The University of Sunderland Library Culture blog. Helpful tips and information for people in the Department of Culture studying, teaching or researching in the fields of Languages, History & Politics or English. See the Support for your Subject pages for more information about help and resources.

History and Politics

Department of Culture Research Blog


Using our library ebooks….

If you’ve been using our library ebooks recently you might have noticed intermittent problems accessing or downloading titles through the Dawsonera supplier.  

We would like to apologise for this and assure you that Dawson Books are working to resolve these problems as a matter of urgency.  Dawsonera is a major national platform for academic e-books used by many universities and the whole sector is unfortunately affected by the current issues in their system.

In the meantime it might help you to know:

Occasionally Dawsonera take the site down for short periods of time to apply fixes to the system, however this is not usually for more than an hour at a time so if the system is down do try again later. We will let you know of any periods of downtime as soon as we are aware of them.

Dawsonera e-books can still be read online and printed. Make sure that you choose the ‘Read Online’ option. The main difficulty appears to be with downloading the e-books.

Dawsonera are not our only supplier of e books, through our catalogue you will also be able to find many other ebook titles from our other suppliers EBL, Coutts and Safari which are all working without any issues.

If you are struggling to access the e-book you need please let us know, as we may be able to help you find a good alternative or put an interim solution in place.

Welcome MA TESOL students!

You can study TESOL at the University of Sunderland on-campus or off-campus and there’s a library welcome for everyone!

I’m looking forward to meeting our new on-campus TESOL students for their Library Welcome on Thursday.  We’ll be watching the library welcome video and testing our origami skills in the Library Scavenger hunt (if you’re an on-campus student who missed your library welcome check it all out online).

Off-campus TESOL students have their very own library welcome video, library webpages and SunSpace community to help with getting started.

The library supports on-campus and off-campus students in their studies by providing resources through the Library Catalogue, Discover and Module Resources, online help through guides and videos, and tips and advice on study and research skills at our Skills for Learning page and Skillability sessions and webinars.

HIS110 and HIS114 Module Resources via SunSpace

Pleased to report that the Module Resources links via SunSpace for HIS110 and HIS114 are back in fully working order.

Don’t forget that if you experience any problems with accessing lists you can use the alternative route via the main library webpage - just click on My Module Resources from the bank of blue buttons on the bottom left, then search for your module code or title.

Let your librarian know if you have problems accessing any resource lists or if you’d like help with using them.

Off Campus Library Newsletter, October 2014

A fanatastic source of information, advice and support for students studying off-campus the latest Off Campus Library Newsletter is now available.

MA TESOL students will find this invaluable and I strongly recommend that new students sign up to the Introduction to library services for Distance Learners webinars, or if you’re a returning student sign up to the Discover Journals webinar to make sure you’re finding the best academic books and journal articles to support your study and include in your assignments.

Skillability - new help with academic skills…


'Skillability' is new from University Library Services and open to all students who are interested in developing academic skills.  On-campus students can sign up for a session run in one of our libraries.  Off-campus students can sign up for online webinars and also find a huge range of online support at the Skills for Learning and Off-Campus pages.

Skillability consists of eleven different sessions covering a range of academic and research skills. Sign up online to attend one or more sessions - or all of them if you would like to!

Sessions range from how to choose the right information for your assignment to how to choose a dissertation topic.


Banner images from this years Miner’s Gala

University of Sunderland Special Collections attended the Durham Miners Gala this year which included the Banner Parade - these are photographs of just a few of the many banners that were there.

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day - there’s lots of opportunities to get involved:

Tweet @PoetryDayUK using #thinkofapoem

Join Cambridge Universities The Poetry and Memory project which launches today



Try some of the newest additions to our library resources if you’re looking for poetry to read, advice on how to study poetry or poetry criticism - 

Library webinars for distance learners

Great news for MA TESOL students who are studying off-campus in the UK or internationally - our off-campus team have just announced these online library sessions to help you get started with using all our fabulous online library resources.  Sign up using the links below and don’t forget to check out the Off-Campus pages to find lots of useful tips, help and support with the library and research skills.


Whether you’re a new student wondering how to get started or you just need a bit more help, the library is here to support you.

Throughout the year the library will be running a number of webinars for distance learners as part of our Skillability programme.

There are two webinars: 


(click the link to sign up)

Mon 20th Oct - 3:30pm (Introduction to the library)

Wed 22nd Oct - 9:00am (Introduction to the library)

Tue 28th Oct -9:00am (DISCOVER journals:next steps)

Thu 6th Nov - 3:30pm (DISCOVER journals:next steps)

Tue 18th Nov 9:00am (Introduction to the library)

Tues 18th Nov 4:00pm (Introduction to the library)

Webinars will last approximately 1 hour and are listed in UK time. Check the online time converter to see the times for your own timezone.

Visit the Skillability web pages to book your place at one of the webinars and make the most of your library services.

If you have any questions about Library webinars for distance learners contact us on Twitter, Facebook or by email:

Spectral Visions @ The Canny Space

Friday evening at the Canny Space was the perfect setting for a gathering to celebrate the launch of ‘Spectral Visions: the collection’ - poems and short stories from academics, students and writers inspired by the Spectral Visions conference held at the University of Sunderland.

See the Spectral Visions blog for a full review of the evening, and news about the next publication.

#Libwelcome - there’s a library learning space for everyone…

Step 4 on the #libwelcome library origami scavenger hunt is all around our Flexible Learning Spaces.  Many culture students study outside the library building - using the library catalogue to locate books, reading ebooks, using Discover to find journal articles or Module Resources to locate module materials.  Other culture students might be based entirely off-campus, like our MA TESOL students who study in many different countries.

So when you think of your library learning space remember it doesn’t have to be actually in the library - it could be an online space, or wherever you choose to study - so post a picture of whatever your current learning space is - office, study, public library, cafe, beach or somewhere more exotic - it’s raining in Sunderland!

Here is my current learning space….


and my attempt at origami…a successful hat but slightly less successful plane!


#libwelcome prizes!


The first lucky #libwelcome prizewinner has collected their prize - next prize will be drawn on 1st October.  If you haven’t entered yet why not take ten minutes to give our origami library scavenger hunt a try - create something lovely while investigating library resources!  Leave a feedback comment to let us know what you like best about our library spaces, resources (print and online), staff or technology.

You can pick up a scavenger hunt from our library welcome tables in Murray and St. Peter’s Libraries or if you’re an off-campus student download a copy and join in online.

All our library welcome information can found online, including the super library video!

Spectral Visions @ the Canny Space

The Department of Culture is teaming up with the ‘Canny Space’ at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Sunderland to launch ‘Canny Culture’ - a series of events organized by academics and students in the department.

The inaugural event, which will take place on Friday 26th September 2014 between 6-10 pm., sees the launch of Spectral Visions: The Collection (ed. Colin Younger), an anthology of short stories and poetry written by our own students, staff, academics from other institutions and local (and not so local) writers.  Limited copies of the book will be available at the event but it can also be purchased on Amazon here.  You’ll find copies in the Murray Library too… 

There will also be talks by Professor John Strachan (Bath Spa University) and Dr Mike Pearce (Sunderland University) on aspects of the history and dialect of the region.

The evening also includes live music, a light buffet and a wine reception.  All are welcome and admission is free.


The Canny Space

Church of the Holy Trinity

Church Street East



Department of Culture Research Blog

Check out what’s been happening over the summer and what upcoming research events will be taking place soon with the Department of Culture Research Blog.

Summer in the Dept of Culture…

Peter Hayes co-authored an article on adoption, Angela Smith delivered a paper in Budapest, David Fallon co-organised a one day conference The North in the Long Eighteenth Century and the second annual edition of Codex: A Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship in the Humanities was published, containing seven articles by 2014 graduates from the Department of Culture, including Patrick Thorne’s exploration of David Foster Wallace’s 1996 encyclopedic novel Infinite Jest,and a study of gender and punishment in Early Modern Europe by Hollie Mitchell.

Upcoming Events…

History Lab and English Research seminars are held regularly throughout the academic year.

English Research Seminar - 22nd October 2014. ‘Morte D’Author: Philip Roth and the Writing Life’. Peter Dempsey (University of Sunderland). Venue: Priestman 313 (5pm).

Keep an eye on the excellent History & Politics twitter feed for the latest news on History Events

Washington Heritage and Community Festival

Saturday 20th September, Albany Park, Washington

11am - 4pm 

Free entry

Washington Heritage and Community Festival is a great event for History students - especially those studying on HIS207 or HIS370 looking at mining and mining culture in the North East.  The day includes a Parade begining at 10:30 beside the Miner’s statue and features the Miner’s Band and Banners from Harraton, Springwell, Usworth, ‘F’ pit and Glebe Miner’s Lodges.

Washington’s ‘F’ pit museum will also be open to visitors for the day.

University Library Services Special Collections holds papers of three key institutions of the coal industry - the North East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, the Durham Miners Association (formerly National Union of Mineworkers, Durham Area) and the Durham Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers Union.  Some of these papers have been digitised and are freely available online through the Special Collections Catalogue