BioDiversity Heritage Library now in iDiscover

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.”

Picture of a London park from the BioDiverty Heritage Library's collection on Flickr

The BioDiversity Heritage Library publications are now available to search in iDiscover. The collection contains scientific monographs, magazines and journals from around the world providing access to over 55 million pages from the 15th to 21st centuries. The texts are fully searchable and can be downloaded.

The BioDiversity Heritage Library aims:

“To document Earth’s species and understand the complexities of swiftly-changing ecosystems in the midst of a major extinction crisis and widespread climate change, researchers need something that no single library can provide – access to the world’s collective knowledge about biodiversity. While natural history books and archives contain information that is critical to studying biodiversity, much of this material is available in only a handful of libraries globally. Scientists have long considered this lack of access to biodiversity literature as a major impediment to the efficiency of scientific research.

“BHL operates as a worldwide consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries working together to address this challenge by digitizing the natural history literature held in their collections and making it freely available for open access as part of a global “biodiversity community.””

As well as providing access to individual titles the BHL also collates collections, such as:

Women in Natural History

BHL Australia

Charles Darwin’s Library

Language of Flowers

Rarest of the Rare


Image credit: ‘n342_w1150’ by the BioDiversity Heritage library on Flickr –

Ireland in the news since the 1700s: New newspaper archives online

Cambridge University Library now makes available newspaper archives online for the study of the history of Ireland and the Irish.

The Irish Times, founded in 1859, is a key newspaper in the study of Irish history, and of unionism in Ireland in particular, and access is now online from the first issue up to the most recent at this link:

Only the last week to two weeks’ issues are not available at any given time.

The Irish Newspaper Archive comprises many newspapers, from national broadsheets to regional papers, some dating back to the eighteenth century, and is the largest such database available online.  Titles include the Irish Independent (1905-current), the Irish Examiner (1841-current), The Freeman’s Journal (1763-1924), the Connacht Tribune (1909-current), the Meath Chronicle (1897-current) and the Southern Star (1892-current).  A full list of coverage is available here.

Access the Irish Newspaper Archive via this link:

A poster for promoting the archive in libraries can be found here.


Civil-service writer: Brian O’Nolan (right), aka Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen, with the writer, playwright and National Gallery of Ireland registrar John Weldon, aka Brinsley MacNamaraContributors to the Irish Times: Brian O’Nolan (right), aka Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen, with the writer, playwright and National Gallery of Ireland registrar John Weldon, aka Brinsley MacNamara.

Biblioteca Italiana Zanichelli (“La BIZ”)

The BIZ (Biblioteca Italiana Zanichelli) is an online collection of over 1,000 texts of Italian literature, ranging from its origins to the early decades of the twentieth century.

Published by Casalini Libri, and available on its “Ubidictionary” platform, the BIZ includes the complete works of the major Italian writers, as well as those of many minor and obscure writers.

Additional multimedia and translation features are available when a personal account is created.

Access the collection via this link on or off campus:

or via the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z.  Please note that our subscription is limited to 3 simultaneous users, so when you have finished your session please log out.  Thank you.


New e-resource: Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine, 2013-2014

Cambridge has purchased access to the Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine, 2013-2014 database.  The resource is described by its supplier, East View, as:

“[representing] the most comprehensive collection of ephemera and primary source material from the Euromaidan protests that rocked Kiev beginning on November 21, 2013. The collection contains over 500 pages of unique print materials collected by East View researchers at Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the epicenter of the protests. East View’s one of a kind collection provides researchers and analysts with easy, time- and cost-saving access to important documents, on-the-scene photographs, and various other print materials, which in turn would allow these researchers to reconstruct the complex social and political dynamics at play during the protests with better precision.”

Readers can browse by content, source, and object type.  The database’s contents are true ephemera: the object types include leaflets and flyers, stickers, ribbons, and fridge magnets.  The coverage also includes newspapers and other items relating to events in Crimea, including political leaflets produced in the run-up to the Crimea referendum in March 2014.

Please do note that the file size of some of the Euromaidan Protests database content can be significant, so some pages will load slowly.

This purchase of the Euromaidan Protests database provides a crucial counterbalance to another East View resource recently acquired, the Donetsk and Luhansk Newspaper Collection, which contains newspaper issues from 2013-2015 produced in these regions.  While neither database is particularly large, they provide much-needed access to material that might otherwise be lost.  Both purchases were made possible thanks to the generous support of the Catherine Cooke Fund

Both databases also complement the University Library’s growing collection of printed books in Ukrainian, Russian, and English about the Euromaidan protests, the ongoing conflict in East Ukraine, and the annexation of Crimea.

Composite of samples of ephemera from the Euromaidan Protests database

Gregory of Nyssa Online (Gregorii Nysseni Opera Online and Lexicon Gregorianum Online)

Cambridge University Library now makes available online access to the Gregorii Nysseni Opera and the Lexicon Gregorianum via the Gregory of Nyssa Online resource on the Brill Reference Works platform.   Access Gregory of Nyssa Online via this link on or off campus.

Gregorii Nysseni Opera Online is the ultimate online critical text edition of Gregory of Nyssa’s works based on all available known manuscripts, introduced with a complete discussion of the textual transmission and accompanied by extensive annotations on the biblical, classical and patristic sources, and indices.

Lexicon Gregorianum Online is the most comprehensive Greek-German dictionary of the language used by Gregory of Nyssa. It is the only dictionary available specifically addressing the vocabulary of late Classical Greek. It documents Gregory’s complete vocabulary, taking account of the syntax, meaning and connotations of every occurrence of a key word in his writings. The complete Lexicon Online comprises 10 volumes, totaling more than 13,000 entries.

The University Library ran a successful trial of this resource in February this year.

New e-resource: Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Live Collection

The University of Cambridge now has full access to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Live Collection on the Bloomsbury Drama Online platform via this link.

In 2013 the company began live screenings of its Shakespeare productions, captured in The RSC Live Collection. In 2016-17 the company collaborated with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios to stage The Tempest, bringing performance capture to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for the very first time.

The collection of video films of the most recent RSC productions will support the study of Shakespeare in performance and of drama in general, as well as in the growing area of study in digital performance per se.

Detail of Johann Heinrich Ramberg painting of the Tempest – Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. The RSC produces an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers

New e-resource: SpringerMaterials

The University of Cambridge now has access to the SpringerMaterials database via this link:

Off campus access is via Shibboleth only.  Please use the “Log in” link top right of the SpringerMaterials home page, then click “Sign in via Shibboleth…”.  Ignore the Athens option and use the Find your institution dropdown/search and select “University of Cambridge ebooks service”.  This will prompt a Raven authentication page for you to sign in using your Raven credentials.   (We expect to offer seamless proxy access via HTTPS in due course.)

SpringerMaterials is a database for identifying material properties, covering data from materials science, physics, physical and inorganic chemistry, engineering and other related fields.  New to the resource is SpringerMaterials Interactive, a set of advanced functionalities for visualizing and analyzing data. Examples of these functionalities include interactive graphs, dynamic data tables, and side-by- side comparisons of materials/properties.

SpringerMaterials supports teaching and learning and research and development in the fields of bulk and fine chemical manufacturing, petroleum and petrochemicals, semiconductors and electronic materials, optical metals, ceramics, polymer synthesis and processing, and materials for fuels and energy application.

The University Library, working closely with the Departments of Chemistry and Engineering and the Betty and Gordon Moore Library, is delighted to provide the SpringerMaterials database after a trial and feedback in the first quarter of 2017 demonstrated its value to the science community in Cambridge.  An FAQ on SpringerMaterials is available here