Welcome to Oxford! Library induction arrangements for new History postgraduates

We warmly welcome all new History postgraduates starting in Oxford!

Libraries will play a big part during your time at Oxford, whether providing access to online articles, helping you find that elusive book on the open shelves or finding source materials. There are over 100 libraries in Oxford and it can be quite confusing (and daunting) as you learn how to best use the libraries.

The History Librarians, Isabel and Rachel, are aiming to attend as many of the Faculty induction sessions for Graduates as possible in 0th week to introduce ourselves and help you find your feet quickly.

All induction schedules and bookings are available on the History Faculty’s Canvas page (Single Sign On required).

Talk

  1. Introduction to Bodleian Libraries for History Postgraduates – Wednesday 4th October, 2pm via Teams. Joining link is on Canvas.
  2. How to make the most of SOLO (Library catalogue) – Friday 5th October at 2pm via Teams. Joining link is on Canvas.
  3. Introduction to the African and Commonwealth collections – 10 October 2023 09:00-10:30am – Sign up in Canvas.

Library tours & visits

  1. Bodleian Old Library and Radcliffe Camera (all except HSMT students) –throughout 0th week. Sign up in Canvas.
  2. [HSMT students] Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera tour for History of Science, Medicine and Technology Graduates– 3 October 2023 09:00-10am – Sign up  in Canvas.
  3. Vere Harmsworth Library tour (Rothermere American Institute) – 11 October 2023 11:00-12pm – Sign up in Canvas.
  4. Introduction to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room – daily in 1st week (9-13 October) – Sign up in Canvas.

Guides

A more detailed History Graduates – Introduction to Bodleian Libraries Guide 2023 is available to help you navigate your way around Bodleian Libraries’ collections and finding aids.

Help

The libraries are here to help you in your research. If anything is not clear or you are struggling to finding or accessing your readings, please do get in touch with library staff. You can do so in a variety of ways:

We wish you all the very best in your studies and research!

Welcome to Oxford! Library induction arrangements for new History undergraduates

Long study desk in the Lower Camera with book shelves at the back and a window on the right.We warmly welcome all new History undergraduates starting in Oxford!

Libraries will play a big part during your time at Oxford, whether providing access to online articles on your reading list or helping you find that elusive book on the open shelves. There are over 100 libraries in Oxford and it can be quite confusing (and daunting) as you learn how to best use the libraries.

Within Bodleian Libraries, the main History collections for your study are available online 24/7 or are located in the Radcliffe Camera (which includes the History Faculty Library). College Libraries also have extensive collections for your course. To know where your books, journals and databases are, use SOLO which is Oxford’s discovery tool for libraries.

We also have organised a number of welcome sessions to help you get started:

Webinars

Webinars are taking place Wednesday to Friday of 0th Week (4 – 6 October) and have been scheduled into your timetable with further details provided by your college. If you miss your slot, you are very welcome to join any of the timetabled sessions. Further details (and MS Teams link) are available via Welcome to Bodleian Libraries webinars: Library – Induction and Information Skills training (ox.ac.uk)

Tours

We are running in-person tours for the Radcliffe Camera too but we have a booking system to manage capacity so spaces are limited. You can book via the following link Radcliffe Camera (incl. History Faculty Library) and are also very welcome to just come along to the library, as staff will be more than happy to help you if you have any questions.

Online guidance

There is also History Faculty Library-tailored information on Canvas, including:

Help

The libraries are here to help you in your studies. If anything is not clear or you are struggling to finding or accessing your readings, please do get in touch with library staff. You can do so in a variety of ways:

We wish you all the very best as you start a new chapter of your life in Oxford!

Gale Student Ambassador scheme: expression of interest invited

Would you like paid business experience with a global publisher? Become a Gale Ambassador and help raise awareness of the digital resources available at Oxford.

The Gale Ambassador Program is a paid (£700) opportunity for Arts / Humanities / Social Science students (all years) to work with a publisher, develop valuable career skills, and improve your current research skills.

Gale is an international publishing company that produces digital archives of well-known newspapers like The Times, The Economist and The Times Literary Supplement (to see all the Gale archives available at Oxford, type “Gale” into the library catalogue).

The Gale Ambassador Library Support Program is a paid opportunity for students to work with a publisher, develop valuable career skills such as public speaking, content production, marketing and networking (great content for your CV/resume), as well as learning ways to improve your current research skills.

The role involves promoting the fascinating Gale digital resources that are available to students at the University of Oxford to other students at the university. Gale Ambassadors are paid £700 to complete specified promotional activities (such as writing a blog post, social media posts and running live events).

Full training is provided. There’s also the opportunity to meet and work with ambitious and creative students at other universities in the UK, US and elsewhere, as well as work with international colleagues at Gale.

Find out more about the program and register your interest – you’ll then be contacted if applications open at Oxford.

Applicants must be studying an Arts, Humanities or Social Science subject; all years (UG to PhD) are eligible.

History Thesis Fair for undergraduates on 4 May (week 2): explore – discover – meet specialists

We are delighted to run the History Thesis Fair for second-year undergraduates this year. Come and meet over 50 specialists to talk about resources for your dissertation topic.

Thursday 4 May afternoon (week 2)

Colleges B-N: 2-3pm & College O-W: 3-4pm

North Writing School, Examination Schools

A collage of different archival materials to advertise the History Thesis Fair on Thurs 4 May 2023, afternoon. Colleges B-N 2-3pm. Colleges O-W 3-4pm. It's an opportunity to explpre, be curious, meet, network, and learn.

The Fair is an excellent opportunity for students to gain a wider perspective on the wealth and riches of research sources available for your field of study.

At the Fair you can learn about resources you may not yet have yet considered and meet the curators of collections who can guide you towards relevant material or useful finding tools.

Over 30 stalls will cover many areas:

  • Special Collections, libraries and archives, e.g.
    • Archives and Manuscripts 1500-1800
    • Archives and Modern Manuscripts 1800-
    • College Libraries (Special Collections)
    • College Archives’ Collections
    • Early Printed Books
    • Institute of Historical Research Library / Senate House Library
    • Oxford Brookes University Special Collections and Archives
    • Oxfordshire History Centre
    • UK Government and International Intergovernmental Publications
  • Topical stalls, e.g.
    • Biography
    • Community History
    • Digital Scholarship
    • Disability History
    • Legal History
    • LGBTQ+ History
    • History of Science & Medicine
    • Oxford and Empire
    • and more
  • Geographical stalls, e.g.
    • Africa & Commonwealth
    • East Asia & South Asia
    • Eastern Europe and Russia
    • Great Britain & West Europe
    • Middle East, Hebrew & Judaica, Caucus & Central Asia
    • Latin America
    • United States

You will also have an opportunity to speak to other students who have previously written dissertations and learn about their TOP 10 TIPS.

The format of the Fair encourages you to explore and discover new materials at your own pace, to be curious, to network and to make connections to experts and their peers while also learning about creative use of sources in Digital Scholarship.

Accessibility

The main entrance to the Examination Schools is stepped. There is a ramped entrance immediately to the left of the main entrance. There is lift access throughout the building, two wheelchair accessible toilets and hearing support systems that can be deployed where needed throughout the building. Most areas of the building have level access.

The accessible toilet is gender neutral and is at the bottom of the staircase opp. Room 8.

If you have any queries, please email library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Get yourself kitted out for your research 

Hand cupping a seedling.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Doing research on your thesis also means that you will need to learn new skills, deepening your knowledge of resources and sources and how to go about locating and using them.

To help you on this exciting journey, the library has organised a series of talks, classes, and workshops which are designed to

  1. Upskill your information searching and research skills;
  2. Learn about the rich sources available to them in Oxford (and beyond) and know how to access them;
  3. Learn how to handle the material, incl. archives, correct citation practices, ethical research practice, etc.;
  4. Get to know relevant experts in Oxford libraries and archives.

Check out the classes and workshops set up for you to help you learn the skills you will need.

Calling 2nd year UG historians: get ready for your thesis research in Trinity Term

Hand cupping a seedling.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Throughout Trinity term, the library is offering a range of classes and talks (History Faculty Canvas – restricted access) designed to support Oxford second-year UG historians who are working towards their thesis.

It’s a very exciting time for all budding historians, as it offers you the opportunity to engage in primary research on a subject of your own devising, and to work out arguments which are entirely your own (not a synthesis of the conclusions of others). You will work as a historical scholar in your own right and will taste the kind of academic work undertaken professionally by your tutors. To understand more about the requirements and support for your thesis, check out the History Faculty guidance on the compulsory thesis (History Faculty Canvas – restricted access).

Doing research on your thesis also means that you will need to learn new skills, deepening your knowledge of resources and sources and how to go about locating and using them.

To help you on this exciting journey, the library has organised a series of talks, classes, workshops and a Thesis Fair which are designed to

  1. Upskill your information searching and research skills;
  2. Learn about the rich sources available to them in Oxford (and beyond) and know how to access them;
  3. Learn how to handle the material, incl. archives, correct citation practices, ethical research practice, etc.;
  4. Get to know relevant experts in Oxford libraries and archives.

THE TRAINING SCHEDULE

Snippet of a calendar

Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

Most sessions require SSO for bookings.

Some are open to other members of the University.

Others (*) are exclusively aimed at undergraduates of the History Faculty, University of Oxford.

If you have any queries regarding these or have problems with registration, please email library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

*Researching Bibliography – Wed 26 April 2023 @ 2-3pm (week 1)

This online session aims to give you a head start on the skills you will need to track down secondary literature and primary source material for your thesis. A range of library catalogues, databases, web portals and more will be explored to help you make the best use of your time.

*Researching Archives – Wed 3 May @ 2-3.30pm (week 2) – In person, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

This in-person talk provides an introduction to using archives for research and will cover:

  • defining archives
  • archival arrangement
  • the practicalities of working with archival material
  • finding relevant archives
  • archives in the Bodleian, the University and further afield
  • web archives.

No booking required.

Optional: after the talk, join a 20mins tour to learn how to navigate the Weston Library, what facilities and reading rooms there are. Booking is essential as there are only 12 spaces. Book a place on the Weston Library tour.

*History Thesis Fair – Thurs 4 May @ 2-4pm (week 2) – In person, North Writing School, Exam Schools

This highly popular Fair has Librarians, Academics, Information Skills advisors, Subject Specialists and lots more covering many different subjects and aspects of your Thesis prep. Come and talk to dedicated specialists and find out what there is on offer in Oxford and further afield! If you are in a college beginning letters B-N, please come at 2pm; all other colleges should try to come at 3pm – but if you can’t make it during your time slot, just come when you can.

Referencing: Choosing and using software for referencing (Bodleian iSkills)Fri 5 May @ 9.30am-12.30pm (week 2)

Formatting your in text citations, footnotes and bibliography correctly for your thesis or publication is a chore. Reference management software makes it easier and saves you time. This introductory session gives an overview of how reference management works, explores the advantages and disadvantages of a range of software packages and gives you the opportunity to try out three different packages (RefWorks, EndNote and Zotero) so that you can work out which one is best for you.

Online Resources for Historians (Bodleian iSkills) – Thurs 11 May @ 2.3.30pm (week 3)

A general online introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods of British and Western European history. Learning outcomes are to: Gain an overview of some of the key online resources for Medieval, Early Modern and Modern British and Western European History. Know how to access subscription resources. Gain awareness of key examples of useful resources: bibliographic databases; reference sources; primary sources; maps; audio-visual resources, and data sources.

*Research Skills for your Thesis: a workshop – Wed 17 May @ 2-4pm (week 4)

This classroom-based session is designed to equip you with key information skills in order to make best use of electronic information and discovery resources. A range of finding aids and databases will be explored, as well as advanced search techniques which can be used in SOLO and other online search tools. There will be practical exercises which are designed to start work on your research.

Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th-20th centuries (Bodleian iSkills) – Thurs 18 May @ 2-3.30pm (week 4)

Newspapers are a valuable resource for researching not only news but also many other aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life. In this online session we will introduce key online sources of news and how to make best use of them. The focus will be on historical and contemporary newspapers from the 17th century across most countries of the world.

Referencing: Zotero (Bodleian iSkills) – Fri 19 May @ 9.30am-12.30pm (week 4)

Zotero is a reference management tool that helps you build libraries of references and add citations and bibliographies to word processed documents using your chosen citation style. This classroom-based introduction covers the main features of Zotero with the opportunity for practical exercises.

Information Resources for Modern Global History (Bodleian iSkills) – Tues 23 May @ 11.15am-1pm (week 5)

This in-person session introduces key archival, printed and electronic resources, such as finding aids, bibliographic resources and primary sources for post-1800 global history. The focus will be on non-European history but will draw predominantly on English and European language resources.

State Papers Online: an introduction to documents on Tudor and Stuart society, life, and government (Bodleian iSkills) – Thurs 25 May @ 2-3.30pm (week 5)

State Papers Online I – IV: The Tudors, Stuarts & Commonwealth 1509-1714 (Foreign & Domestic) is a database containing everyday working papers of the British royal government. They bring to life Tudor and Stuart society and government, religion and politics in all its drama, allowing scholars to trace the remarkable – and frequently violent – transformations of the 16th & 17th centuries. The papers are digitised images and are accompanied by the Calendars. The demonstration will show how to search for and browse. Drawing on the Weston Library’s own collection of State Papers, the session will show case of an original example.

*Sources for Medieval History – Thurs 1 June @ 2-3.30pm (week 6)

This online session provides a general overview of a wide range of e-resources relevant for British and Western European medieval history: bibliographical databases, biographical/reference tools, web portals and collections of online primary source materials of Anglo-Saxon sources, chronicles, charters and more.

Sources for US History (Bodleian iSkills) – Tues 6 June 2023 @ 2-3.30pm (week 7)

An online introduction to primary sources for the study of American history, from the colonial period to the 20th Century. The session will provide an overview of the different kinds of information sources (early printed books, newspapers, databases and official records), and guidance on locating material for research. Collections highlighted include physical materials available in Oxford, Bodleian databases and other online resources.

Guides to resources, 1-1 sessions & more training

A woman and man sitting together in front of laptops.

Image by Tammy Duggan-Herd from Pixabay

A wide-range of guides on history resources can help you find key print and online resources for your subject.

If you need more specialist and tailored support, check out the list of Bodleian Libraries’ subject librarians and experts. In one-to-one sessions, subject librarians can discuss in detail which resources are best for your topic.

For information about other training opportunities, such as palaeography or languages, check out Research Training for Historians.

There are more Bodleian iSkills workshops and IT Services run many sessions designed to improve your digital skills.

iSkills in Hilary Term: refresher induction, Open Access, Referencing, Online Resources for Historians

The timetable for iSkills workshops in Hilary Term is now available. The following may be of particular interest to Historians:

Bodleian Libraries Refresher Induction  Wednesday 11th Jan (15:00-15:30) – Thursday 12th January (10:30-11:00)  – Friday 13th January (13:30-14:00)

iSkills: Keeping up to date with research (Wed. 8 Feb 1.30-3pm)

iSkills: Online Resources for Historians (Wed. 1 March 2-3.30pm)

Open Scholarship: Fundamentals of Open Access (Tuesday 10th Jan 14:30-15:30)

Open Scholarship: Your thesis, copyright & ORA (Tues 31 Jan. 2.30-3.30pm)

Open Scholarship: Playing in the open: Getting familiar with Creative Commons licences (Thurs 23 Feb 2-3.30pm)

Referencing: Choosing and using software for referencing (Fri 27 Jan. 9.30am-12.30pm)

Referencing: EndNote (Introduction to) (Wed 22 Feb 2-4pm)

Referencing: RefWorks (Wed 15 Feb 10.30am-12pm)

Referencing: Zotero (Tues 21 Feb 10.30-11.30am)

The full list of iSkills workshops can be found on the iSkills webpage.

History Day 2021 on 4 November

[re-blogged from https://historycollections.blogs.sas.ac.uk/programme/]

History Day 2021 on a background an early printed map

History Day 2021 will take place on Thursday, 4 November 11am-4.30pm. It will be held online in Zoom.

History Day brings together students, researchers and anyone with an interest in history with professionals from archives, libraries, publishers and other organisations with history collections from the UK and beyond. It is a free annual one-day event that is created collaboratively between the Institute of Historical Research and Senate House Library.

History Day 2021 has an environmental history theme. It will explore collections that capture the experiences of ordinary people, collectors and scientists, looking at nature, landscape, climate change and much more. View the programme.

You will also be able to explore content from a great variety of libraries, museums, galleries, archives and history organisations.

Sign up here and enjoy your day!

Gale Ambassador Scheme

Fancy paid business experience with a global publisher? Become a Gale Ambassador and help raise awareness of the digital resources available at Oxford!

Gale is a global publisher of digital archives and other library resources such as eBooks.

The Gale Ambassador Scheme might be of interest to graduates using Cengage / Gale resources (Times Digital Archive, ECCO, State Paper Online, etc) and who are in Oxford 2020-21. It offers paid business experience with a global publisher.

Gale Ambassadors are paid £250 for a 6 month period of set activities, plus the role is also great for your CV…

  • Business experience – work directly with staff at a global publisher
  • Get published on our company blog – creating great, shareable evidence of your work
  • Run your own marketing activities – refine copy and post placement to make successful use of social media
  • Speak at subject society events and lectures – public speaking experience is always great for a CV
  • Discover more primary sources for your own essays – potentially improving your grades
  • Opportunities for in-house work experience with a global publisher

The deadline for applications is Sunday 6th December 2020.

Applications are made online at the Gale Ambassadors site. Full training will be provided in January 2021 for successful applicants ahead of the participating in the scheme.

Example blog posts from previous Gale Ambassadors are at:

Welcome to the HFL!

Welcome, new History students! We’re here to help you get started with finding your way around our libraries and finding the books and online resources on your reading list.

Make a start with this online video introduction to the Bodleian Libraries, and visit our welcome page for new students.

Next, check out our handy online guide to the History Faculty Library, which is the main lending library for history collections in the Bodleian. We’re based in the Radcliffe Camera, so we’re easy to find! Although sadly we can’t show you around the library in person this year, on this induction LibGuide you can take a video tour of the HFL, filmed and guided by our friendly library staff. The guide also contains information on how to book a desk slot, borrowing books, and printing.

You can also find useful information and answers to frequently asked questions on the Library Assistant app for Oxford freshers.

With Covid-19, there are some changes to the libraries, services and resources for the upcoming term. You will still be able to access the material you need and you can also access a wide range of ebooks and electronic resources online from the comfort of your own room.

For the most up-to-date information, please check out the Bodleian’s website.

If you get need any help or have any questions then please get in touch with us via email: library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

POSTPONED – Disability History Hackathon and networking lunch on 23 April 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event is postponed for the time being. We fully intend to run it so watch this space and keep safe! 19 March 2020

Disability History Hackathon and lunch
9.45am-1.30pm, 23 April 2020

History Faculty, George Street

Calling students and researchers of Oxford University. Are you interested in disability history? Do you like hunting down research materials? Join a group of volunteers at the Disability History Hackathon on 23 April to find resources for a Disability History Resources LibGuide.

After a brief training session on advanced Google searches, you will work individually or in small groups work on locating research resources (databases, archives, websites, etc.) on a particular aspect of disability history. You will create brief descriptions for each resource which will then added to the Disability History Resources LibGuide at a later stage. We expect to spend up to 2 hours on the Hackathon with a break in between. This will be followed by a lunch where you can meet and network with others.

What do you need to bring?

A laptop; (ideally) Eduroam wifi account; interest in, knowledge of and enthusiasm in disability resources and/or disability history.

What will you get out of it?

Learn search tips from a professional librarian; discover relevant research materials; network with other researchers; be a contributor to the Disability History Resource LibGuide; free refreshments.

After the Hackathon we will have the annual disability history networking lunch.  All are welcome to come, meet each other and share ideas.

If you want to attend the Hackathon and/or the lunch, please email Cheryl Birdseye (cheryl.birdseye@history.ox.ac.uk) by 12:00, Wednesday 15 April 2020. All rooms are accessible. More information about the day, slides used, etc. will be shared with participants in advance. Let us know if you have any particular requirements (including dietary requirements).