Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Getting Started in the Library

Essential training for all students new to NUI Galway - in just 30 minutes you will learn how to find your way around the Library, what services are available and how to find the books you need in the Library. 
You will be shown how to search the library's catalogue to find out if the library has the books or journals you need.  You'll also be given a short tour of the library, so that you can learn how to find the books on the shelves.
This training will be held in the Library Training Room on the ground floor of the Library at the following times:

January 11th to 22nd
Monday to Friday
11.00 - 11.30 (except January 13th)
14.00 - 14.30
You can book a place or Just Drop In!


Reminder: Christmas/New Year Opening Hours

A reminder of Library Opening Hours for those of you still working hard in the run up to Christmas:

The Library is OPEN:
8.30 - 17.30        
on December 22nd and 23rd  
Please note that the Library will be closed at 17.30 sharp on these dates, so please collect your belongings in plenty of time.

The Library will be CLOSED from:

Thursday December 24th to Sunday January 3rd (inclusive)
From January 4th to January 10th the Library will be OPEN:

Monday to Friday
8.30 to 17.30
Normal opening hours will resume on January 11th.
Wishing all our students and staff a very happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

NUI Galway and Abbey Theatre release digitised Abbey Minute Books, 1904-1939

This week the Abbey Theatre/NUI Galway Digital Archive Partnership made freely available online the digitised minute books of the Abbey Theatre 1904 – 1939.

As part of the Yeats2015 celebrations, the online digital archive of Abbey Theatre Minute Books will be made available to the public for the first time. Collectively, the minute books amount to nearly 1,000 pages, covering some of the Abbey’s most significant events from the period 1904-1939, being the period that spans Yeats' lifetime.

'A Digital Journey Through Irish Theatre History', the Abbey Theatre - NUI Galway Digital Archive Partnership is the largest digital theatre project ever undertaken, and heralds a new era in Irish theatre scholarship, both nationally and internationally. Previously unseen, the Abbey Theatre Minute Books include the period in history when both Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats were involved in the management of the Abbey Theatre.

The Abbey Theatre minute books contain notes from meetings of the theatre’s Board of Directors. They offer a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the theatre, showing how the Abbey’s managers dealt with a variety of issues, from choosing plays to determining how much to pay their actors.Along the way, we find important information about leading figures from the Irish Literary Revival and beyond: not just W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and John Millington Synge but Sean O’Casey, Lennox Robinson, Teresa Deevy, Sean O’Faolain, Frank O’Connor, and many others. We also learn about great Irish actors such as Molly Allgood, Ria Mooney, Barry Fitzgerald, Cyril Cusack and many more.

Prof. Patrick Lonergan
NUI Galway Professor of Drama Patrick Lonergan said that the minute book will be of huge interest to theatre scholars, historians, and anyone with an interest in Irish culture: “the story of the Abbey Theatre is in many ways the story of our nation in microcosm. This online resource shows the Abbey Theatre and NUI Galway working together to reveal new aspects of that theatre’s story – and, by extension, new aspects of the story of Ireland. Users of the site will be able to search easily through hundreds of pages of records, and can move between the handwritten originals and carefully transcribed webpages. And all of this is available entirely free of charge to readers anywhere in the world.”

The minute books allow us to understand better how theatres are run. Yeats wrote about his approach to theatre business in a poem that was tellingly called “The Fascination of What’s Difficult”, cursing “plays/ that have to be set up in fifty ways”. Here we find Yeats encountering all sorts of difficulties - from the threat of government censorship of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars in 1926 to the leaking of his late play Purgatory to a Jesuit priest in 1938. And those difficulties are indeed fascinating.

Dr Charlotte McIvor, lecturer in drama and performance at NUIG, said that the books contain valuable information for scholars and teachers. She said: “I think they are going to be very important in explaining to students the different kinds of labour involved in running a theatre.”Dr McIvor said the books document “in minute detail” the decisions of the board right down to discussions about whether or not to allow cigarette smoking in the theatre. “I think you could honestly take any two pages in these books and build a successful lesson around it,” she added.
Dr. Charlotte McIvor

Playwright and Abbey board member Thomas Kilroy said the books help illuminate the relationship between the early theatre and the changing Irish State.He said: “One extraordinary thing which I had never heard of before which was that in 1939 Dublin Corporation tried to establish stage censorship. They assembled a number of inspectors to establish what was going on in Irish theatres.”

We also learn much about the day to day activities of keeping a theatre in business: the struggles to find appropriate funding, the actors’ requests for extra money or time off, and the maintenance of the building. And of course we learn much about Ireland, both before and after independence. The Abbey Theatre famously was the first state-subsidised theatre in the English-speaking world, earning funding in 1925 from the newly independent Irish Free State.

Bryan McMahon, Chairman of the Abbey Theatre said:  “The Abbey Theatre is proud to reveal, for the first time, our early Minute Books, an exciting milestone in our ground-breaking digital archive partnership with NUI Galway.   It is wonderful to manifest digitally the inner workings of the national theatre during its formative years.  These Minute Books give us fascinating insights into the management style and business acumen of W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory and the contribution made by the Board of Directors.  Indeed, the Minute Books reveal that Yeats was so integral to the Abbey Theatre, that Lennox Robinson, playwright and Board member, was dispatched to France to assist in the repatriation of his remains.  As we all know, it was an unsuccessful mission.  The Abbey Theatre is delighted that in this Yeats’ commemorative year, the full story of W.B. Yeats as theatre maker can be fully revealed.”

The Abbey Theatre Minute Books can be viewed www.nuigalway.ie/abbeytheatreminutebooks/

Excerpt from the Abbey Theatre digitised minute books

Monday, 7 December 2015

New features on ARAN (Access to Research at NUI Galway)

A recent upgrade of the ARAN (Access to Research at NUI Galway) platform has added some new features. Usage data for each item is now displayed alongside Scopus citations and Altmetrics information (when it is available from the publisher). Altmetrics measures the attention research is attracting on social media. View an example of these new features at http://aran.library.nuigalway.ie/handle/10379/4735
In the new version of ARAN the official published version of each article is explicitly promoted.

Usage data for each item

A key benefit of uploading articles to ARAN (Access to Research at NUI Galway) is the extra discoverability it offers via Google and RIAN (http://rian.ie/) the single portal to the repositories of the seven Irish universities. Open Access publishing also provides a citation advantage. Seventy-five studies have investigated this. The results of forty-six of the studies report a positive impact of open access publishing on citations. Study results by discipline are available at http://sparceurope.org/oaca/

For further information about adding your publications to ARAN email Trish Finnan at aran@nuigalway.ie

Friday, 4 December 2015

3D Printing - The story so far for Makerspace at the library in NUI Galway

When we started our 3D printing service back in September we had just one Ultimaker 2 printer which we thought would be enough to satisfy demand. Soon we realised how slow 3d printing is and found that there was no way we could provide a service with just one printer. Many of the models we print can take more than 4 hours to print and some as long as 8 hours or more. Luckily we were able to purchase a second Ultimaker 2 and also managed to get the RepRapPro Mendel 3 that we built calibrated to where we now have 3 printers working.

We had also planned to have the Makerspace area open by now but delays with furnishing the space have meant we could concentrate on the 3D printing service. The Makerspace itself will open January 2016 for definite.

To date we have printed over 150 different models for staff and students. Some of the models were for students studying Biochemistry, Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and were part of their 3rd year projects. Other items were for post graduates to be used as part of their research. We did also print some items just for fun which is of course important too (both students and staff).

Here are pictures of some of the items printed -

Various project related parts printed on 3D printers

Various models printed in PLA

An Aorta printed from an MRI scan

Part of the Maamturk mountains

The Wicklow mountains

It has been a steep learning curve for staff of the library as 3D printing was new to us and we had a lot to learn. For instance you rarely print a 3D model 100% solid as that would take too long. There's a fine line between how solid you print an item (typically 20%) and it still being strong enough to be of use. 

Another thing we quickly learned is you need to keep an eye on the print job as it builds. If for some reason the model gets detached from the print bed it causes an awful mess because the printer continues to print into mid air. This does happen quiet a lot and we then have to print the item a second or third time.

Here are a few pictures of how it look when the model comes loose from the print bed -

3D printers are also plagued by technical issues such as the print bed not being level or a bad spool of the print filament resulting in constant blockages at the print head. Unblocking a 3D print head it not easy as the opening you are trying to unblock is .4 or .5 mm in diameter.

Thankfully we have worked through many of the issues with support from both Ultimaker and RepRapPro and can now pretty much resolve any issue that arises.

We look forward to printing a whole range of items for both staff and students in 2016 and are pleased to announce we are able to offer the service FREE of charge until the end of March 2016.

To find out more information on the 3D printing service just search for 3D printing NUI Galway or visit our service page http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/3dprintservice/.

If you would like additional information or to discuss your 3D printing requirements please email libmakerspace@nuigalway.ie

New Play From the Archives Staged as part of 'Arts in Action'.

As part of the Arts in Action programme, drama students from Galway and Belfast, Martin Kenny, Luke Bannon and Sarah Blair performed a new play, 'Fighting the Waves', based upon the archive material held within the Lyric Theatre Archive, of the Hardiman Library.

Caroline Lynch, playwright, as Mary O'Malley
The play written and starring Caroline Lynch, depicted the life of Mary O'Malley as she dedicated her life to establishing a new theatre in Belfast, during a volatile time in the backdrop to growing social unrest and the eventual conflict of 'The Troubles. The play explores this birth of a new theatre that was hugely influenced by the writing of W.B. Yeats. The play was researched by Barry Houlihan, Archivist at the Hardiman Library and organised by Mary McPartlann, with support from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.

The Lyric Theatre archive contains a detailed account of the growth and development of the theatre and its founding director, Mary O’Malley. The play explored the huge range of records kept by O'Malley in the Lyric archive and presented a live event that drew the audience into the Yeats-inspired Belfast and world of Mary O’Malley and the birth of a new theatre across a time of immense social, political and artistic change.

This collaboration is a unique occasion for the student actors from Galway and Belfast to meet and work together on a project whose central character was full of determination and belief in the power of theatre to bring individuals together and turn them into a group whose power is greater than the sum of its parts. By exploring the Lyric Theatre archive of the James Hardiman Library, the story of Mary O’Malley’s journey and the history of Yeats’ work in Northern Ireland reached new audiences in this the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats.
Cast members in 'Fighting the Waves'
The play was presented to a packed Cube at the Bailey Allen Hall on 19th November and was also presented at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

It is in the O’Malley family home in Belfast that Mary established the Lyric Players. Along with a group of friends and family, O’Malley directed, designed and produced an extraordinary volume of work, beginning in 1951, notably the plays of W.B. Yeats and leading European playwrights which were not often staged in Ireland at the time. The first season in 1951 consisted of three plays, including At the Hawk’s Well by W.B. Yeats. Yeats was a foundational, constant presence and influence on O’Malley and the endeavours of the Lyric Players and the Lyric Theatre, from their journey of amateur to professional and forging ahead to become a ‘National’ theatre for Northern Ireland.
Mary O'Malley pictured at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
 (Lyric Theatre Archive, James Hardiman Library)

Minister Humphreys Launches NUI Galway 1916 Commemoration Programme as part of Ireland 2016 Centenary

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., launched NUI Galway’s 1916 Programme of Events, ‘A Nation Rising: Commemorating 1916 and Beyond’, as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

The event took place in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room of the Hardiman Library where Minister Humphreys, along with Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and members of the organising committee, officially launched the programme, which will be a year-long programme of celebration, understanding and questioning of Ireland's revolutionary period, at the heart of which was the 1916 Rising.

The programme will focus on the women and men involved in the lead-up, during and aftermath of the Rising, focusing on how this major event was experienced and felt in the West as well as influenced by those who were based there or had connections there. Events will features a major exhibition, drawing on the archival holdings of the Hardiman Library; conferences and seminars; lectures as well as artistic, dramatic and musical performances with established and emerging artists. The programme will also reflect both English and Irish language perspectives. It will also reach out to the wider community, sharing knowledge through public talks, festivals and workshops.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, with President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne and PhD Scholar Dara Folan.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Heather Humphreys said: “NUI Galway, as one of our foremost universities, will play a very important role in reflecting on the events of 1916 and the impact they had on the West of Ireland in particular. I would like to thank NUI Galway for the strong partnership approach it has adopted in putting together this impressive programme for 2016, which includes one of the key national conferences to be held next year.”

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, added: “The men and women who shaped the events of 1916 had different backgrounds, beliefs and ideas, but they shared a drive to create a better Ireland. As a nation joins together to commemorate their vision, so too does our diverse university community. I am delighted to see so many colleagues contributing to the programme from across many disciplines, in particular from the Arts and Humanities. The expertise, energy and passion they bring to the commemoration is a fitting tribute to the legacy of 1916."

The University has appointed a 1916 Scholar in Residence to co-ordinate and curate many of the events in the University’s Commemorative Programme. Based in the Moore Institute at the University, Dr Conor McNamara will conduct research on the 1916 Rising and its context in Co. Galway and the West of Ireland. He will prepare a catalogue of resources, in English and Irish, from the University’s archives and elsewhere, with a view to facilitating future research on the revolutionaries of 1916-23. Throughout the year, he will also engage with local community groups across the country, and assist with a planned exhibition marking Galway’s role in the Great War and the Irish Revolution.

Dr Mary Harris, Senior Lecturer in History at NUI Galway and Co-ordinator of the University’s 1916 Commemorative Programme, noted: “The largest mobilisation outside Dublin in Easter Week 1916 took place in Co. Galway, where over 600 men and women rose. Many dreamed of a Republic, others were motivated by the prospect of land reform. In previous years, however, those involved in the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish revivals saw the West in a more romantic light, as the repository of authentic Gaelic culture. This commemorative programme examines the events of 1916 from a variety of perspectives at local, regional and national levels.”

For more information on NUI Galway’s events commemorating the 1916 Rising visit www.nuigalway.ie/anationrising

Black Friday - Library Style

For a Friday it was very busy at the library entrance at 8:30 this morning. 

Still plenty of spaces free upstairs and we are open until 10pm tonight.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

How to keep pop-up blockers away from your sweet, sweet JSTOR articles!

Have you ever found the perfect article on JSTOR only to click "Download PDF" and watch helplessly as nothing happens? We imagine it left you feeling a little irritable.

We’re sorry you had to deal with that. (And hope you didn’t break your computer.) We're aware of how distressing it is to finally find that perfect article only to have it snatched away. But don’t worry! You’re not alone with this sneaky problem.

Web browsers generally have a default setting that blocks all pop-ups. While this is mostly good for the health of your computer (and your personal sanity) pop-up blockers can’t differentiate between ads for the latest internet scam and pop up PDFs of scholarly articles. This is something that users have to manually change within their browser settings. Sound scary? We promise that it’s not.
Each browser has a slightly different way of changing these settings, so we’re going to walk you through the most common. Furthermore, some browsers act differently on Macs and PCs, but we’ll cover the differences when we get to those.

For directions on how to enable pop-up blockers on different browsers, Internet Explorer (IE), Google Chrome, FireFox, Safari and For iPad and iPhone users please go to:


ScienceDirect Ceasing Support of Internet Explorer 8

[The following is taken from the ScienceDirect Blog]

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Last year we announced that ScienceDirect would no longer be supporting Internet Explorer 8 as of 1 January 2016. We wanted to make sure you are aware of this and explain why.
In order to continue to make the most of your ScienceDirect experience, we encourage you to move to the latest version of the following browsers:
In 2014, Microsoft announced that it would only support the most recent IE browser version with technical support and security updates. At ScienceDirect, we’ve chosen to follow Microsoft’s lead as we believe this will allow for the best overall user experience as well as allow you to take full advantage of our new features and functionality. We therefore encourage you to update to the most recent version of IE now – or consider another supported browser option.
By upgrading to the most recent version of IE, we’ll be able to provide you with:
  • Enhanced security measures
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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.