Apr 11 2014

The Women’s Library Reading Room Opening Event Short Film

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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.

Posted by: Posted on by Peter Carrol Tagged with: , , ,

Apr 11 2014

Social science sites of the week from LSE Library

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Smog and pollution

Have been in the news in the last couple of weeks. Use the Library’s recommended resources to discover more about the similarities and differences between the 1950s and today.

Indian Elections

Find out more about the start of  the world’s largest elections by consulting our special elections blog. This will be posting more recommended websites during the coming weeks

Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB)  formally launched

The German Digital library was formally launched in March 2014, offering  free access to a wealth of digitised historic books, journals, images  and reports from libraries across Germany. In addition to German language materials they also include out of copyright items in other languages held in Germany’s largest research libraries. All subject areas from the arts, sciences and humanities are covered.

For those interested in historic German materials try these other free recommended websites:

  • DigiZeitschriften  an online archive of German language scholarly journals, similar to JSTOR. It includes more than 200 journal titles. While the service does have subscription content, it also has several hundred free open access titles covering the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Economics titles include the Statistisches Jahrbuch für das Deutsche Reich  from the 1880-1940s
  • Pressemappe 20. jahrhunderts Retrospective digitization of economic press articles from the Institute for World Economy (IfW) and the Hamburg World Economy Archives (HWWA), 1826–1948. It is possible to look at online cutting s relating to companies and products as well as search by keyword for articles.
  • Zeitungsinformationssystem over 107 German language historic newspapers from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. They include key titles from 19th century Prussia as well, as a project to cover titles from the former DDR. The latter includes: Neues Deutschland April 1946- October 1990, Berliner Zeitung  May 1945 – December 1993 and  Neue Zeit July 1945 – July 1994. Free registration required to access the full text.

Openlaws.eu  launched

It aims to make legislation, case law and legal literature more accessible to researchers, journalists and the European public. The project is co-funded by the European Union, DG Justice under the Civil Justice Action Grant 2013 and supported by a number of leading academic institutions including the University of Amsterdam , University of Sussex, The London School of Economics and Political Science and the Salzburg University of Applied Science. While the the project is still in its infancy, and is current analysing possibilities for opening up existing data, its website does already have available some  information tools and apps for cross searching national legal databases. At present these focus mainly on Austria.

  • On the topic of European law eur-LEX  which is the official portal to European law has also recently had an overhaul. It provides free access to EU treaties; international agreements; legislation;  preparatory acts, case-law; national implementing measures; references to national case-law concerning EU law; parliamentary questions; Consolidated legislation, documents published in the Official Journal C series and European Free Trade Area documents.
  • If you are looking for added commentary on EU law and policy try the free European Sources Online site which is based at Cardiff University.

igarape Citizen Security Database

This database maps security in 18 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean for the period 1999-2013. It has been created in  association with the Inter-American Development Bank. Users can access  interactive graphs of data relating to citizen safety and security which have been sourced from online databases managed by major institutions such as the IADB, UNDP, World Bank, OAS and OEA.  Select a country and  type of crime (general, organised crime,  juvenile crime and gender related crime ) to get data on initiatives and economic assistance.

Race and Diversity in UK Academia

An analysis by the Conversation shows worrying under representation of black and  Asian ethnic groups in UK universities- both as students and on management boards. download the data from their website.

Trading Consequences

A great new site which enables you to trace 19th century British Empire trade data and visualize it in new exciting new ways. Find out more about the  economic history of hundreds of major commodities imported into Britain  from 1800-1900 such as cocoa; cotton; wool; wheat; sugar; tea; butter;  silk and  rice. The project has been  undertaken as a part of the Digging Into Data programme supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It has international involvement from  University of Edinburgh; University of St Andrews and University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

The site uses text mining technology to locate where commodities were mentioned in major historic documents, (including Foreign and Commonwealth Office reports and Canadian government documents) enabling research into their impact on the economy and society in general.  Many links to documents lead to web sources. In some cases the items are on open access,  in others reference is made to subscription databases where access is dependent upon  local subscriptions.

Celebrating 8 years of Twitter

To mark the occasion the Twitter blog launched the facility to look back in time and trace your first tweet.   It has posted online some amusing examples from famous celebrities.

Posted by: Posted on by Heather Dawson Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 7 2014

How does today’s air compare with the ‘Great Smog’ of 1953?

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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

Posted by: Posted on by Heather Dawson Tagged with: , ,

Apr 4 2014

Social Science sites of the week from LSE Library

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In the news this week: same-sex marriage

Celebrate this landmark event by consulting our recommended research resources.

Afghanistan elections

Presidential elections are scheduled for 5 April 2014, but will they be fair and democratic?

Get some quick facts by following the links from our elections blog.

Virtual Centre of Excellence for Research in Violent Online Political Extremism launched

VoxPol is an EU funded project which seeks to explore how the Internet is being used by extremists from all political and religious stances. It is supported by a consortium of international research bodies who include: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Kings College London, University of Amsterdam, Institut fur Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik ander Universitat Hamburg. The site is currently providing information on forthcoming events. In the future it is likely to include more full text materials.

New Zealand Policy Online

Great new current awareness service  from the Australian Policy Online team. It offers weekly email briefings with links to the latest research papers and reports from universities, government departments and think tanks based in New Zealand. Each entry has a handy subscription and a link to the original website where, in most cases, the full text can be immediately downloaded.

If you dont want to sign up the website enables you to search their research catalogue. All topics are covered including: culture and communications, indigenous peoples, education, health, economics and politics.  A really quick and effective way to keep up to date with the latest research from down under.

To access the Australian resources go to the main website  where you will find the catalogue and advice on how to sign up.

Other great open access sites from New Zealand include:

  • Open government data - download publicly-available New Zealand government datasets/ official statistics.
  • Kiwi Research Information Service - free access to research outputs produced by staff and researchers at a number of colleges and universities based in New Zealand.
  • Papers Past  digitised historic New Zealand newspapers 1839-1945

Also new is the Quake Studies from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand

This is collecting resources relating to the 2010 earthquake. These include images, geographic resources, emergency stories and oral history. Just added is the Women’s Voices: Recording women’s experiences of the Canterbury Earthquakes collection from the Christchurch branch of National Council of Women of NZ which has audio and video testimony from survivors. These provide insight into the daily lives of the women: their resilience, ways of coping and the emotional and economic impact of the disaster.

UK  NCVO Civil Society Almanac

A recommended reference guide compiled by the National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO).  This year’s edition focuses upon voluntary organizations. It can answer questions about the number, income, expenditure,  trends in services, staffing levels and pay in the voluntary sector. Reference is made to the impact of UK government cuts. Also covered are trends in volunteering. Although certain sections of the site are restricted to members only there is separate data bank with basic items that be downloaded free of charge Chapters/statistics  from earlier editions of the yearbook, (which covered civil society more generally) from  2002 onwards can be downloaded free  from the website.

Poverty Reduction in Europe: Social Policy and Innovation (ImPRovE)

Useful project which is focusing upon social policy and poverty in Europe. It is composed of a consortium of leading European partners including :  Social Exclusion and the City (OASeS), Belgium; Athens University Of Economics And Business (AUEB); TÁRKI Social Research Institute (TÁRKI), Hungary; Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), UK; Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), UK; Universita’ degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo (UNIURB), Italy; University of Turku (TURKU), Finland. Strands of research include: the effects of the financial crises, social innovation, social inclusion and social policy and poverty alienation. In addition to research news and events alerts;  the website also offers free access to full text presentations and articles and reports and there are links to other EU funded poverty and social cohesion projects

National Library of Scotland Expands Online Map Collection

Now available from the website are six inch ordnance survey maps of England and Wales, 1842-1952. This supplements the existing online collection, a highlight of which is the Charting the Nation website: maps of Scotland and associated archives 1550-1740.

Other recommended free map collections include:

  • David Rumsey Map Collection A superb collection containing over 48,000 items online. The main focus are rare images from 18th-19th century North and south America, but there are also examples from other areas of the world.
  • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas, Austin. This site is great for finding maps of areas in the news. See the current collection of links to Ukraine . Emphasis is upon politics with many examples of CIA maps, both current and historic.
  • United Nations Cartographic Section . More than 100 general maps of regions of the world which are designed for easy printing. Also links to UN peacekeeping maps.

Women’s Library@ LSE Reading Room opens

The Women’s Library Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of the LSE Library. Its website gives opening hours  and details on pre booking materials for viewing. It also gives links to the archive catalogue. For highlights of the collections see the timeline of treasures  and the digitised rare book digital collection.

Finally, browse an online archive of Dutch advertising history

ReclameArsenaal Foundation Virtual Library

Covering over 150 years of Dutch advertising heritage with free access to online posters and TV and radio advertisements from over 80 companies. Even if you cannot read Dutch it is worth browsing for insight into aspects of social history including images of women in advertising brand names such as Persil, and there is an also a fun corner with games.

Posted by: Posted on by Heather Dawson Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 1 2014

Welcome to ELLM students!

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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!

Posted by: Posted on by Maria Bell