LibGuide for Disability History resources now live

We are delighted to announce that the Bodleian Libraries’ LibGuide Disability History Resources is now live, just in time for UK Disability History Month (UKDHM).

The guide was created by Alice Shepherd, the 2022-23 History Faculty Library Graduate trainee, as part of her year-long project and was launched at a research seminar, convened at the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (OCHSMT) on Monday 27 November 2023.

Alice Shepherd presenting the LibGuide to the audience. The slide on the screen reads: The Oxford Disability History LibGuide

Photo by Isabel Holowaty, 27 Nov 2023, Maison Française, Oxford

Who is the guide for?

It is intended for researchers and students who are studying Disability History and other information professionals supporting researchers. It is also useful for practitioners and members of the public with an interest in (or who have a disability) and wish to gain a historical perspective.

A screenshot fromm the Medical technologies section. It shows a Dental Technology video from YouTube and 2 readigs on the right hand side: 1. Prosthetic Body Parts in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture by Ryan Sweet 2. Accessible America by Bess Williamson What can you find in the guide?

The LibGuide consists of a collection of research resources crowdsourced during a Hackathon by 24 volunteers in Dec 2022 who scoured the internet for relevant archives, journals and various other useful websites. Over 200 nominated resources were then assessed and organised by Alice to make them as discoverable as possible. The guide conforms with accessibility standards.

The selected resources cover a great variety of topics across different historical periods (ancient to contemporary history).

A screenshot from the medieval section, showing Medieval Disabled Bodies, Medieval Graduate Podcast, episode 4, from YouTube. Shows a reading on the right-hand side for Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World Blighted Bodies by Kristina L. Richardson.The disabilities covered are wide ranging and include, for instance, autism, birth defects, chronic pain, hearing loss /deafness, learning disabilities, mental illness, mobility disabilities, visual impairment, and more.

Resources were also selected for aspects of disability relating to education, employment, medical technologies, stigma and war. The materials themselves may be archives, audio-visual, biographies, books, journals, legislation, newspapers, theses and websites.

The guide also lists Oxford historians researching aspects of disability history.

Feedback & suggestions

The guide will continue to evolve. It is currently limited largely to English language resources focused on western history and we hope there will be opportunities to expand its scope in the future.

We very much welcome feedback and, continuing in the crowdsourcing spirit, invite suggestions for additional resources for the LibGuide which can be made via our Recommend a Resource form.

Many congratulations and thanks go to Alice for her terrific work. We believe that this guide will be an excellent resource to help with the discovery of resources for disability history. Thanks of course also go to the volunteer ‘hackers’, without whom this guide would not exist, and the History Faculty for hosting and funding the hackathon in 2022.

Isabel Holowaty, Deputy Head of Humanities Libraries & History Librarian (Research), Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University

Dr Sloan Mahone, History Faculty, Oxford University

While you are here… we have many other guides for history resources. Check them out!

UK Disability History Month 2023

UK Disability History Month is an annual event, running from 16th November to 16th December, focusing on the history of the disability rights movement and commemoration of the achievements of people living with disabilities. At the History Faculty Library, we have put together a display highlighting the histories of people living with disabilities from antiquity to the near-present.

As well as physical books, we also have a variety of e-books and e-journals which explore these issues. When signed into SOLO with your ‘Single Sign On’, the following e-resources will be available for Oxford University Members—click on the covers below to access their SOLO records. Many more e-resources and physical books can be found on SOLO by searching for ‘disability history’ or by following the links above.

 

The Ugly Laws : Disability in Public Understanding disability throughout historyDisability and society (Journal) Disability rights and wrongs revisited Destigmatising mental illness? Disability rights and religious liberty in education Disability histories A cultural history of disability in antiquity

Disability History Hackathon, or…How to crowdsource over 200 websites!

To mark Disability History month, 24 volunteers assembled in the History Faculty on a cold and grey last day of term with an additional 12 joining the event via Teams. The mission? To find quality websites for a Bodleian Libraries’ guide on disability history resources. Prof Rob Iliffe opened the event by thanking all for contributing to the Faculty’s commitment to foster teaching and research in disability history.

Photo shows a tiered lecture theatre with participants looking towards the speaker.

Photo by Rachel D’Arcy Brown

After lunch and a handy crash course on advanced Google searching by Bethan Jenkins, students, researchers, librarians, and staff from the University’s Disability Advisory Service (DAS) settled down with their laptops to surf the web. Individuals were given broad topics to focus on. In just under two hours, an astonishing 226 resources were recorded, covering all periods and forms of disability. This is a fantastic achievement by the volunteer hackers and more than we could have hoped for.

The History Faculty Library trainee, Alice Shepherd, will next design a user-friendly version of the guide and add helpful contextual information. When completed at some point in 2023, the guide will be open to anybody in the world who is interested in disability history and looking for research resources. Watch this space!

Photo shows a laptop on a table in the History Fculty Common Room

Photo by Helen Young

As an event format, this jointly organised hybrid hackathon was a great success and will be a template for similar initiatives in the future. It used an inclusive, accessible, and collaborative approach to crowdsource quality resources for research and the public good. And it was fun! There may have been cake in between and drinks at the end for the survivors….

The effort to collate quality resources has not stopped. Individuals wishing to nominate a resource for the disability history guide are warmly invited to do so, using the input form at https://oxford.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/disability-history-hackathon-input-form.

Our thanks and gratitude also go to the History Faculty and their staff for supporting the event in many ways, and to all the library and DAS staff who helped with the organisation and delivery of the event.

Dr Sloan Mahone, History Faculty & Isabel Holowaty, Bodleian Libraries

Disability History Hackathon Friday 2 December 2022, 14:00-18:15 – please join us

Snippet from Bodleian Library  MS. Bodl. 264, 74v, showing a group of blind men following each other

Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264, fol. 74v, Bodleian Library, CC BY-NC. Click to view in Digital.Bodleian.

Calling all staff and students of Oxford University: are you interested in disability history? Do you like locating quality research materials on the internet? Please join us and a group of volunteers at the Disability History Hackathon on Friday 2 December to find resources for a guide to Disability History resources.

Cartoon image of an owl wearing headphones and working on a laptop.After brief training on advanced Google searches, you will work individually or in small groups on identifying research resources (databases, archives, websites, etc.) on an aspect of disability history of your choice. You will create brief descriptions for each resource.

We expect to spend up to 2 hours on the Hackathon with a tea / coffee break in between and a reception at the end.

You will be able to join in person in the History Faculty, George St, or remotely. All rooms are accessible. This is event is organised for staff and students of Oxford University. Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended. Register here.

What will you get out of it?

  • Discover research materials for disability history
  • Learn advanced Google search from a professional librarian
  • Network with other researchers
  • Join a community-led project to create an online guide for disability history

What do you need?

Photo of a paralysed child strapped in a walking frame and wearing splints. From R.W. Lovett, Treatment of Infantile

Robert Williamson Lovett, Treatment of Infantile Paralysis (1916) – Wellcome Collection, United Kingdom – CC BY

An interest in, knowledge of or enthusiasm in disability resources and/or disability history.

Technical requirements:

  • Remote: computer with Teams or Zoom, camera and microphone
  • Onsite: a laptop; ideally Eduroam wifi account (wifi access can be provided)
  • Recommended: headphones or earphones

More information about the day, handouts, slides, etc. will be shared with participants in advance.

Contact library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

UK Disability History Month 2022

To mark UK Disability History Month, from 16th November to 16th December, we have highlighted some of our collections in order to create a display focusing on the history of mental health.

In addition to the books on our display we also have a selection of e-books exploring the topic, which can be read remotely. Click on the book covers below to access their SOLO records. You’ll just need to sign in using your Single Sign On (SSO).

If you’re interested in further investigating disability in research and teaching, Wadham College are offering a free Cross-College Curriculum Diversity Workshop on the 4th November. See here for more details.

To find out more about UK Disability History Month please visit their dedicated website here.

UK Disability History Month

To mark the UK’s Disability History Month, from 18th November – 18th December, we have put together a book display featuring books on disability history, across different geographic areas and time periods.

Disability History Month Book Display

As well as physical books, there are lots of e-books dedicated to Disability History. The e-books below are available to Oxford University members to read remotely- click on the book cover to access the SOLO record. You’ll need to sign into SOLO with your ‘Single Sign On’ to read the books. Of course, there are more titles available electronically and you can find them on SOLO, by searching for the subject ‘disability – history’

Find out more about UK Disability History Month on their website, including their online launch event this evening.

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).