Friday, 28 May 2010

New sites saved on our delicious page

NYPL Digital Gallery
The Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from The New York Public Library's vast collections.
Civil Rights Digital Library
The Civil Rights Digital Library promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale. The CRDL features a collection of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. The CRDL provides educator resources and contextual materials, including Freedom on Film, relating instructive stories and discussion questions from the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, and the New Georgia Encyclopedia, delivering engaging online articles and multimedia.
Digital Library of Georgia
The Digital Library of Georgia is a gateway to Georgia's history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources. The Digital Library of Georgia connects users to a million digital objects in 110 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies. You can browse by topic, time period, county, media type, institution or collection.
LOUISiana Digital Library
The LOUISiana Digital Library (LDL) is an online library of Louisiana institutions that provide over 144,000 digital materials. Its purpose is to make unique historical treasures from the Louisiana institution's archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories in the state electronically accessible to Louisiana residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries. The LOUISiana Digital Library contains photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, oral histories, and more that document history and culture.
Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820
In 1984, a professor at Rutgers University stumbled upon a trove of historic data in a courthouse in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Over the next 15 years, Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, a noted New Orleans writer and historian, painstakingly uncovered the background of 100,000 slaves who were brought to Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries making fortunes for their owners. Poring through documents from all over Louisiana, as well as archives in France, Spain and Texas, Dr. Hall designed and created a database into which she recorded and calculated the information she obtained from these documents about African slave names, genders, ages, occupations, illnesses, family relationships, ethnicity, places of origin, prices paid by slave owners, and slaves' testimony and emancipations. This database was released on CD-ROM in 2000, and is now fully searchable on the web.

Bank holiday opening

A reminder that the library will be open as usual on the bank holiday on Monday.

Monday, 24 May 2010

WISER coming up

Next week's WISER sessions introduce e-resources for historians and look out how to find reliable academic information on the web.

WISER: Online Resources for Historians
This session will give a general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods for British & Western European history: bibliographical databases, biographical or reference research aids, ebooks and ejournals, web portals, and especially the growing collections of online primary source materials.
Presenter: Isabel Holowaty
Date: Thursday 3 June 12.30-1.30
Booking: University members Non University members please book by emailing

WISER: Using the Internet to Find Quality Resources
Finding information on the internet is fairly easy. Finding reliable information of academic quality is more difficult. In this course you will learn how to maximise your chances of finding reliable internet information and how to be sure that what you find is of appropriate quality for your purposes.
Presenter: Anne Manuel
Date: Friday 4 June 12.30-1.30
Booking: University members - Non University members please book by emailing

WISER is on Twitter - please follow at Alternatively to receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please send an empty email to or to receive WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

Friday, 21 May 2010

New sites saved on our delicious page

The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008
The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952.
Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
A collection of documents relating to Law, History and Diplomacy from Ancient times to the present day. Not US-specific though much US material included. The collection can be browsed by period or subject.
Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930, is a web-based collection of selected historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the US from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression. Concentrating heavily on the 19th century, Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930, includes approximately 1,800 books and pamphlets as well as 9,000 photographs, 200 maps, and 13,000 pages from manuscript and archival collections.
JARDA - Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives
JARDA contains thousands of Japanese American internment primary source materials: * Personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings * US War Relocation Authority materials, including camp newsletters, final reports, photographs, and other documents relating to the day-to-day administration of the camps * Personal histories documenting the lives of the people who lived in the camps as well as the administrators who created and worked in the camps
The Oyez Project | U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Recordings, Case Abstracts and More
The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
American Left Ephemera Collection
The material on this Web site represents a small sample of ephemera that documents the three largest and most influential left-wing organizations in the United States in the twentieth century: Socialist Party of America (SPUSA), Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA), and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Digitized items include flyers, leaflets, pamphlets, posters, postcards, illustrations, photographs, pins, ribbons, and miscellaneous objects. It comprises a much larger collection of material accumulated by Richard J. Oestreicher, Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh and recently donated to the University's Archives Service Center. The larger collection includes a much broader range of organizations and political tendencies. Texts and images can be both browsed and searched.
Oral Histories of the Social Security Administration
The SSA started a project in 1995 to collect oral histories and make available older histories rom a wide spectrum of individuals who have participated in the making of the history of the organisation over the years. The emphasis is on the administrative history of the Social Security program and the institutional history of SSA. The project is no longer current, but the transcripts (8 from the 1960s and 70s, 22 from the late 90s) are still available, along with links to other Socia Security-related oral history projects from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Columbia University.
National Park Service e-library
Almost 4000 books, reports, articles and oral histories covering all aspects of the National Park Service since its inception in 1916.
The Reagan Files
Scans of declassified documents from the Reagan Library, some obtained via FOIA requests, some released following declassification by President Obama. Includes transcripts of summits with Gorbachev, letters to Soviet leaders, transcripts of NSC/NSPG meetings and Iran-Contra files.
The published writings of Herbert Hoover (Herbert Hoover Library)
Ebook versions of Hoover's memoirs (3 volumes, Macmillan, 1951) and the Hoover volumes of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (GPO, 1974-1977).

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Trial access to 'Witchcraft in Europe and America'

Cross-posted from the History Faculty Library blog:

We now have trial access to “Witchcraft in Europe and America”, a digital library of texts on witchcraft between the 15th century and c.1930.

The majority of the material concerns the 16th to 18th centuries. In addition to these classic texts, the collection includes anti-persecution writings, works by penologists, legal and church documents, exposés of persecutions, and philosophical writings and transcripts of trials and exorcisms. Included are many rare and fragile manuscripts containing eyewitness accounts and court records of the trials of witches, including harrowing original manuscript depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber. The majority of texts are in Latin, English and German, although there are also selected items in French, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch and Spanish.

Access is via OxLIP+. Please send feedback to Isabel Holowaty by 11th June. We have already made a note of some poor quality scans. There are currently no funds for this resource, but we would like to find out whether it’s worth adding to the History desiderata list.

Annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture: C.K. Williams

The 2010 Esmond Harmsworth Letter in American Arts and Letters will be given at the RAI next week by the major American poet C.K. Williams.  The VHL has bought a volume of Williams's collected poems, as well as his two most recent works, Repair (which won the Pulitzer Prize) and The Singing.  These books are all currently on display on the ground floor in the library, just outside the group study room, for anyone interested in taking a look before the lecture.

For more information on the lecture, visit the RAI website. Please note that places at the lecture are limited and must be reserved in advance.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bodleian news: Official Papers reading room closed, Clarendon Quadrangle & Great Gate closing early tonight

A couple of pieces of news from the Bodleian Library which might affect VHL readers:

Official Papers Reading Room closed
The Official Papers reading room is closed to readers until further notice. Staff are happy to fetch material to be read in the Lower Camera. A book moving team has begun to shift a large section of material to allow the Radcliffe Camera lift to be built, pending planning permission. Any queries should be directed to the Official Papers team: or (2)77201.
UPDATE 17th September 2010: The move of the collection to the Bodleian Law Library began on 13th September. The move is expected to take approximately three weeks, in which time material may be unavailable to readers. Staff relocated to the Law Library on 16th September. For further information, contact

Clarendon Quadrangle & Great Gate closing early tonight
Due to the planned celebration in Broad St of Oxford United's return to the football league, most of the entrances to the Bodleian will be closed early tonight, between 5 and 5.30pm. The only way in and out of the Bodleian this evening will be via Radcliffe Square.

WISER coming up

Next week's WISER programme introduces key information sources for African Studies and looks at digital mapping.

WISER: Information Sources for African Studies
This session will introduce key information sources for African Studies. You will be shown useful finding tools to locate relevant material via SOLO and how to
search them, as well as important portals and gateways to libraries and archives of online primary texts. There will be time for a brief hands-on at the end.
Presenters: Lucy McCann and Sarah Rhodes.
Date: Monday 24 May 12.30-1.30
Booking: University members - Non University members please book by emailing

WISER: Maps and Mapping
Many areas of research use spatial data and digital mapping is an ideal way to present it. This presentation will cover both web based resources (online map collections etc) and the digital mapping facilities available in the Bodleian. Presenter: Nick Millea.
Date: Thursday 27 May 12.30-1.30
Booking: University members - Non University members please book by emailing

WISER is on Twitter - please follow us at Alternatively to receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please send an empty email to, or to receive WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

Friday, 14 May 2010

New sites saved on our delicious page

Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South
Oral Histories of the American South" is a three-year project to select, digitize and make available 500 oral history interviews gathered by the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP). These 500 are being selected from a collection of over 4,000 interviews, housed at the Southern Historical Collection. The histories cover six topical areas: Charlotte, Civil Rights, Environmental Transformations, Piedmont Industrialization, Southern Politics, and Southern Women.
Oral History Project of the Senate Historical Office
Since 1976 the Senate Historical Office has interviewed Senate officers, parliamentarians, clerks, police officers, chiefs of staff, reporters, photographers, Senate pages, and senators. These interviews cover the breadth of the 20th century and now the 21st century, and include a diverse group of personalities who witnessed events first-hand.
The Danville Civil Rights Project
This online exhibit examines the responses of ten Danville, VA residents to the civil rights struggle that occurred in their hometown.
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin is a collaborative undertaking by a team of scholars at Yale University to collect, edit, and publish the writings and papers of one of America's most remarkable founding fathers and indeed one of the most extraordinary people this nation has ever produced. His ever-curious and inventive mind explored nearly every aspect of his world, both pragmatic and theoretical, and he corresponded with an astonishing range of men and women of all classes and nearly all professions in America, Great Britain, and Europe. In a life spanning from 1706 to 1790, his collected papers present a panoramic view of the eighteenth century.

Newspaper archives currently free on

I've posted about on this blog in the past - a vast and growing online resource of documents relating to US history, uploaded both from the National Archives and also contributed by members of the site. Much of the content is only available to view with a subscription, but there is quite a bit that's free. This month, footnote are offering all their newspaper archives for free - go to: to search or browse the archives and click through to page images. Note that you may need to sign up with the site to view the actual page images, and the archives of each newspaper are not necessarily complete.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Elena Kagan: Resources from the Law Library of Congress

Following President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the Law Library of Congress has compiled a selective bibliography of articles and resources by and about her, many of which have links to the full-text.

The bibliography can be accessed here:

Photograph by Jane Rawson 

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

WISER coming up

Do you need to know where and how often you are being cited? Would you like to know more about managing ciations using RefWorks? Check out next week's WISER sessions on these topics:

WISER: Who's Citing You? Tools for Tracking Citations
Citation-tracking databases can help you monitor the impact of your research. Knowing where and how often you're being cited is useful for grant or job applications, and deciding where to submit an article for publication. We cover citation searching in Web of Science, Scopus & Google Scholar.
Presenters: Juliet Ralph and Angela Carritt.
Date Monday 17 May 12.30-1.30.
Booking: University members -
Non University members please book by emailing

RefWorks for Sciences and Social Sciences
RefWorks is an online tool which allows you to manage your references, insert them into your work, automatically generate bibliographies and easily switch between citation styles. This introduction is open to all but the section on importing references will focus on Science/Social Science examples.
Presenters: Nia Roberts, Gillian Pritchard and Valerie Lawrence
Date: Tuesday 18 May 2.00-5.00.
Booking: University member -
Non University members please book by emailing

WISER is on Twitter - please follow at Alternatively to receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please send an empty email to or to receive WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

New books for April (part two)

LibraryThing is working again now, so our April new books list is now up there too, and displaying on the blog and our Facebook page.

WISER coming up: Finding Stuff, Manuscripts and Reference Management

Next week's WISER will be covering finding publications to support your research and teaching ("Finding Stuff"). In addition we will be looking at using the Bodleian's manuscript collections and comparing the
reference management systems Endnote, RefWorks and Zotero. Please book your places:

WISER: Finding Stuff - Books and Journals on SOLO
A general introduction to finding books and journal titles in Oxford libraries using SOLO and OLIS.  For detailed information about searching for journal articles, theses and conference papers please see other titles in the WISER Finding Stuff series.
Angela Carritt and Kerry Webb.
Monday 10 May 9.15-10.00.
Book at

WISER: Finding Stuff - Journal Articles
This session will focus on finding journal articles for your research using a wide range of databases as well as developing effective search strategies. There
will be plenty of time for participants to try out their own searches
using databases for their subject.
Kerry Webb and Angela Carritt.
Monday 10 May 10.15-11.15.
Book at

WISER: Finding Stuff - Theses and Dissertations
This session offers guidance on finding theses, both those submitted to and held in Oxford, and those from other institutions in the UK and abroad. It will demonstrate how to exploit some of the main sources of information: SOLO, Index to Theses (UK and Ireland); and Dissertations and Theses (International) EThOS and ORA.
Jayne Plant.
Monday 10 May 11.30-12.30
Book at

WISER: Finding stuff - Conferences
Conference papers can be difficult to find but they are valuable because they describe cutting-edge research. This session will enable you to find out about forthcoming conferences and also to locate the published papers of proceedings which
have taken place.
James Shaw and Sue Bird.
Monday 10 May 12.30-1.30
Book at

WISER: Manuscripts
This session will give an introductory overview of the rich heritage collections preserved in the Bodleian. This session will also help readers to locate relevant material and describe the procedures for access and getting assistance.
Mike Webb
Thursday 13 May 12.30-1.30
Book at

WISER: Technology Tools - Reference Management
Keeping track of your references and formatting them correctly for your thesis or publication is a chore. Reference management software makes it easy and is worth
investigating. This introductory session gives an overview of how it works and the pros and cons of RefWorks, EndNote and other tools.
Gillian Pritchard and Angela Carritt.
Friday 14 May 12.30-1.30.
Book at

WISER is on Twitter - please follow at

Alternatively to receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please
send an empty email to or to receive
WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Major electrical fault in the New Bodleian - disruption to stack requests

There has been a major electrical fault in the New Bodleian Library this morning.  The building is closed to readers, and service from the bookstacks is being severely disrupted.  If you have placed stack requests from the Bodleian to come to the VHL this afternoon you may well find they do not arrive. We will keep you updated as we know more!

RAI Common Room closed lunchtime today

The common room downstairs will be unavailable this lunchtime from 12-2.15pm for an RAI event.

Monday, 3 May 2010

New books for April

The list of new books received in the library is now available on our website.  LibraryThing is clearly in the Bank Holiday mood and isn't being as speedy about the uploading as it normally is, so the list on there isn't yet available (and therefore likewise the pretty display of covers for the blog and Facebook), but I'm sure they'll appear in due course on our page!