National Dog Day!

In the United States today (26th August) it is National Dog Day! Here, at SUNCAT, we appreciate man’s best friend and in honour of all canines we have compiled a weird and wonderful list of dog-related titles. Below is also an image of the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a very popular tourist attraction here in Edinburgh.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby found in Edinburgh.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh – taken by Michael Reeve. CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

  • Earth dog – running dog.
  • Natural dog.
  • Dusty dog.
  • Good dog!
  • Bottom Dog.
  • Pale dog.
  • Mad dog.
  • Action dog.
  • The Flying dog.
  • Modern dog.
  • Dog & driver / International Sled Dog Racing Association.
  • Space dog.
  • The Dog fancier.
  • International dog fancy.
  • Jughead’s pal Hot Dog.
  • The whole dog journal.
  • Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog.
  • Desert dog news.
  • Stray dog almanac.
  • Rex the Wonder Dog.
  • Dog watch : a weekly newspaper for the purebred dog fancy.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog.
  • Black bob, the dandy wonder dog.
  • Eukanuba : the magazine that understands your dog.
  • The butcher’s dog is always barking.
  • Have dog will travel : Oregon, Washington, Idaho / Barbara Whitaker.
  • Off-lead : the national dog training monthly.
  • The scurvy dog : the bedtime companion for the uninhibited youngster.
  • The Tail-Wagger.

For more dog titles and other weird and wonderful serials take a look in the new and improved SUNCAT.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • CONSER (20 Aug 14)
  • Cranfield University (20 Aug 14)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (13 Aug 14)
  • Essex University (18 Aug 14)
  • Glasgow School of Art (18 Aug 14)
  • ISSN (13 Aug 14)
  • National Library of Scotland (19 Aug 14)
  • Queen Mary, University of London (15 Aug 14)
  • Reading University (18 Aug 14)
  • Scottish National Gallery Research Library (20 Aug 14)
  • Southampton University (17 Aug 14)
  • Sussex University (14 Aug 14)
  • Swansea University (15 Aug 14)
  • University College London (11 Aug 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

Mapping Supply Chains for 19th Century Leather

Impression of a Buenos Aires slaughterhouse by Charles Pellegrini, 1829.

[First Published on the NiCHE Website] By Andrew Watson with Jim Clifford For the past two weeks I’ve been in Saskatoon, working with Jim Clifford in the University of Saskatchewan’s Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) Lab. Since January 2014 I’ve been working with Jim and Colin Coates on the Trading Consequences research project thinking about how historians can use these valuable new text mining, database and visualization tools to understand the economic and environmental histories of global commodity flows during the nineteenth century. This trip to Saskatchewan has allowed Jim and I to focus our energies on using Trading Consequences for historical research. We used text-mined spatial data in conjunction with trade statistics and textual sources as a means of testing the search results and functionality of Trading Consequences. To do this, we chose a case study: the history of leather tanning related commodities during the nineteenth century.

Neckinger Leather Mills  Wellcome Images on Flickr Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK

Neckinger Leather Mills Wellcome Images on Flickr Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK

We chose leather tanning for our case study because this topic intersects with both our research interests. Jim is interested in how industrial development across London, including the leather district of Bermondsey, contributed to broader environmental transformations through the development of global commodity flows. Part of my recently completed doctoral research examined the economic and environmental dimensions of hemlock bark harvesting for leather tanneries in Muskoka, Ontario during the same time period. Trading Consequences provides the opportunity to learn more about the ways tanneries in Muskoka and London functioned as part of transnational networks in hides, tannins and leather. Apart from some primary and secondary source background reading, our work over these initial two weeks of research on this project focused almost exclusively on exploring nineteenth century trade statistics for Britain and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Theses statistics came mainly from the Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom with Foreign Countries and British Possessions, which the HGIS Lab’s research assistant, Stephen Langlois, entered into a Commodity Flows database. With the help of Jon Bath, Director of the Digital Research Centre at U Sask, Jim and I exported the statistics from the Commodity Flows database to create spreadsheets, graphs and maps, which we used to help us understand broad patterns and trends in the global trade of leather tanning commodities during the nineteenth century. One of the tools we used to start to get a sense of the transnational connections of these commodities is SourceMap.com, a web-based supply chain mapping service, that allows users to generate maps populated with directional flow information. Using the information from the Commodity Flows database related to where commodities originated as well as their destination, Jim created four maps representing the flow of leather tanning related commodities at different points in the nineteenth century.

Read More on the NiCHE Website

SUNCAT’s new Contributing Library – Royal Veterinary College

We are pleased to announce that just over 750 serials records of the Royal Veterinary College have just been loaded into SUNCAT. This makes six new Contributing Libraries added so far in 2014. This addition brings the total number of libraries to 98, plus the CONSER database, the ISSN register and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

The Royal Veterinary College is one of the world’s leading specialist veterinary institutions. Founded in 1791, the RVC has a unique heritage of innovation in veterinary and biomedical sciences, clinical practice and education.

The RVC Library is divided between two sites; Camden, located in central London, and Hawkshead, located near Potters Bar, just north of the M25. Both are intended primarily for use by students and staff of The Royal Veterinary College, but external visitors may consult the libraries’ stock by prior arrangement only.

The material at Camden reflects the pre-clinical and taught post-graduate courses there, while the Hawkshead stock covers the clinical and taught post-graduate courses at that site. Most veterinary material is at Hawkshead.
The RVC Library is a member of the M25 Consortium of Higher Education Libraries. Other members who are SUNCAT Contributing Libraries include: Courtauld Institute of Art; London Metropolitan University; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Senate House Libraries; The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide; Wellcome Library.

For further information and news about SUNCAT please see our website, follow SUNCAT on Twitter (@suncatteam), or contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

SUNCAT’s new Contributing Library – Royal Veterinary College

We are pleased to announce that just over 750 serials records of the Royal Veterinary College have just been loaded into SUNCAT. This makes six new Contributing Libraries added so far in 2014. This addition brings the total number of libraries to 98, plus the CONSER database, the ISSN register and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

The Royal Veterinary College is one of the world’s leading specialist veterinary institutions. Founded in 1791, the RVC has a unique heritage of innovation in veterinary and biomedical sciences, clinical practice and education.

The RVC Library is divided between two sites; Camden, located in central London, and Hawkshead, located near Potters Bar, just north of the M25. Both are intended primarily for use by students and staff of The Royal Veterinary College, but external visitors may consult the libraries’ stock by prior arrangement only.

The material at Camden reflects the pre-clinical and taught post-graduate courses there, while the Hawkshead stock covers the clinical and taught post-graduate courses at that site. Most veterinary material is at Hawkshead.
The RVC Library is a member of the M25 Consortium of Higher Education Libraries. Other members who are SUNCAT Contributing Libraries include: Courtauld Institute of Art; London Metropolitan University; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Senate House Libraries; The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide; Wellcome Library.

For further information and news about SUNCAT please see our website, follow SUNCAT on Twitter (@suncatteam), or contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past two weeks. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bradford University (05 Aug 14)
  • Bristol University (12 Aug 14)
  • Brunel University (01 Aug 14)
  • Cambridge University (04 Aug 14)
  • CONSER (13 Aug 14)
  • Glasgow University (06 Aug 14)
  • Leicester University (06 Aug 14)
  • Royal College of Music (14 Aug 14)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (11 Aug 14)
  • St Andrews University (06 Aug 14)
  • Southampton University (10 Aug 14)
  • Warwick University (11 Aug 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

Report on the Survey of the New Look Service

We’ve just published the report from the survey we conducted on the new look SUNCAT. The survey ran from the end of May to the end of June 2014.

The results of the survey were largely very positive but it did highlight a few areas where we can focus on making improvements.

The vast majority of respondents, 88%, found SUNCAT “Quite Easy” or “Very Easy” to use. Five percent reported that they found SUNCAT “Very Difficult” to use and on further investigation this was revealed to be due to a compatibility problem with older versions of Internet Explorer. However, as soon as we noticed these responses we investigated and we believe that these issues are now resolved, see the blog post: Problems using the new service on the IE8 browser

Further, 91% of respondents indicated that they found the new service better than the original one.

The most popular features on the new SUNCAT with the highest proportion of respondents reporting that they were either “Very useful� or “Quite useful� were:

  • Links to library’s local catalogues in the holdings display (91%)
  • Icons differentiating print and online holdings in the holdings display (90%)
  • Electronic only/non-electronic only format limit on the advanced search page (86%)
  • More search options on the advanced search page (86%)
  • Library information pages (linked to from library name in the holdings display) (82%)

Survey chart 2

 

Respondents were also asked to comment on their favourite features. The most popular features were the format limiting, format filtering and format icons.

“I really like being able to tell at a glance whether a library has print or online holdings for a particular journal.�

“… is especially useful as it alerts to licensing issues etc. and therefore prevents requests that will fail and saves time in getting information to the library user.�

Second to these were the additional library information pages and the links to local catalogues:

“The improved links through to library information and the links to the local library catalogue is a big improvement.�

“The new library information pages are very helpful as I work in Interlibrary loans and this feature gives me important information very quickly without having to try and locate it on the library’s own website or in the BL’s directory of library codes.â€�

Followed by the clear design, ease of use and general usefulness of the new service:

“Cleaner, easier to read and navigate�

“much nicer interface – much more obvious in terms of how to use itâ€�

We also used the survey to find out what improvements our users would like to see in SUNCAT so that we can use this information to plan and prioritise our future developments. The following table summarises the suggestions and EDINA’s responses.

Suggested Improvement EDINA Response
Ensure the new service is compatible with older browsers We have investigated this and believe that the necessary changes have now been implemented
Add more libraries We will continue to expand the coverage of the service and are currently in the process of adding new libraries
Improve deduplication We are gathering information about suggested matches on the service and will use this information to inform the development of an improved matching algorithm which should improve deduplication in the long term.
Improve holdings information Unfortunately, we have no control over this as we rely on the holdings information supplied to us by our Contributing Libraries
A bulk upload facility of ISSNs to enable scarcity checks We are in the process of developing a holdings comparison service which should assist with scarcity checking
UKRR libraries limit We are in the process of developing tailored or customised views onto SUNCAT, one of which could be for the UKRR.
Improve relevance ranking We will investigate possible improvements in this area.
Reinstate subject heading browsing This will be made available in an upcoming release
Provide better options for printing holdings dataPrinting results. It would be helpful if you could print a short summary with selected location details without the need to print irrelevant web-page data too. We will investigate possible improvements in this area.
Provide information about policies on ILL provision and licensing agreements We will investigate the possibility of pulling this information from sources such as KB+, while bearing in mind that recent changes to UK Copyright Law might make licensing information less relevant for ILL purposes.
Move the British Library code to appear beside the library name This information is displayed on the Library Information page which can be accessed by clicking on the Library name in the holdings display. We feel that adding this information directly to the holdings display could complicate and confuse the display for general users, but we will keep this request under consideration.
Split up electronic and print holdings or show more clearly We are working to improve how the format filtering works and will consider adding the format limit to the basic search page.

 

The results of the survey are very positive for the new SUNCAT service and indicate it now provides an overall improved platform from which to continue to develop the service further.

Unfortunately there were some initial problems with compatibility with older browsers, which the survey very usefully highlighted. Otherwise the responses to the new features are encouraging, with the vast majority of respondents finding the new service easy to use and an improvement on the original service.

Key features appear as those related to identifying, distinguishing between, limiting to or filtering out particular journal formats. This reflects a high number of users wanting to focus on non-electronic formats due to licence restrictions on providing copies from electronic formats. However, the additional information provided on the library pages and the links to local catalogues also proved popular.

We will give further consideration to each of the suggested improvements and where possible investigate developing these as part of future releases. In some cases the developments are already in the pipeline and the survey provides an additional confirmation of their potential usefulness.

SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at http://www.suncat.ac.uk

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past two weeks. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (01 Aug 14)
  • CONSER (6th Aug 14)
  • Dundee University (01 Aug 14)
  • Kent University (01 Aug 14)
  • King’s College London (01 Aug 14)
  • The London Library (28 Jul 14)
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (4th Jul 14)
  • Nottingham University (05 Aug 14)
  • Robert Gordon University (02 Aug 14)
  • Southampton University (03 Aug 14)
  • Strathclyde University (22 Jul 14)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

Geology Digimap: Detailed 1:10,000 scale geology data now available to download

We have now added detailed 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 geological mapping data and 1:625,000 hydrogeological data to Geology Download. The mapping data is the most detailed geological mapping available from the British Geological Survey (BGS), consisting of four polygon layers:

  • bedrock geology (‘solid’);
  • superficial deposits (‘drift’ or Quaternary)
  • mass movement (mostly landslide)
  • artificial (or man-made ground)

…and one linear features layer, including:

  • thin beds (such as coal seams and fossil bands)
  • faults
  • mineral veins
  • some landforms

The products cover around 30% of the UK most of the which is provided by the 1:10,000 scale data (approx 28% of the UK), as the coverage is not complete we have added overlays to Geology Download to guide you to the areas where it can be found. The BGS have more map tiles in production for this dataset and we will add them to the service as they become available to us. The coverage of the data can be seen in the Download interface below as the dark blue areas of Great Britain.

Geology Download showing 1:10,000 scale data availability

The 1:25,000 has a much smaller coverage, but with little overlap with the 1:10,000 it makes a good companion dataset to fill in the gaps. The 1:25,000 data also fills the gaps in the 1:50,000 data in Wales, again the coverage can be seen in the interface below as the dark blue areas.

Geology Download showing 1:25,000 scale data availability

Grids / Overlays for Geology DownloadTo access the coverage maps click on the double arrow to open the Show Grid / Overlay panel on the right side of the map; you can then add the grids to the map to see where data is available. We highly recommend you do this before selecting your area for download as it is not possible to add data to your basket if you choose a product with no coverage for your that area. If you find that the Add to Basket button remains grey after you have selected your products it probably means that one or more of them do not have coverage for the area you have chosen.  If you click on the grey button an error message will tell you which products are unavailable, either remove these from the order or switch on the overlay and choose a different location that has the data.

GEology Download Products in July 2014In addition to the 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 scale mapping datasets we have also added the BGS OpenData 1:625,000 scale digital hydrogeological data to Geology Download. This data can be used to indicate the aquifer potential of an area in generalised terms. Areas are categorised into one of three groups:

  • those in which intergranular flow in the saturated zone is dominant
  • those in which flow is controlled by fissures or discontinuities
  • less permeable formations including aquifers concealed at depth beneath covering layers

The 1:625 000 scale data may be used as a guide to the aquifers at a regional or national level, but should not be relied on for local information.

The addition of these new datasets brings the total number of different BGS products in Geology Download to 14.  We hope to add the detailed mapping datasets to Geology Roam later in the year as well as some of the other types of data as overlays or basemaps.

If you have any questions about the new datasets or any requests for geology data we don’t yet have then please get in touch:

  • Email: edina@ed.ac.uk
  • Phone: 0131 650 3302

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Centenary of the Outbreak of The First World War

It seems extraordinary to us now that the assassination of an unpopular Archduke in a relatively obscure country could have started the most significant war the world had ever known. A hundred years ago, on the 28th June 1914, a group of six teenage Serb terrorists set out to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his visit to Sarajevo. They were protesting about the annexation of Bosnia by the Austro-Hungarian Empire to which the Archduke was heir.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, June 1914: IWM First World War (via Culture Grid)© IWM (Q 91848)

Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, June 1914: IWM First World War (via Culture Grid) © IWM (Q 91848)

The image above shows the Archduke departing from the Town Hall with his wife, Sophie. A short time later they would be shot dead by the 19 year old Gavrilo Princip. This act upset the balance of power between the two major alliances in Europe and set in train a series of  events, known as the July Crisis which would lead  to the outbreak of war a few weeks later. Princip was later to say that if he had known the final outcome of the murder he would never have proceeded.

Yugoslavia Special Report – Historical Look at the Balkan Crisis: Visnews: compliation from 28/6/1914 onwards

For an overview of why the Balkans region has been a focus of unrest for centuries, click on the Reuters film above which explains how the state of Yugoslavia was born in 1918.

Meanwhile Britain was undergoing social change which threatened the old order of aristocratic landowners. Trade unions were forming to protect workers’ rights and there had been several years of industrial strife. These factors had given Germany the opportunity to win more trade and British industry was losing out. Click on the image below to watch a cartoon which shows the British workman fighting back. This may have been produced as propaganda at the beginning of the war.

Animated cartoon of German Industrialist V British Workman: Gaumont Graphic c. 1914

Animated cartoon of German Industrialist V British Workman: Gaumont Graphic c. 1914

On 23rd July 1914, King George V and Edward, the 20 year old Prince of Wales spent time inspecting the the newly formed Grand Fleet. This was clearly a sign that tensions were high but it was unlikely any of the British public would have been aware war was so imminent and at that point the British Cabinet were doing all they could to ensure neutrality. Unfortunately the countdown to war had already started.

King George Visits Grand Fleet

King George Visits Grand Fleet: Gaumont Graphic Newsreel: 23-07-1914

Observers in the North  East of Scotland would have noticed something was afoot: A local photographer off the coast of Wick captured this image of battleships which were a presence in the area during WW1. It’s probable these ships would subsequently be involved in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 when the Grand Fleet fought the German  Navy’s High Seas Fleet, resulting in great loss of life.

 A local photographer off the coast of Wick captured this image of battleships which were a presence in the area during WW1 Home fleet, Wick Bay: The North Highland College (Johnston Collection)  The Wick Society c.1915

Home fleet, Wick Bay: The North Highland College (Johnston Collection) The Wick Society c.1915

On the 4th August 1914 Britain finally declared war on Germany following the German invasion of Belgium. The Kaiser had feared being caught in a pincer movement between France and Russia and needed Belgium to give him safe passage in order that he could attack France. Belgium refused and the German troops flooded in despite the Kaiser’s attempts to call them back at the last moment.

The following propaganda cartoon was made in 1918 to show Britain and the Empire’s contribution to the war effort. It portrays the Kaiser’s warmongering activities in a comical way.

Kaiser Wilhelm prepares to invade Belgium ImperialWar Museum (films) 1918

Kaiser Wilhelm keeps an eye on Britain as he prepares to invade Belgium: IWM (films) 1918

In early August 1914  many thousands of men came forward to enlist and fight for their country. Everyone was told the war would be over by Christmas and volunteers signed up with no expectation of a protracted conflict. Click on the clip below to watch crowds of volunteers queuing to enlist outside the War Office.

Recruiting in August 1914: Gaumont Graphic Newsreel : 10-08-1914

Recruitment took place across the country and was boosted by the numbers of unemployed men who were looking for a wage. After some intial training these inexperienced troops were despatched to face an uncertain future on the Western Front.

Volunteers drilling in the courtyard of Burlington House: IWM (images) 1914-1918

Volunteers drilling in the courtyard of Burlington House:
IWM (images) 1914-1918

 

No one had wanted war and yet ultimately it had seemed impossible to avoid. All  the nations who took part were hugely fearful for the future. David Grey, Britain’s Foreign Secretary famously expressed his despair at the time:

The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Europe would have changed irrevocably by the time the First World War finally ended and made a lasting impact on the lives of millions of people; whether they were casualties or survivors of this terrifying conflict.

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