As students leave for their summer break, we thought it might be useful to give some tips on continuing your studies and research while away from Oxford.
Scans for courses (eSet Texts) are of course also still available on the HFL WebLearn site.
2. Using a university library near your home: Under the SCONUL Vacation Access scheme, you can use the university library near your home during that university’s vacation time. You won’t be able to borrow (just as students from other universities can’t borrow from Oxford), but you can use their printed collections. Access to databases will probably not be possible but it’s worth asking. You will need to prove you are a student at Oxford so make sure you have your University Card with you and possibly a letter from your tutor as a reference. The latter is always needed if you need to access archives. We strongly recommend that you check the library’s opening hours, admission rules, etc. in advance. Libraries often schedule building work in summer so save yourself a wasted trip by checking first!
3. Finding collections in other UK university and research libraries: search COPAC to locate collections in other UK libraries. It also includes the British Library. This is a really useful search tool. Depending on your subject, you may find specialist libraries (e.g. SOAS for Oriental, Asian and African history) particularly useful.
4. Entering the Ivory Tower: though often applied to Cambridge University Library, the British Library is infinitely more forbidding. However, staff are friendly and welcoming so I encourage students to consider using their fantastic collections. As well as being even bigger than the Bodleian, the BL has many excellent History databases which are not available in Oxford. Check out our blog post about using the BL, how to get a reader’s card and so on. The recommendation is to register early in the morning or take a(nother) book as queues can be long.
The HFL and RadCam will of course remain open throughout summer, excepting August Bank Holiday. Just get in touch if you need help. If you need specialist help on British & Western European history, please feel free to email the History Librarian, Isabel Holowaty. There are subject librarians for other areas also.
Have a really great summer and see you all back in October!