Cycle September

Cycle September is here, and there’s only one thing for it – look at some books on bicycle design or consider how the bicycle can be a work of art. Marcel Duchamp managed famously with one of his first readymades ( ‘an object removed from its conventional context and reframed or otherwise slightly modified to become an artwork’ , Taylor, V.E. and Winquist, C.E. (2001)  Encyclopedia of Postmodernism, Routledge Via Credo Reference on the library catalogue)   ‘Bicycle Wheel’.

To find out more about Duchamp, you can search our library catalogue for books (including e-books that can be read on your desktop or mobile device, with your university login), and DVDS; or try one of the e-resources available (key Fine Art related databases are listed here) for journal articles, images, tv programmes and more, again login with your university login when prompted. If you need help using any of these databases contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for your subject. To see some Duchamps in real life, The Royal Academy will be hosting an exhibition opening in October, which explores the relationship between Duchamp and Dali.

Alternatively you can come and see the book display in in Aldgate library with a bicycle theme!

Cycle to work Scheme for members of staff

Cycle training in Tower Hamlets

Cycling in Islington

Santander Cycles

The Cycle Show NEC Birmingham 22- 24th September

Image copyright London Metropolitan University

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Money Money Money

The new polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen is to go into circulation on September the 14th, and the Bank of England Museum are commemorating the event with an exhibition exploring the literary connections of the bank.

Aldgate library has put together a display of items to commemorate this event, all about money! From books and films by Jane Austen, books on other characters featured on Bank of England notes, including Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and Sir Christopher Wren, to artists who use money in their work, such as J.S.G. Boggs. And what about some shredded money? Every year several hundred tons of used bank notes are shredded, and it can be used for compost, craft work and production of small items such as pencils – you can find samples in our Materials and Products Collection, produced by Mindsets.

As Economics is studied at London Met, there are a range of e-resources available to students for more money matters, see what’s available here.

image copyright London Metropolitan University

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Aldgate in Camera

Aldgate in Camera is a public exhibition organised by  Aldgate Community Events exhibiting images of Aldgate through the years, displayed as close as possible to the original place it was taken. As well as the photos, there are mini exhibitions in suitcases scattered around the locality, featuring items that tell the story of people who have lived in the area.

Aldgate library has put together a display of items we hold which feature photographs of the area as well. Our Special Collections also hold some historic photos of the buildings housing the University in Aldgate on Old Castle Street and Goulston street, including Calcutta House, which used to be a Brooke Bond Tea factory, and the Wash House (previously the Women’s Library) which used to be  public bath.

If you are interested in the history of the area, local institutes involved in the project include:

Bishopsgate Institute

Guildhall Library

London Metropolitan Archives

Tower Hamlets Archives

Aldgate in Camera exhibition continues until 15th September.

Calcutta House 1940s image copyright London Metropolitan University

image copyright London Metropolitan University

image copyright London Metropolitan University






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World Honey Bee Day

August the 19th is World Honey Bee Day, and London Metropolitan University will be celebrating on Friday 18th August with trips for staff and students to see our own honey bee hives on the top of the Rocket building at the Holloway Road campus. The bees were installed last year as part of the sustainability project at London Met.

In further London Met bee history,  interior design students  were asked to devise a bee habitat made with organic biodegradable materials and if possible use found or recycled materials, the results of which were exhibited in the within the KPMG offices Canary Wharf a couple of years ago.

As some of Aldgate library staff make up one of the award winning teams in the London Met Green Impact programme we were keen to show our support for honey bees across the world, and have put together a display of bee related books in the library.

Don’t forget many of our books are e-books – available to read online through the london met library catalogue, and log in with your username and password.

Try some of these (be)e-books online:

Bumble bees of North America : an identification guide

Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees

Bee Display

Image copyright London Met


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Russian Revolution

2017 is the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and has seen numerous exhibitions and events commemorating this extraordinary period in history.

“The Russian Revolution stretched from February to October 1917 (Julian calendar), and it was one of the most significant events of the 20th century. The overthrow of the Czarist (i.e., imperial) regime in February and the chaos that followed set the stage for the Bolshevik uprising in October. The result was the creation of the world’s first communist state based on workers’ and soldiers’ councils (soviets), a geographically sizable state initially dedicated to Marx’s vision of social justice, and a society without classes and private property, which in theory would lead to full human emancipation. The creation of a communist state in a hostile capitalist world set the stage for later developments, especially the rise of anti-communist fascism in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the beginning of German genocidal warfare in World War II, and the U.S.-led Cold War against the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1991.” (taken from Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice on Credo Reference via the London Met library catalogue)

Art and design initially flourished with creativity and new found freedom before being repressed by the regime. The Royal Academy exhibition earlier this year chartered the artistic achievements, while the current exhibition at the British Library explores the politics and characters of the period through rare documents and artifacts.

Our own TUC (Trades Union Congress) collection (housed in Special Collections) has produced an exhibition The Russian Revolution and its Impact on the Left in Britain, 1917-1926 using material from the TUC collection, and Jeff Howarth (TUC librarian) was a speaker at  the conference ‘Must Britan Travel the Moscow Road?’, as part of the British Library exhibition.

Aldgate library has put together a display of related Russian Revolution books from its collection, from art, design and architecture of the period to the politics surrounding it.

Other useful resources include the Marx Memorial Library and the University of Warwick library digital collections.

image copyright London Metropolitan University

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Visible Body online resource

‘Visible Body’ is an online resource, now available to London Met staff and students.  It is an interactive human anatomy atlas that allows users to manipulate the torso and strip away layers to reveal muscles, nerves, skeletal structure etc., and to see how these components relate. It covers anatomy, physiology, muscles, the skeleton, and the circulatory system through interactive 3D models, animations, quizzes, and more.

Although the purchase was made predominantly for the School of Human Sciences, we are sure it has the potential to be a great resource for any Cass students who might be using the human body in some way in their work.

It can be used on Desktop computers, but there are also apps available for some mobile devices.

Follow the link on the libraries A-Z of e-resources, and enter your university username and password as usual to access it.

We have put together a selection of books and other materials from Aldgate library on anatomy and figure drawing to complement the online resource, including some synthetic human skin that can be found in our materials and products library!

If you are feeling inspired, you could visit Barts pathology museum , a medical museum which is part of Queen Mary University (with limited public access), it has over 5000 medical specimens on display. Not for the squeamish!



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California Dreaming

The Design Museum in London currently has an exhibition on about California Design in its new home on Kensington High Street. ‘California: Designing Freedom’ explores the California cool phenomenon, from the 1960s hippies to Facebook, and everything inbetween, that has led to such pioneering designs and lifestyles.

A well as the exhibition, you can listen to podcasts from the curator, exploring 10 items in the exhibition, or attend a talk on a related subject.

Aldgate library has put together a display of some of our California related books, so come and find your Californian inspiration!

image copyright London Metropolitan University

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London Festival of Architecture

London Festival of Architecture is on throughout June, with hundreds of events and exhibitions on throughout the city, under the theme of ‘memory’. The Cass will be involved with several events, including  ‘Graffiti, Memory and the City’, a panel discussion and presentation exploring graffiti in London on June 26th, and of course, the Cass Summer Show (see previous post).

Aldate library has put together a selection of architecture books, and also graffiti books from our collection to coincide.

image copyright London Met


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