Perlego ebook access until 17th July

The Bodleian now has a one month trial to the Perlego database, which gives access to 300,000 book titles across a broad range of subjects until the 17th July 2020. You may browse by subject, topic, curated reading list or publisher, or search. A new advanced search filter is now available.

Users can browse the full collection to identify titles of interest without creating an account at  However, to access the full-text, users need to create their own Perlego account. To set this up, Go to Databases A-Z:

You will need to click on the link to WebLearn to find the access code and the link to the platform. A registration form will be generated. Use your email address and the access code to set up your account. Once this is done, in future, you can go to Perlego at and just login in with your email address.

Searching Perlego

Use the simple search, and then filter to search for books only matching on the title, author, the topic, or the keyword. Or use the format filter and choose to read in e-Pub or PDF. You can also browse by subject or topic.



Please send feedback to the EFL or to

For more information on Perlego: have a look at the YouTube tutorial

New Proquest Databases

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers. The list of purchases includes items which cannot easily be covered by recurrent budgets.

Some key databases for English researchers include:

You can find out more about these selected databases below.


A unique source of information on the common serviceman and woman’s experience of the war. These magazines were written by and for every type of unit from every combatant nation. As such they contain the hitherto unheard voices of hundreds of thousands of men and women writing from every facet of the conflict.

The magazines contain a vast and previously unrecognised corpus of war poetry written by a multitude of hitherto unknown poets which acts as a vital counterpoint to the more established authors who emerged from the War. This collection contains over 1,500 trench journal titles sourced from leading archives around the world including those of the Imperial War Museums and The British Library.

The purchase of Trench Journals and Unit Magazines was partly funded by the Drue Heinz Fund


Black Abolitionist Papers (1830-1865)

This collection covers a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. The content includes letters, speeches, editorials, newspaper articles, sermons, and essays from libraries and archives in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Over 15,000 items written by nearly 300 Black men and women are available for searching.


Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life. This digital archive includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century. It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements. Additionally, there are 30 essays from leading contemporary scholars exploring themes illuminated by the primary documents in the archive.

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type. The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement. LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.
Other new databases include:

New Books February 2020

As we leave LGBTQ history month and go into Women’s History Month, the EFL have gathered a selection of the newest books in our library that focus on the lives of women, or on queer lives.

Maaza Mengiste. 2020. The Shadow King.

Set during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King follows the women who longed to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead, so take action in the war. The novel focuses on the narratives of women soldiers who were written out of African history.



Moulton, Mo. 2019. Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World For Women.

Moulton’s biography follows a group of women who studied at Somerville College, Oxford, in 1912 and later created the ‘Mutual Admiration Society’.  They were barred from receiving degrees although taking part in classes and exams until 1920 when they were awarded degrees retrospectively.The book explores a handful of these women’s lives, their friendships, and the opportunities they had which allowed them to pioneer into modernity.


Bradway, T. & McCallum, E. L. 2019. After Queer Studies: Literature, Theory and Sexuality in the 21st Century.

After Queer Studies explores the literary influences that helped queer theory develop in academic thought, and what continues to shape its evolution as a critical practice. The book examines the interdisciplinary origins of queer studies and how queer studies has shaped concerns in literary thought and ways of interpreting and examining texts.



Looby, C. 2017. “The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman” and Other Queer Nineteenth Century Short Stories.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the nineteenth century—the century when, it has been said, sexuality as such (and various taxonomized sexual identities) were invented—is the period when American short stories were invented, and when they were the queerest.” – Looby, 2017.

In this collection edited by Looby, narratives from a range of nineteenth century American writers, of all genders and fame, are brought together to highlight a range of queer depictions in short stories.Topics explored include sexual desire, gender density and erotic attachment, to reveal the queerness of nineteenth century literature.

Kim, J. J. 2017. Queer Difficulty in Art and Poetry.

This anthology treats ‘queer’ not as an identity, but as an activity through considering the ways of understanding the difficulty of the epistemology of the closet. The essays focus on a range of subjects including botany, photography, painting, film and poetry. Through close analysis of these items and critical theories the book offers a new approach to queer studies.


For more new arrivals and further reading, browse through the EFL LibraryThing and books tagged with February 2020, or LGBT.

E-Resource Trials for LGBT+ History Month

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: Gale Cengage.  Until 04/03/2020

This resource spans the sixteenth to twentieth centuries and is the largest digital collection of historical primary source publications relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, and gender research and gender studies research. Documentation covering disciplines such as social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities around the world are included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities to support research and education.

LGBT Magazine Archive: Proquest.  Until 02/03/2020 

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type.  The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time.  As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement. LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

LGBT Life Full Text EBSCO.  Until 28/02/2020

LGBT Life with Full Text is a specialised database for LGBT studies. It provides scholarly and popular LGBT publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines and newspapers. It also includes a specialized LGBT thesaurus containing thousands of terms.  Content includes more than 140 full-text journals and nearly 160 full-text books and reference materials.  In addition, more than 260 abstracted and indexed journals and more than 350 abstracted and indexed books and reference works.

Please send all feedback on these trial resources to: 

Helen Worrell, Archaeology and Tylor Anthropology Librarian,

Humanities Research Fair for Postgraduates

The Humanities Research Fair for Postgraduates is now open for booking. On Monday 27th January 2020, in the Examination Schools, you can discover the wealth and riches of research and library resources available in Oxford, as well as exploring new materials at your own pace. The fair will give postgraduates the opportunity to network, and make connections with experts and peers.

There will also be opportunities to learn about creative use of sources in Digital Humanities.

More details on the fair can be found at

Online booking is now available at: 

New E-resources: Eighteenth Century Drama and Shakespeare in Performance

Bodleian Libraries has recently made a significant purchase of e-resources.

The Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University.  This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers. The recent purchase was a group of resources from Adam Matthew Digital, including Eighteenth Century Drama and Shakespeare in Performance, among others.

Eighteenth-Century Drama

18th Century Drama

Eighteenth Century Drama features the John Larpent Collection from the Huntingdon Library – a unique archive of almost every play submitted for licence between 1737 and 1824. Larpent was the Lord Chamberlain’s ‘Inspector of Plays’ and responsible for executing the Lisensing Act of 1737, which required the Lord Chamberlain’s Office to approve any play before it was staged. Larpent preserved the original submissions, over 2,500 of which are presented in this resource.

Also included are the diaries of Larpent’s wife and professional collaborator Anna, recording her criticism of plays, as well as insights into theatrical culture and English society. Hundreds of further documents including playbills, theatre records and correspondence also feature, including papers and correspondence of David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Sarah Siddons, among others.

The primary source content is supported by two key reference works for theatre history: The London Stage 1660-1800 and A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800.


 Shakespeare in Performance

Shakespeare in PerformanceThis resource features the world-famous prompt book collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library, with prompt books for over 90% of Shakespeare’s plays, covering the period from the 1670s to 1970s (the majority are nineteenth century). These include editions owned by notable actors and directors such as Charles and John Philip Kemble, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and Laurence Olivier. Performances of particular cultural importance have been selected as case studies, including David Garrick’s revised 1772 production of Hamlet, Henry Irving’s famous 1879 production of The Merchant of Venice, and Laurence Olivier’s Academy Award-winning cinema release of Hamlet in 1948.

Features of the resources include:

  • Ability to compare prompt books alongside each other;
    • Documents are indexed by play, country of performance, theatre, associated names, and other key search terms;
    • Full-text searchability.


In addition, the following resources were also purchased:

East India Company archives, modules 1-3;

Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980;

Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-81;

Women in the National Archives – an online finding aid for women’s studies resources in The National Archives, Kew, covering 1559-1995. It also gives access to early 20th century original documents on the Suffrage Question in Britain, the Empire and Colonial Territories.

You can find all of these resources via SOLO and the Databases A-Z platform, as well via the direct links above.


Shakespeare has a new home

The EFL’s reclassification project began in 2009, and since then all new books in the library have been added to the LCC sequence. We are reclassifying existing library collections and, as a result, approximately 63% of the EFL’s collections are now in the LCC sequence.

During the Easter vacation the project continued and you will now be able to find all Shakespeare books in one place rather than having to look in two locations.

Shakespeare can be found from PR2750 to PR3195 in the corner of the main library by the Computer Room.


The Shakespeare DVD Collection can still be found on the shelves underneath the new journals display by the Quick Search machines.


New Corpora available from BYU

Two new corpora are now available via the Brigham Young University collection.

The TV Corpus and The Movie Corpus together contain over 525 million words of data, and are a vital resource for looking at informal language.

Here’s more information from BYU:

The TV Corpus contains 325 million words of data in 75,000 TV episodes from the 1950s to the current time.

The Movies Corpus contains 200 million words of data in more than 25,000 movies from the 1930s to the current time.

All of the 75,000 TV episodes, and 25,000+ movies, are tied in to their IMDB entry, which means that you can create Virtual Corpora using extensive metadata — year, country, series, rating, genre, plot summary, etc.

Both Corpora allow you to look at variation over time (1950s-1970s to 1990s-2010s) and variation between dialects (e.g. American and British English). In this sense, the corpus is related to many other corpora of English that we have created, which offer unparalleled insight into variation in English.

You can find the corpora at and to use it you will need to register using your university email account

Winter Vacation News

Opening Hours
Vacation opening hours have now started. With the exception of the closed periods below the EFL is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Term-time opening begins again on Saturday 12th January 2019.

The EFL will close for Christmas at 5pm on Friday 21st December, and re-open at 9am on Tuesday 2nd January.


Please Note: Due to urgent electrical work in the area, the English Faculty Library will be completely closed all day on Thursday 20th December. There will be no power to the entire building from 9am to 3pm. We will reopen for the last day before Christmas, Friday 21st December.

Vacation Loans
Vacation loans are now in place for all borrowable items. Anything you check out of the library now will be due back in the first week of Michaelmas term.

Book Moves
Over the vacation staff are continuing the reclassification project. Books with the shelfmark PR5000 have moved upstairs; Hardy, Houseman, and Hopkins are currently hanging out on the balcony waiting their turn to be reclassified to LCC. During the vacation the library floorplans will be out of date, so if you’re having trouble finding anything please just ask staff.

New Blog
You’re probably aware that we have a new blog to share news with all our readers – as you’re currently on it – but did you know you can also submit articles to be published here? We’re especially keen to hear from current students who want to share work, opinions, research, passions – anything literary related. Have a look at our Contribute page for more information.

Welcome to the EFL blog

Welcome to the brand new blog for the English Faculty Library, Oxford.

This blog, run by library staff, will be home to news and updates about the library and our collections. We are also open to articles written by faculty members (staff and students) on any literary theme.