E is for…Ebooks or Exams?

You may have seen some recent reports in the press about the demise of eBooks… but in academic circles this is not necessarily the case.  A couple of weeks after these reports, the eBooks team at Cambridge University Library published a blogpost analysing eBook usage for 2016 in the University, recording 3.3 million hits for that year.

At exam time, when most libraries are filling up with students revising for exams, eBooks can be a saviour when the book you desperately need to refer to can’t be found in any library!   Students sometimes find it difficult to search for eBooks, but “iDiscover”, the online library catalogue for the University of Cambridge, has a filter for eBooks on the drop-down menu at the main search box:
Ebooks iDiscover search

EBook records in a list of results should be identifiable by the words [electronic resource] in square brackets after the title, and also by a link that says Online access.

eBook spine labels, Pendlebury LibraryThe Pendlebury Library is actively purchasing eBooks, especially where titles appear on reading lists. They are proving very useful to students who need to read just one chapter from a book and that book is already out on loan to somebody else!  Such titles can be identified in the library by a yellow Ebook spine label, often on our Overnight Loan books, which remain in the library for reference during the day.

Here are a couple of music titles recently purchased as eBooks:

The Essential Klezmer - Seth Rogovoy

The Essential Klezmer is the definitive introduction to a musical form in the midst of a renaissance. It documents the history of klezmer from its roots in the Jewish communities of medieval Eastern Europe to its current revival in Europe and America. It includes detailed information about the music’s social, cultural, and political roots as well as vivid descriptions of the instruments, their unique sounds, and the players who’ve kept those sounds alive through the ages. Music journalist Seth Rogovoy skillfully conveys the emotional intensity and uplifting power of klezmer and the reasons for its ever widening popularity.

Musical Exodus - Ruth Davis

Former lecturer at the Faculty of Music, Ruth Davis, is the editor of  Musical Exodus: Al-Andalus and its Jewish Diasporas published in 2015.  This edited collection explains how for nearly eight centuries — from the Muslim conquest of Spain in 711 to the final expulsion of the Jews in 1492 — Muslims, Jews and Christians shared a common Andalusian culture under alternating Muslim and Christian rule. Following their expulsion, the Spanish and Arabic- speaking Jews joined pre-existing diasporic communities and established new ones across the Mediterranean and beyond.  The authors offer new perspectives on theories of musical interaction, hybridization, and the cultural meaning of musical expression in diasporic and minority communities.

There are also some useful eBook collections available to access, such as the Oxford Handbooks online.  The University Library and the Squire Law Library have this week announced they have purchased the 2017 Oxford Handbooks Online collection – which covers a range of arts and humanities subjects, including music. This means that there will be electronic access to such titles as the Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies to supplement the hard copies in the library.

Cambridge Companion to MozartCambridge University Press have put the full collection of the Cambridge Companions series online also, so popular titles such as the Cambridge Companion to the Symphony or the Cambridge Companion to Mozart  are also available to read as eBooks.

Finally, how do you cite an eBook you’ve read in your essay?

Guidelines for referencing electronic books (ebooks) according to the Modern Humanities Research Association style recommend the following citation order:
  • Author/editor
  • Title (in italics)
  • Edition (only include the edition number if it is not the first edition)
  • Place of publication: publisher, year of publication (all in round brackets)
  • inTitle of online collection (in italics)
  • [accessed date]

Cite them Right is a useful website that gives instructions and examples for a wide range of citation styles, including Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) style recommended by the Faculty of Music.

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