Thursday, 28 October 2010

WISER coming up: Finding books, articles, theses and conferences

Do you have trouble finding stuff in the Library or online? If so, check out the WISER Finding Stuff series next Wednesday afternoon.  We will be covering books, journal articles, theses and dissertations and

WISER: Finding Stuff - Books etc on SOLO
An introduction to finding books and journal titles in Oxford libraries using SOLO.
Presenters: Angela Carritt and Penny Roberts. 
Date: Wednesday 3 November 12.30pm - 1.30pm (Week 4) (repeated Friday 19 November 9.15 - 10.15am Week 6)
Book your place at

WISER: Finding Stuff - Journal Articles
This session will focus on finding journal articles for your research and will cover a broad range
of databases as well as helping you to develop effective search strategies.  There will be plenty of time for participants to try out their own searches using databases for their subject.
Presenters: Angela Carritt and Penny Roberts.
Date: Wednesday 3 November 1.30 - 2.30pm (Week 4) (this class will be repeated Friday 19 November 10.15 - 11.15am Week 6)
Book your place at

WISER: Finding Stuff - Theses and Dissertations
Guidance on finding theses, both those submitted to and held in Oxford, and those from other institutions in the UK and abroad. The session will demonstrate how to exploit some of the main sources of information including SOLO, Index to Theses (UK and Ireland), Dissertations and Theses (International), EThOS
and ORA.
Presenter:  Jayne Plant
Date: Wednesday 3 November 2.30 - 3.30pm (Week 4) (repeated Friday 19
November 11.30 - 12.30pm Week 6)
Book your place 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.
Presenters:  James Shaw and Sue Bird 
Date: Wednesday 3 November 3.30 - 4.30pm  (Week 4)
Book your place at

Not a member of Oxford University?
If you have a Bodleian Libraries readers card you are welcome to attend WISER sessions even if you are not a member of the University. Please email to book your place.  Members of Oxford University should book using the
links above.

Want to keep up with WISER?
To receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please send an empty email to We promise we will only email you once a week and that we will not pass your email address to anyone else. We're also on Twitter - please follow us at, or to receive WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

If you have any queries please contact

Monday, 25 October 2010

Printing problems

There is currently a problem with printing via the PCAS system at the VHL.  The machine is hanging whenever anyone tries to print something.  The only solution to the hanging is to switch the machine off and on again, but this still will not release the print job.

I have reported this and hopefully it will be fixed soon.  It may be related to a problem we were already aware of where print jobs were running extremely slowly.   In the meantime, you should be able to pick up printing at other libraries (when you submit a print job, it can be collected at any of the Bodleian Libraries within 72 hours), or if your need is urgent, we will print for you from a staff PC and charge you in cash.

UPDATE 27th OCTOBER: The problem has now been fixed and printing is available as normal once more.

SOLO downtime: Tuesday 26th October

SOLO will need to be taken down for database maintenance tomorrow morning (26th October) between 7.30 and 8.30am. OLIS should still work as normal.

Friday, 22 October 2010

New sites saved on our delicious page

For any new readers this year, you may not know about the VHL's delicious page, where we save links to useful free web resources for American studies.  This is an ever-growing list, and periodically we post the most recent ones we've saved here on the blog, as a reminder that it's there and a summary of what we've recently come across.  We also post all the links to our Twitter account as we save them.  Readers are more than welcome to suggest sites if you have found them in the course of your research - just let us know by any means (email, blog comment, Facebook comment, Tweet, scrap of paper) and we'll add them in!

Here is the latest summary of sites saved:

Open access books from Oregon State University Press: Theodore Stern
In celebration of the fourth annual Open Access week, OSU Press have made two out of print volumes by Theodore Stern freely available online. More out of print books are due to be added in future. The two books currently available are: Chiefs & chief traders: Indian relations at Fort Nez Perces, 1818-1855 Chiefs & change in the Oregon country: Indian relations at Fort Nez Perce, 1818-1855
Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) [Registration required]
The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is the nation's premier research collection of open-source resources related to homeland security policy, strategy and organizational management. Registered users can access over 80,900 documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management from a wide variety of sources including federal, state and local governments; international governments and institutions; nonprofit organizations and private entities.
University of Missouri Digital Library
Founded in 2001, the University of Missouri Digital Library provides a repository for digitized items on behalf of the UM Libraries. Over 20 text collections, and 23 image collections, have been added, including collections from 15 libraries around the state of Missouri. Text collections include the Civil War in Missouri, the Missouri Alumnus magazine, Missouriana Digital Text Collection, and Daniel Webster speeches. Image collections include Cows on the Lawn (dairy husbandry at UM), Joplin historical postcards, sheet music collections, Sanborn maps for Missouri, and the photo archives of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
Why Richard Hofstadter Is Still Worth Reading but Not for the Reasons ...
MSt Additional reading for week 3 Historiography
Turner: The Frontier In American History
Core reading for Week 1 Historiography
Digital Horizons: A Plains Media Resource
Digital Horizons is an online treasure house of thousands of images, documents, video, and oral histories depicting life on the Northern Plains from the late 1800s to today. Here you'll find a fascinating snapshot of the lives, culture, and history of the people who shaped life on the prairies. You can browse the resources by subject, or by collection, and the site is also soliciting donations of digitised sources from the public.
DocsTeach | Documents
Over 3000 primary source documents from the National Archives, arranged in chronological collections. The site is designed for teachers to help them use primary sources as teaching tools, and also contains a variety of suggested activities. The collections can be searched or browsed, and registered users can save documents as favourites.
Nixon v Kennedy full debate
VHL Guide to US Government Publications
Online guide to the many sources of publications and information about the US government, both historic and current, available in the VHL and online.

Bodleian Libraries book moves

A message from the Bodleian Libraries:

From October 2010, the Bodleian Libraries will start to move 6.5 million items to the new Book Storage Facility. Items being moved will be temporarily unavailable. Any item in transit will be marked with the status "Book Moves" on OLIS/SOLO.

If the item you require has the status "Book Moves" you can:
  • Search SOLO/OLIS to see if an electronic version or alternative edition is available
  • Delay your request, if your need is not urgent, and re-order your item once its location has been updated - shown in the status bar on SOLO/OLIS as "In place"
  • Go ahead and order the item via ASR - our dedicated team will see if an alternative copy is available and will contact you.
If you would like to contact our support team directly, please email

See for more details or ask a librarian for help.

Thanks for your patience as we move forward with this major project.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

History Graduate Information Fair: Wednesday 27th October

The History Information Fair for graduates will be held next Wednesday afternoon (27th October, 2-4pm) in the North Writing School at Exam Schools.

This fair is conceived as a gateway to the University's information resources. Medieval, modern, British, European, African, Commonwealth and US history will all be addressed. Library and other professionals will have stalls where they will demonstrate and talk to you about what they have to offer. The British Library will also be represented. There will be associated talks throughout the afternoon and information about further training you can attend.

It's really worth coming along to get advice and pointers on library resources and how to manage your research. I'll be manning the US History stall and the Keeping up-to-date stall and will be available to answer any questions you might have on either subject.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

WISER coming up

WISER (Workshops in Information Skills and Electronic Resources) is a series of free workshops run by Oxford Libraries to help you to make the most of electronic and printed information sources in your research and learning.     Next week we kick off the academic year by taking a look at bibliometrics and citation tracking for measuring research impact and also introduce the reference management tool, RefWorks.   

WISER: Who's citing you? Tools for tracking citations
Knowing where and how often you're cited is increasingly important for grant and job applications. In addition citation tracking can help you to follow the progress of research over time and to analyse how papers in your research field relate to one another. In this session we introduce citation tracking using Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar and demonstrate how each service can be used to find out who's citing you!    There will be time during the session to practice using each service. This session is followed by "WISER: Bibliometrics: The Black Art of Citation Ranking" which will examine impact factors in greater detail.   Presenters: Juliet Ralph and Angela Carritt 
Date: Wednesday 27 October 2.00 - 3.30pm (Week 3).
Book your place at

WISER: Bibliometrics - the Black Art of Citation Ranking
Mystified by metrics? Anxious about impact factors? Happy with your h-index? Measuring research impact is increasingly important when making grant applications, comparing the outputs of research groups and even in recruitment and selection.   This session covers how they work, how they are interpreted and how to make them work for you!  We will look at measuring the impact of individual papers, researchers and research groups and finding highly cited journals.
Presenters: Juliet Ralph and Angela Carritt
Date:  Wednesday 27 October 3.30 - 4.30pm (Week 3).
Book your place at

RefWorks for Humanities
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 Humanities examples.
Presenters: Valerie Lawrence and Shona McLean.
Date.  Friday 29 October 9.15am - 12.15pm (Week 3).
Book at

Want to keep up with WISER?    To receive a weekly email listing WISER sessions please send an empty email to We promise we will only email you once a week and that we will not pass your email address to anyone else. We're also on Twitter - please follow us at  or to receive WISER updates by RSS feed subscribe to

Not a member of Oxford University?  - If you have a Bodleian Libraries readers card you are welcome to attend WISER sessions even if you are not a member of the University. Please email to book your place.  Members of Oxford University should book using the links above.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

LibGuides: online resource and library guides from the Bodleian Libraries

Over the last few months, librarians all over Oxford have been creating online guides to resources, which are all findable through a central Bodleian Libraries guides portal at There are guides now available for specific subjects, types of material, resources such as SOLO and the new PCAS photocopying/printing system, as well as libraries themselves, and more are being added all the time. Well worth taking a look!

For Americanists, there is a guide to US Government Publications at We're also working on creating guides to US history sources, which should be available later in the year (and we'll let you know when they are!).

Friday, 15 October 2010

British Library foreign policy resources seminar and postgraduate training day

News of a couple of events at the British Library which may be of interest to graduates here:

"No more secrets": or, how to get the most out of the American foreign policy resources at the British Library
British Library Conference Centre, Meeting Room 4
Monday 8 November 2010, 15.00-17.00
Convenors: Professor Matthew Jones (University of Nottingham) and Dr Steven Casey (LSE)
This workshop will introduce researchers, including postgraduate MA and PhD students, to American foreign policy primary sources at the British Library. It will highlight the Library’s ever-expanding digital collections, as well as its printed document collections, newspaper resources, and microfilm holdings. It will particularly emphasize materials on the twentieth-century.
The convenors will illustrate how these abundant and valuable resources can be used in a practical and applied way for discrete projects, and will use case studies of their own research experiences to show this in action.
There will be opportunities for all those attending to discuss their own work and to discover how it might benefit from the Library’s resources.
The workshop is sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.
Admission is free; booking is essential. Refreshments will be provided.
Contact or call 020 7412 7757.

British Library Postgraduate Training Days
The BL runs a series of training days designed for new postgraduates each autumn/winter. Each day offers an introduction to the BL's services and collections, as well as subject-related workshops. 
19th October: Social Science (Government, Politics, and Legal Studies)
6th December: History (Medieval-18th century)
13th December: History (19th-21st century)

Further information and booking

Library induction tour for graduates

I'll be running another induction tour of the library for graduate students on Monday (18th October) at 11am.  All welcome!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

RefWorks and Endnote training at OUCS - learn how to manage your bibliography

Reposting this from the History Faculty Library blog:

OUCS is offering courses in the use of two software packages (RefWorks and Endnote).  These are tools for storing and managing references and creating bibliographies. When you write your own papers and texts using Microsoft Word, you can cite items from your library of references. Learn how to do this in a course:

  • RefWorks – Friday 29 October, 9:15-12:15 [book a place].
  • Endnote – Monday 8 November, 9:15-12:15 or Wednesday 1 December, 9:15-12:15 [book a place].
Don’t know whether to use RefWorks or Endnote? See this comparison table to help you decide. Also, get advice from other students and tutors.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Graduate induction tour - Tomorrow (Tuesday 12th) 3pm

I'll be running an introductory tour of the library for new graduate students in US studies tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 12th October) at 3pm.  All welcome - please congregate in the library on the ground floor.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Things to note for the new term

Welcome back to all our returning readers, and welcome to any new ones!  A couple of things to note as term gets underway:

1. Opening hours: From today we are open Monday-Friday 9am-7pm. No weekend opening until Trinity Term I'm afraid.

2. New printing/photocopying system: Over the summer, the Bodleian Libraries introduced a new system for printing, photocopying and scanning.  Payment is now handled via an online system, which is then linked to your University card.
Read more about how the new system works
How-to guides

3. Tour for new graduates: I will be running a tour of the VHL for new graduates in US Studies on Tuesday 12th October at 3pm.

Friday, 1 October 2010

New books for September

The list of new books received in the library during September is now available on our website and LibraryThing page.

The AKS collection: new books for 2010

Each year, the American Association of Rhodes Scholars pays for a batch of new books to be purchased to add to the Adeloytte-Kieffer-Smith (AKS) collection at the VHL.   The AKS books are intended to have wider interest than the purely academic focus of most of our holdings, and the most recent year's acquisitions are kept on the shelves just to your left as you enter the library. Older volumes are shelved as part of the main collection upstairs.  The 2010 additions to the collection are now available in the library, and can also be browsed on SOLO.