Celebrating LGTBQ+ History at CityLibrary

This month we have been celebrating UK LGTBQ+ History Month. This year is extra special as it celebrates the 50 year anniversary of the Sexual Offences Bill 1967. This bill saw the legalisation of homosexual acts between consenting males over 21 in England and Wales.

Did you know that Islington has seen many key events in LGTBQ+ history?

In November 1970 the first ever Gay Pride event to take place in the UK was held in Islington Fields, a half an hour walk at the other end of Upper Street. This was followed the next summer by the first ever Gay Pride march which took place down Upper Street, organised by the GLF. This inspired the much larger march which has taken place yearly in central London since 1972. Islington elected the first ever openly gay Mayor in 1986, when Robert Crossman was called to office. Islington will also see the first archive dedicated to LGTBQ+ history.

You can find out more about Islington’s proud history of LGTBQ+ advocacy in On Queer Street  by Hugh David.

There will also be a free guided tour on Saturday 25th February.


Happy Pride from Library Services #pride #equality #lgbtq+

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All this month we have been celebrating some of the great art created by notable LGTBQ+ artists. Here’s a selection:

  • Oscar Wilde, made his name with his brilliant plays and his sharp wit. He is also celebrated these days for the tragic events which saw him punished for being gay. In 1895, following a libel trial, Oscar was arrested and later found guilty of “gross indecency”. He was sentenced to two years hard labour. On his release in 1897 he moved to Paris, his health ruined and he died there in 1900. He is now a hero to many but his works are still great.
  • The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, has sometimes been called the first Lesbian novel. It was published in 1928 but proved too racy for the Tory home secretary William Joynson-Hicks who demanded its suppression. It is a beautifully written book, although at times sad, especially when it details contemporary society’s hatred of lesbians. It is also a powerful call for acceptance, dignity and pride. You can read it now at City Library.
  • Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood is one of the major works of modernist literature. It has a symbolist heavy baroque prose style, which warrants many re-readings. Set in interwar Paris, it tells the heart breaking tale of the end of a relationship, but there is so much more to this classic novel.
  • Wendy Carlos helped to develop the Moog Synthesiser and in albums like Switched-On Bach created a new sound that combined classical and electronic music. Her best known works would probably be the soundtracks she composed for the Clockwork Orange and Tron films. In 1979 she was also one of the first public figures to disclose having undergone gender confirmation surgery.

Are there any books that we have missed that have inspired or empowered you or that you want other students at City to know about? Tell us through More Books and we’ll buy them for the shelves.

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Your Top 10 Films of All Time..!

With the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday the end credits will roll on another year of tearful acceptance speeches, surprising snubs and red-carpet wardrobe disasters. To mark the occasion we’ve crunched the numbers on our DVD collection to discover your most popular movies based on usage.

Here are your all-time top ten. The results might surprise you…

10: The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Does it prove the theory that sequels are always better than the originals (Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back) and that third instalments are always much, much worse than their predecessors (Godfather: Part III, Superman III, Richard III…)? The Godfather: Part II certainly took your Marlon Brando, raised you Robert De Niro, and walked off with 6 Oscars including Best Picture.

9: Maria Full of Grace (2004)

Catalina Sandeno Moreno was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar at the 77th Academy Awards for her performance as a Colombian teenager who gets pregnant and then winds up becoming a drug mule. She also won Best Actress (Silver Bear) at the Berlin Film Festival where the movie was nominated for the Golden Bear. Seriously, the Golden & Silver Bears. Brilliant.

8: Being John Malkovich (1999)

Nominated for 3 Oscars, the film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and of course the eponymous Mr Malkovich himself and is about, well, people getting inside someone’s head. Literally. It’s probably easier to watch than to describe.

7: Naked (1993)

Legendary filmmaker Mike Leigh’s film was overlooked by the Academy, but was recognised at a wide range of other ceremonies and film festivals worldwide, including at Cannes where it scooped Best Director and Best Actor for David Thewlis. Described as a comedy-drama, its adult content and themes means it’s, well, not for faint-hearted; and there’s not a cheesy-pineapple stick in sight.

6: Amélie (2001)

This French romantic comedy, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is definitely at the more joie de vivre end of the cinematic spectrum, and delighted audiences mondialement back in 2001. The story about a girl whose mission in life is helping others to be happy earned itself 5 Academy Award nominations, but sadly went home empty-handed.

5: Goodbye Lenin! (2003)

Set against a backdrop of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, this German film about a young man pretending to his unwell mother that East Germany still exists was lauded at award ceremonies pretty much everywhere except the Oscars, and lost out at the BAFTAs in the Best Film Not In the English Language category.

4: This is England (2006)

Shane Meadows’ take on skinheads living in 80s Britain helped launch the careers of several British actors including Stephen Graham, picked up the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTAs and spawned several television sequels. Nothing at the Oscars though, despite posting positive critical reviews stateside.

3: When Harry Met Sally (1989)

“Can men and women ever just be friends?” That’s the key question in this classic Rob Reiner rom-com written by Nora Ephron (who picked-up the film’s only Oscar nomination for her screenplay). With charming performances by a cast including Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal and the late Carrie Fisher, even the curmudgeonliest individual will want what they’re having after 96 minutes.

2: Manhattan (1979)

Neurotic writer? Check. Awkward romantic entanglements? Check. Diane Keaton? Check. The ‘overrated’ Meryl Streep thrown in for good measure? Indeed. Despite winning Best Film at the BAFTAs Woody Allen’s classic didn’t even get shortlisted at the Oscars, with the Academy only nominating it for Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway): it won neither.

and, at number one…

1: Adaptation (2002)

4 Oscar nominations (including one for Meryl Streep), 1 win (Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Chris Cooper) and a whole host of other awards, Charlie Kaufman’s film is about a writer hired to adapt a book for the screen. Oh, and that writer happens to be Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich (see, no.8)

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Library Loves…Feedback: 16th February – 24th February

Over the next week Library staff will be popping-up all over City to gather your feedback. This is your chance to tell us what you love about Library Services and what we could do better.There’ll  be goodie bags on offer and the chance to win print credit by entering our prize draw.

Your feedback can really make a difference. It helps us improve the Library Service for you and other students.

Pop-ups at Northampton Square

Thursday 16th Feb


Common Room, College Building 12:30-13:00
Friday 17th Feb


Lower Ground Floor, Drysdale Building, 10:45-11:15
Monday 20th Feb


Entrance, University Building 09:45-10:15
Tuesday 21st Feb


Outside Great Hall, College Building 12:45-13:15
Wednesday 22nd Feb


Entrance, Rhind Building 14:45-15:15
Thursday 23rd Feb


Outside Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tait Building 11:45-12:15
Friday 24th Feb


Level 1, Drysdale Building 15:45-16:15


Pop-ups at City Law School, Gray’s Inn Place

Friday 17th Feb


Atkin Building, Gray’s Inn Place 11:45-12:30
Tuesday 21st Feb


Atkin Building, Gray’s Inn Place 13:10-13:50


Pop-ups at the Cass Business School, Bunhill Row

Friday 17th Feb


The entrance to Cass Learning Resource Centre 14:00-14:30
Tuesday 21st Feb


Level 3 – outside Course Office,


Thursday 23rd February The entrance to Cass Learning Resource Centre 10:30-11:00

Alternative ways to submit your feedback

In addition to the pop-ups you’ll find feedback walls at each of our libraries where you can anonymously post your comments which we’ll respond to. To still be in with a chance of winning print credit you can give us your feedback online.

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Access to Northampton Square Library on Saturday 4th Feb

The main entrance to the University at Northampton Square will be closed on Saturday 4th Feb to allow for some electrical works.

The Library will remain open, but entrance will be through the former temporary main entrance.



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New Books – Feb 2017

More Books LogoUse the carousel below to browse a selection of the new titles added to Library collections in the last month. Click on any cover to see where the book is located or to place a request.

Want to recommend a book? Tell us what’s missing from our collections via our More Books Scheme.


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