Reading for Pleasure: Walter Scott & Song – Inspiring Stories to read over the Festive Season

Picture via Google Images

In honour of the 250th anniversary of his birth, the University of Aberdeen’s Museums & Special Collections have collaborated with the Walter Scott Research Centre on Walter Scott & Song: Retuning the Harp of the North. Exploring ballads, opera, and theatrical and popular songs, this online exhibition showcases the University of Aberdeen’s Walter Scott collections alongside musical recordings. As a best-selling author, Walter Scott introduced Scottish traditions to audiences across the world. His writings and song collections inspired both his readers in the 1800s, and future generations of musicians. 

Walter Scott (1771-1832) trained as a lawyer and practised in Edinburgh, but his true calling was for storytelling: he was deeply passionate about Scotland’s history and culture, and committed himself to showcasing and creating epic stories such as the Waverley novels and Rob Roy.

Like many others in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Scott had a deep interest in songs and stories that had been passed down by ordinary people over generations. As a young man, he gathered together ballads from the Scottish Borders, and published them in a book called Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. ‘Battle of Otterbourne’ tells the story of a 1388 battle between a Scottish and an English family. Heavily influenced by the European romantic movement, he would go on to spark the imagination and creativity of generations of readers and writers.


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Taking as our inspiration the folklore, myths and legends of Scotland and Europe, library staff have collated the following materials available both in the academic collection and from Aberdeen City Libraries. The Ground Floor of the Library hosts the Old Aberdeen branch of Aberdeen City Libraries, and more information can be found here.

On behalf of all Library, Special Collections and Museums staff, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library Opening Hours during the Winter Break

The winter break is almost here, bringing with it the opportunity for a much-needed rest from study and research.  And before the Winter Term closes, we would like to let you know the opening hours of The Sir Duncan Rice Library during the winter break and public holidays.

All libraries at the University of Aberdeen will be closing at 5pm on Thursday, 23 December and reopen again on Thursday, 6 January.

Full details of the opening hours at our other two library sites, Taylor Library and Medical Library can be found on our website.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library is open 24/7 until Friday, 17 December when we will close at 22.00.  We will then be open at the times given below.

Statue in the snow. (Jonathan Mackintosh)
Saturday 18 December9:00 – 13:00
Sunday 19 DecemberClosed
Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December8:30 – 17:00
24 December 2021 – 5 January 2022Closed
Thursday 6 & Friday 7 January8:30 – 17:00
Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 JanuaryClosed
Monday 10 January8:00 – 00:00 (Normal Term Hours Resume)

Wishing all of our readers a safe, well-deserved holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in January for the start of the new term.

Leaving early for Christmas? Return your books before you go!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As Christmas approaches, we would like to remind students and staff about the possibility of borrowed items being requested by other users during the upcoming holidays. Library loans can be requested by other users up to and including Thursday 23 December.

Our libraries will close at 17:00 on Thursday 23 December 2021 and will open at 09:00 on Thursday 6 January 2022.

Library loans can continue to be requested by other users over this vacation period, so remember to return your books if you’re going away and will not be able to access them. However, any recalled items will not actually be due back while we are closed over Christmas. Make sure you check your e-mail to avoid starting the New Year with fines! 

Please contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk with any questions you may have.

Live Q&A sessions for PGR students: Library resources and services

Unsure how to start looking for materials to support your research? No idea what a Shibboleth login is? Confused about Boolean linking words, truncation and wildcard symbols? How to access and find electronic content?

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

If the answer to any of those is “Yes” then join us for some short demonstrations of library resources. You can ask us any library-related or literature searching questions you may have, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Our Q&A sessions are scheduled for 26 November, 2 December, and 16 December, and will be delivered via Collaborate. To find out more and to book a place, visit: abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk

24 Hour Opening in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

In the lead up to the assessment period The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be extending its opening hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are just a few days until this goes into effect, and we want to let you know just now so that you can properly plan your revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday November 21 and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday December 17, 2021.

Please note that your ID card is still required for access to the building – please ensure you have your ID card as access after 22.00 will not be permitted without it.

Over this period, it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. This will happen at 04.00, and you will be given an option to delay this for 2 hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the Library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Properly fitted face coverings are a legal requirement and must be worn while seated in the building. Please wear a sunflower lanyard if you are exempt.
  2. No food is allowed in the building except for in the café area.
  3. Bottled water only in the Library.
  4. Tidy up after yourself – use the sanitary wipes and bins which are available on each of the floors.
  5. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Please remember to check out the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

New UKRI Open Access Policy

UK Research and Innovation logo

UKRI will implement a new open access policy in 2022 that will allow more opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. There are some significant changes so it is important that you are aware of this. The new policy will apply to peer reviewed research and review articles and conference papers submitted for publication from 1st April 2022 to publications with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and will be extended to include monographs from 1st January 2024. UKRI will provide increased funding to support compliance with this policy for both research articles and in-scope longform publications with further information on the block grant due in December 2021.

Authors can publish their output in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via one of two open access routes.

Gold Open Access – the final published article is published immediately open access on the publisher website, free to read, download and reuse under licence, usually requires payment to publish.

  • publish in an open access publication or platform where the version of record (VoR) is made immediately open access on publication
  • apply a CC BY licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder
  • may require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC); see here for information on the block grant
  • the University has signed up to a number of transitional open access publisher agreements where you can publish your research gold open access at no cost to you
  • use of the block grant for publishing in an ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will no longer be permitted

Green Open Access – a version of the article, usually the unformatted manuscript as accepted for publication after peer-review, is deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Free to publish but requires a subscription to read the VoR.

  • deposit the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in a subject or institutional repository immediately on first online publication. The AAM is the author’s final draft including corrections resulting from peer review but before the publisher formatting has been applied
  • apply a CC BY Creative Commons licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder (UKRI will outline process in November 2021)
  • embargoes on making the manuscript publicly available are no longer permitted
  • submissions taking the green route must include a statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission stating that a specific licence (e.g. CC BY,  OGL, CC BY ND) will apply to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising

For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central, in accordance with MRC’s Additional Terms and Conditions and BBSRC’s Safeguarding Good Research Policy.

Published outputs must include a statement to specify how the underlying research data can be accessed.

From 1st January 2024 the open access policy will apply to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections. See the UKRI open access policy for further information on whether your output is in-scope.

  • the VoR or AAM must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository no later than 12 months after publication
  • a Creative Commons licence must be applied, a CC BY licence is preferred but other Creative Commons licences will be permitted (or OGL where required) which allow the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  • the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content but where copyright for these is held by a third party and require a more restrictive licence the policy does not apply
  • where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version

The Scholarly Communications Team in the Library are here to help you ensure that your research outputs comply with the UKRI open access policy. We will provide communications to our researchers as more information is made available by UKRI. Key resources for community engagement are to be made available by UKRI in January 2021.

You should continue to send details of newly accepted papers to paperaccepted@abdn.ac.uk to ensure deposit in Pure/AURA in compliance with funder and current REF policy. See our webpages or contact us for more information.

The University Librarian would be also pleased to attend relevant School meetings to listen to views and answer questions.



International Open Access Week 25-31 October

Information on the Open Access Week for 2021
Open Access Week 2021

This week is International Open Access Week. Check out our Quick Guide to Open Research and join us for an online lunchtime overview of open access publishing on Wednesday October 27 at 12 noon. Book your place and get joining details here: www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/11746

Further information on Open Access can be found on our webpages: www.abdn.ac.uk/library/support/open-access-212.php

Black History Month – Help us Diversify our Collections

It’s Black History Month and we are looking for your help to Diversify our Collections. If there are any relevant books we do not have, either in print or electronically, that you believe that we should, please let us know and we will look into adding these to our collection.

We have set some funds aside for this and will purchase titles throughout October while these funds remain. Please contact us at subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with the details of your suggestions for purchase.

This continues work we have already been undertaking to diversify our collections. You can see a full list of titles already purchased under this initiative on our website.

Books stacked showing just some of the titles we have already added to our collection through this initiative

Here is some more information about just a few of the titles we have added to our collection in the last year.

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

You may recognise this title as it has been highly recommended across social media platforms since its release in 2017. Inspired by her 2014 blog post of the same title, Eddo-Lodge discusses issues such as eradicated black history, the link between class and race, whitewashed feminism, and the political purpose of white dominance. This book has received many accolades including the Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year 2018 by the British Book Awards and is a No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller. This book is an essential read to help understand race in a modern-day Britain.

If you prefer reading a physical book or listening to an audiobook, Aberdeen City Libraries have access to both here – https://bit.ly/3aSSLol.

Race talk and the conspiracy of silence : understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race by Derald Wing Sue

Dr. Sue provides guidance on how to turn what may be an uncomfortable conversation into one that is meaningful and how to get over any fears you may have when talking about race. Showing how best to approach, navigate and facilitate conversations about race. He goes over how to identify when a conversation on race may be unproductive, social rules to keep in mind when talking about racial issues, race specific difficulties and misconceptions and advice for parents and educators on how to approach race more effectively. Dr. Sue has included specific chapters on why people of colour may find it difficult to have honest conversations about race. This book seems incredibly useful if you want to have more productive conversations about race and why a ‘colour-blind approach’ may not be very helpful. 

Ain’t I a woman by bell hooks 

bell hooks provides an essential and classic text in feminist literature. This book covers the impact of sexism on black women during slavery moving into the continuation of the devaluation of black women. She also looks at racism amongst feminists and black women’s involvement in feminism. This is a must read for those looking to expand their knowledge of feminism and read a text that has been deemed ground-breaking in the field.

It is also available as a physical book if you prefer, you can find the details here – https://abdn.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44ABE_INST/1eeeind/alma990016699270205941

We have also compiled a short playlist on Box of Broadcasts to celebrate Black History Month: https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/playlists/328235

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from some of these titles and please let us know if you think our collection is missing any books, email subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with any details.

Live Q&A sessions for PGR students: Library resources and services

Unsure how to start looking for library materials? No idea what a Shibboleth login is? Want to find out about the Click and Collect service if you are in Aberdeen? How to access and find electronic content?

If the answer to any of those is “Yes” then join us for some short demonstrations of library resources. You will be able to ask us any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Our Q&A sessions are scheduled for 15, 21 & 24 June and will be delivered via Collaborate. To find out more and to book a place, visit: 
abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – e.grant@abdn.ac.uk