Exploring Jisc MediaHub – September’s Most Popular

This is the fourth post looking at the most popular search terms, items and subjects that people have been browsing and searching on in Jisc MediaHub. Clicking through to the ‘Most Popular’ page allows you to take a closer look at the most recent popular items, searches and subjects. Here is a selection from the previous month (September 2014).

Image of Jisc MediaHub's "Most Popular" page, captured on Wednesday 1st October 2014.

Jisc MediaHub’s “Most Popular� page, captured on Wednesday 1st October 2014.


As well as the more general subjects of ‘sport’ and ‘football’, you can see that the more specific search on ‘St Helen’s Rugby League Challenge Cup Final 1961′ was particularly popular. This final was played at Wembley, where St. Helen’s beat Wigan 12-6. It is unclear why the 1961 Cup Final in particular has been so popular, so if anyone has an idea please let us know!

I particularly like this Rugby League Cup Final poster from an earlier year, 1934, which was designed for Transport for London and can be found on the Exploring 20th Century London website.

Image of a Rugby League Cup Final poster, designed forTransport for London in 1934.

Rugby League Cup Final – Poster. Transport for London, 1934.

The First World War

Britain’s Effort‘ is the most popular item viewed in Jisc MediaHub last month. For more details on this wonderful cartoon take a look at last October’s Most Popular blog post! Also proving very popular is the search for ‘First World War cinema’. During the First World War (1914-1918) the popularity of cinemas grew quickly, along with cinema stars such as Charlie Chaplin. However, the war also had a negative impact on cinemas, with many being damaged or destroyed here in the UK and over on the continent. Below is an image taken on the 9th October 1918 showing some men of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the wrecked interior of a German cinema in Cambrai. This item  is part of the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Collection available via the Culture Grid.

Image of three members of the patrol of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in a wrecked interior of a German cinema theatre in Cambrai. Taken during the First World War on the 9th October 1918.

Ministry of Information First World War Official Collection. IWM First World War Collection, 1918.

Another popular item is a short report from Gaumont Graphic created in 1929 entitled ‘In Memory of the Victims of War‘, which shows a memorial service held in Berlin for the victims of the First World War.

Logic and Ethics

Not only do people search for people, things, events in Jisc MediaHub, but they also search for concepts and systems such as ‘logic’ (8th most popular subject this month) and ‘ethics’. If you carry out a search on the subject ‘logic’ you get back programmes from the Logic Lane series in Jisc MediaHub. This is a series of films tracing the development of philosophy at Oxford University from the 1930s to the early 1970s, featuring eminent figures such as Sir Alfred Ayer, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch and Sir Isaiah Berlin.

When searching under the subject ‘ethics’ many of the results are interviews from radio broadcasts. These are part of the London Broadcasting Company/Independent Radio News audio archive, consisting of 7,000 reel-to-reel tapes in a collection that runs from 1973 to the mid-1990s and relating to news and current affairs. Topics include the question of press freedom on the one hand and people’s privacy on the other, as well as sleaze in UK politics. Examples include: Princess Diana photographed in gym and one of several interviews on the Nolan Report, where he gives recommendations of his report on sleaze in UK politics.

North Sea Oil Sites

One very topical popular item is the news report on the auctioning of North Sea oil sites back in 1971, which was shown on ITV’s News at Ten. Oil and gas reserves in the North Sea was one of the issues raised as part of this year’s Scottish Referendum, which was held on the 18th September.

Still of a news report on the auction of North Sea oil sites, which took place in 1971. The image shows the auction delegation sitting in front of a map of the North Sea.

North Sea Oil Sites. ITV Late Evening News, 1971.

It is very interesting to hear about the process of auctioning oil sites, especially as it has such a bearing on Scotland’s future, particularly since the debate over oil revenues around the Scottish Independence Referendum which took place in September. The reporter in this ITV Late Evening News film says that “the North Sea can be stormy, but is politically calm“, which is of great importance to oil and gas companies. It was also reported that the Treasury was £37 million richer as a result of the sale of the plots in the North Sea.

Donald Campbell’s Bluebird Raised from Seabed

Another popular item is a news report on the raising of the wreckage of Donald Campbell’s ‘Bluebird’, which was used in an attempt by Campbell to break his own world water speed record back in 1967 in Coniston Lake. It ended in disaster when the craft somersaulted out of control, resulting in the crash and the loss of Sir Donald Campbell’s life. This short report includes an explanation of how the wreckage was brought to the surface and to the shore of the lake. ‘Bluebird’ will be restored through a volunteer-led project and shown at a local museum as a symbol of British endeavour.

Still from a news report on the raising of the wreckage of Sir Donald Campbell's 'Bluebird' from Comiston Lake. Image shows diver Bill Smith who discovered the wreckage back in 2000. Report by ITN in 2001.

Donald Campbell’s Bluebird Raised From Seabed. ITN, 2001.

Interview: Professional Shoplifter

A particularly fascinating and entertaining entry in our top ten most popular items this month is this interview with a professional shoplifter, as you don’t normally get to hear from people who shoplift for a living!

Still from an interview with a professional shoplifter, who is wearing a suit and sunglasses. Taken from the News at Ten, 1970.

Interview: Professional Shoplifter. ITV Late Evening News, 1970.

The questions asked as well as the answers are brilliant! Examples include: “What are your credentials for this job?“; “… You have spent 13 years in jail, so it might be said that you weren’t a very good shoplifter.“; and “to the petty thief it [closed circuit television] is a deterrent, but to people like myself this is a joke.


One of the most intriguing search terms from last month is the rather enigmatic ‘holes’! One example of a search result our 8th most popular search term will find is a photograph of a coal hole during the strike of 1926, taken by Barrie Whittamore. It is great to be able to find out, by reading the description on the ‘Picture the Past‘ website, that the man in the hole is called Ernest Preston.

Image of a coal hole during the 1926 miner's strike, showing four miners sitting around the hole and one miner in the hole. From the 'Picture the Past' Collection.

Coal hole, during 1926 strike. Picture the Past Collection, 1926.

I particularly like the magnifying glass feature on the ‘Picture The Past’ website! We also have our own version on the Jisc MediaHub website, offered where possible. See the image below for an example.

Lal Kafir Images in Pakistan

This Lal Kafir images in Pakistan of carved men and horses, from the Royal Geographical Society is another very popular item. As you can see, it is possible to zoom in to see specific areas of the image on the Jisc MediaHub website. Of the 63,670 image records MediaHub hosts 61,903 of them are zoom-able, so there is a 97% coverage. Those which are not zoom-able are either too small or have been uploaded by users and so do not support the zoom tool.

Detail of an image showing Lal Kafir carvings of men and horses in Pakistan. Photograph taken in 1918.

Detail from ‘Lal Kafir Images in Pakistan’. Royal Geographical Society and IBG, 1918.

It is also possible to see where this image was taken on a map. This feature is only available if there is specific location information for the item. Jisc MediaHub uses two types of location data:

  • Coordinate based – 68,286 records have at least one geographic coordinate associated with it, of which 10,200 are considered unique locations and are visible on the ‘Explore By Place‘.
  • Text based – 148,932 records have a “place” associated with them, a word rather than a coordinate, of which 129,969 have at least one country associated and the remaining 18,963 have other forms of location associated (area, city, region etc.).
Lal Kafir image and a Google map overlaid showing where the image was taken, in this case Pakistan, on the Jisc MediaHub website.

Lal Kafir Image and Google Map showing where the image was taken. Jisc MediaHub, 2014.

Jisc MediaHub also has a “locations” crowdsourcing feature just beneath the map thumbnail of an item if it is not sure whether a particular location is correct. Users can help Jisc MediaHub improve location data associated with a record by telling us whether the suggested location is relevant e.g. ‘France International Cat Exhibition‘.

This feature was developed using the Unlock service, which enables you to extract placenames and locations from a text and turn those placenames into coordinates on the map. These locations tend to be pretty good but we know they aren’t always perfect, so the “locations” crowdsourcing feature enables Jisc MediaHub to validate these suggestions.

As you can see from the highlights above and in previous months there is always a diverse range of subjects and types of materials, but there are also some general themes that emerge. It is really interesting to explore how the most popular search terms, items and subjects change each month. You can also further explore Jisc MediaHub in other ways, such as by collection, by place, and by time.

If you would like a closer look at what people have been searching for and viewing, just take a look at the Most Popular page on Jisc MediaHub. We would also love to hear your thoughts on why some of these items are popular – just let us know in the comments below or share your theories on Twitter with the hashtag #MediaHubTop10.



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.

Further Links:



Exploring Jisc MediaHub – June’s Most Popular

This is the third post looking at your most popular search terms, items and subjects that people have been browsing and searching on in Jisc MediaHub. Clicking through to the ‘Most Popular’ page allows you to take a closer look at the most recent popular items. Here is a selection of this month’s most popular.

Image of Jisc MediaHub's "Most Popular" page, captured on Tuesday 17th June 2014.

Jisc MediaHub’s “Most Popular� page, captured on Tuesday 17th June 2014.

The Chip Shop

One particularly fascinating item, which is the third most popular item in MediaHub, is an ITV Lunchtime News report aired back in 1984 on ‘The Chip Shop‘.  This was a new BBC Radio 4 show for computer buffs which broadcast software games, educational and technical material. The  information was broadcast through a series of clicks, bleeps and squeaks which was taped by the listener and then fed into their computer.

Image of a man playing a computer game back in 1984.

The Chip Shop. ITV Lunchtime News, 1984.

This is a very interesting idea, and surely was very cutting edge at the time. The noises being played over the airwaves is very reminiscent of those heard when loading up Spectrum games!

Image Collections

The viewing of images from various image collections available via Culture Grid has been particularly popular this month. Collections include that of the Kirklees Image Archive (an image database containing over 60,000 images), which is the fourth most popular subject search, Vads (an online resource for  the visual arts), which is the fifth most popular subject search, and Portable Antiquities Scheme – Finds (a database containing images and data of artefacts found by members of the public), which is the ninth most popular subject search.

An example of an image from the ‘Portable Antiquities Scheme – Finds’ Collection is this Roman figurine found in Sussex. The high-quality images and information on the artefacts such as what time period they are from, what they are made of and where they were found are impressive and fascinating.

Image of a Roman horse and rider figurine

Image of a Roman horse and rider figurine. Portable Antiquities Scheme, 2006?

The eighth most popular subject searched is ‘museum objects’, which brings back a collection of images from the Fitzwilliam Museum, such as coins, porcelain and prints. Access to such images and information are of course invaluable for anyone who cannot see the objects in real life.

A war theme

There are a number of searches, items and subjects with a war theme, from World War 1 posters through to an image of a Young Afghan Mine Victims Recover At Hospital For War Victims In Kabul.

World War 1 posters

The fascinating collection of WW1 posters (the sixth most popular search) is available via Culture Grid and they really bring home how difficult a time it was for everyone, not just the soldiers. An example of a poster is Women of Britain Say ‘Go!’, from the Imperial War Museum image collection.

Image of a WW1 poster saying 'Women of Britain say - "Go!"

Women of Britain say – “Go!” IWM First World War, 1915.

The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War is another popular search, and here again there are example of posters available on MediaHub via Vads. An example is ‘Campanya Contra L’Atur Forços UTC‘ from the Vads Collection: Imperial War Museum Spanish Civil War Poster Collection.

Image of a Spanish Civil War Poster with the text "Campanya Contra L´Atur Forços UTC"

Campanya Contra L´Atur Forços UTC. Imperial War Museum.

The use of posters seems to be one of the most important ways of communicating to a nation certainly in the first half of the 20th Century. ‘Poster’ itself is the third most popular subject this month.

A health theme

Health is another clear theme to emerge in this month’s ‘most popular’ lists. This includes: nurse; nursing; mental health; and health.

AIDS posters

Another sort of poster which people have also recently be looking at are those on AIDS, with this being the second most popular subject searched for in Jisc MediaHub in June. An example below is a colour poster showing hands spelling out World AIDS Day in sign language.

World AIDS Day poster showing hands spelling out World AIDS Day in sign language.

Hands spelling out World AIDS Day in sign language. Wellcome Library, 19uu.

In the news

There is always at least one item which appears on the ‘most popular’ lists due to an event having been recently reported on in the news. In this case, it is a news report on Maya Angelou as tenth most popular item, due to the African-American writer, poet, dancer, actress, and singe recently passing away. This news item, taken from Channel 4 Early Evening News, reports on Maya having written an inaugural poem for President Elect Bill Clinton which she will perform at the ceremony. Watch it to discover the items or ‘familiars’ she needs around her to write something that comes from deep within!

News report still showing Maya Angelou in conversation

Maya Angelou. Channel 4 News, 1993.

As you can see from the highlights above there is a diverse range of subjects and types of materials, but there are also some general themes that emerge. It is really interesting to explore how the most popular search terms, items and subjects change each month. You can also further explore Jisc MediaHub in other ways, such as by collection, by place, and by time.

If you would like a closer look at what people have been searching for and viewing, just take a look at the Most Popular page on Jisc MediaHub. We would also love to hear your thoughts on why some of these items are popular – just let us know in the comments below or share your theories on Twitter with the hashtag #MediaHubTop10.

The 1984 Miners’ Strike

Thirty years have now gone by since the beginning of the 1984 Miners’ Strike. It remains the bitterest industrial dispute in living memory and marked a turning point in the power relationship between the trade unions and the government; the consequences of which have helped shape our economy today.

This post uses a range of Jisc MediaHub resources to examine how the strike progressed. If you are carrying out your own research you will find many hours of relevant material on this topic in the Newsfilm collections as well as the Amber Films collection and the LBC/IRN radio archive collection. You can access all of these via the ‘Explore by Collection’ page.

Mining in the UK has always been a dangerous job, where each has depended on the other for their safety underground. In addition lives could be cut short by emphysema and black lung disease; illnesses brought about by long term exposure to coal mine dust. As a result mining communities were traditionally close knit as is shown in the following film made about the future of mining in the year before the strike began.

Centenary of the Durham Miners' Association. The News From Durham: Amber Films 1983

Centenary of the Durham Miners’ Association. The News From Durham: Amber Films 1983

The News from Durham (a documentary made by Amber Films) was based around the centenary of the Durham Miners’ Association in 1983. It shows miners and their families gathering to celebrate and show their solidarity in what they knew would be difficult times ahead. The miners would be fighting for more than just their jobs; it was for their way of life and their communities.

Background to the Strike:
Poster from a government campaign to recruit miners. Come into Mining Imperial WarMuseum (images)  c1942

Come into mining – the miner’s the skilled man the government will always need
Imperial War Museum (images) c1942

Britain’s industrial revolution had been powered by the mining industry over many generations but following nationalisation in 1947 mining had gradually  become unprofitable due to oil imports and the birth of the nuclear power industry. The following film from Channel 4 News looks at the background to the National Union of Mineworkers and why it eventually became left wing.

A young Arthur Scargill rises within the NUM Yorkshire Miners: Channel 4 News  07-01-1985

A young Arthur Scargill rises within the NUM
Yorkshire Miners: Channel 4 News 07-01-1985

The increasing militancy of the miners led them to strike over pay in 1971; their first national action since 1926. The resulting electricity cuts and  Three-Day Week caused humiliation for Ted Heath’s government which was eventually brought down in 1974. A decade later the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was determined to crush the NUM should they oppose plans for the restructuring of the coal industry. Careful preparations were made by stockpiling coal well in advance to ensure electricity supplies were not interrupted.

The next move in the government’s battle plan was to appoint Ian MacGregor as the new head of the National Coal Board in March 1983. He was a controversial figure due the reputation he had earned  as a ‘hatchet man’ during his last job at British Steel where he had made over 90,000 staff redundant in order to make the company more profitable.

Arthur Scargill describes the NCB Reports and Accounts as an exercise in duplicity Where are we going?: Amber Films 1983

Arthur Scargill describes the NCB Reports and Accounts as an exercise in duplicity
Where are we going?: Amber Films 1983

Amber Film’s ‘The Future for Miners: Where are we going?’ was produced for the NUM during 1983 to discuss the crisis in the coal industry. It provides a valuable background to how beleaguered the miners were at this time and their thoughts about the future. In it Arthur Scargill, then President of the NUM, talks about a secret hit list of 70 pits for closure: an allegation which was to have consequences for him a short time later. In fact the miners had been used to many pit closures over preceding decades, however in 1974 the NCB produced a report called ‘The Plan for Coal’ in which they confidently forecast an expansion of the coal industry until the end of the century. As a result the miners were deeply suspicious of the Thatcher government’s motives in appointing Ian MacGregor who was already regarded as an asset-stripper.

The Strike Begins:

The strike began in early March 1984 after the NCB announced its intention to close 20 pits. There would be no national ballot – a decision which was to contribute to Scargill’s eventual downfall. Some mining areas (such as Nottinghamshire) did not support the strike: they mistakenly believed their pits were safe. NCB Chairman, Ian MacGregor, wrote to all members of the NUM to tell them Scargill was deceiving them and there was no secret hit list; however documents recently released by the National Archives reveal otherwise.

This ITV News report shows how flying pickets were sent to non-striking pits to persuade them to join the strike; causing much division and violence. The NCB were granted an injunction by the High Court against secondary picketing by the NUM, however this proved ineffective. Police from other parts of the country (especially the Met) were brought in to control the situation but their presence was greatly resented as they were not local and had little understanding of mining communities.

The next news clip gives a flavour of these tensions. Yorkshire miners from Knottingly colliery tried to picket Nottinghamshire mines but were frustrated in their efforts by the Police. Click on the image below to hear them talk about their experiences.

Picketing miners talk about Police interference Miners Strike/ Day 16: Channel 4 News  27-03-1984

Picketing miners talk about Police interference
Miners Strike/ Day 16: Channel 4 News 27-03-1984

In this ITV News clip you can watch Arthur Scargill’s bravura performance when asked to condemn the violence of flying pickets.

The Battle of Orgreave:

The worst violence of the strike took place at the Orgreave coking plant on 18 June 1984, when up to 10,000 picketing miners clashed with 5,000 police in a bloody confrontation. The miners were trying to blockade the plant to prevent coke being transported to British Steel. That day huge police reinforcements had been brought in along with dogs, police horses and riot gear; whereas the miners were clad in light summer clothing which gave them no protection. Never before in the UK had police in riot gear attacked citizens exercising their right to picket – it was a watershed moment.

The following extensive unedited rushes from ITN give an indication of the atmosphere on the day:

A miner who has been beaten with a truncheon is taken away by the Police at Orgreave Miners Strike Rushes: ITN Rushes: 28-12-1984

A miner who has been beaten with a truncheon is taken away by the Police at Orgreave
Miners Strike Rushes: ITN Rushes: 28-12-1984

Both police and miners were injured that day but arrested miners could not be succesfully prosecuted due to lack of evidence. Today the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign is calling for a public enquiry into the police brutality which took place.

‘The Enemy Within’

On 19th July 1984 Margaret Thatcher addressed the Conservative back bench 1922 Committee on the striking miners, during which she described them as ‘the enemy within’:

We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty

A short time later she gave the following interview to ITV News in which she said the government had given the miners ‘the best deal in history ……and the best investment in the future they’ve ever had’ Click on the image below to listen in full.

Margaret Thatcher is interviewed on the Miners' Strike ITV News  02-08-1984

Margaret Thatcher is interviewed on the Miners’ Strike
ITV News 02-08-1984

The following month David Jenkins, the controversial new Bishop of Durham, took the opportunity to make an inflammatory speech about the strike in which he argued why the miners ‘must not be defeated’ and that the government were ‘indifferent to poverty and powerlessness’. Click here to listen to his words via our LCB/IRN collection.

Meanwhile miners’ families were starting to suffer great hardships. Everyone had hoped the dispute would be resolved after a few months but as winter approached the cold weather and increasing poverty was starting to take its toll . Miners’ wives had mobilised to form support groups such as ‘Women Against Pit Closures’. They set up kitchens in community centres to feed the strikers’ families and many had also joined in the picketing.

End of the Strike

The miners eventually returned to work on the 5th March 1985; a whole year after the strike began. For most of them it was a very emotional time; they were not sure what they had achieved despite having faced so many difficulties.

Maerdy Lodge miners demonstration at the end of the Miners'Strike Getty (still images)  05-03-1985

Maerdy Lodge miners demonstration at the end of the Miners’Strike
Getty (still images) 05-03-1985

In the following clip, from the  Channel 4 Special ‘The Miners Decide‘, Welsh miners speak passionately about what the strike meant to them. Arthur Scargill blamed the end of the strike on a hostile government, judiciary and Police together with the media and a year later was to say the NUM had not been fighting an employer but the Tory government and the state machine.

In this overview made by Channel 4 News you can hear a report on the long term legacy of the dispute and how it had weakened ties between the NUM and the rest of the trade union movement. The human cost of deprivation endured by miners’ families was very great and would have ongoing consequences in the following years and across generations. This Channel 4 Special looks at the village of Grimethorpe a year after the strike ended and its effects on the mining community. A further clip from ITV News shows the effects of the strike on the Nottinghamshire village of Wellbeck where the community had suffered from divisions between striking and non-striking miners.

The mining community of Wellbeck talks about how the strike has affected their lives Wellbeck Retrospective: ITV News: 03-03-1985

The mining community of Wellbeck talks about how the strike has affected their lives
Wellbeck Retrospective: ITV News: 03-03-1985

By the end of the 1980s trade union power was significantly weakened by legislation which limited the extent of industrial action. It is now illegal to carry out secondary picketing and police have special powers to stop a mass picket where they think there is a danger of serious public disorder. Today trade union membership has dwindled to less than half its total in 1980 and it is unlikely we will see industrial conflict on the level of the Miners’ Strike again. However, the recent strike by London Underground workers signals a possible return to using strikes as a method of solving industrial disputes.

The UK coal mining industry continued to decline and was privatised in 1994. Today only three deep coal mines currently remain open from the 170 pits which employed 190,000 people in 1984.


Further Links:

Now We See What Was Really At Stake In The Miners’ Strike: Guardian review article by Seamus Milne 12/03/14

Nicholas Jones Archive and Blog

Cabinet Papers reveal ‘secret coal pits closure plan’: BBC News article 03/01/14

National Archives: Newly released files from 1984 include miners’ strike

Thatcher vs the miners: official papers confirm the strikers’ worst suspicions: Channel4 blogpost 03/01/14

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

In search of Arthur Scargill: 30 years after the miners’ strike

Margaret Thatcher and the Pit Strike in Yorkshire: BBC News article 08/04/13 following the death of Baroness Thatcher

BBC Radio 4: The Reunion: The Miners’ Strike:   Those divided by the picket line discuss the legacy of the strike 30 years on

The Women of the Miners’ Strike: ‘We caused a lot of havoc’ : Guardian article 07/04/14

Kellingley and Thoresby deep mines to hit 1300 jobs: BBC News article 10/04/14 reporting on the closure of two of the three remaining deep mines belonging to UK Coal

Taking part in industrial action and strikes: a guide from Gov.UK

Coalfields Regeneration Trust:  Charity founded in 1999 dedicated to improving the quality of life in Britain’s former mining communities


Exploring Jisc MediaHub – December’s Most Popular

This is the second post looking at your most popular search terms, items and subjects that people have been browsing and searching on in Jisc MediaHub. Using the Most Popular Explore option we have taken a closer look at the most popular items during December. It is great to see that all the items are completely different from what was most popular back in October.  Here are some of the highlights of last month’s most popular.

Image of the Jisc MediaHub Most Popular page from 17th January 2014r 2

Jisc MediaHub’s “Most Popular� page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014.

Nelson Mandela

Unsurprising the most popular item was a report on Nelson Mandela in which he admits ANC tortured rebels. This is taken from ITN back in 1990. Take a look at our blog post in tribute to Nelson Mandela.

World troubles – Iraq (Baghdad), Kosovo, famine, Hiroshima

The theme of world troubles is very dominant and of course pertinent. Iraqi refugees, Iraq progress, Hiroshima, Kosovo and famine are all in the top ten most popular searches. Popular items include two images from the Iraq War: a Getty still image of the aftermath of a car bomb exploding in Baghdad (ninth most popular) and an image of the presidential palace compound in Baghdad 21 March 2003 covered in smoke during a massive US-led air raid on the Iraqi capital (the sixth most popular).

Image of smoke billowing from the presidential palace compound in Baghdad 21 March 2003 during a massive US-led air raid on the Iraqi capital.

Iraq-US-War. Getty (Still Images), 2003.

Christmas shopping

One very timely theme is Christmas shopping. There are two news items on this subject – one from 1970 and one from 1991, and it’s great to be able to compare the two. In 1991 the recession is hitting Christmas Shopping, whereas in 1970 shops were looking forward to another bumper shopping spree in the run up to Christmas, even though prices had gone up a lot since the previous Christmas.

Image taken from an ITN news report showing a shop assistant demonstrating toys to shoppers in 1970

Christmas Shopping. ITV Late Evening News, 1970.

It is interesting to note that in both films shoppers are asked the same question “Are you spending more this year than last year?â€�, with people in the main answering “yesâ€� in 1970 and “noâ€� in 1991! We think some of the 1970s clip’s popularity might be down to Huddersfield New College as library staff tweeted festive highlights (see an example below) in the run-up to Christmas. We love to see you sharing your own highlights from Jisc MediaHub like this and trying to reshare and retweet them, so do let us know if you are doing something similar!

Image taken of a tweet sent by HNC Library (@HNCLib), sent 10th December 2013.

Tweet from Huddersfield New College Library. HNC Library, 2013.

Also, staying with the Christmas theme, the fifth most popular item is ‘Poster Opera dei Pupi_18’, a Christmas poster with the nativity of the “Opera dei Pupi” Sicilian puppets theatre with information about the content and scenes of the performance. “The Opera dei pupi” is the Napoli family run Puppets theatre. We are not sure why this poster in particular has proved so popular, so it would be great to hear if you have used it and why.

Image of a Christmas poster with nativity of the "Opera dei Pupi" Sicilian puppets theatre created in 1985.

Poster Opera dei Pupi_18. GovEd Communications (Francesco Troina), 1985.

The Arts

Another clear theme is the Arts. Dali, poster, drawing, painting, fine arts and the Government Art Collection are all popular items and searches. The news item from ITN’s News at Ten on voting for the Professor of Poetry at Oxford University for 1973-1978 gives a fascinating insight into the process and why the candidates wanted to be elected. Something that is particularly interesting is the student’s candid thoughts on the Undergraduate’s attitudes to the Professorship shown at the end of the news report!

Another popular search term is ‘design centre poster’. There are a number of posters in Jisc MediaHub that have been used to promote the exhibition at the Design Centre,Council of Industrial Design 28 Haymarket London SW1. These are taken from the Design Council Archives/University of Brighton Design Archives, which provide great examples of British design and its manufacture over the years.

Poster of to promote exhibition at Design Centre. Text: The DESIGN CENTRE, Council of Industrial Design, 28 Haymarket, London SW1. Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30, Wed and Thurs to 9. Free. Created 2008.

The Design Centre. Design Council Archives/ University of Brighton Design Archives, 2008.

Hunterian items

The most popular subject searched over the last 30 days is ‘Hunterian items’, which is the collection of objects found via Culture Grid and contributed by the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow. This collection includes still images of minerals, prints, and plaster casts, so it is a very wide-ranging collection.

Image showing the Jisc MediaHub’s “Hunterian items� search results page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014. 2013

Jisc MediaHub’s “Hunterian items� results page, captured on Friday 17th January 2014

Camille Saint-Saëns’ Dance macabre

The fourth most popular item is a recording of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Dance macabre. Op 40 by the New Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, conducter Paul Rostand, recorded in Paris in 1983. This is taken from the Culverhouse Classical Music Collection, and reminds us that, as well as moving and still images, Jisc MediaHub contains a great collection of audio recordings.  This item is a wonderful piece of music written in 1874 by the French composer. Again, it is not apparent why this particular recording has proved so popular, so any ideas or explanations would be great.

Lambeth Landmarks Collection

This collection via the Culture Grid and is the second most popular subject searched – with the location ‘World, Europe, United Kingdom, England, Greater London, London, Lambeth’ being the third most popular subject.  Items in this collection have been contributed by Lambeth Libraries. There must have been some local history study on this particular area of London during December!

Image of Stockwell war memorial. Built in 1922 as a clock tower and memorial to those who died in World War One.

Stockwell war memorial. Lambeth Libraries, 1925.

Snow Leopard

We had to include this wonderful still image of a snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion), which is the seventh most popular item and is very much in-keeping with the season.

Still image of a snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion).

Snow leopard (Panthera unica) running over snow (blurred motion). Getty Still Images, 2005.

India in 1945

Another item we had to include is ‘Reel 3 – Kashmir No 3′, a fascinating amateur silent colour film shot by Lady Eleanor James in various provinces of India, circa 1945, and is the second most popular item in December. It really shows what life was like in this part of India at that time. Look at these very impressive tall figures in the still below!

Image showing three large figures, taken from an amateur silent film of various parts of India circa 1945.

Reel 3 – Kashmir No 3. Imperial War Museum, c1945.

As you can see from the highlights above there is a diverse range of subjects and types of materials, including still images, sound recordings and news items, and that the time of year and recent news events make a real impact on what is searched for. It is really interesting to explore how the most popular search terms, items and subjects change each month, and it’s great to see such a difference from October’s most popular.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what proves popular during the next 30 days but if you would like a closer look at what people have been searching for and viewing, just take a look at the Most Popular page on Jisc MediaHub. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on why some of these items are popular – just let us know in the comments below or share your theories on Twitter with the hashtag #MediaHubTop10.

Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

The death of Nelson Mandela was announced last night and has triggered a wave of warm reflections on and re-examinations of his life and work. The media has been fascinated by Mandela since the 1960s and we wanted to take a look back over Mandela’s media story through Jisc MediaHub.

Although Nelson Mandela had been politically active since the 1940s it wasn’t until his participation in the ANC (the African National Congress) started to lead to sanctions, including bans on speaking in public, and arrests, that Mandela began becoming prominent internationally.

In this, occasionally very dated but also quite prescient, Roving Report on South Africa, from 1961, you can watch (from around minute 11) Nelson Mandela’s first television interview. At this time he was already in hiding from the authorities.

Still from the first television interview with Nelson Mandela, part of Roving Report, 1961

This Report on South Africa, ITN: Roving Report, 21-06-1961

Mandela talks in the interview about non-violent protests but also addresses concerns around – and calls for – violent protest, framing these concerns and calls for action role with the role of violence in the South African authorities’ treatment of black South African’s protesting apartheid.

Whilst the overarching intent was peaceful, violent protests did follow, with the ANC implicated in some of these acts, as Mandela discussed in a 1990 interview. However, when Mandela was tried on counts of sabotage and conspiring to violently overthrow the government, Mandela’s presentation of himself and the ANC’s opposition to the racism inherent in the apartheid system gained international attention.

Mandela was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1964 with political activists and the British media taking note. An anti-apartheid march took place in London in June 1964, organised with trade union participation and including a speech by Bertrand Russell:

Image from the film Mandela March recording a protest in London in 1964.

Mandela March, ITV News: NEWS FROM ITN ( ITV Late Evening News ), 14-06-1964

The campaign that began in 1964 was to carry on for decades, with the ANC and other anti-aparthaid campaigners, international organisations, and many supporters around the world keeping Mandela’s imprisonment a live issue, and using it as a focal point for criticisms of the South African government and it’s actions.

By the mid eighties the pressure on South Africa to change was gaining real momentum.  Although Mandela had not been seen since his arrest, his reputation was still formidable, as this 1985 profile shows. In 1986, footage shot by an American TV crew at Medipark Clinic in Cape Town, appeared to be the first sighting of Mandela in almost 25 years. The identification was confirmed by his (second) wife Winnie, a fellow ANC activist and one of the most vocal campaigners for his release during his long imprisonment.

Screenshot of images of Mandela in prison in 1986

A witness to Mandela’s visit to hospital talks about what he saw. (Nelson Mandela:, ITV News: NEWS AT TEN ( ITV Late Evening News ), 13-02-1986)

In June 1988 a major ANC Rally took place, with Zulu leader Chief Buthelezi giving a powerful speech calling for Nelson Mandela, still the ANC’s influential leader, to be released.

Image from 1988 Mandela Rally

S AFRICA: MANDELA RALLY:, ITN: NEWS AT TEN ( ITV Late Evening News ), 11-06-1988

The campaigners would not have to wait long … The South African Government started to offer some concessions, although Mandela refused a day-long visit from family for his 70th birthday in 1988, finding such an offer problematic to “accept such a gift if his people were not able to give him that same gift of celebrating that same day with him“, as Winnie Mandela explains in this news clip from July ’88.

Rumours of Mandela’s possible release began to circulate and when a car-bomb exploded at the ANC headquarters in September 1988, international pressure particularly from the US, increased.

And then, astonishingly, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released. It seemed the whole free world celebrated.


South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela’s release. 2 Nov 1990. Getty Images

The world’s news organisations compiled special, extended packages of events.

As President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, Mandela was revered globally as a peacemaker and philanthropist. Children even voted him Santa of the Year.

Children Vote Nelson Mandela ‘Santa Of The Year’. 5 Dec 1995. AP Archive.

But he was also shrewd politically, distancing himself from his estranged wife Winnie by sacking her from government in 1995.

In 1999, aged 81, Nelson Mandela retired from politics but continued to speak out on issues that concerned him, both local and international. He was listened to attentively by senior politicians, diplomats and other world leaders. In 2004, as his health began to deteriorate, Mandela “retired from retirement”.

Jisc MediaHub records one of the rare public appearances of his final years, at the concert in Hyde Park in 2008 to celebrate his 90th birthday.


Nelson Mandela Gives Speech At Concert In Hyde Park. 20 Feb 2008. AP Archive.

We will never see his like again.


JFK : Life and Death in the Media Spotlight

Fifty years ago the world was rocked on its axis by the news that the President of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, had been assassinated during a visit to Dallas. That the most powerful leader in the western world had been killed seemed beyond belief. Click on the image below to hear an ITV News report from the scene a few days later.

Dallas Today

Wreaths are laid at the site of the assassination
ITV News: Dallas Today 27-11-1963

This event marked the end of a period of huge expectation and hope that Kennedy had brought with him when he came to power. His assassination sent a wave of despair and fear across America and the rest of the world when tensions over the Cold War were at their height.

In the clip below you can hear some reaction to the news from Americans and further on in the clip there are broadcasts from the Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and the Leader of the Opposition, Harold Wilson.

Reaction to the news of the assassination of President Kennedy
Kennedy Assassination: ITN Specials 23-11-1963

A few years earlier it had seemed extremely unlikely that Kennedy could be successfully voted into office. However at 43 years of age Kennedy beat Richard Nixon by the slimmest of margins (0.2%) to become the youngest ever elected President of the United States and the first Roman Catholic.

The Kennedy Campaign
Kennedy Obituary: ITV News 22-11-1963

To many this unexpected victory was all the more surprising due to his lack of experience in government. Nixon had served under the previous Republican President, Eisenhower and had been considered the favourite candidate. In the following clip you can hear reaction to the news from Londoners interviewed on Waterloo Bridge, as well as a disappointed American Republican voter.

Londoners on Waterloo Bridge give their opinions on Kennedy’s election
US Election Reactions in Britain : ITV News 9-11-1960

Kennedy came from a privileged East coast background but his undeniable charisma and charm won him lots of support from ordinary people during his grassroots campaigning. While running in the Democrat Primaries he targeted West Virginia where unemployment was at around 30% due to the decline in the coal industry. The following ‘Roving Report’  looks at the real deprivation which was prevalent in the area at the time.

The Hungry Hills: Report on Poverty and Unemployment
Roving Report 22-02-1961

Kennedy’s commendable war record gained him many votes among the large number of veterans who lived in the State and winning West Virginia became a turning point in his successful campaign.

Kennedy wins the Nomination for Democrat Candidate
ITV News: Kennedy Obit 22-11-1963

JFK represented a break with the past and the staid post war years. He projected an image of youth and vigour which was in  tune with the birth of the Sixties. It was the first Presidential election to be televised and this played to Kennedy’s strengths. Having worked as a journalist in the past he had a good understanding of the media and how to use it to his best advantage, particularly during the televised debates with Nixon. However despite his easy going manner  he suffered from several serious health conditions and was often in chronic pain, although details of this were suppressed until many years after his death.

Kennedy delivers his inaugural address as President
ITV News: Kennedy Obit 22-11-63

 Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country

Kennedy’s inauguration speech, delivered on 20th January 1961, is regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th Century. It served as a rallying cry for a new generation to defend freedom and liberty and work towards world peace at a time when the possibility of nuclear war was very real.

With Kennedy as President it must have seemed anything was possible so it was all the more humiliating for him to have been involved in the ‘Bay of Pigs’ fiasco a few months later. The following year he was able to redeem his reputation through  the leadership skills he showed during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At a time when nuclear war was a hair’s breadth away his level headed negotiations with Kruschev defused a potential Armageddon.

Kennedy stands with Harold Macmillan outside the US Embassy in London
ITV News: Kennedy in London 05-06-1961

This was a time when the ‘special relationship’ really was special.  Britain was valued as America’s staunchest ally in the fight against communism and the Kennedys had strong ties with the UK.  JFK had lived in London for several years during the time his father was U.S. Ambassador and his family roots all lay in Ireland.

Kennedy in London

Jacqueline Kennedy: The most potent weapon in JFK’s charm offensive
ITV News: Kennedy in London 05-06-1961

There was great public excitement about the Presidential visit in June 1961 when the Kennedys were received as a celebrity couple. In this ITV News clip you can watch them arrive in London to cheering crowds but also some CND protests. Click here to see further coverage of their fever-pitch welcome.

U.S.A. Mr Harold Wilson meets President Kennedy

Harold Wilson meets Kennedy at the White House
Visnews: U.S.A. Mr Harold Wilson meets President Kennedy

In  April 1963 Harold Wilson, the Leader of the British Labour Party who was soon to become Prime Minister, spent a short time with Kennedy during a visit to Washington. In this clip from Visnews he is asked about his personal reactions to the President and whether the world belongs to ‘young’ men such as him. Wilson gives his forthright views on the topic – however the fact he is only 15 months older than Kennedy is never referred to. For more on this interesting visit watch the following ‘Roving Report’  Mr Wilson’s Washington.

Kennedy’s success lay in his ability to allow the American people to believe the world could become a better place and they could lead the way in bringing this about. He also had many enemies, possibly including the CIA, the FBI and the Mafia, who were plotting to bring him down. Kennedy was living in dangerous times and was killed before he had chance to start campaigning for a second term.

ITV News: Oswald Lawyer Interview 15-04-1964

Interview with the Lawyer defending Lee Harvey Oswald
ITV News: Oswald Lawyer Interview 15-04-1964

In the panic and confusion immediately following Kennedy’s assassination, the authorities moved rapidly to arrest Lee Harvey Oswald as the prime suspect. No records were made of his interrogation and he was shot dead by Jack Ruby two days later on live television as he was about to be moved to another Police Station. In the meantime  Lyndon B. Johnson set up the Warren Commission who reported the following year that Oswald had killed Kennedy alone and unaided. The report was soon discovered to be full of inconsistencies and mistakes and many believe it was a cover-up for a conspiracy. In the following ITV Newsclip you can hear Mark Lane, Oswald’s defence lawyer discuss why he believed Oswald to be innocent of the crime.

Evidence offered by the famous Zapruder film has suggested that more than one gunman was involved and this tallies with many eye witness accounts. Mark Lane went on to develop the ‘magic bullet’ theory which discredits the Warren Commission’s report on how Kennedy was shot. Click on the image below to hear him explain his ideas.


Mark Lane explains the ‘Magic Bullet’ theory
ITV News: JFK Assassination 26-09-1975

What would we think of Kennedy if he were alive today? During the Sixties his carefully managed media profile combined with his untimely death gained him an almost god-like status. In recent years this gilded image has tarnished following revelations about his lifestyle and infidelities. Whatever our opinion of him may be (American hero or amoral socialite?) the West has remained forever grateful to him for preventing the outbreak of nuclear war. His style and personality changed the look of modern politics forever and in that sense he has influenced all our lives.

If you have any comments to make about the life or death of President Kennedy we would love to hear from you. Just leave a reply below at the end of this post.

Further Links:

Exploring Jisc MediaHub – October’s Most Popular

Jisc MediaHub contains a wealth of interesting and informative still and moving images but we were curious to see which items you are finding most useful each month, we start by looking at what has been getting you excited this October.

Image of the Jisc MediaHub Most Popular page from 31st October 2013

Jisc MediaHub’s “Most Popular” page, captured on Thursday 31st October 2013.

Using our Most Popular Explore option we have taken a closer look at the most popular search terms, items and subjects people have been browsing and searching in Jisc MediaHub over the last 31 days. Sometimes there is a clear theme and connection to what’s happening in the world. Sometimes we simply have no idea why a search term or item is so popular: we’ve had fun trying to figure out the appeal of some items but we’d love to hear your theories too!

Unrest, conflicts and war

War is a really clear and recurrent theme, with the most popular search – by a long way – being ‘Holocaust’.  Whilst war, its impact and the politics surrounding conflict are key topics for Jisc MediaHub users – particularly because of the high quality news film available around these topics – we think the searches this month may also reflect a brief surge in press discussion of Jewish survivors of the Second World War following the announcement of the death of Israel Gutman, a survivor and prominent Holocaust historian, on 1st October 2013.

The single most accessed item in Jisc MediaHub – probably because of all those searches for “Holocaust” resources – is a short clip from the press conference for “The Reader” at the 59th Berlin Film Festival (in 2009) in which director Stephen Daldry talks about the film as not being a holocaust movie but a story about its effects.

The second most popular item this month continues to reflect an interest in exploring and reflecting on a conflict. The animation by Lancelot Speed called “Britain’s Effort” is part of the Imperial War Museum Films Collection. A piece of highly creative and engaging propaganda the film uses a mixture of live action, photography and Speed’s witty caricatures to recall the war efforts of Britain and the Empire countries from 1914 and compares it to an increasingly efficient and focused effort in 1917.

This silent film is impressive and holds up surprisingly well, especially when you think that it was made in 1918. Fans of Monty Python will enjoy the opening minute or so in particular as the mocking of the enemy uses the same anarchic subverting of traditional prints and drawings that Terry Gilliam would later employ. Former Spice Girls fans may also enjoy the brief, if slightly patronising, “Women Power” section which acts as a useful reminder of why the campaign for Women’s Suffrage began to see success with the introduction of votes for women (over 30 meeting minimum property requirements) in 1918. Despite their key roles in the war effort voting would not be extended to all women over 21 for another ten years.

Comparing the number of British soldiers serving in the First World War with the number of soldiers from the Empire countries. Taken from 'Britain's Effort' - a cartoon by Lancelot Speed made in 1918. (From the Imperial War Museum Film and Video Archive)

Britain’s Effort. Imperial War Museum, 1918.

Whilst an ongoing interest in understanding the causes and effects of war, as well as the lead up to the anniversary of the First World War in 2014 might explain the interest in some of these items, ‘Hiroshima OR Nagasaki’ was also the ninth most popular search in October. We suspect that might be because of the news coverage in late September of revelations that the US almost detonated an atomic bomb in North Carolina in 1961.

The Royal Family

In a month where the appearance of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has been under particular scrutiny it is perhaps not surprising that another theme in our Most Popular searches and items is the British Royal Family. “The Duke of Windsor” was the sixth most popular search in October. This may be related to news of the Duke of Windsor’s 1941 Cadillac being sold at auction in New York next month. Meanwhile the sixth most popular item this month is a Gaumont British News film showing the King and Queen driving to St Paul’s for an Empire Day Service in 1937.

Royal Family being taken in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace to St Paul's Cathedral for the Empire Day Service in 1937.

King and Queen Drive to St Paul’s for Empire Day Service. Gaumont British News, 1937.

Of course whilst the Empire Day preparations and celebrations, the Royals visit to the Chelsea Flower Show or the Coronation Day celebrations might be the appeal of this film, it could also be the rather unexpected 9th item in this 1937 newsreel: “All in Women Wrestlers in Los Angeles” featuring “Clara Mortenson: The Brunette Butcher” and  “Betty Lee – The Blonde Killer“! The reporting is not exactly be progressive but it’s certainly interesting to see how this unusaul Women’s sports piece is presented.

Crime, Law and Justice

Another interesting item in our top ten this month is this ITV News report on Meredith Hamp who, back in 1972, was awarded £77,000 in compensation for an accident which left her with virtually no eye-sight. This particular item is also part of our most popular search subject this month: crime, law and justice. Compensation through the courts is now much more common and it is interesting to compare with earlier cases. It is also interesting to see how Meredith is represented as a young disabled woman: reporting the judge’s comments on her sight and future reference is made to her attractiveness, the uncertainty over whether she might marry and the surprising academic progress she has been able to make. It would be fascinating to compare this type of reporting and representations of disability with, for instance, contemporary reporting of victims of acid attacks in both the developed and developing world – perhaps that is part of the reason for its popularity at the moment. 

Meredith Hamp arriving at court with her father. Image taken from ITV News at Ten on 19th October 1972.

Meredith Hamp Awarded £77,000. ITV News Collection, 1972.

Another law and justice item also makes our top ten items list this month. The ‘Guide to Legal Documents: Programme 1‘, produced by the Sheffield University Learning Media Unit, provides a comprehensive but accessible introduction to all the most important varieties of legal materials, and is designed for first year law students.

Lawyer looking through legal books. Image taken from 'A Guide to Legal Materials: Programme 1' produced by Sheffield University Learning Media Unit, 1994.

A Guide to Legal Materials: Programme 1. Sheffield University Learning Media Unit, 1994.

Despite being produced almost ten years ago in 1994 the overview provided in this video remains useful, as the types of materials and their usage apply even in an era of increased online access to legal materials. This first episode looks at Acts of Parliaments, Law Reports, legal textbooks and journals, including a helpful guide to understanding legal citations.

Mysteriously Popular This Month… 

Sometimes there is no real discernible reason why something is popular. This is the case for lime butterflies, in our top ten again this month and a perrenial favourite with Jisc MediaHub users for reasons we have yet to discover!

This month we are particularly intrigued by the popularity of an the image of the depot of Schweppes Ltd, Mineral Waters, on Gelderd Road taken on the 2nd May 1980. It isn’t a particularly interesting photograph – although well composed – and we can’t see any recent news that might explain its special appeal…

View of Gelderd Road, Schweppes Ltd. Depot image taken on 2nd May 1980.

Gelderd Road, Schweppes Ltd. Leodis (via Culture Grid), 1980.

The photograph is in Jisc MediaHub’s Culture Grid collection as part of Leodis, a photographic archive of Leeds. Perhaps you know why the image is important or particularly enticing at the moment? In any case we would love to hear your theories on why this is our seventh most popular item this month!

High-altitude platforms (HAPs)

Materials from IET – one of our newest collections – have been in high demand judging by the popularity of the search term “iet”. This likely follows the Jisc news item in late September announcing IET’s inclusion in Jisc MediaHub. The interest in engineering and technology is also reflected in the tenth most popular item this month, “HAPs for Future Milcom“, which is part of the iet.tv collection.

A presentation given by Tim Tozer for Military SatComs 2006 entitled 'HAPS for Future Milcom'.

HAPS for Future Milcom. IET.tv Collection, 2006.

HAPS (High-Altitude Platforms) may not be a subject you are familiar with, but you will be after watching this 2006 presentation! And just looking into the title is a learning experience. Milcom is not a restaurant at the end of the universe but instead refers to “Military Communications”. Which kind of brings us back to our very first theme, the continuing interest in war and conflict from reflection to modern technologies.

What will be popular next?

As you can see there is a diverse range of subjects and types of materials (from presentations, programmes, still images and news items)  proving popular with Jisc MediaHub users so it will be really interesting to explore how these change each month.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what proves popular during the next 30 days but if you would like a closer look at what people have been searching for and viewing, just take a look at the Most Popular page on Jisc MediaHub. And we’d love to hear your thoughts on why some of these items are popular – just let us know in the comments below or share your theories on Twitter with the hashtag #MediaHubTop10. If you can explain the perpetual allure of the lime butterfly there might even be a (modest) prize in it!

Fantasy Speakers’ Corner

Inspired by the recent anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, this was intended to be a blog-post featuring world-famous speeches but it soon became clear that archive footage of such speeches is very rare indeed. Fortunately, however, Jisc MediaHub features many world-famous speakers from the 20th and 21st centuries, so I have assembled a selection of some of them, imagining them at a “Fantasy Speakers’ Corner. We start early in the 20th century, when many events were filmed without sound.

Here is Trotsky speaking at the Kremlin, when he was still in favour with the regime.


Large Communist Demonstration in Moscow. Leon Trotsky speaks at Kremlin, 1922 (Gaumont Graphic)

The ETV collection is a fascinating historical resource from an Eastern perspective. Footage from the Soviet archives shows Lenin in a number of films, such as Leading the People: Together with the People – a “documentary tracing the history of the Russian Revolution and the role of the people in the USSR and other socialist countries in working to achieve a Communist society during the 20th century”.


Leading the People: Together with the People ( Educational and Television Films Ltd)

Between the two world wars, there are numerous British clips of Lloyd George in action, this one showing him in rousing form , speaking to 40,000 electors in Rochdale Town Hall Square in 1923.


Rousing Speech in Lancashire (Gaumont Graphic)

And Ramsay MacDonald, the Labour premier, is seen making a speech in Wolverhampton in 1924 from a car, surrounded by crowds.


Prime Minister in the Midlands (Gaumont Graphic)

Jennie Lee, the youngest MP in the House of Commons in 1929, opposed MacDonald, but continued in politics, becoming arts minister in the 1964 Labour government and helping to establish the Open University.


Arts White Paper. Jennie Lee interviewed about plans to develop the Arts in England. (ITV News)

In the Second World War, Frank Capra’s propaganda film, Why We Fight: The Nazis Strike, designed to persuade the US to join the Allies, brilliantly demonstrates Adolf Hitler’s terrifying oratory.


Why We Fight: The Nazis Strike. (Imperial War Museum)

Winston Churchill’s leadership inspired Britain to resist the Nazi menace and some of his most famous speeches are represented in this moving tribute to him.


Tribute to Sir Winston Churchill. (Gaumont British News)

After the war, the first hint of a potential thaw in relations between East and West was the death of Stalin, whose moustachioed figure embodied the Eastern threat in the Cold War but whose Georgian accent denied him universal appeal in the USSR.


Death of Stalin. (Gaumont British News)

The hopes of the West in the 1960s were embodied by two US figures, JF Kennedy and Martin Luther King, seen here promoting racial equality at an event in London in 1964.


Negro Equality. An address from Martin Luther King, on the subject of black and white equality, to an audience of mainly white people. (ITV News)

Some of King’s dreams were realised across the Atlantic in South Africa, where apartheid was abolished and Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the republic.


Nelson Mandela Visits UK. (ITN)

Lenin’s image still loomed large in the USSR, even as Mikhail Gorbachev instituted his perestroika reforms, as can be seen in this photo of Gorbachev addressing the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in Moscow, 1986.


General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev addresses the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. (Getty Images)

20 years after the astonishing election that brought him to power in Poland, Lech Walesa reflected on the optimism and disappointments of the latter years of the 20th century in an interview with AP.

And no-one could deny that one of the defining political figures of that era was Margaret Thatcher, who led reform of the Western economies and staunchly supported leaders such as Gorbachev and Walesa in the East.


USSR: Thatcher/Gorbachev talks. (Channel 4 News)

Britain again played a major political and military role in the world in the early years of the 21st century, led by the charismatic Tony Blair, who often employed an understated, almost conversational rhetorical style, as when he called on the US and Europe to bury their differences over Iraq in 2004.


Blair calls on US and Europe to bury differences on Iraq. (AP Archive)

Who would be in your Fantasy Speakers Corner? Take a browse around Jisc MediaHub and share your favourites here in the Comments.

Jisc MediaHub Headlines

Jisc MediaHub has featured prominently recently over on the Jisc website: emphasising the free offer to FE and highlighting the new IET.tv collection for engineering and technology.

New subscribers can explore the richness of Jisc MediaHub’s content through our blog posts here which highlight key collections and some our most interesting and enjoyable images, videos and audio on particular themes or timely topics.

Some of our favourite recent posts include Exploring Media and Memory in Wales and Legacy of the Genetic Codebreakers and our most popular remains our War Horse post from January 2012.