Friday, 27 May 2011

Disruption to stack requests from VHL stack

The printer which produces our stack request slips (which tell us when a reader has requested a book from the VHL stack) has stopped working today. We have reported it to IT support and hope it will be fixed soon, but until then we will not get notified if anyone places a request for a book from our stack.  If you would like to call up books, we can still do so manually - please come into the library and ask at the desk.

New York Times Historical Archive online - now with index

Our subscription to the electronic version of the New York Times Historical Archive now includes the New York Times Index. This is the digitised version of the print index volumes (which we have in the reference section on the ground floor), fully integrated into the online archive of the newspaper. Please note, however, that while the NYT itself is available up to 2007, the Index stops in 1993.

When searching the archive, you will now find that (in the advanced search screen) you can search fields specific to the Index - Company/Organization, Creative Work, Location, Person and Subject - both on their own and together with the full text/citation/abstract fields that were already available. Search results will now be enhanced with information from the index (click on 'abstract').

The New York Times Historical Archive is available via OxLIP+. Use single sign-on for remote access.

Bank holiday opening: Monday 30th May

The library will be open as usual on Monday, 9am-7pm. Please note that there will be a limited service only from the Bodleian bookstacks.

Monday, 23 May 2011

WISER coming up: SOLO, African Studies and Online Resources for Historians

Next week’s WISER sessions cover finding materials using SOLO, information resources for African Studies and the first in a series of workshop on online resources for historians…

WISER: Finding Stuff - Books etc on SOLO (Tuesday 31 May 9.30 - 10.30am)   - A general introduction to finding books and journal titles in Oxford libraries using SOLO.  Presenter: Angela Carritt.  Book your place online.  (Please note that this session will be repeated on 9 June)

WISER: Information Sources for African Studies (Tuesday 31 May 10.45 - 12.00 noon)- This session will introduce key information sources for African Studies. You will be shown useful finding tools to locate relevant material via SOLO and how to search them, as well as important portals and gateways to libraries and archives of online primary texts. There will be time for a brief hands-on at the end.
Presenters: Sarah Rhodes and Lucy McCann.  Book your place online.

WISER: Online Resources for Historians (Wednesday 1 June 9.30-10.45) - A general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods for British and West European history including bibliographical databases, biographical and reference research aids, ebooks and ejournals, web portals, and collections of online primary source materials.  
Presenter Isabel Holowaty.   Book your place online.

WISER Online Resources for Historians is the first in a series of WISER workshops focussing on History. To find out more see the BodWISER blog, and keep an eye out for the WISER session on US History resources later in June.

Not a current member of Oxford University? - If you are not a current member of Oxford university, you can book your places by emailing quoting your Bodleian Libraries card number. 

Why not join our WISER mailing list by sending an empty email to, follow  us on Twitter at  or visit the BodWiser blog at

Friday, 20 May 2011

Early closing tomorrow (21st May)

The library will close at 12.45pm tomorrow, due to the planned march by the animal rights group SPEAK. University Security will be locking all gates into the science area, including those leading to us, at 1.00pm sharp. If you are coming in to use the library tomorrow therefore, you will need to be outside the gates by 1pm at the absolute latest, otherwise you will find yourself locked in!

Please note that the only gate open at all tomorrow will be the small pedestrian gate next to the Chemistry Research Laboratory. The main gates from South Parks Road and Mansfield Road will be closed all day.

Apologies for the very short notice, but we have only just been advised of the Security Service's plans ourselves.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Round-up of other upcoming training and information resources sessions

Change of date for WISER: Online Resources for Historians session
Due to an unavoidable clash of commitments, the WISER session on Online Resources for Historians has had to be moved from the afternoon of Wednesday 8th June to the morning of Wednesday 1st June. Many apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The new details are as below:
WISER: Online Resources for Historians
Wednesday 1 June 09:30-10:45
A general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods for British & W European history: bibliographical databases, biographical / reference research aids, ebooks & ejournals, web portals, and collections of online primary source materials.
Presenter: Isabel Holowaty
OUCS – Book Here 

Thesis Fair for 2nd year History Undergraduates
Thursday 19 May, 14:00-16:00 - Exam Schools

The Fair aims to help 2nd year History Undergraduates:
  • explore what source materials and information resources (archival, print and electronic) are available in Oxford libraries;
  • meet local experts for further discussion;
  • learn about useful tips and tools;
  • browse among stalls to learn about Oxford’s rich collections as well as attend brief talks;
  • find information at your own pace and together with local experts jointly explore information resources and finding tools.
Timetable of talks:
  • Top 10 Tips from a Student survivor @ 14:30
The stalls will include medieval and early modern sources, modern political papers, US History, collections in the HFL and college libraries & archives, and many more. There will also be stalls on how to make the most of IT and web tools.

Come and along and get some ideas for your dissertation!

For details of further useful courses this term, including the Information Skills Minimum Kit and RefWorks, please see the History Faculty Library Undergraduate Training page.  

Make: Together – textual scholarship in the twenty-first century
Monday 23 May, 12:30-13.30
This session looks at how humanities researchers can build a digital environment for their own projects. It examines some of the database and programming tools that are available, and most importantly, how a purpose built digital environment can enhance the process of understanding texts. It is based on the work of two DPhil students in history who will demonstrate how they are using such technology to study medieval manuscripts and charters.
OUCS - Further details and bookings (Ox users)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

American Literature exhibition: Marilynne Robinson and the American Family Home

To accompany the Esmond Harmsworth Annual Lecture, which will be given by Marilynne Robinson at the Rothermere American Institute on Monday 23rd May, we have set up a small exhibition in the library. The exhibition places Robinson's work in the context of the American literary and artistic tradition, and includes works by John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, Erskine Caldwell, Edward Hopper and Dorothea Lange, as well as Robinson's major novels.

The exhibition will remain in place until the end of next week (27th May). Thanks to Dr. Sally Bayley for her help in selecting material and writing the text.

WISER coming up: maps and manuscripts

Next week Bodleian Libraries will be running WISER workshops on using maps and mapping to present spatial data and on the Bodleian's manuscript collections:

WISER: Maps and Mapping (Wednesday 25 May 1.45 - 3.15pm) - Many areas of research use spatial data and digital mapping is an ideal way to present it.  This presentation will cover both web based resources (online map collections etc) and the digital mapping facilities available in the Bodleian. The course will include a short demonstration of MapInfo and a brief introduction to using it.
Presenter: Debbie Hall.  Book your place online at

WISER: Manuscripts (Wednesday 25 May 3.30 - 5.00pm) - This session will give an introductory overview of the rich heritage collections preserved in the Bodleian. This session will also help readers to locate relevant material and describe the procedures for access and getting assistance.
Presenters: Mike Webb.  Book your place online at

Not a current member of Oxford University? - If you are not a current member of Oxford university, you can book your places by emailing quoting your Bodleian Libraries card number. 

Why not join our WISER mailing list by sending an empty email to, follow  us on Twitter at  or visit the BodWiser blog at

Monday, 16 May 2011

Change to ordering periodicals from the Bodleian bookstacks: use of unlisted part option

With the move of periodicals to the new Book Storage Facility at Swindon, there is a change to the way in which these should be ordered. The catalogue entry on OLIS for periodicals in Swindon will list each individual section available to order. Each part required needs to be ordered separately by selecting the appropriate section from the list, rather than using the “unlisted part” option.

As some periodicals are yet to be moved to Swindon, it is not currently possible to remove the “unlisted part” option; this may still appear on catalogue entries where all the individual sections are listed. Using the unlisted part option where all sections are listed will lead to the cancellation of your request, as the request generated cannot be recognised by the system. Please consult staff if you need assistance ordering periodicals.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Remote access to Early American Newspapers (and more) for British Library readers

The British Library has just announced a pilot offering remote access to three of their electronic resources, which mostly we don't have here in Oxford.  One of the resources included in the trial is Early American Newspapers (1690-1876).  We have this collection on microfilm (see our microfilm list), but not online access.  All you need to make use of the BL's subscription from home is a BL reader's ticket, which you can use to log in to access the resources.  If you don't already have one, might well be worth a trip down to the BL to get one!  The pilot is due to run for six months, and you can access the resources via the British Library's e-resources page.

For more information on this pilot, see the British Library Team Americas blog. The other two resources included are the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports (1974-1996, series 1-4 - Oxford has online access to series 1 and 2 already), and the World Newspaper Archive: African Newspapers, 1800-1922 (not currently held in Oxford).

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New electronic resource: American Founding Era Collection (Rotunda)

We have just purchased access to the American Founding Era Collection, via the University of Virginia's ROTUNDA platform.  The collection offers digital versions of the published papers of several major figures of the Early Republic:
  • The Papers of James Madison
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
  • The Adams Papers
  • The Papers of George Washington
  • The Dolley Madison Digital Edition
  • The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Consitution
The papers are fully searchable, both within each set and across the entire collection, and you can view and download page images as well as view the text.  As well as searching, the collections can be browsed in contents order (as in the published editions) or chronologically.  There are indexes available for the Adams, Jefferson, and Washington papers.

Many of these collections are still growing as the published papers projects continue, and new content will continue to be added.  In addition, we will soon also have access to The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, which is due to be added to the collection this summer.

For more information on this resource and how to navigate it, please see the latest post on the Resources blog.

Access is available via OxLIP+ (single sign-on for remote access).

Friday, 6 May 2011

New sites saved on our delicious page

Topics in Chronicling America
Information and links to sample articles about various historic topics, available through the Library of Congress's Chronicling America site.
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. This site currently links to more than 8804 items from 23 libraries.
Oregon Digital Library
The Oregon Digital Library Project provides a searchable portal for a number of digital collections created by institutions around the state of Oregon. At present, the ODL gateway can search and index approximately 500,000 items.
The National Archives on YouTube
Links to the YouTube channels of the National Archives and eight of the Presidential Libraries: Bush, Eisenhower, Hoover, LBJ, JFK, Nixon, FDR, Truman.
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives' on Flickr
Eber Carle Perrow collection of Southern ballads (Houghton Library, Harvard University)
Collection consists primarily of texts of lyrics of Southern African-American ballad folk songs, collected by Perrow, some pages apparently signed and in the hand of the local persons who related the text, but most in hand of Harvard students who wrote compositions for English A in 1909. Manuscripts are often only fragments, written in multiple hands, some are typed transcripts of lyrics, and there is one sheet of manuscript music of a ballad. There is also a 1908 letter from an unidentified person at Louisiana State University written to Perrow concerning text of Southern ballads.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

New! Online guide to US History sources

I'm pleased to announce the publication of the online Guide to US History Sources, on the Bodleian Libraries' LibGuides site.  This guide replaces the old yellow paper versions which used to be available in the library, and provides links to and information about a whole variety of resources available for research in US History.

The web address for the guide is  The benefits of an online guide are that the links to e-resources are active (if you're not connected to the University network you will need to sign in on SOLO first), and the guide can be easily and frequently updated.  Hopefully it will provide you with an excellent starting point for your research.  Please feel free to make suggestions about more resources to include, or if the guide could be made more user-friendly.  We also have a separate online guide available for US Government Publications, and could potentially create further specific guides in the future.

The online guide is designed to be complemented by the US Studies Resources at Oxford blog, which will go into more depth about individual resources and topics.  I'm also always happy to help you if you have questions about resources available either in the library or online.

Monday, 2 May 2011

New books for April

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

Timetable for switchover to new library system, June-July 2011

This is a draft timetable for the major points to note throughout June and July as the Bodleian Libraries move over to our new library system (see previous post).

31st May: Please let us have any book purchase recommendations by this date. 

1st-17th June: Reduced purchasing.

18th June - 17th July: No purchasing. If you have urgent requests, please let us know and we will see what we can do!

1st- 7th July: Put your stack requests in now for the downtime, and familiarise yourself with SOLO (if you haven't already!)

7th July: Last day for stack requests. Make sure you know your OLIS password (for logging on to PCs, placing stack requests, renewing loans) - passwords cannot be reset 8th-17th July.

8th July: OLIS switched off at 17:00. Beginning of transfer of data to new system. Withdrawal of character-based catalogue (ie, telnet OLIS).

8th-17th July: switchover

  • Existing catalogue (SOLO), allowing bibliographic searching, location of open-shelf material.
  • Borrowing (via back-up system, ie, not recording transactions on OLIS). 
Not functioning:
  • Stack request
  • Other circulation functions 
  • Password resets
18th July: OLIS (Aleph) goes live at 09:00.

Important information: switchover to new library system, July 2011

The Bodleian Libraries is implementing a new Integrated Library System this summer which will provide enhanced catalogue, circulation and acquisitions functionality for users and staff.

From 8 – 18 July 2011, while implementation is taking place, all Bodleian Libraries will remain open subject to usual vacation hours, open-stack materials will be available, SOLO will be live (although with reduced functionality), and e-resources will continue to be available. However, from 5pm on Thursday 7 July to 9am on Monday 18 July while the new system is being implemented, it will not be possible to order items from the closed stacks and the catalogue will not be updated, although it will be available to view using SOLO. Readers planning a visit to the Bodleian Libraries during this period are advised to order material in advance by Friday 1 July.

Most Special Collections materials currently held in the Radcliffe Science Library and material kept in the VHL stack or the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House stack can be ordered manually for consultation locally but readers planning a visit to view Special Collections during this period in July are advised to contact Special Collections at

From 17 June - 17 July, purchasing of new library material will also be suspended.  If you have recommendations of books for us to buy, please let us have them by the end of May (or early June at the latest) if you need us to get them before mid-July.

For more information on the switchover to the new system, please see the Bodleian Libraries' website. Please contact us or if you have questions about the downtime or how to order in advance. Readers with admissions queries should contact