New resource now available: Mass Observation 2000s

We’re pleased to announce that we have now added the latest 2000s module to the very popular Mass Observation Online resource. We already had access to the 1980s and 1990s modules.

About Mass Observation

Mass Observation is a pioneering project which documents the social history of Britain by recruiting volunteers (‘observers’) to write about their lives, experiences and opinions. Still growing, it is one of the most important sources available for qualitative social data in the UK. This latest instalment is a great resource for anyone researching aspects of the early 21st century. It complements our existing access to the original Mass Observation project archive, which covers 1937-1967.

2000s collection

This module has a strong emphasis on technological advancements and the changing means of communication that came with the new Millennium. Highlights include the Millennium Diaries, the events of September 11th and environmental concerns, as well as detailing the everyday lives, thoughts, and opinions of respondents.

Searching and browsing

Screenshot of filtering options
Filtering options

You can browse or search Mass Observation in various ways.

Browse by directive: browse the different directives (surveys), which are arranged chronologically and by topic.

Browse all documents: browse all the individual documents, and then further filter your search as required.

You can also use the Advanced search box at the top of the screen to search for specific topics.

Help

Screenshot of research tools
Research tools

We’d recommend you start by reading through the Introduction (top menu) which explains more about the project and the different document types. If you’re looking for ideas about how to make use of it, take a look at the Research Tools, which includes essays, videos, exhibitions and chronological timelines.

Note that as over half the materials in these collections (mainly the pre-2000s modules) are handwritten, the database enables Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) to help you search. We would recommend you read about how HTR works, to help you get the best out of the database, in the Introduction section.

EDI Summer Reading Challenge

Abstract colourful shapes. Text reads: Summer Reading Challenge, libguides.ncl.ac.uk/edi.

Summer is the perfect time to embark on a journey, broaden your horizons and soak up a different culture or perspective. So, the team behind our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) library guide is delighted to re-launch a summer EDI reading challenge.

Since its launch in autumn 2020, we’ve been using the guide to curate and highlight print and online resources of all kinds, relating to EDI themes, such as those listed in the University’s EDI priorities. We’ve compiled themed sections and monthly highlights of books, films, social media, archives, podcasts and more, and encouraged suggestions from staff and students across the University to help us develop our collections.

So why not take up our Summer EDI Reading Challenge?

Recommend and Review

Look through our themed reading lists on our Recommended by You & Blog page and explore life through a new lens! We hope you’ll find some inspiration, but we’d also love to receive your recommendations too, and we’ll be highlighting them on the guide.

You’re welcome to use the online form on the lib guide. If you can give us a few words to explain your choice, that would be great! You can see what people recommended last year on our EDI in Literature page.

Social Media

We’ll be running a promotional campaign on social media throughout summer, using the hashtags #ReadingForPleasure and #EDIReadingChallenge. Please look out for these and retweet/repost wherever possible.

Have a great Summer everyone! We’ll leave you with the inspired words of the Poet, Derek Walcott:

I read; I travel; I become.

Sound and vision: introducing our new audiovisual resources guide


Where can I find pictures relating to transport which I can use in my project? How do I find out what was broadcast on British television and radio on a particular day in the 1970s? Where are the best places to find examples of digital art? I need audio clips of scary sounds for my presentation – where to start? Are there any interesting oral histories in my subject area? How do I reference a podcast? I’ve found an ideal picture online, but I don’t know where it’s from – what can I do? Is there an authoritative list of famous music plagiarism cases anywhere, including audio clips?

Screenshot of oral histories from the British Library
British Library oral histories selection

You can find the answers to these, and many more intriguing questions, on our brand new guide to finding and using audiovisual resources.

We’ve updated and expanded our old images guide, and included new databases and resources for finding films and television programmes, plus audio content such as radio programmes, sound clips, podcasts and oral histories.

We’ve also updated the original still images section, which helps you find images of all genres and subjects, such as anatomy, archaeology, architecture…. and all other letters of the alphabet!

Need more help?

Keyword searching isn’t always the best way to search for audiovisual content, so if you want to find an image which looks like another one, search by colour, or find exactly what you want on Box of Broadcasts, visit our guide.

Finally, if you’re unsure whether you’re permitted to use an audiovisual resource in your assignment, and/or how to cite it, we can help with that too. Our guide contains plenty of helpful advice on using and citing audiovisual materials, and we’ve tried to include links to collections and databases which are licensed for educational use where possible (but please do check the terms and conditions in each case).

3 places to look for images for Architecture, Planning & Landscape

We know students and researchers in SAPL use images for all sorts of reasons. You might know some websites which provide some good pictures or maybe you just Google to find some. But for academic work you’ll want to ensure they are good quality, you can reference them correctly and they adhere to any Copyright terms and conditions.

You can use some of the resources from the Library to look for pictures of buildings, plans, projects and architectural photographs.

This help video covers the 3 main places we’d advise you look.

https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/2713acc4-e8ec-4f3c-8052-15602a5bbed

Detail Inspiration and it’s 3000 projects spanning over 30 years.

Architects Journal Buildings Library and its 1900 projects spanning the last 20 years.

Art and Architecture Archive; a full text archive of magazines including Architects Journal and Architectural Review.

These articles have been indexed so that you can specifically search for images and photographs.

Resources for English Literature

Philip Robinson Library

We’ve got a wide range of specialist information resources for English literature students. We know it can be rather overwhelming knowing where to start, so this blog post gives you a whistle stop tour of what you can find.

Library Search and your reading lists are great starting points for finding books, journals and other resources for your modules, but we’ve highlighted below some more specialised resources which you’ll want to explore.

Interdisciplinary academic research databases

Interdisciplinary bibliographic databases, such as Scopus or JSTOR are a great starting point after Library Search, as they enable you to discover secondary literature, irrespective of the subject area, and have really helpful features to help you focus your search. This can be useful if your topic covers more than one subject area, or if you’re trying to scope your topic broadly. Content includes journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and reviews.

Specialist English literature research databases

Literature Online (LION) is an indispensable database for researching English literature. It comprises three main sections:

  • literary criticism: search articles from over 400 journals, together with the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature
  • primary texts:  350,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th century to the present
  • reference: encylopedias, topic overviews and author biographies
Screenshot of the Literature Online homepage, showing the basic search options.
LION search screen

You can search all of these information types at once with the All button selected, or focus on a particular section by choosing the appropriate button. 

If you haven’t used LION before, or would like a refresher, a good way to get an insight into the content, and different ways to search, is to try out the sample searches in this LION guide (Links to an external site.).

Film and Television Literature Index

If you’re researching a film or television studies topic, including literary adapations, then you may find Film and Television Literature Index to be useful. It includes articles from academic journals and film magazines, and coverage is focused on film and television theory, writing, production  and reviews.  

Digitised archives

Screen shot of a verse manuscript from Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape.
Romanticism: Life, Literature, Landscape

There is a vast range of digitised literary archives available, and it would be impossible to list every one, but we have picked out some major resources on the English Literature subject guide, in the General literary resources > archives section. These include:

Literary Print Culture

Perdita Manuscripts

Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape

Click on the links above for blog posts giving more information about these fascinating archives.

We also have a fascinating range of historic and contemporary literary archives in our own Special Collections section: please browse the web site by subject to find out more and read here for how to consult items and get further advice.

Literary texts: historic book collections online

Oxford World’s Classics

As well as the many individual literary print and e-books in our collections, we also have access to several major online collections of literary texts from different historical periods, which feature in-depth contextual information, facsimile images of the original texts, and sophisticated search and analytical features.

From Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), we have access to almost every book published in English from the fifteenth to nineteenth century, complemented by other specialist collections, such as Oxford Scholarly Editions Online.

ECCO screenshot

Our blog post gives an overview of five of the major collections. You can find all the individual books from these collections on Library Search, but we recommend searching and browsing the databases themselves (for example, EEBO) to get the best searching and viewing experience.

Audiovisual resources: Box of Broadcasts and Drama Online

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) contains over two million programmes from over 75 television and radio channels. Coverage mostly dates from 2007 to the present day.  It’s a great resource for finding literary adaptations on television, film and radio, together with documentaries about writers, and arts review broadcasts. Find out how to get the best out of BoB via our BoB blog post.

Drama Online screenshot

The Library has purchased various collections from the Drama Online database, which comprises the text of over 3,000 plays, from ancient Greek drama to contemporary works, together with contextual works relating to drama theory and practice. We have also recently bought several video collections, featuring films of major theatrical productions from the National Theatre, Globe and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Read more about this exciting platform and the very latest content on our blog post.

English Literature Subject Guide

This posting is just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area. To access them and find out more, visit your Subject Guide and explore the databases and other subject specific resources which we’ve curated for English literature.

There are also subject guides for related subject areas which you may find useful, including English language and linguistics, and Film Studies.

Our Resource Guides point to different types of information, such as newspapers, images and statistics.

Resources for Translating and Interpreting Studies

A portion of a map of England can be seen beneath a foreign language dictionary.

The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming.  Library Search can be a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for Translating and Interpreting studies.

Let’s dive in!

Scopus

Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers and trade publications. 

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  You can also set up citation alerts, so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically.

Video guide from Scopus demonstrating how to expand your search results.

Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.

JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher.

Take a look at our Get more out of JSTOR blog post to find tips for advanced searching on this database.

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts is an excellent resource for those interested in the nature and use of language.  The database focuses on academic resources for the study of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics.

LLBA has the added advantage of including a specialised linguistics thesaurus, which you can use in advanced search to refine and focus your search. The thesaurus provides a searchable list of all of the subject terms used in the database and highlights links between broader, narrower and related terms, helping you to select all of the keywords relevant to your topic.

Screen shot showing the thesaurus in LLBA.

ProQuest provide a helpful and detailed guide to LLBA which includes search tips for basic and advanced search as well as some sample searches you can work through to familiarise yourself with the database. 

Bibliography of Interpreting and Translation (BITRA)

BITRA is a bibliographic database containing over 80,000 records, including books, book chapters, journal articles and PhD theses, on topics relating to translation and interpreting. You can search the database precisely by subject, author, publication date and language, or choose from a selection of keywords (controlled vocabulary) to broadly search all records containing those keywords in the subject field.

Item records provide bibliographic information and an abstract to help you decide if the item is relevant to your research but you’ll need to use Library Search or Google Scholar to find full text copies of useful resources.

Nexis – International Newspapers

Newspapers can be a great source of information, with news stories and editorial opinion offering a fascinating angle on your research topic.

The recently updated Nexis Uni database enables you to search over 17,000 news, business and legal sources. This includes most UK national and regional newspapers, together with international sources, including newspapers, newswires and news magazines in multiple languages. Coverage of news titles often dates back to the 1990s and includes today’s news. Coverage is text only, and doesn’t include images, layout, adverts etc.

The simplest way to search is by selecting the News button from the Guided Search section on the database homepage:

Screenshot of the Nexis home page showing Guided Search with News highlighted
Screenshot of the Nexis home page showing Guided Search with News highlighted.

Type in your search term (use ” ” if searching for a phrase), select your date range, and click Search.

If you would like to try more complex searching (e.g. searching in a particular section of the newspaper, or combining terms together in various ways), then click on Advanced search from the home page, and select the ‘News’ tab.

Our Nexis blog post provides more details on how to get the most out of the database and you can explore Nexis Uni Video Trainings via the Help button at the top of the database homepage. You can find out more about the Library’s collection of international news resources in the international section of our Newspapers guide.

Remember to use your critical thinking skills when using newspapers as they may present biased opinion and inaccurate facts – watch out for Fake News!

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts allows you to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s Freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource for finding documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

Translating and Interpreting Subject Guide

This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit your Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for Translating and Interpreting studies. 

There are also subject guides for specific languages which may be useful for you to explore, including Chinese and Japanese studies, German studies, French studies, Italian studies, and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Resources for Philosophy

Bookshelves lit up by a row of ceiling strung bulbs.

The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic, or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming.  Library Search is a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for Philosophical studies.

Let’s dive in!

Scopus

Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers and trade publications. 

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  You can also set up citation alerts, so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically.

Video from Scopus on how to expand your search results.

Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.

JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher.

Take a look at our Get more out of JSTOR blog post to find tips for advanced searching on this database.

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

Arts and Humanities Citation Index

Part of the Web of Science Core Collection, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index contains indexes for over 1,800 journals across 28 arts & humanities disciplines, dating from 1975 to present.  Once you’ve accessed the Web of Science homepage, select more settings and tick the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, to limit your search to this database.

Screen shot showing how to select the Arts and Humanities Citation Index from the Web of Science search page.

Like Scopus, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes, including abstracts, keyword descriptions, full reference lists and cited reference searching within the web of science collection.  There are smart tools for analysing your results and options to set up search alerts to be notified of any new relevant material.

Web of Science provide a helpful and detailed guide to their Core Collection which includes search tips for basic and advanced search as well as a guide to setting up alerts and saving results.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a major reference work, compiled and kept up to date by experts in the field.  You can browse contents alphabetically, or use the search box to look for keywords, philosophers or philosophical movements. Each record includes an introductory abstract, entry contents, a bibliography, a list of related entries, and links to other useful online resources.

Reference works can be particularly useful at the beginning of your search when you’re looking for an overview of your topic area, or if you’re looking for a key fact to add to an argument, they can also be useful if you want to develop your knowledge of subject vocabulary.

Screen shot of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy home page.

PhilPapers

PhilPapers is a comprehensive index and bibliography of online scholarly material for philosophy, maintained by a community of philosophers.  The database includes books, journals and open access archives, while the linked PhilArchive repository provides links to open access publications. 

You can use basic or advanced search tools to look for material by keyword, find specific journals or explore user profiles of members of the community.  Item records provide helpful details such as an abstract, keyword and relevant categories as well as a list of references, citing articles and related reading.  You’ll also find a range of download options for the item.

Additionally, PhilPapers provides a reference collection of over 5000 philosophical categories organised hierarchically by topic, which you can browse from the homepage or via the Topic tab in the menu.  These are maintained by experts in the field and include a summary of the topic, a list of key and introductory works and a links to related categories.

Screen shot of an example topic page on PhilPapers.

Look out for the option to take a quick guided tour on the main homepage, this introduces you to the main features and tools of the database.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts allows you to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s Freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource for finding documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

Philosophy Subject Guide

This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit your Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for Philosophy students. 

Resource in focus: State Papers Online

The Library has access to the digitised State Papers Online from 1509 to the end of the State Papers series in 1782, providing a fascinating research resource for early modern Britain and Europe.

What are the State Papers?

They are predominantly official papers of the Secretaries of State from the period, and include correspondence, reports, memoranda and civil service drafts, covering a wide range of domestic and international matters, and emanating from the highest levels of power. The collections include letters from popes, diplomats, and rulers of other countries, as well as records such as military and naval registers, and thus provide a fascinating record of the Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian periods in England and beyond.

A selection of entries

It is an major resource for researching themes such as the monarchy, law and order, religious conflict, wars and treaties, international trade and the emergence of party politics.

What’s in this collection?

The digitised collections comprise the papers themselves, digitised from the original manuscripts, as well as the ‘calendars’, which catalogue and briefly describe or summarise the manuscripts, and which have been transcribed into text. The manuscripts themselves are mostly not searchable (except for a few series which have been transcribed). The calendars are searchable, and each calendar entry links to its manuscript, making the research process significantly easier than pre-digitisation.

How to search

You can search or browse the State Papers in various ways. We’d recommend selecting Advanced Search to access all the options for focusing your search. Note useful options such as fuzzy search, which enables you to search for spelling variants, plus the option to limit your search to records with a manuscript, and/or a transcript of the manuscript.

Advanced search screen

The Browse function may be useful if you wish to work through a particular series of State Papers: you can either browse the calendars or manuscripts.

There are various options for saving, downloading and exporting results.

Help and guidance

Help options
Help options

If you are using the State Papers for the first time, we’d recommend reading the relevant About State Papers Online section to get an overview of what each collection contains.

You will also find very helpful contextual information in the Research Tools section.

  • Reference includes glossaries, explanations of dates, weights and measures etc;
  • Links gives links to useful guidance such as paleography courses.
  • Essays gives more detailed insights into each collection, written by experts.
  • Key documents picks out important highlights from the collections.
  • You can also click Help in the top right of the screen for in-depth help with searching and exporting.

We’re here to help (even when we’re not)

Christmas scene with dining table

The University may be closed for the Christmas period but if you are studying, writing assignments or revising, library resources and help are always available. We may not be in the building, but the library team can help you with your semester 2 preparation.

Use your Library Subject Guide

If you are not sure which resources are best to use for your subject or what you can access off-campus, visit your Subject Guide . The guides bring together links and help for the specialist information sources in your discipline.

Visit the Library over the vacation

The Philip Robinson Library building will be open for the majority of the Winter break (Friday 24th December 2021 – Monday 3rd January 2022) but is closed on Christmas Day (Saturday 25th December) and New Year’s Day (Saturday 1st January). All other library buildings will be closed for the entire Winter break.  If you need access to books and journals, or a quiet place to study, all you will need is to book your study space online and to bring your University smartcard to enter the building. Visit the website for the Library vacation opening hours. Please remember that it is currently mandatory to wear a face covering when moving around indoors in all university buildings (free masks are available at the Library Welcome Desk).

Have a question? Check the FAQs

We have an extensive database of frequently asked questions available on the Library website. You can search by keyword or browse by topic area and find answers to the most common questions. So whether you want to know how to access newspapers from the Library, how to book study space or get help with EndNote, check the FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.

Contact Library Help

If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. You can live chat with a librarian outside of the University to get immediate answers, or send us a message and we will get back to you when the University reopens.

So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and e-books from the Library website and we will be back in the Library on Tuesday 4th January 2022. Enjoy the festive season!

Hot topics: where to find out more

If you are looking for information on cutting edge research and development to aid your studies there are a range of online resources available via Library Search.

Nature Communications is an open access, multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in all areas of the biological, health, physical, chemical, and Earth sciences. When exploring the content of Nature Communications you will find current research articles, reviews, and analysis, together with news, comments, FAQs, and editorials. Hot topics are brought together in collections like ‘Research in support of COP26’ and ‘Clean Air’ which can be extremely useful when thinking about literature and systematic reviews.

CAB Abstracts is a bibliographic database that covers significant research and development literature in the fields of agriculture, forestry, human health, nutrition, animal health, and the management and conservation of natural resources. Using targeted searching and filtering in CAB Abstracts will enable you to find information on current hot topics like climate change and Covid-19. It’s not all just about journal articles either, you will find access to videos, letters, conference proceedings, books, and reports. Collating this information and adding it to your reference management library will also help to broaden the scope of your research into a topic.

So, next time you see a hot topic related to your research appear on your social media feed, or in your favourite newspaper, head over to Library Search and use these resources to help you find out more about the current academic research and discussion.