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
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.
History of Science & Medicine
Oxford and Empire
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
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.
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.
Our wonderful colleagues in the Weston Library have launched their new online request service for archives and manuscripts. This should help readers with a more flexible and efficient way of ordering, e.g. from the comfort of your sofa or ordering in advance of a research trip.
Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts Requests makes it easier for both readers and staff to order material for consultation in the Reading Rooms. You can make request directly from one of our online catalogues, e.g. archives.bodleian.ox.ac.uk, medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk, hebrew.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Just look out for the ‘Request’ button on the record. You can also track your orders and access your full order history in your account.
Once you have found your item(s), click on the Request button to order it to the reading room.
You must register!
For more information see our Special Collections webpages or register for the new service at requests.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/logon. If you created an account while the system was being tested, this will still be valid so there is no need to create a new one. Even if you are already a registered Bodleian Libraries reader or have a University card, you will need to register separately for this service.
This resource provides access to content from The British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). Founded 1831 and renamed in 2009 to The British Science Association, its main aim was to improve the perception of science and scientists in the UK. The BAAS collection documents the efforts of the British scientific community to establish science as a professional activity and make Britain into a globally competitive centre for science. Many of the prominent names of British science since the early 19th century are associated with the BAAS.
This collection is complemented by material drawn from 10 British universities. The aggregated university collections serve to connect the manuscripts, papers and correspondence of some of the most important scientists of the 19th and early 20th centuries into a singular source for research. These collections were selected and curated on the recommendation of prominent academics working in the History of Science. These include collections contributed by University College London, Leeds University, Senate House Libraries, London, and Liverpool University. Further collections are in the process of being confirmed. The collections cover the work of scientists including Charles Wheatstone, Oliver Lodge, Samuel Tolansky and William Ramsay.
The BAAS collection contains a broad collection of document types: Reports, manuscript materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, brochures and catalogues; Field reports and minutes; Annual reports.
The collection spans a wide variety of interdisciplinary research areas and supports educational needs in a broad range of subjects and disciplines, including: History of Science, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Area Studies, Colonial, Post-Colonial and Decolonisation Studies, Development Studies, Environmental Degradation, History, Sociology, Geology, International Relations, Trade and Commerce, Law and Policy relating to Science.
After last term’s cancellation, here is a reminder that bookings for the re-scheduled Humanities Research Fair for postgraduates are now open.
The Fair will take place on Monday 27 January 2-5pm, South School, Exam Schools, OX1 4BG (map).
This free event is an excellent opportunity for Humanities postgraduate students to gain a wider perspective on the wealth and riches of research sources available for your field of study.
In a single place you get to meet lots of experts at the same time. 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.
The format of the Fair encourages you to exploreand discovernew materials at your own pace, to be curious, to networkand to make connections to experts and their peers while also learning about creative use of sources in Digital Humanities.
Special collections (archives & early printed books, maps, museums)
Topical stalls (e.g. resources for English literature, Theology, History, Modern Languages, Biography)
Geographical stalls (e.g. US studies, Latin American, Far & Near Eastern, European)
General resources (e.g. Information skills, SOLO, Open Access, Digital Humanities, Top 10 Tips from a Graduate)
Take part in the live historical printing with the Centre for the Study of the Book
Relax with a cup of tea at the Student Wellbeing stall and try your hand at fiendish Bodleian jigsaw puzzle
A series of talkson Digital Humanities will accompany the Fair.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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-; and Photographs, 1905-98.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
Special 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.
“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