New resource available! BBC Shakespeare Archive

Good news! We’ve added the BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource to our list of databases supporting the School of English and the Birmingham School of Acting. shakespeare-archive

This resource streams BBC Shakespeare performances and other Shakespeare related programmes. There is a vast range of material, some of which dates from the 1950s, and includes the first British televised adaptations of Othello and Henry V, classic interviews with key Shakespearean actors including John Gielgud, Judi Dench and Laurence Olivier, several of Shakespeare’s famous sonnets in TV and radio broadcasts, and more than 1000 photographs of Shakespeare productions.

There’s also Paul Robeson talking in 1959 about acting Shakespeare and the difficulty of English accents, and the series of Prefaces to Shakespeare and Shakespeare in Perspective which accompanied the major BBC series of Shakespeare’s works, transmitted between 1978 and 1985. On the lighter side, there is Blackadder punching Shakespeare ‘for every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next four hundred years!’, as well as Mastermind quiz rounds and a sketch from The Morecambe and Wise Show.

To log in:

  • Select a resource and click the BBC ‘log in’ option
  • Type ‘Birmingham City University’ into the box
  • You will then be directed to OpenAthens
  • Type ‘Birmingham City University’ into the Institutional log-in box (right-hand side – ignore the username/password boxes)
  • You should then be able to view the resource

^Posted on behalf of Andrew Scragg

The New and Improved Box of Broadcasts

Just to let you know that the Learning On Screen folks, formally called the BUFVC, have announced the release of the new and improved version of Box of Broadcasts, otherwise known as “BoB”.

Picture (c) BUFVC

Picture (c) BUFVC

If you have attended the recent Embedding Content sessions over the summer, you’ll have seen how easy it is to find, view, and record television and radio programmes which provide valuable visual resources for teaching and learning across all faculties and schools at the University.

You may ask yourself “How do I find BoB in our digital labyrinth”?  The library recommends to first click on the red Library tile on the iCity page, which takes you through to the ‘Find Resources’ page, and then to the ‘A-Z list of Resources’.  It may seem like a long winded process, but guarantees you are properly authenticated with a “cookie” and avoiding unnecessary steps.

There have been several noticeable changes.  You certainly know that you’re in the right place with the big splash screen.  I noticed right away that the programme guide has changed. It’s much bigger and easier to navigate, to see all the channels available to record and make clips.

The colour status of programmes availability has been replaced with links that tell you what to do. You request a programme, watch it, or wait for it to become available. I don’t really miss the red, amber, and green colour blocks which indicated the programme status but others may disagree. If you request a programme, an email is sent to notify you that the programme is ready to view.

The search feature is so much better in my opinion.  The old BoB search feature wasn’t always helpful as the TRILT search capability.  You might get something totally unexpected from a television advert transcript!

If you signed up with your email to access the television and radio content in the past, be prepared for a message to ask you to sign again with your email details. No worries, if you can’t remember which account which you used, drop me a line. While these improvements continue this month, clips and saved programmes will be restored in early September. Other benefits will be that 10 instead of 5 programmes a day can be recorded, and clips will no longer eat into the limit allowed.

If you’re interested in more information about BoB features or would like a demonstration, please contact or

^Posted on behalf of Beth Delwiche

Collection spotlight: Box of Broadcasts

A collection spotlight

Today we’re featuring Box of Broadcasts (BoB) as a fantastic addition to our online resources.

BoB National contains a wealth of features:

  • View and record over 2 million TV & radio programmes and films from over 60 channels
  • Search programme transcripts and subtitles
  • Create clips and playlists
  • Embed content in Moodle or assignments
  • One-click Harvard citations to reference your programmes and clips

Video courtesy of Scratch Media.

Log in first time via the A-Z of Library Resources > BoB (Box of Broadcasts).  BoB will ask you for your email address and from here you can set up your account to start viewing content and creating playlists.