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+.

Archivision: new visual resource available to Oxford students

Readers now have trial access to Archivision, a collection of 72,000 images covering archictecture, urban design, archaeological sites, landscapes and works of art in public places. Curated by Scott Gilchrist, a trained architect and professional photographer, the resource spans a range of historical periods across the globe, providing image content complete with extensively researched descriptive information.

Archivision is divided into easily searchable modules, each of which offers a mix of historic and contemporary image content. For further information on this resource, which can be accessed via SOLO, click here for an overview.



Text and computer-assisted research in Humanities, Tuesday 27th May

it-services-logoAttention is drawn to an IT Services session next week, which will provide valuable tips on the ways in which computing tools such as text encoding, visualization and computational linguistics can be used to study humanities texts.

Researchers hosting the event will be using contrasting studies (medieval manuscripts and charters) to showcase open source tools, examining the ways in which they can enhance our understanding of historical materials.

This free session should be of significant interest to those conducting research, and takes place from 12:30-1:30 at IT Services on Banbury Road. For further information, please see the course details page.


Discovering World War I in the Archives, 18th June

Historians with an interest in WWI are invited to attend a free event at Convocation House between 2-4pm on 18th June, hosted by the directors and curators of three world-famous archives.

Speakers from the Bibliothèque National et Universitaire de Strasbourg, Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach and Bodleian Libraries will describe key items from each archive, providing attendees with an opportunity to learn about the choices and discoveries made in selecting material to tell stories of World War I

Participants will also be invited to discuss themes emerging from commemorative exhibitions held at each of the archives, with a view to comparing and contrasting some of the most historically significant resources in Europe.

This promises to be an engaging event, and a rare opportunity to gain insight from some of the leading authorities in this area. Places are limited, with those interested advised to book their places in advance by clicking here.


Do you produce data as part of your research?

In response to the increased importance of accessible research data, the University of Oxford is currently enhancing its data management and archiving services. The end of this year will see the launch of ORA-Data, an important part of this process which will deal with archiving data from completed projects.

In light of these developments, and in order to ensure that they best suit the needs of the research community, a survey is currently being conducted with the aim of finding out more about the types, varieties and volume of data being created during research. Gathering feedback will help ensure that future researchers have access to the most useful and appropriate tools, and readers are encouraged to take part by visiting the following link before Monday 26th May:

For further information on the aims and objectives of the of survey, please see the poster below.

Research Data Management Survey Poster

Update: Chinese Studies Library move, July 2014

Readers are reminded that in July 2014 the Bodleian Chinese Studies Library is moving to the new China Centre in the grounds of St Hugh’s College, off Canterbury Road. Concurrently, the library’s name will change to ‘The Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Library’.

The last day of opening in the Institute for Chinese Studies in Walton Street will be Friday 4th July, with the planned reopening in the new China Centre taking place on Monday 4th August.

Locker holders are reminded to ensure that possessions are removed by Friday 13th June, whilst the final day for requesting Bodleian books to the Bodleian Chinese Studies Library will be Friday 20th June. Between Monday 7th July and Friday 1st August, Bodleian Chinese Studies Library books can only be returned to the Oriental Institute Library.

Although contact numbers and email addresses will remain unchanged, readers are advised that between 7th-11th July responses from library staff will be subject to delay. During this period, the following telephone extension will remain operational: 01865 280434.

For further details regarding the move, please see the Chinese Studies Library website.