Library update 21/5: etextbooks, Numérique Premium trial, Sources Chrétiennes Online

In today’s update, we have news of some etextbook availability, a trial of French ebooks and a new purchase of interest to church historians.

Use SSO for remote access as usual.

VitalSource is a supplier of ebooks and etextbooks to individuals.
They are offering up to 7 free rental for UK students and academics until the end of June due to the pandemic on their Bookshelf site, as long as you sign up with your address. Bookshelf is a sub-set of VitalSource’s complete content. Records are NOT on SOLO.

Kortext (access until June 30, 2020). Another etextbook supplier. Includes The Oxford World Classics series and a selection of other e-books and e-textbooks. Access and SOLO loading is still in process. Not hugely useful for history, compared to other subjects, but it includes e.g. E. Said’s Culture and Imperialism or P. Marshall’s Reformation England 1480-1642. Records in SOLO will be very brief and not very accurate! Best to do a keyword search.

Numérique Premium (trial until 12/6): a French Humanities e-book collection. It contains about 1,500 French-language Humanities ebooks. Access the resource via SOLO but note that records of individual ebooks are NOT on SOLO. Let Isabel Holowaty know if this is useful.

Sources Chrétiennes Online (SCO), purchased by Classics and Theology colleagues. Access the resource via SOLO. The series consists of critical editions of Christian texts in Greek and Latin, but also in oriental languages, such as Syriac, Armenian and Georgian, dating from the first 1,400 years of the Church, accompanied by a French translation as well as an introduction and notes.

Trial until 18 May 2020: Droz ebooks: Humanisme et Renaissance – Calvin

Colleagues in the Taylor Institution Library have set up trials to some online Droz French resources. Two of these will be of interest to early modern history, history of the book, intellectual history, religious history, and European history. You will need SSO for remote access. Please send feedback to

Humanisme et Renaissance

The Droz Humanisme et Renaissance collection offers a collection of sources and studies on Humanism (Politien, Ficin, Erasmus, Budé…), the French Reformation (Lefèvre d’Etaples, Calvin, Farel, Beza…) and the Renaissance (literary and artistic, Hieronymus Bosch or Rabelais, Ronsard or Primaticcio), as well as the medicine, science, philosophy, book history, and all forms of knowledge and human activity from the long sixteenth century, roughly from 1450 to the death of Henry IV in 1610, the threshold of the classical age.


This portal presents all the texts by or about John Calvin which have been published by the Librairie Droz from 1960 to 2012, with an initial focus on Geneva, Calvin, and the beginnings of the French evangelical movement with Lefèvre d’Etaples and Marguerite de Navarre.

Related resources already available in Oxford:


This database comprises the writings of French Catholics against the doctrines of John Calvin (1509-1564) and other protestant leaders. France was a major centre in the clash between Catholics and Protestants during the sixteenth century. Much of the Protestant literature was in French in the hopes of converting the French people. In response, the Catholic Church preserved its position in France with these documents. This archive includes both sixteenth-century attacks on Calvinism and Protestantism as well as defences of the Catholic doctrine.


This collection offers a comprehensive survey of the original writings of the French Huguenot authors, from the first stirrings of radical dissent in the 1530s through to the end of the century. The selection privileges first and foremost original writings of authors writing within France and for an exclusively French audience. Thus whereas Calvin’s Genevan writings are not included, the tracts penned by Theodore de Bèze as part of the polemic exchange during the Colloquy of Poissy (1561) do appear here.

All told the writings collected here reveal an intellectually vibrant movement, meeting unprecedented challenges and later hardship with that mixture of confidence, aggression, and resolution in the face of adversity that characterises Calvinist churches of this era throughout Europe.

Access to Early European Books 5-16 until 31 May 2020

ProQuest have kindly given Oxford researchers free temporary access to Early European Books Collections 5-16 until 31 May 2020. SSO is required for off-campus access.

Collections 5-16 draw mostly material held at Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) but also at Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen and the Wellcome Library in London. It provides access to early printed European collections published between 1450 and 1700.

Some collections are themed:

Collection 16 – French Culture in the Early Modern Period – From the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

Collection 15 – Revolution and Reformation: Early Modern Science and Religion – From the Wellcome Library (London), the Kongelige Bibliotek (Copenhagen), the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Hague) and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence).

All EEB collections can be cross-searched.  You can also cross-search with Early English Books Online (EEBO) (SSO required for off-campus access).

You have a number of searching and browsing options, including by subject. You can view the documents in thumbnail, Full View and see the full metadata description. Early European Books can now also be analysed visually with the new Interactive Historical Map. Check out the useful EEB LibGuide to learn more about the collection and how to use it.

Please note that book-level details are not in SOLO. You will need to access EEB directly to search for a particular titles.

After 31 May 2020, researchers will continue to have access to EEB Collections 1-4.

Trial until 25 March: Retronews

We are inviting researchers interested in French historical newspapers to trial Retronews.

Retronews is a new archive offered by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and provides access to 600 French news titles published between 1631 and 1950.  Some of these newspapers used to be freely available on Gallica but can now only be accessed through Retronews.

Just over half of the titles are published in Paris with the rest being regional French titles and 5 from Algeria. Titles include: Le Matin (1884-1944), Le Petit Parisien (1876-1944), Le Temps (1861-1942), Gazette nationale ou le Monitor universel (1789-1901).

Different kinds of keyword search are offered. Extra features include filtering by theme, historical period and place of publication. The database comes with three introductory tutorials.

We don’t yet know when the trial expires, but please send feedback to Isabel Holowaty ( and Nick Hearn (

Newly received History books: Paris Commune 1871, religion and state, French Resistance, Mitterand

This week is a French-inspired selection of new History books touching on some key episodes and themes in French history:

Robert, Jean-Louis ; Aprile, Sylvie ; Godineau, Laure ; Rey, Claudine ; Rougerie, Jacques, Le Paris de la Commune 1871 (Paris : Belin, 2015)

Barralis, Christine; Boudet, Jean-Patrice; Delivré, Fabrice; Genêt, Jean-Philippe, Église et État, Église ou État? : les clercs et la genèse de l’État moderne (Paris ; Roma : Publications de la Sorbonne : École française de Rome, 2014)

Petit, Vincent, God save la France : la religion et la nation (Paris : Éditions du Cerf, 2015)

Pinault, Michel, Maurice Barrès et la “grande pitié des laboratoires de France” : discours parlementaires pour une politique des recherches scientifiques en France (1919-1923) (Paris : L’Harmattan, 2015)

Wieviorka, Olivier, Todd, Jane Marie, The French Resistance (Cambridge : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016)

Bernard, Mathias, Les années Mitterrand : du changement socialiste au tournant libéral (Paris : Belin, 2015)

New History books 1 Sept 2016

There is more!

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

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

New: e-access to Publications du Centre Européen d’Etudes Bourguignonnes v.2 (1960) – current

Stressed medievalists now don’t have to come to the library to research late medieval and early Renaissance Burgundy history.

Publications du Centre Européen d'Etudes Bourguignonnes - coverI am delighted to announce that our readers have electronic access to the Publications du Centre Européen d’Etudes Bourguignonnes [ISSN 1016-4286] covering v. 2 (1960) – current. It will be added to SOLO shortly, but you can already access it via OU eJournals.

PCEEB is most relevant to those studying the late medieval and early Renaissance period in France and of course especially Burgundy, its history and relations to other medieval power houses:

“For nearly fifty years, the Centre européen d’études bourguignonnnes (fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) – known until 1984 as the Centre européen d’études burgondo-médianes – has published annually the acts of the scholarly meetings it organizes in cities within the territory covered by its activities. Its objectives, as stated explicitly in its statutes, are the promotion, the encouragement, and the coordination of historical studies relating to the period of the Dukes of Burgundy of the house of Valois and of the first Hapsburgs, between the North Sea, the Rhine-Danube river system, and the Mediterranean. The themes of these meetings relate to different aspects of the past of these lands, with particular emphasis on the political, economic, cultural and spiritual links that existed between them. Because of their international and multilingual nature (French, German, English and Italian), the volumes of the collection hold a position of choice in the bibliography of studies devoted to this historical period which marks the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in the Western world.”, accessed 16 June 2016

Keep up-to-date with this journal

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Trial until 6 Dec: Torrossa – scholarly e-books in Romance languages

Torrossa logoOxford is currently trialling Torrossa, a scholarly e-book platform developed by Casalini. All records are available in SOLO, and the platform can also be accessed directly via OxLIP+.

A wide range of subjects is covered, with over 180 Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese publishers contributing titles in the fields of history but also language and literature, linguistics, art and architecture, film studies, law, philosophy, theology and cultural studies. The trial gives us access to approximately 4,750 titles. Whilst titles in Italian and Spanish make up the majority, there are also smaller collections in English, French and German.

The trial features selections from Casalini’s multi-publisher collections Edición Española Online and Editoria Italiana Online, as well as single-publisher collections from Arco Libros, Editorial CSIC, Iberoamericana Verveurt, Casa de Velázquez, Bulzoni, Leo S. Olschki and Fabrizio Serra Editore to name just a few.

To be able to access e-books on the Torrossa platform, please make sure your Internet browser is set to allow pop-ups. You may need to configure your browser settings to make sure that Adobe Reader is enabled to open PDF documents as specified in the configuration notes. > Torrossa : browser configuration notes (.pdf)

To familiarise yourself with the platform, please take a look at the introductory presentation below, or simply have a browse! > Introduction to Torrossa scholarly ebooks (.pptx)

The trial runs until 6th December 2014. Please leave any feedback on the History Eresources desiderata LibGuide or email

Related links:

Knowing your EBL from your ebrary: guide to ebooks

Le Monde now available on microfilm in Bodleian

Thanks to the generosity of Nuffield College Library who have kindly donated a collection of microfilms to the Bodleian Library, historians can consult Le Monde on microfilm covering Jan/Feb 1954 upto March 1994. All you need to do is search Le Monde in SOLO and order up the year / reel you need.

Le Monde logoLe Monde (0395-2037) is France’s most well known and well regarded daily newspaper, with economic news consisting of a mixture of shorter news stories and longer analytical stories. It is a great source for modern French and European history.

Did you know there is a Digital Microfilm Reader for you to use?

Online availability to Oxford users:

Le Monde issues are available online via Nexis UK (8 January 1987-) or via Factiva (21 December 1994-).

New: full electronic access to journal “French politics, culture and society”

Oxford users now have online access to the complete run of French politics, culture and society (ISSN 1558-5271),  vol. 0 (1983) to current, via SOLO or OU eJournals.

French politics culture and society journal coverFrench Politics Culture and Society is the journal of the Conference Group on French Politics & Society. The journal is jointly sponsored by the Institute of French Studies at New York University and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

The Journal explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines the relationship of France to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire.

The editors welcome pieces on recent debates and events, as well as articles that explore the connections between French society and cultural expression of all sorts (such as art, film, literature, and popular culture).” Berghahn Publishers

The editor is Herrick Chapman with many eminent scholars on the editorial board.

It is indexed in a number of bibliographical databases including Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life and British Humanities Index which are accessible to Oxford historians via SOLO and OxLIP+.

Here is the table of contents of the very latest issue:

Volume 31, Number 3, Winter 2013

Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community: Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris’s Banlieues
Melissa K. Byrnes

A Camp for Foreigners and “Aliens”: The Harkis’ Exile at the Rivesaltes Camp (1962–1964)
Jeannette E. Miller

Accueillir les Français rapatriés d’Algérie, histoire d’une régulation sociale par l’évitement des bidonvilles: L’exemple de Paris et du département de la Seine
Yann Scioldo-Zürcher

Settler Sites of Memory and the Work of Mourning
Andrea Smith


Rayonnement et propagande culturels français autour de la “panlatinité”: Les échanges entre intellectuels français et hispano-américains au début du vingtième siècle
Amotz Giladi

The prépa de proximité: A French Attempt at Affirmative Action in Higher Education?
William Poulin-Deltour


Street Level Bureaucracy in France: A Discussion of Vincent Dubois’s
The Bureaucrat and the Poor: Encounters in French Welfare Offices

Welfare As It Is
Frédéric Viguier

French Welfare Workers as Street-level Bureaucrats
Michael Lipsky

A Reply to Michael Lipsky and Frédéric Viguier’s Comments
Vincent Dubois



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RSS feed: RSS for Latest Issue


Trial until 20 Dec: Numérique Premium – French history books online

I’m pleased to invite Oxford users to trial Numérique Premium. Access is via OxLIP+. There is no remote access.

Numérique Premium is the first French Humanities e-book collection. It contains about 1500 French-language Humanities e-books with the main focus on medieval and modern history but also including politics, history of French-speaking literature, history of cinema all accessible in a user-friendly format (currently in a beta version).

Numérique Premium

This beta version allows you to a sample of the 2014 Collections. Each collection is made of approximately 80-100 titles and is updated annually.

Please send feedback to or or leave comments on the History databases desiderata & trials site.