New: The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas

Our wonderful colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have also arranged permanent access to the eresource collection The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas.

They write:

“We’re delighted that once again thanks to a generous donation, we now have access to another new eresource collection: The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas.

Part of the Cengage Archives Unbound platform, this collection contains records and papers from the US National Archives and US State Department. The bulk of these date from 1812-1814 and include letters of marque to private vessels engaged in the conflict, passenger lists, passport records, and correspondence relating to prisoners of war.

Access is available via SOLO or Databases A-Z. University members can use single sign-on for remote access.”

New: The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783 – Congressional Hearings 1824-1979

Our colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have arranged permanent access to the online The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783. 

They write:

“We are delighted to announce that thanks to generous donations, the Bodleian Libraries now have access to the following new eresources for American history:

The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783

A collection of pamphlets published in Britain between 1763 and 1783 relating to American affairs and providing a British perspective on the American Revolution.

Congressional Hearings, 1824-1979 (ProQuest Congressional)

Includes the full text of published committee hearings from the US Congress from 1824-1979. Published hearings are the official record of committee hearings proceedings held to enable committees to gather opinions and information to help Members make decisions regarding proposed legislation or to help them fulfill their oversight and investigation responsibilities. Official hearings publications may include: written and oral statements of witnesses, transcripts of question-and-answer sessions, reports and other materials submitted for the record, and correspondence and other materials submitted by interested parties.”

The collections may be accessed via SOLO or our new Databases A-Z listing; University members can use single sign-on for remote access.”

New: Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection

I am delighted to announce that thanks to a generous donation, the Bodleian Libraries has been able to purchase Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection.

This online resource enables easy exploration of the rich holdings of the Arcadian Library. A privately-owned collection of rare ancient manuscripts, early printed books, and documents from the 10th to 20th centuries, the Arcadian Library collects the shared cultural heritage of Europe and the Middle East.

The first module of this online resource, the History of Science and Medicine collection, contains the contributions of early Arab and Persian scientists, doctors and thinkers; their translation, reception and influence in Europe and their lasting influence on the development of Western scientific and medical knowledge. It also brings together 19th and 20th century records of science, medicine and natural history from across the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions.

There are texts on

Content highlights include:

  • Ibn Baklarish’s Kitab al-Musta’ini – Book of simple medicines
  • Haly Abbas’s (Al Majūsī) seminal tenth century medical text Liber Totius Medicine Necessaria Continens
  • Liber de cirurgia by Albucasis (Al-Zahrawi) – a pivotal fifteenth century medical treatise detailing early Arab surgical practices and instruments
  • An early edition of Serapion the Younger’s book of medical botany, Liber aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus
  • Reports of European scientific explorations documenting the animals, plants and geology of countries including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria

I recommend browsing by period, place, people, topic, language and content type to get a sense of the scope of this curated collection.

The vast majority of the content comes from printed works and are in Latin. Texts are also in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Persian and Spanish. The medieval and early modern periods are particularly strong.

In due course the bibliographical details of each item in this collection will also be discoverable in SOLO.

Features include:

  • High-resolution, full-colour images (400ppi)
  • Searchable in either English or Arabic
  • Dedicated taxonomy enables filtered search by topic, place, period, people, language or content type
  • Commentary articles linked to primary texts
  • Full catalogue records include available provenance and condition notes
  • Integrated Arabic keyboard

Now online: Ambix: the Journal of the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry

Oxford researchers will be pleased to know that Ambix: the Journal of the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry is now available online, starting with volume 44 (1997). For issues before that date, you will need to consult the printed copy.

Ambix is an internationally-recognised, peer-reviewed journal and the leading specialist publication in its field, which is viewed as a major outlet for current research. Published four times a year, in February, May, August and November, its remit is to facilitate the publication of high-quality research and discussion in all areas relevant to the history of alchemy and chemistry, including:

  • ancient, medieval and early modern alchemy
  • the Chemical Revolution
  • the impact of atomism
  • the rise of organic chemistry
  • the chemical industry
  • quantum chemistry
  • interactions between the chemical sciences and other disciplines

The Journal’s scope extends to the history of pharmacy and chemical medicine, environmental studies of the chemical industry, and the material and visual culture of chemistry. ” (https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=yamb20, accessed 15 May 2018)

Ambix also publishes reviews in English of books dealing with any aspect of the history of alchemy and chemistry.

Now online: Das Historisch-Politische Buch: ein Wegweiser durch das Schrifttum

I am pleased to report that Oxford researchers now have online access to Das Historisch-Politische Buch: ein Wegweiser durch das Schrifttum (ISSN: 0018-2605), starting with vol. 65 (3), 2017.

This review journal started publication in 1953. The printed copies can be requested from the offsite storage to Bodleian Libraries reading rooms.

More than 1,000 international scholars publish reviews (Buchbesprechungen) in the journal on a regular basis, reviewing over a 1,000 current publications annually. While focusing on history and political science the HPB covers related disciplines as well.

Snippet from Table of Contents of Das Historisch-Politische Buch (HPB), Vol. 65, Issue 4-6 (2017)

The topics range from medieval to post-1945 history and include non-European history also. The reviews are either by publication or gathered in themes, e.g. historical methods, regional and urban history, military history, education, environment, gender, religion and church, etc.

The journal provides scholarly guidance of the historical literature for researchers and librarians. The reviews summarise the content of the book, comment on the subject and place them in the research context. This is a great resource to discover the German historiography of a wide range of publications on history and politics and to locate book reviews.

The reviews are in German and are full-text searchable.

Trial until 23 May: Vestnik Evropy – a Russian literary and political journal

Nick Hearn, French and Slavonic Subject Specialist in the Taylor Institution Library, is running a trial of the online Vestnik Evropy. The journal is not just a literary one but contains much of interest about Russian politics and foreign relations. This might therefore be of interest to historians. The trial is now available via OxLIP+.

Vestnik Evropy (DA-VE) (trial until 23 May 2018)

This electronic resource, covering the years 1802-1830, complements our printed set of Vestnik Evropy (Viestnik Evropy) held at the Taylorian which starts in 1866 and continues up to the Revolution. The journal Vestnik Evropy is among the earliest and most influential literary and political journals of Russia. The founder of the journal was the writer and historian Nikolai Karamzin.

Please send feedback to nick.hearn@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

New eresource: San Francisco Chronicle, 1865-1984

Our colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have arranged permanent access to the online San Francisco Chronicle, 1865-1984. They write:

“We’re delighted to announce that Oxford users now have access to the digitised archive of the San Francisco Chronicle from 1865-1984 via Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers platform. Access is now available via SOLO or OxLIP+ (remote access for University members via single sign-on).

Though it was Northern California’s “newspaper of record,” the San Francisco Chronicle’s influence was so far-reaching that it was known as the Voice of the West. With colorful reporting and commentary on news ranging from the aftermath of the Gold Rush to the effects of World War II to the counterculture boom of the 1960s, the Chronicle offers an unparalleled glimpse into the issues and events that shaped the West Coast for over a century.”  > Continue reading on the VHL blog

Also of interest:

New: American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection (1684-1912)

Our colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have arranged permanent access to the online American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection (1684-1912). They write:

“We’re delighted to announce that Oxford users now have access to all five parts of the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection from EBSCO.

The collection provides digital access to the full text of thousands of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912, digitised from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society. Titles cover a broad range of subjects and interests related to every aspect of American life and culture, from politics to religion, science, law, literature and the arts.
>>More information on the AAS periodicals collection

Access is available via OxLIP+ – use single sign-on for remote access.”

From the VHL Blog post [accessed 15 March 2018]

Also useful:

New: Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004

The Rothermere American Institute and Bodleian Libraries are pleased to announce that Oxford researchers now have access to the Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004, a resource which for many years now has topped the electronic desiderata for the university. This permanent acquisition was made possible thanks to a generous donation by the Daily Mail and General Trust.

The resource is now accessible via SOLO or OxLIP+.

“The Tragedy of the Shells.” Daily Mail [London, England] 21 May 1915: 4. Daily Mail Historical Archive. Web. 16 Feb. 2018.

The Daily Mail is a well-known British daily tabloid newspaper which was first published on 4 May 1896 by Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, later Lord Northcliffe, and his brother Harold, later Lord Rothermere. This resource provides access to more than 100 years of this publication, whose circulation figures have consistently been one of among the highest in Britain since its publication. The archive is an invaluable source for all manner of projects on British and world history, politics, society, culture, publishing, and much more. In its aim to represent the working middle-class and actively campaign for particular causes, it provides an important vocal alternative perspective to other newspapers.

This resource also includes fully scanned and digitised copies of the Daily Mail Atlantic Edition, which were edited and produced on the White Star and Cunard liners between Southampton and New York between 1923 and 1931. Because there were no legal deposit requirements for these unique off-shore editions of the newspaper, which differ in many ways from that day’s printed Daily Mail, they are not held in any Legal Deposit library.

The resource can be viewed in full digital facsimile form, with copious advertisements, news stories and images that capture 20th century culture and society.

The Rothermere American Institute and the Bodleian Libraries are very grateful to the Daily Mail and General Trust for their its generous donation.

Suggested reading:

Also of interest:

Trial until 30 March: Cold War Eastern Europe, Module 1: 1953-1960

Colleagues in the Social Science Library have arranged trial access to Cold War Eastern Europe, Module 1: 1953-1960. The trial ends 30 March 2018. It can be accessed via SOLO or OxLIP+. Please note that documents cannot be downloaded during the trial. Documents from other modules are not accessible either.

This resource provides access to over 6,800 primary source files sourced entirely from the political departments of the U.K. Foreign Office responsible for dealing with and reporting on the Soviet Union and the socialist states of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The files provide a uniquely comprehensive, English-language history of post-Stalinist Eastern Europe.

The sources are all in English.

Module I covers the years 1953 to 1960, and consists of files selected from The National Archives series FO 371 (Foreign Office: Political Departments: General Correspondence from 1906-1966) which contains the files of the Foreign Office’s Northern, Southern, Central, and Western Departments pertaining to each of the socialist states of Eastern Europe. Every file relevant to the region from 1953 to 1960 – a total of nearly 7,000 files – is included in this resource, with the exception of any files retained by the government.

In addition, the full run of FO 371 Russia Committee files dating back to 1946 – totalling 41 files –  have been included. These complete the set of FO 371 Russia Committee meeting minutes and reports dating up to 1957, and provide context to Britain’s Soviet policy in the early Cold War.

Key events featured in the files of Module I include:

  • The East German Uprising of 1953
  • Founding of the Warsaw Pact
  • The Poznań Uprising in Poland
  • The Hungarian Revolution
  • Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech”
  • The onset of the Sino-Soviet Split
  • The U2 spy-plane incident

The Foreign Office, along with their embassies and consulates throughout the region, were interested in every aspect of the political, economic, cultural, social, and dissident life behind the Iron Curtain. They consequently reported on a hugely diverse range of issues, from state leadership to protest movements; agricultural output to international trade agreements; scientific progress to minority populations; religion to sporting events; and state-run media to popular culture. They also provided reports, and in some cases eye-witness accounts, on key milestones of the Cold War, such as the Hungarian Revolution and Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’.

With coverage of every country in Eastern Europe, the resource enables comparative study of trends across the region, or in-depth analysis of individual countries. The countries featured in this resource are:

  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Czechoslovakia
  • East Germany and Berlin
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Soviet Union
  • Yugoslavia

‘Northern (N): Soviet Union (Ns). Reviews of Developments in the Soviet Union since Stalin’s Death: Elections to Supreme Soviet; Comments on Election Speeches; Reports on Political Events and Meetings of the Supreme Soviet; Quarterly Reports on Soviet Policy’, in FO371: Foreign Office: Political Departments: General Correspondence from 1906-1966 (Foreign Office). [Cold War Eastern Europe, accessed 15 Feb 2018.]

The files also bear annotations relating to the administration and registry of the files which, in themselves, are hugely interesting.

You can search and browse the collections, which use tagging by country, theme, document type, language, etc. If you have a FO reference you can use it to locate specific known documents.

Please send any feedback to angelina.gibson@bodleian.ox.ac.uk by 30 March 2018.