We are pleased to announce that bookings are now being taken for the Humanities Research Fair for postgraduates which will take place on Monday 27 January 2-5pm, South School, Exam Schools, OX1 4BG (map).
This free event is an excellent opportunity for Humanities postgraduate students to gain a wider perspective on the wealth and riches of research sources available for your field of study.
In a single place you get to meet lots of experts at the same time. You can learn about resources you may not yet have yet considered and meet the curators of collections who can guide you towards relevant material or useful finding tools.
The format of the Fair encourages you to explore and discover new materials at your own pace, to be curious, to network and to make connections to experts and their peers while also learning about creative use of sources in Digital Humanities.
Special collections (archives & early printed books, maps, museums)
Topical stalls (e.g. resources for English literature, Theology, History, Modern Languages, Biography)
Geographical stalls (e.g. US studies, Latin American, Far & Near Eastern, European)
General resources (e.g. Information skills, Open Access, Digital Humanities, Top 10 Tips from a Graduate)
Take part in the live historical printing with the Centre for the Study of the Book
Relax with a cup of tea at the Student Wellbeing stall and try your hand at fiendish Bodleian jigsaw puzzle
A series of talks on Digital Humanities will accompany the Fair.
The Bodleian Libraries have today released Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts https://archives.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/, providing access to the Bodleian’s world-renowned collection of archives and manuscripts on a new, user-friendly site.
The resource is in beta and researchers are encouraged to give feedback.
Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts is a new interface which revolutionizes the discoverability of archives. Whereas previously descriptions of archives and manuscripts were available in separate online catalogues, they’ve now been brought together into one site.
Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts currently includes descriptions for approximately 100,000 boxes of archival material collected by the Bodleian Libraries, dating from c. 1500 to the 21st century. Material described is predominantly in manuscript form, but the collections also contain large amounts of photographic material, audiovisual items, and born-digital content. Over the next 12 months Bodleian Libraries staff will continue to add to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts, incorporating some of the Bodleian’s most important published catalogues – the Summary and New Summary Catalogues.
The predecessor to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts, the Online Catalogue for Archives and Manuscripts, will remain available until early January 2020 at which point we will switch over to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts fully, and decommission the Libraries’ old Online Catalogues platform.
For more information and an FAQ about Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts visit the public FAQ document.
Ho Tim Seminar Room University of Oxford China Centre (Dickson Poon Building, Canterbury Road)
No booking required!
The Visual History Archive® is USC Shoah Foundation’s online portal that allows users to search through and view more than 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Initially a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Archive has expanded significantly to also include survivor and witness testimony from other genocidal events: the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), the Nanjing Massacre (1937), the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994) and the Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996) as well as more recent testimonies relating to the Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017).
This 2 hour workshop run by the USC Shoah Foundation will provide hands-on training on how to use the Visual History Archive, introducing students, librarians, staff, and faculty to the archive’s history, collections, interface, and search engines that are the key to unlocking the research and teaching potential of the archive. Learn about watching interviews and get tips how successfully to navigate the many testimonies.
In a large library system such as the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford college libraries, holding over 13 million books and vast archives between them, archival resources on women can be difficult to spot. Therefore, in honour of History Day 2018, organised by the Institute of Historical Research Library and Senate House Library, and whose theme this year is women’s history, this blog post aims to highlight the archives of a selection of remarkable women who were in some way connected to Oxford or whose papers were deposited in Oxford. Their lives span the political, literary, social and scientific spheres of late 18th, 19th and 20th century Britain. Each one of them has a story to tell, in their own way, through their diaries and letters, and each is outstanding and interesting for their various contributions to British life, culture and science. Collectively, the archives document women’s lives and their struggles for recognition and rights, but also celebrate their achievements both before and after the suffragette movement.
The history of women in Oxford’s male-dominated university is briefly described at History of Women at Oxford. It was thanks to individual initiatives, and the pioneering work of the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women (AEW), that women’s colleges came to be established in Oxford. Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville opened in 1879, followed by St Hugh’s in 1886 and St Hilda’s in 1893. Women only become full members of the University in 1920.
6 March 2018 — 22 February 2019
Venue: Treasury, Weston Library (Map)
Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers – this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected. Sappho to Suffrageshowcases some of the Bodleian’s most remarkable and treasured items. Highlights on show from the Bodleian Libraries collections of over 13 million items include:
2nd century BCE fragments of Sappho’s poetry written on papyrus;
Ada Lovelace’s 19th century notes on mathematics;
the manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein;
a manuscript of Jane Austen’s juvenilia, Volume the First;
photographs by the Victorian photography pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron; and
a musical score by Fanny Mendelssohn.
the only known surviving version of the board game Suffragetto:
Highlights of the exhibition also include a ‘lost banner‘, a specially commissioned recreation of a banner originally used by the Oxford Women’s Suffrage Society in 1908, and a display featuring the perspectives of contemporary women one hundred years since the vote was won.
‘Margot’ Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith by Elliott & Fry. NPG x90783
Political hostess and diarist. Married H.H. Asquith, the Home Secretary, in 1894. In 1905 Asquith became Chancellor of the Exchequer and in 1908 Prime Minister. Her leading position, as Asquith’s wife, in London Society is reflected in her correspondence.
The collection includes diaries, 1876-1923; general correspondence, 1876-1945, followed by family correspondence, 1884-1945; literary papers, 1879-1945; personal papers.
Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle by Walter Bird 17 June 1964 NPG x1664273
Labour cabinet minister and campaigner.
The papers comprise diaries 1953-2001, family correspondence 1903-2000; political papers (encompassing papers relating to the Labour Party, backbench MP subject files, ministerial papers, MEP papers, and House of Lords subject files); speeches and lectures, 1937-2001; financial and legal papers, 1919-2002; personal papers, 1926-2002; Secretaries’ papers, 1983-2002; Drawings and paintings, 1967-; and Photographs, 1905-98.
Imperial activist. Married Lord Edward Herbert Gascoyne-Cecil (1867-1918) in 1894. She subsequently married Viscount Milner (1854-1925) in 1921. She had an interest in politics and was editor of The National Review1932-48.
The collection consists mainly of the papers of Violet Milner. It contains material relating to 19th- and 20th-century British and Imperial history, in particular the Boer War. The coverage of 20th-century South African politics is notable. Most major British politicians and political events of this period are documented in some way.
(Helen) Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury by Howard Coster. 1933. NPG x3017
Liberal political figure and daughter of H.H. Asquith and his first wife Helen.
Held the position of President of the Women’s Liberal Federation twice, from 1923-5 and again 1939-45. In 1945 she was invited to become President of the Liberal Party Organization, the first woman to do so, holding office until 1947. In 1963 she became the first woman to give the Romanes lecture at the University of Oxford, speaking on ‘The Impact of Personality on Politics’.
She also wrote articles for magazines, mainly for women, and letters to newspapers on national and international causes. Awarded a life peerage in 1964 and attended House of Lords until her death in 1969.
Evelyn Emmet, Baroness Emmet of Amberley by Walter Bird, November 1958. NPG x167398
Politician and Conservative MP.
Educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (1917-20) where she read literae humaniores. Her political career began in local government but played a national role serving on the Home Office probation advisory committee and of the Home Office special commission on cinema and the child in 1950. In 1952 and 1953 she was the UK delegate to the UN’s general assembly. Became an MP in 1955 and elevated to the Lords in 1964, serving there as deputy speaker and deputy chair of committees 1968-77.
The papers include diaries, correspondence, speeches, articles, broadcasts, and printed papers relating to her political career.
Best known as the author of the memoir Testament of Youth. She was accepted to read English at Somerville College, Oxford, in 1915; returned after World War I in 1919, changing her course to Modern History. Papers of Vera Brittain consist of:
Notebooks concerning her participation in the World Pacifist Conference and her lecture tour in India, 1949-50
Volume of photographs of Cape Comorin, India, n.d.
Papers of Vera Brittain held at Somerville College: the Somerville archive contains a collection of her letters, diaries, photos and books left to the College by her friend and one-time literary executor Paul Berry.
The Abinger collection comprises the correspondence and papers of three generations of the Godwin & Shelley families. This includes the majority of the surviving correspondence and papers of the philosopher and author William Godwin and his first wife, the feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft, and second wife, the translator and bookshop owner Mary Jane Clairmont, as well as the correspondence of Everina Wollstonecraft and Eliza Bishop, Mary Wollstonecraft’s sisters.
Read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Papers include the manuscripts of published and unpublished novels and short stories, literary papers, notebooks, diaries and correspondence. Loose leaves removed from some of the bound volumes, including notes and drafts for novels, are in MS. Pym 99.
English interior decorator, hostess and socialite. The collection includes letters from many of the literary and society figures of her day, some personal and family papers, a few diaries of Lady Colefax, her visitors’ books, and a number of photograph albums.
Victoria photographic pioneer. Cameron’s work was largely forgotten until the 1940s, but she has been widely recognised since then as one of the most important and innovative photographers of all time.
Her photographs can be found in a number of albums held at the Bodleian Library, amongst them an album, which she had compiled for Sir Henry Taylor. These photos are collectively known as The Henry Taylor Album.
Mary Somerville by James Rannie Swinton. chalk, 1848. NPG 690
Science writer and mathematics expositor.
Received many honours during her lifetime, and after her death, Somerville College, Oxford, founded in 1879 as a women’s college, was named after her. A Somerville scholarship for women also commemorates her name.
Archive includes correspondence and papers, also relating to the Somerville family.
Ada Lovelace by William Henry Mote, after Alfred Edward Chalon. stipple engraving, published 1839. NPG D5124
English writer, mathematician and early computer pioneer.
Active in Victorian London’s social and scientific elite alongside Mary Somerville. The main part of this collection of papers belonged to Annabella, Lady Byron.
The collection also contains correspondence of Ada and her husband William, 1st Earl of Lovelace, used by Doris Langley Moore in her biography Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1978). See Bodleian Ada Lovelace blog.
Physiologist (esp. on respiration) and clinical pathologist.
Studied unofficially (women were not yet admitted to the university for that subject) and then researched physiology in Oxford. The archive comprises personal and scientific papers, spanning her lifetime, as well as family papers.
Papers relating to the education of women at Oxford University. Women were not admitted to membership of the University until 1920, although they had been allowed to sit some University examinations and attend lectures for over forty years by that date. It was the work of the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women (AEW), founded 1878, that women’s colleges came to be established in Oxford.
The archive includes minute books, 1878-1920; papers relating to the finances of the Association, 1878-1922; papers relating to students, 1883-1920; and printed and miscellaneous papers, 1877-1920.
More from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscribers only):
C. Hoare & Co. is the sole survivor of the private deposit banks which were established in the 17th and 18th centuries. The bank has been owned and directed by members of the Hoare family since it was founded by Richard Hoare in 1672. The archive might be interest to researchers of the 17th to early 20th centuries, even if you don’t study financial history. For instance, a ledger showed a subscription generated in 1807 to fund William Wilberforce’s re-election to the House of Commons.
Pamela Hunter, archivist at C. Hoare and Co, writes:
The records that are likely to be of most interest to researchers are the customers ledgers. We have a virtually complete series dating from 1673 onwards. Note though that there is a 100 year closure on all our records – so currently only those up to 1914 would be accessible. Although I suspect that should be enough to be going on with!
Other records of possible interest might be the incoming letters, although the survival of these is patchy; the outgoing letter books, which cover 1701-1706 and then Dec 1758-Jan 1771, March 1778- Jan 1861; the partnership memo books, covering Jan 1793-Sept 1809, March 1817-1938; various order books re the goldsmithing side of the business, covering 1680s to 1720s; misc papers re the Hoare family and their various estates 18-19th cents.
Please note too that because the archive is a private one all applications for access have to be formally agreed by the partners. Therefore I would need a letter (or email) of introduction from a student’s supervisor, outlining what they would like to see and why, to pass on to the partners with a request for access.
Probably the best way forward for a student who thinks they might be interested in the material here is for them to email me in the first instance explaining what they are interested in. I can then check the indexes to see if there is anything relevant.
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.
The Directory of Audiovisual Resources has recently been updated to include the latest additions and information regarding libraries with audiovisual collections in the UK. Many thanks to Sonia Morcillo-García for creating and maintaining this very useful directory.
Did you know that Oxford has one of the best collections for US History in the UK? Looking for a topic for your thesis? Want to meet an expert?
Learn all about Oxford US studies collections and sources for early America right up to the 1990s which are held in the stunning Vere Harmsworth Library. Jane Rawson, Vere Harmsworth Librarian, has extensive knowledge of the collections and is a fount of information. You can meet her at the following session:
WISER Sources for US History – Tuesday 28 May, 10:45am-12:15pm
IT Services, 13 Banbury Road
A session introducing information sources for the study of colonial America and US history up to 1990. Starting with finding tools to locate material, examples of source materials will then be shown including archival, microform, printed/online collections and useful web portals and audiovisual collections.