Trial until 1 March: Foreign Office Files for the Middle East 1971-1981

Colleagues in the Social Science Library (SSL) have arranged trial access to Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981 which is available until 1 March 2019.

This resource is an online collection of documents sourced from The National Archives, UK, which are useful for the understanding the events in the Middle East during the 1970s. It comprises formerly classified British government documents, including correspondence, annual reports, dispatches, maps, minutes of ministerial meetings and printed leaflets. The documents relate to a number of topics including the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Oil Crisis, the Lebanese Civil War and the Camp David Accords, the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. The resource also assesses military interventions and peace negotiations carried out by regional and foreign powers like the United States and Russia.

Commercial interests are also scrutinised, with in-depth analyses of Middle East nations’ economic stability and reviews of international arm sales policies. The activities of oil-producing nations such as Saudi Arabia are closely monitored, with particular reference to the Gulf States and members of OPEC.

Utilising the significant collection of diplomatic correspondence, minutes, reports, political summaries and personality profiles, users can explore a decade characterised by conflict.

The online archive will be of particular interest to researchers in International Relations, Politics, Global Governance and Diplomacy, Public Policy, International Development, Economics, Area Studies, History and more.

Please send any feedback about this trial to jo.gardner@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

While you are here…

… the following related source databases and guides are already available to Oxford researchers:

New: The Medieval Globe, 1 (2014)-

Medievalists will be pleased to know that you now have online access to The Medieval Globe, v. 1(2014)- present. This subscription resource is funded thanks to the Madeline Barber Bequest.

The Medieval Globe [ISSN 2377-3553] is a peer-reviewed journal, published bi-annually, It was launched in November 2014 with a special issue on the Black Death as a global pandemic.

The journal explores the modes of communication, materials of exchange, and myriad interconnections among regions, communities, and individuals in an era central to human history. It promotes scholarship in three related areas of study:

  • the direct and indirect means by which peoples, goods, and ideas came into contact
  • the deep roots of global developments
  • the ways in which perceptions of the medieval past have been (and are) constructed around the world.

It is relevant to those working on Medieval Studies, Areas Studies and Global History. The materials published in this journal include articles, review essays, scholarly dialogues, multi-authored discussions, and editions or translations of source materials.

The Medieval Globe is the latest in a series of scholarly journals following the global shift and which are available in Oxford. These are:

  • Medieval Worlds is an Open Access double‐blind peer reviewed journal covering interdisciplinary and transcultural studies of the Middle Ages.
  • Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies publishes comparative studies, which systematically reflect the entanglement and the interconnection of European, African, Asian and American cultures.
  • Journal of Medieval Worlds (University of California Press) is due to start publication in March 2019. Watch out for further news that access is enabled.

Other HFL news on medieval resources.

New for early modernists: The Cecil Papers

It gives me great pleasure to announce that early modernists at Oxford now have access to The Cecil Papers. The purchase was made possible thanks to the generosity of many donors and contributors across the University: English Faculty Library, History Faculty, Merton College, All Souls College, St John’s College Library, Lincoln College, Oriel College Library, Balliol College Library, Keble College Library, New College, Pembroke College Library, and St Hugh’s College Library. I am very grateful to all donors without whom the purchase of this important historical source database, which has long been on the history eresources desiderata, would not have been possible.

The Cecil Papers provides online access to a collection of Tudor and early Stuart documents, principally from the reigns of Elizabethan I and James I/VI, privately held by the Gascoyne-Cecil family at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. After 1585. Attrib. to Marcus Gheeraerts the Yr [Public domain]

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1602.
John de Critz [Public domain]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The resource contains nearly 30,000 documents gathered by William Cecil (1521-98), Lord Burghley and his son Robert Cecil (1563-1612), First Earl of Salisbury. These important statesmen were Lord High Treasurer and Secretary of State serving under Elizabeth I and then James I. It complements extremely well the State Papers Online.

The collection includes many 16th and 17th century state papers, grants from the Crown, legal documents, treaties, correspondence, political memoranda, reports but also family and estate papers.

Key events covered in this collection include:

  • The clandestine plans for James’ accession to the English throne
  • Mary Queen of Scots’ imprisonment and execution
  • Tudor re-conquest of Ireland
  • The Spanish Armada
  • Military events in the Low Countries
  • Gunpowder Plot
  • The Main Plot and imprisonment of Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Early English settlement of America

The manuscripts are full-text searchable on the ProQuest platform. You can see both the scanned original manuscript as well as the transcribed version which will help those struggling with their palaeographical skills. Full-text searching is possible and hits are usefully highlighted.

The names and number of the ships that served against the Spanish Fleet.

July [1588] CP 166/83, The Cecil Papers. All Rights Reserved. Images reproduced by courtesy of Hatfield House Archives.

The Publication Search allows you to browse specifically for Family / Estate Papers, Maps, and Petitions.

Researchers will find a number of additional support material, available in the About section. They include:

  • An essay about the archival history of the collection.
  • Notes on the numbering of the Cecil Papers and the scope of the digital collection.
  • brief introduction to some key points of palaeography.
  • Some quick reference material, relating to differences in dating, numerical and monetary systems, likely to be found in documents such as those contained within The Cecil Papers.

The Cecil Papers are now available on Databases A-Z and will soon also be in SOLO.

While you are here…

Trials until 13 February: ‘Public petitions 1813-1918’ and ‘House of Lords Papers 1800-1910’

Colleagues in Official Papers, Bodleian Law Library, have organised two trials which may be of interest to historians and are now available via the UK Parliamentary Papers (UKPP) database in SOLO. Please send feedback to Hannah Chandler by 13 February when the trials end.

Trial 1: Public petitions, 1833-1918

Trial 2: new content added to the existing House of Lords material ‘House of Lords papers 1800-1910’. Please note we have access to House of Lords papers from 1900 to the present via Public Information Online.

To search in either of these trials, use the Advanced Search in UKPP.

Learn about UKPP and sign up for the Bodleian iSkills UK Parliamentary and Government materials – an introduction, Wed 23. Jan. @ 10-11.30am.

Public petitions, 1833-1918

Public Petitions to Parliament, 1833-1918 is an online module of Parliamentary Papers covering the records of the Select Committee on Public Petitions, 1833-1918. It includes individually rekeyed metadata records for every one of the >900,000 petitions accepted by Parliament and includes the full text of each petition that the Committee transcribed. Integrated fully with U.K. Parliamentary Papers, this collection shows how “the people” during the 19th C influenced Parliament on political, ecclesiastical, colonial, taxation, and many other topics relevant to the study of Britain and the British Empire within a range of different disciplines within the historical and social studies.

Petitioning was by far the most popular form of political participation, but it has long been overlooked by historians and social scientists preoccupied with elections and election rituals, campaigns to extend the right to vote, and the rise of national political parties.  Utility of public petitions can be used to study the groundswell of public pressure for the expansion of the voting franchise and also to see  the views and priorities of both the populace and Parliament. How Parliament addresses the petition, or doesn’t address it, is a stark indicator of political and social priorities.

Containing petitions on ecclesiastical issues, crime and criminals, colonies, taxation, education, and on every other issue of interest to the populace of Britain, this project appeals to all social, cultural, and religious scholars of Britain. From religious scholars interested on Methodism and the Church of England, scientists concerned with pollution and pollution controls during the Industrial Revolution, and sociologists concerned with how these issues were influenced by and influenced the People, the popular constitutionalism inherent in this collection (as opposed to the “top down” approach to looking at history), is at the cutting edge of historical research today and has wide appeal across campus.” From ProQuest LibGuide UK Parliamentary Papers (https://proquest.libguides.com/parliamentary/petitions, accessed 21/1/2019).

As petitions are public responses to laws and contribute to the debate and formulation thereof, they add fantastic context to parliamentary proceedings. For instance, the current great flurry of petitions relating to Brexit are testament to the strength of feeling experienced amongst the British population in the country. Having access to historic petitions in the same database as historic parliamentary papers and debates (Hansard) will make it easier for historians to understand the national debate. You will also learn of individuals who were politically active locally and, for a brief period in the petition, also nationally. To find out more about individuals, you could search the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ODNB Oxford subscribers only) or, if they are not important enough to get into the ODNB, try the British Biographical Archive which is in World Biographical Information System WBIS (Oxford subscribers only).

You can search for historic public petitions in a variety of ways, including keyword searching and limiting, by the use of filters, to particular characteristics of the petitioner (e.g. names signatories, lobbying organizations, MP sponsoring petition, etc.):

Searching for “children” in Petition titles. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Please note that in the vast majority of cases you will only see a summary report of petitions compiled by the Select Committee on Public Petitions. Only 400 petitions in UKPP have the full-text of the original petition, added as an appendix to the Select Committee’s reports. If you wish, you are able to limit your search to find only the full-text appendices.

Searching for Petitions to repeal the Corn Laws with Appendix Full-Text. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Merchants, Manufacturers, and other Inhabitants of the township of Gomersal, in the county of York; Corn Laws – For Repeal; Petition no 96. January 27, 1840. Parliament: 1837-41. Second Report of the Select Committee. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Find out more:

New eresources: African American Newspapers (1827-1998); Ethnic American Newspapers (1799-1971)

Our wonderful colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have secured access to two more historical American newspaper resources, both funded by a very generous donation from the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Here is what they blogged on 20 December 2018:

African American Newspapers (Series I), 1827-1998

Chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience, African American Newspapers, Series 1, features 280 newspapers from 35 states, including many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles. These titles published for or by African Americans constitute valuable primary sources for researchers exploring such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history; ethnic studies and more. Beginning with Freedom’s Journal (NY)—the first African American newspaper published in the United States—the titles in this groundbreaking series include The Colored Citizen (KS), Arkansas State Press, Rights of All (NY), Wisconsin Afro-American, New York Age, L’Union (LA), Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate (NY), Richmond Planet, Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN) and hundreds of others from every region of the U.S.

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971

Access to over 130 digitised newspapers published by and for ethnic groups in the United States, particularly those of Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Welsh descent.

Spanning the Early Republic’s Open Door Era to the Era of Liberalization in the mid-1960s, Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection covers two centuries of immigrant life in the United States. Nineteenth-century topics include the denial of citizenship to “nonwhites”; the founding of nativist political movements, including the anti-immigrant “Know-Nothing” party; the 1849 discovery of gold in California, which lured people from all over the world; New York City’s place as the world’s largest Irish city in 1860 with more than 200,000 Irish-born citizens; and the Immigration Act of 1882, which levied a tax on all immigrants landing at U.S. ports.

In addition to the major contributions of immigrants to business, music, science, education, labor movements and war efforts, later topics include the Naturalization Act of 1906, which for citizenship required immigrants to learn to speak English; the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which favored northern and western Europeans; the 1942 internment in “War Relocation Camps” of Japanese Americans, several of whom published newspapers; Truman’s 1953 Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, which revealed the positive impact of immigrants; and much more.

Both collections are now available via SOLO / Databases A-Z.

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Also of interest:

New ejournals: Early Modern Women & International Public History

We kick off with 2019 by announcing that Oxford researchers now have access to the following two ejournals in SOLO. Enjoy!

Early Modern Women [ISSN 1933-0065] v1(1), 2006-. Published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, this journal is “devoted solely to the interdisciplinary and global study of women and gender during the years 1400 to 1700. Each volume gathers essays on early modern women from every country and region, by scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines, including art history, cultural studies, music, history, political science, religion, theatre, history of science, and history of philosophy.”

International Public History [ISSN 2567-1111] v1(1), 2018-. “The IPH is the official organ of the International Federation for Public History. Published twice a year, the journal provides a mix of theoretical, research and “practice-oriented” scholarly articles on a wide range of topics. The multimodal journal offers readers a rich experience through the enhancement of articles using photos, film and audio clips.”

This journals is relevant to those interested in History and memory; digital public history; archiving; libraries; exhibiting; curation; preservation; heritage; communication and media; policy; private and commercial sectors.

Also of interest:

Women history resources at Oxford University (Part 2): a selection of digital resources in the Oxford Libraries

Following on from the first History Day 2018 blog post on Oxford’s archival resources for women’s history, I now turn my attention to interesting full-text online source databases which are available to all registered Bodleian readers. The resources span early modern to modern periods and cover a range of materials, such as diaries, letters, papers and publications by women or for women. Many have a surprisingly global reach though English-language sources still dominate.

Conducting full-text searches in these resources is very difficult. However, many databases are structured in such way as to help find information about women’s daily lives, their thoughts and feelings, but also provide facts and reports on their contributions to e.g. the war efforts. As ever, the more you know about your topic, gleaned from secondary readings, the more success you are likely to have when searching these resources.

More information can also be found on our LibGuide to Women’s Studies.

British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries 1500-1950 (subscription resource)
Documents the personal and immediate experiences of approximately 500 women, as revealed in over 90,000 pages of diaries and letters.

Defining Gender, 1450-1910 (subscription resource)
A thematically organised collection of original primary source material from British archives, which ‘explores the study and analysis of gender, leisure and consumer culture’.

Association for Promoting the Education of Women, 1889-1899 correspondence. Defining Gender.

Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) (free on web)

EMLO provides access to a combined finding aid and editorial interface for basic descriptions of early modern correspondence: a collaboratively populated union catalogue of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century letters.

Includes, for instance, the correspondence of Anne Conway (1631-1679)

21 Feb 1650: More, Henry (Dr), 1614-1687 (Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) to Conway, Anne, 1631-1679. EMLO.

Gerritsen Collection–Women’s History Online, 1543-1945 (subscription resource)
A collection of ‘books, pamphlets and periodicals reflecting the revolution of a feminist consciousness and the movement for women’s rights’, with ‘more than 4,700 publications from continental Europe, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand, dating from 1543-1945. This resource has a more global reach than it might appear.

Granet, La polygynie sororale… (1920), Gerritsen Collection

North American Women’s Letters and Diaries (subscription resource)
Collection of some 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from colonial times to 1950. Documents the personal experiences of over 1,300 women.

International Women’s Periodicals, 1786-1933: Social and Political Issues (Archives Unbound) (subscription resource)
Online access to 57 women’s magazine and journal publications covering the late eighteenth century to the 1930s. The material allows researchers to explore the role of women in society and the development of the public lives of women as the push for women’s rights (woman suffrage, fair pay, better working conditions, etc.) grew in the United States and England. Some of the titles in this collection were conceived and published by men for women; others, conceived and published by male editors with strong input from female assistant editors or managers; others were conceived and published by women for women. It is therefore also useful for the study of the history of women’s publishing. The strongest suffrage and anti-suffrage writing was done by women for women’s periodicals. Suffrage and anti-suffrage writing, domesticity columns, and literary genres from poetry to serialized novels are included in these periodicals

Gallery of Fashion, Nov 1794. International Women’s Periodicals 1786-1933.

London Low Life (subscription resource)
This collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of London in the 19th century. From salacious ‘swell’s guides’ to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London’s bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the city. Children’s chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature.This is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, with many full colour maps, cartoons, sketches and a full set of the essential Tallis’ Street Views of London – resource for the study of London architecture and commerce. Also includes George Gissing’s famous London scrapbooks from the Pforzheimer Collection, containing his research for London novels such as New Grub Street and The Netherworld.

Women’s Refuges 1871-1880 in London. Thematic Data Map. London Low Life.

Mass Observation Online (subscription resource)
This is a collection of much of the material from the Mass Observation Archive which also records the voices of women. It includes the entire File Report sequence 1937-1972, access to all of the Day Surveys, Directives and Diaries, 1937-1967, Mass Observation Publications 1937-1965 and 87 Topic Collection (e.g. e.g. Smoking Habits 1937-1965, etc.). The Worktown Collection includes material of a major study of the towns of Bolton (Worktown) and Blackpool (Holidaytown).

Diarist 5387, 11 July 1940 [on sexual harassment]. Mass Observation

Useful for the study of social history, sociology, etc., of modern Britain, it covers topics such as abortion, old age, crime, eating habits, shopping, fashion, dance, popular music, coal mining, adult education, sex, reading, ethnic minorities, and the decline of Empire. It is a resource that will be useful to historians, literary scholars, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists.

Past Masters: Full-Text Humanities (subscription resource)
A collection of primary-source full-text humanities databases, including:

  • Les Œuvres de Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Letters of Jane Austen
  • Bluestocking Feminism 1738-1785.
  • The Letters of Charlotte Brontë
  • The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney
  • The Notebooks and Library of George Eliot
  • The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844

Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700 (subscription resource) Access to 230 digitised manuscripts from the Perdita Project, written or compiled by women in the British Isles during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 (Archives Unbound) (subscription resource)
A digital collection of First World War charity and international relief reports, pamphlets, photographs, press cuttings and more. It fully documents the essential contribution of women during the Great War as well as the revolutionary and permanent impact the World War I had on the personal, social and professional lives of these women. It is an important collection for research into 20th century social, political, military and gender history.

Report On The Increased Employment Of Women During The War With Statistics Relating To July 1917. The Women at Work Collection, Imperial War Museum, London, in Women, War and Society, 1914–1918.

Women Writers Online (subscription resource)
A full-text collection of texts by pre-Victorian women writers, published by the Women Writers Project at Northeastern University.

I close with reference to the underrated Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals 1800-1900 (subscription resource). For instance, it helps you locate details of Victorian periodicals on e.g. women’s interest as well as give details of editors, circulation figures, etc.

Waterloo Directory for English Newspapers and Periodicals 1800-1900 – Women Fashion search

There is even more!

It goes without saying that other online source databases will of course have material relevant for women’s history, even though they are not dedicated to them. Browse our Databases A-Z to discover more.

Useful links:

New: Daily Express (1900-) and Daily Star (2000-)

I am delighted to report that thanks to a sharing agreement with colleagues in Social Sciences, historians now have access to the following UK tabloids:

These newspapers are all published by Express Newspapers and complement well our other online resources such as Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004 and Daily Mirror (1903-).

Learn how to best search online newspapers in our Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries (LibGuide).

Check out more blog posts on newspaper resources.

New: Virtual History Archive (USC Shoah Foundation)

I am very pleased to announce that thanks to a generous donation of Ms Cecilia Chan to the University China Centre, Oxford researchers now have access to the Virtual History Archive (USC Shoah Foundation) until 30 September 2019.

The resource can be accessed from Databases A-Z and soon also via SOLO.

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, and still overwhelmingly, a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Archive has expanded significantly to include survivor and witness testimony from four other genocidal events the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), the Nanjing Massacre (1937), the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994), the Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996), as well as more recent testimonies relating to the Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017).

This very rich resource can be searched and browsed in various ways. There are indexes for themes and names. Places can be found, using a zoomable map, for geographical locations as well as types of locations (e.g. concentration camps, refugee camps). The interviews have been indexed to quite a deep level. Even if you don’t have any names of individuals you can locate testimonies by browsing by experience:

As this resource provides access to a huge amount of oral history material, you will need to make sure that you can listen to sound, and, if you are using it in a library, please use head- or earphones.

Also useful:

  • Jewish survivors of the Holocaust A freely available collection of 186 life story interviews and oral testimonies from Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children in the British Library. Includes audio files and transcripts collected between 1987 and 2000. This resource documents the moving testimonies of Jewish immigrants to Britain, many of whom survived Nazi concentration camps. Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust, covering anti-semitism before the Second World War; ghettos and concentration camps; resistance and liberation; searching for family in the aftermath; building a new life in Britain and the legacy of the Holocaust.
  • Post War Europe (Archives Unbound) [Oxford researchers only]: An online archive of primary sources for the study and understanding of the challenges facing the European peoples in the aftermath of World War II, it covers the politics and administration of the refugee crisis in Europe after World War II as well as the day-to-day survival of the refugees themselves. The selection of materials is based on holdings in the National Archives and the Wiener Library, London, and includes documents and letters in the original language. The archive includes the working papers of Rose Henriques from 1945-1950, which comprises perhaps the most complete record of the effort to improve the lives of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and Displaced Persons in the British Zone of Occupation. It also includes papers of the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (JCRA), the Jewish Relief Units (JRUs) and copious documentation on other aspects of the Jewish refugee situation in the period 1945 to 1950.This resource is relevant to those studying World War II, Holocaust and Jewish studies, post-war history of Germany, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy.
  • To find secondary readings on the Holocaust, use the following subject searches in SOLO: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945).

New: French Mandate in The Lebanon, Christian-Muslim Relations, and the U.S. Consulate at Beirut, 1919-1935

I am delighted to report that colleagues in the Oriental Institute Library have purchased online access to:

French Mandate in The Lebanon, Christian-Muslim Relations, and the U.S. Consulate at Beirut, 1919-1935 (Archives Unbound)

It is now accessible via SOLO and Databases A-Z to Oxford researchers.

Sourced from the U.S. National Archives, this collection consists of correspondence and telegrams received and sent by the American consular post in Beirut. The topics covered by these records include the protection of interests of American citizens, foreign trade, shipping, and immigration.

But there is more to these records than traditional consular activities—the Beirut post provides a unique look into the French Mandate in Syria-Lebanon. Consular officials reported on the administration of the Mandate, its problems, French repression and Arab rebellion.

There are unique materials on the Druse Rebellion of 1925, religious conflicts between Christian, Maronite, and Muslim communities, repression by French military forces, French efforts to settle Bedouin tribes in Syria, nationalist organizations and rebellion, anti-Zionism activities, riots and civil disturbances in the cities, villages and rural areas, failure of the Franco-Lebanese Treaty of 1936, creation of a new mandate administration in Syria in 1939, the war clouds in Europe, and Palestinian views on Syrian independence.