All posts by Kim

http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/profile.php?uid=86103

It’s January! And the Library Loves Resources!

Happy New Year!

This month the Library is all about its resources, and keep an eye on our blog, Twitter and Facebook for updates, hints and tips on some of the great resources you can use in your assignments and projects.

We’ll be re-blogging and adding new content throughout the month, but for a sneak peek scroll down to our tag cloud on the right-hand bar, and click ‘librarylovesresources’

What’s more, every other Wednesday for the whole of Spring Term, we’ve teamed up with academic support and are holding drop in sessions in the Bedford Library Teahouse, so come along on and ask us any questions you have about using library resources and academic writing:

Wednesday 15th January 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 29th January 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 12th February 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 26th February 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 12th March 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 26th March 2pm – 4pm

JISC Historic Books

JISC Historic Books is a database that provides access to scans of historic editions of books:

What does it contain?

BL 19th Century: Over 65, 000 recently digitised first editions from the British Library’s 19th century collection, comprising over 25 million pages of previously rare and inaccessible titles.

ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) is a digital collection of more than 180,000 titles published in Great Britain and its colonies during the eighteenth century.

EEBO: Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains the scanned images, and plain text digital versions where available, of over 125,000 books published in English up to 1700.

Content from all three collections can be searched at once, or individual collections can be selected and browsed.

How to access the resource:

– Under E-resources on the English and Drama & Theatre subject guides.

OR

1. Go to The Databases A-Z guide on the library subject guides.

2. Go to J

3. Select JISC Historic Books

Help:

The Library has put together a basic video tutorial here:

And the website has its own Quick Reference Guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Term Tips: Finding online books and articles using LibrarySearch

E-books and e-journals are great when you’re researching off-campus, or can’t come into the Library. How do you use LibrarySearch to find e-books and e-journals?

How to find e-books using LibrarySearch:

  1. Go to LibrarySearch (you can find it from the Library Homepage)
  2. Search for a book title, or subject.
  3. Click on the Books, Music and Films tab to search.
  4. On the left hand side, under Show Only, click Full Text Online. If there are e-books available, they will now be displayed.
  5. Click View Online to read the e-book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXrhB6L5D6c

How to find online articles using Library Search:

  1. Go to LibrarySearch (you can find it from the Library Homepage)
  2. Search for an article title, or subject.
  3. Click Search.
  4. On the left hand side, under Show Only, click Full Text Online.
  5. To narrow down to scholarly articles only, click Peer-reviewed Journals on the left hand side under Show Only.
  6. To read the article, click View Online and follow the link to the article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOAjn1w-0wU

For best results, use CampusAnywhere [http://www.rhul.ac.uk/it/faq/itfaqs/vpn/faqwebvpn.aspx] when you are using LibrarySearch or any Library resources off-campus.

Our Christmas Opening Hours for 2013 [http://www.rhul.ac.uk/library/usingourlibraries/openinghours.aspx]

End of term tips: Borrowing books over the Winter break

Don’t forget! The Library’s opening hours will change over the Winter break:

Monday 16th December until Monday 23rd December 2013

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Tuesday 24th December 2013 until Wednesday 1st January 2014 inclusive

Both libraries are closed.

Thursday 2nd January until Sunday 5th January

Thursday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Monday 6th January until Sunday 12th January 2014

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday 08:30 – 21:00

How long can you borrow books for?

If you want to borrow books over the holidays, our loan periods will be changing and – good news! – you can borrow books for longer! Just remember to bring them back, and you can always check your account online while we’re away for Christmas.

Undergraduate normal loansIssued from Fri. 6th December due by Fri. 17th January 2014
Postgraduate normal loansIssued for six weeks from date of loan
One week loansIssued from Sat. 7th December due by Thurs. 16th January 2014
Three day loansIssued from Wed. 11th December due by Wed. 15th January 2014
Staff journalsIssued from Fri. 20th December due by Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Postgraduate journalsIssued from 15.30 Fri. 20th December due by 11.00 Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Rolling loans & Music A/V – Undergraduates, Postgraduates & StaffIssued from Fri. 20th December due on Thurs. 2nd Jan. 2014
Short loans (Advanced Booking Items)Issued from 9.00 on Fri. 13th December due by 16.00 on Tues.14th January 2014

The Shakespeare Collection Online

The Shakespeare Collection is an extensive collection including e-books of the most recent Arden Shakespeare editions, other editions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, other works published during Shakespeare’s time, prompt books, theatrical diaries, criticism, reviews, images, and reference materials. It is a great place to begin studying Shakespeare, and has lots of clever features.

How to access:

– Under E-resources on the English and Drama & Theatre subject guides.

OR

1. Go to The Databases A-Z guide on the library subject guides.

2. Go to S

3. Select Shakespeare Collection

Searching for a play

Use the basic search to find texts of Shakespeare’s plays:

shakespearecollection basic search

Under Texts – Arden editions select they play you are interested in and you can read the full text. Click on View Notes to read the Arden notes on the text.

shakespearecollection viewnotes

Comparing texts

You can also compare historical editions of texts with the recent Arden edition.

To compare the first known editions of Hamlet (1603 & 1604 Quartos) and the modern, Arden edition of the play:

  1. Open The Shakespeare Collection and go to the basic search page.
  2. Enter “Hamlet”, select the “Keyword” radio button, and click on the search button.
  3. Under the Arden tab, mark the Arden edition of Hamlet.
  4. Under the Historical tab, mark the second and third items (Quarto 1 and Quarto 2).
  5. Open Quarto 1 and click on the “Compare Documents” link.
  6. Scroll around in the left window to get a good view of the play.
  7. In the right window, open the Arden edition of the play.
  8. Scroll and compare the two versions.
  9. In the Arden edition, select “View Notes” for more information about the scene.
  10. In the top right corner of the right screen, select “Compare Another”.
  11. Open the 1604-1605 edition of the play.
  12. Page forward to get to the start of the play.

Searching for a quotation

You can use the Basic Search to find a quotation, or instances of a word or phrase.

1. Type the quotation into the search bar, and select the “Entire Document” radio button. Click Search.

shakespearecollection quotationsearch

2. Choose “First Relevant Scene”. The quotation you searched for will be displayed in red.
3. Choose the “Next” button to skip to the next instance of the word/quotation.

Drama Online

Drama Online contains hundreds of plays from some of the very earliest Greek works right up to the present day. In addition there are background and contextual works on playwrights, theatre movements, genres, practitioners and periods, as well as scholarly monographs, biographies, practical books on acting and stage craft, and over five hundred theatre production stills from the Victoria and Albert Museum Performance collection.

How to access it:

Go to the Drama Subject Guide and look under E-resources.

OR

1. Go to the Databases A-Z guide on the library subject guides.

2. Go to D

3. Select Drama Online

 

Use the search bar at the top of the page to search for a play, a playwright, genre, or period – or use the links below to browse the collection.

DramaOnlinesearch

Plays: this section contains full texts of plays to read online or download.
Playwrights & Practitioners: an alphabetical list of playwrights whose biographies and works you can read in the database.
Genres: a list of different genres, and links to plays in that genre.
Periods: a list of time periods, and links to plays in those periods.
Context & Criticism: access to books on drama, theatre, playwriting.
Theatre Craft: access to books on the production and acting.

The collection will continue to grow throughout the year. For the list of titles that will be included throughout 2013, visit the Content List.

Using the database

When you are reading a play, you can hover over the text to see which page of the printed edition you are on, and where a small speechbubble appears, you can read any notes on the text

If you click on a playwright, on the right of the screen are any plays you can read, and on the left of the screen is a short biography.

dramaonline playwright

Once you have selected a genre, or period, plays in that category appear on the right of the screen, and information on the period or genre appears on the left.

dramaonline genre

You can use this to find new writers, or new movements you may be interested in.

Play Tools include a Character Grid to help you view where characters appear and with whom they interact in the play. You can select particular characters and chart their appearances through the play – or use the Words and Speeches tool to see a precise word count.

dramaonline playtools

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is the online version of the 20 volume dictionary, containing 60,000 words and charting the course of the English language over the past 1000 years. The online version is easier to search than the print, contains more words, and can do lots of interesting stuff!

How to access:

– Under Reference Resources in the E-resources tab on your Subject Guide

OR

1. Go to The Databases A-Z guide on the library subject guides.

2. Go to O

3. Select Oxford English Dictionary

For a really good introduction to searching, and help understanding the interface, watch this video (best viewed fullscreen)

If you want to find out where words came from, click on the links on the quotations and you can find out

  • which other words that title contributed to English
  • when it was first, and subsequently, used
  • links to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for more information on the contributor/author
  • links to the RHUL Library catalogue

Advanced Search:

This is a very powerful search that combines all of the search functionalities available.

For example: you could combine terms, usage, dates etc to find out slang terms in 1990s, or 1690s search slang in full text + date of entry 1990-2000/1690-1700

 

Using Wildcards and the Advanced Search, or, Using the OED to solve crossword puzzles:

Using Timelines

The timelines are a way of visualising when words came into English language usage. They can be found from the OED homepage.

Although the timeline defaults to all words in the dictionary, you can refine it to subject/category

OED advanced

By region i.e. words used in an area

OEd - region

Or by origin i.e. where words came from

OED-origin

Follow the blog for essays on English Language, and try the quizzes– post your results in the comments below!

Time Management Tools: focus booster

Faces of Time
Faces of Time. Todd Lappin. Flickr. CC-BY-NC.

As well as working as an Information Consultant for the Drama and Theatre, Media Arts, and English departments here at Royal Holloway, I had the bright idea of taking my Library and Information Science MSc part time. It has been very challenging and very interesting – and it’s nearly done! My final year of three has just begun and I’m currently making the first steps towards writing my dissertation (a study into first year arts undergraduates experience of libraries before university and how this influences the way in which they find information at higher education level, since you ask).

So I was browsing through the Library’s helpful Tools for Researchers prezi and I discovered (among other things): focus booster. http://www.focusboosterapp.com/  Focus booster is great.

What is it for?

Do you ever have those moments where you just don’t know where to begin? Or you’ve too many tasks and not enough time? Or too much time and you feel that you’ll never settle down and get something productive done. Focus booster allows you to set yourself short tasks in a timed period, followed by timed breaks, and is great for knuckling down and getting things done.

How does it work?

Focus booster uses ‘The Pomodoro Technique’, a time management method that “uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals (referred to as “pomodoros”) separated by breaks and is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.”

As the website states:


There are five basic steps to implementing the technique:

    • decide on the task to be done
    • set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
    • work on the task until the timer rings; record the task status
    • take a short break (5 minutes)
    • every four “pomodoros” take a longer break (15-20 minutes)

How do I get it?

You can download the app to your PC or Mac from http://www.focusboosterapp.com/download

Even better (for me, as I use a Chromebook), it’s available online: http://www.focusboosterapp.com/live

Both versions will tick to let you know a pomodoro has begun, change the timer colour to indicate how close you are to your next break, sound an alarm to let you know when time is up, and also let you adjust the time of pomodoros and breaks.

(There are whispers on Twitter that this will soon be available for iPhone and Android, so watch this space.)

Why should I use it?

Focus booster is a great psychological trick: you know you have a lot of work to get done, but the timed aspect means that you need to break your work down into manageable chunks – great, it already feels easier! Also, rather than thinking that you have the next seven hours to get something done, you have 25 minutes: long enough to focus, but not so long that you get distracted or tired.

If you’re easily distracted, this can be a great way of ensuring that short bursts of time are well spent; or if you find that you spend long periods staring down your computer screen this technique can encourage you to take regular breaks and relax rather than stress out. Personally, I find it really great for getting started; 25 minutes is just long enough not to be frightening, but I often find that I’ll get into what I’m doing, safe in the knowledge that a break is imminent, and then find that I’ve missed a break as I’ve got so into the task.

Burning the Clocks Cup Cakes
Burning the Clocks Cup Cakes. somewhereintheworldtoday. Flickr. CC-BY

 

 

Try it out – and comment below: was it useful?

What are your best techniques for managing your time and being more productive? Share in the comments below – tips are always appreciated!