New DIGITAL MICROFILM SCANNER available in BOD Upper Reading Room

Modernising old technology

Are you using microform collections and really wished you can take the images away as PDFs? Then make your way to the Upper Reading Room, Old Bodleian Library!

URR Digital microfilm scannerIn URR, you can now use a new Digital Microfilm Scanner which reads microfilms, microfiche and microcards and makes digital copies which can be saved as PDFs.

It is not currently possible to print directly from the scanner, but the images can be saved onto a USB drive for transfer to a laptop or another library computer and from there printed via PCAS.

You can manipulate the images to some extent (switch negatives to positives, etc.) and you can zoom and resize to your liking.

A guide to how to use the scanner and its various functions is available with the equipment. Currently access is based on first-come, first-serve.

The Vere Harmsworth Library already has this new and wonderful technology so from SOLO you can order microform collections to either the Upper Reading Room or the VHL.

What microfilm collections are held in the Bodleian Library?

A guide to microform holdings in the Bodleian Library. 5th ed. (2002) [Available in most reading rooms – ask staff]

All microfilms are catalogued in SOLO. Suggested advanced searches:

microfilm searches in solo - example

Examples of microform collections for Medieval history

IRHT Répertoire d’incipit de sermons latins, antiquité tardive et moyen âge, 273 fiches.  [BOD Microfiches 804]

Examples of microform collections for Early modern history

Flugschriften des frühen 16. Jahrhunderts. [microfiches] hrsg. H-J. Köhler et al. (Zug: IDC, 1978-87) [BOD Microfiches 400]

Contains 5,000 pamphlets in German and Latin, printed 1501-1530 within the Holy Roman Empire and in libraries, museums and archives of West Germany and West Berlin. Annual registers at BOD 25821 e. 63 and at BOD 25821 e. 64; Bibliographie der Flugschriften des 16. Jahrhunderts, Part i, Hans-Joachim Köhler (Tübingen, 1991-) accompanies this series. See also for guidance on using this set. Online index.

Flugschriften des späteren 16. Jahrhunderts, 1531-1600. [microfiches] Series I and II, hrsg. H.-J. Köhler et al. (Leiden: IDC, 1990-)  [BOD Microfiches 870]

Continues the previous collection and contains 3,666 pamphlets. Particularly good for events such as anti-papist movement, persecution of Jews and Witches and religious and political upheaval following the Reformation. Each year’s instalment consists of microfiches in binder with a guide and annual register.

Examples of microform collections for Modern History

Archives of the British Independent Labour Party

Accompanied by Archives of the Independent Labour Party, 1856-1975: a detailed guide to the microform collections (Reading, 1990)

  • Organisational and regional records, 1856-1955. 25 reels.  [BOD Films 1647]
  • Series I: Pamphlets and Leaflets. 512 microfiches [BOD Microfiches 1006-1010]
  • Series II: Minutes and related records. 176 microfiches (I: national administrative council minutes and related records 1894-1950; II: Branch minutes and related records 1892-19500 [BOD Microfiches 835]
  • Series III: The Francis Johnson correspondence. 21 reels. [BOD Films 1554]

Archives of the British Labour Party

Accompanied by Archives of the British Labour Party, 1873-1973: a detailed guide to the microform collections (Reading, 1990).

  •  General correspondence and political records. Various parts  [Check guides]
  • National Executive Council minutes. 1900-64. Part 1-9.  [BOD Microfiches 787]
  • Pamphlets and leaflets. Parts 1-5. 582 microfiches.  [BOD X.Films 81]
  • Speeches and statements. Part 1: 1964-1973. 197 microfiches [BOD X.Films 82]

Archives of the British Liberal Party

  • Pamphlets and leaflates, parts 1-4
  • National Liberal Federation Annual Reports, 1877-1936. 481 microches + guide. [BOD X.Films 90]

Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei (NSDAP): Akten der Partei-Kanzlei der NSDAP [microfiche]: Rekonstruktion eines verlorengegangenen Bestandes; herausgegeben vom Institut für Zeitgeschichte. (München: Saur: Oldenbourg, c1983-1992).  [BOD Microfiches 562]

Der Kirchenkampf: the Gutteridge-Micklem collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. 515 microfiches. (London : Saur, [1988]). [BOD Microfiches 809 & B1.30 O.71]

Includes materials, assembled from private collections, which detail the attempts of the German clergy to maintain a separate identity under the Third Reich. These materials document two struggles: that of the evangelical church against the Nazi attempt to impose a unified Reichskirche; and the struggle within the church to establish and define its own development and structure while under siege.

The collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, correspondence, reports, memoranda and manuscripts. Most of this material originated in the Bekennende Kirche, but there is also coverage of the Roman Catholic Church, the National Socialists and their various subsections, as well as other German and British Christian churches.

Also included are unique manuscripts describing the precarious situation of the pastors, bishops, religious publishers and printers whose lives and livelihoods were threatened by the Third Reich. There are lists of pastors who were imprisoned or suspended from duty, press service reports and banned literature.

Stenographische Berichte über die Verhandlungen des deutschen Reichstages, 1867-1918.  [BOD Microfiche 869]

Die Protokolle des österreichischen Ministerrates, 1848-1867. 1171, 41, 36 microfiches + 12 vols. (Hildesheim : Olms, 1999-2004).  [Check SOLO]

The French Revolution research collection; editor-in-chief, Colin Lucas. 19,161 microfiches in 12 sections. (Oxford: Pergamon,[1989-1995]) [Check SOLO]

Section 1. Newspapers / editor, Hugh Gough — section 2. Memoirs and autobiographies / editor, Colin Lucas — section 3. Basic printed collections / editor, Colin Lucas — section 4. Bibliographical and research tools — section 5. The Pre-revolutionary debate / editor, Jeremy Popkin — section 6. Political themes / editor, Alison Patrick … [et al.] — section 7. Resistances to the Revolution / editors, Colin Lucas [and] Roger Dupuy — section 8. Religion / editor, Timothy Tackett — section 9. The reorganization of society / editors, Isser Woloch … [et al.] — section 10. The economy / editors, Colin Lucas … [et al.] — section 11. War and colonies / editors, Jean-Paul Bertaud … [et al.] — section 12. Culture / editor, James Leith.

Voices from Wartime France, 1939-45: Clandestine Resistance and Vichy Newspapers. [microfilm]. 206 reels. [BOD Films 2062 + Guide: URR K.8.42]

A research collection which constitutes the sum of the French press that actually reached Britain during the Occupation of 1940-44. It is the record of what was known by the British about the hearts and minds of the French people at the most dramatic period of their shared history. This collection offers the complete French holdings of the British Library, acquired through a variety of intelligence, clandestine and neutral sources, offering as full a view of life during the War as was possible at the time.

Parlamento: rendiconti del Parlamento italiano. Discussioni del Senato del regno, 1848-60; 1861-70. 2nd ed. 150 microcards. [BOD Microcards 41 (1948-60); microcards 42 (1861-70)]

Parlamento: atti (afterwards rendiconti) del Parlamento italiano. Discussioni della Camera dei Deputati, 1848-60; 1861-70. 574 microcards. [BOD Microcards 43 (1948-60); microcards 44 (1861-70)]

Cortes: Congreso de los Diputados: diario de las sessions 1810-1921/22. 6406 microfiches. [BOD Microfiches 302]

Boletin oficial de estado, 1966-69; 1977-78; 1980-85 (Madrid, 1966-86). [BOD Films 1128 (1966-86); Microfiches 837 (1987-)]

Annuario estadístico de España. 1859-64 (various). 256 microfiches. [BOD Microfiches 302]

Any questions?

Why not ask the History Librarian

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs

Those interested in the history of Botany might be interested in an article published on 22 April in The Spectator by Dr Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections, Bodleian Library). He writes on the library’s recent acquisition of a ‘Catalogus Plantarum’ kept in the 1790s by an anonymous Botanist who roamed the south of England looking for specimens.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs


History Database of the Month: State Papers Online

Each month we will be highlighting an online database available to Oxford University historians here on our blog and on the noticeboard in the Upper Radcliffe Camera.

February’s database is State Papers Online I – IV: The Tudors, Stuarts & Commonwealth 1509-1714 (Foreign & Domestic).(c) Gale Cengage

What is State Papers Online?

State Papers Online (SPO) contains the Tudor and Stuart government ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ papers – the equivalent of today’s documents from the Home and Foreign Offices and the Royal Archives.

Research Tools area on SPO

Research Tools area on SPO

These everyday working papers of the British royal government reveal Tudor and Stuart society and government, religion and politics in all its drama allowing scholars to trace the remarkable  –  and frequently violent  – transformations of the 16th & 17th centuries. This major resource re-unites the Domestic, Foreign, Borders, Scotland, and Ireland State Papers of Britain with the Registers of the Privy Council and other State Papers now housed in the British Library.

The papers are accompanied by fully searchable calendars, and each calendar entry has been linked directly to its related state paper.  As well as being able to search and browse through papers and calendars, there are additional research tools, including information about dates, money and maps, image galleries and essays by historians.

More information about the resources is available in the SPO online guided tour.

SPO via OXLIPHow can I access State Papers Online?

SPO can be accessed via OxLIP+ or SOLO by searching ‘State Papers Online’.  Current student and staff members of Oxford University can access SPO off campus by signing into SOLO or OxLIP+ using their Single Sign-On (SSO).

Other useful databases covering the 17th century

These databases are all available via OxLIP+

Related Links Primary Sources Online Guide for Historians (PDF)  | Early Modern History Sources Guide | Contact the History LibrarianGuide to using OxLIP+ |

Database of the month in the Upper Camera

Database of the month in the Upper Camera

New database: Mirabile – Digital archives for medieval culture

Mirabile logo Oxford medievalists now have access to Mirabile, an aggregator resource for bibliographies and critical journal literature relevant for medieval studies and culture.

It provides online a variety of specialist resources including important resources constituted by the well-known SISMEL‘s databases and important journals published by the Edizioni del Galluzzo.

1. DB mediolatino:

  • MEL (Medioevo latino) – bibliographical bulletin, with more than 250.000 records; covers 6th-15th centuries

    Abelard MEL entry

    MEL entry for Peter Abelard

  • BISLAM (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Latinorum Medii recentiorisque Aevi), the  important authority list for names of medieval Latin authors, with more than 15.000 entries and 80.000 variants
  • CALMA (Compendium Auctorum Medii Aevi) – authoritative index of medieval authors and works.
  • MEM (Medioevo musicale) – bibliographical bulletin on medieval music
  • RICaBIM (Repertorio di Inventari e Cataloghi delle Biblioteche Medievali)

2. DB italiani includes:

  • LIO (Lirica italiana delle origini)
  • BAI (Biblioteca agiografica italiana)

3. DB agiografici

  • MATER (Manoscritti agiografici di Trento e Rovereto)
  • MAGIS (Manoscritti agiografici dell’Italia del Sud)
  • BAI (Biblioteca agiografica italiana)

4. DB francesi

  • MAFRA (Repertorio dei manoscritti gallo-romanzi copiati in Italia)

5. Digitised Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino (SISME) journals

over 1400 articles in pdf

  • Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale: an International Journal on the Philosophical Tradition from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages. ISSN 1122-5750
  • Filologia mediolatina: Studies in Medieval Latin Texts and their Transmission. ISSN 1124-0008
  • Hagiographica: Journal of Hagiography and Biography of the Società Internazionale per lo studio del Medioevo Latino. ISSN 1124-1125
  • Iconographica: Journal of Medieval and Modern Iconography of the Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino.
  • Itineraria: Travel Accounts and Knowledge of the World from Antiquity to the Renaissance. ISSN 1594-1019
  • Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies. ISSN 1123-2560
  • Stilistica e metrica italiana. ISSN 1591-6693

Please note that the interface and help files are in Italian.

The Conservative Party Archive: an introduction

With many thanks to Elizabeth McCarthy, Conservative Party Archive, Bodleian Library, who wrote this guest blog.

Electrion address from a young Margaret Thatcher [CPA: PUB 229/9]

The Conservative Party Archive (CPA), held in the Bodleian Library, is the official archive of the Conservative Party; the papers it holds date back to 1867 and the first conference of the Conservative & Unionist Association (in a London pub!). The archive was established in 1978, and it is currently one of the biggest archives in the Bodleian, with more material arriving all the time.

What’s in it?

The CPA can be divided into a number of main sections, representing the primary areas of Conservative Party organisation.

It holds the papers of the ‘elected’ or ‘parliamentary’ party – for example, the papers of the 1922 Committee and the Shadow Cabinet.

It also includes the Party’s ‘voluntary’ organisations, from the National Union of Conservative & Unionist Associations to think tanks around the nation.

Finally, it holds the material of what can be called the ‘professional’ Party – Conservative Central Office, the Conservative Research Department and high level committees.

Heath’s election address for the 1950 General Election, 23 February 1950 [CPA: PUB 229/9/3]

The CPA also holds large collections of published material and ephemera, including over 100 years of election posters.

What subjects are covered?

CPA material is particularly strong in the following areas:

  • Conservative policy on foreign, colonial and commonwealth affairs, 1930s-present
  • All areas of domestic policy – health, education, social security, transport, trade and industry, etc., 1930s-present
  • General Election planning and strategies, 1929-2010
  • Development of parliamentary democracy in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, c 1945-present
  • Debates during annual Conservative Party conferences, 1867-1977

The CPA collections are growing all the time, and the archive is in the process of making available a number of sections that have not been used for research before.

If you are keen to get your hands on an ‘untapped’ collection, just get in touch!

Election poster 1929 Lighthouse of Conservatism [CPA Poster Collection]

How do I use it?

Start by taking a look at the CPA’s online catalogue. You can also take a look at the Guide to the CPA for guidance on subjects and sections.

CPA material is read in Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Old Bodleian, and you’ll need to make an appointment to see it. To do so, email or phone 01865 277181. You’ll need to have a category A reader’s card (more on Admissions); get in touch with the CPA or with the Admissions office if you have any questions about this.

 Get in touch


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