Welcome to the HFL!

Welcome, new and returning History students! We’re here to help you get started with finding your way around the History Faculty Library (HFL) and locating the books and online resources on your reading lists.

Make a start with the Bodleian Libraries welcome page, which will introduce you to key facilities and search tools. Next, check out our online guide to the History Faculty Library for further information on the collections and reading rooms in the HFL.

We’re based in the Radcliffe Camera in the centre of Oxford, so we’re easy to find! You can book online for one of our Welcome Tours to learn about using our reading rooms and resources. Alternatively, we also offer a Virtual Welcome Tour of our facilities and services. We have pages tailored to specific subjects and research guides, which can help you identify resources and tools for your study.

For the most up-to-date information on our services, please see the Bodleian Libraries website. If you need any help or have any questions then please drop in or get in touch with us at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Please note, to continue safeguarding our spaces for readers and staff we are encouraging the use of face masks within the library. Hand sanitiser and cleaning materials are also located throughout the reading rooms.

History of the British Isles Assessment

For those of you about to undertake the History of the British Isles assessment, please note that library staff will be ready and willing to offer assistance during the next few weeks – whether in person or remotely if you’re unable to visit the library. Please approach us if you need help locating resources (physical or electronic) or contact us at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with any further questions. Most importantly, good luck!

Browse and Borrow is back!

As Trinity Term approaches, to improve access to History Faculty Library collections we have reintroduced our bookable 30-minute Browse & Borrow sessions! This service replaces Click & Collect for HFL items, in order to give more of our readers the opportunity to access our collections, borrow books and make use of other library facilities such as self-service photocopying/scanning. Offering Browse & Borrow in place of Click & Collect also means that we are able to increase our seating capacity in Lower Camera.

During a Browse and Borrow session, you can:

  • Browse lending or reference books in all reading rooms, including the Radcliffe Camera*, Gladstone Link and Old Bodleian
  • Borrow HFL books at the self issue machine or the staff desk in Lower Camera
  • Use a Quick Search PC to check SOLO
  • Photocopy or scan items using our PCAS machines

(*Please note that the Upper Camera is temporarily closed; we are working to make collections on this floor accessible again as soon as possible)

Unfortunately due to capacity restrictions for social distancing, we’re not able to offer seats or desk spaces for Browse & Borrow slots. You can arrive at the library at any point within your slot time, and your session will last 30 minutes.

Browse and Borrow slots are bookable on Spacefinder here (Single Sign On required): https://spacefinder.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/
Just select Radcliffe Camera in the dropdown menu to narrow down the options, and look out for ‘Radcliffe Camera – History Faculty Library Browse and Borrow [NO DESK]’.
New slots are released each day at 10am, 3 days in advance.

Although Click and Collect will no longer appear as an option on SOLO for HFL items, we are still able to offer the service by individual arrangement, for example if you’re self-isolating or shielding and would like someone to pick up books on your behalf. If we can help with this service, or if you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to send us an email: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

 

 

Library Service Updates, 15th February

As of Monday 15th February, the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link have reopened to readers with pre-booked study spaces. You can book a slot via the Bodleian Spacefinder tool, where you can also see available slots in other open libraries: https://spacefinder.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ 

New bookings are released on the system three days in advance, each day at 10am, so if you don’t see a suitable desk please do check back on another day. Desk spaces are limited due to social distancing measures, so please only book if your visit is essential, and use alternative services if you can. Here are some of the other ways you can access library resources!

Click & Collect
Need to borrow HFL books? We’re currently not able to offer Browse & Borrow slots in the Rad Cam, but you can place advance requests for pickup using the Click & Collect service. Just look out for the green Request button which will appear next to eligible HFL items if you’re logged in to SOLO. Once you’ve placed your request, it will be picked and processed by library staff on the next working day, and you will then receive an email inviting you to book a collection slot to pick up your request. As the C&C process takes a few working days to complete, please do bear this in mind when requesting and order your books in good time. Unfortunately, staff will be unable to fetch additional items when you arrive at the library.

LibraryScan and OffsiteScan
Need to read a chapter or article from a printed book or journal? You can request a scan on SOLO using the Bodleian’s Scan & Deliver services, currently being offered free of charge.
If the item is held offsite in the Bodleian Closed Stacks, use the blue Offsite Scan button next to the individual closed stack item to place a request. Offsite Scan is available to all Bodleian card holders.
If the item is only held in a library reading room, use the red LibraryScan button. This service is available to University members.
The scanning team will aim to send the scan to your email within 5 working days. Due to copyright restrictions, the team can supply up to 5% of the page range of a book, or one full chapter, whichever is greater. You can find more details about this service here: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/scan-and-deliver

Remote access resources
Using the filter options on the left hand side of your SOLO search, you can select ‘Online Resources’ to show electronic resources accessible offsite. If an item has a green Online access icon, it can be accessed remotely if you’re an Oxford University member. If you’re a Bodleian Reader card holder, selecting ‘Open Access’ will show resources available to all regardless of university membership.
Check out this Libguide for some tips on how to find online resources for History, and the Bodleian’s page here for general guidance on ebooks, ejournals and databases.

There are also a number of digitised resources currently available as part of the HathiTrust Emergency Access Service. These books will have an orange HathiTrust button on their SOLO record. To access the full text, once you’ve clicked through to the HathiTrust page, click the Log In button on the top right hand corner, select University of Oxford institutional access, and log in with your Single Sign On. Next, click the ‘Temporary Access’ link on the book’s record. Finally, click the ‘Check Out’ button on the orange bar to loan the digital copy of the book.

If you’d like to recommend the purchase of an ebook or online resource which isn’t currently available, you can place a request via this form, and a subject librarian will look into its availability.

As always, if you’re having any trouble locating resources, or have any questions about library services, do get in touch by sending us an email: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

Click and Collect at the HFL

In order to facilitate access to History Faculty Library loans during this period, we’d like to announce that eligible HFL items are now once again available to borrow through the Bodleian’s Click & Collect service. This will replace our Browse and Borrow service while the Radcliffe Camera is closed. For full details of the other libraries participating in this service, see: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/clickandcollect

If you didn’t get the chance to use this service over the summer, or would like a reminder of the procedure, here’s our step-by-step guide:

1. Request your book(s). Once logged into SOLO, look out for the green ‘Request’ button next to eligible HFL books. Your request will be sent to the library for staff to pick and process.

2. Once your book has been processed (usually the next working day after your request), you will receive an email inviting you to book a collection timeslot from the following working day onwards; slots will be between 11am-3pm Monday-Friday. You will only need to book a slot for one requested item, and other books you order will then also be available to collect in this timeslot. At this stage you can also add a named person to collect books on your behalf (please ask them to bring some photo ID!).
N.B. As mentioned above, it takes a few working days for the Click & Collect process to complete, so please order your books ahead of time. Please also note that only pre-booked items will be available and you won’t be able to request additional items at the desk when you arrive.

3. On arrival, hold your Reader Card to the pad to unlock the door. If you have any problems with your card, use the intercom to talk to a member of staff. If you notice that there is another reader already inside, please wait on the path at a distance of at least 2 metres from any other readers.

4. Show the member of staff at Reception your card. There is a protective screen at the desk, and a hand sanitiser dispenser available, for the safety of staff and readers. Please wear a face covering when visiting to pick up your books, unless you are exempt.

5. The staff member will fetch your pre-issued books and may ask you to stand back while they place them onto the shelf beside the desk. If you need to drop off HFL returns when you collect, there is a box next to the staff desk to put them in. Returns are quarantined overnight and will be removed from your account on the next working day.

6. Enjoy your books! If you have any questions about the Click & Collect process, please get in touch by email at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

Library Service Updates, 8th January

Here is our latest update on library services:

  1. The Old Library, Sackler Library, VHL, and SSL will be closed on forthcoming weekends: 9/10 January and 16/17 January. All other sites are closed to readers already.
  2. Next week’s opening hours for sites open to readers (see above) will change to 10am to 4pm.
  3. The Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link will remain closed until further notice. We will offer a staff-mediated book fetching service from those collections to the Old Library where there are no alternative collections available. Contact book.fetch@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further details. You will need to have a reading room seat booked in the Old Bodleian. LibraryScan for Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link collections is currently operational via SOLO.
  4. Space Finder for booking reading room slots is currently still frozen in order to insert SSO authentication. Colleagues are working on hard on this. We will inform you as soon as we hear bookings can resume. Thank you for your patience.
  5. From Monday, LibraryScan in the Old Library will resume. We also hope to relaunch closed stack deliveries then.
  6. Special Collections staff-mediated scanning continues to be available. See https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/weston/using/ordering/photocopying/special-collections-mediated-copying for details.
  7. If tutors have any changes to reading lists or require scans for them, please contact hfl-readinglist@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
  8. Reminder that you can access HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service collections via SOLO once you have signed in with SSO. Look out for the orange HathiTrust button on SOLO records.
  9. For individual ebook recommendations, go to
    https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/finding-resources/recommendations (requires SSO).

The situation remains fluid and all services are subject to staff availability. Please only come to the Library if it is really essential. Library staff on Live Chat, library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk are always happy to help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.

NEW: Browse and Borrow service (and other updates…)

Browse and Borrow – 30 minute session 

From Monday 12th October, the History Faculty Library will be offering bookable “Browse and Borrow” sessions:

  • You can remain in the library for up to 30 minutes
  • You are free to browse the shelves in all reading rooms
  • You can use the PCAS machines to copy or scan material
  • Books can be issued using the self-issue machine or at the staff desk
  • You may not sit at any desks to study during a Browse & Borrow slots as seating capacity cannot be increased to accommodate this.

For further information see: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/browse-and-borrow

To book a session go to the booking page for the Radcliffe Camera https://tickets.ox.ac.uk/webstore/shop/viewItems.aspx?cg=BODBL&c=RRHFLBL

Click and Collect – withdrawn for History Faculty Library 

This service was introduced in early July to facilitate access to the collections when libraries were still closed to readers. It will no longer be possible to place a request via SOLO for this service for History Faculty Library items, as we are not able to offer this service on a wider scale to cope with term-time lending demand. As we have increased the number of slots to access the collections, this will offer more opportunity to our readers to have non-mediated access to collections.

We will continue to offer Click and Collect via email where appropriate (e.g. proxy collection for self-isolating or vulnerable readers).

Seating in reading rooms – more slots available!

We are increasing the number of slots available, as we extended our opening hours and introduce additional seating in the Gladstone Link and Duke Humfrey’s Library. Please be mindful that seating capacity is reduced, so we encourage you to only book the number of slots you need to access print collections or electronic Legal Deposit material. Please also let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel slot – we are working on improving the process for cancelling a slot.

We appreciate that the Lower Camera is very popular but this reading room has the fewest number of seats available. If you can’t get a seat in the Lower Camera then do consider booking a seat in one of the other reading rooms – from Monday 12th October access via the Gladstone Link tunnel will be reinstated so you can fetch material from any reading room on site and return to your desk.

Returning books on loan 

  • You do NOT need to book a slot to return books.
  • Avoid arriving at the following times at the Radcliffe Camera as there are more likely to be queues of readers with seat booking.
    Monday to Friday = 9:30 / 13:30 / 17:00
    Saturday = 10:00 / 13:00
    Sunday = 12:00 / 15:00
  • We have temporarily increased renewals for standard loan items so that you don’t have to return books on Monday 12th October
  • There is currently a grace period in operation for fines, so if you can’t return or renew then don’t panic and get in touch with us.
  • We are still offering FREE postal return including international courier service. Email borrow@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for more information

Services for self-isolating students

Do get in touch to discuss your individual needs and with library contacts. All of our services are dependent on staffing levels but we will do our best to help you where possible.​

Tips

  • Take advantage of access to online resources via SOLO
  • Be organised and book a visit to the library in advance
  • Book a Browse and Borrow slot of you only need to access something quickly
  • Don’t book multiple slots unless you need extended access to print/eLD collections
  • Cancel a slot if you don’t need it via reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Due to government guidelines, we are required to strictly manage access to our libraries to ensure that we are operating according to social distancing guidelines including NHS Test and Trace. We have introduced new services and adapted existing services in response to unprecedented circumstances and have planned our Michaelmas Term services, as best as we can but there will be inevitable teething issues. We fully anticipated that term time will be challenging and we will be closely monitoring the demand on our services and making changes where required.

Thank you for your patience and please get in touch if you have questions or feedback: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Returning to our Reading Rooms: A Guide

From Monday 17th August, the Rad Cam will open its gates to readers once again for pre-booked reading room slots! If you haven’t done so already, you can reserve a slot up to 2 weeks in advance on our booking page. As well as desks in Upper and Lower Camera, we have a height-adjustable desk and Reader PCs available to book.

As you might expect, we have some new procedures and adjustments to help
keep you safe in the library, so here’s a guide to what to expect on your visit:

1. Please remember to bring your seat booking confirmation email, and most importantly your University/Reader card with you. As the Admissions office is currently not issuing Day Passes, we won’t be able to let you in without your card.

2. You will be asked to wear a face covering in the library, including at your desk, and unless exempt (see below*) staff will ask you to come back with a face covering if you arrive without one. We are following University guidance that wearing a face covering can aid alongside hand hygiene and social distancing in helping to keep us all safe in university buildings.

*Some readers will be exempt from wearing a face covering under government regulations, and this need for exemption may not be obvious.
Please be mindful of this if you see someone without a face covering in the library.
If this exemption applies to you, we can provide a sign to show at your desk if you would like to indicate that you’re exempt in this way, although this is completely optional.

3. You may need to queue on the path outside when you arrive at the library. Keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other readers when queuing, and for the duration of your visit.

4. When you arrive, show your booking confirmation to the member of staff at Reception, and they will give you your assigned desk number and directions to your seat. To help with distancing, most seats will not be in use; these will be indicated by a sign with a red cross. Staff will also be wearing face coverings subject to the procedure above, and we have installed protective screens at staff desks.

5. As well as hand sanitiser at the library entrance, we also have convenient sanitiser stations throughout the library. Please make regular use of these during your visit!

6. Want to find some books? As some spaces in our building are quite snug, please be cautious and considerate of other readers when browsing the shelves, ensuring a 2 metre distance. In Lower and Upper Camera, enter each bay on the right-hand side to reach the shelves, as there will be no reader desks in use on this side.

7. Want to borrow a HFL book? Due to the Bodleian’s membership of the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, which allows for access to selected ebooks during this period, we currently have license restrictions on the books we are allowed to loan. Please bring any books you wish to borrow to the issue desk, and staff will check whether they are loanable. Alternatively, you can use our Click & Collect service to order books from home; please note that this process can take 2-3 working days before books are ready for collection.

8. And finally, welcome back! If you have any questions in advance of your visit, you can email us at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, and if you’re unsure of anything in the library just ask a member of staff and we’ll be happy to help.

(Photos credit: George Kiddy & Gareth Evans)

 

 

New Postal Returns Service

If you’re not in Oxford and are unable to return your loans to our Returns hubs, you can now send your books back to us via the Bodleian’s new free Postal Returns service!

1. Click on this link for the Royal Mail’s Tracked Service.

2. Follow the instructions to either print off a package label at home, or to use a QR code, sent to you by email, to print the label at a Post Office.

3. Package the books following Royal Mail’s guidance as best you can. Take the package with label or QR code to your nearest Post Office. As this is a prepaid service, you won’t be asked to pay any postage on your parcel.

If you have books from multiple Bodleian Libraries, you can send them all back in the same package and once they reach Oxford they will be distributed to their owning libraries. Please don’t be concerned if you see that posted items remain on your SOLO account over the summer, as it will take staff some time to process them all. You will not be charged any fines while books are awaiting check-in; only fines accrued before the library’s closure in March will be payable.

If you are currently outside the UK, if you are unable to get to a Post Office to drop off your books, or if you have a large number of books on loan, you can get in touch with the Bodleian’s Returns team at borrow@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and they will find another option for you.

NB. Please note that the free postal service is for those readers who are unable to return books in person. If you are currently in Oxford, or planning to visit over the summer, and you are able to bring your books back in person, we would be grateful if you could do so via our Returns hubs (details here: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/loanreturns).

A Guide to Click and Collect at the HFL

You may have heard the news that we have started to welcome readers to our Click & Collect service at the HFL! Click & Collect is an emergency interim service at selected Bodleian Libraries (currently us, the Social Science Library and the Sackler Library), which allows university members to borrow books which would usually be loanable, via pre-booked collection slots.

Not sure what to expect when using the service? Here’s a step-by-step guide!

 

1. Request your book(s). Once logged into SOLO, look out for the green Click & Collect button next to eligible HFL books. Your request will then be sent to the library for staff to pick and process.

2. Once your book has been processed (usually the next working day after you request), you will receive an email inviting you to book a collection timeslot from the next working day onwards; our collection hours are 11am-3pm Monday-Friday. You will only need to book a slot for one requested item, and other books you order will then also be available to collect in this timeslot. At this stage you can also add a named person to collect books on your behalf (please ask them to bring some photo ID!).
N.B. As mentioned above, it takes a few working days for the Click & Collect process to complete, so please order your books ahead of time. Please also note that only pre-booked items will be available and you won’t be able to request additional items at the desk when you arrive.

3. On arrival, hold your Reader Card to the pad to unlock the door. If you have any problems with your card, use the intercom to talk to a member of staff. If you notice that there is another reader already inside, please wait on the path at a distance of at least 2 metres from any other readers.

4. Show the member of staff at Reception your card. There is a protective screen at the desk, and a hand sanitiser dispenser available, for the safety of staff and readers.

5. The staff member will fetch a bag containing your pre-issued books and may ask you to stand back while they place them onto the shelf beside the desk. Socially distanced handover pictured below! If you need to drop off HFL returns when you collect, there is a box next to the staff desk to put them in.

6. Enjoy your books! If you have any questions about the Click & Collect process, please get in touch by email at library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.