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:

Vacation Loans Start Today!

Vacation loans start today – borrow up to 15 books. This increases to 20 books on Thursday 29 November and will include Short Loans. Everything will be due back on Monday 14th January (1st Week).

Camera staff would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! If you decide you’d like to combine your mince pies with some online reading, don’t forget you can access access many of our resources electronically. With your Single Sign On, you can make use of all our ebookejournal and database subscriptions while away from Oxford.

Books Recently Added to the History Faculty Library

Your prayers have been answered! The library has recently bought books on Catholic History, from Catholic revolutionaries in Poland and France to a history of the Second Vatican Council and much more.

For a full list of recent acquisitions, including other topics, click on the image below:

Kosicki. Catholics on the barricades : Poland, France, and “revolution”, 1891-1956 (2018, New Haven, YUP)

Pollard. Catholicism in modern Italy : religion, society and politics since 1861 (2008, Abingdon, Routledge)

Walser-Smith. Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Germany, 1800-1914

Farrelly, Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860 (2018, Cambridge, CUP)

Tallett. Catholicism in Britain and France since 1789 (1996, London, Hambledon Press)

Alberigo. History of Vatican II (1995-2006, Maryknoll, Orbis)

There are more! Find them here.

You will also find our New Books Display in the Upper Gladstone Link.

Personalise your alerts

If you would like a personalised RSS feed so you can be alerted to our new history books, just email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with your preferred period, country or topic.

Important: Summer Vacation Loans 2018

With the end of Trinity Term fast approaching, readers are advised that vacation borrowing for the summer will commence on Wednesday 20th June (9th week). From this date onwards, HFL borrowing limits will increase to 30 items (short loans inclusive), with a due date of Monday 8th October. Please note, these changes will take place a week later than in previous years, due to the introduction of a new History of the British Isles assessment for 2nd year History undergraduates, which means that there will be greater demand than usual for library resources in 8th and 9th week.  If you borrow any items during this period, please be sure to check the due dates carefully in order to avoid getting caught out. Email library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with any questions. Good luck in the coming weeks!

 

Easter vacation hours reminder

Vacation hours start on Monday 12 March as follows:

Monday to Friday 9:00 – 19:00

Saturday: 10:00-16.00

Sunday:  Closed

The library will be closed over the Easter weekend 30 March-02 April inclusive

The HFL wishes all our readers a Happy Easter and we look forward to seeing you all again next term!

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

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

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

The sources are all in English.

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

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

Key events featured in the files of Module I include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Books: contesting the United Kingdom and the history of sexuality

This month sees the introduction of a selection of texts on Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, with topics including prominent (often divisive) political figures, rebellions, changing political landscapes and debates on national identity and autonomy. In addition, we’ve acquired materials on the history of sex and sexuality, highlighting discussions on gender identity and shifting social and cultural representations of the human body.

For a full list of recent acquisitions, click on the image below:

 

Dorr, Noel. Sunningdale: the search for peace in Northern Ireland. (2017, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy)

McAllister, Laura. Plaid Cymru: the emergence of a political party. (2001, Bridgend : Seren)

Torrance, David. Whatever happened to Tory Scotland? (2012, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)

Adams, James E. Dandies and Desert Saints: styles of Victorian masculinity. (1995, London: Ithaca)

Cook, Matt. et al. A Gay History of Britain: love and sex between men since the Middle Ages. (2007, Oxford: Greenwood World)

Feinberg, Leslie. Transgender Warriors: making history from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman (1996, Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press)

There are more! Find them here.

 

Personalise your alerts

If you would like a personalised RSS feed so you can be alerted to our new history books, just email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with your preferred period, country or topic.

 

Newly received History books: South America, Black Tudors, Samurai, the Atlantic World and more

Another week another selection of books recently added to the HFL collection. This week includes a number of books on South American political history alongside titles on the Samurai and Japan, race in Tudor England, and a history of homosexuality in our capital. Click the image below to be taken to a full list of recently aquired items.

Sader, Emir. – Without fear of being happy : Lula, the Workers Party and Brazil (1991 | London : Verso)

O’Shaughnessy, Hugh. – The priest of Paraguay : Fernando Lugo and the making of a nation (2009 | London : Zed)

Kaufmann, Miranda. – Black Tudors : the untold story (2017 | London : Oneworld)

Ikegami, Eiko. – The taming of the samurai : honorific individualism and the making of modern Japan (1995 | Cambridge, Mass ; London : Harvard University Press)

Egerton, Douglas R – The Atlantic world : a history, 1400-1888 (2007 | Wheeling, Ill. : Harlan Davidson)

Ackroyd, Peter. – Queer city : Gay London from the romans to the present day (2017 | London : Chatto & Windus)

There are more!

Many more new books were received. You can find them all here.

Personalise your alerts

If you would like a personalised RSS feed so you can be alerted to our new history books, just email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with your preferred period, country or topic.

Christmas opening hours

The Bodleian Library (Old Library reading rooms only including Duke Humfrey) will close for the Christmas break at 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

The Radcliffe Camera (including the Gladstone Link*) will close at 7pm on Thursday 21 December 2017. These areas of the Bodleian will not open on Friday 22 December. *Please note the Gladstone Link closes at 6.15pm.

All parts of the Library will re-open to readers at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2017.

The last delivery of material from storage will arrive on the morning of Thursday 21 December. The deadline for placing requests for this last delivery is expected to be no later than 7.20pm on Wednesday 20 December.

It will be possible to request items via SOLO throughout the closed period. The first delivery of the New Year will arrive on Tuesday 2 January, and staff expect to clear any backlog of requests by Friday 5 January at the latest.

Have an enjoyable Christmas break everyone, we’re certainly looking forward to it!

New LibGuide: Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries

Newspapers are a wonderful source for historians. They are useful to find out about key events, people and places. They also include opinion pieces, of either writers, editors or members of the public in form of Letters to the Editor. All sorts of ephemera (weather forecasts, court circulars, advertising, sport results, etc.) give insight into daily life. Larger newspapers will also provide battle or war reports, law or court reports and parliamentary reports, including occasional reproductions of full-text speeches.

Finding and using newspapers effectively, however, and navigating your way through large newspaper datasets can be tricky. Help is now at hand!

A new LibGuide Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries aims to outline which newspaper and news resources, with the emphasis on online availability, are available in Oxford. While we aim to be global in our coverage, some countries or regions will have more newspaper resources than others. We have included all of Oxford’s online subscriptions, covering the 17th to the 21st centuries, and, where possible, provided details of many newspapers on microfilms, print or free on the web. Please note, therefore, that this guide is not a complete catalogue of Oxford’s newspapers.

You can browse by country/ region or by title.

The guide also alerts you to common problems and gives tips how you best construct your searches. For instance, you need to consider in which section of a newspaper you are searching and be careful what search terms to use, especially when searching full-text.

The layout of articles or advertising may also be relevant. Unfortunately many modern newspaper collections have not retained the original formatting. We provide guidance where this is the case:

Finally, we have added resources to help understand newspapers as source materials and suggested further readings.

We hope this guide will be useful to researchers. Feedback is welcome, so email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk if you have any comments, questions or suggestions on historical newspaper resources.

Also useful

More blog posts on newspapers