Category Archives: English Literature

Resource of the Week: Eighteenth Century Drama

Capture2

Eighteenth Century Drama is a new resource at RHUL and contains a vast amount of primary sources and information relating to the theatrical world in the 18th Century.

There are 3 main parts to Eighteenth Century Drama:

  • The Larpent Collection of plays – collection of 2,500 plays submitted for license between 1778-1824, and the diaries of Larpent’s wife and professional collaborator, Anna.
  • The London Stage, 1660-1800 – this section documents theatrical performances in 18th Century London, compiled from playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries.
  • Bibliographical Dictionary – lists London performers, from well -known names to little known musicians and performers.

This is a brilliant resource that really gives you an insight into the theatrical world of the 18th Century.

Access this resource via our eResources A-Z page. Find out more about this resource and take a tour here.

capture 3

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.

accesspaper

If you have any questions, please let us know!

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.

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 library@rhul.ac.uk and request a session!

Finding Shakespeare

There are so many books written by and about Shakespeare, that the Dewey Decimal system (which we use to classify books by subject on the shelves) has allocated a number just for Shakespeare. At Royal Holloway, we put all of our Shakespeare collection in 824 – which is on the Ground Floor of Founder’s Library.

Shakespeare collection

After a lot of questions, we’ve realised it’s pretty difficult to find what you’re after in this section, so we’ve hoping this blog post and some better signs will help you to find the book that you need!

In a nutshell, there’s so much under 824, that the classification system has to use letters after 824 to distinguish between the different kinds of work available: biographies, criticism on plays, copies of plays, collections of plays… If you’re using LibrarySearch to find books, make sure to write down the whole location number e.g. 824 B SCH 

824 B

 

I’m looking for a biography of Shakespeare or information on his life.

Try 824 B.

You’ll find books such as William Shakespeare : a compact documentary lifeWilliam Shakespeare : a biographyShakespeare revealed: a biography and Shakespeare’s other lives : an anthology of fictional depictions of the Bard.

I’m looking for general criticism on Shakespeare, or criticism on the Comedies, Tragedies, Histories as a group.

Try 824 D.

You’ll find books such as A Companion to Shakespeare Studies; Studying Shakespeare : a guide to the plays and Shakespeare : three problem plays.

I’m looking for books on Shakespeare’s style and use of language.

These are under 824 E.

Here you’ll find books such as Shakespearean Sentences : a study in style and syntax and Shakespeare’s Errant Texts.

I’ve been told to read a play in the Arden Shakespeare Collection/The Oxford Shakespeare Collection.

The Arden Collection is a group of publications, and they are kept in order of title under 824 M.

I want to research a play, or poem.

You will find individual copies of plays, and lots of criticism on those individual plays under 824 O to 824 Z.

The classification then uses numbers to distinguish between plays, but we would recommend using LibrarySearch to find a specific book that you’re interested in, and then going to that place on the shelf.

As a general guide:

824 O to 824 R = Comedies and criticism on Shakespeare’s comedies
824 S to 824 V = Tragedies and criticism on Shakespeare’s tragedies
824 W to 824 X = Histories and criticism on Shakespeare’s tragedies
824 Y = Sonnets and criticism on Shakespeare’s sonnets

Shakespeare classmarks

 

 

 

Literature Online (LION)

Literature Online has a new look! So what better time to feature it as Resource of the Week. If you’ve never used Literature Online, it’s got some really useful features and a huge collection of over 330,000 works of English and American literature covering poetry, drama, and prose from the 8th to the 21st centuries. LION also includes thousands of critical articles, essays, biographies and encyclopedia entries.

How to find it:

On your subject guide

OR

Go to the Databases A-Z
Go to L
Click on the Literature Online link

Quick Search: searches all content, including texts (poetry, prose, drama), literary works, criticism and reference.

LitOnlinequicksearch

Text Search: find full texts of poetry, prose and drama, but author or literary movement.

Use the ‘Look up’ function to get more reliable results.

LitOnlinetextsearch

View texts by this author to read full texts of their works. You can also search for works in a particular genre, or by an author in a certain time period, or of a particular nationality.

LitOnlinetextsby Bryon

Author search: find biographies, full texts, criticism and reference on a particular author

LitOnlinesearchwithinausten

Use the ‘search within text’ function to search for instances of words of phrases in a particular work

LitOnlinesearchwithinresults

Criticism search: find full texts of articles on a topic of your choice.

LitOnlinecriticism

Reference search: find biographies of authors, bibliographies on certain topics, and more. Use the ‘look up’ function to be more specific.

Tick ‘biographies’ to search for biographical information on authors.

LitOnlinereferencebiography

For more hints and tips, go to the Literature Online guide.

 

[screenshot]

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Meet the Liaison Team: Kim Coles

The Library staff were interviewed about themselves, their roles and much more!                                                     
Read Kim’s interview  below and let us know what you think!

KIM test

Hi there, if you’d like to start by introducing yourself

I’m Kim, and I’m the new Information Consultant for English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts & Royal Holloway International.

How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I have been working here for 3 years now, but I was a student here before that so I actually haven’t left Royal Holloway yet. Laughs

Have you always worked in Libraries?

Since I’ve graduated yes, before that I had some jobs in department stores and fun things like that.

What did you want to be when you were little?

An Astronaut!

I really wanted to be an astronaut, and I wanted to go to Mars, that was my plan. And then,.. this is the tragic story of my life, then I went to.. is it in Leicester they’ve got that um space British space museum centre thing?! that’s embarrassing as I ought to know that. Yeah, so I went there, and I read up about how to be a pilot of a space shuttle and I read that trainee astronauts had to go through lots and lots of training to learn how to cope with zero-gravity and it made them all very ill. And I get very plane sick, so that was the moment I decided it was not for me and I was heartbroken but I thought, that’s it! I’ll never go. But that’s okay, because they might need librarians in space one day so if they sedate me, I’ll get there.

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

I don’t know if I’ve got sort-of traditional heroes.

I respect people who stick up for things that they think are important and stand up for themselves. So that’s one thing I was always taught when I was little that stuck, and this is the bit where I go ‘oh my family are my heroes’ because they’re really nice and they taught to respect others and do my own thing.

Who is one of my heroes?

I can come back to it if you want to have a think?

Yeah, let’s do that.

What’s your degree in?

Just the one, I’ve got a BA in English & Creative Writing. And I am currently half way through my Msc which will be in Library studies, information studies.

And that’s the one that the everyone takes to be an official..

Librarian yes

Do you have a favourite book [in library], and why?

Laughs

Or just a favourite in life?

I have a favourite book and I have a favourite book in the library.

My favourite book in the library is some really random dictionary of easily confused words, because it’s just the most random thing I’ve found here so far. It’s just full of things like ‘oh you think this word means this? No in fact you are completely wrong!’ When I found it I just thought ‘why would anyone need this?!’

Crosswords?

Ah, maybe you would.

It’s the only thing I could think of.

I think that’s just an odd thing to keep in an academic library. But I don’t think we should throw it away.

Probably my favourite book, and I am going to change my mind in about 5 minutes, but I am going to say Dune. Because I am a science fiction geek, and I love Dune, … it’s huge so it keeps you busy.

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

My mundane life superpower is remembering the lyrics to songs that I hear. That’s useless in life! No-one is ever going to need the words to BeWitched songs.

Karaoke?

Yeah but I can’t sing! So I could never be karaoke girl as a superhero because I can’t sing.. so I don’t know how that would be useful in an emergency situation… but I think that’s my superpower.

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

 I am probably most looking forward to the teaching bit, I’ve never got to teach students and I’d love to meet all my students from my subjects and talk them about the library and see what they think.

I am looking forward to doing stuff with the blog and social media and actually talking a bit more than just on the helpdesk and taking fines off people. So kinda nice things!

Describe working in the library in 3 words

Um,…caffeinated, I can’t think of any words that aren’t cheesy!

Can I say relaxing? Or does that make it sound like I don’t do my job?

Caffeinated and relaxing?

Caffeinated and relaxing, Yeah maybe not.. Definitely caffeinated, I drink a lot of tea and coffee when I am here.

I am going to think of some words, come back to me…

What advice would you give to a new student?

Probably; talk to lots of people and do lots of different things. And if you do things that are not fun, that’s also good because then you know what you’re not interested and you can dismiss it. So try lots of different things, and talk to lots of different people.

And that’s the best thing about Uni.

Would you rather, only be able to read the same book for the rest of your life but forget it as soon as you’ve read it, or never be able to read the same book twice?

All the books, but just once I think.  Because then I could remember them all and be very intelligent and go, ‘oh this is like when I read that book’ and this and that. Otherwise I’d feel like a goldfish because I’d get to the end and go, ‘oh a book!’ All over again.

Okay, so any more thoughts on your heroes?

At the moment I am quite impressed by Amanda Palmer – who’s a musician – because she’s very independent, which is really nice, but she has a collection of lovely people on Twitter and the like who support her, and each other. Listening to them talk is quite nice because they are all kinda empowered by her doing what she fancies and ignoring pressures like ‘you must lose weight to be on stage’, and then they do things that they want to do. And it’s a nice group of people who are all very very different, and a lot of them of are very different to me, but at the same time they are so inclusive. I think that people who are inclusive but allow you to be very different are nice people.

That’s a good answer! Have you thought any further about your 3 words?

I am really stuck on caffeinated! All the people are really lovely, and they bake cakes and make you tea..

Cake, tea and people?

Laughs Yeah.. I am really bad at this 3 words.. I should have loads of synonyms in my head as an English graduate.

I can’t think of three words, I know I like working in libraries but I can’t sum it up in 3 words.

That’s your answer then.

Thank you Kim!

Check out our Twitter https://twitter.com/RHUL_Library for further updates from the Library.

Find out more about your subjects through our subject guides.