Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas closure

The library will close at 5pm on Friday and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 3rd January. For those registered to borrow, any books taken out or renewed from Thursday 22nd will be due back when we reopen on 3rd January.

We hope all our readers have a lovely and peaceful Christmas - see you all in the New Year!

Picture credit: mandaloo on Flickr

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

New sites saved on our delicious page

Digital NC
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Digital Heritage Center works with cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina to digitize and publish historic materials online.
North Carolina Newspapers | DigitalNC
This collection includes a selection of student and community newspapers from schools and towns around North Carolina.
Pasadena Digital History Collaboration
Pasadena Digital History provides access to over 5,000 digital images of photographs, art, and textual materials, all relating to the city of Pasadena, its institutions and its citizens. New materials are being added weekly.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Day by Day
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Day by Day Project is an interactive chronology documenting Franklin Roosevelt’s daily schedule as President, from March 1933 to April 1945. The project was inspired by the work of Pare Lorentz, a Depression era documentary filmmaker, who dedicated much of his life to documenting FDR’s daily activities as president, and is supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust to the Pare Lorentz Center. Featured here are digitized original calendars and schedules maintained by the White House Usher and the official White House stenographer. These calendars trace FDR’s appointments, travel schedule, social events, guests, and more. A searchable database based primarily on these calendar sources is available so that you can search the chronology by keyword and date.
19th-Century American texts/ebooks (Perseus Digital Libary)
Cornell University Library Collection of Political American
Native American Heritage Month
This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Includes links to exhibtions, images, documents and audio and video from various institutions.
Transcripts From Nixon’s Watergate Testimony - Document -
Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library
Unlike modern presidents, Theodore Roosevelt does not have a presidential library. Instead, his personal and presidential papers are scattered in libraries and other sites across the United States. The mission of the Theodore Roosevelt Center is to gather together and digitize copies of all Roosevelt-related items, to make his legacy more readily accessible to scholars and schoolchildren, enthusiasts and interested citizens. Items in the digital library include correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches, and photographs. Users can also view film clips and listen to audio recordings.
The AdViews digital collection provides access to thousands of historic commercials created for clients or acquired by the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B;) advertising agency or its predecessor during the 1950s - 1980s. All of the commercials held in the DMB&B; Archives will be digitized, allowing students and researchers access to a wide range of vintage brand advertising from the first four decades of mainstream commercial television.
The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University. The advertisements are from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920
The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920 (EAA) presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.
SNAC: Social Network and Archival Context Project
Prototype integrated historical resource and access system that will link descriptions of people to one another and to descriptions of resources in archives, libraries and museums; online biographical and historical databases; and other diverse resources.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Possible noise disruption, Monday 12th December

There will be work going on in the library to repair damaged plastering in a room on the top floor, starting on Monday 12th December.  It may be a bit noisy at first, but shouldn't be so for long.  Apologies for any inconvience.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas vacation opening hours

Weekday opening hours over the Christmas vacation are as follows:
  • Monday 5th December - Thursday 22nd December: 9am-7pm.
  • Friday 23rd December - 9am-5pm
  • Monday 26th December - Monday 2nd January - CLOSED
  • Tuesday 3rd January onwards - 9am-7pm.
We will be closed on Saturdays from 10th December - 7th January inclusive.

Monday, 28 November 2011

SOLO downtime Tuesday 29th, 7.00-9.00am

SOLO will be down for essential maintenance tomorrow morning between 7am and 9am. Apologies for any inconvenience!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WISER coming up - Theses, copyright and ORA, Getting organised on the web

Bodleian Libraries will be running the following classes during week 7:

WISER: Your thesis, copyright and ORA (Monday 21 November 9.30 - 10.30am and repeated Friday 25 November 12.30 - 13.30pm) - Oxford DPhil students are required to deposit a copy of their thesis in ORA (Oxford University Research Archive).  This session will focus on copyright and other issues that DPhil students need to take into account when preparing and writing their thesis so that they do not encounter problems when they deposit.      DPhils are encouraged to attend this session early so that they can make sensible decisions regarding rights from the start of their research.   > book your place.

WISER: Getting organised on the web (Monday 21 November 10.45 - 12.15pm)  - This session will look at some tools that can help you organise yourself on the web, including social bookmarking services like, bibliophile sites like LibraryThing and My WorldCat, RSS feeds and readers, and customised start pages.  >book your place.

Keeping up to date with the WISER programme - Why not follow  us on Twitter at  or visit the BodWiser blog at You can also check the timetable on the WISER web site at or join our mailling list by sending an empty email to

Not a member of Oxford University? - If you are not a current member of Oxford University but would like to attend a WISER workshop please contact Please quote your Bodleian readers card barcode number.

If you have any questions please contact

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Alexander Hamilton papers added to American Founding Era collection

Slightly late in announcing this, as they were actually added over the summer, but the American Founding Era Collection now contains the first nine volumes of the Papers of Alexander Hamilton.All twenty-seven volumes should be available early next year, including all the writings by and to Hamilton known to exist.

The American Founding Era collection is available to Oxford University members via OxLIP+ (sign on with your SSO for remote access).

Friday, 4 November 2011

New sites saved on our delicious page

War Relocation Authority (Ohio GODORT Digital Collections)
These materials, which were published between 1942 and 1946 by the War Relocation Authority, Department of the Interior, document the removal of Japanese and Japanese Americans as ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in February 1942.
Photographs of Washington, D.C. and New Haven, Connecticut, By Alexander Lmanian
This collection consists of photographs created by Alexander Lmanian documenting locations and events in Washington, D.C., and its vicinity, 1964-1968, as well as New Haven, Connecticut, 1968-1969. The images of Washington document the physical impact of riots on the city following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4-8, 1968, as well as events and memorials in the city and vicinity, 1967-1968. The images of New Haven primarily document locations in the city, including overhead views of the New Haven Green and city streets, particularly the intersection of Chapel Street and College Street, as well as images of the Yale University campus. Many images show the interior of Lmanian's rooms in Washington and New Haven, including his model airplanes, copy photographs, self-portraits, and scenes from a figure modeling class.
Discovering the Civil War | NARA Archives Wiki
Wiki page for the National Archives' Discovering the Civil War exhibit. Includes digitised versions of all the documents and materials included.
HarpWeek | Presidential Elections 1860-1912
Political cartoons from Harper's Weekly, Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, Vanity Fair, Puck, Judge, and the Library of Congress's Collection of American Political Prints, 1766-1876. It provides explanations of the historical context and images of each cartoon, campaign overviews, biographical sketches, a review of the era's major issues, and other valuable information.
Wilson eLibrary (Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library)
Pennsylvania Digital Library
National Atlas home page™ is the new National Atlas of the United States®. Like its predecessor, this new atlas provides a comprehensive, maplike view into the enormous wealth of geospatial and geostatistical data collected for the United States.
Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
The Atlas is a free internet resource providing results of U.S. Presidential Elections to the world community. Data is collected from many official sources and presented here in one convenient location.
The Daily Iowan Historic Newspapers
Dating back to 1868 the Daily Iowan Newspaper Collection provides access to digitized versions of The Daily Iowan and its predecessors: the University Reporter (1868-81), the Vidette (1879-81), the Vidette-Reporter (1881-1901) and the University Mirror (1881). The newspaper editions are full text searchable. Though not yet comprehensive, issues will continue to be added.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

WISER coming up: Images and Bibliometrics

Next week Bodleian Libraries will be running the following classes and workshops:

ARTstor and Bridgeman: Using images in teaching and learning  (Tuesday 8 November   2.00-4.00)  - The session examines two major digital image collections subscribed to by the University - ARTstor and Bridgeman Education - geared to research and teaching in the humanities, history of science and medicine, and social sciences. Viewing, presenting and managing images are also covered and there will be plenty of time for hands-on practice.    Presenters: Clare Hills-Nova and Vicky Brown .    
Please book your place online   

WISER: Bibliometrics I - Who's citing you?  (Wednesday 9 November 2.00 - 3.00pm)  - An introduction to citation tracking as a tool for finding out who has cited your work.  We will cover citation tracking using Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar and will include time for you to use each tool to find citations to your own work.    Presenters:   Juliet Ralph and Angela Carritt. Find out more about this session on the BodWISER blog.  Please book your place online.

WISER: Bibliometrics II - The Black Art of Citation Ranking  (Wednesday 9 November 3.15 - 4.15pm )    -  An introduction to using bibliometrics to calculate research impact. Using Web of Science & Scopus discover the pitfalls of impact factors for individual and departments, how to calculate your h-index and view journal impact factors to find the most influential journals.  Intended audience: science and social science. If you are unfamiliar with citation tracking please attend "WISER: Who's citing you?" before this course.   Presenters: Juliet Ralph and Angela Carritt.  Find out more about this session on the BodWISER blog. Please book your place online.

Recommended subject resources - The Bodleian LibGuides service include resource and research guides covering over 80 subjects.  Link to LibGuides to find out what is available for your subject.

Keeping up to date with the WISER programme - Why not follow  us on Twitter at  or visit the BodWiser blog at You can also check the timetable on the WISER web site at

Not a member of Oxford University? - If you are not a current member of Oxford University but would like to attend a WISER workshop please contact Please quote your Bodleian readers card barcode number.

If you have any questions please contact

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Chronicling America talk: write-up now available

If you missed last week's talk on Chronicling America, or if you came but would like a reminder for future reference, I have written up my notes from Deborah Thomas's presentation on our Resources blog at:

For those who haven't come across the Resources blog yet, this is a blog designed to provide more in-depth guidance to the US Studies/US History collections at the VHL, as well as electronic resources and those freely available online. You can see the latest posts linked to in the sidebar of this blog and in our online guide to US History sources, as well subscribe directly to the blog via email, RSS, Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bodleian Libraries web redevelopment - quick survey

The Bodleian Libraries web team are currently engaged in a project to redevelop the libraries' web pages, and as part of this are conducting a survey of library users. If you have a couple of minutes, please go to the following link and tell us how you use the website and find information about the libraries:

Alternatively, fill out one of the paper forms available in the library and return it to us by Friday 5th November. Thanks!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Latest US Studies links saved on delicious

For those new to Oxford, you may not know that the VHL has a page on a site called Delicious where we save links to useful websites and free web resources for US Studies.  There is a huge and growing number of quality resources available freely online, especially for historic primary source material, and with so much there it can be difficult to know where to start looking.  We keep our eyes open for sites which look good and useful, and save them for you on our delicious page.  Every now and then I post a summary of recently saved links on the blog as a reminder and to highlight the resources we've come across. You can also always browse our list of sites directly on our delicious page, or see the most recent links listed in the sidebar of the blog or on our online guide to US History

Other Oxford libraries are also using delicious in this way. Historians might also want to check out the History Faculty Library's links at
Nearly 100,000 historic photos and maps from the Philadelphia City Archives.
Mapping Du Bois: The Philadelphia Negro
This research, education, and outreach project is dedicated to using new technology and archival data to recreate the survey W.E.B. Du Bois conducted of Philadelphia's Seventh Ward for his 1899 classic book, The Philadelphia Negro.
Septimus D. Cabaniss Papers (University of Alabama)
The University of Alabama Libraries' Digital Services Department was awarded a grant by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to digitize the papers of Septimus D. Cabaniss, a Civil War era attorney, noteworthy for his role as executor of the estate of a wealthy plantation owner who sought to manumit and leave property to his slaves. We now provide contextualized, freely-available online access to the complete holdings of the Septimus D. Cabaniss Papers, which consists of 14, 970 items totalling 46,663 images. Each separate document is linked out from the online searchable finding aid.
Civil War Resources: North Carolina Digital Collections
Read letters to and from soldiers during the course of the war. Examine published regimental histories. Search related state documents and selected governors' correspondence and letter books. A growing number of resources relating to the Civil War are being digitized by the North Carolina State Archives and the Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina and are made available through the North Carolina Digital Collections for historians, researchers, students, genealogists and other interested parties.
Commission on Presidential Debates: Debate Transcripts
Unofficial transcripts of most Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates since 1960.
Africana Age (Schomburg Center)
Exhibition site from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, tracing the history throughout the 20th century of Africa and African diasporas. Includes lots of material on the United States.
HFL DigiDocs: Scanned articles for MSt US History
HFL DigiDocs: Set texts for SS Slavery and the Crisis of the Union
Scanned texts for the Slavery and the Crisis of the Union special subject, available via the HFL's weblearn site (Oxford log-in required)
Digital collections at the Virginia Historical Society
New Georgia Encyclopedia: History & Archaeology
The New Georgia Encyclopedia is the first state encyclopedia to be conceived and designed exclusively for publication on the Internet. By opening a window to Georgia's rich history, diverse culture, and still-unfolding story, the New Georgia Encyclopedia is an authoritative and important resource. As an online endeavor, the NGE is an organic, "living" project—content can be continually added, and existing content can be updated, as resources allow.
The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories (The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)
This portal principally focuses on making available information about relevant audiovisual collections throughout the country. Because the collections reside at a wide range of institutions, we are not able to provide access to the collections themselves. The repositories include local historical societies, university special collections, and public libraries. The database will allow users to search for and locate information about collections in the following ways: by broad topic listings, by Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), by the name of the collection or the repository, and by the geographic location of the repository. In some instances one can locate interviews by searching on the names of individual CRM participants, if the repositories have made such information available through their websites and/or finding aids.
Presidential Timeline
The Presidential Timeline provides a single point of access to an ever-growing selection of digitized assets from the collections of the thirteen Presidential Libraries of the National Archives. Among these assets you’ll find documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video relating to the events of the presidents’ lives.
U. S. Congressional Serial Set: Finding List by Agency
Listing of reports/documents by agency included in the Serial Set, with volume numbers.
The Vault - FBI
The Vault is our new electronic reading room, containing more than 3,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office. Included here are more than 25 new files that have been released to the public but never added to this website; dozens of records previously posted on our site but removed as requests diminished; and files from our previous electronic reading room. Since the launch of the Vault in April 2011, we have also added more than 30 new, previously unreleased files.
Washington State Library - Washington Rural Heritage
Washington Rural Heritage is a collection of historic materials documenting the early culture, industry, and community life of Washington State. The collection is a project of small, rural libraries and cultural institutions throughout Washington, in partnership with the Washington State Library
Castle Garden
This free site offers access to an extraordinary database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. is an invaluable resource for educators, scholars, students, family historians, and the interested public. Currently the site hosts 11 million records, and support is needed to complete the complete digitization of the original ship manifests.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections : Newspapers
The Newspapers of Connecticut collection is a sample collection of historical newspapers covering the various regions, perspectives and topics of the Civil War era in Connecticut. Newspaper titles are being added on an ongoing basis. Titles included to date are: Connecticut Fifth (1862) Connecticut War Record (1863-1865) Soldiers' Record (1868-1871) Stafford News Letter (1859 & 1865) Tolland County Press and Stafford News Letter (1867) Tolland County Press (1871, 1873, 1875-1876) Twenty-sixth (Camp Parapet, La. and New London, Conn.) (1863-1865)
Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries is an online guide to thousands of items—diaries, commonplace books, correspondence, legal documents, University records, drawings, maps, student notebooks, scientific observations, and lecture notes—that form the documentary history of Harvard and serve as one of the great social history collections on the evolving United States. Together, these materials provide insight into the material culture of colonial life, the legal and social concerns of citizens, the costs of goods and services, the books that influenced thought and education, and myriad other aspects of the material and intellectual life in New England. In addition to detailed records on these holdings, researchers will find that more than 13,000 pages from these holdings have been digitized and are available online.
NATO Archives
Historic Oregon Newspapers
Digitised archives of 30 Oregon newspapers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Civil War in the American South
In recognition of the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War, Civil War and the American South provides a central portal to access digital collections from the Civil War Era (1850-1865) held by members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). ASERL members hold deep and extensive collections documenting the history and culture of the American South, developed over hundreds of years to support scholarly research and teaching. Many of the special or unique manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers, broadsides, and other materials have been digitized to provide broader access to these documents for scholars and students around the world. Civil War and the American South is a collaborative initiative to provide a single, shared point of access to the Civil War digital collections held at many individual libraries.
South Carolina Digital Library
The South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL) is a collaborative effort that includes South Carolina’s schools, libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. SCDL’s mission is to encourage our collaborators to create, maintain, and promote digital collections that represent South Carolina's historical and cultural resources while following state-level guidelines that are based on national standards and best practices.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

WISER coming up: E-books

Next week Bodleian Libraries will be running the following classes and workshops:

WISER: E-Books (Wednesday 2 November 14.00 - 15.00)  - An overview of what is currently available and how to access them from the point of view of the student, the researcher and the academic
Presenter: Hilla Wait
Book your place online at

WISER: E-Book Readers (Wednesday 2 November 15.15 - 16.15) - How useful are e-book readers in academic work? Can they be used for accessing library materials? What are the features to look out for when considering purchase?  These and similar questions will be considered with particular reference to the iPad, the Amazon Kindle and Sony Touch e-readers and smartphones.
Presenter: Hilla Wait
Book your place online at

Have you visited LibGuides recently? - The Bodleian LibGuides service include resource and research guides covering over 80 subjects.  Link to LibGuides to find out what is available for your subject.

Keeping up to date with the WISER programme - Why not follow  us on Twitter at  or visit the BodWiser blog at You can also check the timetable on the WISER web site at

Not a member of Oxford University? - If you are not a current member of Oxford University but would like to attend a WISER workshop please contact Please quote your Bodleian readers card barcode number.

If you have any questions please contact

Monday, 24 October 2011

Coming up this week: Talk on Chronicling America, History Graduate Information Fair

Reminder of a couple of events coming up this week:

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers from the Library of Congress

Deborah Thomas from the National Digital Newspaper Program at the Library of Congress will be here on Thursday, and will give a talk on the Chronicling America site and project.

Chronicling America provides access to thousands of digitised pages from historic American newspapers covering 1836-1922, as well as comprehensive bibliographic information about newspapers published in the United States from 1690 to the present. Come along and learn more about the project and how to make the best use of the site to support your studies or research.

Date: Thursday 27th October, 2.00pm.
Location: Rothermere American Institute, Seminar Room 2/3.

History Graduate Information Fair

All graduates are encouraged to drop in on this fair, which is conceived as a gateway to the university's information resources: its library and archival holdings and its electronic resources. Medieval, modern, British, European, African, US history, Slavonic, Latin American collections and many more will all be addressed. Library and other information professionals as well as academic historians from across the university will have stalls where they will demonstrate and talk to you about what the libraries have to offer. Finally, a number of current graduates will share their top 10 tips with you.

Date: Wednesday 26th October, 2.00pm-4.00pm
Location: North Writing School, Exam Schools, High Street

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

WISER coming up: Images, Finding stuff, Getting information to come to you

Workshops in Information Skills and E-resources (WISER)  are free workshops run by Bodleian Libraries. They are open to all members of Oxford University and to Bodleian Libraries readers.   If you are not a current member of Oxford University please book your place by emailing  Current members of Oxford University should follow the "book your place" links below to book places.

WISER: Finding Stuff – Books etc 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.
Presenters: Angela Carritt and Kerry Webb
Monday 24 October 9.15 - 10.00am  Book Now 
Friday 28 October 9.30 - 10.30am Book Now

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.
Presenters: Sue Bird and Angela Carritt
Monday 24 October 11.30 - 12.15pm  Book Now

ARTstor and Bridgeman: Using images in teaching and learning
This introductory session examines two major digital image collections subscribed to by the University - ARTstor and Bridgeman Education - geared to research and teaching in the humanities, history of science and medicine, and social sciences. Viewing, presenting and managing images are also covered.   The focus of this session will be on images for Medieval & Modern Languages, but members of other faculties are welcome to attend.   Please note that this session will not include hands on.
Presenters:  Clare Hills-Nova and Vicky Brown.
Thursday, 27 October 2.00-3.00.  Please note that this session will take place at the Taylor Institution, Room 10b.    There is no need to book - please just turn up.

WISER: Getting information to come to you
This session will show you how to set up alerts to journals, databases and websites, so that you receive notifications when new content is added. Participants will have the opportunity to set up feed readers and/or email notifications during the session (max 300 characters)
Presenters:  Jane Rawson and Penny Schenk
Friday 28 October 10.45 - 12.15pm  Book Now

Keeping up to date with the WISER programme
Why not follow  us on Twitter at or visit the BodWiser blog at You can also check the timetable on the WISER web site at

Bodleian LibGuides Service
Please remember that you can find resource and research guides on our Bodleian LibGuides service at     Many more resource guides have been added over the summer vacation and LibGuides now includes 176 guides covering over 80 subjects.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Talk on Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers from the Library of Congress

Chronicling America provides access to thousands of digitised pages from historic American newspapers covering 1836-1922, as well as comprehensive bibliographic information about newspapers published in the United States from 1690 to the present. Come along and learn more about the project and how to make the best use of the site to support your studies or research.

Date: Thursday 27th October, 2.00pm.
Location: Rothermere American Institute, Seminar Room 2/3.
Presenter: Deborah Thomas, Coordinator, National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress.

No need to book, just turn up!

Friday, 7 October 2011

WISER sessions for Michaelmas Term

The full timetable of WISER training sessions offered by the Bodleian Libraries during Michaelmas term is now available at:

WISER (or Workshops in Information Skills and Electronic Resources) is a free programme of classes designed to help you to make effective use of electronic and other library resources in your research and learning.  Although the workshops are free, booking is essential.  To book please follow the "book now" links on the WISER web page or visit the the OUCS courses website (booking opens one month in advance of each session).    If you do not have a University card but would like to attend a course please contact User Education (

If you would like to have more information about a workshop, or need assistance with booking please email:

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New e-resource for one year only: American History in Video

We have a year's access to American History in Video from Alexander Street Press, which is now available for Oxford users until the beginning of October 2012 only.

American History in Video provides the largest and richest online collection of video available for the study of American history—2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. Historical coverage in the collection ranges from the early history of Native Americans, to the lost colony of Roanoke, to the 1988 Vicennes Affair in the Persian Gulf. Biographical coverage ranges from eighteenth century figures such as Benedict Arnold and Daniel Boone to modern day figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Helen Thomas. The database includes documentaries as well as newsreel and archival footage. (More information)

It will shortly be available via OxLIP+, and can also be accessed directly from within the University network at

Make the most of it while we have it!

VHL Induction Tour for New Graduates

I will be offering an induction tour of the VHL for new US Studies graduates on Thursday 13th October at 10.30am.  Come along to get an introduction to the library and resources for studying US History & Politics!

More information on graduate skills training for new History graduates can be found on the History Faculty Library's website at:

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

New e-resource: Oxford Bibliographies Online

The Bodleian Libraries have now got access to Oxford Bibliographies Online, comprehensive subject bibliographies, which provide an up-to-date overview of the most recent and authoritative scholarship in a given field.

There are several different modules available, one of which is Atlantic History.  You can read more about OBO at:, and browse the various bibliographies available for Atlantic History at:

OBO is available via OxLIP+.

VHL stack requests now fixed

It looks like the problem that was affecting stack requests for books in the VHL stack has been fixed. Please do let us know if you continue to have difficulties so that we can both get books up for you and also report back to the Systems Team to make further adjustments if it turns out more work is needed.



Friday, 30 September 2011

Term time opening hours and *NEW* Saturday opening

From Monday 3rd October we will revert to our term time opening hours of 9am-7pm, Monday-Friday.  We are also pleased be able to announce that we are extending Saturday opening hours this year, and so will be open from 10am-2pm on Saturdays during term time (0th-8th week).

Monday, 26 September 2011

SOLO: New version of the library catalogue now live

Welcome back to anyone returning to Oxford after the summer! If you have been away, you may have missed the fact that over the summer, the Bodleian Libraries moved to a new library system. There is now a new version of SOLO which will allow you not only to search for books, journals and other resources, but which you can also use to place stack requests, and check and renew your loans.  The old OLIS interface is no longer available, either for searching the catalogue or for these functions.

Using SOLO
There is an online guide available to help you both with searching SOLO and with managing your account: 

The online guide includes step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on:
  • Searching
  • Logging on
  • Placing stack requests and reservations 
  • Renewing your books
    Using the e-shelf

If you need more help, the Bodleian Libraries are also running training sessions throughout Michaelmas Term. See for more information and dates.

Resetting your password (for library PCs, wireless network, SOLO for non-University members)
You can now reset your library password yourself using an online form at:

New system bugs
As with any new system, there are a few things which aren’t working smoothly yet. Our systems team is working hard with the software supplier to get everything fixed as soon as possible, but in the meantime you may come across the following problems:

  • Stack requests for books in the VHL stack: Some readers are currently unable to place requests for books in the VHL stack via SOLO. If you find this affects you, please ask us and we will place the request on your behalf.
  • VHL stack displaying as ‘remote store’: Please be assured that our stack has not moved! VHL stack books are still on site, even though on SOLO they will say ‘remote store’. We hope to be able to change this.
  • VHL books displaying as loans, even when they’re not: Many of our books now say ‘standard loan’ on SOLO. Unlike other libraries, this does not mean they are borrowable! We hope to be able to change this too.
  • Problems ordering multivolume works: There have been difficulties placing stack requests for books which have multiple volumes or journals. If you are having difficulty, please ask staff and we can put the request in for you.
  • E-shelf data: Any records which you saved to your e-shelf should have migrated, but a few went astray on the way. If you are missing your e-shelf data, let us know and we can ask the Systems Team to restore it for you.

If you come across any other problems, or are having difficulty using SOLO, please do ask us and we will do what we can to help you!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

More SOLO workshops

If you need a little help navigating SOLO or learning how to get the most out of it, the Bodleian Libraries are continuing to run regular SOLO workshops for readers. Upcoming dates are as follows:

WISER: Finding Stuff – Books etc on SOLO
Thursday 23 September 9.30-10.30 at the Radcliffe Science Library
> Book your place by emailing quoting your name and 23 September 9.30-10.30

WISER: Finding Stuff – Books etc on SOLO

Monday 24 October 9.15 - 10.00 at Oxford University Computing Service.
> Booking will open soon

WISER: Finding Stuff – Books etc on SOLO
Friday 28 October 9.30-10.30 at Oxford University Computing Service
> Booking will open soon

WISER: Finding Stuff – Books etc on SOLO
Monday 14 November 10.00-10.45 at Oxford University Computing Service
> Booking will open soon

Monday, 22 August 2011

Bank holiday closing

The library will be closed on Monday 29th August for the August Bank Holiday.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Follow me to visit libraries and archives in the USA

(Cross-posted to the VHL Resources blog)

In April, I was selected as the 2011 recipient of the CILIP/ESU Travelling Librarian Award, which supports a UK librarian to travel to the United States to visit libraries and archives. The award is designed to promote and develop UK-US library links, and is an excellent opportunity for me both to learn more about historic library collections in the US and to share information on the American collections at Oxford with librarians in the United States.

I'll be flying out to the US one month today, on 17th September, and will be blogging my trip at I'll also be tweeting as @jlrawson. You can view my itinerary on the blog at - I'll be visiting a variety of libraries and archives with significant historical collections, all in the east coast area. Follow me as I travel and gain an insight into the places that I visit!  If you have things you'd like to know, or questions you'd like me to ask while I'm there, feel free to let me know.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

SOLO update: what's now working, what's still not quite!

The various bugs and glitches with the new library system and SOLO are gradually getting sorted out.  Here's an update on things that have been fixed and things that are still problematic:
  • Hold (stack) request notifications: You should now receive emails when your stack requests arrive at the reading room. This should help with the problem of knowing when to expect things, as SOLO no longer gives you an expected arrival date/time. In general, the standard advice is that requests take 24-48 hours to arrive, but with the notifications you will now know as soon as they do, whether they take longer or (hopefully usually!) shorter than that.
  • VHL stack requests: These are still not fully working, but progress has been made and I'm hopeful you will be able to put in requests 'properly' via SOLO soon.  In the meantime, we will continue to fetch things up using the manual request slips.
  • VHL stack location - "remote store": All stack books from all libraries, regardless of location, are listed as being "remote store" on SOLO. Please be reassured that if you see "remote store" for a VHL book, it is not remote at all, but is in fact in our stack here on-site. 
  • Hold (stack) requests for multivolume works: It is not currently possible to request more than one volume of a multivolume work via SOLO.  We can override this from the staff side, so if you want more than one volume of a work let us know and we will place the request for you.
  • e-shelf data: This has now been migrated, however there are reports of a few people who still can't see their old data as the systems failed to match properly.  If this applies to you, then please let a member of library staff know and we will ask for your data to be migrated to you.
Otherwise, things are working ever more smoothly. If you do come across problems using SOLO/placing hold requests etc, please let us know or report them using the feedback link on SOLO itself.  If you're having difficulty finding your way around SOLO in the first place, then take a look at the online guide or ask us for help.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Library opening late Wednesday 10th August

Due to a planned electrical shutdown, the library will open at 9.30am next Wednesday (10th August).

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Having trouble with SOLO? Training sessions available 9th & 24th August

If you're finding SOLO difficult to use, and are struggling to find things, then help is at hand! As well as the online guide, the Bodleian Libraries are running training sessions on using SOLO for readers - details as follows:

WISER:  Finding Stuff on SOLO
This hands on workshop will focus on search techniques for finding books, journals and other Library materials in print and online using SOLO. The session will also cover placing requests and reservations using SOLO, book renewals and using the SOLO e-shelf and saved searches.

Dates:   This workshop will run on the following dates (you only need to attend one session). 
  • Tuesday 9 August 14.30-15.30  at the Social Science Library
  • Wednesday 24 August 10.00-11.00  at the Radcliffe Science Library
More dates will be added over the summer, please check for more details.

Who may attend:    All Bodleian Libraries and College readers may attend but please book your place.

Booking:  Booking for these workshops is essential. Please book your place by emailing quoting the date of the workshop that you wish to attend.

Friday, 29 July 2011

SOLO update: stack requests from Bodleian to VHL also not working

In addition to SOLO not currently allowing stack requests for books from the VHL stack, we've also discovered that stack requests are not always working to request books from the Bodleian stacks to the VHL.  The problem here is that the VHL is not listed as one of the possible pick-up locations, and unfortunately this means that we can't override this for you from the staff side.  I have reported this and we hope it'll be fixed soon, but in the meantime I'm afraid you will need to go to another library or reading room to consult Bodleian material.

This problem doesn't seem to be affecting oversize books, which continue to only be available to be requested to the VHL.

There is also a separate problem where some readers are not able to place any stack requests at all, despite always having been able to do so.  This is also being investigated, and the good news is that staff can override this block so please ask us to place stack requests for you if you find you are not currently able to do so yourself.

If you do come across this, or any other problems with stack requests to the VHL, please do let me know.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

SOLO update: renewals now working

The bug which has been preventing readers from renewing their books online via SOLO has now been fixed. If you see the 'renew failed' message from now on, it means that there's a genuine, library-specific reason why you can't renew, eg, limits on number of renewals, restrictions on renewing overdue books.

Fixes are still being worked on for the various other bugs, and we'll update as and when things get sorted out. Don't forget, if you are experiencing problems with SOLO, please report them either to us or use the feedback link on SOLO itself.  If you need guidance on how to do things in SOLO, again feel free to ask us or take a look at the online guide.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: full text now available (Humanities & Social Sciences)

Some particularly good news for readers wanting to access American theses, which have always been very difficult to get hold of here. Oxford now has access to the full text collection of ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for Humanities and Social Sciences. Full text is available for North American theses published since 1997, and for a lot of older works too. 

To access full text theses, make sure you select "ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection (full-text)" from the available options listed on OxLIP+.  If you choose just 'Dissertations & Theses' you will be taken to the interface we previously had available which allows you to search but not access the full text.

New History electronic resources available

Several major new electronic resources have been purchased for History this week, several of which may be of interest to Americanists.

The new resources include:
  • State Papers Online II: The Tudors, 1509-1603 (Foreign)
  • Periodicals Archive Online 7 (includes The Spectator, 1828-2000)
  • The Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888-2006
  • FBIS Western Europe, 1974-1996
  • Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700
  • Latin American Newspapers, 1805-1922
For more information, please see the History Faculty Library's blog. All are accessible via OxLIP+ (use single sign-on for remote access).

Stack requests for VHL stack books not working and other new SOLO bugs

It's come to our attention that stack requests aren't working on the new system for books kept in the VHL stack.  I've reported it and it is being investigated, but in the meantime the only way to call up our stack books is the old-fashioned manual way.  If you would like to see a book kept in our stack, then please come into the library or give us a ring/send us an email to give us the details so that we can go down and fetch it for you.

I'm afraid this does mean that we are not able to send VHL stack books elsewhere in the Bodleian Libraries for consultation until the problem is fixed, so if you do want a book from our stack you will need to come into the VHL to read it.

It also looks as if VHL stack books are not displaying their location on SOLO (which may be the reason the requests aren't working!).  As a general rule, anything published pre-1920 will be in the stack, but do ask if you're not sure - we can see the location on the staff side.

There are various other bugs currently causing problems on SOLO as well - summary as follows:
  • Renewals: It's currently not possible to renew your loans or your stack requests via SOLO. Staff can do so on your behalf, so please ask the relevant library.  Fines are generally being waived across the system while everything settles down, and no stack requests are going back to the stacks until at least Monday 1st August.
  • Stack requests for multiple volumes of the same work (books and journals): If you try to request more than one volume of a work, you will get a message saying you already have a request and won't be able to request subsequent volumes. Again staff can get round this, so please ask us to place the requests on your behalf.
  • e-shelf: e-shelf data has still not been migrated. Don't worry, your saved records have not been lost, it's just taking them longer than we thought to transfer the data.
  • Visibility of stack books already called up to reading rooms: SOLO is not displaying properly when stack books are already out from the stack, which means it's hard to know when you place a request either whether it's available or not, or if it's already in a reading room, where it is so that you can go and consult it there.
  • Estimated delivery times: SOLO does not tell you when you place a request when to expect it at the reading room. The idea was that you would be emailed when your books arrived, but this is not working properly yet either. You can always check the status of your request by logging in to SOLO and looking at your account.  As a general rule, books take 24-48 hours to arrive in the reading room from the stack.
All of these are known about by our systems people and by the software developers, who are working to fix the bugs as soon as possible. If you are having problems with any aspect of SOLO and the new system, please do report it either to library staff or via the feedback link on SOLO (top right, next to 'help').

Friday, 22 July 2011

SOLO: new & improved and now live!

The new, improved version of SOLO has just gone live!  You will now be able to make stack requests, check your loans record and renew books all within SOLO.

How do I...?
The SOLO online guide includes instructions on how to do all of these things, as well as guidance on how best to search.  The Libraries are also running several training sessions to help readers learn their way around SOLO - details available at:

Logging on to SOLO
If you are a University member, you will need to log on to SOLO using your Oxford single sign-on account. Remember to log off when you are finished so that no-one else can access your record!  You will still need your library card barcode and password for logging on to PCs in libraries or accessing the Bodleian Libraries wireless network.

If you are not a member of Oxford University, but have a Bodleian Libraries' readers card, you will log on to SOLO using your library card barcode and password.

If you can't remember the password that goes with your library card barcode, you can reset it online yourself at:

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Resetting library passwords

It is now possible to reset your own library password, to use to log on to library PCs, the Bodleian Libraries wireless service, and (for non-Oxford University members from tomorrow onwards), SOLO to place stack requests and check your record etc. You can do this via an online form at There is an online guide available to walk you through the process at:, but staff will still be able to reset passwords for you if you have problems with this method.

SOLO downtime this afternoon

As part of the final preparation for the new system coming in tomorrow, SOLO will need to be taken down at 3pm this afternoon until 9am tomorrow morning. If you need to find material while SOLO is out of action, please check COPAC, or ask staff for help. Alternatively, a good tip for the VHL if ever SOLO is down is to search the Library of Congress's catalogue. It won't tell you whether we have a book here but the shelfmark would be the same if we do, so it will at least point you in the right direction on our shelves!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Stack requests after 'go-live'

An update on what will happen to stack requests once the new library system comes in:

Stack requests already called up to libraries
These will remain on reserve in the reading rooms until Monday 1st August. This should give you time to renew your stack books on SOLO to keep for longer if you so require, otherwise any books you currently have called up will be returned to the stack from that date.

New stack requests
Assuming all goes well with the last few bits of the implementation over the next couple of days, you should be able to start ordering books from the stacks again from 9am on Friday 22nd July.  Stack requests, like all other library functions, will now be placed via SOLO. See the SOLO online guide for information on how to do this.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Need help with SOLO? Training and guide available

If you're having difficulty with SOLO, or would like some extra help or guidance, the Bodleian Libraries are running extra 'Finding Stuff on SOLO' workshops this summer, as follows:

WISER:  Finding Stuff on SOLO
This hands on workshop will focus on search techniques for finding books, journals and other Library materials in print and online using SOLO. The session will also cover placing requests and reservations using SOLO, book renewals and using the SOLO e-shelf and saved searches.

Dates:   This workshop will run on the following dates (you only need to attend one session). 
  • Wednesday 27 July 9.30-10.30 at the Radcliffe Science Library
  • Tuesday 9 August 14.30-15.30  at the Social Science Library
  • Wednesday 24 August 10.00-11.00  at the Radcliffe Science Library
More dates will be added over the summer, please check for more details.

Don't forget you can always get help from the SOLO online guide, or ask staff in any library to give you a hand.

Friday, 15 July 2011

New library system: delay to 'go live' date, now Friday 22nd July

Due to OLIS (the old version) crashing last Thursday, there has unfortunately been a delay to getting the new system up and running.  The new date for all to be working is 9am on Friday 22nd July.

All the arrangements that have been in place for the downtime this week will continue throughout next week. If you need material urgently, the 'just-in-time' team will be available to locate alternative copies where possible via the online request form. The SOLO Live Help will also continue to be available for assistance with SOLO, which will remain available until 3pm on Thursday 21st, when it will need to be taken down for the final part of the preparation for the new system.

We apologise for the delay, and thanks for your patience!

Update 18/7/11: The Bodleian Libraries have posted a notice with more information on their website.

Mezzanine seating reserved week beginning 18th July

The RAI is hosting a summer school for sixth form students next week.  They will be using the library for their own studies in the afternoons, and the mezzanine seating will be reserved for them while they are in the library.  Please use alternative seating on the other floors if you are working in the VHL in the afternoons next week.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New sites saved on our delicious page

Since it's been a while since the last time I did this, a reminder that the VHL maintains a page on Delicious where we save links to useful and interesting web sites for US studies as we come across them. Periodically I will post the most recently saved links to the blog, as below. You can also always see the most recent links listed in the sidebar, as well as on the online US History guide, or of course, check out our Delicious page itself!
Data Visualization: Journalism's Voyage West
This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers. Includes links through to the newspaper entries on "Chronicling America".
Site which allows you to browse historic photos by location on Google Maps. Photos come from a variety of libraries and archives around the world, as well as uploaded by site members. You can limit by period, and see photos superimposed on streetview. Over 50,000 photos have been added so far. There is also a 'collections' feature, which brings together images around particular themes or events.
Treasures of the North Carolina State Archives and the State Library of North Carolina
An online exhibit of some of the most priceless items from the collections at the North Carolina State Archives, with supplemental materials from the State Library of North Carolina to be added later. These archival documents are not available for public viewing except at specifically designated times due to their importance to the state’s history and, in some cases, their fragile condition. Also included in this online collection are some examples of presidential signatures that the State Archives has collected over time. The collections are browsable by period.
Theodore Roosevelt's scrapbooks digitized
Houghton’s collaborative digitization project of the Theodore Roosevelt manuscript materials with Dickinson State University in North Dakota includes 11 scrapbooks, which are now all available to browse online.
Collections Access — Historic New England
The Collections Access Project makes possible unprecedented online access to museum objects, manuscripts, books, photographs, and other materials in Historic New England’s collections. By searching the online database, visitors to the web site can see images along with descriptive catalogue information and unique stories about objects located throughout the organization’s historic properties and storage facilities.
Historical Newspapers Online (Penn Libraries)
Useful list of links to free digitised newspaper archives.
W.E.B. Du Bois Papers and Photographs (University of Massachusetts Digital Collections)
Search and view correspondence, writings, and photographs in the W.E.B. Du Bois Papers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
North Carolina Family Records Online
This collection contains Bible Records (lists of birth, marriage, and death information recorded in North Carolina Bibles throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries), marriage and death notices that appeared in five North Carolina newspapers from 1799-1893, cemetery photographs, and more to provide easy access to North Carolina's genealogical past.
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force", was commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967. In June of 1971, small portions of the report were leaked to the press and widely distributed. However, the publications of the report that resulted from these leaks were incomplete and suffered from many quality issues. On the 40th anniversary of the leak to the press, the National Archives, along with the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Presidential Libraries, has released the complete report. There are 48 boxes and approximately 7,000 declassified pages. Approximately 34% of the report is available for the first time.
Civil War Diaries and Letters (University of Iowa Libraries)
Thousands of pages of diaries and letters from the Civil War period (some also extending for years either side). The pages are scans, mostly without transcription or full-text searching at the moment, although there is a crowdsourcing project underway to transcribe them.
Medicine in the Americas, 1619-1914: A Digital Library
Medicine in the Americas is a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century.
Newseum | News | Today's Front Pages | Archive List
The Newseum archive of front pages from a wide variety of newspapers published on historic dates.
National Jukebox (Library of Congress Historic Recordings)
The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives. At launch, the Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. Jukebox content will be increased regularly, with additional Victor recordings and acoustically recorded titles made by other Sony-owned U.S. labels, including Columbia, OKeh, and others. As well as popular and classical music, the Jukebox contains recordings of political speeches by William Jennings Bryan, W.H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson and others.
Guide to searching State Legislative databases
PDF guide to searching the 50 state legislative databases.

Monday, 11 July 2011

New books for June

With apologies for the delay, the list of new books received in the library during June (selection displayed above) is now available on our website and LibraryThing page. A reminder that you can always see a selection of recently acquired books in the library on the sidebar of this blog and on our Facebook page (click on 'LibraryThing' on the left-hand side). You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of our new books from this link:

Friday, 8 July 2011

OLIS downtime: help with SOLO and/or locating material

The Bodleian Libraries have put various things in place to help support readers during the OLIS downtime. Please note that OLIS crashed yesterday and is currently still down; we should find out shortly whether it will be resurrected today before the scheduled downtime begins.  I should underline that this unforeseen crash is completely unrelated to the switchover to the new system, and our systems people are working very hard to restore access today. 

Obtaining material held in the Bodleian stack
If you need to get hold of books that are in the Bodleian stack over the next week (and are unable to wait until the new library system is up and running on Monday 18th), there is a dedicated 'just-in-time' team available who are there to try and locate alternative copies of books and journals which are unavailable during the downtime. You can contact them via an online form at:

SOLO help
If you are not familiar with SOLO, and are having difficulty finding things, there is now a live online help service available from the SOLO main page. This will be staffed 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, throughout the downtime, for any questions you may have or to help you with searching SOLO.  There is also an online guide to SOLO, which should show you how to do most things.

Further questions or help
The Bodleian Libraries email address for questions relating to the downtime is  You can of course always contact library staff in any library as well, and we will all do our best to help you during the transition.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New library system update: using SOLO

Here's some more information from the Bodleian Libraries about SOLO, which as previously mentioned will be the only way to search the library catalogue when the old OLIS is taken down at 5pm on Friday.

As part of the transition to a new integrated library system at the Bodleian Libraries, on 18 July all patron functions currently offered in OLIS will move to a new version of SOLO. This will replace OLIS (WebOPAC and telnet versions) and can be searched by anybody anywhere in the world. Registered readers need to use only one interface both to locate collections and to order them, but can then also renew loans and holds, check their patron record, etc. Also, once signed on to SOLO (s.b.), Oxford members who are working off-campus will have seamless access to subscription e-resources without having to sign on again.

More about SOLO
Since October 2008 SOLO has been a search and discovery tool for the major collections of the libraries of the University of Oxford. As well as searching the University libraries’ print and electronic holdings and title links to more than 1,100 databases on OxLIP+, it also searches ORA (Oxford University Research Archive), the Bodleian Library Allegro Chinese and Allegro Japanese catalogues and the Refugee Studies Cardbox catalogue (mostly grey literature published before 2004).

On 18 July, in addition to patron functions, the new version of SOLO will also feature enhanced searching functionality, esp. in Advanced Search where an additional search box and new fields have been added. For instance, scholars researching early printed books will welcome the addition of certain searches such as date of publication, place of publication and publisher.

Unlike OLIS, SOLO allows registered readers to save search results and set up search alerts; all registered readers, including non-Oxford users, can also save details of collections to a personal e-shelf.

Signing on to SOLO after 18 July
Readers who wish to check the status of books, stack requests, use the e-shelf, etc. need to be registered readers before they can sign on to SOLO. Oxford members should sign on with their Single Sign On details; non-Oxford members will continue to sign on with their Library Card barcode and associated password.

Need help with SOLO?
A SOLO guide gives helpful instruction how to use it. A series of SOLO workshops will be offered after the go-live. See the timetable for details and bookings. Do not hesitate to contact library staff who can also assist with any enquiries or problems. Finally, for the period of the downtime 8-18 July, a SOLO Live Chat will offer immediate assistance to readers in the use of SOLO.

Important news for current e-Shelf users
If you are currently using SOLO's e-shelf functions, we shall need to migrate your personal data. It is imperative that by 8th July you have set your email address correctly in SOLO. If you have not already done so, then please sign in to your SOLO account using the "Oxford Single Sign On" link on the top right corner of the screen. Once signed on, click on "My Account" then choose "Edit Details" to set your email address. Please use the same email address as you do for OLIS. (You can check your current email address in OLIS by logging in to OLIS,, or by asking library staff.) This must be done before 8th July so your email addresses in SOLO and OLIS match before data migrations are started on 8th July.

[From Bodleian Libraries Reader Notices.]

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Gladstone Link: new reading room in the Bodleian Library, open today

Reposting this from the History Faculty Library's blog, about the new area for readers in the Central Bodleian which opened today:

The Gladstone Link is a new area of the Bodleian Library for open-shelf library material accessible by readers.  It connects the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera reader spaces and will be accessible from both these buildings. There is shelf space for an additional 270,000 items of library material, roughly doubling the open-shelf provision in the Bodleian Library to around 500,000.

We have also taken the opportunity to link the Old Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera, connecting the reading rooms for the first time, and to create 120 extra reader spaces, as well as facilities such as reader terminals and photocopiers.

Access and opening hours

The Gladstone Link (GL) is accessible from:
  • the Old Bodleian Library (OB) via the staircase in the ‘NW tower’ or the lift in the nearby coat and bag lobby,
  • the Radcliffe Camera (RC) via Bay 1 in the Lower Camera reading room.
It will be open for most of the library’s opening hours, closing 45 minutes before the rest of the library to allow secure and effective closing procedures.  At that point, you will be able to move upstairs with any material you are reading or photocopying and enjoy the remaining open period of the other reading rooms.

Subject to funding, it is planned to open the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link on Sundays in Full Term.

The Lower Camera reading room now has access-controlled entry and exit (as in the Proscholium).

Service changes

As part of the implementation of this new area, the date restrictions surrounding what material can be used in which areas are being revised.

The new regulations will come into effect from Monday 4th July and are as follows:
  • Pre-1701 material can be read in Duke Humfrey’s Library or the Special Collections reading room at RSL by readers with Bod A category membership.
  • Readers can use material dating from 1701 to the present in the reading rooms of the Old Bodleian Library.
  • Readers are able to use material dating from 1851 to the present across the Bodleian complex.
Stack request

You are welcome to bring stack request material (except items older than 1851) into the Gladstone Link from any of the Reserves.  The nearest to the GL is the Lower Camera Reserve.

If you wish to reserve stack request material for further use, you must return it to the Reserve from which you collected it.

We ask you to return other stack request to the Reserve so that we know it is no longer in your possession and in case it has been requested by another reader.

Reader etiquette

We invite you to enjoy an informal study environment in the Gladstone Link.  Furniture of various shapes, sizes, and heights should allow you to find a comfortable position to work in, and to change when you feel like it!

Group study tables in corners or behind acoustic screens provide opportunities for quiet conversation.

Feel free to fiddle with your mobile device or listen to audio through leak-proof headphones.  But, please no loud telephone conversations – the lobbies are more suitable for moderate conversations.

If you prefer silent spaces, the historic reading rooms retain their traditional feel.


By the red lobby on each level:
  •     readers terminals
  •     PCAS photocopier
  •     emergency telephone
  •     transparent fronted lockers
Lockers are for use during the day and must be cleared overnight.

By the blue lobby on the main level only:
  •    6 reader terminals (3 standup and 3 sitdown)
By each of the four exits, you will find a ‘repatriation’ trolley for material from other reading rooms and a reshelving trolley for material from the GL.


You should find good wifi connectivity throughout. Power is provided to most perimeter desks, 3 central rows of columns on the main level and one central row in the basement. The two large square tables on the main level have power sockets under the flaps in the middle.


  • If I take material from one reading room to another, do I have to take it back again?  We (and other readers) would be greatly assisted if you were to take material that you have finished with back to its home reading room but this is not required and there are ‘repatriation’ trolleys in each reading room/area.  NB – stack request material which you wish to retain for further consultation must be taken back to the Reserve from which you collected it.
  • How soon will material be returned to its correct place?  We will be almost continuously repatriating and reshelving and will aim to get material back to its home reading room/area within a few hours.  Material awaiting reshelving will be gathered to a small number of identified places to facilitate your finding it.
  • Does the yellow slip system operate in the Gladstone Link?  No, although it will continue in the reading rooms, we do not propose to introduce it in the GL as the nature of the material and the space is different.
  • Why is the material not all classified?  It would have been prohibitively expensive to classify 270,000 items of stock and we have preferred to maintain investment in the acquisition of new material.  Nevertheless we hope that you will enjoy direct and immediate access to this material and we are looking into cost-effective ways of classifying future new intake.
  • Why isn’t there a fetching service from the Gladstone Link?  Feedback from readers strongly suggests that your preference is for material to be on open access for direct and immediate finding.  It is not normal library practice to provide a fetching service for open-shelf material.
  • What has happened to the conveyor?  Most of the conveyor has been removed to make way for the lift which now occupies the old shaft.  One section has been retained for historical interest.
  • What about Duke Humfrey’s Library?  Duke Humfrey’s will remain a reading room for special collections (including maps and music) until the opening of the Weston Library in Spring 2015.  Only readers with Group A tickets are admitted.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Bodleian update: Gladstone Link, System downtime, Book delivery times

An update on a few things relating to the ongoing changes and improvements in the Bodleian Libraries:

Gladstone Link opening Tuesday 5th July, 12.00pm

The Gladstone Link, a new area for readers, will open at 12:00 on Tuesday 5th July. The Link will connect the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera reader spaces and will be accessible from both these buildings. It will offer work spaces and the books there will be available on the open shelf.  You will be able to identify books held in the Gladstone Link by the shelfmarks beginning (UBHU).  

System downtime, 8th-18th July: Limited fetching service for stack requests and help to locate alternative copies

The Bodleian Libraries will now be offering a limited fetching service for stack requests during the period of downtime from 8th-18th July. However, you are still advised to get your requests in as soon as possible, and before the system is taken down at 5pm on 7th July.  Any books which are up at any reserves within the Bodleian Libraries will stay up throughout the downtime.

If you are having difficulty getting hold of material during the downtime, there will be online support available from the Bodleian Libraries' website from 7th July, which will help you locate alternative copies of books and journals which are unavailable.  As ever, if you have any questions or need any help, you are always welcome to ask us!

Book delivery times

We've had confirmation of the times when the Bodleian van will be calling at the VHL, until at least December. Our morning delivery will now be at around 9.45am and afternoon delivery around 3.15pm. 


Reminder: downtime for switchover to new library system, 8th-18th July

We are now in the last few days before the switchover to the new library system begins. Here's what you should make sure you have checked or done by the time the system goes down at 5pm on Thursday:

Stack requests
If you want to consult books from the Bodleian stacks during the downtime (8th-18th July), you need to place your requests for them as soon as possible in order that they can be delivered to the reading rooms by Thursday afternoon.

Check your password!
We will not be able to reset passwords while the system is down. Please check that you know your library card password and that it works, and if not, ask us to reset it by 5pm on Thursday at the latest. This is the password that goes with your library card barcode, and that you need to log on to library PCs, the Bodleian Libraries' wireless network, place stack requests or check your record on OLIS.

Familiarise yourself with SOLO
After the system is taken down at 5pm on Thursday, there will be no more access to either the telnet or web versions of OLIS. The only catalogue available for the new system will be SOLO, which will continue to be available throughout the downtime. When the new system goes live on Monday 18th July, this will bring with it a new and improved version of SOLO with enhanced searching and the ability to do all the things within it that you used to have to click through to OLIS for.  For more help and guidance on searching SOLO in its current form, see the SOLO online guide.

SOLO e-shelf - check your email address!
If you use the e-shelf function on SOLO, you need to check that your email address is correctly recorded, otherwise your data will not be able to be migrated to the new system and you will lose anything you have saved there. To do this, log in to SOLO as you normally would, then click on 'my account' in the top right-hand corner. If you need to change the email address listed, then click on 'edit details'.

For more information, continue to keep an eye on the blog, as well as our Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates throughout the downtime. If you have any questions, please ask us!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

New library system: Stack requests

As the date for the switchover to our new library system approaches, this is a reminder to place any requests for books you may want from the Bodleian stacks during the downtime (8th-18th July) as soon as possible. The absolute last date to place requests is Thursday 7th July, but if you want to guarantee that your books get delivered to the reading rooms before then, you should put your requests in now!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Important information: Switchover to new library system, 8th-18th July - UPDATE

The date for the switchover to the new library system is fast approaching! Here's an update on the planned schedule and things to be aware of for using the Bodleian Libraries in July.

Stack requests
From 5pm on Thursday 7th July to 9am on Monday 18th July, while the new system is being implemented, it will not be possible to order items from the Bodleian bookstacks. If you would like to use material from the Bodleian stacks during this period, you are advised to place your stack requests by Friday 1st July in order to ensure that the book can be delivered to the reading room before the downtime.

We will be able to fetch material from the VHL stacks (for consultation in the VHL only) using manual request slips. Please ask staff at the desk for a slip.  You should also still be able to request special collections material in the Radcliffe Science Library or stack material in Rhodes House Library in those libraries in the same way.

Library catalogue
Both telnet and the web versions of OLIS ( will be switched off permanently at 5pm on Thursday 7th July.  The only catalogue available for the new system will be SOLO, which will continue to be available throughout the downtime (except for a brief period towards the end).  With the new system, SOLO's functionality will be increased to allow you to do all the things you used to have to click through to OLIS for.  If you are not already familiar with searching on SOLO, we would suggest you start familiarising yourself now! Library staff are always available to provide help and guidance, and once the new system is in place there will also be further guides, courses and tutorials. For more guidance on searching SOLO in its current incarnation, please see the SOLO online guide.

OxLIP+ and e-journals
OxLIP+ and e-journals will be unaffected, and you will still be able to search for and access electronic resources as usual. 

Password resets
As the staff system will be down, we will not be able to reset any library passwords (for logging on to the PCs or wireless or checking your record) from 8th-17th July.  Similarly, you will not be able to log in to your record on OLIS and change it yourself.  Please make sure you know your password before 8th July, and ask us to reset it if necessary before then.

Lending (for those registered to borrow)
It will still be possible to borrow books throughout the downtime, using a back-up system. However, transactions will not be recorded on the catalogue so you won't be able to see for yourself whether a book is out on loan. As check-in and renewal won't be possible, any books checked out from Thursday 7th July until Friday 15th July will be due back on Monday 18th.  If you return books to us during the downtime, we will not reshelve them until we can check them in on the new system.

SOLO e-shelf - check your email address!
If you use the e-shelf function on SOLO, you will need to check that your email address is recorded correctly in your record in order that the records you have saved can be migrated to the new version. To do this, log into SOLO as you usually would, then click on 'my account' in the top right-hand corner. If you need to change the email address listed, then click on 'edit details'.

New books and purchasing
We are now not able to order any new books until the new system is up and running.  You can continue to send us recommendations for books to buy, but please be aware that we won't be able to get them here until probably August (taking into account delivery time).  Books that have already been ordered will continue to arrive, however from 6th-18th July we will not be able to add them to the catalogue.  Likewise, we will not be able to record the arrival of new journal issues, but if you are particularly keen to see a book or journal issue that you know is on its way or should have arrived, please do ask and we will fetch it out for you if we have it.

18th July: new system!
The new system will go live at 9am on Monday 18th July, and all normal library activities and processes will resume (with the exception of telnet/old web OLIS as described above).  Please bear with us though if there are bugs or if we're a little slower than normal, as we'll be getting used to it ourselves over the following few weeks.

More information
Keep an eye on the blog, as well as our Facebook page and/or Twitter feed for updates throughout the downtime.  If you have any further questions, please ask us!