Category Archives: Library Updates

How to access Exam Papers

Very good luck in your exams! Here are some tips for reading past papers:

1. Are you on campus? If yes, carry onto 2.
If no, please use CampusAnywhere (If you don’t do this, you might not be able to see the papers.)

2. If you’re using Moodle: click on the Past Exam Papers link on the right to go through to past papers for that course code only.

past papers

3. To search the Past Papers database directly, go to the Library homepage, and click Exam Papers.

past papers homepage

4. Check you are logged in by looking in the top right hand corner – if it says log out your are logged in. If not then please log in.exam papers login

You can browse by Course Code, Department, and Year – and all exam papers can be downloaded as PDFs.


If you have any questions, please let us know!

Library Enquiry of the Month: How do I request a book?

If you want us to buy More Books for your course, or research, you can fill in our book suggestions form.

more books

Since September 2014, we have spent over £26,600 on More Books requests alone – these are in addition to books purchased from reading lists, and requests from staff members.

So if you find that there aren’t enough copies of a book, or you come across something really useful that isn’t in the Library, click on ‘Book Suggestions Form’ in your Subject Guide or Google search ‘more books royal holloway’ and fill in the form!

You will need to know:

  • the author(s)
  • the title and publication date of the book

But if you want to let us know the course code the book is for, and your student card, then we can put the book on hold for you and send an email when it arrives.

Ask your information consultant for more information on book orders.

Borrowing books over Easter break – 2015

The Library is open over the Easter Break – from 18th March – 18th April Bedford Library opens 24/5 and from 19th April onwards: 24/7.

But if you’re not going to be here, you can borrow books for extended periods over the break.

Loan StatusIssued fromDue back
Normal21st March1st May
One Week21st March30th April
Three Day25th March29th April
Short Loan1st April 9am8th April 11am

This goes for renewals also, so don’t forget to renew your books before the Easter break.

How to renew books

Getting better search results

We just received an email on narrowing down search results – “I’m searching for books on the idea of performance but I always get thousands of results which are based around performance meaning how well something is performing such as a business etc. Do you have any suggestions for how I can search for more relevant materials?”

So I thought it might be useful to put the answer into a blog post – as we’ve all been there.

Things to Try to get better search results

1. Change your keywords.

If your search for ‘performance’ brings back unrelated items, try changing what you search for. Synonyms might include ‘drama’, ‘theatre’, ‘performing arts’ etc.

Try adding more keywords e.g. ‘audience participation’, or a particular theorist, theory or performer you’re interested in.

LibrarySearch and other databases have list of subject headings – click on these to find more examples of keywords.

Where to find the subject headings in LibarySearch


Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.
Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.

2. Combine your keywords.

Databases will accept certain combinations of words and use them to make your search more effective.

3. Change the database.

LibrarySearch is pretty general – if you’re after items on a particular subject, go to your subject guide and try the Finding E-resources link for a list of more specific databases.

4. Who’s cited what?

When you finish a recommended article, or book, go to the back and take a look at what they referenced when writing it – then look these up and carry on!

You can also use Google Scholar to see who’s cited the article or book you’re reading now – and see what they said on the topic.

Look for the ‘Cited by’ part, and click it to get information on other articles and books.

Click 'Cited By' to see other articles which reference this one above.
Click ‘Cited By’ to see other articles which reference this one above.

Try LibrarySearch to get hold of articles or books, and if it’s not there, don’t panic – we can get it!

5. Ask your Librarian!

Whether it’s a presentation or PhD thesis, you can always arrange a meeting with your librarian to go through the subject and searching with you, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Spring Term Library Workshops

Happy New Term! And with it comes new training workshops from the Library.

Last year, in the Autumn Term we saw 6547 students – that’s equivalent to all of the students in the Arts and Sciences faculties put together!

We’ve had some really nice and positive feedback on our sessions too…


[I] would definitely like to attend more of these workshops after attending this one

[The Librarian] who gave the workshop was very articulate, concise and knowledgeable.

this course showed me how to navigate [the Library website] efficiently to get to the parts that I need.

I thought everything we covered was of use.

But that’s not all – we’re always looking to  improve the workshops, so we’re keen to hear suggestions for more sessions, or changes we can make too.

I would be interested in attending a workshop on the more advanced features of EndNote.

So the workshops are great, but what’s on offer this term? All of our training can be found on the Training page of your subject guide, and you will need to register to attend (but this is free and easy to do – email us if you have any trouble).

Working on a dissertation or essay? Come to our Search Our Stuff and Find It Faster workshops on 17th and 26th February and practice search techniques.

New to referencing and bibliographies? RefWorks is a great resource for undergraduates, and EndNote is a powerful postgraduate referencing tool – come along on 28th January or 5th February to find out more. And if you’re already using RefWorks, but have questions, come to our Question and answer session on 11th March.
If you’ve only got half an hour to spare, or think RefWorks and EndNote aren’t for you, come to Bedford Library on 3rd March and get acquainted with free Zotero referencing. Researchers might find our half hour session on social referencing site Mendeley useful too.

Every Tuesday throughout Spring Term, Bedford Library room 2-03 hosts our Bitesize, subject specific workshops.

Something missing? Send an email to and request a session!

Re-Welcome week for all students!

To our new International students, welcome! To our returning students, welcome back! To everyone, Happy New Year!

We’ve been working hard over the Autumn Term & the Christmas Vacation to ensure that this year the Library is better than ever for our users, from first years to finalists, PhD students to academics: we are here to help.

If you haven’t used them yet, the Library’s subject guides should be a first port of call for all your subject related needs. Please check them out & let us know what you think! Plus new ‘video tutorials’, moodle courses, lists of online resources and don’t forget LibrarySearch.

Week beginning 12/01/2015
During the first week of term, the library will be offering extra help and support for your essays and assignments. Come along to Bedford Library and we will be happy to spend some time showing you how to easily search for and find information on your topics and how to use the relevant resources for your topics. We can even help you with your bibliographies and references for your essays!

More Books?
In 2014, we spent over £26,000 on books that students requested. If there’s a book you need for your studies, suggest it to us!

Study Space Assistants
Say hi to our study space assistants they’lll be around the Library this Term, helping to find spaces to study and tweeting availability.

Opening hours
This term, Bedford Library will be open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week – 146 hours a week in total!

Information Skills training
We’re offering an extensive training programme this term. Find out more and sign up via our training pages.

Christmas Loans 2014

Each year book, journal, and DVD loans are extended over the Christmas vacation – which means you can keep items for longer without renewing!

Type of LoanLoan period
NormalIf you’re an undergraduate: Friday 5th December 2014 due by Friday 16th January 2015.
If you’re a postgraduate: Issued for 6 weeks from date of loan
One Week LoansAll users: Saturday 6th December 2014 due by Thursday 15th January 2015
Three Day LoansAll users: Wednesday 10th December 2014 due by Wednesday 14th January 2015
Rolling loans (DVDs and CDs)All users: Friday 19th December 2014 due by Monday 5th January 2015
Short loansAll users: 9am Friday 12th December 2014 due by 4pm Tuesday 13th January 2015
JournalsIf you’re a postgraduate: 3.30pm Friday 19th December 2014 due by 11am Monday 5th January 2015.
If you’re a member of staff: Friday 19th December 2014 due by Monday 5th January 2015


Please check your receipt, or your Library account, and if you want a reminder on renewing your loans, watch the video below:


The Library is open Monday to Friday between Monday 15th December to Tuesday 23rd December. We are closed from Wednesday 24th December until Thursday 1st January. The Library opens again Monday to Friday from Friday 2nd January to Sunday 11th January. For a full list of opening hours, visit the Library website.

We can get it!

Need a book, journal article or thesis that’s not available at Royal Holloway?more books

Don’t panic and…

  1. …suggest a book!

Last year we spent over £100,000 on student requests through our More Books scheme. If there’s a book you need and we don’t have, fill out our form.

  1. …request an Inter-Library Loan!

We can source books, journal articles and theses from other libraries, even those located outside the UK, via the inter-library loan service.

  1. …register to use Senate House Library!

As Royal Holloway is part of the University of London, you have access to Senate House Library’s resources.

  1. …use another Library through Sconul Access!

Royal Holloway participates in Sconul Access, which allows staff and students from other participating Universities to use our libraries. By the same token, our staff and students can use their libraries. This may include borrowing rights.

To discover if another library holds a book or journal, try: For London and the South East For major research collections in the UK & Ireland

  1. …enjoy a trip to the British Library!

A reader’s pass to the British Library is essential for any researcher. Apply online. As well as their vast collections, you also have access to certain databases in their reading rooms.

6.  …find a thesis!

Theses can be tricky to track down, but our webpage has some tips on how to do so.

Lots more information available in our “We can get it” handbook.

If you are still struggling to find that key bit of research, contact your Information Consultant, who will be happy to assist.

Book moves in Founder’s Library

Summer update 2: Moving!

There have been 5 moves over the summer – all related to creating a bit of space for study, and for lots more books.

1. French Collection move

The French Literature Collection (840-849) has been moved from Founder’s First Floor East & Founder’s Ground Floor East to Founder’s Basement West (where the Founder’s print journals used to be, just below the linguistics and Shakespeare collections). This is to enable us to create 32 extra and much needed study spaces in Founder’s First Floor East.


2. Hispanic Collection move

The Hispanic Literature Collection (860 – 869) used to belocated along the wall in the room below Founder’s Help Desk. It has been moved to Founder’s Ground Floor East (just before the Classics Collection).


3. Music Collection expansion

In order to create much needed space in the Music book and scores collections, these will now be spaced out in both sections of Founder’s First Floor East (Music previously occupied just the back section).


4. Print journals move

The Arts & Humanities print journals collection in Founder’s (which used to live in the Founder’s basement)  has now been moved to Bedford Level 1. This means that all of our print journals for all subjects are in one place, and one continuous alphabetical sequence. (NB – material previously housed in the off-site Depository has remained there).
This move has taken place in order to move the French collection into Founder’s basement and create the 32 study spaces mentioned above. And it should make browsing print journals much, much easier!


Finally, the big move:

5. Classics Re-classification & move of some material to Bedford

The Classics Collection classification in Founder’s (870 – 889) was over 30 years out of date and had created a major problem as large numbers of texts had the same classmark (e.g. 100’s of books all at 888 ARI – argh!). Over the years concerns have been raised by staff and students about the difficulty of locating the books that they needed.

Some Classics books (classmarks 888 etc) remain in Founder's Library.
Some Classics books (classmarks 888 etc) remain in Founder’s Library.

We have now re-classified the Classics Collection to the latest Dewey classification standard. The re-classification has resulted in a substantial number of books being moved to Bedford as they were re-classified under Philosophy, Ethics, Politics etc.

Some books will be classified under Philosophy (100s), some under Politics (320s).
Some books will be classified under Philosophy (100s), some under Politics (320s).


However, all of the new classification numbers are listed on the library catalogue. So when you’re checking your reading list, look out for ‘Bedford Library’ under location.

Using the books in Founder’s Library

There is a collection of older Classics books located at the end of the reclassified run of Classics books in Founder’s with blue dots on the spines. These books are not on the catalogue and will be reviewed over the coming year and those that are to be kept will be catalogued and reclassified. Russell Burke will liaise closely with the Classics Department staff on this matter.

Please note that whilst these books are not on the catalogue, they are security tagged and can be taken out if you present them at the Help Desk. A member of staff will create a short record for them, and then issue them to you. Please do this!