Monday, 16 December 2013

New link for images on Databases A-Z : Flickr Commons

Our Electronic Library at Cardiff Met contains over 100 databases and also includes links to quality websites. Go to the Electronic Library and click Databases A-Z (Cardiff Met users only).

Image taken from page 582 of 'The United States of America. A study of the American Commonwealth, its natural resources, people, industries, manufactures, commerce, and its work in literature, science, education and self-government. [By various authors.] 

A new link on Databases A-Z will lead you to Flickr Commons.  The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives. Recently The British Library has added over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft . The images cover a wide range  of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams,  illustrations some beautiful or very colourful, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, landscapes, wall-paintings and  more.
Something to explore over the Christmas break...

Thursday, 12 December 2013

London Sound Survey-Sounds of London

There are over 1,000 recordings of London life on the London Sound Survey website, plus sound maps, historical references to past London sounds, and some original 1930s and 1940s radio broadcasts

All the recordings (which are safely stored in the sound cloud )are Creative Commons-licensed which makes them available for NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. All you have to do under the terms of the license is include an acknowledgement and a link to the London Sound Survey website at

Elements from the  London Sound Survey also feature  on These Are The Good Times LP published on the Vittelli label  and on  issue 6 of An Antidote To Indifference.

Ian Rawes who compiled the The London Sound Survey works at the British Library sound archive and this collection of sounds  is the result of his explorations of the world of Field recordings and acoustic ecologists . His own recordings employ a variety of professional, home made, and adapted devices .

Other websites featuring different ways of perceiving 'the city'
 urban75, Classic Cafes, Derelict London, Subterranea Britannica and Spitalfields Life


Friday, 15 November 2013

Google Images taken to task

CEPIC, the Centre of the Picture Industry, submitted a formal antitrust complaint against Google’s use of third-party images before the European Commission on November 8th 2013.The complaint was supported by an unprecedented coalition of European and US trade associations representing thousands of photographers and picture agencies worldwide.

The complaint addresses Google’s various unauthorized uses of third-party images in its horizontal Web Search and its specialized services, in particular Google Images. Google increasingly uses on-line images without the rightholders’ consent, sometimes even against their explicit wishes. Since the redesign of Google Images in January 2013, the situation got worse: Google presents images in full size and high resolution on its site and enables users to download them without ever having to click through to the original website hosting the image. 

According to CEPIC members, 85% of pictures found online by visual search systems are unlawful copies and 80% of those illegal images have been spread through search engines such as Google Images. By presenting images out of the context of their source page, without information on the author and a hardly visible copyright note, the new design of Google Images significantly increases this problem.
The picture industry would like an adequate balance between Google’s use of their content and the benefits they receive in return, in particular traffic on their websites. 
read a fuller version of this story here

For students Google images provides quick reference points for images. The ease of reuse of other people’s creations on the web is leading to some content creators and rights owners, such as the major image libraries, taking steps to protect copyright by using sophisticated image-matching robots to crawl the web and find where their images are being used without permission.
In the past 2 or 3 years many individuals, businesses and institutions, including Universities , have found themselves being issued with large bills for the use of such material on their websites without permission.
 For quality sites which append trustworthy  information Cardiff Met Library provides links within its Electronic Library. Excellent sites include Tate  Art and ArtistsV&A CollectionsMOMA NY,  Google Cultural Institute,  NYPL, Ubuweb (copyright clearance on this site is not certain) and databases for which we pay to have access to copyright cleared images such as Bridgeman Education and Worth Global Style Network

Monday, 11 November 2013

learn how to search the internet for legal Audio, Video and Image resources of quality

Learn how to use the Internet to find copyright cleared images for your work, Jisc who champion the use of digital technologies in UK education and research have created a free online tutorial covering al you need to know to become an expert image searcher.
Use this free, interactive tutorial to improve your image searching skills.
Two other tutorials cover audio and moving image resources, find them in The Virtual training Suite


Monday, 4 November 2013


Halloween BMW advert with lots of screaming! In the Top 5 at the moment, an advert by BSSP also viewable on their website here

With nearly half a million monthly users, is the leading information provider focused on the global advertising industry. The company works with material from the leading trade press worldwide and with the industry's top award shows. gathers information on 20,000 agencies and 150,000 campaigns to provide examples of adverts from TV, print, interactive, etc.
The Gallery is used by advertisers, large and small, to select a new agency or for other agency research needs.
The Creative Library is used daily by over thousands of industry professionals to keep on top of important creative work, prepare for client reviews and pitches, brainstorm new ideas and to research and monitor the industry and its products.
Even as a non-subscriber you may still access some of this material from here.

Subscription information here

Monday, 21 October 2013

Mural in Newport destroyed

the destroyed mural

Protesters leave flowers in memory of Newport's Chartist mural

Michael Sheen a Hollywood actor and director of some note latterly famous for playing various well known figures in biopics ( Brian Clough, David Frost and Tony Blair), was born in Port Talbot. He has written an open letter to the people of Newport about the Chartist mural in the town destroyed to make way for the building of a shopping centre. He took out a full page in the South Wales Argus to protest the destruction. Newport council has been lampooned on YouTube over the destruction already.
The mural by Kenneth Budd in John Frost Square, which was made of 200,000 pieces of tile and glass, was completed in 1978 and  marked the uprising led by John Frost in Newport in 1839, where Chartists demanding political reform rebelled against authority, leaving 24 people dead. It was much loved and its passing was marked by flowers and a memorial service.
In the letter Michael Sheen  appeals to the people of Newport to make a new memorial to the Chartists. He particularly calls upon the art and design students to use their creative skills and imaginative flair to find and re-use materials that would cost little or nothing. He knows about art and design students in South Wales because some of you were part of 'The Passion'.  In 2011, Sheen starred in and was creative director of  The Passion, a 72-hour secular passion play staged in  Port Talbot  As well as the professional cast, over one thousand local amateurs took part in the performance and another thousand  volunteers from local charity and community groups helped prepare for the performance in various ways.
Michael Sheen has described it as "the most meaningful experience" of his career.

Hundreds of residents volunteered to join the cast list of The Passion which consisted of 1,000 extras

Friday, 4 October 2013

Product Designs: It's Nice That

BSG's WOOD.b bike

I was looking for a good selection of Product design images and came across It's Nice That.

"Founded in 2007, It’s Nice That is a publishing platform that encompasses several different online, print and events offerings as part of its mission of championing creativity across the art and design world".

The website, updated daily with at least nine new articles has an international readership of around 350,000 unique users a month. They publish a quarterly magazine Printed Pages and The Annual which rounds up some 150 of the most interesting projects to feature on the site in a single year. Their events programme includes annual creative symposium Here and monthly Nicer Tuesdays talks.

First Broadcast is their audio visual site for hosting original content, Company of Parrots a shop for specially-commissioned products and This At There is a dedicated arts and design exhibition listings guide to London. The Jobsboard connects employers and jobseekers in the creative industries.

      Tuesday, 17 September 2013

      free light table-mix it up!!

      Oskar Boethius Lissheim,  Icon for first Light Table app for iPhone.

      I am going to be talking to students this year about digital images-where to find good quality legal images of art and design and other subjects. This is very much business as usual, but, as part of a workshop on Visual Literacy,I shall also be showing them slides (!!) These objects that took so much work and time to create, that were shown at pre-arranged times to large groups in dark rooms to the accompaniment of a whirring fan cooling the carousel on the slide projector. I won’t have loupes and light table with me in the teaching room-it’s all digital there-but I shall have a bag of slides and….an ipad. I also imagine some of the students will have iphones. We can view the slides on these digital devices by using a light table created by the self styled ‘one man think tank' Andrew Hake. If you want to see slides on your ipad or iphone go here!!

      And if you have iOS 4.2.1 you have built in Brightness control with a simple double-tap of the Home Button and a swipe to the left.

      The deluxe model is an app that costs $3, with all sorts of options, including choices of colour temperatures:

      Wednesday, 7 August 2013

      The Bible of Color Theory now an App

      Josef Albers' Interaction of Color, was first conceived of as a handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students, presenting Albers' ideas of colour experimentation. Originally published by Yale University Press in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates, Interaction of Color first appeared in paperback in 1971, featuring ten representative color studies chosen by Albers. The paperback has remained in print ever since and remains one of the most influential resources on colour.
      Last week, to commemorate the book’s 50th anniversary, Yale University Press released the Interaction of Color app for the iPad, a modernized, interactive presentation of Albers’ teachings. With fingers instead of paintbrushes and a touch screen instead of paper, users can move and manipulate over 125 color plates in 60 interactive studies. Concepts like colour relativity and vibrating boundaries come to life. The app’s developers used paper, scissors, and glue to complete the exercises, as Albers’s students would have done, in order to experience Albers’ process and methodology. The text was then meticulously translated into app form--they even preserved his original typeface and text columns.
      Alongside the book’s full text are two hours of video footage including interviews with noteworthy practitioners such as textile designer Christopher Farr, graphic designer Peter Mendelsund, painters Anoka Faruqee and Brice Marden, product designer Brian Mullan (director of sourcing and production at Fab), quilt and fabric designer Denyse Schmidt, architect Anabelle Seldorf, and cultural historian Nicholas Fox Weber (exec­u­tive direc­tor of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation).
      The free download allows you to view Chapter X, including text, commentary, and two interactive plates, and to experiment with all the features, including the color palette tool. The full version of the app includes the complete text, over 125 color plates, over 60 interactive studies, and a wide range of video commentaries, interviews, and additional features. The full version is available as an in-app purchase for $9.99.

      Wednesday, 3 July 2013

      Alinari online-free to explore

      "Dreaming of pirates", Terrazza Mascagni, Livorno
      Photographer: Vestrini, Michele
      Date of photography: 1958

      Alinari black and white photographs were used by art historians before the days of good quality colour reproductions in books so that they could  view the representations of buildings and works of art that the Italian company photographed. Art history departments bought them for study-put on reserve and/or available for browsing always as representations of a building or a painting, not seen then as interesting as examples of photography.

      Over 167,000 photographs have now been digitised and are available on subscription as Alinari 24 Ore to individuals and Institutions at a reasonable price.

      Subject areas which would find these images useful as well as art and architectural history include cultural studies,  history, economics, sociology and science. It is also possible to search by photographer’s name.

      You  may be interested in the free access for educational use. The database can be searched and images have a small watermark on them (as in the image above) until you buy the image or subscribe.
      Look here for details.

      Monday, 17 June 2013

      The Night Watch

      A sensitive reading of The Night Watch by Guardian writer Jonathan Jones has Rembrandt depicting democracy in action , the assortment of different types of people as night falls assembled to protect their community. Rembrandt's painting is once more on show after 10 years of renovation of the Rijksmuseum hindered access to their marvellous collection.
      The Rijksmuseum used imagination and digital technology and the Internet to keep their works as visible as possible whilst the museum was closed. I blogged about one of the ways they used back in November (6th). It comes as no surprise to me therefore to see that, to advertise the reopening, the Museum staged a rather wondrous re-enactment of the Night Watch in a shopping centre.

      And here are Jonathan's lovely words about Rembrandt's Night Watch, words that help keep alive for us the idea that art is important ...

      "In the 21st century, as democracy and community are beset by menaces from climate change to the violent economics of austerity, The Night Watch ought to be cherished as political art. It portrays not only what the Dutch, but all democracies ought to hold dear – the courage of flawed human beings to come together while acknowledging one another's individuality and difference. It is an icon of tolerance, diversity and the magic golden light that makes a society work. While these ordinary people stand guard, we feel a bit safer in our collective defiance of the dark".

      Tuesday, 11 June 2013

      is pinning OK?

      Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, loops7

      JiscLegal is a great support to Education when dealing with issues of copyright especially those coming up in the digital arena. It exists to 'give Legal Guidance for ICT Use in Education, Research and External Engagement'. The latest advice sheet on issues arising out of pinterest and image sharing websites is fabulously clear.
      According to Mediabistro, users are spending more time on Pinterest than Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. Recent statistics show this social networking site has just reached 48.7 million users.

      Thursday, 23 May 2013

      sweet and sour

      First Taste was a video made especially for TEDxSydney 2013 by Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney. It shows  in slow motion an assortment of young children experiencing their  first tastes of  some very strong flavoured foods.  The Music is Earthspan Panoramic from Paul Mottram
      You will find a huge amount of TV ads on YouTube. For some old shockers see TV Ark

      Wednesday, 1 May 2013

      what we thought in the 80's

      Insights into the social history and cultural change of those living in the 1980s give a fascinating overview of life in Thatcher’s Britain.
      The Observing the 80’s project at the University of Sussex, funded by Jisc, collates first-hand accounts, written by volunteers, of their daily lives and views which were collected throughout the decade as part of the Mass Observation Archive. This material offers a unique and inspiring insight into the lives and opinions of British people from all social classes and regions during the 80s period.
      Observing the 1980s brings together, for the first time, ‘voices’ from both the Mass Observation Collections and the British Library Oral History Collections. This material offers a unique and inspiring insight into the lives and opinions of British people from all social classes and regions during the 1980s.
      The project is explained in the video above
      A Guide to using the resources here
      The infographics are particularly nice

      Tuesday, 30 April 2013

      Zandra Rhodes goes digital

      You can access VADS From our Electronic Library   by selecting the Database A-Z section and clicking ‘V’ for VADS

      Researchers and students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) have worked alongside Zandra Rhodes to prepare, photograph, and catalogue 500 dresses and garments selected from the designer’s private archive at her studio in London, including pieces worn by icons such as Princess Diana, Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, and Diana Ross.

      The project has also created contextual learning materials which explore Zandra Rhodes' creative processes and production techniques, through video interviews, video tutorials, and drawings available at: Here also you can see video interviews with Zandra Rhodes about the inspiration behind key, favourite garments selected by the designer. There are also  video tutorials in which the designer and her specialist studio team demonstrate some of the techniques involved in creating a handmade Zandra Rhodes couture piece. In addition, there is a unique, comprehensive, and previously unseen series of fashion drawings from the 'Zandra Rhodes Style Bibles.'
      Zandra Rhodes trained at one of UCA's founder colleges, the Medway College of Design, and is among the most famous names in British fashion over the last fifty years . Her er work includes the design of haute couture for clients such as Elizabeth Taylor, Freddie Mercury, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
      See the press release on the UCA website at:

      See the project in action in the ITV news report at:

      To find out more about how the digital collection was created, see the project blog at:

      Thursday, 18 April 2013

      what we can do for you!!

      Cardiff Metropolitan Library Service can obtain materials for you that we do not have in the Collection already.
       Our Document delivery team based at Llandaff will send for journal articles and books using our Inter Library Loan service, they can also obtain DVD's for you to view from TRILT , a database of  programmes broadcast on British Television and you can order digital versions of theses using the British Library ETHOS service.
      Come along to our event on April 29th to meet members of Doc Del and hear about what they can do for you!
      Come along find out about the new developments in Document Delivery, Inter Library Loans & Digitisation.
      New Developments:
      ·       eRequesting
      ·       TRILT
      ·       EThOS

      Where: Yellow Room, Howard Gardens Library
      When: 1pm – 4.00pm, April 29th, 2013

      Monday, 8 April 2013

      sonic experimentation


      On Thursday 11 APRIL 2013 at  8PM  Russian author Andrey Smirnov will be giving an illustrated talk entitled
      'The WIRE Salon: Synthesized Voices of the Revolutionary Utopia:Early Sonic Experiments in the Soviet Union'.

       The talk will mark the official launch of Andrey Smirnov’s book
      ‘Sound In Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early20th Century Russia’

      This publication offers an introduction to Russia’s contribution to the birth of electronic music, sound synthesis and audio technology in the early 20th Century. It is a story of politics and power, of the institution and the avant-garde, of collaboration and personal achievement, of ambition, opportunity and oppression. It is a story of remarkable personalities, curious inventions, astonishing performances, radical ideas, complex mathematics, pioneering electronics, engineering, design and experimentation. It is also a story of patents and funding applications, of success and failure, support and rejection, optimism and disillusionment, hunger and poverty.

      The book produced in partnership between Sound & Music, London and Verlag de Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Cologne is currently on order and when received will be added to Howard Gardens Library .
      More of Smirnov's projects here including the Laptop Cyber Orchestra (2006), Sound out of Paper (2005) and Brain JAZZ (1985/2001)

      The talk and book launch will be at

       Cafe Oto
      22 Ashwin Street
      London E8 3DL
      020 7923 1231

      Cafe OTO opened in April 2008 with the aim of providing a home for creative new music that exists outside of the mainstream. Cafe OTO is comprised of one large cafe/performance space open during the day as a cafe and hosting an evening programme of adventurous live music almost seven nights a week.


      Tuesday, 19 March 2013

      Myths Magic Mayhem

      Want to go on a zombie walk? Learn about illustrating children’s books? Hear tales from around the world? Go to a comic book workshop? All this and more is on offer from Wednesday through to Sunday.
      This week is the start of the first Cardiff Children's LiteratureFestival.
      Information about the programme and how and where to buy tickets are available from the Festival website.
      You can keep up with their activities by following @CDFKidsLitFest on Twitter. 

      Sessions from experts encouraging adults to both read and write children's books run alongside appearances from famous authors & illustrators for children of all ages.There will also be plenty of FREE activities to get involved in including a Roald Dahl themed Treasure Hunt, craft sessions in the Cardiff Story and a hunt for Wally and Wenda.

      Cardiff University is hosting some of the events, and in Cardiff UniversityLibrary Special Collections (SCOLAR) they are putting on an exhibition celebrating the history of children's literature, from the 17th century up to the 20th century.  They are looking at the chronological development of children's literature by highlighting several themes such as books for education and fantasy literature.

      The Library has gathered items from SCOLAR's collections, including the Children's Literature Collection which can be seen in part in the glass cases at the entrance to SCOLAR, and from the modern children's literature collection held in the main part of the library.  Items from the modern collection are also being utilised in a display on level 1 of the library (ASSL), where readers can vote for their favourite children's novel.The exhibition is available online and at the Arts and Social Sciences Library, Colum Road  from March-May 2013
      Cardiff Metropolitan University undergraduate students may access Cardiff University Collections through a reciprocal scheme. Postgraduates through SCONUL Access. See details here




      Friday, 8 March 2013

      Cardiff again!

      Don't forget we have a fabulous Public Library here in Cardiff. The Central Library in town has been named one of the top libraries in the world as well as one of the greenest buildings. To join all you need to do is turn up with one form of identification. If you're already a member of another library service in Wales, England, or Northern Ireland, you can join Cardiff Libraries simply by presenting your existing valid library card.
      As well as including 90,000 books, the Central library  has a white concert grand piano, which if you know how to, you are allowed to play for free, there are plenty of music scores to choose from if you do. There is a also a good DVD and music library and childrens section.
      Electronic resources that can be searched in the library include Which? online and Grove Art Online. On the 5th floor there is a Local Studies Library with books and maps and photographs galore on Wales and Cardiff.

      Thursday, 28 February 2013

      'Animate Earth' a film about ecology, place and nature

      Animate Earth - with the Cardiff Philosophy Cafe

      Thursday 7 March 2013, 8.00pm, The Gate , Keppoch Street, Roath

      FREE Admission

      Modern humans have lost a vital connection to "animate Earth", says ecologist Stephan Harding . Re-connecting with the natural world and the true place of humans in the cosmos is the best route, he argues, to sustainable societies and economies.

      Cardiff Philosophy CafĂ© as part of their ongoing 2013 event series 'The Future for Wales', is presenting a special showing of Animate Earth, a film written and presented by Dr Stephan Harding, renowned ecologist and colleague of James Lovelock. In the film, Dr Harding offers a view of our connection to nature that, through interviews undertaken with a variety of commentators, lays out a vision of interconnectedness that builds on the Gaia theory of the biosphere, together with Johann von Goethe‘s theories of the role of intuition in scientific knowledge. From this perspective, if we face an economic crisis now, then its causes can be traced to the lack of a meaningful connection with nature which characterises contemporary societies.

      Following the film, a specially invited panel will lead a discussion on the issues it raises, reflecting on the links between them and their own work, and offering some thoughts on the future prospects for our relationships with place and nature in Wales.
       The panel includes a bio-archaeologist, a geographer and two artists, all of whose work features a strong relation to place. They are Dr. Jacqui Mulville, Dr. Jon Anderson, Glenn Davidson and Stefhan Caddick

      The screening will take place on 7 March 2013, in the Theatre at The Gate, from 8pm, with the event finishing around 10.00pm.
      Howard Gardens Library will be buying a copy of the DVD shortly