Tag Archives: english

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!

Watching Theatre Online – yes please!

Have you seen our new resource, Digital Theatre Plus?

Digital Theatre Plus productions. digitaltheatreplus.com

 

Digital Theatre Plus is an online video resource which provides access to a range of productions: Shakespeare, classic plays, new writing, classical music and opera. It will be useful for students studying Shakespeare, adaptations and those interested in playwriting.

It is easily accessible from the English Subject Guide under ‘Multimedia Resources’. 

Once you’ve accessed the site, you can stream productions in full, or break them down by scene, act, or speech – and the database also includes interviews with the cast and creative teams behind a number of the productions. Digital Theatre Plus are always adding to the collection, and you can sign up for updates or follow them on Facebook.

If you’re watching from home please use CampusAnywhere to access the site without having to log in, but if you’re on campus you should find that you can watch any of the productions.

Any problems or questions, please contact Kim in the Library on k.coles@rhul.ac.uk.

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.

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!