Book of Kells now online

Did you know the Irish national treasure and one of the worlds finest examples of Medieval illuminated manuscripts, the Book of Kells, can now be viewed online? Thanks to a huge digitisation project by Trinity College Library, Dublin, the entire manuscript (680 pages of) can now be viewed on the library’s Digital Collections Repository. The quality of the pages and the scans are superb, allowing you to zoom in on the finest details.

‘The Book of Kells is an ornately illustrated manuscript of the four Gospels with several historic records and a limited glossary of Hebrew names. The book was translated from Jerome’s Latin Bible and named after the Columban monastery of Kells in County Meath, Ireland. Tradition holds that the work was begun on Iona, Scotland, to honor Columba (d. 597). After a violent Viking raid in 802, the Celtic monks fled to Kells and took the manuscript with them, where it was completed.’ (from from The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization via Credo Reference)

There are many other items to explore in the library’s digital collection as well, have a browse here.

Article of My Modern Met about the digitisation of the Book of Kells

Previous related posts:

American Animals

Free online collection of nature and botanical illustrations

The Met museum adds thousands of copyright free images online

Image from the Book of Kells

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Adore Dior

With the record breaking Christian Dior exhibition currently wowing V & A visitors, (all sold out for its entire run!) we thought we would pay homage with a display of some of our Dior items in Aldgate Library, which has proved very popular!

As well as some books, the display includes some copies of Vogue from our back catalogue. Print issues go back to 2007 (sadly our older copies were damaged in a fire some years ago) but staff and students at London Met can access earlier issues by searching ‘Vogue Archive’ in the library catalogue  and logging in with your username and password. We have printed out some covers of Vogue through the ages which feature Dior clothes, make up or accessories, which are also in the display.

Don’t forget you can follow London Met Libraries on twitter/instagram @londonmetlib.

Previous related posts:

Menswear book display


Christian Dior display in Aldgate LIbrary, photo © London Met

Vogue Archive display Aldgate library photo © London Met

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I came across this great article on the BBC culture site about the history of wallpaper – did you know it used to be an offence punishable by death to forge wallpaper in England? And how did people allegedly die by wallpaper? Have a read and find out!

Unfortunately the event at the V&A it was associated with has passed, but it seemed a good excuse to remind, or inform, you all that London Met Special Collections has a selection of wallpaper samples that can be viewed in the Reading Room, (you are advised to contact them beforehand as they would need to be bought up from the store. External visitors would need to make an appointment ). Information on visiting the Special Collections is here. There are some beautiful samples of William Morris designs hand printed by Sanderson, and if you want to get up close and personal with some seventies/early eighties embossed wall coverings, there is a whole big book of them by Crown Relief Decorations.

As well as the actual wallpaper samples, there are many books that are old, unique or rare on art and craft subjects relating to the history of the CASS in the Special Collections. This includes design and interiors, such as a 1910 edition of ‘The Grammar of Ornament’ by Owen Jones, some pages of which are depicted below.

The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (Moda) at Middlesex University, also holds a large collection of wallpapers, dating from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Viewing is by appointment only, please contact them before visiting. You can view some of their collection online via their catalogue. There is also the V&A, which has an abundance of information on wallpaper here.

And don’t forget the Materials and Products Collection, on the third floor of Aldgate Library, where you can browse material samples of products including more current wallpaper designs!

Previous related posts:

Library exhibition: Wallpaper, wallcoverings and pattern 

V&A visualiser

Pages from ‘The Grammar of Ornament’ by Owen Jones. Photos © London Met

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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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