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Berg Fashion Library

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Barbie doll?

Or where the phrase “blondes have more fun” came from?

Are you curious about the history of Soviet Russian clothing or want to read about Japanese street and youth fashion?

Any of these questions and more can be explored in the Berg Fashion Library, a new award-winning online resource now available in the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library. Access is available with your Calgary Public Library card in the Arts & Music, Encyclopedias and History & Geneology pages of the E-library.

The Berg Fashion Library contains in-depth content spanning several disciplines from anthropology, art history, fashion, cultural criticism, history and sociology.

Images from the Berg Fashion Library image bank:

Traditional Japanese bridal clothingTraditional Japanese bridal clothing Japanese street fashionJapanese street fashion

Content includes:

  • Lesson plans for teachers and lecturers free of charge
  • Full text collection of Berg Fashion E-books
  • Links to E-journals
  • Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress & Fashion which includes articles and over 2000 searchable images
  • Extensive colour image bank
  • Classic and modern writings on fashion
  • Browse feature to search by themes, period, place, textiles and materials and much more.

What you can do:

  • Save articles, images and searches
  • Print and email content
  • Share via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

You can also view selections of vintage clothing patterns taken from the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). The Commercial Pattern Archive database contains patterns from 1868 to 2000, and although the Berg Fashion Library only highlights a small selection of images from this database, it is a good place to start for those of you who want to recreate that 1960s Mad Men inspired outfit you've always dreamed of.

MissesMisses" and Women"s One Yard ApronsMisses' and Women's One Yard Aprons

Mango Languages

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

I have been enamoured with French culture ever since my first trip to Paris two autumns ago. During that trip, I spent most of my time wandering through the many wide tree-lined avenues and gardens of Paris. This May, I returned to Paris hoping to re-visit my favourite spots and to explore things that I had missed two years ago.

Paris in the rainParis in the rain Mango Languages French courseMango Languages French course

Before leaving for Paris I had the goal of brushing up on my basic French, but sadly, due to procrastination it never happened. If like me, you find it difficult to labour over a textbook to study a foreign language, and want a quick way to learn important phrases, then the Calgary Public Library can help you towards that goal. The Library’s website in our E-Library offers a resource called Mango Languages that teaches you a foreign language at the beginner level. It can be found in both the World Languages and Travel & Geography sections of the E-Library. Learners can choose from 49 languages including Arabic, Japanese, Swahili, French, Portuguese, and even Pirate!

Some neat features of Mango Languages:

  • You can choose from either the Basic course where you learn simple skills for common, everyday situations in a few hours, or the more in-depth Complete 2.0 course for those wanting to learn more language and grammar skills.
  • Includes a translation tool to translate conversations from one language to another.
  • Focuses on teaching useful phrases for everyday, real-life use. This is especially helpful for those wanting to learn survival phrases to use while traveling abroad.
  • Each lesson includes cultural notes to help learners understand the cultural expectations and etiquette of the people they plan on communicating with.

Mango Languages is also accessible as a free mobile app through the E-Library. To get started all you need is a library account and a Mango account (set up through the Library's website).

Fresh! Dance in Video

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

It was two years ago when I saw the Alberta Ballet company perform George Balanchine’s Serenade, one of the greatest ballet masterpieces of the 20th century. For those of you who are unaware of who Balanchine was, I can say without a doubt that he was the most influential ballet choreographer of the 20th century, whose vision for ballet revolutionized the form in America and beyond. Born January 22, 1904, George Balanchine was the co-founder and ballet master of the New York City ballet, and to this day, his many ballets are performed in cities all over the world including our own. This month marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

Dancer documentaryThe Dancer documentarySince I don’t get many opportunities to watch ballet, I find that I am always looking for other sources to feed my ballet addiction. To my delight, I discovered not too long ago that the Calgary Public Library has a resource called Dance in Video in its E-library.

Dance in Video features hundreds of hours of video performances, documentaries, interviews and instructional footage from influential dancers and companies covering a variety of genres such as ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. Coincidently, I discovered that a Swedish documentary that I had bought on DVD called The Dancer is available for free through Dance in Video! The documentary follows several dancers of the Royal Swedish ballet as they struggle with the stresses and joys of perfecting their craft and rising to the top.

The Calgary Public Library also has a great collection of ballet related DVDs. One excellent film with Canadian content that comes to my mind is Ballet High, a documentary about the graduating class of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division.

Fresh! Vogue Archive

by Dieu - 1 Comment(s)

Keira Knightley cover Rihanna Vogue cover Uma Thurman Vogue cover Cindy Crawford cover

Vintage Vogue cover

For most people, February is that time of the year when we all must prepare ourselves for the dreaded tax season ahead, but for all you fashionistas and Project Runway fans out there, it is also a month when the new fashion trends for the Fall/Winter 2013 season are put out on display during New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

For the month of February in London and New York, big name designers from Valentino to Ralph Lauren, as well as the more avant-garde, showcase their designs to the world, while fashion magazines and blogs comment on what they see as the emerging or repeating trends of the upcoming season. From what I’ve read in the blogosphere, leather, animal print, and androgynous looks paired with more feminine elements are big trends for 2013.

cover

While I can’t experience the glamour of New York or London Fashion Week in person, I can live fashion vicariously through the Internet, and so can you! Now available on the Calgary Public Library website in the E-Library, is the Vogue Archive which contains all issues of the magazine (US edition) from its beginnings in 1892 to the current month. Access to the Vogue Archive is available with your Calgary Public Library card and can be found in the Arts & Music section and Newspapers & Magazines section of the E-Library.

street fashion

This virtual archive includes every page, cover, and advertisement that has been published by Vogue, all of which are searchable by photographer/illustrator, fashion item, company/brand, and much, much more. The archive also allows readers to browse by issue as well as by subject area.

What I find most impressive with the Vogue Archive is the quality of the images. As I was browsing through the January 2013 issue on my computer, I was blown away by the high-resolution and bright colours of each image. The only drawback that some readers may come across is that the Flash Image Viewer format will not be compatible on certain devices such as an iPad. The Flash Image Viewer allows viewers to manipulate a page such as zooming in and rotating the picture. Fortunately, for iPad users the regular Full Text format with images is also available, although the reading experience is not as interactive as it would be with Flash.

Not only is it an enjoyable experience to have over 100 year’s worth of the Vogue collection at my fingertips, but the Vogue Archive is also a valuable resource for those studying fashion or who are interested in fashion history, the arts, design and fashion journalism.

Come Out, (COME OUT!) Wherever You Are!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

This post is dedicated to a queer artist whom I love with all my heart - one Beric Manywounds, who continues to challenge my views about men, women, sex, gender, and love. May you revel in your sexuality; may you find a love that makes your heart sing!

The Calgary Public Library is proud to celebrate diversity in our community. Whether that diversity is ethnic, linguistic, cultural, or sexual, we have materials and programs that allow for various views and voices to be heard and understood. This September, like every other, we wish you a very happy PRIDE. Celebrate the fact that families come in a glorious variety of forms, and so do sexual preferences and practices.

Visit your library for books by and about gays, lesbians, transfolk, queers, and all of their many allies. Find materials that might help you come out - or dialogue with a child (or parent!) who just has. Borrow books about planning your gay wedding, or browse some of our gay audience magazines. If you’re writing a paper about sex, sexuality, gender, or gay issues, be sure to check out our e-library databases for academic and peer reviewed journals.

And if you’re free this Sunday, September 2, then head downtown to take part in Calgary’s PRIDE parade.

As for me, I don’t identify as gay. But I’ve got rainbow striped knee-high socks that have been waiting in fashion storage for nearly a year, and I’ll be wearing them with pride, in celebration of all the gays I’ve known and loved (and a few of the lesbians I’ve had crushes on, too).

From drag racing to drag queens, the Calgary Public Library has resources about everything you’re into!

The Good, the Bad and the Very, Very Ugly

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading three books that vary tremendously in terms of subject and scope.

The Good: salads: beyond the bowl, by Mindy Fox. My only complaint is that there aren’t pictures provided for every recipe. But otherwise, this is a delicious book! Tonight, I’m having potatoes and green peas with pesto. YUM! Fox encourages readers to make gorgeous salads from all sorts of greens, of course, but also incorporates fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, grains, eggs, meats and more. If you’re bored of arugula, or you’d like to be the most popular guest at the picnic, check this one out!

The Bad: Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier than all Your Friends, by Venice A. Fulton

Did I say “bad”? I meant awful. If you need me to tell you why competing against your friends, skipping breakfast and bathing in cold water might not be entirely sustainable (or healthy) routines, then you’re in trouble. And so are the readers of this…wait for it: crap. There – I said it. Dear readers, in nearly 400 Slice of Calgary posts, I have never once written a scathing book review, but this one deserves it. Fulton – an “expert in nutrition and exercise physiology” doesn’t provide readers with his credentials – neither in this book, nor in his blog. An “expert”, eh? Kind of like how I’ve got 65 pairs of shoes and therefore am a podiatrist, right? Skip this fat-phobic trash and do what you already know you need to do: cut out the junk, get your body moving, and eat your veggies.

The Very, Very Ugly: People who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan’s Shadows, by Richard Llyod Parry. I never read true crime, but was drawn to this book because of the review on its back cover: “Utterly compelling...comes with a cast-iron guarantee that you will read to the very end”. I wondered what was so compelling about it, so I read the first page. 224 pages later, it was midnight and time for me to go to bed, but I couldn’t stand not knowing what happened to Lucie Blackman – or what would happen next. This is a gruesome story, to be sure. But it’s not solely about the young British woman who moves to Japan and is abducted, killed, and dismembered. It’s about her family dynamics, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, misogyny in Japanese culture, and the way that we treat victims and survivors of crime. The journalism is exhaustive and the writing is fantastic!

Need a suggestion for your next read? Chat with your librarian, sign up for our monthly newsletters, or check out our other blogs!

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