Cardiff Foodbank is a charity that provides nutritionally balanced food (via a voucher system provided from healthcare professionals) to families and individuals in need.  We are pleased to announce that we have now become a collection point for the scheme.

Students and staff can deposit items to our main staff desk in Bute Library – please consider donating various items of non-perishable food as often as you can!

View the shopping list here for a list of what is needed, and take a look at the Cardiff Foodbank website for all further info and an idea of what items are currently in demand.

A new architectural image database from the publishers of the journal Detail is on trial access until 20th March.DETAIL Inspiration

The database offers visual inspiration for building designs, drawing from more than 2,000 projects from the last 30 years.  It provides photographs, some sketches and technical product information, with a clear and structured search.

To access DETAIL Inspiration, please contact Sarah Nicholas at

We are currently displaying our collection of study skills books sourced from our main collection. These books contain a wealth of information covering a wide range of vital skills, from essay and dissertation writing tips to research methodology – suitable for all students studying all disciplines!

They can be found on the display shelves just past the lounge area in Bute Library. The books in this display are for reference only but duplicate copies can be found in our main collection, and many can be accessed as eBooks.

Study Skills


We know that it can be annoying if you are in the library and are being disturbed by others in a ‘quiet’ area. You can now tell us about it directly and anonymously by text message.

Just text the mobile number advertised on the posters in our study areas with a brief description of where you are sitting and we will discreetly come and sort it out!

We’ve made a few changes over the Christmas break and have a created a brand new space for individual quiet study. The new room contains 12 partitioned desks, each with power sockets and new comfortable chairs. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Quiet Study Room

You can find the new room up the small flight of stairs opposite the Planning & Geography journals room in our North corridor – circled in the map below (click to enlarge).

Map w/ location of quiet study room


Name and job titleMeet the Team - Scott
Scott Davies, Library Assistant.

Job description in a nutshell
I’m one of the first points of contact for people in the evenings and weekends. I try to help with queries from both staff and students.

Where did you grow up?
Port Talbot.

What did you do before the library?
I studied for a Master’s Degree in Chemistry before the library. I am studying for a PhD in Catalysis at the moment whilst working in Bute.

Currently reading
Either a Chemistry Journal, a technical book or A Game of Thrones.

Hard copy or electronic?
Electronic for Chemistry, definitely hard copy when in Bute.

What are your favourite things about Cardiff? Any hidden gems that you would recommend?
My favourite things about Cardiff are its size, the people here and the fact it’s much busier than my hometown. Favourite place – Chemistry labs in Main Building.

Best thing about working here at the university
The fact I have met a fantastic array of people that I simply wouldn’t have met had I not come here. I also enjoy the community spirit of the workforce and how nice people are to each other.

Most unusual or surprising library query?
A woman once phoned from America, possibly New York, asking for information about Raptor. I thought this was a prank call but was genuine, Raptor being an initiative of the University to monitor ejournal use.

or… Architecture Library answers another enquiry from the public

Were you watching Hidden Killers: the Victorian Home on BBC Four at 9pm last night? If you were, you doubtless marvelled at a detailed diagram of a Victorian drain or gasped in admiration at a drawing of a gooseneck balustrade.  Well, who wouldn’t?  But we rather suspect it didn’t cross your mind that these images would’ve been sourced from your very own Architecture Library.

Cracking diagram of a Victorian toilet drain from Galton's 'Observations on the Construction of Healthy Dwellings'
Cracking diagram of a Victorian toilet drain from Galton’s Observations on the Construction of Healthy Dwellings

As the Library to the only School of Architecture in Wales, we often receive pleas for information about buildings from members of the public.  So an email in August from a television production company asking for diagrams on the danger of stairs in the Victorian home wasn’t out of the ordinary.  Later that same month, their assistant producer visited our Rare Books Collection, which holds material dating back to the early eighteenth century, and could barely contain her excitement at the diagrams of Victorian staircases and drains we were able to provide.  She was soon photographing out-of-copyright images of staircases from Nicholson’s The New Practical Builder and Workman’s Companion and a cracking diagram of a toilet drain from Galton’s 1896 publication Observations on the Construction of Healthy Dwellings, images which may be seen on BBC iPlayer at 21 mins 15 seconds and 31 minutes 50 seconds respectively, until 24 December 2013.

Next week’s broadcast, Hidden Killers: the Edwardian Home, won’t be quite so exciting for the Architecture Library staff.  Nothing from our collection features in this second episode, as the Architecture Library is woefully lacking in diagrams of asbestos installation from the early Edwardian period.  Ah well, at least we were able to give pleasure to admirers of Victorian drains and staircases.

Sarah Nicholas, Subject Librarian (Architecture)

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, the views contained within this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cardiff University.