Bank Holiday: library closed 25-27 August

Please note, all reading rooms in the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera (including the Gladstone Link) will be closed from Saturday 25 August to Monday 27 August inclusive. If you find you’re missing us (or our resources), why not access our collections remotely? Remember to use your SSO (Single Sign-On).

Wishing you a happy Bank Holiday weekend!

Radcliffe Camera: temporary building access arrangements

Pavement improvement works in Radcliffe Square are now reaching their final phase, which will necessitate a temporary closure of the South Gate. This will be cordoned off between Monday 20th August and Monday 3rd September, to allow for the completion of essential work. During this period, readers will need to use the North Gate in order to access the Camera grounds and entrance. Please note, this also means that there will be no direct level access route to the Camera for approximately two weeks. Readers requiring this will need to use the ramped access route to the Old Bodleian Library, continuing via the tunnel/Gladstone Link and platform lift.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but trust that the newly widened pavement will be more accessible as a result of these works..Please get in touch with any questions or feedback:

2nd years: don’t panic!

For those of you about to undertake the History of the British Isles assessment, don’t panic! Library staff are ready and willing to help with any queries.

Please remember, the library will be closed on the morning of Wednesday 20th June. In addition, during 9th week we will be running to vacation hours – this means that the library will be closing at 7pm. Plan your time carefully!

Do contact us at with any further questions.

Vacation Loans Reminder!

Please note, due to the introduction of a new History of the British Isles assessment for 2nd year History undergraduates vacation loans will commence on Wednesday 20th June. This is 9th week. Please also be aware that from Thursday 14th June onwards (8th week) all standard loans will have a due date of Thursday 21st June. Thank you!

Important: Summer Vacation Loans 2018

With the end of Trinity Term fast approaching, readers are advised that vacation borrowing for the summer will commence on Wednesday 20th June (9th week). From this date onwards, HFL borrowing limits will increase to 30 items (short loans inclusive), with a due date of Monday 8th October. Please note, these changes will take place a week later than in previous years, due to the introduction of a new History of the British Isles assessment for 2nd year History undergraduates, which means that there will be greater demand than usual for library resources in 8th and 9th week.  If you borrow any items during this period, please be sure to check the due dates carefully in order to avoid getting caught out. Email with any questions. Good luck in the coming weeks!


New Books: contesting the United Kingdom and the history of sexuality

This month sees the introduction of a selection of texts on Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, with topics including prominent (often divisive) political figures, rebellions, changing political landscapes and debates on national identity and autonomy. In addition, we’ve acquired materials on the history of sex and sexuality, highlighting discussions on gender identity and shifting social and cultural representations of the human body.

For a full list of recent acquisitions, click on the image below:


Dorr, Noel. Sunningdale: the search for peace in Northern Ireland. (2017, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy)

McAllister, Laura. Plaid Cymru: the emergence of a political party. (2001, Bridgend : Seren)

Torrance, David. Whatever happened to Tory Scotland? (2012, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)

Adams, James E. Dandies and Desert Saints: styles of Victorian masculinity. (1995, London: Ithaca)

Cook, Matt. et al. A Gay History of Britain: love and sex between men since the Middle Ages. (2007, Oxford: Greenwood World)

Feinberg, Leslie. Transgender Warriors: making history from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman (1996, Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press)

There are more! Find them here.


Personalise your alerts

If you would like a personalised RSS feed so you can be alerted to our new history books, just email with your preferred period, country or topic.


New LibGuide: World War One Primary Resources

Readers are alerted to a newly created LibGuide, which seeks to highlight a range of primary resources pertinent to the British experience of WWI, pointing users towards key libraries, archives and databases. The resources featured, both printed and electronic, are organised thematically, with a variety of topics covered and a series of illustrative examples provided. Multiple source types are explored, including: maps, official papers, newspapers, diaries and journals, literature, music, posters, cartoons and government reports, many of which have been digitised. Attention has also been drawn to resources available locally, including several which are held within the Bodleian collections.


Encaenia Opening Hours, 25/06/14

Readers are reminded that on the day of Encaenia, which takes place on Wednesday 25th June 2014, the Central Bodleian site will be subject to reduced opening hours. Encaenia is the ceremony at which the University of Oxford awards honorary degrees to distinguished men and women and commemorates its benefactors. It is held annually on the Wednesday of ninth week during Trinity Term.

On 25th June the Central Bodleian site will be open as follows:
Old Bodleian Library: 2pm – 7pm

Radcliffe Camera: 2pm – 7pm

Readers are also advised that, as per usual, the Gladstone Link will close 45 minutes prior to reading rooms.


12/06/14, How to read Galileo: 17th-century annotations in Bodleian copies of ‘Two New Sciences’

Readers are invited to attend a talk at 3:15pm tomorrow in the Group Study Room of the Radcliffe Science Library, where visiting scholar Dr Renée Raphael will be discussing two locally held copies of Galileo’s Two New Sciences (1638).

Dr Raphael will outline the range of scholarly practices evidenced in the first two editions of these texts (including summarising, re-working proofs and re-drawing diagrams), via reference to the research question, ‘How did period readers study Galileo’s 1638 Two New Sciences, now regarded as a canonical text in the history of science for its mathematical and experimental approaches to and key findings regarding the laws of falling bodies?’

T1666Galileo2NewSciences_edThis case study forms part of a larger project considering scholarly methods during this period, and is likely to be of relevance to those with an interest in mid-to-late seventeenth-century thinkers. All are welcome to attend, but space is limited. Please email to reserve your place.

Oxford DNB update: 100 biographies added (including a special focus on the post-reformation Catholic diaspora and the history of British cinema)












The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds 100 biographies of men and women active between the early 13th and late 20th centuries, including Alma Taylor, Robert Stephenson, Margaret Clement and Alonso Cárdenas.

The new update (published on 29 May) incorporates a special focus on a century of British cinema – from the silent stars of the 1910s to the actors, directors, and producers of later 20th Century films such as Get Carter and Carry On. The update also includes new biographies of 20 early modern nuns who, in the wake of the Reformation, founded or entered ‘English convents in exile’ in continental Europe and North America.

Other new biographies include Charles Miller (1874-1953), ‘bringer of football to Brazil’ and Cuthbert Ottaway (1850-1878), recently in the news as the first captain of the England national football team, but better known in his lifetime as an Oxford University cricketer. There’s also the unusual and remarkable story of the medieval anchoress Christina Carpenter (fl.1329-1332) who was twice enclosed in a cell.

Highlights of the new edition are available to browse, together with an interactive timeline of the ODNB’s history of British cinema. The ODNB also offers a free, twice monthly biography podcast, with over 200 life stories now available.

Readers can access the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography via SOLO and OxLIP+.