Friday, September 27, 2013

Who was the real Jessica Rabbit?

We all remember the iconic character of Jessica Rabbit in the American fantasy comedy film Who Killed Roger Rabbit? For a long time, people thought Jessica had been modeled after actress Veronica Lake, but the blog Messy Nessy Chic can now confirm that the character was in fact inspired by model Miss Vikki Dougan. This 1950s 'It Girl' was better known at the time by her nickname 'The Back', after her publicist launched her to fame by dressing her in some bespoke, outrageously low-backed designer dresses, which sent America's high society gossip columns in a frenzy.

You can check out the photos of Vikki Dougan yourself in the library's extensive collection of Life magazine editions either in the library's journal collection (or in the Mackintosh Library for editions before 1985) as well as on their online collection following this link (you may need to use your GSA login details if accessing this resource from home).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Memory blogs as an online resource

At today's Scottish Learning Festival, I got to attend a fascinating lecture by Claire Griffiths who runs the Moray Heritage Memories Project and publishes all the information online in the Moray Heritage Memories blog.

The blog is a great example of a community-led project which generates great inter-generational learning as Claire Griffiths, herself a teacher at Primary and Secondary school level, gets children from Moray to interview their elders (65 yrs old and above) about their memories and professions when they were young. These interviews help uncover the rich heritage of long-lost professions and crafts unique to rural Scotland and lead onto further research and art projects which also get featured on the blog.

This blog is a real mine of information for anyone researching Scottish crafts, culture in the North of Scotland or anything to do with inter-generational community projects as well as oral history projects. Claire Griffiths not only includes the interview transcripts, but also a wealth of images, video materials and sound clips, which will hopefully capture your imagination.

You can also check out Claire Griffith's previous project with the Keith Primary School Memory Blog, which was a similar project but centered around all the Keith Primary School past and present users and their memories of the school around the time it was due to be demolished. This was a great example of giving local communities who had strong feelings against the demolition of the school a place to express the emotions generated by such an event.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Electronic Resource Available: the UK Press Online Newspaper Archive

The Library is trying out a great new online resource available for student over the next month: the UK Press Online Newspaper Archive. This is an online archive of every edition of the UK daily papers such as the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, the Church Times, The Watchman, The Daily Worker and many more, going back to before the Second World War.

Maybe you're writing a paper on the celebrity trends since the 1960s?

 Or you'd like to find out more about how fashion was portrayed in 1920s newspapers?

Fancy checking out the British equivalent of Madmen ad campaigns?

And I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know that even forty years ago, pandas were already the hype in all our local papers...

The resource is easy to search with a simple search box, where you can enter themes, headlines, dates, or names and your results are returned to you as either Tiff or pdf full-page files, in which the design and content reflects that of the original printed version of the newspaper.

The resource is set up for IP access on the GSA network and accessible via the GSA library catalogue. We're very eager to have students start using this great resource and if it proves popular, we will continue with the subscription.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Online resources: CyArk's Cultural Heritage Library

For digital designers, the creation of a free, online archive of the world's cultural heritage sites by international organisation Cyark, has got us in a bit of a tizz!

CyArk was formed in 2003 with a mission of digital preservation - using advanced digital technologies to capture today's sites of global significance and ensuring they are future-proofed. The wonders being worked by CyArk and other organisations such as GSA's Digital Design Studio at Pacific Quay is a revolution of our digital age. Whereas once ancient sites of historic interest were condemned to the ravages of time, war and natural disasters, new technologies are capturing and storing 3D data about worldwide sites of importance. This data is then used to produce minutely accurate and detailed drawings for work on site conservation and for use in research and education.

As well as helping to preserve the built environment as it is today, the realistic visualisations created can also be used by architects and engineers to discover more about the materials and design of buildings. Anthropologists, archaeologists, and social scientists may also find a purpose for them in endeavoring to learn more about how previous civilisations lived. By combining traditional surveying techniques with newer technologies such as laser-scanning and photogrammetry, this innovative new project heralds a new era for conservation and the archive with CyArk labelled the gold standard by many!

Use the 'world map' function or click on 'projects' to browse the wide range of sites CyArk have contributed work to, and select from the many articles written about individual projects under the 'News & Events' tab. The GSA Library catalogue holds many related book and journal titles on the topic of digital design and imaging, some of which can be found here. For students at DDS, there's also the Digital Design subject guide which will signpost you to relevant study materials.

Historical Honey and How to dress like a Georgian

Check out this link to a great blog post by Beverley Eikli on Historical Honey's How To page. Beverley Eikli, a historical fiction novelist, took on this great fun project of creating her very own, historically accurate georgian gown, a 1780's polonaise. However, she didn't just stop there, as she soon found out, as we all know, that the right outfit won't work without the right underwear to match. Eikli talks you through the different layers of undergarments required for such a gown and their different functions, with great historical details. 

Putting on the petticoat

Historical Honey is a great online platform for all sorts of historical information that might spark up your imagination, such as A London Tour in Tube PostersHistorical Figures... in Lego or 100 Years of Bridal Fashion...

And if the subject of Georgian Fashion has caught your attention, here are a few books for you to look up in the GSA library:

- Historical Fashion in detail: the 17th and 18th Centuries (746.920903/HAR)
- Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (746.920903/KOD)
- Followers of Fashion: Graphic Satires from the Georgian Period (746.920903/DON)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Catalogue Resource: Material ConneXion

The achingly cool firm Material ConneXion, who are so hip they spell connection with an 'x', have agreed to give us access to their unbelievably extensive database of weird and wonderful materials, where you can search for all the most cutting edge, sustainable and innovative materials and processes emerging worldwide. Material ConneXion claim to have the largest materials and processes library in the world and it is all available here at your finger tips.

The whole point of the database is to give you access to new materials and processes you've never even heard of, so the best way to search it is to go straight to their Advanced Search option, under the search box and there you will be given a whole range of multiple choice search options. Once there, you can look up materials by Category, Processing or Sustainability criteria. You can also search according to Usage (Reflexivity, Scratch Resistance, Thermal conductivity, etc...) or by Physical Properties (Stiffness, Surface/Texture, Transparency, etc...). Combine all of these options any way your heart desires and eagerly await the results. When you select a material of interest, the page will lead you to photos of the material, a comprehensive description as well as the manufacturer's contact details.

Whether you're a Fine Art or Design student looking for new cutting edge materials to test out, this is a truly great opportunity to keep yourself at the forefront of innovation. This database could have applications for sculpture, textiles, product design and many more disciplines. The rest is up to your imagination! You can also check out the Material ConneXion's book: Material ConneXion: the global resource of new and innovative materials for architects, artists, and designers (745.20284/BEY) currently available for lending in the library's main collection.

To access the Material ConneXion database, just follow this link to the Library Catalogue. Access to the database is restricted to on-campus.
You can also keep yourself up to date with any new additions to the database by subscribing to Material ConneXion's email updates here.

Monday, September 09, 2013

News: Great Tapestry of Scotland Unveiled

One of the world's longest tapestries has been unveiled at the Scottish Parliament building. The Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the country's most ambitious art projects ever, with hundreds involved in helping to stitch the 143 metre-long masterpiece. Artist and community-arts project worker Andrew Crummy headed up the venture, bringing the story of Scotland, as devised by author Alexander McCall Smith and historian Alistair Moffat to fruition in the form of colourful embroidered panels.

Over a thousand stitchers took more than 50,000 hours to complete the beautiful work. Aspects of Scotland's history are depicted, from its emergence as a land of glaciers at the Ice Age, to the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, to Andy Murray's historic win at Wimbledon this summer! Viewed accumulatively, the panels represent Scotland's historic, scientific, cultural, industrial and political past. The design of Glasgow School of Art by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is the subject of one particularly beautiful panel with others such as the engineering of the Forth Rail Bridge and the cloning of Dolly the Sheep making for interesting themes.

The tapestry will be exhibited at the Parliament until 21st September where entry to see it is free. A Facebook image gallery has also been put together where it's possible to appreciate the scale and beauty of the stunning tapestry, resplendent in its current exhibition space.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Online resource: New Downloadable e-magazines Service

You've heard of eBooks, now may we present to you eMagazines! 

Zinio eMagazines is a fantastic new service from Glasgow Libraries which gives you free unlimited access to read digital copies of your favourite magazines with exactly the same pictures, layout and text as the original printed glossy!

We highly recommend using this resource as a way to gain immediate access to the most current magazine issues. The GSA Library catalogue holds a number of Zinio's digital titles in print. The benefits of having a complementary Zinio account with Glasgow Libraries include the ability to build a personalised and permanent collection of eMagazines and the ease of browsing for images. There are no limits on the number of magazines you can check-out, meaning you are always guaranteed your regular dose of cool images and latest news.

eMagazines are available to Glasgow Library members, using their Borrower Number and PIN via the online catalogue. From the catalogue's main page, click on the link to Zinio. You'll be prompted for your email and password to access the list of popular titles. First-time visitors will need to create a Zinio account by following the 'Create New Account' link. This will require you to enter your name, Glasgow Libraries card number, email address and password. It's easy to sign up online if you've not already a member, and start making use of all of Glasgow Libraries' e-resources, straight away.

eMagazines can be read on a computer, smartphone or tablet and can also be used on a wide variety of apps including Apple, Android and Kindle Fire for downloading and reading offline. Over 100 magazines are available covering everything from fashion and textiles to photography, science and technology! Titles include Amateur Photographer; Cosmopolitan; Harper's Bazaar; Computer Music; MacFormat; National Geographic; Home & Garden; Rolling Stone and much more. A full list is available here.