Shout out to Musical Theatre students

As you’re all getting ready to head off home for some well-deserved rest and recuperation following your end of term performances, what better time to draw your attention to some recent collection building we’ve undertaken specifically to support your study when you’re away from KCC (whether that be at home, at Laurie Grove or on the bus to your next audition!)

In order to browse ebooks relating to musical theatre, go to the Jerwood Library catalogue, type musicals$ in the subject field and select E-book from the drop-down menu in the type field.

You can access these anywhere you have an internet connection, so whether it be a beautiful mornin’ or an enchanted evening, why not catch up with some holiday reading between those loverly Easter eggs!


Library E-Resources: Alexander Street

This series of blog posts intends to highlight a particular online resource from time to time in order to give students and staff a better idea of what kinds of useful things are available via the library.

This month I’ve decided to draw attention to Alexander Street. To access Alexander Street, along with all of our other online resources, head to Moodle, find the ‘Library Links’ drop-down menu on the home page and select ‘Online Resources’.

What is Alexander Street?

Alexander Street is an electronic database containing an enormous number of scores, audio recordings, videos and text resources. There’s a whole range of great things to explore on their site, covering practically every type of music, so I would recommend having a browse around the topics of most interest to you. In particular, there are lots of digital scores, many of which are still in copyright and so not accessible via IMSLP. Similarly with recordings and videos – there’s plenty of things here you won’t find on Youtube or Spotify.

How can I use it?

If you use Quicksearch (accessible via Moodle or the library catalogue page), the results you’ll get will potentially include things which are on Alexander Street. However, something I would recommend is simply browsing the AS site directly. They have a huge range of fascinating resources that you wouldn’t necessarily think of searching for specifically; things like masterclasses, historic performances and lots of excellent documentaries about music.

Once you’re on the AS homepage, the ‘My Collections’ drop-down menu shows a complete list of their resources to which we have subscribed. These can then be browsed individually. A particular favourite of mine is the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. This is an amazing resources for anyone interested in the world’s diverse musical practices, with a huge volume dedicated to each continent. Other great resources include ‘Opera in Video’ and the ‘Jazz Music Library’, to name just two. There’s something on there for everyone – take a look!

Please note that there are licensing restrictions for using the digital scores from Alexander Street. They have told us that they can be printed and used for study or in-class use (including rehearsals) but must not be used for any performance that is open to the public, even if no entry fee is charged.

If you’re on site at Trinity Laban, access Alexander Street here
Or if you’re at home, access Alexander Street here

Changes to downloading Dawsonera e-books

An book held open by a model skull, surrounded by candles

This e-book change is happening at Halloween – let’s hope it’s not a bad omen!

From Tuesday 31 October 2017, Adobe Reader will no longer be used for downloaded Dawsonera e-books. Instead you must use the free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software (available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android) or Bluefire Reader (available for Windows, iOS and Android).

This change resolves the problem with downloading e-books to iOS devices (iPads and iPhones).

Dawsonera have created a PDF guide to installing ADE on a Windows PC and their short video below demonstrates how to create an Adobe ID which allows you to open downloaded e-books on multiple devices (in both ADE and Bluefire Reader). Creating an Adobe ID is optional as you can choose to authorise your device without an ID. However this means the downloaded e-book will only work on the device you first downloaded it to. To access a downloaded title without an Adobe ID, please tick ‘I want to authorise my computer without an ID’ in the bottom left-hand corner of ADE when you are prompted to authorise your computer.

As the majority of e-books available from Trinity Laban libraries are provided by Dawsonera, ADE has been installed on all Trinity Laban PCs in preparation for this change.

We still recommend using the ‘read online’ feature instead of downloading e-books wherever possible as this is much more fully featured – for example, you can annotate the text or print/copy text from a limited number of pages.

However downloaded e-books can be read offline (once they’ve been downloaded and opened while you’re online) so can come in handy, for example to read on the move when you don’t have access to wifi or data.

Don’t be spooked (sorry) by these technical changes! Contact the Jerwood Library if you encounter any difficulties.

Update: Trinity Laban students and staff can download an updated guide to e-books from Moodle which covers multiple e-book suppliers.

Working on assignments at home over Easter?

Happy Easter!

It’s the end of term! A time to head back home, discover how many Easter eggs your doting family are going to indulge you with this year, and – once the sugar rush has subsided – reluctantly concede that you’d better get cracking (see what I did there? 🙂 ) on the assignments that are due for submission early in the summer term.

Except… you reach into your hastily-packed suitcase, burrow your way down through a term’s worth of dirty laundry, and your heart sinks on realizing the photocopy you made of that crucial journal article from the Jerwood Library is still languishing on your bedroom floor some 200 miles away.

So what do you do now? Firstly, don’t panic – there’s a good chance that all is not lost!

In the first instance, check whether the article comes from one of the titles Trinity Laban subscribes to as an ejournal. If you can remember which journal it is from, we’d recommend you start by going to our A-Z listing, which will indicate whether we hold it in printed form or electronically. Otherwise, if you can only remember the author or article title, you could try searching for these on QuickSearch, and if we have electronic access you’ll find a direct link to the article.

Quicksearch full text link

All our electronic resources are accessible away from the conservatoire, and you’ll just need to enter your usual Trinity Laban username and password (the same one you use for Moodle etc.)

If Trinity Laban doesn’t have an ejournal subscription, fear not, there are other avenues to explore. Students in the Faculty of Music can take advantage of the SCONUL Access Scheme, which allows reciprocal access to other Higher Education Institution (HEI) Libraries in the UK. If you have several universities within fairly close vicinity it would be worth checking SUNCAT which is a catalogue that searches the periodical holdings of many UK HEIs simultaneously. Otherwise you could just check the library catalogue of an institution within easy reach of you. If you find one of these libraries has the journal you need, check on the SCONUL Access website whether that the library is a member of the scheme. If it is, follow the instructions to apply for membership, and we will authorise that application, which will generate an email which you can take along to the university library (I’m afraid we can only do this if you have no outstanding fines with the Jerwood Library though, so that’s a good reason to keep your account in good order!)

Even if the University isn’t a member of SCONUL Access, you might want to get in touch with their library, as they may offer alternative access e.g. through a paid day-pass.

Finally, another option is to investigate whether the journal is included within the Access to Research initiative, which provides walk-in access to a wide range of academic ejournals in public libraries in the UK. This includes 48 ejournals in the field of music. But first you’ll need to check that your local public library is participating in the initiative.

Of course, journals aren’t the only type of material you can find online. We have an ever-growing collection of ebooks, and also don’t forget our audio and video streaming services available to search individually or simultaneously via QuickSearch if you want to listen to / watch recordings. Or if a title isn’t available as an ebook, and your classmates have beaten you to borrowing it from the Jerwood Library, you could also make use of SCONUL Access to get hold of that from a local university library. Whether or not you can take it away will depend what programme you’re studying on – it will become clear once you complete your application. To locate a library holding the book you need, we’d recommend you search COPAC, which operates along the same lines as SUNCAT, but isn’t only limited to journals.

If you do have any difficulties whilst you’re away from college, feel free to drop us an email at and we’ll do our best to assist.



Digital scores and more from new Alexander Street Press subscriptions

We’re delighted to announce a significant expansion to our online subscriptions with the acquisition of the Alexander Street Press Music Online: Premium collection. This gives us our first collection of digital scores and greatly increases our streaming video collection.

Screenshot of Alexander Street Press showing a digital score.

What’s included?

On top of our existing audio and video subscriptions with Alexander Street Press which include Classical Music Library, Jazz Music Library and Opera in Video, we now have access to a number of extra resources:

  • Classical Scores Library volumes I & II (over 25000 digital scores including contemporary works)
  • Classical Music in Video (1500 performances, masterclasses etc) & Dance in Video (760 works)
  • Reference sources including Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Classical Music Reference Library (including Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians), and African American Music Reference.
    [These reference sources are currently accessible via onsite; see the library catalogue for offsite links. In future these will move to the same interface as the other Alexander Street Press resources]

How do I access it?

  • Find onsite and offsite links to Alexander Street Press and the individual collections on the ‘Other Online Resources’ page of the Jerwood Library catalogue. From home, log in with your IT username and password.
  • We recommend using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome – Firefox currently has a few visual glitches.
  • It should soon be possible to search and access these scores and recordings via QuickSearch.
  • The search interface is geared towards music and lets you filter results by type of resource, composer, genre, publisher etc. Contact the library if you’d like any help.

Can I print the digital scores, and what can I do with them?

Good news! You can print whole scores or a page range (select A4 not letter size paper).

The licence for this collection allows you to use the scores for anything educational as long as the public is not given access, e.g.

  • Printing copies of whole scores or extracts for study or to distribute to students in class.
  • Printing a score to provide an examiner/competition judge with a second copy for a performance exam.
  • Printing a copy to play from (but not with public access i.e. not in any masterclasses or performance exams where visitors could be in the audience).
  • Linking to scores in Moodle. You can link to start at a specific section/page, or even make a ‘playlist’ combining clips from recordings and scores from the site and link to that.
  • Projecting scores in class.

They cannot be distributed to anyone outside Trinity Laban for any purpose.

New image collection: Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive

Photo of a happy waving crowd silhouetted against a blue sky.

Photo by Naki, from the PYMCA collection.

Trinity Laban now has an educational licence to the Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive collection of images. PYMCA Education offers a reference archive of over 35000 images relating to modern (1940 onwards) social history and youth culture. It also includes written material on this subject, and a curated collection of links to other websites on youth culture organised by time period and by subculture.

How do I access the collection?

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Education tab, then the ‘Login via your home institution’ button.
  3. Choose Trinity Laban from the list of institutions, then enter your Trinity Laban login details if prompted.
  4. Now use the search box on the Education page to find images described with the keywords you enter. For search tips, see PYMCA’s own FAQs.
  5. Once you’re viewing an image, use the small save icon at the bottom-right to download the image.

PYMCA save icon

What can I use the images for?

According to PYMCA’s FAQ, “All images can be used for Educational and Editorial use and do not require a release. However for commercial advertising purposes images must be released or be ‘No Release Required'”.

Therefore it’s fine to use images as part of your teaching or coursework at Trinity Laban – remember to attribute PYMCA and the photographer (who is listed on the image preview page)!

Our educational access only allows downloads of a limited number of low-res images per year (500px maximum length/width) but this size is fine for online use and printing in small sizes, such as part of an assignment or handout.

Trinity Laban QuickSearch for online recordings and research

Trinity Laban Libraries have recently launched QuickSearch: a search engine for (most of) our online subscriptions, including recordings from Naxos Music Library and Alexander Street Press, and online journals, magazine articles and dictionaries from a range of publishers. The Laban Library catalogue is also included in QuickSearch.

Only current Trinity Laban students and staff can access QuickSearch.

What is QuickSearch good for?

  • Locating online recordings subscribed to by the library.
  • Finding information for writing assignments and programme notes: nearly all results are available immediately online in full, so it’s especially convenient if a deadline is looming!
  • Cross-disciplinary research: QuickSearch includes dance, drama, psychology, education and physiology resources as well as some general resources.

How do I access QuickSearch?

  1. Follow the link to QuickSearch via the Library Links on Moodle, or the tab on the Jerwood Library catalogue.
  2. When outside the conservatoire, enter your Trinity Laban login (the same as for Moodle and email).

How do I access the actual recordings/articles/dictionary entries?

Click the link below the item’s title and summary which will say something like ‘Check for Full Text at Trinity Laban’ or ‘Listen to recording in Naxos Music Library’ (see screenshot below). You may need to enter your Trinity Laban login the first time, then this will be remembered for the rest of your session.

QuickSearch screenshot

Have you got any tips for finding useful results?

  • On the results page, use the Source Types list (see screenshot above) to choose what types of resource you want e.g. audio, academic journals, books.
  • On the same page, click Show More under the Limit To heading (see screenshot above) for other options to narrow down your results, e.g. choosing the disciplines (subject areas) you are interested in.
  • Think carefully about the search you’re entering: what are the key terms? What words could someone else writing about your topic use? Try more specific or more general keywords if you’re not finding what you need.
  • You can use “double quotes” to search for an exact phrase, or a * for truncation to search for lots of words at once; for example, theat* will find ‘theatre’, ‘theater’, ‘theatrical’ and any other keyword starting with ‘theat’.

Where can I get help or further information?

  • Our research guides on Moodle (in the Jerwood Library information page) have been updated to include QuickSearch.
  • You can also contact us or come to the library for help. We offer a monthly drop-in surgery on the last Thursday of each month, 2-4pm, and you’re very welcome to come along for a demo of QuickSearch. The next surgery is on Thursday 28 November.

Background information

For those interested in the detail, we have a listing of online resources included and not included in QuickSearch on Moodle.

QuickSearch is an implementation of the EBSCO Discovery Service, and uses EDS CustomLinks and EBSCO LinkSource to link to resources not hosted by EBSCO. Any staff from other institutions who are interested in discussing our implementation are welcome to get in touch!

An Inside Look at Library Skills Sessions

This post was written by our multi-talented Helen Mason who alongside being cataloguer-in-chief and overseer of our AV collections has been turning her hand to teaching this term.

As everyone re-assembles after the performance/projects week, and librarians are gearing up for another round of library skills sessions with the new 2013 students, it seemed a good moment to write about what these sessions are all about.

Jerwood Library’s librarians offer training sessions tailored to the requirements of each of the modules taught in the Music Faculty. The idea is that these will help students develop and improve their research skills, discover and familiarise themselves with, and hopefully become confident using, the excellent online resources available via the library catalogue, resulting in brilliant written assignments, and an ongoing broadening of their understanding of the subject.

A couple of weeks ago we closed the library so our BMus students could have a free run of the shelves and get to grips with some offline, print-based resources.  This session moves from thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of types of resources, considering the merits of Urtext and non-Urtext scores and finding legal pathways through thorny matters of copyright. It culminates in a ‘treasure hunt’ exercise involving chocolate!  In a second session those same students are back with us to find out how to make best use of online study facilities in a session which mixes online demonstrations with practical ‘hands-on’ exercises.

As well as induction tours which happened in the second week of term, we’ve also held separate sessions for our musical theatre students, jazz students, and new MMus students and we have further sessions with other MMus students timetabled in for later in November.

It’s a busy time of year, but it is excellent that these practical research skills sessions are included as part of students’ core curriculum.  Librarians know what amazing resources their libraries hold, but the challenge is to broadcast that to others, spark their enthusiasm and, importantly, show that it’s fine to ask us for help.

If you have any comments about library skills sessions – if you’ve been to one of our sessions perhaps, or if you offer similar sessions elsewhere and have good ideas to share – please do get in touch!

E-books at Trinity Laban from DawsonEra

We have a growing collection of e-books available 24/7 at the Jerwood Library. The e-book platform we use (DawsonEra) has just been redesigned so now seems a good time to write about them!

Why bother with e-books?

Lots of reading list books are available as e-books. These can be read by more than one person at a time so are always available even if the library’s closed or the printed copies are out on loan! You can also search within the text of an e-book (a handy supplement to using contents pages and indexes) and annotate particular pages (which we don’t like you doing with our printed books…).

Finding e-books

Just like with ordinary books, start by searching the Jerwood Library catalogue. E-books will appear in your results if you limit by type to Book. You can also enter an empty search and set the type limit to E-book if you’d like to browse all our e-books!

Screenshot showing catalogue search for e-books

Once you’ve found the e-book you want to read, look in the full description on the catalogue for the access link, then log in with your usual Trinity Laban user account.

Screenshot showing location of full description link

Screenshot showing location of e-book link

Reading e-books

You should be greeted by a summary of the e-book. You have two options for reading it:

Screenshot showing e-book preview on DawsonEra

1. Read online

This lets you read the book online a page at a time through your web browser, like reading journal articles on JSTOR. It should work on computers as well as Apple and Android mobile devices. From here you can search the book for keywords, make notes on particular pages (which are saved for next time you access the book) and print/copy text from a limited number of pages.

Screenshot showing e-book read online option on DawsonEra

2. Download a time-limited PDF

We don’t really recommend doing this, but it may be useful if you want to read the book later or quickly skim through a lot of pages. The PDF cannot be copied or printed, and will expire after the number of days you select (up to 3).

Beware: you must be online to open the PDF, and due to Digital Rights Management it must be opened using the Adobe Reader program or app, including if you’re using an Apple or Android mobile device. Unfortunately our e-books are not compatible with most dedicated e-reader devices.


If you need help, DawsonEra provides useful video tutorials and a FAQ, and current students/staff can download our guide on using e-books from Moodle. Of course, you’re always welcome to contact us at the Jerwood Library for assistance.

(post updated 22 Jan 2015 to revise information about mobile device compatibility)