CC Search

Finding good images online that can be used freely without breaching copyright can be a challenge.  CC Search ( is a tool which aims to make this task a little easier.  CC search is working to improve discoverability of copyright cleared images by cross searching open archives.  The CC stands for Creative Commons, a licencing system that facilitates the sharing and reuse of content.   Simply enter your search term in the box and get results returned from Flickr, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Library, Rijkmuseum and Europeana amongst others.  CC Search is a prototype at the moment but still has lots to offer.   The total number of searchable images is now over 10 million after the recent integration of 470,000 more images from Europeana.  Extra features, like creating lists and favourites are available by setting up an account on the site.  Another good feature is one click attribution, making referencing your source quicker and easier.  CC Search is worth a visit if you are looking for images.

“By the Seaside” by Klearchos Kapoutsis is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Ice cream” by CeresB is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Beach Huts” by Mary T Moore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

New! BoB – from Learning on Screen


We now have access to a great new TV and radio resource, it’s the ultimate catch-up service for students – BoB (  Using BoB you will be able to view, record, create clips and share any broadcast programmes from nearly 65 TV and radio channels. That’s around 2,000,000 educational TV and radio programmes, and once programmes are recorded they are kept indefinitely!

The catch-up service on missed programmes will be available on and off-campus.  Login using your College email address and password.  You can schedule recordings in advance, edit programmes into clips and create playlists.  You will be able to search a growing archive of material and if you wish to use any for your studies a one-click citation reference is available allowing you to cite programmes easily in your bibliography.

Staff will be able to create playlists of programmes related to their topic and  link to their clips from iLearn. Using video and radio resources like these will bring lectures to life, creating engaging learning material.

You can even view content from BoB on your smartphone or iPad. Searching for relevant programmes is very quick and simple using keywords and you can even search through transcripts.

Take a look, be creative and make clips or a personal playlist to include in your reports.



Discovering Literature – archive of 20th century writers

We recently shared with you some great online resources for Shakespeare and now the same site by the British Library has launched another great archive. Over 300 literary treasures relating to 20th century writers have been made available online for the first time, including literary drafts, rare first editions, notebooks, letters, diaries, newspapers and photographs from Virginia Woolf, Ted Hughes, Angela Carter and Hanif Kureishi among others. The items relate to some of the 20th century’s greatest writers and can be viewed for free on the Discovering Literature website.

From George Orwell to Sylvia Plath, the collection covers some of the greatest writers of the century and has some real gems. For example, a notebook of astrological charts by Ted Hughes for Sigmund Freud, the poets W B Yeats, T S Eliot and Sylvia Plath. You can get a glimpse of George Orwell’s notebook which contains his early thoughts and ideas for what would become Nineteen Eighty-Four, including ‘newspeak’ and ‘doublethink’.

george orwell
George Orwell: 1903-1950 Novelist, Essayist, Journalist, Political writer

Amongst other interesting items the archive includes a first American edition copy of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess which controversially does not include the final chapter, in which Alex chooses to reject violence using free-will.

Explore the website and see the wide range of themes examined through the literature, from art to fantasy and fairy tales through to the European influence on the authors and their thoughts on conflict.


Moving Image Archive

Example of footage from Moving image archive website

The Moving Image Archive is Scotland’s national collection of moving images and is held at the National Library. You can watch over 1,700 clips and full-length films which have been collected together from donations or produced in collaboration with film-makers.You can watch films in the Moving Image Archive catalogue, hire DVDs or make an appointment to watch films on-site. Films are available to hire for screenings, and commercial users can license footage for broadcast use. You need permission from the Library if you want to re-use moving image material — for example, in a broadcast, media production, or screening.

There is also a reference section in the National Library in Edinburgh where you can read books and journals about film history and Scottish film-making.

The Moving Image Archive can be used in conjunction with Scotland on Screen which is the online learning resource for the Scottish Screen Archive with over 25 hours of footage, a step-by-step guide to moving image education, and instructions for creating your own video essay using archive film.

Footage covers many different topics and areas of Scotland. Try searching for your hometown, or see how a particular profession used to look. Events such as gala days, royal visits to Scotland, the construction of the Forth Road Bridge as well as insights into everyday life and much more are included. Have a browse and see what fascinating footage you can discover.

Don’t forget you also have access to other catalogues of video footage and images collections through our e-resources which can be found on iLearn.

We hope you find these resources useful for finding video clips for your research, always remember to check the copyright information and use the correct format for your citations.



Focus on Shakespeare

On 23 April 1616, 400 years ago, William Shakespeare died aged 52. The British Library has released 300 newly digitised items relating to Shakespeare for the first time on its Discovering Literature website. There are also over 80 essays about Shakespeare written by scholars and actors, for example, Simon Callow. The website provides a good background to the political, social and cultural context of the plays.

Displaying a range of manuscripts, maps, paintings, illustrations, ballads and photos of Shakespeare’s work it is a fascinating way to explore his writing.

Highlights include:

  • the only surviving handwritten playscript – Sir Thomas More  to which Shakespeare contributed a scene in which More courageously quells a mob of anti-French rioters who are calling for immigrants to be banished
  • A 17th-century manuscript thought to preserve the original tune of one of the Fool’s songs from King Lear
  • The only surviving self portrait of John Dee – the Elizabethan scholar, astrologer and magician thought to have inspired Shakespeare’s Prospero – contained in a remarkable six foot manuscript scroll

Until now, you would have had to visit the British Library Reading Rooms or exhibitions to view this kind of material but now it is all online and available to all. So if you have ever felt overwhelmed by the challenging language or thought that you would struggle to understand the plot lines, have a look at this great website for inspiration and see what you can find. You might be surprised at how accessible and relevant some of the plays are.

Check out this new BBC website which tells tales of child actors, weird venues and the company for which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays, the King’s Men. Discover where Shakespeare went on tour..and much much more..

We have a wide range of Shakespeare plays, books about Shakespeare and DVDs available to borrow from our library. Please ask if you need help to find any you are interested in.




How to find just about anything

Given the task of a quick enquiry or long intensive research, most of us will automatically default to ‘Googling‘ it. But to enhance your research skills and impress your tutors, why not try a new way? There are many alternative search engines available online, each with their own catalogue of information sources and each using their own system of providing you with the most relevant results. Some are also specialist search engines unique to a particular topic, meaning you may be able to dig down deeper in niche areas of interest or get access to academic papers not easily retrieved from a regular search.

This website, collated by Information Specialist Phil Bradley, has brought together an extensive list of search engines, some specific to a geographical area, some designed to search only within a certain topic, and some best suited to finding images or video.

Good websites for study research

Refseek Great place to find detailed academic information, searching journals, encyclopedias and web pages.

Google Scholar – A quick way to search academic articles, some will only provide a summary of the research rather than the full text.

Good websites for science research


Science research – A search engine which focuses on scientific research helping you to keep your search results more relevant.

Chemspider – Perfect for science students, this provides a detailed chemical structure database providing access to over 40 million structures from hundreds of data sources.


Good website for finding images online


Pexels Over 500 free stock photos – all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

Flikr Creative Commons – Another place to search for images for use in your reports, but do check the conditions of the licence, copyright restrictions will vary.

As a Fife College student you will also have access to Scran…

Scran – 490,000 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media available for you to use in your studies. Includes resources from Scottish museum collections and archives.

And also, if you are struggling to find something, don’t forget to ask for help from library staff.



Great Writers Project

Great Writers Inspire is an online collection of literary themed learning resources. Thousands of items are available through the website, including audio and video lectures and short talks, downloadable electronic texts, ebooks and images. Many of these resources have been specially created by the University of Oxford for this project.

Great Writers Inspire

You can browse the collection by theme or look up a specific author. You could explore a particular section such as the ‘Feminist approach to literature‘ or ‘Political Literature‘.

There are many interesting resources to examine, all free to reuse, for example, explore Jane Austen’s manuscripts or watch video lectures about Gatsby and the 1920’s.

Although extensive, the collection is not complete and is intended to inspire deeper research and investigation. Have a look and discover what style of writing or particular author interests you.

Should you wish to explore further here are some other suggested websites for further reading and don’t forget the college library catalogue has a great collection of literature, poetry and plays available for you to take home any time.

The 10 greatest books ever – compiled by 125 top writers

Free online Rabbie Burns course –  Learn how an 18th-century Scottish poet became a global icon

Free online course with FutureLearn on how books can help your mental health – Reading for wellbeing 

Find book recommendations and interesting blog posts on a wide variety of genres at Bookriot

Interested in more current authors? Have a look at what to expect from Scottish writers in the year ahead – Scottish novels for 2016