Main

March 16, 2007

Two Centuries of Civil Engineering Knowledge Made Available Free to UK Colleges and Universities

.: From an e-mail that is making the rounds:

Laying the virtual foundations of engineering research and practice - Two centuries of civil engineering knowledge made available free to UK colleges and universities

A new JISC Collections agreement makes the largest collection of full text civil engineering papers in the world available free of charge to all further and higher education institutions. Some of the most important articles on civil engineering are now available in perpetuity to those communities.

An agreement between JISC Collections and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) now makes ICE’s massive archive of some 18,000 illustrated papers and over 200,000 pages easily accessible to all further and higher education institutions. The Institution of Civil Engineers Virtual Library contains every peer-reviewed technical paper published by the ICE between 1836 and 2001.

Some of the highlights include Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers; the Life of Telford; Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers; Engineering Division Papers; Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. This relevance of this collection goes far beyond civil engineering to subjects such as the architecture, the built environment, building and construction, environmental studies, land management, property management, planning, transportation and urban design.

The JISC Collections agreement, which contains works from almost every leading British or British-trained engineer ever published follows a successful consultation with librarians and academics and will save institutions the £12,000 each it would normally cost them to purchase this essential resource.

One of those who responded to the consultation was David Buri, Architecture and Design Librarian at the Glasgow School of Art, who said: “I feel that the Institution’s collection would be of particular interest to our Architecture students when exploring the history of the subject. There was a considerable overlap between architecture and civil engineering in the nineteenth century, and a well-illustrated resource such as the ICE Virtual Library would be of great benefit particularly for understanding Victorian architecture, and the construction methods and materials of the time. The Virtual Library’s worldwide coverage would help to fill gaps in our own collection, and would be helpful to urban design students seeking to understanding the built form and infrastructure of many of the world’s major cities. The last decade or so has seen a re-convergence of the skills of architects and civil engineers, as witnessed by the work of people such as Santiago Calatrava, Nicholas Grimshaw and Peter Rice, and our students are constantly looking for information on these individuals. Again, the ICE Virtual Library would be very useful, but this time for information on contemporary design methods.”

Roddy MacLeod, Senior Subject Librarian at Heriot Watt University, said: "I'm delighted that JISC Collections has negotiated a licence in perpetuity to the Institution of Civil Engineer’s (ICE) Virtual Library. The Virtual Library provides access to almost two centuries of knowledge. It is a major information resource for those involved in civil engineering, the built environment, environmental studies, transportation, planning and urban design and architecture, and will be invaluable to colleges and universities with courses in these, and related, areas."

According to Leon Heward-Mills of ICE publishing company Thomas Telford: “With much of the world’s Victorian and pre-war infrastructure coming to the end of its useful life, the archive provides an invaluable, rapid resource for those planning refurbishment or replacement projects. Even for more recent works the archive may well prove to be the only source of reliable, as-built data.”

For further information, please go to: Institution of Civil Engineers Virtual Library at http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/catalogue/coll_icevirtuallib.html