Plastic Population

It has been Green Week all this week at London Metropolitan University, with many events going on, including visiting our bees (at Holloway Road campus), introduction of coffee cup recycling points and charity pop up stalls amongst many more!

For our part at Aldgate library we have put together a display about plastics, including books on plastic recycling, as well as plastic objects that are considered antiques. Did you know Roland Barthes had written an essay about plastic in the 1950s? You can read it in ‘Mythologies’.

As well as books, the display features items from our Materials & Products Collection, including materials made from recycled plastic or alternatives to plastics. Much more is available in the M&P room on the 3rd floor of Aldgate Library!

Previous related posts:

Everything’s gone green

World Honey Bee Day

Green is Gorgeous 

Green Week 2016

Green Themed Display

Materials & Products

New Book – Plastic Jewellery

Green Week Display at Aldgate Library image © London Met

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Transnational Comics Symposium

London College of Communication are hosting a symposium ‘ Crossing Borders, Boundaries, and Cultures: Studies in Transnational Comics’ which broadly engages with issues of comics and transnational exchange. Papers presented will consider how comics can cross national and cultural boundaries in a variety of contexts. Topics of discussion include the local/global production and circulation of comics, issues of language and translation, and nationalism and identity.

The symposium is on Wednesday 6th of March 09:30- 20:30

London College of Communication is part of University of the Arts, London, and hosts part of its special collections and archives in the Archives and Special Collections Centre, which includes a comic collection. The centre is open to researchers, information on visiting can be found here.

Other archives related to comics include:

The British Cartoon Archive, part of The University of Kent in Canterbury

The Cartoon Museum Library (closed and due to open at new premises soon at time of writing)

Previous related posts:

London Animation Festival

London International Animation Festival

Image by aitoff on Pixabay


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LGBTQAI+ History Month Display

As part of the celebrations all this month at London Met for LGBTQAI+ History Month, we have put a display up in Aldgate library featuring some of our relevant titles.

The TUC (Trades Union Congress) Library (part of our Special Collections) also features pamphlets, publications and books on LGBT rights and equality, see a list here. Information about accessing the Special Collections is here.

Useful resources outside London Met

Did you know the Bishopsgate Institute Library, which is just around the corner from our Aldgate campus, has  a prominent LGBTQ History and Alternative Sexuality Collection?  Bishopsgate library is free and accessible by all, although you may have to complete a registration form on your first visit.

L.S.E. (London School of Economics) Libraries hold the Hall-Carpenter Collection, and other LGBT materials. As a student at London Met you are entitled to join the SCONUL Access scheme which allows access to other University libraries within the scheme (and sometimes to borrow items depending which band you fall under), but you should always check with the library you want to visit what their requirements are.

There is also a blog on the National Archives website which gives information about searching for records of Sexuality and gender identity history, and list further places and books to read.

London Metropolitan Archives leaflet on LGBT archives

Previous related posts:

Artists’ Book Fairs

Queer Publishing Conference

Aldgate library display, photo © London Met


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Bauhaus 100

2019 sees the centenary of the visionary art school, The Bauhaus, which opened in 1919. As Cass lecturer Patrick Brill (AKA Bob and Roberta Smith, who teaches Fine Art here), once described the Cass as the ‘Aldgate Bauhaus’, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass for a display of some of our collection of Bauhaus books at Aldgate library!

‘The Bauhaus in Germany (1919-1933) was one of the most influential art and design schools of the twentieth century. Founded just after the end of World War I, on April 1, 1919, in the city of Weimar, its modernist approach, including the teaching of the hence unknown abstract art and the new architecture, caused so much controversy that various factions including artisans, Weimar artists, and emerging rightWing groups forced the Bauhaus from the city just a few years later. In 1925 it moved to Dessau and seven years later to Berlin, where the National Socialists initiated its final closure in 1933. Its radical and controversial impact was due to the fact that it was the only art school at the time that taught exclusively modernist art such as abstract painting, design, and architecture. Its three directors were the architects Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, and Mies van der Rohe. Among its masters were eminent modernist artists such as Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Anni and Josef Albers, Oskar Schlemmer, Marianne Brandt, and Gunta Stölzl.’ Baumhoff, A. (2011). The Bauhaus School. In A.J. Andrea, World history encyclopedia. [Online]. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Available from: [Accessed 1 February 2019], website dedicated to the centenary and events happening throughout 2019

Independent article on best places around the world to explore the Bauhaus style

List of books available in London Met Libraries on the Bauhaus, including ebooks

BBC feature and photographs of Bauhaus buildings

Access bob: tv and radio for education to explore past programmes from freeview channels (access through the library catalogue)

Related previous posts:

The Aldgate Bauhaus?

Bauhaus display at Aldgate Library. Image © London Met


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This weekend will be your last chance to catch the Censored! Stage, Screen, Society at 50 exhibition at the V&A, as well as our library display at Aldgate Library on the topic.

2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the end of state censorship on British Theatre  (Theatres’ Act 1968, from Credo Reference via the library catalogue), and the V&A exhibition explores the impact of this abolition, as well as questioning how free we really are in what can be staged.

There are many more books available on the topic of censorship at Holloway Road library, and also many e-books too. See a list here.

See also:

Index on Censorship website

Banned Books Week

Previous related posts:

Objects of Dissent talk

The Greatest Show on Earth!

The Dying Art of Smoking

Aldgate library display


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Film posters galore!

Monday 28th of January sees  a talk at the BFI Reuben library about film posters and whether they inspire watching films. There will be a slideshow to explore examples of fantastic film posters, from classics to obscurities, presented by BFI Curatorial Archivist Nigel Arthur and Ewa Reeves, who are co-authors of  the book 77 Posters/ 77 Plakatow.

Reuben Library BFI, 28th January 18:30 £6.50

How about some spectacular hand painted film posters?

Currently on display at SOAS’ (University of London) Brunei Gallery is an extraordinary exhibition of Ghanaian film posters. These were hand painted onto sacks or canvas by highly skilled artists to advertise new releases to film goers, before the digital age took over.

African Gaze: Hollywood; Bollywood and Nollywood film posters from Ghana is on at the Brunei Gallery until 23rd of March.

London Met Libraries Resources

London Met staff and students have access to BFI screenonline, an online encyclopedia devoted to British film and television. Here you can find information about such things as graphic style in promoting films, and much more about the history of tv and film in Britain. Audio and video material can only be viewed within the University.

Bridgeman Education, an online image database (available via the library catalogue with your London Met login), has over a million images available to search and download, including thousands of film posters. Remember to check the copyright status of the images before use (the library license allows educational use for staff and students).

And if you still need more, there is also VADS, (Visual Arts Data Service)  a visual arts database which has a collection of over 100,000 images, including many film posters.



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Objects of Dissent talk and Resistance publication

If your New Year Resolution is to take more interest in political protests and their history, then there are a couple of events in the next few days that might be for you:

Saturday 12th January, Conway Hall, WC1R 4RL  (in association with the Serpentine Gallery)

ACT ESOL Language, Resistance, Theatre Publication Workshop Launch

An Afternoon of activity and discussion to launch the new ACT ESOL Language, Resistance, Theatre Publication, focusing on the power of language and education as a force for social justice. The publication is the result of a 3 year research project by ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) practitioners and Participatory Theatre practitioners, exploring how to implement Theatre of The Oppressed in the ESOL classroom. The publication shares the experiences and learning of this project, and participants on the day will have a chance to try out different exercises from the publication, as well as demonstrations and discussions.   More information here.

Monday 14th January, Architecture Association (AA) Lecture Hall  18:30

Objects of Dissent (AA Collections talk)

“From the alternative urbanism of Street farmers to the campaign for Covent Garden, the AA has a long history of anti-establishment cultural activity. This panel will discuss the meaning and influence of protest objects within a wider cultural framework, bringing the discussion up to what it means to collect today.”

One of the panel is Thomas Hockenhull, British Museum curator, who co-curated their current exhibition ‘I Object : Ian Hislop’s search for dissent’, which you can also still see until 20th January at the British Museum.

Previous related posts:

Art For Change

TUC Collection Celebrates Emily Wilding Davison


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Christmas Greetings library style!

Christmas Greetings from Aldgate Library where we have been getting creative with our Christmas Trees! As well as the traditional tree, we have joined many libraries round the world creating amazing book trees! Our effort is made from withdrawn bound journals, and looks wonderful in our business and law journals lounge on the ground floor.

As we are also lucky enough to have a fantastic Materials & Products Collection in Aldgate Library , so we also have a lovely tree made from M & P samples to help advertise the diverse collection of samples available.

M & P samples tree

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Sun in December

We are certainly in need of some sun this December as the dark damp days continue, so we have put up a display in Aldgate library  celebrating our source of energy, warmth, light and life itself!

The Science museum currently has an exhibition on until May, ‘The Sun: Living With Our Star’, exploring our relationship with the sun and the many fascinating objects and images associated with it. If you can’t make it to the exhibition, there are many resources and information on their website here.

The Sustainability team at London Met are focussing on energy for December, and there will be a pop up Sustainability stall giving out advice about reducing energy consumption and the Switch Off campaign on Monday 10th December 12-2pm at The Junction, Holloway Road.




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All things map

Currently on at Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, is an exhibition celebrating Max Gill and his extraordinary maps among many other art works.

There is a talk coming up this Tuesday 4th December at the St Brides Foundation, as part of ‘Type Tuesday’, in association with graphic design publication Eye Magazine,  (also available in Aldgate Library) discussing this exhibition and other map making wonders.

On the panel will be Artist/Illustrator Adam Dant, along with Caroline Walker, co-curator of the exhibition, as well as being Max Gills great niece.

Adam Dant meticulously illustrates alternative maps of London sites, among other things, and currently has an exhibition on at Rich Mix, Bethnal Green.

Read a post about Dant on the Spitalfields Life blog here .

In other map news,  the University of Chicago Press have collated together a library of  early maps titled  ‘The History of Cartography’, featuring many rare and unusual maps from around the world, of which several volumes are available for download for free. Read a post about the archive on My Modern Met blog here.

Previous related posts

Map it Out 

Previous post about the University of Chicago Press History of Cartography

Maps Online David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

Information Visualised display at Commercial Road Library

Architecture Ordnance Survey and Historic maps from Digimap

Maps, Art & Mapping at Commercial Road Library

New Zealand- Her Natural and Industrial Resources by MacDonald (Max) Gill © IWM (Art.IWM PST 16816)



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