Here is a short film from the opening event for The Women’s Library Reading Room, which took place on 12 March 2014 at the Library.
Nelson’s Column during the Great Smog of 1952
Last week smog and air pollution hit record levels in the UK sparking health fears. But this is not a new phenomenon- in the 1950s poor air quality was a regular occurrence.
A search of the Daily Mail archives uncovers this advice from a doctor which was published in October 1953- he advised making a mask from 4 layers of handkerchiefs, dampening them and taping around the face before going outside. The previous year, the paper reported travel chaos, including a judge falling off a railway station platform (December 9th, 1952), increased robbery with a burglar getting £12,000 (December 8th, 1952) and very worryingly a rise in deaths related to respiratory illness by 2,800 (December, 19th, 1952) due to the fog.
If you are interested in researching historic and current air pollution levels, here are our recommended quick research tips:
Smog of 1952
Smog in 2014
- Defra is the Uk government department which monitors and produces reports on air quality. Its website has reports and the latest alerts.
- Air Pollution Research in London (APRIL) network provides a focus for tracing news and research projects about air quality in the capital.
- London Air is a site maintained by Kings College Environmental Research group which has excellent maps of London pollution levels.
- Airbase is a statistical database produced by the European Environment Agency which has data for European nations.
- The World Health Organization has reports and statistical data on number of deaths and diseases linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution. You can also find regional and country breakdowns.
- PubMed provides free references to medical and health related articles on air pollution.
LSE journal article databases
- For medical articles try Cinahl (nursing and allied health topics); ISI web of science and Scopus
- For environmental information specialist databases include: Geobase which has geography articles. GreenFile which focuses upon environmental and ‘green issues’ and Environmental Impact which specialises in materials relating to climate change.
Welcome to all students on the Executive LLM courses who are on campus this week. If you are new to LSE, here are a few starting points for finding and using our research resources for your studies:
- Your LSE Card gives you immediate access to the Library building and to borrowing.
- The Library building is open 24 hours this week – remember your LSE Card to guarantee access.
- Your reading lists in Moodle will provide many links to the most essential readings online. (You will need to use you LSE username and password to access.)
- Find books and articles using our Library General search on the Library website (also know as Summon). This resource searches across hundreds of our online resources as well as the print collections. When off campus, refine your search to ‘items with full text online’.
- Legal materials – law reports, treaties, legislation – are available online through major law resources such as Westlaw, Lexis and HeinOnline.
- The Library’s law subject pages will introduce you to the key resources for legal research available. All you need is your LSE username and password for access.
Please ask Library staff for assistance when in the building this week or contact me, Maria Bell. You can email, phone or ask for me when in the Library.
Have a great week!