Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order. Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours; the five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire The senior two ranks of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, Knight or Dame Commander, entitle their members to use the title of Sir for men and Dame for women before their forename.
Most members are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth realms that use the Imperial system of honours and awards. Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the Queen is not head of state, may permit use of post-nominal letters but not the title of Sir or Dame. Honorary appointees are, referred to as Sir or Dame – Bob Geldof, for example. Honorary appointees who become a citizen of a Commonwealth realm can convert their appointment from honorary to substantive enjoy all privileges of membership of the order, including use of the title of Sir and Dame for the senior two ranks of the Order. An example is Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan, appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order in 2005, on successful application for British citizenship, held alongside his Irish citizenship, was made a substantive member and subsequently styled as Sir Terry Wogan. King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system: The Orders of the Garter, of St Patrick honoured royals, peers and eminent military commanders.
In particular, King George V wished to create an Order to honour many thousands of those who had served in a variety of non-combatant roles during the First World War. When first established, the Order had only one division. However, in 1918, soon after its foundation, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions; the Order's motto is For the Empire. At the foundation of the Order, the'Medal of the Order of the British Empire' was instituted, to serve as a lower award granting recipients affiliation but not membership. In 1922, this was renamed the'British Empire Medal', it stopped being awarded by the United Kingdom as part of the 1993 reforms to the honours system, but was again awarded beginning in 2012, starting with 293 BEMs awarded for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the BEM is awarded by some other Commonwealth nations. In 2004, a report entitled "A Matter of Honour: Reforming Our Honours System" by a Commons committee recommended to phase out the Order of the British Empire, as its title was "now considered to be unacceptable, being thought to embody values that are no longer shared by many of the country's population".
The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order, appoints all other members of the Order. The next most senior member is the Grand Master, of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales; the Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commander, 8,960 Commanders. There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes, but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders. Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, second-lowest of knighthood.
Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library in Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people." In 2012–13, the National Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, an additional 15,506 metres of manuscript material. It is located in Parkes, Canberra, ACT; the National Library of Australia, while formally established by the passage of the National Library Act 1960, had been functioning as a national library rather than a Parliamentary Library since its inception. In 1901, a Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was established to serve the newly formed Federal Parliament of Australia. From its inception the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was driven to development of a national collection. In 1907 the Joint Parliamentary Library Committee under the Chairmanship of the Speaker, Sir Frederick William Holder defined the objective of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in the following words: The Library Committee is keeping before it the ideal of building up, for the time when Parliament shall be established in the Federal Capital, a great Public Library on the lines of the world-famed Library of Congress at Washington.
The present library building was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Bunning and Madden in the Late Twentieth Century Stripped Classical style; the foyer is decorated in marble, with stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three tapestries by Mathieu Matégot. The building was listed on the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 22 June 2004. In 2012–13 the Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, with an estimated additional 2,325,900 items held in the manuscripts collection; the Library's collections of Australiana have developed into the nation's single most important resource of materials recording the Australian cultural heritage. Australian writers and illustrators are sought and well represented—whether published in Australia or overseas; the Library's collection includes all formats of material, from books, journals and manuscripts to pictures, maps, oral history recordings, manuscript papers and ephemera.
92.1% of the Library's collection has been catalogued and is discoverable through the online catalogue. The Library has digitized over 174,000 items from its collection and, where possible, delivers these directly across the Internet; the Library is a world leader in digital preservation techniques, maintains an Internet-accessible archive of selected Australian websites called the Pandora Archive. The Library collects material produced by Australians, for Australians or about the Australian experience in all formats—not just printed works—books, newspapers, posters and printed ephemera—but online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts and oral histories. A core Australiana collection is that of John A. Ferguson; the Library has particular collection strengths in the performing arts, including dance. The Library's considerable collections of general overseas and rare book materials, as well as world-class Asian and Pacific collections which augment the Australiana collections.
The print collections are further supported by extensive microform holdings. The Library maintains the National Reserve Braille Collection; the Library houses the largest and most developing research resource on Asia in Australia, the largest Asian language collections in the Southern hemisphere, with over half a million volumes in the collection, as well as extensive online and electronic resources. The Library collects resources about all Asian countries in Western languages extensively, resources in the following Asian languages: Burmese, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Thai and Vietnamese; the Library has acquired a number of important Western and Asian language scholarly collections from researchers and bibliophiles. These collections include: Australian Buddhist Library Collection Braga Collection Claasz Collection Coedes Collection London Missionary Society Collection Luce Collection McLaren-Human Collection Otley Beyer Collection Sakakibara Collection Sang Ye Collection Simon Collection Harold S. Williams Collection The Asian Collections are searchable via the National Library's catalogue.
The National Library holds an extensive collection of manuscripts. The manuscript collection contains about 26 million separate items, covering in excess of 10,492 meters of shelf space; the collection relates predominantly to Australia, but there are important holdings relating to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific. The collection holds a number of European and Asian manuscript collections or single items have been received as part of formed book collections; the Australian manuscript collections date from the period of maritime exploration and settlement in the 18th century until the present, with the greatest area of strength dating from the 1890s onwards. The collection includes a large number of outstanding single items, such as the 14th century Chertsey Cartulary, the journal of James Cook on the HM Bark Endeavour, inscribed on t
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
National and University Library in Zagreb
National and University Library in Zagreb is the national library of Croatia and central library of the University of Zagreb. The Library was established in 1607, its primary mission is the preservation of Croatian national written heritage. It holds around 3 million items. Since 1995 the NSK has been located in a purpose-built cubical building in central Zagreb. Services provided include reference services. Exhibitions are mounted, parts of the Library’s premises may be leased; the Library houses 3 million volumes, on 12,900m of shelving in open-access reading rooms and an additional 110,000m of mobile shelving in closed stacks. The net floor area is 36,478m2, the gross floor area 44,432m2. Acquisitions under legal deposit total 18,194 monographic publications and 3,625 serial publications. There are 4,865 foreign books; the holdings in the special collections number 11,430 items. There are 7,281 items of non-book materials, 986 items of electronic materials. In 2011 there were 19,360 registered users and 357,291 visitors to the Library, of whom 22,445 used late hours study services.
In the same year there were 718,850 online visitors. For users, there are 1,100 seats, with an additional 64 seats in the Reading Rooms and 150 seats in the evening hours study room; the Special Collections are provided with 8 audio booths, 7 individual and 2 group work study rooms, there are 10 reading-and-study compartments. There is a 100-seat conference room; some of the principal tasks of the Library are: 1. The assembling and organizing of the Croatian national collection of library materials and the coordination of the acquisition of international scientific works at both the national and the University level, 2; the preservation and restoration of library materials in the context of the international Preservation and Conservation programme, 3. The promotion of Croatian printed and electronic publications, 4; the integration of the Library’s bibliographic activities and information services into international programmes, 5. The organization of the Library as the centre of the library system of the Republic of Croatia and the University of Zagreb, 6.
Scientific research in the field of library and information sciences, 7. Publishing and various promotional activities and the organization of exhibitions. Digitized Heritage Historic Croatian Newspapers Old Croatian Journals Croatian Web Archive Digital Academic Repository The Manuscripts and Old Books CollectionThe Collection assembles, preserves and makes available the items from the richest Croatian collection of national manuscripts and old books, as well as the manuscripts and numerous rare and old books belonging to other cultures; the Manuscripts and Old Books Collection contains a vast legacy of manuscripts – correspondence including nearly 100,000 letters and 3,670 call numbers for individual manuscripts. The Collection includes the photographic collection containing 865 items. In total the Collection contains 9,236 items; the Print CollectionValuable drawings and prints have constituted a significant part of the holdings of the National and University Library in Zagreb since the foundation of the Library four hundred years ago, while the Print Collection, as a separate organizational unit of the Library, was established in 1919.
Apart from being the oldest Croatian collection of this type, the Print Collection of the National and University Library in Zagreb is the largest print collection in Croatia. In addition to the works by many great names of the Croatian visual arts, the holdings of the Collection include works by numerous leading world artists; the collection includes works by the 16th-century artist Andrija Medulić, architectural drawings by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach from the 18th century, many more modern Croatian artists. The Map CollectionThe Collection assembles, preserves and makes available all types of maps and atlases. Special attention is given to older and more valuable cartographic items, national cartographic materials and the control of legal deposit procedures; the members of the Collection supply users with information in the field of cartography and provide professional assistance for researchers and students in the preparation and writing of their papers, articles or theses. The Collection comprises nearly 42,000 maps 1,500 atlases, 600 books in the accompanying reference library.
The Music CollectionThe Collection assembles, processes and makes available sheet music, the rich legacy of Croatian composers as well as a large stock of sound recordings. All materials in the collection are available to the users of the National and University Library in Zagreb and they include nearly 17,000 printed music scores, 3,000 manuscript scores, 23,600 gramophone records, 5,700 cassettes, 7,447 CDs. Reference Collection LIS Collection Doctoral and Master’s Theses Collection Homeland War Book Collection Official Publications Collection In 1607 the Jesuit order established itself in Zagreb. In addition to founding a grammar school, the Jesuits founded a Jesuit College with an accompanying library. By 1645 the library was housed in a special hall, it had a librarian and rules were established regarding the preservation and lending of books. In 1669 the Jesuit College acq
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
National Library of Israel
The National Library of Israel Jewish National and University Library, is the library dedicated to collecting the cultural treasures of Israel and of Jewish heritage. The library holds more than 5 million books, is located on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the National Library owns the world's largest collections of Hebraica and Judaica, is the repository of many rare and unique manuscripts and artifacts. The B'nai Brith library, founded in Jerusalem in 1892, was the first public library in Palestine to serve the Jewish community; the library was located on B'nai Brith street, between the Meah Shearim neighborhood and the Russian Compound. Ten years the Bet Midrash Abrabanel library, as it was known, moved to Ethiopia Street. In 1920, when plans were drawn up for the Hebrew University, the B'nai Brith collection became the basis for a university library; the books were moved to Mount Scopus. In 1948, when access to the university campus on Mount Scopus was blocked, most of the books were moved to the university's temporary quarters in the Terra Sancta building in Rehavia.
By that time, the university collection included over one million books. For lack of space, some of the books were placed in storerooms around the city. In 1960, they were moved to the new JNUL building in Givat Ram. In the late 1970s, when the new university complex on Mount Scopus was inaugurated and the faculties of Law and Social Science returned there, departmental libraries opened on that campus and the number of visitors to the Givat Ram library dropped. In the 1990s, the building suffered from maintenance problems such as rainwater leaks and insect infestation. In 2007 the library was recognized as The National Library of the State of Israel after the passage of the National Library Law; the law, which came into effect on 23 July 2008, changed the library's name to "National Library of Israel" and turned it temporarily to a subsidiary company of the University to become a independent community interest company, jointly owned by the Government of Israel, the Hebrew University and other organizations.
In 2011, the library launched a website granting public access to books, maps and music from its collections. In 2014, the project for a new home of the Library in Jerusalem was unveiled; the 34,000 square meters building, designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, is scheduled for full completion in 2021. The library's mission is to secure copies of all material published in any language. By law, two copies of all printed matter published in Israel must be deposited in the National Library. In 2001, the law was amended to include audio and video recordings, other non-print media. Many manuscripts, including some of the library's unique volumes such the 13th century Worms Mahzor, have been scanned and are now available on the Internet. Among the library's special collections are the personal papers of hundreds of outstanding Jewish figures, the National Sound Archives, the Laor Map Collection and numerous other collections of Hebraica and Judaica; the library possesses some of Isaac Newton's manuscripts dealing with theological subjects.
The collection, donated by the family of the collector Abraham Yahuda, includes a large number of works by Newton about mysticism, analyses of holy books, predictions about the end of days and the appearance of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. It contains maps that Newton sketched about mythical events to assist him in his end of days calculations; the library houses the personal archives of Gershom Scholem. Following the occupation of West Jerusalem by Haganah forces in May 1948, the libraries of a number Palestinians who fled the country as well as of other well-to-do Palestinians were transferred to the National Library; these collections included those of Henry Cattan, Khalil Beidas, Khalil al-Sakakini and Aref Hikmet Nashashibi. About 30,000 books were removed from homes in West Jerusalem, with another 40,000 taken from other cities in Mandatory Palestine, it is unclear whether the books were being kept and protected or if they were looted from the abandoned houses of their owners. About 6,000 of these books are in the library today indexed with the label AP – "Abandoned Property".
The books are cataloged, can be viewed from the Library's general catalog and are consulted by the public, including Arab scholars from all over the world. List of national and state libraries Union List of Israel Judaica Archival Project Official website