Trial access to Egypt and the Rise of Nationalism until 7 March 2024

Oxford researchers are invited to trial Egypt and the Rise of Nationalism: 1840–1927, part of East View’s Archive Editions series. This resource consists of 4,050 digitized documents, almost all derived from government records held in The National Archives UK; they capture an era of rising nationalist sensibility in Egypt and the response of the British government in its evolving policy towards the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Autograph letter from Esther Fahmy H. Wissa, Vice-President of the Women’s Committee of the Delegation in Egypt, to His Excellency Field Marshal Lord Allenby, 1 August 1922

Autograph letter from Esther Fahmy H. Wissa, Vice-President of the Women’s Committee of the Delegation in Egypt, to His Excellency Field Marshal Lord Allenby, 1 August 1922 ©East View

The British military occupation in Egypt was a legal and political anomaly. Never formally described as part of the “British Empire” by successive British governments, that relationship may have been inferred, applied by the popular press, or understood to be a colonial relationship by the public. But Britain was an administering power and the term “protectorate” was a debated definition of the relationship as early as 1884. The eventual end of British occupation marked the emergence of modern Egypt.

With more than 4,000 primary source documents in English, French and Arabic, Egypt and the Rise of Nationalism presents the development of nationalist sensibilities, movements, and publications from the 1870s until the third decade of the twentieth century and culminating with the formal dissolution of the British protectorate in 1924.

Letter from British Diplomat L. Oliphant, to for the Foreign Office, 1 June 1922. U.K. National Archives, T 161/155

Letter from British Diplomat L. Oliphant, to for the Foreign Office, 1 June 1922. U.K. National Archives, T 161/155

The documents included in Egypt and the Rise of Nationalism range in scope from records of casual conversations, formal meetings, correspondence with individuals and groups, monitoring of the nationalist press, internal British evaluations and debates on objectives and the status of leaders and individual campaigners, and forceful responses to insurgencies involving nationalist activists.

This collection focuses on developments connected to figures prominent in nationalist activities and pays special attention to interactions between them and British authorities, typically at flashpoints. As such, some years in which no specific events occurred may be omitted, while documents relating to particularly eventful years figure more prominently in the record.

Due to the official nature of the documents included, there is an inevitable bias against Egyptian nationalist sentiments for its inherent negative implications to British interests. However, some officials and politicians were more sympathetic and supportive than others, depending on the overall policy of the home government.

Each document in this collection is richly tagged and full-text searchable. Users can browse by people, places, and topics (as identified by the collection’s editors), as well as document types (e.g., despatch, map, telegram, letter, etc.). Each object is also georeferenced in a map view, both by geographic origin of the document and by locations associated with items in the collection.

[Information derived from East View’s website]

This trial ends 7th March 2024. Please take a look and send feedback to lydia.wright@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

We Are Our History Conversations: Talks 23 Jan and 19 Feb 2024

We Are Our History Conversations is a series of Bodleian Libraries’ talks by artists, scholars and researchers opening up critical engagement with archives.

Two talks are scheduled for Hilary Term:

Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Cut/Copy/Paste: Collage as a form of reading and writing the archive

Tuesday 23 January 2024, 1pm–2pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library – Book your free place

Oxford is a host and a nexus of the colonial archive, an epistemological reference point on the historicity of empire building and meaning making. In this talk, Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu marshals critical and creative tools of reading, writing, and editing black lives and black bodies in the archives of Cecil John Rhodes, institutional histories of museums and universities in Southern Africa, and the creation of ‘fictional’ languages such as Shona.

Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a Junior Research Fellow in African & Comparative Literature at the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT), St Anne’s College. He holds a PhD in English from University of Kent (England) and completed postdoctoral work at University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). He has an interest in literary archives from southern Africa and interrogates issues to do with literary legacies. Apart from writing journal articles, book chapters, this work also manifests through a series of creative publications, exhibitions and digital humanities projects.

Sadiah Qureshi, Tracing the Legacies of Empires of Extinction

Monday 19 February 2024, 4pm–5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library – Book your free place

Professor Sadiah Qureshi is an historian of racism, science and empire. She has recently joined the University of Manchester as Chair in Modern British History. Her first book, Peoples on Parade (2011), explored the importance of displayed peoples for the emergence of anthropology. She is currently writing her next book, provisionally entitled Vanished: Episodes in the History of Extinction, for Allen Lane, supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. In 2023, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Library.

LibGuide for Disability History resources now live

We are delighted to announce that the Bodleian Libraries’ LibGuide Disability History Resources is now live, just in time for UK Disability History Month (UKDHM).

The guide was created by Alice Shepherd, the 2022-23 History Faculty Library Graduate trainee, as part of her year-long project and was launched at a research seminar, convened at the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (OCHSMT) on Monday 27 November 2023.

Alice Shepherd presenting the LibGuide to the audience. The slide on the screen reads: The Oxford Disability History LibGuide

Photo by Isabel Holowaty, 27 Nov 2023, Maison Française, Oxford

Who is the guide for?

It is intended for researchers and students who are studying Disability History and other information professionals supporting researchers. It is also useful for practitioners and members of the public with an interest in (or who have a disability) and wish to gain a historical perspective.

A screenshot fromm the Medical technologies section. It shows a Dental Technology video from YouTube and 2 readigs on the right hand side: 1. Prosthetic Body Parts in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture by Ryan Sweet 2. Accessible America by Bess Williamson What can you find in the guide?

The LibGuide consists of a collection of research resources crowdsourced during a Hackathon by 24 volunteers in Dec 2022 who scoured the internet for relevant archives, journals and various other useful websites. Over 200 nominated resources were then assessed and organised by Alice to make them as discoverable as possible. The guide conforms with accessibility standards.

The selected resources cover a great variety of topics across different historical periods (ancient to contemporary history).

A screenshot from the medieval section, showing Medieval Disabled Bodies, Medieval Graduate Podcast, episode 4, from YouTube. Shows a reading on the right-hand side for Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World Blighted Bodies by Kristina L. Richardson.The disabilities covered are wide ranging and include, for instance, autism, birth defects, chronic pain, hearing loss /deafness, learning disabilities, mental illness, mobility disabilities, visual impairment, and more.

Resources were also selected for aspects of disability relating to education, employment, medical technologies, stigma and war. The materials themselves may be archives, audio-visual, biographies, books, journals, legislation, newspapers, theses and websites.

The guide also lists Oxford historians researching aspects of disability history.

Feedback & suggestions

The guide will continue to evolve. It is currently limited largely to English language resources focused on western history and we hope there will be opportunities to expand its scope in the future.

We very much welcome feedback and, continuing in the crowdsourcing spirit, invite suggestions for additional resources for the LibGuide which can be made via our Recommend a Resource form.

Many congratulations and thanks go to Alice for her terrific work. We believe that this guide will be an excellent resource to help with the discovery of resources for disability history. Thanks of course also go to the volunteer ‘hackers’, without whom this guide would not exist, and the History Faculty for hosting and funding the hackathon in 2022.

Isabel Holowaty, Deputy Head of Humanities Libraries & History Librarian (Research), Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University

Dr Sloan Mahone, History Faculty, Oxford University

While you are here… we have many other guides for history resources. Check them out!

British Library cyber-attack – some tips for workarounds

Have a suggestion for this list? I would love to hear from colleagues & researchers so I can keep it updated. Please email me at isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Thank you! Smilie[last updated: 15 January 2024, 9:55am]

Following the cyber-attack, our colleagues in the British Library work are working very hard to restore operations and services. As the disruption is likely to continue for a few weeks, below is a list of tips for some workarounds.

BL updates and contacts

Regularly check the British Library blog and their Twitter feed @britishlibrary for updates on the current status of their services. You can contact the BL via Twitter or emailing customer@bl.uk (be prepared for delay to responses).

On Monday 15 January 2024, the BL released access to an interim catalogue. You can search for the majority of their print holdings.

For ongoing services and disruptions, do check their website.

Do you have BL login? Reset your password

‘We have no evidence that data of our users has been compromised. However, if you have a British Library login and your password is used elsewhere, we recommend changing it as a precautionary measure.’

Tip 1: Finding alternative copies

Researchers can obviously double-check SOLO for alternative copies, but may also want to consider HathiTrust or Archive.org for older and out-of-copyright material.

Although the British Library catalogue is not available, you can still check for British Library published material in Library Hub Discover. This resource is a database of 204 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues. If you want to easily find a copy in another library in the UK, then make friends with Library Hub Discover!

Single Search box of Library Hub Discover with a brief description of its purpose: giving access to detials of materials held in many UK national, academic and specialist libraries. It currently contains 51,612,322 records contributed by 204 institutions.Recommend a Purchase for the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford staff and students only)

If an item is not held in Oxford or it is not accessible because it is a Non-Print Legal Deposit item, Oxford researchers can check SOLO if another Oxford library (incl. a college library) has your book. If not, you can ask for a book to be purchased using our Recommend a Purchase form (SSO required).

Tip 2: Finding and locating BL open shelf collections

The reading rooms are still open for private research and collections, which are on the open shelves, can therefore be used. Very limited, manual collection item ordering in London for general collection items stored in St Pancras (this does not include special collections) – these can be requested by completing paper forms in the Reading Rooms and will be delivered at set times.

So, how do you find St Pancras items when the BL catalogue is down?

In Library Hub Discover’s Advanced Search, you can limit your search to BL St Pancras in the Library section. You can at least copy the shelfmark and make your way to London.

Showing the catalogue record details: Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reign of Anne : preserved in the Public Record Office / Public Record Office. London, 1916.

Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reign of Anne : preserved in the Public Record Office. British Library SPHOA HLR 941 (RS 129 )

Admissions

The BL can only issue temporary reader tickets at the moment. If you already have a card and it needs renewing, this will probably be slightly easier than those who need to register for the first time. Contact customer@bl.uk if you need help but be prepared for a delayed response as our colleagues will be terrifically busy with other enquiries.

Tip 3: Accessing British Library website content

BL websites will have been archived, probably to varying degrees of depth, by the Internet Archives’s Wayback Machine.

If you have the URL of the webpage you want to access, just type it into the search box and you will be presented with a calendar indicating the days and years when a snapshot of the webpage was taken:

Showing a graph with indications when the BL website http://www.bl.uk/collection-items was archived with a visual calendar below highlighting in blue or green the dates and year when snapshots where taken. There can be clicked on.

Wayback Machine showing when the BL website on its Collections (http://www.bl.uk/collection-items) were archived.

Some formatting may be a bit odd and, depending how deeply the content was crawled, you may not always get the full content. It also loads quite slowly. However, I was able to listen to some sound recordings:

A sound recording from the BL Collections website Sisterhood. An image and recording of Ann Oakley discussing motherhood and depression.

A sound recording from the BL Collections website ‘Sisterhood and After: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project’ where Ann Oakley discussed motherhood and depression. Interview 11 May 2012. Shelfmark: C1420/56

So, how do you find the URL of a BL website?

This becomes a little more ‘interesting’. The easiest is to Google, hopefully find the webpage you are interested in, make a note of the URL string and put it into the Wayback Machine. Please note that this may not always work, if e.g. names of URL were changed over time.

A google search for British Librayr collections where the URL can be seen.

You may also come across links to the BL webpages from other sources. This can of course include the BL’s own Blogs which don’t appear to be affected by the cyberattack. A list of BL blogs is webarchived at https://web.archive.org/web/20231010125136/https://www.bl.uk/blogs.

Please note that this technique will not work for URLs of content in databases with dynamic content such as library catalogues, archive catalogues, etc. None of these are crawled by the Wayback Machine.

At this point it might be a good idea to upskill your Google searching skills. You can target your searches more effectively with certain commands. Check out our Advanced Google Searching teaching materials and video recording.

Tip 4. Looking for the ESTC?

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) is the definitive union catalogue for early British or English language books, covering publications printed before 1800. The BL website for ESTC is down.

A temporary version of the pre-1700 ESTC is hosted at https://estc.printprobability.org/.

However, if you are fortunate enough to have access to a library which has Early English Books Online and the Eighteenth Century Collections Online, then that is a great alternative because you can then also look at the digital copy.

If you are not a member of Oxford University and you are just searching for citations, then you can still search Oxford’s SOLO from anywhere in the world:

A SOLO list of results including a citation to: Epulario, or The Italian banquet wherein is shewed the maner how to dresse and prepare all kind of flesh, foules or fishes. As also how to make sauces, tartes, pies, &c. After the maner of all countries. With an addition of many other profitable and necessary things. Translated out of Italian into English.

Searching ‘eebo cooking banquet’ in SOLO’s Oxford Collections.

Tip 5. Looking for BL Special Collections?

You may be able to use other sources to find descriptions of BL Special Collections. It can be a bit tricky but here are some suggestions:

Both The National Archives and The Archives Hub describe collections held in repositories in the UK, including the British Library. You can limit your search to just the British Library and get some description and shelfmarks. In some instances, the description also mentions microfilmed versions which may be accessible in another library.

A search in The National Archives Discovery tool for India Office material held in the British Library.

Many BL archival and rare book materials have been digitised in source databases, such as the East India Company (Modules I-V). You can get a list of these databases by searching our Databases A-Z for “British Library”. Current staff and students can then of course access these, using SSO for remote access.

Databases A-Z: "british library" brings up 30 results of which the first one is mentioned: British Library Newspapers, Parts I-V. (1732-1950)

Databases A-Z with a phrase search “british library”.

If you are an external reader and would like to register with the Bodleian Libraries, check out our information how to join.

NEED HELP? THEN JUST GET IN TOUCH!

There are a few other things one can try. If any Oxford researchers for British & West European history need any help, do get in touch by emailing isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or see our list of other subject librarians.

If you have a disability, you can also contact disability.librarian@bodleian.ox.ac.uk to ask if we can find an alternative.

Wishing our BL colleagues all the very best as they wrestle with a major challenge, Isabel Holowaty, Deputy Head of Humanities Libraries & History Librarian (Research)

Finding study spaces and group study rooms across Oxford

Are you looking for somewhere to study with others or have a meeting or discussion? Or do you want a quiet space to work in?

Find a Library

Selected from the 26 Bodleian Libraries sites, you can find a range of libraries and study spaces by atmosphere, services, accessibility, comfort, opening times in our Find a Library service.

A screenshot showing a list of 3 libraries (Art, Bodleian Old Library, Weston Library) which are historic, have adjustable furniture, individual carrels, and are open on SaturdaysNeed a Group Study Room?

Bodleian Libraries offer a range of group study spaces across Oxford which are available to all members of the University and many also open to external readers. Check out Group Study Rooms across the Bodleian Libraries for an overview of their locations, size, equipment, and how to book.

A list of small group study rooms upt to 4 people. Includes the Law Library, Vere Harmsworth Library and Weston Library.

We are also currently piloting a group study room tool in the Radcliffe Science Library, Social Science Library, and Vere Harmsworth Library.

The following are available to any reader to book for academic purposes via our new tool:

A photo showing the Vere Harmsworth Library Group Study Room 1: a white room with a circular table and four blue chairs.

How does the booking tool work?

The group study rooms are bookable by University members via an online form (https://ox-ac.libcal.com/reserve/vhl). You will also be able to check availability. You must make your bookings with at least 2 hours’ notice, and can only make bookings of up to 10 hours per week.

You can make bookings up to 70 days in advance, allowing for bookings to be made across an academic term. Currently the booking tool is only available to University members, and Bodleian Readers card members will need to continue making room bookings by contacting library staff either at the enquiry desk or via email.

Why are we trialing this tool?

Benefits of the new booking tool include immediate confirmation of availability, reducing the likelihood of double booking and reducing staff mediation of bookings via spreadsheets or similar methods.

The pilot is part of the wider Bodleian Libraries Strategy 2022-27 (pdf), to increase visibility and provision of bookable spaces across the Bodleian Libraries, in response to Reader Survey feedback. Statistics and feedback will be collected during the pilot and will inform any further steps towards maximising study room use and creating a common room booking policy.

Access to online Anglican missionary archive resources

The landing page of USPG. It shows a black & white print of harbour scene, links to browse through volumes and documents, a link to view highlights. and a text box of insights which read: "The USPG and other missionary organisations aim to facilitate the spread of Christianity by appointing missionaries to visit and stay in various countries around the world. Whilst on a mission, representatives of the Church are expected to perform a number of tasks to promote Christianity. This may involve providing a Christian education, engaging in charitable work, and performing services."

America in records from colonial missionaries, 1635-1928

We are pleased to announce that Oxford researchers now have online access to 14 collections of the Anglican missionary archive, the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG), which have been digitized by British Online Archives. Previously only available in the Weston Library, the digitised material can now be accessed throughout the University and remotely with the Oxford SSO.

The USPG is a UK-based Anglican missionary organisation, founded in 1701, which sent missionaries to many parts of the world and was involved in educational, charitable and medical work as well as evangelization. The material also throws light on social conditions, travel and daily life abroad from the view point of British missionaries and their families.

The digitized material is relevant to British, Commonwealth and global history, covering the 17th to mid-20th centuries. It has been organised into 14 collections which can be found via SOLO or Databases A-Z:

  1. America in Records from Colonial Missionaries, 1635-1928
  2. ‘Bray Schools’ in Canada, America and the Bahamas, 1645-1900
  3. Indigenous Cultures and Christian Conversion in Ghana and Sierra Leone, 1700-1850
  4. Colonial missionaries’ papers from America and the West Indies, 1701-1870
  5. The West Indies in records from colonial missionaries, 1704-1950
  6. Canada in records from colonial missionaries, 1722-1952
  7. Indian and Sri Lankan records from colonial missionaries, 1770-1931
  8. Australia in records from colonial missionaries, 1808-1967
  9. South Africa in records from colonial missionaries, 1819-1900
  10. New Zealand & Polynesian records from colonial missionaries, 1838-1958
  11. Tanzania and Malawi in records from colonial missionaries, 1857-1965
  12. Colonial women missionaries of the Committee for Women’s Work, 1861-1967
  13. Ghana in Records from Colonial Missionaries, 1886-1951
  14. ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’: Missionaries in Asia during the World Wars, 1914-1946

Early modern and modern source materials

The digitized material dates from 1635 to 1967 and includes letters, journals, reports, minute books, financial records, statistical returns, drawings, leaflets, questionnaires, school records, press cuttings, and printed books and magazines.

A single page handwritten letter from Franklin to Lyttleton.

Letter of 3 June 1786 from Benjamin Franklin, while President of Pennsylvania, to Rev. Thomas Lyttleton concerning the lease of land for a school.
Shelfmark: USPG Bray/N.America/3/f.2/item 4
©2014 Microform Academic Publishers with permission of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

Wide geographical reach

The geographical coverage is wide including the American colonies before independence, Canada, the Caribbean, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

A typed page of a 1912 report on a biblewoman by the USPG's Committee of Women's Work. Names and descriptions are filled in with handwriting.

Report on a Biblewoman in India, 1912. Shelfmark: USPG CWW 311
©2014 Microform Academic Publishers with permission of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

Topics covered include:

  • the establishment of the Anglican Church in north America
  • the American War of Independence
  • slavery and its abolition
  • the establishment of Christian schools
  • indigenous communities
  • women missionaries
  • the impact of colonialism
  • philanthropy
  • the experience of wars including the two World Wars and the Sino-Japanese War

The digitized material represents a proportion of the whole USPG archive which is held on deposit in the Bodleian Library and is available for consultation in the Weston Library.

Lucy McCann, Senior Archivist, Special Collections, Bodleian Libraries

Other useful subscription resources:

Introducing MARCO, Oxford’s new discovery tool for Manuscripts and Archives

We are delighted to report that a major new discovery tool for Oxford archives and manuscripts, MARCO, is now available. Oxford’s very own Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Chair of History, launched the service in a ceremony on 26 October 2023.

Front page of MARCO showing searc box, with links to Help and About. Manuscripts and Archives at Oxford University (MARCO) searches descriptions of manuscripts and archives held at the Bodleian Libraries and some Oxford colleges.

It is for all users of manuscript and archive collections held at the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford colleges and is the easiest place to start your search for manuscripts and archives held in Oxford, allowing searching across all online descriptions of the collections.

The discovery tool will allow researchers to deep-dive into detail but also discover material they may not have expected to be held in Oxford.

Where there is a digital copy in Digital.Bodleian, a link will be provided.

A yellow picture of several magnifying glasses scattered around.

ELEVEN CATALOGUES = ONE SEARCH

The descriptions are drawn from eleven online catalogues, extending from Greek papyrus fragments from the 5th century BC to 21st century born-digital archives.

  1. Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts
  2. Charters in the Bodleian Libraries
  3. Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries
  4. Fihrist: Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World
  5. Karchak: Tibetan Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
  6. Hebrew Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
  7. Genizah Fragments at the Bodleian Libraries
  8. South Asian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
  9. Armenian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
  10. Senmai: Shan Buddhist Manuscripts
  11. Georgian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries

The collections include works of literature, medieval legal charters and deeds, politics, science, medicine, theology, law, music, photographic material and religious devotion, as well as many forms of documentary material produced by individuals and institutions.

The project unifies information about individuals, ensuring that whichever spelling or variation of a name you use, you will still find relevant materials:

Showing the 4 catalogues where Moses Maimonides is mentioned: Hebrew and Judaica Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries Hebrew and Judaica Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World Medieval manuscripts in Oxford librariesYou can also use keyword searching for find relevant materials.

What is not included?

Please note that not all manuscripts and archives are described online. Many of the catalogues are works-in-progress, and some collections are not yet described online at all. For more information, see below.

Continue to search individual catalogues

Existing users of the individual catalogues, or users who know which individual catalogue describes material they need, can still search the source catalogues directly.

About the project

The project aims to create a researcher-driven and easy to use discovery interface, MARCO, which will allow manuscript and archival materials from the Bodleian and Oxford’s colleges to be searched together. This discovery layer will enable new and existing audiences to better access the materials and will offer a fit-for-purpose environment for finding information about Oxford’s unique collections.

MARCO realizes the Bodleian Libraries’ vision of a connected, user-friendly, robust and adaptable digital environment for the University of Oxford’s manuscripts and archives.

Huge congratulations are due to the very many colleagues involved in designing and launching this project which is part of the Mellon Foundation funded FAMOUS project.

While you are here:

Access to Bodleian Libraries archives: The Bodleian Libraries’ welcome academics, students and researchers to consult special collections in person. Information on how to do so can be found on the Using Special Collections page.

Archives in Colleges: For information about consulting items held at Oxford colleges, please contact the colleges directly. For help and advice using special collections held at Oxford colleges, see Oxford College Archives and Oxford college library guides.

Guides and Finding Aids. For an overview of the special collections held at the Bodleian Libraries, see the Special Collections section of Bodleian Libraries website. This includes:

  • Subject Guides, which provide an overview of all the Libraries’ special collections, not just those catalogued online, with links to further information.
  • Detailed finding aids, which give specific information working with individual collections.

Please contact Bodleian Special Collections if you need any further information.

Welcome to Oxford! Library induction arrangements for new History postgraduates

We warmly welcome all new History postgraduates starting in Oxford!

Libraries will play a big part during your time at Oxford, whether providing access to online articles, helping you find that elusive book on the open shelves or finding source materials. There are over 100 libraries in Oxford and it can be quite confusing (and daunting) as you learn how to best use the libraries.

The History Librarians, Isabel and Rachel, are aiming to attend as many of the Faculty induction sessions for Graduates as possible in 0th week to introduce ourselves and help you find your feet quickly.

All induction schedules and bookings are available on the History Faculty’s Canvas page (Single Sign On required).

Talk

  1. Introduction to Bodleian Libraries for History Postgraduates – Wednesday 4th October, 2pm via Teams. Joining link is on Canvas.
  2. How to make the most of SOLO (Library catalogue) – Friday 5th October at 2pm via Teams. Joining link is on Canvas.
  3. Introduction to the African and Commonwealth collections – 10 October 2023 09:00-10:30am – Sign up in Canvas.

Library tours & visits

  1. Bodleian Old Library and Radcliffe Camera (all except HSMT students) –throughout 0th week. Sign up in Canvas.
  2. [HSMT students] Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera tour for History of Science, Medicine and Technology Graduates– 3 October 2023 09:00-10am – Sign up  in Canvas.
  3. Vere Harmsworth Library tour (Rothermere American Institute) – 11 October 2023 11:00-12pm – Sign up in Canvas.
  4. Introduction to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room – daily in 1st week (9-13 October) – Sign up in Canvas.

Guides

A more detailed History Graduates – Introduction to Bodleian Libraries Guide 2023 is available to help you navigate your way around Bodleian Libraries’ collections and finding aids.

Help

The libraries are here to help you in your research. If anything is not clear or you are struggling to finding or accessing your readings, please do get in touch with library staff. You can do so in a variety of ways:

We wish you all the very best in your studies and research!

Welcome to Oxford! Library induction arrangements for new History undergraduates

Long study desk in the Lower Camera with book shelves at the back and a window on the right.We warmly welcome all new History undergraduates starting in Oxford!

Libraries will play a big part during your time at Oxford, whether providing access to online articles on your reading list or helping you find that elusive book on the open shelves. There are over 100 libraries in Oxford and it can be quite confusing (and daunting) as you learn how to best use the libraries.

Within Bodleian Libraries, the main History collections for your study are available online 24/7 or are located in the Radcliffe Camera (which includes the History Faculty Library). College Libraries also have extensive collections for your course. To know where your books, journals and databases are, use SOLO which is Oxford’s discovery tool for libraries.

We also have organised a number of welcome sessions to help you get started:

Webinars

Webinars are taking place Wednesday to Friday of 0th Week (4 – 6 October) and have been scheduled into your timetable with further details provided by your college. If you miss your slot, you are very welcome to join any of the timetabled sessions. Further details (and MS Teams link) are available via Welcome to Bodleian Libraries webinars: Library – Induction and Information Skills training (ox.ac.uk)

Tours

We are running in-person tours for the Radcliffe Camera too but we have a booking system to manage capacity so spaces are limited. You can book via the following link Radcliffe Camera (incl. History Faculty Library) and are also very welcome to just come along to the library, as staff will be more than happy to help you if you have any questions.

Online guidance

There is also History Faculty Library-tailored information on Canvas, including:

Help

The libraries are here to help you in your studies. If anything is not clear or you are struggling to finding or accessing your readings, please do get in touch with library staff. You can do so in a variety of ways:

We wish you all the very best as you start a new chapter of your life in Oxford!

New: Women’s Studies Archive: Issues and Identities

As we continue to grow our eresources collections on women’s history, we are pleased to announce that Oxford researchers now have access to Women’s Studies Archive: Issues and Identities.

Home page of the resource showing a search box and an image of a line of suffragettes holding a poster which reads "Mr Presidents, how long must women wait for liberty".

National Woman’s Party members picket outside the White House in 1917 with the message, “Mr. President, How long must women wait for Liberty” Source: Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 12 © Gale Cengage

This collection traces the path of women’s issues in the 19th and 20th centuries, drawing on primary sources from manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, and more. It captures the foundation of women’s movements, struggles and triumphs, and provides researchers with valuable insights. It focusses on the social, political, and professional achievements of women, the pioneers of women’s movements, and is useful to understand the issues that have affected women and the many contributions they have made to society.

It is, however, more generally also a useful resource to research WWI, WWII, social and economic conditions, and world events in the 20th century, as described and seen from women’s perspectives and revealed in periodicals, correspondence and papers.

Descriptions of daily life in e.g. letters also reflect on life, society and cultures across the world, including the Far East, Africa, and South America. Some biographical information of individual women and their families is also documented.

Excerpt of a letter reading: "The primary clases here in the school opened Veb [sic] 7, as well as course of admission given for those desireing to enter the hinasio (from the 5th grade through the 9th. The firls are lovely and many are from very fine families. The graduates from the colegio are in constant demand by government employers, business houses, post offices, etc. because the girls are so much better trained, more dependable, honest, efficient, and versatile. They are constantly raising the prestige of the school."

Excerpt of Letter of 6 March 1944 (Belo Horizonto, Brazil), The Gladys Oberlin Papers, 1943-1980, in Women’s Studies Archive: Issues & Identities. Source Library University of Oregon Library © Gale Cengage

Topics covered include

  • the history of Feminist theory and activism
  • domestic culture
  • lay and ordained church women
  • women in industry
  • women’s sexuality and gender expression
  • women’s education
  • women’s movement
  • women’s health and mental health
  • women and law
  • women and the control of their bodies
  • women’s roles and interactions within society.

The collections are:

  • European Women’s Periodicals
  • Malthusian, 1879-1921 (formerly Women and the Social Control of Their Bodies)
  • Women’s Lives
  • Women’s Labour League: Conference Reports and Journals, 1906-1977
  • Committee of Fifteen Records, 1900-1901
  • Grassroots Feminist Organizations, Part 1: Boston Area Second Wave Organizations, 1968-1998
  • Grassroots Feminist Organizations, Part 2: San Francisco Women’s Building / Women’s Centers, 1972-1998
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America Records, 1918-1974
  • Herstory
  • Women and Health/Mental Health
  • Women and Law Collection
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: United States Section, 1919-1959
  • Collected Records of the Woman’s Peace Party: 1914-1920
  • Records of the Women’s Peace Union: 1921-1940
  • Women’s Trade Union League and Its Leaders

The sources comes from the New York Public Library, The National Women’s History Project, the London School of Economics Women’s Library, and many more.

Please note that many handwritten and type-script documents will be hard to read as the ink is faint in places.

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