New: Virtual History Archive (USC Shoah Foundation)

I am very pleased to announce that thanks to a generous donation of Ms Cecilia Chan to the University China Centre, Oxford researchers now have access to the Virtual History Archive (USC Shoah Foundation) until 30 September 2019.

The resource can be accessed from Databases A-Z and soon also via SOLO.

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, and still overwhelmingly, a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Archive has expanded significantly to include survivor and witness testimony from four other genocidal events the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), the Nanjing Massacre (1937), the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994), the Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996), as well as more recent testimonies relating to the Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017).

This very rich resource can be searched and browsed in various ways. There are indexes for themes and names. Places can be found, using a zoomable map, for geographical locations as well as types of locations (e.g. concentration camps, refugee camps). The interviews have been indexed to quite a deep level. Even if you don’t have any names of individuals you can locate testimonies by browsing by experience:

As this resource provides access to a huge amount of oral history material, you will need to make sure that you can listen to sound, and, if you are using it in a library, please use head- or earphones.

Also useful:

  • Jewish survivors of the Holocaust A freely available collection of 186 life story interviews and oral testimonies from Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children in the British Library. Includes audio files and transcripts collected between 1987 and 2000. This resource documents the moving testimonies of Jewish immigrants to Britain, many of whom survived Nazi concentration camps. Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust, covering anti-semitism before the Second World War; ghettos and concentration camps; resistance and liberation; searching for family in the aftermath; building a new life in Britain and the legacy of the Holocaust.
  • Post War Europe (Archives Unbound) [Oxford researchers only]: An online archive of primary sources for the study and understanding of the challenges facing the European peoples in the aftermath of World War II, it covers the politics and administration of the refugee crisis in Europe after World War II as well as the day-to-day survival of the refugees themselves. The selection of materials is based on holdings in the National Archives and the Wiener Library, London, and includes documents and letters in the original language. The archive includes the working papers of Rose Henriques from 1945-1950, which comprises perhaps the most complete record of the effort to improve the lives of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and Displaced Persons in the British Zone of Occupation. It also includes papers of the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (JCRA), the Jewish Relief Units (JRUs) and copious documentation on other aspects of the Jewish refugee situation in the period 1945 to 1950.This resource is relevant to those studying World War II, Holocaust and Jewish studies, post-war history of Germany, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy.
  • To find secondary readings on the Holocaust, use the following subject searches in SOLO: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945).

Trials until 31 Oct: Chatham House Online Archive 1920-2008 & Political Extremism and Radicalism in the 20th Century

Colleagues in the SSL have arranged trial access to two databases from Gale Cengage until 31 October 2018

  • Chatham House Online Archive 1920-2008
  • Political Extremism and Radicalism in the 20th Century

Both databases will be of particular interest to researchers in International Relations, Politics, Global Governance and Diplomacy, Public Policy, International Development, Economics, Area Studies, History and more.

Chatham House Online Archive 1920-2008 is a searchable online database covering 88

Garle, H. E.. “Judicial Reform and the Egyptian Settlement.” RIIA/8/181. Chatham House, London. 28 Jan. 1932. Web access 3/10/18. Gale Document Number:
NWSXWZ987066976

years of the institute’s expert analysis and commentary on international policy. Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute based in London where world leaders and policy-makers are invited to discuss their views in an impartial environment. The online archive includes briefing papers, special reports, pamphlets, conference papers, monographs.

Additionally, the archive offers unique access to thousands of hours of audio recordings of Chatham House lectures and their fully searchable transcripts, offering valuable insight into the experiences and opinions of key figures in international affairs, including Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Willy Brandt, King Hussein of Jordan, François Mitterrand, Henry Kissinger, Prof. A.J. Toynbee, Chaim Weizmann, Dr. Andreas Papandreou, Caspar Weinberger, Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, HE Yousuf Al-Alawi Abdullah, Dr. Zhores Medvedev, and Hans Blix.

Political Extremism and Radicalism in the 20th Century is an online archive of briefing papers, reports, pamphlets and other publications from various Far-Right and Far-Left Political Groups in the US, Europe and Australia. Having this primary source material all together in one searchable database enables researchers to explore the origins and development of present-day issues, including the resurgence of right-wing politics, evolution of various civil rights movements and the nature of radical political thought.

Please send your feedback about these online archives to jo.gardner@bodleian.ox.ac.uk: Are they useful to you? Would you recommend them?  Do they offer you anything new? Would you use them for teaching at all?

New: Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection

I am delighted to announce that thanks to a generous donation, the Bodleian Libraries has been able to purchase Arcadian Library Online: History of Science and Medicine collection.

This online resource enables easy exploration of the rich holdings of the Arcadian Library. A privately-owned collection of rare ancient manuscripts, early printed books, and documents from the 10th to 20th centuries, the Arcadian Library collects the shared cultural heritage of Europe and the Middle East.

The first module of this online resource, the History of Science and Medicine collection, contains the contributions of early Arab and Persian scientists, doctors and thinkers; their translation, reception and influence in Europe and their lasting influence on the development of Western scientific and medical knowledge. It also brings together 19th and 20th century records of science, medicine and natural history from across the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions.

There are texts on

Content highlights include:

  • Ibn Baklarish’s Kitab al-Musta’ini – Book of simple medicines
  • Haly Abbas’s (Al Majūsī) seminal tenth century medical text Liber Totius Medicine Necessaria Continens
  • Liber de cirurgia by Albucasis (Al-Zahrawi) – a pivotal fifteenth century medical treatise detailing early Arab surgical practices and instruments
  • An early edition of Serapion the Younger’s book of medical botany, Liber aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus
  • Reports of European scientific explorations documenting the animals, plants and geology of countries including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria

I recommend browsing by period, place, people, topic, language and content type to get a sense of the scope of this curated collection.

The vast majority of the content comes from printed works and are in Latin. Texts are also in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Persian and Spanish. The medieval and early modern periods are particularly strong.

In due course the bibliographical details of each item in this collection will also be discoverable in SOLO.

Features include:

  • High-resolution, full-colour images (400ppi)
  • Searchable in either English or Arabic
  • Dedicated taxonomy enables filtered search by topic, place, period, people, language or content type
  • Commentary articles linked to primary texts
  • Full catalogue records include available provenance and condition notes
  • Integrated Arabic keyboard

British History Online and the Bibliography of British and Irish History – not just British

Read this great blogpost from the Institute of Historical Research on the global coverage of British History Online and the Bibliography of British and Irish History.

They are wonderful resources and easy to use. Take a look now!

From the titles of some of the IHR’s digital resources, you might think that they have limited geographical reach: British History Online…the Bibliography of British and Irish History. …

Source: British History Online and the Bibliography of British and Irish History – not just British

New: The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991

Cold War - Readex - frontpageThanks to colleagues in the Social Science Library, modern historians now have access to The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991.

This resource is a digital archive of international primary source documents on the Cold War, spanning five decades, and will be of interest to anyone researching 20th-century global studies.

Cold War - Readex - screenshot

The sources seem to be a selection of FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports) documents, i.e. these are CIA monitored, recorded, and translated coverage of the Cold War in foreign media and government publications. They covers newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, books, government reports, and more.

If you are looking for similar English-language Cold War sources, you might also be interested in…

The global reach of the Bibliography of British and Irish History

[re-blogged from http://blog.history.ac.uk/2016/07/the-global-reach-of-the-bibliography-of-british-and-irish-history/ with kind permission of Sara Charles, Editorial Assistant, Bibliography of British and Irish History.]

“For this blog post, we wanted to present the global scope of the Bibliography.  Despite being called the Bibliography of British and Irish History, material covering the rest of the world makes up a significant proportion of our resources. Using data visualization tools, we mapped the number of resources available onto a global frame using the figures from the latest update in June 2016 and the place names listed.

The expansion of the British Empire explains the large amount of resources concerning North America, the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, South Africa, but other less obvious areas also feature prominently. Russia has 2,257 resources, China has 1,674, and Japan 876.

As expected, European relations account for a large chunk of material, with France being the highest European candidate with 9,337 resources, followed by Germany (5,222), Italy (2,808), and Spain (2,384). Interestingly, these figures highlight the close links that Britain and Ireland have had with the continent, and shows that our political and cultural relationship with Europe has continuously shaped our nation, as part of a wider historical legacy.

The resources are as diverse thematically as they are geographically; a brief search on ‘Crete’ reveals not just a selection of resources on the World War II campaign such as The Ariadne objective : the underground war to rescue Crete from the Nazis, but The man who deciphered linear B : the story of Michael Ventrisand Did Greek wine became Port? Or why institutional interventions matter (c. 1350-1780), an article exploring Cretan wine in medieval England.

Even more intriguing are the countries who have merely one resource to their name, Belarus has scraped in with the cosily titled Prince Potemkin and the Benthams, Mali has one resource called Barrow’s Boysa book about exploration in the early nineteenth century, and Christmas Island gets some recognition in British imperialism and Australian mini-imperialism in the 1950s

The visual representations of our resources really highlights the global reach of the BBIH, please click on the interactive links above to explore the full range of material.

Sara Charles, Editorial Assistant, Bibliography of British and Irish History.


Bibliography of British and Irish History is available to all staff and students of Oxford University and readers registered with Bodleian Libraries. It can be access from SOLO and Databases A-Z.BBIH logo

Trial until 17 June: Missions and Missionaries Around the World, 1611 – 1922

I am pleased to announce a trial of Missions and Missionaries Around the World, 1611 – 1922 which is now available to Oxford users via SOLO or OxLIP+.

Offering more than 2,000 monographs, this resource features missionary outreach to countries including India, China, Guyana, Tahiti, and the Marquesas Islands.

Prominent authors include Morris Officer, Robert E. Speer, and Adrien Launay. Many Christian traditions are featured in the collection, including the Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Lutheran Church, and Orthodox Church.

The sources tell the stories of various Christian missions and missionaries throughout the world. It features foreign missions to over 50 countries and domestic missions within North America and Europe, with focus given to the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The interface will look familiar to those using Historical Abstracts. In fact, this resource is cross-searchable with other EBSCO databases, such as Historical Abstracts, America: History & Life and ATLA.

Missions and Missionaries Around the World 1611-1922

Once you have found a relevant citation and decide to look at the full-text, you can browse through the publication but also use the document map to locate the pages where your keyword is mentioned.

Missions and Missionaries Around the World 1611-1922 - page

Feedback to isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or hilla.wait@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

More titles on Cambridge Histories Online available: Cambridge World History and many more

CHO - WWII coverI’m pleased to report that Oxford readers can now access more titles in the online Cambridge Histories Online portal. The newly added ebooks of interest to historians are:

  • The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy (2 vols.)
  • The Cambridge History of Witchcraft and Magic in the West
  • The Cambridge History of the Second World War (3 vols.)
  • The Cambridge Economic History of Australia
  • The Cambridge History of Capitalism (2 vols.)
  • The Cambridge History of China, Volume 5 (part 2) & Volume 9 (part 2)
  • The Cambridge History of Scandinavia (to be complete in 2 vols.)
  • The Cambridge World History (to be complete in 9 vols.)

The catalogue records for these ebooks will appear in SOLO in due course. In the meantime you can find these by searching Cambridge Histories Online in SOLO.

New: International Historical Statistics 1750-2010

IHS coverLooking for online historical statistics? Oxford users now have online access to the electronic International Historical Statistics 1750-2010 via SOLO and OxLIP+.

The International Historical Statistics (IHS) series is a renowned and important resource providing access to statistics covering a wide range of socio-economic topics. It is a collection of data sets taken from hundreds of disparate primary sources, including both official national and international abstracts dating back to 1750. This edition provides updated statistics to 2010 – covering 260 years and cover Europe, The Americas, but also Africa, Asia and Oceania. There are vital statistics and statistics for population, labour force, agriculture, industry, external trade, transport and communications, finance, prices, education, and national accounts. Statistical analysis can be conducted across both time and geopolitical boundaries. Data tables can be downloaded as ePDFs and/or Excel files.

IHS snippet
The collection is an interdisciplinary resource. It will be of interest to academics, researchers and students in sociology, politics, history, economics, business, environment, international relations, geography and statistical studies.

Other online historical statistics resources:

If you are missing your favourite website for historical statistics, then let me know.

Trial until 11 February: Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange

Oxford users are now invited to trial Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange until 11 February.Global commodities - HOME

Global Commodities is an online resource useful for economic and trade history of covering the early modern period to 20th century . It is relevant for world history, economic and trade history, social history, discovery and exploration, history of consumption and life style, etc.

It includes wide-ranging sources:

  • Records of individual traders, showing patterns of consumption for a range of commodities over time.
  • Business Accounts and Records of both small and large companies from an early fur trapper to a major chocolate manufacturer.
  • Dock Accounts describing the development of a major port from 1755 to 1960.
  • Bills of Entry for major ports which show changing patterns of trade between 1820 and 1939.
  • 17th and 18th century Trade Returns and Prices Current for key markets.
  • Material on the discovery and exploitation of commodities in Asia, Africa and the Americas from 1492 to 2000.
  • Government records concerning taxation, economic development and colonial business schemes.
  • Exhibition Catalogues.
  • Statistical sources documenting world trade; and a vast range of visual material including advertising and packaging, photographs, paintings and prints.

For each commodity there is a vast array of historical material documenting their origins, transportation, consumption and impact on society. Also, each commodity is documented through a wide range of manuscript materials, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, ephemera, objects and rare books so that the student can explore the origins of the commodity, their first uses, the trade that developed and the ways in which these items were marketed.

The trial runs until 11 February. Please leave any comments on  History databases desiderata & trials or email Isabel Holowaty, History Librarian.