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.



Step back in time..

The way news is reported and accessed has changed completely with the increasing use of the internet and social media. It is also providing a rather extensive digital archive of the everyday lives of society. Throughout history there have been a wide range of methods used to try and capture this kind of information for posterity and one of those is a project called the Mass Observation Archive.
This was a project about everyday life in Britain, capturing the experiences, thoughts and opinions of everyday people. The organisation was founded in 1937 by a group who aimed to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’. Observers were recruited to record details of their lives and this work continued until the early 1950s. Each year the project issues three ‘Directives’ (open questionnaires) to a panel of hundreds of volunteer writers. The Archive gathers up the responses and then makes them available for research.
The material they produced is a varied documentary account of life in Britain. Gradually the emphasis shifted away from social issues towards consumer behaviour. In 1970, the Archive moved to the University of Sussex and was opened up as a public resource for historical research.

The activity of gathering this information was given new life in 1981 through the Mass Observation Project. Through the press, television and radio, new volunteer writers or ‘Mass Observation correspondents’ were recruited from all over Britain.
The project continues to commission new research and is a valuable resource for research. The Archive values the importance of capturing these records and is safeguarding these records for inspiring learning and research and ensuring they continue to be made available for future generations.
It makes for fascinating reading for anyone interested in history, social sciences or just for having a nosey through someone else’s diary. Below are a few examples which paint a picture of times gone by and a wonderful collection of audio and written archives that will take you back to the glorious 1980s…

Christmas in the 80s
Christmas in the 80s
  • Have a read of this blog post which discusses how clothing rations were used during World War II and the impact of this on fashion
  • One employee’s account of redundancy in the world of newspaper journalism in 1986…

From feminism to space and ancient texts – check out these amazing archive collections..

NASA moon mission photos
More than 8,400 high-res images from NASA’s Moon missions have been uploaded to Flickr
© Angela Phillips Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence
Archive of feminist magazine Spare Rib online with the British Library and JISC Journal Archives © Angela Phillips Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence
Historical Texts - thousands of 15th-19th century texts available online
Historical Texts – thousands of 15th-19th century texts available online

Run away with the circus with the National Fairground Archive

Discover a fascinating detailed piece of history captured in this archive collection exploring how fairgrounds used to be. The National Fairground Archive is celebrating 20 years since its opening at the Western Bank Library, University of Sheffield. The NFA is a unique collection of material covering all aspects of the culture and history of travelling fairs and entertainment from the 1800’s to the present day.

The Archive forms part of the Special Collections and Archive Division of the University Library. Its current holdings include a wide variety of documents, photographs, and audio visual material which record not only the history of fairs and popular entertainment and the role played by travelling showpeople. The collection is still growing, presently working with some rare footage from a collection by the circus historian Noel Drewe, as well as a large selection of family films featuring prominent London show families through the 1960s. It is a leading repository of material relating to British fairs and the amusement industry. The Archive presently holds over 70,000 photographs, and many thousands of items of memorabilia relating to travelling fairs including one hundred hours of recorded interviews with travelling showpeople which are being transcribed.

Kirkcaldy Fair 1978
Kirkcaldy Fair 1978

McGinley, Alan (1978) Kirkcaldy Fair photograph, 1978 [Online] Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

Scotland's tallest living man
One of 1000 colour slides from the Dick Scott-Stewart collection

Scott-Stewart, Dick (1974) George Gentle Giant Show exterior [Online] Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

Birmingham Onion Fair Stilt Walker photographed 18 November 1950
Birmingham Onion Fair Stilt Walker photographed 18 November 1950

Stilt walker (1950) Available at (Accessed 15 January 2015)

The archive was also recently featured in a BBC4 programme called Timeshift where you can see some video clips of the fairs in action.

Images reproduced with permission of the University of Sheffield.

Millions of archived historical images uploaded to Flickr

Dive into the Internet Archive Book Images collection

Searching for images online for a project? How would 19 petabytes’ worth of historical data in pictures help? Thanks to the diligent work of data evangelist Kalev Leetaru 3 million images have been added to Flickr with potentially more than 14 million images eventually expected to make their way online.  The data has been salvaged from 600 million library book pages and scanned by the Internet Archive organization. The Internet Archive is best known for its historical library of the web, preserving more than 400 billion web pages dating back to 1996.

Image from 'Practical Physics' by Millikan, Robert Andrews; Gale, Henry Gordon

Madame Curie, University of Paris, Discoverer of Radium and E. Rutherford of Cambridge University, Discoverer of Radioactive Transformations

Millikan, Robert Andrews and Gale, Henry Gordon (1922) ‘Practical Physics’ Boston : Ginn and Co., Flickr Internet Archive Book Images [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 4 Sept 2014)

The image entries also include the text before and after the image, so the photoset is searchable. The images link back to the e-book from which the data was extracted. This makes the collection a valuable research tool and a way of preserving what may otherwise be lost in history.

The Internet Archive posed some curious questions.. “What if every illustration, drawing, chart, map, or photograph became an entry point, allowing one to navigate the world’s books not as paragraphs of text, but as a visual tapestry of our lives? How would we learn and explore knowledge differently? Those were the questions that launched a project to catalog the imagery of half a millennium of books.”

Budding software engineers may also get the opportunity to use the code behind the creation of the archive. “Any library could repeat this process,” Leetaru explained. “That’s actually my hope, that libraries around the world run this same process of their digitised books to constantly expand this universe of images.”

So have a browse and see what you can discover..