New online request service for Archives and Manuscripts is now live

Our wonderful colleagues in the Weston Library have launched their new online request service for archives and manuscripts. This should help readers with a more flexible and efficient way of ordering, e.g. from the comfort of your sofa or ordering in advance of a research trip.

Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts Requests makes it easier for both readers and staff to order material for consultation in the Reading Rooms. You can make request directly from one of our online catalogues, e.g. archives.bodleian.ox.ac.uk, medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk, hebrew.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Just look out for the ‘Request’ button on the record. You can also track your orders and access your full order history in your account.

Screenshot of BodlIbs Archives & MSS catalogue

Once you have found your item(s), click on the Request button to order it to the reading room.

You must register!

For more information see our Special Collections webpages or register for the new service at requests.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/logon. If you created an account while the system was being tested, this will still be valid so there is no need to create a new one. Even if you are already a registered Bodleian Libraries reader or have a University card, you will need to register separately for this service.

Please note, at the moment, some material cannot be ordered via the new service (where this is the case, it will be stated in the catalogue record). For further information on which collections can be ordered see bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections-and-resources/special-collections/ordering/requests.

If you have any questions about the new system, please contact the project manager ruth.turvey@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Wolfson History Prize shortlist 2022

Logo of the Wolfson History PrizeYesterday the shortlist of the Wolfson History Prize was announced. It is a special year as the prize celebrates its 50th year. Starting in 1972, the prize aims to reflect “qualities of both readability for a general audience and excellence in writing and research”. As such, the books should also be easily readable to the non-specialist.

We have gone through the shortlist and provided you with shortcuts to easily find a copy in Bodleian Libraries.

This year’s exciting shortlist again features some wideranging topics: from medieval religious life, a micro-history of witch-hunting in 17th century Massachusetts, the European perception of 17th century England (Devil-Land gives a clue!) all the way to a broadsweeping retelling of 700 years of Ottoman Empire history, the origins of our oldest religions and the significance of statues in history and modern life.

You can read the comments of judges and learn more about the authors on the Wolfson History Prize announcement of 21 April 2022.

Cover of the bookMarc David Baer

The Ottomans : Khans, Caesars and Caliphs. (London, Basic Books, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Cover of the bookMalcolm Gaskill

The Ruin of All Witches : Life and Death in the New World. (London, Allan Lane, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Cover of the bookClare Jackson

Devil-land : England under Siege, 1588-1688. (London, Allan Lane, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Cover of the bookNicholas Orme

Going to Church in Medieval England. (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Cover of the bookFrancesca Stavrakopoulou

God : An Anatomy. (London, Picador, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Cover of the bookAlex Von Tunzelmann

Fallen Idols : Twelve Statues That Made History. (London, Headline, 2021). Find this in SOLO. Read more about this book.

 

Congratulations go to all authors in the shortlist. The topics all look fascinating. So, who do you think will win? Very difficult to pick. Look out for the announcement of the winner on 22 June 2022.

Trial until 7 May: Afghan Serials Collection

Logo of EastViewThe Bodleian Libraries are running a trial of The Afghan Serials Collection: Partisan Publications from the Wahdat Library.

This resource is an essential collection of partisan serials from the most comprehensive private collection of rare newspapers and journals from Afghanistan. The Afghan Serials Collection includes over 45 newspapers and journals published in, largely, Persian, Pushto, and Arabic, but also some in Urdu and English from the early 1970s to the late 1990s—a critical period for the history of Afghanistan.

Screenshot of the list of newspaper included in this resource.

Documenting the breadth of Afghanistan’s political epochs, the Afghan Serials Collection: Partisan Publications from the Wahdat Library covers the use of the press by many groups that sought to shape Afghanistan’s social and intellectual landscape during this turbulent time. Various ideologies are represented in these publications, published by opposing factions from the Taliban to anti-Taliban groups, to anti-Soviet jihadi and mujaheddin groups to the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan.

Please send any feedback on the trial to Lydia Wright and Emma Mathieson.

The trial ends on 7 May 2022.

Book launch 24 February: The Global Merchants by Joseph Sassoon

Join Joseph Sassoon in conversation with Professor Abigail Green (Brasenose College, Oxford) for the launch of his new book, The Global Merchants: The Enterprise and Extravagance of the Sassoon Dynasty (Allen Lane, 24 Feb 2022) (9780241388648).

Thursday 24 February, 5.15-6.15pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

Book your free ticket now.Cover of J. Sassoon's Global Merchant book.

Joseph Sassoon opens the family archives to tell the story of one of the great business dynasties in the East of the nineteenth century.

The Sassoons were Jewish exiles from Ottoman Baghdad who forged a mercantile juggernaut from their new home in colonial Bombay.

In the process they formed a vast network of agents, informants and politicians and came to bridge East and West, culturally as well as commercially.

History Day 2021 on 4 November

[re-blogged from https://historycollections.blogs.sas.ac.uk/programme/]

History Day 2021 on a background an early printed map

History Day 2021 will take place on Thursday, 4 November 11am-4.30pm. It will be held online in Zoom.

History Day brings together students, researchers and anyone with an interest in history with professionals from archives, libraries, publishers and other organisations with history collections from the UK and beyond. It is a free annual one-day event that is created collaboratively between the Institute of Historical Research and Senate House Library.

History Day 2021 has an environmental history theme. It will explore collections that capture the experiences of ordinary people, collectors and scientists, looking at nature, landscape, climate change and much more. View the programme.

You will also be able to explore content from a great variety of libraries, museums, galleries, archives and history organisations.

Sign up here and enjoy your day!

Trial until 30 Nov: China and the Modern World: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China, 1854–1949

[reblogged from University of Oxford e-Resources blog 19 Oct, 2021]

screenshot of landing page of China and the Modern World

We have trial access to China and the Modern World: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China, 1854–1949 via Gale until 30 November 2021.

China and the Modern World: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China, 1854–1949 provides an excellent primary source collection, mainly in English, for the study of China and its relations with the Imperial West in the late Qing and Republican periods. The records included in this collection– official correspondence, despatches, reports, memoranda, and private and confidential letters– constitute invaluable and often unique evidence of Chinese life, the economy and politics through the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Revolution of 1911, the May 30 Movement, the two Sino-Japanese Wars, and the Chinese Civil War.

Email mamtimyn.sunuodula@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with your feedback.

New eresources for 20th century history: World War I, British Union of Fascists files, Northern Ireland, Middle East, Soviet women, world news

We are pleased to announce access to six major eresources which are useful for 20th century historians. They cover key historical events in British, European and world history and contain a great range of sources, from newspapers, government and diplomatic documents, maps, to digitised newsreels. Most resources are strong in international relations and political and diplomatic history, while two resources (Soviet Women, World Newsreels Online) also have a social, gender and cultural aspect, to varying degrees.

Oxford researchers, you can also access these resources remotely with your SSO.

The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951

Homepage of the resource, depicting a black and white photo of Oswald Mosley walking past supporters showing the fascit salute.

Homepage of
The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951, British Online Archives

Part of British Online Archives’ Politics and Protest series, the resources contained within this collection chart the rise and fall of fascism in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s, with a particular focus on Oswald Mosley’s blackshirt movement.

The bulk of the documents are official BUF publications, including Fascist Week¸ The Blackshirt, The East London Pioneer, and Action. In addition, there are hundreds of government documents relating to Mosley’s internment under Defence Regulation 18B during the Second World War. Geographical coverage includes Great Britain and the United States.

The series covered include: CAB 127 (Cabinet Office: Private Collections of Ministers’ and Officials’ Papers); HO 45 (Home Office: Registered Papers); HO 262 (Ministry of Information: Home Intelligence Division Files); HO 283 (Home Office: Defence Regulation 18B, Advisory Committee Papers); KV 2 (The Security Service: Personal Files); PCOM 9 (Prison Commission and Home Office, Prison Department: Registered Papers: Series 2); and PREM 4 (Prime Minister’s Office: Confidential correspondence and papers).

The Middle East Online Series 2 – Iraq 1914-1974 (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of almsot five thousand documents in the collection.

Screenshot from Middle East Online: Iraq 1914-1974.

Drawing on the collections from the National Archives at Kew, UK, these documents cover the political and administrative history of the modern state which has emerged from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.

Like Series 1 (Middle East Online: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970), this database offers conference reports, ministerial memos and diplomatic dispatches, as well as official letters of correspondence from regional leaders, press releases and arms deal reports. This collection will also appeal to those with an interest in economics, politics and peace studies.

Series 2 on Iraq covers these events:

  • The war in Mesopotamia and the capture of Baghdad in 1917
  • Introduction of the British Mandate and the installation of King Faisal in 1921
  • Independence and Iraq’s membership in the League of Nations in 1932
  • Coups d’état in the 1930s and 1940s
  • The Baghdad pact of 1955 and the military coup of 1958 leading to the establishment of a republic
  • Oil concessions and the threat to Kuwait
  • The rise of Ba’athism and Saddam Hussein
  • The USSR-Iraq Treaty of Friendship in 1972
  • Iran-Iraq relations

The vast majority of the almost 5,000 documents are in English with c 100 in Arabic and c 160 in French.

Northern Ireland: A Divided Community, 1921-1972 Cabinet Papers of the Stormont Administration (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of more than 1500 documents in the collection.

Screenshot from Northern Ireland: A Divided Community.

The history of Ireland in the twentieth century was dominated by the political and sectarian divide between the north and the south, leading to sustaining armed violence over several decades. 2021 markes the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland in May 1921.

This resource provides access to Government documents of the British administration in Northern Ireland 1921-72 (CAB/4) offer what have been described as the best continuous record of government activity and decision-making in the world, and shows “how government actually worked”. The papers are a complete digital facsimile of the Cabinet Conclusion files of the Northern Ireland Government, filed as CAB/4 at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). These CAB/4 files contain a full record of every debate and transaction for the entire duration of the Stormont administration, the devolved government of Northern Ireland. Separate files exist for each Cabinet Meeting and include minutes and memoranda. The discussions and decisions reflect the wide range of problems and activities involved in making the new administration work.

Topics debated and reported in just one sample year of the Troubles (1970) include: policing, arms and explosives, social need, prevention of incitement to religious hatred, army occupation of factories, road spiking, routing of Orange Day parades, dock strikes, law and order, riots, and the roles of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939

An image of the resource' s homepage, depicting 4 key statesmen (Foch, Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Orlando)

From left to right: Marshal Foch, George Clemenceau (French PM), David Lloyd George (British PM), Vittorio Orlando, (Italian PM), from Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939, homepage, British Online Archives (accessed 9 Aug 2021)

Drawn chiefly from the UK National Archives, including selected FO 608 files, these Foreign Office records for the first time offer an emphatic and comprehensive coverage of the various peace treaties signed at the end of the First World War. The Treaties of Versailles, Saint-Germain, Sevres, Trianon, Neuilly and Lausanne are all covered in great depth. They collectively saw to the redrawing of boundaries, the stripping back of German military might and the effective end of the Ottoman Empire. These records are supplemented by the personal papers of Robert Cecil and Arthur Balfour – held at the British Library – both of whom played prominent roles during the course of the Conference.

The papers include cabinet papers, agenda, records of conversations, memoranda, dispatches, telegrams, confidential reports, maps, treaties, and selected news clippings.

This resource has a global reach. Use it to explore and learn how the Allied Powers scrambled to create a diplomatic epilogue to ‘the war to end all wars’.

Soviet Woman Digital Archive (1945-1991)

Front cover of Soviet Women, Nov 1989, depicting a woman with 2 fluffytoy animals.

“FRONT COVER” Soviet Woman. 1989.

Established in the aftermath of WWII in 1945, the magazine Soviet Woman proclaimed on the cover of its first issue its fundamental mission: “A magazine devoted to social and political problems, literature and art…”

Published initially under the aegis of the Soviet Women’s Anti-Fascist Committee and the Central Council of Trade Unions of the USSR, it began as a bimonthly illustrated magazine tasked with countering anti-Soviet propaganda by introducing Western audiences to the lifestyle of Soviet women, including their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, and their achievements in the arts and the sciences. The Soviet Woman digital archive contains all obtainable published issues from the very first issue, comprising more than 500 issues and over 7,500 articles.

Over the years the magazine developed regular sections covering issues dealing with economics, politics, life abroad, life in Soviet republics, women’s fashion, as well as broader issues in culture and the arts. One of its most popular features was the translations of Soviet literary works, making available in English, (and other languages) works of Russian and Soviet writers that were previously unavailable, allowing readers worldwide a peek inside the hitherto insular Soviet literary world. An important communist propaganda outlet, the magazine continued its run until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

World Newsreels Online: 1929–1966

In December of 1941, cinema audiences around the world—from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam to Paris—waited expectantly for news of Pearl Harbor. This resource lets  historians see what those audiences saw and more, by delivering more than 500 hours of newsreels content instantly.

A screenshot of a girl on crutches

“February 28, 1944.” , directed by Anonymous , Universal Pictures Company, 1944. Alexander Street, https://video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/universal-newsreels-release-272-february-28-1944.

The vast majority of newsreels come from Polygoon-Profiti and Universal Pictures Company. Footage also includes 87 documentaries and commercial announcements. About 3000 reels are in Dutch and just over 2000 are in English, with a few hundred in French and Japanese. While newsreels focus on conflict during this time, but there is also content on children, sport, culture, social life, the environment, science and technology.

Reels come with searchable transcripts, tools to share and embed elsewhere, and tools create and export citations.

World War I and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1918: Records of the British Foreign Office (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of almost 3,500 documents in the collection.

Screenshot from World I and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1918

This collection documents the Russian entrance into World War I and culminates in reporting on the Revolution in Russia in 1917 and 1918. The documents consist primarily of correspondence between the British Foreign Office, various British missions and consulates in the Russian Empire and the Tsarist government and later the Provisional Government.

Drawing on the National Archives, UK, collection within Foreign Office 371: Records of General Political Correspondence – Russia, this resources gives online access to almost 3,500 documents. This collection comprises the complete contents of the former Scholarly Resources microfilm collection entitled British Foreign Office: Russia Correspondence, 1914-1918. The vast majority of documents are in English, with c 450 in French and a very small number in other European languages.

Trials: Le Monde; Al-Ahram Digital Archive (1875-2020); Global Newsstream

Oxford historians are invited to trial the following newspaper resources. You will need SSO for off-campus access.

Global Newsstream (trial until 19 May 2021)

Global Newsstream contains full text articles from over 3,000 news sources, providing current coverage from many sources as well as archives extending back to the 1980s. Included are a number of key UK, US and international titles such as the Guardian, The New York Times, El Mundo and Le Monde.

Global Newsstream’s coverage of Le Monde from 2011 to the present complements ProQuest’s historical archive of Le Monde from 1944 to 2000. As both databases are on the ProQuest platform the two databases are cross-searchable. The trial of Global Newsstream will run for the same time as the trial of Le Monde (Historical archive) until 19 May 2021.

Please note that as only 25% of the historical archive of Le Monde is available for the current trial; there will be another trial of both databases in September 2021 (when the Le Monde historical archive database will be complete).

Please send any feedback to nick.hearn@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Le Monde (trial until 19 May 2021)  

The historical archive of Le Monde – one of the newspapers of record for France – is now available in full-page digital image format from Proquest. The period covered is from the foundation of Le Monde in 1944 up to 2000. It should be noted that only 25% of the content of this database is currently available. It is cross-searchable with Global Newsstream (also a ProQuest product) which covers Le Monde from 2011 up to the present (and also includes a range of other key UK, US and other international newspapers).

The Bodleian Libraries trial will end on 19 May. Another trial of both databases will be held in September 2021 when the Le Monde historical archive will be complete.

Please send any feedback to nick.hearn@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Al-Ahram Digital Archive (1875-2020) (trial until 15 May)

Founded in 1875, Al-Ahram (الأهرام‎) is one of the most prominent Arabic newspapers in the Middle East, with a legacy as Egypt’s most authoritative and influential national daily. Al-Ahram established itself as a high-quality journalistic venture during the mid-20th century reporting across the political, social, economic and cultural scope of the nation. After President Nasser nationalized the Egyptian press in 1960, readers generally considered the paper the de facto voice of the central government. Al-Ahram has long featured contributions from many of the Arab world’s most important literary figures and intellectuals: Naguib Mahfouz, Edward Said, Yusuf Idris, Taha Hussein, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, and Azmi Bishara among them, as well as nationalist leaders such as Mustafa Kamil and Saad Zaghlul. Influential forward-leaning contemporary writers such as Sabah Hamamou are also affiliated with the paper. The newspaper over its history successfully expanded to circulate content from around the world, printing international editions as well as Arabic-language editions of the daily. The Al-Ahram Digital Archive features full page-level digitization, with page-views and searchable text. It offers scholars Arabic and English interfaces, options to download or print pages in high resolution, and features to crowd-source improvements to the OCRed text.

Please send feedback to lydia.wright@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

New eresources: historical newspapers, Middle East, historical exploration, slavery

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.

We are therefore delighted to announce access to five major eresources which will be of interest to historians, as well as others researchers in Humanities, and researchers interested in politics, international relations, Middle Eastern studies, British Empire and de-colonisation, history of exploration, historical geography and climate change.

Use SSO for remote access.

Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2016

Despite the similarity of names, The Sunday Times was an entirely separate paper from The Times until 1st January 1967, when both papers came under the common ownership of Times Newspapers Ltd. To this day, The Sunday Times remains editorially independent from The Times with its own remit and perspective on the news.

British Library Newspapers, Part V (1732-1950)

Providing access to more regional and local British newspapers, Part V completes the BL Newspapers collection (library edition). Please note that there are some newspapers in the British Newspaper Archive (public edition) which were never included in the library edition.

With a concentration of titles from the northern part of the United Kingdom, Part V deepens the database’s northern regional content, doubling coverage in Scotland, tripling coverage in the Midlands, and adding a significant number of northern titles to the British Library Newspapers series. Part V includes newspapers from the Scottish localities of Fife, Elgin, Inverness, Paisley, and John O’Groats, as well as towns just below the border, such as Morpeth, Alnwick, and more. Researchers will also benefit from access to important titles such as the Coventry Herald, which features some of the earliest published writing of Mary Ann Evans (better known as George Eliot).

Middle East Online: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970

This resource offers the widest range of original source material from the British Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers from the 1917 Balfour Declaration through to the Black September war of 1970-1. Here major policy statements are set out in their fullest context, the minor documents and marginalia revealing the workings of colonial administration and, following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, British diplomacy towards Israel and the Arab states.

Royal Geographical Society – Wiley Digital Archives – (1478-1953, History of Geography, Colonization and Climate Science in the British Empire)

The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) covers history of geography
exploration, colonization and de-colonization, anthropology, law, climate science, gender studies, cartography, and environmental history throughout the British Empire from ~1478 to 1953. The archive contains manuscripts, correspondence, reports, conference papers, proceedings, maps, charts, atlases, photographs, surveys, data and ephemera, all presented as fully searchable digital images that can be analyzed, downloaded, manipulated, and compared with content from other societies and universities in the Wiley Digital Archives program.

Slavery, abolition and social justice

Covering the period 1490 to 2007, this resource brings together primary source documents from archives and libraries across the Atlantic world. It allows students and researchers to explore and compare unique material relating to the complex subjects of slavery, abolition and social justice.

In addition to the primary source documents there is a wealth of useful secondary sources for research and teaching; including an interactive map, scholarly essays, tutorials, a visual sources gallery, chronology and bibliography.

New: Wiley Digital Archives British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) Collection (1830-1970)

Thanks to an agreement between Jisc and Wiley, Oxford researchers now have access to Wiley Digital Archives: British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) Collection (1830-1970)

This resource provides access to content from The British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). Founded 1831 and renamed in 2009 to The British Science Association, its main aim was to improve the perception of science and scientists in the UK. The BAAS collection documents the efforts of the British scientific community to establish science as a professional activity and make Britain into a globally competitive centre for science. Many of the prominent names of British science since the early 19th century are associated with the BAAS.

This collection is complemented by material drawn from 10 British universities. The aggregated university collections serve to connect the manuscripts, papers and correspondence of some of the most important scientists of the 19th and early 20th centuries into a singular source for research. These collections were selected and curated on the recommendation of prominent academics working in the History of Science. These include collections contributed by University College London, Leeds University, Senate House Libraries, London, and Liverpool University. Further collections are in the process of being confirmed. The collections cover the work of scientists including Charles Wheatstone, Oliver Lodge, Samuel Tolansky and William Ramsay.

The BAAS collection contains a broad collection of document types: Reports, manuscript materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, brochures and catalogues; Field reports and minutes; Annual reports.

The collection spans a wide variety of interdisciplinary research areas and supports educational needs in a broad range of subjects and disciplines, including: History of Science, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Area Studies, Colonial, Post-Colonial and Decolonisation Studies, Development Studies, Environmental Degradation, History, Sociology, Geology, International Relations, Trade and Commerce, Law and Policy relating to Science.

Also of interest: