New: Bloomsbury Medieval Studies

Following a successful trial in October 2019, I am pleased to announce that Oxford researchers now have access to Bloomsbury Medieval Studies.

This purchase is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jonathan Glasspool, Managing Director, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. and the Madeline Barber Bequest.

This is an interdisciplinary digital resource with a global perspective covering the medieval period. It brings together high-quality secondary content with visual primary sources, a new reference work and pedagogical resources into one cross-searchable platform, to support students and researchers across this rich field of study.

Specifically, the resource contains over 150 scholarly works (incl. primary texts, research monographs, companions) which have been published by Bloomsbury and other publishers such as IB Tauris, Arc Humanities Press, Amsterdam University Press.

It also contains a newly published reference work (The Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Age) and over a 1000 images sourced from collections in the British Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Senate House Library (London).

Explore articles written by top international contributors in the newly commissioned and exclusive reference work, the Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages.

Tips for locating digital resources & ebooks

Whilst libraries are closed in amidst the COVID-19 crisis, here are some tips for finding digital resources and ebooks:

  1. Search SOLO. We have 118,000 eJournals and 1.49 million eBooks available for use 24/7. Lots of them will be for history.
  2. Looking for relevant journals articles? Use bibliographical databases such as Historical Abstracts, Bibliography of British and Irish History, International Medieval Bibliography. > more
  3. Check out Databases A-Z for over 300 history databases, mostly full-text source materials. Include early printed ebooks. LibGuides can also be useful.
  4. Search the Internet Archive for digitised largely 19th century publications. Google Books or Gutenberg Project can also help.
  5. Search the National Emergency Library to borrow any of the 1.5 million digitised 20th century books. > more about this.
  6. Search ORA (Oxford’s institutional repository). List of UK HE institutional repositories.
  7. If you find an ebook in SOLO which can only be read in Bodleian Libraries’ PCs (look out for the orange dot), then we may be able to purchase an ebook for off-campus access. Complete the book recommendation.
  8. Digital Libraries, e.g. Digital.Bodleian with over 900,000 images of c 16,000 archival and rare books items. Also Europeana, DPLA (US), Gallica (France), DDB (Germany)
  9. Check out the LibGuide for details of our online newpaper resources.
  10. Check the HFL Diego website for access to over 1000 history free web resources.

Besides the large collection of online book and article material, there are other resources you can use:

  1. Book reviews, for grasping the content of inaccessible books (look at e.g. Reviews in History)
  2. publishers’ websites can also sometimes be helpful for more recently published material.
  3. google a book or book chapter in case it is available in another University’s institutional repository or on the social media site of the author.
  4. Digitised theses which were later published as books. SOLO will list any digitised Oxford theses. Otherwise try ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (SSO required) and ETHos.
  5. google other items to find extracts, chat, reviews etc.

This is a growing list of resources and will be update as new information becomes available. Thanks go to the History Faculty for contributing to this list of tips.

Above all, please don’t hesitate to contact library staff. We are very busy but we are here to help you in this difficult time. Here is how you can get in touch with us:

Please look after yourselves and stay safe.

National Emergency Library – temporary free access to 1.5m ebooks

I am delighted to share the news that the Internet Archive has created the
National Emergency Library stop support research and learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

In short, just under 1.5m books (but growing) are being made available, drawing on collections from selected US libraries. They are US-heavy (publishers and subjects) but tens of thousand of digitised books from the 20th century can be accessed. Many subjects are covered, including history.

NEL will be made available until 30 June or the end of the US national emergence, whichever is later.

 

For more background, see

Enormous thanks must go to US librarians and the Internet Archive for making this possible so quickly.

How to use it?
We are working on ways of making NEL titles easily discoverable in SOLO. Watch this space.
The digitised book can be viewed online or downloaded as pdfs to Adobe-compliant software.
Any questions? Check their FAQ.

British Online Archives – full access until 20 April 2020

British Online Archives are providing 30-day free access (starting from 23 March) of its entire collection to existing customers in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company provides access to over 3 million records drawn from both private and public archives. There are 88 collections with thematically organised records covering early modern and modern world history, from politics and warfare to slavery and medicine. These are great source materials for 18th to later 20th century British and global history. Contributing archives include India Office, British Library, The National Archives, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, LSE.

Examples of themes:

Paris Peace Conference, Prosecuting the Holocaust, Colonial Law in Africa, British Labour Party Papers 1906-1994, Liverpool and Bristol shipping records, slave trade records, missionary archives, British colonial government reports, and much more.

Please remember that this access will cease on 20 April 2020. However, the Bodleian Libraries has purchased a few of these collections already so you can continue to access them after 20 April.

Trials of three women’s history eresources

March is Women’s History month! 

Colleagues have arranged trials to three eresources on women’s history and women’s studies. Across the University many Departments are now undergoing changes to rectify historic gaps in teaching and enhance inclusivity. In this vein, these trials has been arranged as part of the Bodleian’s Changing the Narrative project (https://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/changingthenarrative).

Please send any feedback to Helen.Worrell@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

1. Women and Social Movements, International (Trial until 31 March 2020)

Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.  This digital archive includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century.  It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements.

Finally, 30 essays commissioned from leading contemporary scholars explore themes illuminated by the primary documents in the archive.

2. Women’s Magazine Archive 1 & 2 (Trial until 31 March 2020)

Women’s Magazine Archive 1 provides access to the complete archives of the foremost titles of this type, including Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal, which serve as canonical records of evolving assumptions about gender roles and cultural mores. Other titles here focus on narrower topics but deliver valuable source content for specific research areas. Parents, for example, is of particular relevance for research in the fields of children’s education, psychology, and health, as well as reflecting broader social historical trends.

Women’s Magazine Archive 2 features several of the most prominent, high-circulating, and long-running publications in this area, such as Woman’s Day and Town & Country. Collection 2 also, however, complements the first collection by including some titles focusing on more specific audiences and themes. Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, for example, are oriented towards a younger readership, while black women’s interests are represented by Essence. Women’s International Network News differs in being a more political, activist title, with an international dimension.

Topics covered these collections include family life, home economics, health, careers, fashion, culture, and many more; this material serves multiple research areas, from gender studies, social history, and the arts, through to education, politics, and marketing/media history.

3. Women’s Studies Archive (Trial until 6 April 2020)

As a comprehensive academic-level archival resource, Women’s Studies Archive: Issues and Identities will focus on the social, political, and professional achievements of women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Along with providing a closer look at some of the pioneers of women’s movements, this collection offers scholars a deep dive into the issues that have affected women and the many contributions they have made to society.

Not all of these are affordable, so please consider which should be prioritised and why and send your feedback to Helen.Worrell@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

While you are here, check out our

Bodleian New History Books: February 2020 – Cultural History

Bodleian New History Books: February 2020 – Cultural History

Under the name of Kulturgeschichte cultural history as a widely inclusive discipline has been practiced for more than two centuries, when the historical studies of previously separate areas such as philosophy, music, literature, art, and language were subsumed under the umbrella term of ”human culture” (Burke, 2019, p.7), and attention turned to studying these combined issues for the whole of an individual country or defined era of time instead. A classic of the genre, Huizinga’s 1919 The Waning of the Middle Ages deals not only with masterpieces of art, music, philosophy, but also with the connections between various pieces of art their historical and societal context (the “spirit of the age” or “Zeitgeist”), reading pieces of art, paintings, or poems as evidence of the culture of the society in which they were produced. But the definition of “culture” as comprising of such masterpieces of art or literature has of course long vanished  – already Thompson’s 1963 The Making of the English Working Class looked at culture as a sphere which included everything from economic and political changes to food and dialect poetry (Burke, 2019). Around the same time cultural historians then also discovered “popular culture” or “Volkskultur”, such as expressed folk tales, songs, dances, rituals and traditions, arts and crafts, again in their wider context – Hobsbawm’s 1959 The Jazz Scene considers this style of music alongside its audience and societal implications.

In the 1980s the term ‘cultural history’ itself also changed meaning, so that it covered quite traditional histories of artistic and intellectual production as well as something different, called the “new cultural history”. Since then the boundaries of the subject have continuously stretched – by now the elite “high” culture of art and objects d’art, architecture, music, literature, philosophy and sciences has expanded both “downwards” to include “low” or popular culture, and also widthways to include, say, not only paintings but images of any kind, not only plastic art but the tools used to make it, not only art but artisan crafts, not just architecture but simply the houses people live in, not just ballet and theatre but folk dances and games, and not only literature but also people’s everyday reading habits (Burke, 2019).

Modern cultural history studies beliefs and ideas of intellectual elites as well as the often unwritten notions of the less privileged and less educated. It looks at artistic cultural expressions as well as the objects and experiences of everyday life, and at everyday attitudes, values, assumptions, and prejudices, and the behaviours that express them (Rubin, 2008). In short, today cultural history by no means restricts itself to the study of what used to be understood as “culture”, as in, activities within the sphere of ‘high culture’; nor is it exclusively “history”, as in, the interpretation of symbolic acts and rituals of people in the past. “Cultural studies” encompass anything from political economy to geography, sociology, social theory, literary theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, and art history and criticism. Studies published over the last two decades that call themselves “a cultural history” have covered, for example (in a sense that goes back somewhat to the old idea of Kulturgeschichte) whole countries or regions such as Australia, Andalucia, or Provence, but also such rather diverse human ideas, organisations, issues and institutions the American Dream, the Mafia, idiocy, impotence, and Japanese love hotels.

It seems true, then, that in this day and age cultural history has become the ”history of everything” – maybe T.S. Eliot in his Notes Towards the Definition of Culture just said it best:

Taking now the point of view of identification, the reader must remind himself as the author has constantly to do, of how much is there embraced in the term culture. It includes all the characteristic activities and interests of a people: Derby Day, the Henley Regatta, Cowes, the twelfth of August, a cup final, the dog races, the pin table, the dart board, Wensleydale cheese, boiled cabbage cut into sections, beetroot in vinegar, nineteenth-century Gothic churches and the music of Elgar. The reader can make his own list.

In the spirit of Eliot, the new Bodleian books I would like to highlight in this month’s blog are still very much historical studies, but of a rather wide range of eras and locations, and well as of widely diverse subjects – all of which, however, can still be classed under the great umbrella term of “cultural history”.

Two new studies ambitiously aim at a comprehensive view of “culture” throughout a specific era, namely the Middle Ages – Albrecht Classen’s Handbook of Medieval Culture, a follow-up publication to the  3-volume Handbook of Medieval Studies, offers compact articles on essential topics, ideals, specific knowledge, and concepts defining the medieval world from issues such as love and marriage, belief in God, hell and the devil, education, lordship and servitude, Christianity versus Judaism and Islam, health, medicine, the rural world, the rise of the urban class, travel, roads and bridges, entertainment, games and sport activities, numbers, measuring, the education system, the papacy, saints, the senses, death, and money – and is thus a history of medieval “culture” very much in T.S. Eliot’s sense of the term. A slightly different approach is taken by Rafael García Sánchez in Trazas medievales: una aproximación cultural: arguing against the still persisting image of the Middle Ages as an era of illiterate rural communities, he presents them as a time of cultured urbanity, touching on a wide variety of social, religious, economic, literary and artistic cultural spheres and influences from Christianity and the role of the Church, monasteries, and cathedrals to universities, boroughs and castles; and from scribes to guilds, bankers, and artists.

More specialised in the subjects (or rather objects) of its study, but with a rather wider view of both time and location, Peter N. Miller’s Cultural Histories of the Material World looks at the study of material culture from a historical perspective, and explores how studying material and materiality can enable new and different cultural historical perspectives. The topics touched on range from prehistoric to indigenous and postcolonial art, from antiquarian collectors to Chinese landscape inscriptions, and from music and recipes to the history of Facebook. Material culture is also at the centre of Tracy Chapman Hamilton’s intriguing Moving Women Moving Objects (400-1500), which discusses medieval aristocratic and royal women, their relationships with their objects, and medieval geography. It follows the movement of their belongings to trace their widespread familial and geographic spaces, from early medieval Scandinavia to Byzantium and Rus’, and various European countries, looking not only at manuscripts, sculpture or liturgical and secular ceremonial instruments, but at everyday personal items such as textiles, jewellery, and even shoes.

Two other new books look at the rather more traditional sphere of “high culture”, here in the areas of music and language – though, in the spirit of a more modern definition of culture, connected to wider issues of politics, economics and society. La réglementation de l’Opéra de Paris, 1669-2019 actually eschews the much-studied issues of performers and performances, and instead brings together editions of principal administrative documents of the Parisian Opera, which regulated artistic, economic and social aspects of its performances, and allow researchers to explore the links between the Opera and political power over the space of three and a half centuries. Less wide in time, but ranging wider geographically is The Whole World in a Book, which offers studies of dictionaries in the 19th century, from British and American English to French, German, Russian, and further afield to Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Latin. The different contributions explore the position of dictionaries as tools of national identity and social inclusiveness in a period of globalization, industrialization, social mobility, new technologies and ways of communication which were dramatically changing languages, and in which rising literacy rates, book consumption, and advertising led to a unprecedented popularization of the dictionary.

The remaining four new books I would highlight in this blog are probably best classed as belonging to a wider area of the “history of culture and ideas”, with a focus on the way human ideas, opinions, and emotions shape human culture. Two of these deal mainly with the medieval world: a Festschrift for William Ian Miller, Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages, keeps what its title promises, and offers a truly wide-ranging selection of studies connected with these four aspects of human culture and society. A section on emotions, violence, vengeance and law in Medieval historical sources contains studies of early modern German homicide trials, trials by ordeal in Medieval England and the issues of gender and genitalia in 14th century Swiss courts, while studies of literary sources range from contributions on Njáls saga and the feuds of Norwegian kings to sexual revenge, vengeance in movies set in the Middle Ages, decapitation in Iron-Age Mesopotamia, and silence as a weapon in Sense and Sensibility. A rather more pleasant aspect of medieval culture is the topic of Lars Kjaer’s The Medieval Gift and the Classical Tradition, which explores how classical ideals of generosity influenced the writing and practice of gift giving in medieval England from 1100 to 1300. Instead of reading medieval gift giving as deriving from oral ‘folk models’ as proposed by social anthropologists and sociologists, the study looks at the impact of classical literature and philosophy on this particular aspect of medieval culture and ritual, and at how ideas from, for example, Seneca the Younger’s De beneficiis and Cicero’s De officiis were received, adapted and utilised by medieval writers across a range of genres, and influenced the practice of generosity.

The final two studies deal with aspects of culture in early modern Europe. Tony Claydon’s The Revolution in Time explores how people in Western Europe changed the way they thought about the concept of time over the early modern period, specifically focussing on reactions to the 1688-1689 revolution in England. Claydon presents a complex model of changes in chronological conception at the time, looking at how contemporaries fit the rapid changes of the revolution into their concept of history, and how new ideas about chronology and time allowed the revolution to be seen as the start of a new era, rather than as a reiteration of timeless principles of politics, or as a stage in an eternal and pre-determined struggle for true religion. Finally, the contributions in a new collection on Cultures of Calvinism in Early Modern Europe emphasize that Reformed Protestantism did not present as a uniform tradition but varied across space and time, with multiple iterations of Calvinism developing and impacting upon differing European communities. In this they cover a wide field, discussing the association of Calvinism with print and literary cultures, with republican, liberal, and participatory political cultures, with cultures of violence and vandalism, enlightened cultures, cultures of social discipline, secular cultures, and with the emergence of capitalism.

You can find more books on the topic on our LibraryThing virtual shelf, tagged as “cultural history“.

Spring Vacation Loans 2020

Our loan arrangements for the approaching vacation will be as follows:

  • Vacation loans will begin on Monday of 8th week (9th March) for standard loan books. Short loan books remain 2-day loans, until…
  • Thursday 12th March. Short loans become borrowable for the vacation, and you gain a 5 book bonus to your loan limit, so you can borrow 20 books in total.
  • Everything you borrow from us from this date onwards will be due on Monday of 1st week in Trinity Term (27th April)

If you have any queries at all about your loans, do get in touch with us at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Happy vacation reading!

 

 

Trial until 20 March: South Asian Newspapers : Historical newspapers from South Asia

Colleagues have arranged trial access to Readex’s South Asian Newspapers : Historical newspapers from South Asia.

This resource provides online access to a select group of South Asian newspapers from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The majority of the newspapers are from India with one from Pakistan and one from Sri Lanka. The titles include:

  • Amrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta) 1895-1922
  • Bankura Darpana (Bankura, India) 1903-1908
  • Madras Mail (Madras) 1868-1889
  • Kayasare Hinda (Bombay) 1882-1922
  • Pioneer (Allahabad, India)1865-1903
  • Tribune (Lahore, Pakistan) 1881-1922
  • Ceylon Observer (Sri Lanka) 1864-1922

This resource can be accessed via SOLO and Databases A-Z.

Please send feedback to emma.mathieson@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: February 2020 update: C20 nursing history

The latest Oxford Dictionary of National Biography update, released yesterday, includes the lives of 20 leading figures in the nursing profession in the twentieth century, and coincides with 2020 being designated by the World Health Organization as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The newly-added entries have been contributed by nurses as well as historians, led by the RCN History of Nursing Forum in collaboration with the UK Association for the History of Nursing, and curated by Teresa Doherty of the Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive.

The lives range from Anne Campbell Gibson (1849-1926), matron of the Birmingham workhouse infirmary, which came to be regarded as the best-managed poor law infirmary in the country, to Annie Therese Altschul (1919-2001), who fled Austria in 1939 and settled in Britain, where she became an authority in psychiatric nursing.

The update includes the lives of the founding generation of the Royal College of Nursing (1916) and the introduction of state registration of nursing (1919), as well as  those who went on to work under the NHS, developing teaching and research programmes for nurses.

Mark Curthoys, Senior Research Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Trials: Archives of Sexuality and Gender – LGBT Magazine Archive – LGBT Life Full Text

As part of the LGBTQ History Month, Bodleian Libraries has organised trials of three LGBTQ eresources. They can all be access via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Let our colleague Helen Worrell know which resource is most useful to you and why.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender (Gale Cengage) (trial until 4 March 2020)

This resource spans the sixteenth to twentieth centuries and is the largest digital collection of historical primary source publications relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, and gender research and gender studies research.

Documentation covering disciplines such as social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities around the world are included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities to support research and education.

Documents include:

  • Meeting, committee, and conference minutes, notes, and transcripts from LGBTQ rights organizations worldwide
  • Administrative records of LGBTQ rights groups, such as bylaws and membership lists
  • Materials produced by these groups slated for the public: press releases, articles, fliers, handbills, brochures, presentations
  • Complete contents of US and International newspapers, newsletters, and magazines
  • Press clippings about gay and lesbian issues
  • Internal US government memoranda
  • Studies and reports by US government agencies and nongovernmental organizations
  • International reports, policy statements, and documents related to LGBTQ health and rights
  • Medical research records and reports
  • Private correspondence
  • Surveys, election questionnaires, records of site visits
  • Government briefing books
  • Photographs

Covers 16th to the 20th centuries. Has global coverage.

Relevant for scholars and researchers focused on sex, sexuality, and gender studies; health and hygiene; cultural change; LGBTQ studies; women’s studies; American studies; civil and human rights; journalism; literature; social movement history; British twentieth-century history.

LGBT Magazine Archive (Proquest ) (trial until 2 March 2020)

The Advocate; Los Angeles Iss. 82, (Mar 29, 1972). Copyright: ProQuest

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type. The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement.
LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

Some publications may contain explicit content.

This resource covers the period 1954-2015.

Subject coverage: Lesbian; Gay; Bisexuality; Transgender; Homosexuality; Gay rights; Gay culture; Gay literature / art; Gay rights movement; Gender identity; Gender studies; Lesbianism; LGBT; LGBT Activism; LGBT studies; Social history; Transgender community

LGBT Life Full Text (EBSCO) (trial until 29 February 2020)

“Homosexuality.” 2008. GLBTQ Social Sciences, January, 1–8.

LGBT Life with Full Text is a specialised database for LGBT studies. It provides scholarly and popular LGBT publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines and newspapers. It also includes a specialized LGBT thesaurus containing thousands of terms. Content includes more than 140 full-text journals and nearly 160 full-text books and reference materials. In addition, more than 260 abstracted and indexed journals and more than 350 abstracted and indexed books and reference works. Has some global coverage.

What to do next? Send your feedback to Helen Worrell.