Enter the Archive

An annotated photograph album from the Univeristy ArchiveThe University Archive is home to resources dating back to a time before the University was even founded.  If you have an interest in local history or the history of the University, the polytechnic that it was before, and the various colleges that in turn came together to form the polytechnic, the University Archive is where you want to be.

Read more about what the Archive holds and can offer you in this Archives Hub blog post written by our Archivist and on the University Archives web page.  If you would like to explore the archive or ask what we hold that might help your research or studies, please contact Anna, the Archivist.

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If this then that: your will be done, automatically

IFTTT: if this then thatTwo separate apps designed to work together, “If” and “Do” allow you to get your mobile device to help automate complex tasks so they happen either automatically in the background or when you decide at the tap a button.

If allows you to automate commands passively, so emails can be automatically added to Trello or OneNote, for example.   Do allows you to create action buttons you can tap to execute custom commands from the touch at a button.  Putting the two together, you can make specified events trigger specific actions.

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Plug-ins to simplify your life

Green leafy stem in clear glass vase filled with water.Even the most cluttered web page can be made accessible by employing a handful of free web browser plug-ins.  Strip out advertising, images, side-bars and more, run it past you one word at at time, or just get your browser to read the text to you.  Check out the range of plug-ins available for two of the most popular web browsers, Firefox and Chrome.

There is even a free plug-in for Microsoft Word that will read what you have written back to you with a tap of your finger or the click of a mouse.

You can explore more accessibility and productivity tools on our Introducing web pages.

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Get app happy and enjoy your studies your way!

Smartphone apps

No two people learn exactly the same way, and so we try to support you however you choose to study.  Take a moment to explore the suites of apps that can record and annotate your lectures, make websites more readable, read text to you from the screen, convert books into podcasts and collage your notes like a scrapbook.  There are many ways to approach learning without facing down huge blocks of dense text.

Explore some of our current favourites for personalising your learning and still more to help you increase your productivity and get more done faster, creatively and efficiently.  Let us know if your favourite app isn’t listed or you discover something new that you think others might like!

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Customising Chrome to make the web easier to read

Zen beachThere are many free downloads for the Google Chrome web browser.  Some of the plug-ins and extensions available from the Chrome Web Store render the web easier to read and understand, particularly if you struggle with large blocks of text or distracting side bar images.  Highlights include:

  • Select and Speak converts text to speech so you can sit back and listen to online content.
  • HeadingsMap creates a list of section headings for web pages that you can click to visit each page section.
  • Mercury Reader removes images and side bar content, presenting web pages as a simplified, easy to read column of text.
  • High Contrast offers a choice of higher contrast text and background colours to improve readability.
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Referencing pop-ups return to the Library Atrium

Referencing pop-upsStarting on Monday 19 November, for two weeks referencing pop-ups will operate in the Library Atrium from 11-12 am, 2-3 pm and 4-5 pm, Mondays-Fridays.  Pop in with your referencing conundrums and our dedicated referencing service will be there to help get your reference lists ‘ship shape’ and Portsmouth fashion!

You can still get the same referencing help and advice from the Library Help Desk, by email and online chat.  Referencing pop-ups like this help shorten the queues at peak times of year.

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GoConqr the world with mind maps, quizzes, flashcards, notes…

Mind map for "conflict"GoConqr is an innovative app that allows you to create, save, share and embed mind maps, quizzes, flashcards and notes.  However you like to study and revise, this app offers you tools to help you on your way.

Find out more and get the app at GoConqr.com

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Portsmouth Municipal College during the First World War

Cover of the Galleon student magazine, volume 1, issue 4

PMC_6_1_1_9 Galleon Christmas term 1914 front cover

The story of life during the Great War at one of the University of Portsmouth’s predecessor institutions, as glimpsed through the student press.

Although only having opened in 1908, by 1913 the staff and students of Portsmouth Municipal College were already beginning to have a sense of their own history. In the spring of that year, the Old Students Association (OSA) were formed and their successful Christmas reunion was reported in student magazine ‘The Galleon’. The Galleon had itself had only been established in 1911 and the two student unions – separate unions for women and for men – were also rather new.

However, by the Christmas 1914 edition of the Galleon, international events had begun to unsettle life at the college. The magazine included a list of names of men ‘now serving our country’. A planned excursion to the Isle of Wight by the OSA in September 1914 had had to be cancelled because of the war, and the association’s members were joining up. The OSA report that ‘With regard to those of our members who have joined HM Forces we have heard but very little. Our Secretary, Mr Childs, is among the number…We extend our heartiest congratulations to the above mentioned who have come forward so nobly at their country’s call. We wish them god speed’.

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Picture this! Collect, arrange, add text and scribble on images with PicCollage

collagePic Collage is a free photo editor and collage creation app useful for creating and annotating field trip photo albums, drawing and adding text to mark important features, research and illustrate design concepts, and even create visually appealing infographics and conference or seminar posters.  Useful as a tool for self-expression (not to mention a fun and creative way of making collages of your holiday snaps) it can help if you learn best by collecting, associating and making associations between pictures.

Search the photo gallery on your device, or connect to your Facebook and/or Instagram accounts and import photos to your collages.  Resize them, rotate them, create cutouts, add borders or special effects and then combine them with other images, gifs and YouTube videos you discover online.  Select different backgrounds or add text using different fonts and colour to add detail.   You can share the finished product on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or by email, download it as an image or export it.

Read more about PicCollage

Download PicCollage

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Check your grammar while you type with Ginger and Grammarly

Spelling correctionAre you distracted by the nagging feeling that your grammar might be letting your work down?  As with so many things, there is now an app (or several) for that!  Two popular free apps that check your grammar while you type and suggest changes are Ginger and Grammarly.  See which you prefer.

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