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.

Women’s History Month 2022

To mark Women’s History Month, from 1st March – 31st March, we have created a display from our collections which focuses on women in health care across different geographic areas and time periods.

As well as the books on our display we also have a variety of e-books available which explore women’s history in health care. Click on the book covers below to access the SOLO record. You will need to sign into SOLO, using your Single Sign On, in order to read these books.

Find out more about events happening in Oxford which celebrate women here.

LGBT+ History Month 2022

To celebrate LGBT+ History Month we have created a display using a range of books from our collections which explore LGBT+ History across a wide range of time periods and geographical locations.

As well as physical books we also have a selection of e-books focusing on LGBT+ History. The following e-books are available online for Oxford University members to read remotely – just make sure you sign into SOLO with your ‘Single Sign On’ first. Click on the book cover below to access the SOLO record.

Find out more about the variety of online and in-person LGBT+ History Month events happening in Oxford here.

UK Disability History Month

To mark the UK’s Disability History Month, from 18th November – 18th December, we have put together a book display featuring books on disability history, across different geographic areas and time periods.

Disability History Month Book Display

As well as physical books, there are lots of e-books dedicated to Disability History. The e-books below are available to Oxford University members to read remotely- click on the book cover to access the SOLO record. You’ll need to sign into SOLO with your ‘Single Sign On’ to read the books. Of course, there are more titles available electronically and you can find them on SOLO, by searching for the subject ‘disability – history’

Find out more about UK Disability History Month on their website, including their online launch event this evening.

Trial until 16 Nov: ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Le Monde And Global Newsstream

We are trialling two Proquest products until 16th November 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 in it are a number of key UK, US and international titles such as The Guardian, The New York Times, El Mundo and Le Monde (2011 up to the present). This is the second trial this year of this database.

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. We trialled this earlier in the year but the archive was not yet complete. This is the complete archive 1944-2000. It is cross-searchable with Global Newsstream.

The trials are taking place in Weeks 2-5 from Monday 18th October until Tuesday 16th November. Any feedback to nick.hearn@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

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.

Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK. We’ve put together a selection of texts focusing on the history of Black writers, from different time periods and across the globe.

Black History Month Book Display

The University is hosting various talks and lectures, for Black History Month. See here for more details.

The ebooks below are available to Oxford University members to read remotely- click on the book cover to access the SOLO record. You’ll need to sign into SOLO with your ‘Single Sign On’ to read the books.

You may also be interested in our collection of anti-racist resources. The collection was a collaborative effort, put together by staff from the Bodleian Libraries, College Libraries and JCR Welfare reps.

Titles are added regularly to this growing collection, so it’s worth checking back periodically. We’d welcome feedback and suggestions of titles to include in the collection. Please contact Helen.Worrell@Bodleian.ox.ac.uk to do so. For more information on inclusive collection development please see the Changing the Narrative libguide.

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.