New discovery tool to search Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts

[Re-blogged from the Bodleian Libraries’ announcement]

The Bodleian Libraries have today released Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts https://archives.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/, providing access to the Bodleian’s world-renowned collection of archives and manuscripts on a new, user-friendly site.

The resource is in beta and researchers are encouraged to give feedback.

Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts is a new interface which revolutionizes the discoverability of archives. Whereas previously descriptions of archives and manuscripts were available in separate online catalogues, they’ve now been brought together into one site.

https://archives.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts currently includes descriptions for approximately 100,000 boxes of archival material collected by the Bodleian Libraries, dating from c. 1500 to the 21st century. Material described is predominantly in manuscript form, but the collections also contain large amounts of photographic material, audiovisual items, and born-digital content. Over the next 12 months Bodleian Libraries staff will continue to add to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts, incorporating some of the Bodleian’s most important published catalogues – the Summary and New Summary Catalogues.

The predecessor to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts, the Online Catalogue for Archives and Manuscripts, will remain available until early January 2020 at which point we will switch over to Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts fully, and decommission the Libraries’ old Online Catalogues platform.

For more information and an FAQ about Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts visit the public FAQ document.

While you are here…

The online catalogue for Medieval archives and manuscripts held in the Bodleian Libraries is available at https://medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

A guide to finding aids for Bodleian Libraries’ oriental archival collections is in the LibGuide for Oriental Manuscripts.

Administrative records of the University of Oxford are part of the Oxford University Archives.

Visual History Archive workshop (USC Shoah Foundation, Centre for Advanced Genocide Research)

Tuesday February 26, 2019 2pm–4pm

Ho Tim Seminar Room University of Oxford China Centre (Dickson Poon Building, Canterbury Road)

No booking required!

The Visual History Archive® is USC Shoah Foundation’s online portal that allows users to search through and view more than 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Initially a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Archive has expanded significantly to also include survivor and witness testimony from other genocidal events: the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), the Nanjing Massacre (1937), the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994) and the Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996) as well as more recent testimonies relating to the Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017).

This 2 hour workshop run by the USC Shoah Foundation will provide hands-on training on how to use the Visual History Archive, introducing students, librarians, staff, and faculty to the archive’s history, collections, interface, and search engines that are the key to unlocking the research and teaching potential of the archive. Learn about watching interviews and get tips how successfully to navigate the many testimonies.

USC Shoah Foundation Logo

USC Shoah Foundation

Women history resources at Oxford University (Part 1): a selection of archival resource in Oxford Libraries

In a large library system such as the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford college libraries, holding over 13 million books and vast archives between them, archival resources on women can be difficult to spot. Therefore, in honour of History Day 2018, organised by the Institute of Historical Research Library and Senate House Library, and whose theme this year is women’s history, this blog post aims to highlight the archives of a selection of remarkable women who were in some way connected to Oxford or whose papers were deposited in Oxford. Their lives span the political, literary, social and scientific spheres of late 18th, 19th and 20th century Britain. Each one of them has a story to tell, in their own way, through their diaries and letters, and each is outstanding and interesting for their various contributions to British life, culture and science. Collectively, the archives document women’s lives and their struggles for recognition and rights, but also celebrate their achievements both before and after the suffragette movement.

The history of women in Oxford’s male-dominated university is briefly described at History of Women at Oxford. It was thanks to individual initiatives, and the pioneering work of the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women (AEW), that women’s colleges came to be established in Oxford. Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville opened in 1879, followed by St Hugh’s in 1886 and St Hilda’s in 1893. Women only become full members of the University in 1920.

Exhibition: Sappho to Suffrage: women who dared

6 March 2018 — 22 February 2019
Venue: Treasury, Weston Library (Map)

Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers – this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected. Sappho to Suffrageshowcases some of the Bodleian’s most remarkable and treasured items. Highlights on show from the Bodleian Libraries collections of over 13 million items include:

  • 2nd century BCE fragments of Sappho’s poetry written on papyrus;
  • Ada Lovelace’s 19th century notes on mathematics;
  • the manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein;
  • a manuscript of Jane Austen’s juvenilia, Volume the First;
  • photographs by the Victorian photography pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron; and
  • a musical score by Fanny Mendelssohn.
  • the only known surviving version of the board game Suffragetto:

Highlights of the exhibition also include a ‘lost banner‘, a specially commissioned recreation of a banner originally used by the Oxford Women’s Suffrage Society in 1908, and a display featuring the perspectives of contemporary women one hundred years since the vote was won.

POLITICS

Papers of Emma Alice Margaret (Margot) Asquith, Countess of Oxford (1864-1945)

‘Margot’ Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith by Elliott & Fry. NPG x90783

Political hostess and diarist. Married H.H. Asquith, the Home Secretary, in 1894. In 1905 Asquith became Chancellor of the Exchequer and in 1908 Prime Minister. Her leading position, as Asquith’s wife, in London Society is reflected in her correspondence.

The collection includes diaries, 1876-1923; general correspondence, 1876-1945, followed by family correspondence, 1884-1945; literary papers, 1879-1945; personal papers.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Papers of Barbara Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn, 1868-2002

Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle by Walter Bird 17 June 1964 NPG x1664273

Labour cabinet minister and campaigner.

The papers comprise diaries 1953-2001, family correspondence 1903-2000; political papers (encompassing papers relating to the Labour Party, backbench MP subject files, ministerial papers, MEP papers, and House of Lords subject files); speeches and lectures, 1937-2001; financial and legal papers, 1919-2002; personal papers, 1926-2002; Secretaries’ papers, 1983-2002; Drawings and paintings, 1967-[1995]; and Photographs, 1905-98.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

 

Violet Milner Papers (1872-1958) 

Imperial activist. Married Lord Edward Herbert Gascoyne-Cecil (1867-1918) in 1894. She subsequently married Viscount Milner (1854-1925) in 1921. She had an interest in politics and was editor of The National Review1932-48.

The collection consists mainly of the papers of Violet Milner. It contains material relating to 19th- and 20th-century British and Imperial history, in particular the Boer War. The coverage of 20th-century South African politics is notable. Most major British politicians and political events of this period are documented in some way.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Margery Fry (1874-1958) (held at Somerville College, Oxford)

Penal reformer and Principal of Somerville College 1927-30. Archive comprises correspondence and papers.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Correspondence and papers of Lady Violet Bonham Carter (1887-1969)

(Helen) Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury by Howard Coster. 1933.  NPG x3017

Liberal political figure and daughter of H.H. Asquith and his first wife Helen.

Held the position of President of the Women’s Liberal Federation twice, from 1923-5 and again 1939-45. In 1945 she was invited to become President of the Liberal Party Organization, the first woman to do so, holding office until 1947. In 1963 she became the first woman to give the Romanes lecture at the University of Oxford, speaking on ‘The Impact of Personality on Politics’.

She also wrote articles for magazines, mainly for women, and letters to newspapers on national and international causes. Awarded a life peerage in 1964 and attended House of Lords until her death in 1969.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Papers of Evelyn Emmet, Baroness Emmet of Amberley (1901-75)

Evelyn Emmet, Baroness Emmet of Amberley by Walter Bird, November 1958. NPG x167398

Politician and Conservative MP.

Educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (1917-20) where she read literae humaniores. Her political career began in local government but played a national role serving on the Home Office probation advisory committee and of the Home Office special commission on cinema and the child in 1950. In 1952 and 1953 she was the UK delegate to the UN’s general assembly. Became an MP in 1955 and elevated to the Lords in 1964, serving there as deputy speaker and deputy chair of committees 1968-77.

The papers include diaries, correspondence, speeches, articles, broadcasts, and printed papers relating to her political career.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Papers of Vera Brittain  1893-1970

Vera Brittain by Howard Coster. 1936. NPG x24033

Writer, feminist, pacifist.

Best known as the author of the memoir Testament of Youth. She was accepted to read English at Somerville College, Oxford, in 1915; returned after World War I in 1919, changing her course to Modern History. Papers of Vera Brittain consist of:

  • Notebooks concerning her participation in the World Pacifist Conference and her lecture tour in India, 1949-50
  • Volume of photographs of Cape Comorin, India, n.d.

Papers of Vera Brittain held at Somerville College: the Somerville archive contains a collection of her letters, diaries, photos and books left to the College by her friend and one-time literary executor Paul Berry.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

LITERATURE & CULTURE

Abinger Papers

The Abinger collection comprises the correspondence and papers of three generations of the Godwin & Shelley families. This includes the majority of the surviving correspondence and papers of the philosopher and author William Godwin and his first wife, the feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft, and second wife, the translator and bookshop owner Mary Jane Clairmont, as well as the correspondence of Everina Wollstonecraft and Eliza Bishop, Mary Wollstonecraft’s sisters.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie. oil on canvas, circa 1797. NPG 1237

Writer, advocator of women’s rights and philosopher.

Best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), a best seller of its day, but also wrote novels and a book on the history of the French Revolution.

Archive includes correspondence & papers from 1785 to 1797.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

 

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)

Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell. oil on canvas, exhibited 1840. NPG 1235

Writer and daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft. Best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus(1818).

Archive includes correspondence and papers, manuscripts of novels, short stories, poems, non-fiction works, personal papers (drawing, inventories, financial papers).

A fair copy of Shelley’s 1817 script for Frankenstein (MS. Abinger c.58) is available in Digital.Bodleian.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

 

Papers of Barbara Mary Crampton Pym (1913-80)

Novelist.

Read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Papers include the manuscripts of published and unpublished novels and short stories, literary papers, notebooks, diaries and correspondence. Loose leaves removed from some of the bound volumes, including notes and drafts for novels, are in MS. Pym 99.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Papers of Sibyl, Lady Colefax (1874-1950)

English interior decorator, hostess and socialite. The collection includes letters from many of the literary and society figures of her day, some personal and family papers, a few diaries of Lady Colefax, her visitors’ books, and a number of photograph albums.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879)

Victoria photographic pioneer. Cameron’s work was largely forgotten until the 1940s, but she has been widely recognised since then as one of the most important and innovative photographers of all time.

Her photographs can be found in a number of albums held at the Bodleian Library, amongst them an album, which she had compiled for Sir Henry Taylor. These photos are collectively known as The Henry Taylor Album.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Elizabeth Maconchy Archive (1907-94) (held at St Hilda’s College, Oxford)

Dame Elizabeth Maconchy by Howard Coster. 1938. NPG x23833

Irish composer.

The archive contains almost all the manuscripts of her compositions as well as some printed scores, programmes, press cuttings, and some correspondence.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

SCIENCE

Mary Somerville (1780-1872) Collection, [c.1700]-1972 (in Bodleian Library, owned by Somerville College)

Mary Somerville by James Rannie Swinton. chalk, 1848. NPG 690

Science writer and mathematics expositor.

Received many honours during her lifetime, and after her death, Somerville College, Oxford, founded in 1879 as a women’s college, was named after her. A Somerville scholarship for women also commemorates her name.

Archive includes correspondence and papers, also relating to the Somerville family.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

 

Correspondence of Ada Lovelace (1815-52) (part of Papers of the Noel, Byron and Lovelace families)

Ada Lovelace by William Henry Mote, after Alfred Edward Chalon. stipple engraving, published 1839. NPG D5124

English writer, mathematician and early computer pioneer.

Active in Victorian London’s social and scientific elite alongside Mary Somerville. The main part of this collection of papers belonged to Annabella, Lady Byron.

The collection also contains correspondence of Ada and her husband William, 1st Earl of Lovelace, used by Doris Langley Moore in her biography Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1978). See Bodleian Ada Lovelace blog.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

Archive of Mabel FitzGerald (1872-1973)

Physiologist (esp. on respiration) and clinical pathologist.

Studied unofficially (women were not yet admitted to the university for that subject) and then researched physiology in Oxford. The archive comprises personal and scientific papers, spanning her lifetime, as well as family papers.

> Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (subscribers only)

SUFFRAGE AT OXFORD

Archive of the Association for the Education of Women in Oxford, 1878-1922

Papers relating to the education of women at Oxford University. Women were not admitted to membership of the University until 1920, although they had been allowed to sit some University examinations and attend lectures for over forty years by that date. It was the work of the Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women (AEW), founded 1878, that women’s colleges came to be established in Oxford.

The archive includes minute books, 1878-1920; papers relating to the finances of the Association, 1878-1922; papers relating to students, 1883-1920; and printed and miscellaneous papers, 1877-1920.

More from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscribers only):

National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage (act. 1910–1918) by Julia Bush
National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (act. 1896–1918) by Sandra Stanley Holton

USEFUL LINKS

Trials of 3 women’s history eresources – your views count

By Unknown – http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/sufpix.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15154048

Oxford researchers are now invited to trial three online resources on the study of women’s history, gender history, suffragette movement and social history in general.

The geographical coverage spans mostly Great Britain, but also former colonies, and, to some extent, the rest of the world.

All resources are relevant for the 19th and 20th centuries.

They can be accessed via SOLO or OxLIP+

Please send any feedback on the content, functionality and usefulness to your research to isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. When doing so, also tell me your priorities purchases and explain why. Your views matter!

Archives Direct: Women in the National Archives (until 1 Feb 2018)

Gives access to original documents on the Suffrage Question in Britain, the Empire and Colonial Territories as well as a Finding Aid to Women’s Studies Resources in The National Archives, Kew. The finding aid enables researchers to quickly locate details of documents relating to women in The National Archives at Kew. It is still far more detailed and extensive than anything available elsewhere on the web and has the benefit of ranging across all of the classes held at The National Archives. The original documents will be valuable for those teaching courses on: The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage in Britain, 1903-1928 and The granting of women’s suffrage in Colonial territories, 1930-1962. > More

Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Women: Transnational Networks (until 10 Feb 2018)

Concentrates on issues at the intersection of gender and class — from the late eighteenth century to the era of suffrage in the early twentieth century — through a transnational perspective. This collection deepens the already-comprehensive coverage of European movements included in Nineteenth Century Collections Online by adding sources from the United States and other regions. The focus of this collection is on major nineteenth-century trends, topics, and events as they relate to gender, including social reform, high and low culture, transnational networks, immigration, daily life, religion, and more. > More.
A list of titles in this resource is available.

Women’s Studies Archive: Issues and Identities (until 10 Feb 2018)

Traces the path of women’s issues from past to present, pulling primary sources from manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals. It captures the foundation of women’s movements, struggles and triumphs, focus on the social, political, and professional achievements of women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Topics covered: History of Feminist Theory and Activism; domestic culture; lay and ordained church women; women in industry; women’s sexuality and gender expression; women’s education; women’s movement; women’s health and mental health; women and law; women and the control of their bodies; and women’s roles and interactions within society. > More.
A list of titles in this resource is available.

Catalogue of Papers of Women Administrative Officers in Colonial Africa, 1944-1984 now online

Women Administrative Officers in Colonial Africa - online catalogue screenshotSpecial Collections colleagues in the Weston Library have released the online Catalogue of Papers of Women Administrative Officers in Colonial Africa, 1944-1984. This includes reminiscences, press cuttings, circulars, photographs and associated material of women who served in the Colonial Service in Africa and the West Indies (one contribution only from the West Indies), mainly relating to the years 1945 to 1960.

> Access the catalogue

“The papers in this collection were amassed by the Oxford Development Records Project (ODRP) (successor to the Oxford Colonial Records Project), which set out to preserve the reminiscences of women who had served as Administrative Assistants in the Colonial Service in various African territories.

Women Administrative Assistants were recruited by the Colonial Office for a period of about 10 years immediately after the Second World War, when there was a severe shortage of male officers, so these papers relate mainly to the years 1945 to 1960. The terms of employment were very different from their male counterparts’: women were only eligible for temporary posts, they had no chance of promotion and they were obliged to resign on marriage (with a very few exceptions, such as Dr. Beryl Steele (32) and Isabel Popplewell (29), who managed to carry on working after they were married). On the whole, therefore, the periods of service for these women tend to be short, often lasting only one tour or even less.

The countries covered in this collection comprise, with one exception, British colonial African territories, with the majority of contributors having worked in Tanganyika and Nigeria, and a few in Nyasaland, Uganda, Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, the Gold Coast and the Gambia. The exception to this is a contributor who applied for an African post, but who ended up working in the West Indies (Lady Peck (27)). There is also a contribution from a former Woman Administrative Assistant (WAA) who became a Recruitment Officer at the Colonial Office and who was involved in recruiting other WAAs (Mair Morris (26)).” from http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/waoca/waoca.html, accessed 20 July 2016

New: Jamaican Material in the Slebech Papers (British Online Archives)

Oxford researchers and students in the history of the West Indies and slavery will be delighted to know that you now have access to the Jamaican Material in the Slebech Papers. Access is via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Jamaican material in the Slebech papers - imageThis resource from British Online Archives comprises a careful selection of documents Jamaican material in the Slebech papers - crestfrom the extensive Slebech Estate archives now held in the National Library of Wales. They relate chiefly to the interests of Nathaniel Phillips (1756?-1832) in the West Indies. The collection represents a major resource for research into the social and economic history of West Indies, slavery, plantations and trade.

The papers include business records (accounts, receipts and cash books, inventories, valuations, as well as other business records in the form of instructions on tasks to be performed by agents and slaves, bills of lading, etc.) as well as correspondence, legal documents, and other materials such as a number of diaries, as well as documents relating to the defence of Jamaica.

To learn more about the Nathaniel Phillips, his papers, their history and provenance, check out the guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University.

Access is via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Other useful online resources:

Women in science in the archives: seminar 8 Sept 2016

8 September 2016, 9am-1pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)
Contact: svenja.kunze@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, 01865 283842

This half-day seminar will look at women’s engagement with science in the past through the Bodleian’s historical archives, trace the changing nature of their role, discuss the experiences of female scientists in the 21st century, and explore the challenges of preserving their archives in the future.

Women In Science in the Archives 8 Sept 2016The first part of the seminar will be dedicated to three prominent female scientists, represented in the Bodleian’s archives. Archivists, historians and biographers will give their perspectives on the life and work of:

  • astronomer and mathematician Mary Somerville (1780-1872)
  • physiologist and pathologist Mabel Purefoy FitzGerald (1872-1973)
  • biochemist and crystallographer Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994)

The second part of the seminar will bring 21st century women in science into the archives. Professor Frances Ashcroft will talk about her career as a physiologist, and the challenges and opportunities she has seen for women in science since the 1970s.

A panel of early career scientists from the University of Oxford will share their experiences as women in science today, and discuss with archivists and curators how their work can become part of the archives of the future.

View the seminar programme (pdf), including list of speakers.

After the seminar, there will be an opportunity to see selected items from the Bodleian’s Special Collections, and meet the archivists working on them. Please note that this curator-led display has a limited capacity, and places need to be booked separately.

Booking

The seminar is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.

New catalogue: The Past & Present Society papers

The catalogue of the archive of the Past & Present Society is now available online. The Oxford-based Society was founded in 1952 in order to publish the history journal Past & Present, which it continues to do, while also running its own history book series and conferences, and appointing two post-doctoral fellows every year.

The archive covers the period 1952-2011 and mainly comprises peer review comments on submitted articles, as well as papers relating to books published by the society and the organisation of annual history conferences and research seminars, plus administrative papers for the Society itself and for the journal. The archive will be most relevant to researchers interested in twentieth-century historiography and academic publishing.

Source: New catalogue: The Past & Present Society

New LibGuide: German archives: a guide to discovering and using them

Students and researchers intending to use archives in Germany might find the new German archives: a guide to discovering and using them useful.

LibGuide - German archivesCreated by Ms Ulrike Kändler as part of her internship at the Bodleian Library, August 2014, the guide is designed to help you finding your way through German archives and to enable you identifying exactly what you need for your research – quick and easy! There are more than 3.600 archives offering their holdings and services in Germany so it can be daunting to know where to start.

The guide comes in three main sections:

  • Get Ready
    You are planning a research trip to Germany? Or you are for the first time ever on your way into an archive? Here you will find everything you need to know to make the most of your trip
  • Discover German Archives
    Which archives should you visit? Here you will find a short introduction on the various types of German archives as well as links to a number of the more important ones.
  • Find it
    Here you are introduced to some different search tools: Regional gateways to search by region and identify smaller archives or meta/search engines such as Kalliope.

The many archives are usefully indexed by broad subject areas as follows:LibGuide - German Archives - Bundesarchiv

  • State Archives
  • Municipal and local archives
  • Church archives
  • Literary archives
  • Economic archives
  • Political Archives
  • Media archives
  • University archives
  • Movement archives

Do you know your Ablieferungsliste from your Zugang?

A glossary will help you understand specialists terms you are likely to encounter and enable you to communicate with German archives more effectively.

Help, I can’t read the script!

The guide also includes links to script tutorials and useful transliteration resources.

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to Ms Ulrike Kändler. Without her incredibly hard work, dedication and expertise this guide would not exist. Her short period in Oxford leaves a legacy from which Oxford researchers can benefit from for a long time to come.

Using digital photography to capture archival material: some tips and tools

As libraries relax their photography rules of library materials, scholars are increasingly using digital photography to capture printed and archival material. That is great news but does pose a few headaches also, in particular, in my experience the following:

  1. How do you get the best quality images? Bodleian Libraries doesn’t permit the use of flash, for instance.
  2. How do you organise your many images so you can find them again?
  3. How do you add description information about the source, copyright statement, etc.?
  4. How do you make sure you don’t infringe copyright?

Following a useful post on the H-HistBibl mailing list recently, I would like to share some pointers for those struggling with their many images or who want to make best use of them.

Check here what the rules are for Bodleian Libraries, British Library, Cambridge University Library and Bibliothèque nationale de France.

1. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries had written a fairly comprehensive guide on Using Digital Tools for Archival Research.

This guide covers all the basics from the choice of cameras, how to take pictures to organising your photos and use of software and the all important back-up (just do it!!).

Illinois guide on digital tools for archival research

2. Thomas Padilla posted a tutorial on how to extract plain text data from images of print based archival content using optical character recognition (OCR).

Padilla - from image to text

3. Finally, Miriam Posner wrote about turning JPEGs into PDFs and about batch-processing photos.

Posner - batch process photosWhat use of digital cameras and personal scanners do other major research libraries allow?

Bodleian Libraries rules:

  • Library visitors may use personal scanners and digital cameras to make copies from library material, with some exceptions.
  • All equipment with the exception of flat bed scanners may be used.
  • The use of flash photography is forbidden at all times.
  • Some libraries and reading rooms have created specific areas where digital photography and scanning can take place. Please look for signs indicating that you are in the designated area or ask staff.
  • Other libraries have not set up dedicated areas and will allow these processes anywhere in the library.
  • Please consult library staff before using your digital camera or personal scanner.
  • As a general rule, scanning or photography of material is at the discretion of library staff. Please consult library staff to see if an item is eligible to be copied. You will be asked to fill out the relevant application form.
  • Please observe the guidelines above and ensure that you comply with the copyright restrictions.
  • You may make digital copies for the purposes of private study or research for a non-commercial purpose.”

British Library rules:

Compact cameras, tablets and camera phones may be used to photograph some categories of material for personal reference use only. Copies, including photographic copies, must not be used for a commercial purpose. Please also be mindful of privacy and data protection laws.

Self-service photography is intended for personal reference copies, not for copying at scale or commercial copying. The Reading Rooms are not able to support the requirements of professional photography.”

Cambridge University Library rules:

“Cameras can be used to photograph most of the Library’s material as long as a form is completed and copyright regulations are observed. These photographs are for private research and study only and cannot be distributed, placed online or used within publications. Images must be ordered for these purposes.”

Bibliothèque nationale de France rules

“Les lecteurs de la Bibliothèque de recherche peuvent utiliser leur appareil personnel pour photographier gratuitement des documents des collections de la BnF.

Seuls les documents publiés il y a plus de 90 ans peuvent être photographiés. Les photos doivent être réalisées à des fins d’usage privé et sur une place désignée à cet effet.

Une autorisation de prise de vue est à demander au bibliothécaire.

La photographie des écrans d’ordinateurs ou d’appareils de lecture de microformes est interdite.”