Discovering the Bard with Bloomsbury Drama Online

It’s not always easy to love Shakespeare. It can be tricky making sense of thou, thee, thy and thine, or navigating your way around an iambic pentameter. For a lot of people, their first (and last) experience of the Bard is listening to his work being recited in their high school English class–not always the most magical of settings.

And yet, over 400 years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays are still works of great power, intensity–and magic. But how to escape those early experiences and discover this? The easiest way is often to head along to a theatre and watch a performance. Words that seem incomprehensible on the page quickly make sense when delivered by an actor or actress. Sentences that seem dull and long-winded in the classroom are suddenly filled with sex and sword-fights.

But what if you can’t make it, or want a sneak peek before heading along? Well, that’s where Bloomsbury Drama Online comes in!

Bloomsbury Drama Online is Wellington City Libraries’ premier database for the performing arts. As well as containing playtexts for each of Shakespeare’s works, there’s also a fantastic collection of live video recordings. Interested in Hamlet? Bloomsbury Drama Online has recordings of four different productions, including two from the Royal Shakespeare Company and a fantastic adaptation with Hamlet played by Maxine Peake.

With over 3,000 plays, 350 audio plays and 150 hours of video, Bloomsbury Drama Online isn’t just restricted to Shakespeare, either. In it you can find the works of celebrated playwrights from Tony Kushner to Caryl Churchill, Anton Chekhov to Bertolt Brecht, and many, many more. There’s also context and criticism to add further depth to your experience.

What if this isn’t enough, though? You’ve seen the plays, you’ve read the texts–but you want more? Then it’s time to visit Bloomsbury Drama Online’s final section: Theatre Craft. Here you’ll find everything you need to start learning about the practicalities of acting, from introductory works such as Acting Characters and Mastering the Audition to specialist texts such as Stage Combat Arts.

To get started, just grab your library card and make your way to Bloomsbury Drama Online!

Guggenheim Museum Library Collection Released Online!

If you are one of the people who have felt the sudden and unexpected–though temporary–lack of access to Wellington Central libraries’ fantastic art book collection, then we have something to ease the pain: the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum Library’s free online resources!

The founder and creator of this museum was the American heiress and self-confessed art addict Peggy Guggenheim. Her support and patronage of 20th century modern artists placed her at the very centre of the modern art movement. She was a unique, colourful, larger than life personality.

This free resource has over 200 art works covering key artists such as Picasso, Rothko, Ernst and Kandinsky and art subjects as wide as Surrealism, pop, Aztec artefacts and Russian constructivism. Just click the link here to access this fabulous resource. Enjoy!

Also available at Wellington City Libraries:

Peggy Guggenheim : the shock of the modern / Prose, Francine
“A biography of one of twentieth century America’s most influential patrons of the arts that covers her personal life, uncompromising spirit, and relationships with such modern masters as Jackson Pollock and Man Ray.” (Catalogue)

 

 

The unfinished palazzo : life, love and art in Venice : the stories of Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim / Mackrell, Judith
“The story of Venice’s ‘Unfinished Palazzo’–told through the lives of three of its most unconventional, passionate, and fascinating residents: Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse, and Peggy Guggenheim. Each vivid life story is accompanied by previously unseen materials from family archives, weaving an intricate history of these legendary art world eccentrics.” (Catalogue)

 

And The Fantastic Peggy Guggenheim : art addict. documentary film is also available to borrow from several of our branches . Click Here for full details.

eResources in Focus – Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy

The study of human anatomy has always been a tricky business. The key problem is the subject matter: namely the body, and the need for a spare, unclaimed one on which to begin your studies. The ancient Greek anatomist Herophilus, renowned for conducting the first systematic dissection of a human body, was accused of practicing on living prisoners, while fans of The Frankenstein Chronicles will be aware that this problem continued into the 19th century, with resurrection men exhuming dead bodies and selling them to medical schools for anatomical instruction.

However medical schools aren’t the only places to get such queries. Here at Wellington City Libraries we also get requests for anatomy-based resources, generally from students studying biology and art. And–thankfully!–we don’t have to resort to resurrection men, with the arrival of a great new database: Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy!

Gale Interactive: Human Anatomy (GIHA) describes itself as an “innovative learning aid that allows students to examine virtual 3D dissections and immerse themselves in interactive research”, but for a fuller sense of what it’s capable of, it’s best to have a closer look.

When you log in to GIHA, the first thing you’ll be presented with is a virtual cadaver. This can be a bit daunting to start with, so to make things as easy as possible GIHA separates the body into different regions, such as the head, neck and abdomen, as well as systems such as the circulatory and digestive systems.

Once you’ve decided which area to explore, GIHA will then isolate it for you–and you can begin pulling it apart! Each section of the body can be rotated and examined, with intuitive controls based around your mouse. GIHA will also inform you about your chosen area with a series of bullet points, articles and a quiz.

GIHA can even be used in conjunction with a 3D printer to produce models of different body parts, so if there’s a specimen you’re particularly interested in you can keep it for yourself (without fear of breaking the Human Tissue Act). To get started, just head to our eResources and log in with your library card–scalpel not required!