Mass Observation Archive

There are lots of specialist archives around the country which may help students here at RHUL.

One of these is the Mass Observation Archive which is based at The Keep in Falmer (near Brighton) in Sussex. The archive contains lots of material about everyday life in Britain on a large range of topice. The original Mass Observation social research organisation (1937 to early 1950s) collected lots of material via questionnaires, interviews and diaries. The Victoria Wood play Housewife, 49 (available on BoB ) is based on one Mass Observation diarist. Newer material has been collected continuously since 1981.

We also have access to the Mass Observation Archive online.

I used the archive when I was studying for my MA Film Studies as part of my dissertation on Women, Romance and World War II. The archive interviewed and collected information on all sorts of topic including film and was an invaluable resource to me. (It even surveyed cinema queues)

Books and journal articles can tell you a lot but the material here is primary resources, written by ordinary people. From the archives I learnt a lot more than I could have done just from reading books or even contemporary newspaper articles.

Amongst the things I found out were:

“Almost invariably the Nazi salute has resulted in laughter from the audience while anti-war talk has been received with great interest.” (17/3/A: Film Questionnaire 1939)

One questionnaire asked for suggestions on how cinemas should be improved –

“Patrons cars should be washed and polished for free whilst in a cinema’s car park.”

“That a rigid ban should be imposed on the consumption of peanuts.” (BOX 2: FILMS 1936 – 42, 17/2/A: The Bernstein Report)

 

In an Interview with the Manager of  Classic Cinema Tooting. On Thursday 16th November 1939

“Our business is kept by women. In wartime they have husbands and sons serving, say sons, your age, who they know have got no life, they have sacrificed everything, they’ve got to mix with Tom, Dick and Harry, and may lose an arm or a leg. That’s the woman’s view. Therefore in the suburban halls we leave war films entirely alone.”

(TC 17 Box 4)

This really gave me a sense of what the actual cinema-going public were thinking and helped me to form my research as it reminded me that indeed the men would be off fighting so women would want less war and more escapism.

There were also surveys of the 1536  letters to Picturegoer magazine in 1940. This included an analysis of topics covered, 47% were about stars and 55% were written by men. Whilst the books I was reading were telling me all about the soldiers and the war this helped me shape the idea that people were turning to the cinema for escapism and even taking the time to write to magazines about it. These letters also drew attention to the fact that Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular stars at this time, not something I was able to find out elsewhere where the books and contemporary accounts are often written by critics and don’t necessarily reflect public opinion.

My favourite box of treasures was FILMS M36-50 Box 1 as this contained reports from the Mass Observation correspondents.

Gems from this include this overheard conversation reported by G.L. Wallace:

1. “ I suppose it will be a long time before we shall see “Gone With The Wind” here, did you see in the paper that they weren’t to let people in for under 2/6?”

2. “No, not really, still I suppose it is a long film, four hours long isn’t it?”

1. “I read 3 hours and 41 minutes, still the book was very long.”

2. “I never read the book, that sort of stuff bores me.”

1. “Well, I hope they have the film here, my Gert (?her daughter) wants to see it awful badly”

Gone With the Wind was released and in terms of tickets sold is still the most successful film at the British Box office (BFI. 2010. The Ultimate Film, 4/9/2006 2004 [cited 03/07/2010 2010]. Available from http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/ultimatefilm/) – people obviously did part with their 2/6 but nowhere else did I find anything about the fact that people were discussing it.

Joyce Ausden:

“Children, by the way, are amused at the sight of any Germans “Goose Stepping,” they shout with decisive laughter. They also boo loudly at any picture of Hitler.”

G.L. Wallace:

“Wartime cinema audiences are definitely more responsive than they were before the war, except possibly for the short period immediately before the outbreak. With regard to chorus-singing, for instance. People will sing perfectly happily in a music-hall, and extremely unwillingly in a cinema, yet, when I went to one of our larger local cinemas on the evening of Sept. 2nd, everyone, myself included, bawled happily at the tops of their voices. This chorus-singing, mainly with an organ, is catered for to a much larger extent since the war. Quite a different aspect of people’s rather free-and-easy attitude in the cinema was shown by the fact that quite large numbers of the audience booed and hissed when Hitler appeared on the screen. Rude remarks were shouted too such as “I’d like to wring his bloody neck”, and “Pity somebody doesn’t bump him off.” These, however, have died down not, although there are occasional humorous remarks when any members of the German Government appear on the screen. The sudden outburst of songs and jokes about them have made the German Cabinet appear to the average man in this country to be a secondary “Crazy Gang.”

“The Blackout has made a great deal of difference to cinema-going in this district. On a normal weekday night (except Saturday) when the weather is reasonably fine about the same number of people go to the cinema as in peace-time. But if the night is at all cloudy or unpleasantly wet, the number is very much smaller than usual. Before the war the cinemas on Saturday night were packed and many people had to queue up and stand, now however the cinemas are no fuller on a Saturday night than on any other night. There has been a great increase in the number of people going to the first performances (approx 2-5) and also to the second house while the last house is often fairly empty, depending on the weather conditions etc.”

I could never have achieved such a rich picture of cinema-going in wartime without the Mass Observation Archive. You can access it online here.

Helen Rimmer

Promoting your research using Google Scholar for your own citations

Google Scholar

My Citations is a  feature which provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, create graphs of your citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it appears in Google Scholar results when people search for your name .

"Bibliography" by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.
“Bibliography” by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.

It is very quick to set up and simple to maintain – even if you have written hundreds of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time; and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can even choose to have your list of articles updated automatically – but you can also choose to review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

First, create a regular Google account, or sign in to the one you already have. It is a good idea to use a personal account, not your university account, so that you can keep your profile for as long as you wish, even if you change jobs.

1. Once you’ve signed in to your Google account go to Google Scholar, select the link to My Citations. There are three stages to complete.

The Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliation, interests, etc. We recommend that you also enter your university email address, because that would make your profile eligible for inclusion in Google Scholar search results.

 

2. On the next page, you’ll see groups of articles written by people with names similar to yours.
Click “Add all articles” next to each article group that is yours, or “See all articles” to add specific articles from that group. I
f you don’t see your articles in these groups, click “Search articles” to do a regular Google Scholar search, and then add your articles one at a time.
3. Once you’re finished adding articles, you will be asked what to do when the article data changes in Google Scholar. You can either have the updates applied to your profile automatically, or you can choose to review them beforehand. In either case, you can always go to your profile and make changes by hand.
Finally, you will see your profile. This is a good time to make a few finishing touches – upload your professional looking photo, visit your email inbox and click on the verification link, double check the list of articles, and, once you’re completely satisfied, make your profile public.
5. Once your profile is public you can be searched for by name. Your profile will display the articles which have been collected by Google Scholar, the number of citations they have received (citations indices), and a map of your H-index.

You can also search for others by name, or by name of institution or place in the My citations screen: (NB note also the My Citations – Help feature). Run a search on ‘Royal Holloway’ (or any other institution) and see who else has registered on My Citations.

If you notice some of your articles are not in your Google Citations profile, you can sign in to your Citations profile, and select ‘Add” option from the pull down Actions menu. Search for your articles using titles, keywords, or your name. To add one article at a time, click ‘Search articles’ and then ‘Add article’ next to the article you wish to add. Your citation metrics will update immediately.

If your search doesn’t find the right article, click ‘Add Article manually’. Then, type in the title, authors etc and click ‘Save. (NB Citations to manually added articles may not appear in your profile for a while).

Helen

Getting to Grips with Reading Lists

Want to get started with Reading Lists? This post will show you how to:

  • Find reading lists for your course
  • Use reading lists to find library resources
  • Download your reading lists

Reading List Guide

Check out our PowerPoint to find out all you need to know about accessing and using reading lists:

screenshot

Have a go yourself!

Try our fun Reading List to learn how to use reading lists:

Back to the 90s – Example Reading List

Need help?

If you get stuck we’re always happy to help. You can either email the Reading List Team or the Library.

Psychology Toolkit Today!

If you’re taking part in the Psychology Toolkit today you will want to use the following details to access the Padlet tool:

https://padlet.com/library2/obhyr5v10nio

ThisIsThePassword

Meet the Library Liaison Team: Emma Burnett

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

I’m Emma Burnett and I work as an Information Consultant within the Library’s Academic Liaison team.

work_profile-web

How long have you been at Royal Holloway Library?

Just over 2 years.

What is your role within the Library?

I work with several departments (Economics, European Studies, Geography, Philosophy, Politics & International Relations and Social Work) and try to ensure that the Library has the resources they require. Another key part of my role is providing information literacy training. Information literacy is a skill for life, not just for University. It involves recognising your need for information, having the ability to know where and how to access that information, managing the information once you’ve found it and using it in an ethical manner. For more information, please see http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/infolit

Have you always worked in Libraries?

Since I joined the real world, after taking a post-university gap year to see the world, yes.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a vet! I’ve always loved animals, especially cats. I have 2 gorgeous cats at home.

Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes but I do very much admire Margaret Atwood. I’ve seen her speak a few times and she’s got such an incredible mind.

What did you study?

I hold a degree in European Studies from the University of Hull, which included a year in Italy. I also have a Masters in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield.

Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have many favourites! Remains of the Day is one of them. I studied this at A Level and think it’s a beautifully written novel. Also a great film (if you haven’t ever seen it, you can watch it for free on BoB https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/000809CD).

If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Completely drawing a blank here, sorry! My favourite superhero(ine) is batgirl, as she was a librarian too 🙂 batgirllibrarian

What project/event are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year? (Library related!)

Piloting an Information Literacy Award to second year Geography students. And the new Library, of course!

Describe working in the library in 3 words

Lots of tea!

What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the Library’s vast array of resources! These are a huge privilege of being at University so take advantage of them and you’ll reap the benefits in your studies.

Check out the Subject Guides to find out who your librarian is, and read more interviews here.

Meet your Librarian – Sian Downes

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Sian and I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology

Sian Downes

How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I will have worked here for two years come October

 What is your role within the Library?

I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology. I liaise with academics and the departments to ensure that we have all the resources that they need for your courses. I teach Information Literacy skills to all students within those departments and also run training courses throughout the year open to all students. I help students with their research problems and when they do not know where to start for their essays.

I also help run the Library Social media accounts (follow us on Twitter @RHUL_Library)

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Whilst I was at University I worked in a lovely ‘old man’ pub and Claire’s Accessories. Then I worked at Waterstones for 18 months before getting my first library job at the British Library when I was 24.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

A librarian (my Uncle worked The National Library of Wales and I thought it was so cool there)

What did you study?

I studied Law at undergraduate level and Information Science at Masters level

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – it is my favourite of the series

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

The superpower would definitely be flight. I live in South London and it would make commuting much easier if I could just fly here. I am not very imaginative with names, so I would just be The Flying Librarian

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

BEST JOB EVER

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Come and ask us anything!

and

A mug of peas made in the microwave with a little butter is a great and cheap snack

Meet Your Librarian – Leanne Workman

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

Hiya, I’m Leanne (Workman). I am the library information consultant for the Sciences. I look after the subjects: Biological sciences, Computer Science, Earth Science, Information Security, Mathematics, Physics and the Centre for Professional Studies!

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

Aha a bit of a complex question! Technically I have been h

Leanne Workman

ere (in this post) since May 2016, but I worked in the library from 2012 to 2015 as an information assistant providing copyright-cleared digital copies of book chapters and articles for Moodle. (I was also a student here, so I should know the place quite well by now!)

 What is your role within the Library?

So my role is to work with all of the students, lecturers and researchers in the departments I look after to ensure that the Library has the resources they all need. I also provide information skills training (us library folk like to call it “information literacy”!) Basically we want to make sure our library users can recognise when they need info, where to find that information (i.e. what resources are available both inside and outside of the Library) and be able to evaluate & use the information well thereafter. I would like to think of us as the Jedis of the Information World!

Have you always worked in Libraries?

No, not always! I’ve worked in various administration & customer services roles, which tbh I did not find all that thrilling! I was a warden and tour guide at Windsor Castle for three years just after graduating, which was great fun! But it was when I volunteered in the Royal Archives for about a year that I worked out I love digging around for information, researching and organising  it all, so it got me thinking that perhaps this was something I could do for a living! From that I applied (and got) a graduate trainee information assistant role at the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum (you can see I really only choose very pretty buildings to work in/nearby!) After that, I started at Royal Holloway as an Information Assistant and the rest, as they say, is history…

What did you want to be when you were little?

Well, this is embarrassing *blushes*… I remember very distinctly wanting to be a Native American and to live with Pocahontas (whilst simultaneously being a ballerina of course and/or a nurse – until I realised I fainted at the sight of blood and rethought my career choice!)

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes- sorry that’s such a lame answer!!

What did you study?

I studied History at University of Essex. I then went on to do a Masters here in Gender History and I am currently studying for my Library and Information Studies Masters at Aberystwyth University (you could say I’ve got the ‘study bug’!!)

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Ah man it is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child!!

….

……..

I am of the Harry Potter generation and I am still a HUGE fan so I think I will say that! But tbh, I just love a good book!!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

This is a tricky one as I am also a small-time closet comic book geek! I think I would like to be a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though I rather think I am more like Giles the Librarian than Buffy!) and Phoenix from the X-Men (telekinesis, telepathy and ability to manipulate matter on a subatomic level? Darn yes!)

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

CAKE! Fun; information-sharing! (I think I am technically cheating with the last but :P)

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the library- seriously. [That’s not just in the inner library geek coming out here!] The studying side of life is soooo much easier when you use the library & you get better grades top! We have lots of stuff you’ll need, and if you’re not sure where to find information, please just ask! We’re only an email or an email away (or pop by!) And it is our job to help YOU J

Meet your Librarian – Rachel Sleeman

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Rachel Sleeman and I am the Information Consultant for English, Media Arts, Drama & Theatre and the Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS).

Rachel Sleeman

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I am relatively new to Royal Holloway and started at the end of April this year. I am looking forward to the new academic year and meeting all of the students!

 What is your role within the Library?

My role is to support several departments (English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts and CeDAS) and to ensure the library has the resources the students and staff need. Another important part of my role is teaching information literacy skills. This involves showing users how to use resources, how to search effectively, how to recognise resources that are suitable to use and managing the information once you have found it.

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Yes apart from a some part time jobs before and during University. I’ve worked in various libraries including a specialist library in The Met Office, Further Education Colleges and Universities.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

There was a very short period where I wanted to be a lorry driving! Not sure why this was especially as I don’t think I am the best driver, my Peugeot is plenty big enough! Since finishing University and getting my first part time post in a library as a library assistant all I have wanted to do is to work in libraries.

Long Distance Clara

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

Not sure about hero but I do love JK Rowling! I am a massive fan of Harry Potter and the novels she has written under the guise of Robert Galbraith. I also love the fact that she has recently dropped off the Forbes billionaire list due in part to the large amounts of money she donates to various charities.

 What did you study?

I studied English Literature at Swansea University

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have lots of favourite books and would struggle to pick just one! I remember there were two books that I studied at University that stayed with me. One was Dracula by Bram Stoker and the other was The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I loved both of these texts but did struggle to sleep after reading them both!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Not sure what my superhero alter ego would be, but I definitely know what super power I would like! I would love to be able to disappear on the spot and turn up anywhere in the world instantly (apparating for any Harry Potter fans).

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

Varied, rewarding, interesting

 What advice would you give to a new student?

My advice would be to make use of the library resources and if you are unsure about anything at all contact your information consultant, we are all more than happy to help!

Changes to the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence

This licence covers the photocopying and scanning for education not for personal use. 

The College has recently signed the new CLA Higher Education Licence which runs from the 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2019. It is essential that all staff and students are aware of the new licence with the important updates and comply with the licence.The licence covers photocopying and scanning for the provision of print copies and digital copies on Moodle used in teaching.

Up to the following may be copied under the Licence:

  • One whole chapter from a book
  • One whole article from a journal issue
  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • One whole scene from a play
  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings

Or 10% of any of the above, whichever is the greater (this is an increase from the previous licence which stated 5%)

  • Where a digital publication is not organised in a similar way to conventional printed items, you are advised to exercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts.

You can make as many copies as are required to provide one for each student and tutor on the module.

Staff are reminded that all articles and chapters provided on Moodle must be digital copies as supplied by the Digital Copies Service in the Library. This ensures compliance with the licence which is monitored annually by the CLA via audit.

The Library’s webpages have been updated:

https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/library/teachingsupport/copyrightadvice.aspx

https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/library/teachingsupport/digitalcopiesforteaching.aspx

The CLA has provided a very useful page with the Licence in full at http://he.cla.co.uk/your-he-licence/your-he-licence/about-the-cla-higher-education-licence-2/cla-licence-documents/

 

 

Referencing Tools

You may have seen our recent Twitter polls that asked users which referencing tool they used. The results are in!

Poll 1                                                                                                                               Poll 2
EndNote 0%                                                                            Cite This For Me 18%
Mendeley 8%                                                                                                RefMe 29%
RefWorks 92%                                                                                              Other 14%
Zotero 0%                                                                                                          None 39%

From these quick polls we can see that RefWorks is popular among our students, a number of students have investigated other referencing tools and some students don’t use any. So what are referencing tools, and why are they useful?

What are referencing tools?

These are different types of software that allow you to store your references in one central place so you can easily access them again and find the referencing information you need for your work. They can also help you with creating your in text references, reference list and bibliography.

Some of these tools are only available for students and staff at Royal Holloway, such as RefWorks and EndNote. The others listed are freely available on the web.

Why use a referencing tool?

Referencing tools have a number of advantages which make them really useful for all students and researchers to use.

One of the main advantages is the ability to organise your references in one place. When writing an assignment or conducting some research you will read many different sources, it can be quite difficult to manage all of these and to remember where you found them! A referencing tool will allow you to save the details of different sources and you can also create folders to organise your references by topic. These tools will also provide links to the original source so you access it quickly and easily, some even let you save PDF documents within the software.

Another big advantage is the referencing support these tools provide. They will allow users to export bibliographies and reference lists into a number of different referencing styles. Some of these tools will also connect with Word and Google Docs, meaning you can quickly insert references, bibliographies and reference lists as you are working. However it is always important to check these generated references against the guidance outlined by your department.

The different tools available

Freely Available                                                                Available for members
on the web                                                                                      of Royal Holloway

Zotero                                                                                                                  RefWorks
RefME                                                                                                                     EndNote
BibSonomy
JabRef
Mendeley
CiteULike
CiteFast
Cite This For Me

Found out more about these tools by visiting our Referencing, Citing and Structuring Bibliographies: Referencing Tools Subject Guide: libguides.rhul.ac.uk/referencing

If you would like to learn more about these tools or learn how to use them contact your information consultant  libguides.rhul.ac.uk/informationconsultants

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