For Titanic Victims. A Mansion House Fund., Donations From The King And Queen. (Letters to the Editor) THOS. BOOR CROSBY, Lord Mayor
    The Times Thursday, Apr 18, 1912
  • The Titanic. Number Of Survivors Still Doubtful., The Supply Of Boats., Relief Fund Opened In London. (News) (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
    The Times Thursday, Apr 18, 1912
Dinner Menu on the Titanic
Dinner Menu on the Titanic

The string of newspapers headlines eloquently illustrates how the ‘unsinkable’ ship went from this:

Titanic at Night
Titanic at Night

To this in one short week:

Sunken Titanic
Sunken Titanic

 

Fall and Rise of Picasso

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso

In another example, the first article published in The Times about the artist, Pablo Picasso is dated 12 April1912 following the exhibition of his drawings in Stafford Gallery in Duke Street in London. It defends the artist from the accusations of being the ‘incompetent charlatan’ and discusses how the advent of photography ‘spooked’ artists like Picasso into exploring the abstract and moving away from representing form in the conventional way.

  

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso

268 further results reveal the bewilderment of the established critics at the developments of this new way of artistic expression. They chart the artist’s rise through countless exhibitions, record-breaking sales, stolen works, attempts at forgery of his paintings, right through to the platitudes piled on him on the occasion of his 75th birthday, on 25th October 1956, in the article which declares him ‘among the greatest draughtsman to have appeared in the history of European art.’

…and finally his death at 91 on Monday, 9th April 1973, with The Times depicting him as the ‘greatest painter of modern times’ and a national treasure of several countries. Henry Moore calls him ‘probably the most naturally gifted artist since Raphael’ and the director of Tate hails him as ‘beyond comparison and the most original genius of the century.’

 “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the Pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

It is interesting to note how the emphasis of the whole body of writing on the subject of Picasso on the Times Digital Archive is overwhelmingly his art, despite the fact that he had a very colourful private life. Out of 268 articles only a handful refer to his private life, briefly and respectfully.

The true fall-out of his manner of life and the fact that he left no will to help the family manage his gigantic legacy can be much better traced using UK Newsstand, reflecting our modern obsession with salacious detail and Picasso himself. Search for “Picasso women” yields staggering 9222 articles in UK Newsstand.

All this is interesting on its own merit, but if you are a student or a researcher or have a special interest in anything that happened or was talked about in this country in the last 200 years – Times Digital Archive can enrich your understanding and widen you research through its particular take on people and events captured in news articles as they unfolded.

If you wish to have a demonstration of the Times Digital Archive or UK Newsstand please contact Kensington Central Reference Library on information@rbkc.gov.uk.  A reference librarian will be delighted to help you get familiar with the databases and set you off on your own journey of discovery. Kensington Central Reference Library has 5 dedicated computers available for researching our online databases.

Nina Risoli
Nina Risoli

Nina Risoli, Tri- Borough Reference Librarian

Kensington Central Reference Library

Hot Off the Press – UK Newsstand

Latest News, newspaper caption
Latest News, newspaper caption

This is the second in a series of four blog posts from Nina Risoli, one of our Tri-Borough Reference Librarians about two of our online reference databases:

You can catch up with last Monday’s post, an introduction to both databases. This week Nina tells us about UK Newsstand.

UK Newsstand lets you access 299 regional and national newspapers and magazines (along with several trade and scholarly journals), from Aberdeen Evening Express to the Yorkshire Post. You can read broadsheets or tabloids, anything from small local newspapers such as Hackney Gazette to the big national newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, within 24 hours of them being pressed. You can also easily catch up with anything you might have missed.

Assorted newspapers
National newspapers
More assorted newspaper titles
Local newspapers

TIP: to gain access to the database you should always go through either the  Kensington and Chelsea’s reference page selecting the relevant database from the links on the right. Or on the Kensington and Chelsea Digital library newspaper page. Click on “View Title List” on the following page for information on publications included in the database, as well as the length of each archive.

Ed Stein cartoon 'Infrastructure' Photo: Ed STein '08 Rocky Mtn News NEA
Ed Stein cartoon ‘Infrastructure’ Photo: Ed Stein ’08 Rocky Mtn News NEA

At the moment the press itself is under scrutiny. Searching for terms such as ‘Levison’ or ‘press regulation’ using UK Newsstand is far superior than searching via a search engine. Search engines will throw up many relevant sites and articles but they will displayed haphazardly and you’ll need at least five more clicks to get to the information you want on each site (then go back and look for another source and so on). Using UK Newsstand gives you a comprehensive list of chronologically ordered results from all the selected publications. This allows you to have an extensive overview how a certain subject was reported in the press.

For serious researchers there is My Research – a place where you can save, manage, and organise the content and supporting materials you find using the database. You can include texts, articles, searches, tags, shared lists, search alerts, RSS feeds, and more.

TIP: Use quotation marks rather than brackets to obtain exact phrases.

TIP: UK Newsstand can be displayed in over 10 languages – the results will still be in English but it may be easier to navigate around the site in your own language!
UK Newsstand provides millions of documents from thousands of sources, covering research and subject areas like these:

  • The Arts 
  • Business
  • Health & Medicine
  • History
  • Literature & Language
  • Science & Technology
  • Social Sciences

The database offers the full range of searching options. You can use keyword search for the publications you select, you can choose the type of documents you want to view or search Obituaries and death notices to help find ancestors, relatives, and notable figures.

If you wish to have a demonstration of TDA or UK Newsstand please contact Kensington Central Reference Library on information@rbkc.gov.uk. A reference librarian will be delighted to help you get familiar with the databases and set you off on your own journey of discovery. Kensington Central Reference Library has 5 dedicated computers available for researching our online databases.

A young newspaper vendor at work in Fleet Street, 1894. Photo: Mary Evans Pictures Library/ Alamy
A young newspaper vendor at work in Fleet Street, 1894. Photo: Mary Evans Pictures Library/ Alamy

Nina Risoli, Tri- Borough Reference Librarian

Nina Risoli
Nina Risoli

Kensington Central Reference Library

Hot Off The Press or Once Upon A Time

Keeping up with the news

For the next four Mondays, Nina Risoli, one of our Tri-Borough Reference Librarians will blog about two of our online reference databases:

Read all about it
Read all about it

We read newspapers and magazines to keep informed of what is happening in the world around us. Libraries have traditionally provided access to current news by making hard copies of newspapers and magazines available to their readers. In more recent times developments in information technology have turned your library card number into a code that opens a powerful gateway to news, both ‘old’ and current, without you having to set foot in a library building.

Where before it was all about old newspapers stacked in library stores and long lines of bound volumes of magazines, now we can offer all that and more through databases such as Times Digital Archive (TDA) and UK Newsstand. They (and a number of other online databases) are available to members through Library pages on the Royal Borough’s website.

And it is all free!

PileofPapers

All you need to do is click on the link above, choose the database from the links on the right of the page (under the heading “24 hour Online Reference”) and insert your library card number when prompted.

Why not give it a go now?

Reference Library webpage
Reference Library Webpage

Not a member? Click here for information on how you can join.

So, whether you fancy researching ‘old’ news or you wish to keep up with current affairs and news as they develop, through your library membership you can access your favourite newspapers from home or anywhere in the world where you have access to the internet.

It may actually be a good idea to note down your library card number (or carry your card with you!) when travelling if you want to have continuous access to news and information while away, or wish to do a bit of research on the subject that interests you. 

If you wish to have a demonstration of TDA or UK Newsstand please contact Kensington Central Reference Library by emailing information@rbkc.gov.uk, or call 0207 361 3031. A reference librarian will be delighted to help you get familiar with the databases and set you off on your own journey of discovery. Kensington Central Reference Library has 5 dedicated computers available for researching our online databases.

Nina Risoli
Nina Risoli

Nina Risoli, Tri- Borough Reference Librarian

Kensington Central Reference Library