Launch of Digital.Bodleian – a great resource for historians

[adapted from Bodleian Libraries news 9 July 2015.]

Readers and members of the public can now explore the Bodleian Libraries’ extraordinary collection of digitized books, manuscripts, maps, art and other materials through a single website.

The Digital.Bodleian website, launched on 8 July, includes more than 100,000 images covering everything from beautifully illustrated manuscripts and centuries-old maps to Victorian board games and Conservative Party election posters from the last 100 years.

For the first time the public can view digital versions of library materials, many of which were only previously accessible by obtaining an Oxford University Bodleian Libraries’ readers card. At visitors can view a diverse range of stunning images, find out more about the Bodleian’s incredible historic collections, and even curate their own customized image collections within the website.

Digital.Bodleian also allows users to download images for non-commercial use, make private notes and annotations, leave public comments on images and share images on social media. The resource is particularly suited to educational use as all images are available under an open license allowing for use in presentations, on virtual learning environments and on other non-commercial platforms.

digital dot bodleian - history and politics collections screenshotThe History and Politics section includes:

  • The Gough Map: Gateway to Medieval Britain
  • Political prints from the Curzon Collection (a selection of 1,400 political cartoons and satire from England and the Continent on Napoleonic Wars and Napoleon’s career)
  • Bringing Laxton to Life (a 17th-century survey and map of Laxton, Nottinghamshire).
  • Seeing is Believing: Traditional and Colonial Images of Popular Culture (watercolours of life in 18th century and late 19th century Burma from previously uncatalogued manuscripts in the Bodleian)
  • Cobbett’s Parliamentary History
  • Arthur Evans Archive (records and papers of Sir Arthur Evans, many relating to excavations at Knossos on Crete between 1900 and 1931)
  • Exploring Egypt in the 19th Century (complete facsimile of publications from the early nineteeth-century expeditions to Egypt by Champollion and Rosellini.)
  • Conservative Party Elections Posters, 1909-2007 (posters from the Conservative Party Archive representing election publicity throughout the 20th century up to recent times.)

Other collections of interest to historians are:

  • Greek and Hebrew manuscripts digitized as part of the Polonsky Project, a joint initiative between the Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican Library, generously funded by the Polonsky Foundation.
  • Medieval and Renaissance manuscript illuminations
  • Blockbooks and woodcut prints
  • Early printing in Europe
  • Hundreds of board games, writing blanks, and other 18th and 19th century children’s games
  • Victorian playbills, handbills, postcards and posters from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera

History of Science and Medicine researchers might like to look at:

  • The Entymologists Useful Compendium  (Key works in 19th-century entomology from the library of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.)
  • Key Works of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Century Geological Literature (Rare books relating to the history of science, geology, palaeontology, petrology, and mineralogy)
  • SJC MS17: A unique work of medieval science (complete facsimile of a computistical assortment executed about 1110 in Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, from St John’s College Oxford).

digital dot bodleian - geology of Oxford - screenshotContact


Hilary Term newsletter from Bodley’s Librarian

The Hilary Term newsletter from Bodley’s Librarian is now available. You can download it form the Bodleian website or directly here (pdf).

Hilary Term newsletter

The newsletter brings news about key developments across Bodleian Libraries. There is much of interest to historians, including the following:

  • New Bodleian (Weston) Library Refurbishment
  • Radcliffe Camera
  • The Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ) and planning for space across the Libraries
  • Bodleian Libraries website redevelopment
  • Coming up: Saturday book deliveries from the BSF
  • Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies
  • Digital Bodleian
  • Draft Strategic Plan 2013–17
  • Readers Survey 2012
  • Fundraising for acquisitions

Weather disrupting deliveries of requested material to Bodleian Libraries

Delay to delivery of requests for closed stack material to reading rooms
Due to flooding affecting roads to the south and west of Oxford, Bodleian Libraries have had to suspend deliveries from offsite closed stack. This will affect orders from Remote Store (BSF) placed after 4pm yesterday (Monday 26 November).  Any outstanding requests will be delivered as soon as suitable alternative arrangements can be put in place.

Remember, when an item has been requested from the closed stacks, the reader who placed the request will be emailed when the item is ready for them to consult in the reading room.  More information about how to place stack requests and track their delivery is available in the SOLO LibGuide.

Delays to other services inc. Inter Library-Loans
This will affect other library services offered from our Osney offices;
• the processing / delivery of staff mediated photocopy orders placed on Monday and Tuesday
• the processing / delivery of Inter-Library Loan orders
• the processing / delivery of Photographic orders

Please contact if you have any questions.

Related Links Search for electronic resources via OxLIP+ | Search for eBooks on SOLO | SOLO LibGuide section on stack requests