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Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : infectious disorders – drug targets.


From the ‘aims and scope’ page for the journal:

Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in infectious disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews and research articles written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in infectious disorders.’

Published by Bentham Science Publishers, this journal was formerly know as Current drug targets – infectious disorders.

It is now available online to the University of Cambridge from volume 16 (2016) to present.

Access Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.

Austin Robinson - World War One aviator - Part 4

 After leaving Killingholme Austin was posted to RNAS South Shields where, between July and October 1918, his duties involved testing flying boats for airworthiness and then delivering them to locations across the UK.

The first flying boat that Austin tested and delivered was N4240, a Felixstowe F3, which he flew south to RNAS Cattewater near Plymouth in Devon. 

 Short 184 flying boats on the Cattewater slipway (Austin Robinson Papers 12/5/5)
His next delivery involved flying  Felixstowe Porte Baby, N9807 north to Houton Bay, which was the RNAS station for Scapa Flow in Orkney. These were extremely long delivery flights - the flight from South Shields to Cattewater could take over 8 hours - and Austin always had to stop to refuel - at Killingholme if going South or at Dundee if going north. 

 Felixstowe Porte Baby No. 9807 after it was wrecked in a gale at Catfirth (Austin Robinson Papers, loose photo in Box 131) Interestingly Austin states that the flying boats that were being assembled at South Shields and that he was testing had, initially, been built at Preston - on the other side of the country in Lancashire! Although appearing at first to be rather improbable this was indeed the case and indicates the way in which aircraft at this time were being built.  Dick, Kerr & Co. - originally a builder of trams and electric trains - had been contracted by the government to build flying boats in their Strand Road works in Preston. They received flying boat hulls from nearby boat builders and then constructed the rest of the aircraft and assembled it. The wings would then be removed and the flying boat transported by road on a steam lorry to South Shields, a journey which took 3 days.

In October 1918 Austin was posted to the naval ferry pool in London and was involved in ferrying flying boats from the locations where they were being constructed - notably Hythe on Southampton Water and Cowes on the Isle of Wight - to Felixstowe and a variety of other RNAS stations. 

After the Armistice  Austin was sent to Rochester where he began testing flying boats built by Shorts and then delivering them to Felixstowe. He remained their until April 1919 and, in his words '... got to know Shorts very well indeed' (EAGR Papers 2/9/4). The Robinson archive contains a large number of photographs that he took while at Shorts - of flying boats being constructed, tested and launched. Many of these pictures provide fascinating insights into the construction of these early aircraft and also clearly indicate the importance of women in industry by this time. A selection of these photographs may be viewed on the Marshall Library web site.

Front of No. 3 erecting shed at Short Brothers, Rochester (Austin Robinson Papers 12/5/6)

Short F3 flying boats under construction (Austin Robinson Papers 12/5/6)
Some of the female workforce at Shorts posing on an F3  (Austin Robinson Papers 12/5/6)
While at Rochester Austin worked closely with Short's chief test pilot John Lankester Parker to determine the airworthiness of the flying boats being produced there. Rejection of a particular aircraft was a serious matter as it would mean that Shorts would not get paid for it and this happened on one occasion when a Felixstowe F3 proved to be 'intolerably tail heavy' (EAGR Papers 2/9/4). The problem was referred to the aeronautical engineers at the Felixstowe Seaplane Experimental Station who suggested raising the entire tailplane by 4 inches and, once this was done, '... the boat was perfectly comfortable to fly' (EAGR Papers 2/9/4). Austin observed that 'It taught both of us a lot that we did not know about some of the more curious aspects of aircraft design' (EAGR Papers 2/9/4).

Austin's last flight as a flying boat pilot occurred in April 1919 when, on the suggestion of Oswald Short, he took his younger brother Christopher on a flight in N4033, a Felixstowe F3. The flight was uneventful and the following day he travelled to Cambridge to begin his studies as an undergraduate at Christ's.


Bygone concert venues: the Aeolian Hall

It’s been quite a while since we visited one of the many venues represented in our concert programmes collections here at the University Library: browsing amonst them recently, I came across our modest collection for the Aeolian Hall. Only a … Continue reading →


New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : SYNFACTS.

In SYNFACTS, current research results in chemical synthesis from the primary literature are screened, selected, evaluated, summarized, and enriched with personal comments by experts in their fields on a monthly basis.

Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from 2005 to present.

Access Synfacts via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.

Bluetooth keyboards for clinical students

The Medical Library now has bluetooth keyboards which clinical students can borrow to use with their tablet or smartphone.

They can be borrowed for an entire day, and you’re allowed to take them out of the library to use during lectures, seminars, or supervisions.

They’re compatible with Apple, Android, and Windows devices, and we have three different types of keyboards to suit everyone’s needs. Drop by and test them out, and borrow one if you’d like.

The post Bluetooth keyboards for clinical students appeared first on Medical Library.

Clinical School Refurbishment – Medical Library temporary relocation: July 2016-May 2017

There will be some significant changes to the Medical Library over the course of 2016 and 2017.

These are driven by changes to the undergraduate course of the Clinical School. From 2017 there will be an increase in student numbers each year for 3 years. The resulting c260 (instead of c160) students per year require additional teaching space. The Clinical School building is undergoing significant refurbishment, July 2016-May 2017, to improve the teaching facilities.

This refurbishment will require the whole building to be vacated.

  The Medical Library will be relocated into a temporary location during this time.
This will unfortunately mean a reduced service in some respects, but we will do our best to maintain our standards.   Where?    The Medical Library will running a reduced service from Bay 13 – part of the old MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

    When?   The Library will be relocating during the weekend of 15th/16th/17th July 2016. We apologise for the inevitable disruption at this time. More details of the arrangements for the relocation will be shared as soon as possible.   Services will be running from Monday, 18th July, 2016.   What’s different? What’s new? What stays the same?  
  • What’s different? The Library will be 2 rooms, opening for the same hours
–  quiet study room with access to PCs, wifi, printer and NHS computers; – library with small core collection, and library staff to facilitate borrowing/returns etc; – opening hours remain Mon-Fri 08:00-21:50, Sat 09:00-16:50  
  • What’s different? We will be offering a fetching service for books

Because the book collection will not be relocated, we will be running a fetching service to supply you with the books you need.

This will operate every weekday. If you put in your requests by 9am, your book(s) should be available to collect by 12 noon. 

Details of how to place requests will be made available shortly.

  • What stays the same? Opening hours

The library and study room will be open the same hours as currently: Mon-Fri 08:00-21:50, Sat 09:00-16:50

  • What stays the same? Training and support
While our training sessions are more likely to happen either in a room in the hospital, your department, or as a one-to-one, we are still able to deliver sessions on literature searching, critical appraisal, keeping up to date and reference management. Look out for additional online training resources, and also remember we can do literature searches for you (clinical staff only).  Keep an eye on the resources to “teach yourself” too.  
  • What stays the same? Document delivery

For those times when we don’t have the article you need either by University access or via NHS ATHENS, we can order it for you. Full details available.

  •  What stays the same? We’re still here to help

Phone (01223 336750) or email us if you want to renew your loans, check availability of a book or article, etc. We’re very happy to help.

The post Clinical School Refurbishment – Medical Library temporary relocation: July 2016-May 2017 appeared first on Medical Library.

Towel-Related Literature in the Holdings of Cambridge University Library

A towel … is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (London: Pan Books, 1979)

Front cover of The Design and Manufacture of Towels and Towelling, by Thomas Woodhouse and Alexander Brand

May 25th is Towel Day, an annual celebration of the life and work of Douglas Adams. Adams (1952—2001) was born in Cambridge and read English at St John’s College, graduating with a 2:2 in 1974. He is most famous for his Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, originally broadcast on radio in 1978, then variously appearing as a trilogy (in five parts) of novels, a television series, a computer game, a feature-length film, and in various stage adaptations.

This year, the University Library is celebrating Towel Day for the first time with a small exhibition in the South Reading Room, so it seems appropriate to investigate the Library’s towel-related holdings.

The bibliography of towels is, in fact, remarkably limited. The UL holds, in fact, only one book on the subject, The Design and Manufacture of Towels and Towelling (London: Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1929), by Thomas Woodhouse and Alexander Brand (9420.c.962). Fortunately, this is a comprehensive work, with chapters on such matters as “Stripe Effects on Twill and Fancy Weave Grounds”, “Turkish Towelling or Terry Fabrics”, “The Huckaback Motif in Twills and Diamonds” and extensive illustrations of what look to modern eyes like rather scratchy towels, and of the machinery used to make them. Woodhouse (1862-1933) and Brand (dates unknown), both on the staff of the Dundee Technical College and School of Art, produced several similar works both as a team and individually, including A Century’s Progress in Jute Manufacture (Dundee: David Winter and Son, 1934) and Jute Bags, Pockets and Sacks (London: Macmillan, 1935), all of which are available in the University Library.

A Terfloth Patent Cardless Dobby, from the same work.

Few writers have ventured to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers. The legal deposit mechanism has failed to bring us Alison Jenkins’ Jurassic Towel Origami: The Craft that Bath Time Forgot! (Lewes: Ivy Press, 2009), a reprint of a work from the United States consisting of instructions of how to fold towels into models of various breeds of dinosaur. This may seem a little frivolous for the University Library’s readers, but Adams would surely feel vindicated in his high opinion of towels by a recent publication from Rick Houlihan, The Role of Towels as a Control to Reduce Slip Potential (Buxton: The Health and Safety Laboratory, 2007), available as a pdf from the publishers. This is an extensive and highly technical investigation of the use of towels in the prevention of bathtime accidents, and although it closes in time-honoured fashion by calling for further research, I feel it is likely to remain the standard work on the subject for a long time to come.

Personal recollections of the end of apartheid in South Africa

As a South African immigrant from China at a young age, I do not recall the huge political impact on my life during the negotiations to end apartheid between 1990 and 1993. Many people in South Africa did not know … Continue reading →

2016 collections added to Oxford Handbooks Online

The University Library has purchased 2016 Oxford Handbooks Online in the following subjects:

  • Archaeology
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion

These new subject collections complement and update our existing OHO collections, where monthly updates introduce articles in advance of print publication and beyond the book. Online access to OHO ensures that University of Cambridge registered users receive the most current, and authoritative coverage.

Please click on the book covers below to access some of OHO’s most recently added content.






Some articles are made available before the publication of the complete Handbooks. The full text of the following articles are available:

Montaigne on Monsters and Monstrosity by Kathleen Long from the forthcoming title The Oxford Handbook of Montaigne

The Youth Choir by Joy Hill from the forthcoming title The Oxford Handbook of Singing

Nation States, Minorities, and Refugees, 1914-1923 from the forthcoming title The Oxford Handbook of Europe 1914-1945

The records for completed 2016 Handbooks will be searchable in LibrarySearch from early next month.

If you have any queries or comments about Oxford Handbooks Online then please contact the ebooks@cambridge team on

“Do you have a copy of the Bible?”: critical editions in the UL

Often, students come to the library looking for a copy of a text – a religious or classical text, for instance – without regard to the edition. Equally, however, it is common for those using the library to search for … Continue reading →