New: The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas

Our wonderful colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have also arranged permanent access to the eresource collection The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas.

They write:

“We’re delighted that once again thanks to a generous donation, we now have access to another new eresource collection: The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas.

Part of the Cengage Archives Unbound platform, this collection contains records and papers from the US National Archives and US State Department. The bulk of these date from 1812-1814 and include letters of marque to private vessels engaged in the conflict, passenger lists, passport records, and correspondence relating to prisoners of war.

Access is available via SOLO or Databases A-Z. University members can use single sign-on for remote access.”

New: The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783 – Congressional Hearings 1824-1979

Our colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have arranged permanent access to the online The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783. 

They write:

“We are delighted to announce that thanks to generous donations, the Bodleian Libraries now have access to the following new eresources for American history:

The American Revolution from a British Perspective, 1763-1783

A collection of pamphlets published in Britain between 1763 and 1783 relating to American affairs and providing a British perspective on the American Revolution.

Congressional Hearings, 1824-1979 (ProQuest Congressional)

Includes the full text of published committee hearings from the US Congress from 1824-1979. Published hearings are the official record of committee hearings proceedings held to enable committees to gather opinions and information to help Members make decisions regarding proposed legislation or to help them fulfill their oversight and investigation responsibilities. Official hearings publications may include: written and oral statements of witnesses, transcripts of question-and-answer sessions, reports and other materials submitted for the record, and correspondence and other materials submitted by interested parties.”

The collections may be accessed via SOLO or our new Databases A-Z listing; University members can use single sign-on for remote access.”

New: Country Life Archive (1897-2005) & Country Life Picture Library


Front page. (1969, May 29). Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), ProQuest, accessed 21 Sept. 2016

I am pleased to report that Oxford historians now have access to Country Life Archive, covering 1897 to 2005.

Country Life is a well-known weekly British culture and lifestyle magazine, founded in 1897 by Edward Hudson, friend of Gertrude Jekyll and patron of Edwin Lutyens.

It focuses on fine art and architecture, the great country houses and their interiors, church and historic buildings, landscapes, rural living and leisure pursuits such as antique collecting, farming, hunting, shooting, horse riding and gardening.


Country Life (1941, Jan 18). Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), ProQuest.

The magazine also reported on national events, governmental policy relating to agricultural affairs as well as society affairs of rural gentry.

Country Life is rich in advertising of, for instance, properties and as such is a valuable source in retracing the history of houses as well as finding images of them. Other advertising includes services and equipment needed for country living.

A highly visual resource, every page is full-text searchable, and reproduced in high-resolution and full colour.

The advanced search functionality includes the ability to search for specific images such as photos of interiors and exteriors or architectural drawings / plans.


K L G. (1941, Jan 18). Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), ProQuest, accessed 21 Sept. 2016

Country Life Picture Library contains images of country houses and gardens, interiors and architectural details, historic buildings and churches from the photo-archive of Country Life magazine. All images reference the original Country Life articles for which they were commissioned. Please note that images themselves can only be used upon registration, ordering and payment.

Both the Country Life Archive and Country Life Picture Library are now available on Databases A-Z to our readers. It will be added to SOLO shortly.

EPPI and BOPCRIS*: What happened next?

[Re-blogged from]

“The Hartley Library at the University of Southampton has an extensive collection of printed British official publications, known as the Ford Collection.  The collection is named after the late Professor Percy Ford and his wife Dr Grace Ford who brought the initial collection, which we continue to build, to the University of Southampton in the 1950s.  The Fords compiled ‘breviates’ or ‘select lists’ of official publications, in seven volumes covering the years 1833 – 1983.   Their work was the impetus behind our later activities when technology and external funding enabled us to work collaboratively with other libraries  in order to provide a selection of full-text digitised British official publications, free for all to use.  Sadly, storage and delivery of such an immense amount of data is not without costs and we had to abandon our web services, EPPI and BOPCRIS, but we have worked to find ways to continue free access to the documents.

We are now moving the materials to Internet Archive.  We have established two subsets,  ‘British Parliamentary Publications’  and ‘British non-Parliamentary Publications’ .  These hold previously digitised EPPI and BOPCRIS papers, with some additional non-Parliamentary publications which have been scanned by the in-house Hartley Library Digitisation Unit (LDU).  In total, there are about 16,000 documents, including the full EPPI collection which comprises 13,700 documents.  Other highlights include some very hard-to-find older departmental publications, e.g. a 1991 consultation on aircraft noise, .  Our current hope is to continue adding more non-Parliamentary materials from our collection, as we are aware that this is the area of least on-line provision.

We chose Internet Archive for many reasons, but here are just two.  For researchers, it is now a well-known source and is free for all to use.  For libraries wishing to share their open access digital collections, it offers a free and sustainable delivery mechanism.

An article with more detail has been submitted to Refer, the journal of the Information Services Group of CILIP.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact the University of Southampton Library Digitisation Unit by e-mail, 

* EPPI: Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland, 1801–1922  and BOPCRIS: British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service

EPPI can also be accessed at:

Joy Caisley
Law and Politics Librarian, Hartley Library, University of Southampton”

Bookmarked on HFL Diigo:

The ‘British Parliamentary Publications’  and ‘British non-Parliamentary Publications’ collections in the Internet Archive are now bookmarked on HFL Diigo.

Trial until 24 Oct: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Oxford users are now invited to trial Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War which is now available via OxLIP+ and SOLO.

This resouTrench journal trial - logorce provides online access to digitised rare magazines published by service personnel of the First World War. Published by every type of military and support service unit, from every involved nation, trench journals were a means of expression through which men and women engaged in all aspects of World War I could share their thoughts and experiences.

It will be useful to those researching literature, history, war studies, cultural studies, and gender studies of the First World War period. The sources include over 1,500 periodicals, drawn from the holdings of major libraries and research collections, including the Imperial War Museums and the British Library.

While the majority of the magazines are English, the collection includes 188 French magazines, 182 German magazines, 10 Italian magazines, etc. In term of geographical spread, most Unit magazines comes from the Western Front and Great Britain, but there are some from Egypt, India, the Eastern Front, Gallipoli‎, etc.

The Illustrated War News 93 p7 May 1918 - Army Music at Kneller Hall School (Proquest: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War)

The Illustrated War News 93 p7 May 1918 – Army Music at Kneller Hall School (Proquest: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War)

You can search for publications by Unit names, Unit types or Unit locations. In Advanced Search you can also limit your search to types of content, such as cartoons, editorials, poem and drama, but also statistics, photographs, musical scores, etc.

Please leave feedback at History databases desiderata & trials or email

Trial until 14 May: 19th Century British Newspapers Parts III and IV

The Bodleian Libraries is now running a trial for 19th Century British Newspapers Parts III and IV [now known as British Library Newspapers, Parts III and IV] Access is via OxLIP+.

BNCN_bannerrightFollowing on from the existing subscription to 19th Century British Newspapers, this trial provides access to new content which private subscribers to the British Newspaper Archive can already access.

Parts III and IV, covering 1750-1950, further extends the range of English regional newspapers and expands the views represented in the series. Examples of new additions cover all areas of Britain and include, for instance, The Cornishman 1878-1950, Norfolk Chronicle, 1776-1867, Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 1749-1950, Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1855-1904, etc.

Newspapers are a fascinating source material, providing both news and views and a running commentary of many aspects of our society.

BNA 3 & 4 trial - search examplePlease send feedback to Isabel Holowaty or leave a comment at History databases desiderata & trials by 14 May 2015.

Catalogue of the papers of Harold Macmillan, 1889-1987 – now online

Harold_Macmillan_number_10_officialYou’ve never had it so good.

The catalogue of Harold Macmillan’s papers, held in Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, now online.

Previously there was only a typescript catalogue.

Please note that there are strict access conditions but they are available for research.

Undergraduates can use the Bodleian’s Special Collections but will need to register first.

> Catalogue of the papers of Harold Macmillan, 1889-1987

Macmillan online catalogue

Overview of his papers:

A    Diaries, 1915-1986

B    Constituencey papers, 1924-1986

C    Ministerial and Prime Ministerial papers, 1940-1963

D    Political papers, 1924-1986

E    General correspondence, 1912-1986

F    Miscellaneous papers, arranged by subject, 1916-1987

G    Speeches, 1925-1986

H    Interviews and broadcasts, 1942-1985

I    Memoirs and literary papers, 1918-1986

J    Printed material

K    Photographs, 1889-1984

L    Press cuttings, 1950-1984

M    Audiovisual material, 1949-1987 and n.d.

Related resource:

Macmillan Cabinet Papers 1957-63 [Oxford subscription]

Macmillan Online offers direct access to documents from the highest level of Government during the Macmillan Administration. Topics covered include the Berlin Crisis, 1958-1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, the Commonwealth Immigration Act, 1962, and the Profumo Scandal, June 1963. With some 30,000 images of original documents, taken from CAB 128 and CAB 129 as well as selected files from PREM 11 and CAB 124, this project is as important a source for world history as it is for British politics.

Trial until 12 October: Daily Mail Historical Archive, 1896-2004

Oxford users are now invited to trial Daily Mail Historical Archive, 1896-2004.

The Daily Mail is a well-known British daily tabloid which was first published on 4 May 1896 by Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, later Lord Northcliffe, and his brother Harold, later Lord Rothermere. This resource provides access to more than 100 years of this publication, which boasts a circulation now of over 2 million.

It can be viewed in full digital facsimile form, with copious advertisements, news stories and images that capture 20th century culture and society.

Let us know what you think!

Comments can be left on the History databases desiderata site or sent to by 12 October when the trial ends.

Newspapers, newspapers, newspapers

The online historical archive of the Daily Mirror, another tabloid, is already available to Oxford users.

Check what other historical newspapers are available online in Oxford.

Newly bookmarked: Richard Heaton’s Index to Digitalised British and Irish Newspapers Online Beta

This beta site, last updated on 25 August 2013, looks very useful indeed to those working with 19th and 20th century British and Irish newspaper sources. It has now been bookmarked on HFL Delicious along with many other newspaper resources.

Richard Heaton’s Index to Digitalised British and Irish Newspapers Online (Beta)

The website is a list of all the titles in all of the Digitalised Online British and Irish Newspapers that Richard Heaton, a researcher, is aware of and which, he says “may be a helpful guide to identify whether a title is available online and, if so, what dates could be available and where you can locate it based on the data provided by the various sites (see link below). The Lists are split England (excluding London), London (which splits between Local newspapers and National Titles), Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man. They are sorted by County and then Town except London (which being a very large file) which I have chosen to sort by title (which means titles from the 17th Century could be next to those for the 20th Century).”

Local London newspapers, from Richard Heaton's Index to British and Irish newspapers.

Local London newspapers, from Richard Heaton’s Index to British and Irish newspapers.

Related links:

More HFL blog posts on historical newspapers

Start searching in:

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (Oxford users)

19th Century British Library Newspapers (Oxford users)

Times Digital Archive (1785-2007) (Oxford users)

Guardian (1821-2003) / Observer (1791-2003) (Oxford users)

Illustrated London News Historical Archive (1842-2003) (Oxford users)

Daily Mirror (1903- ) (Oxford users)

British Newspaper Archive

Welsh Newspapers Online (1844-1910)

Scotsman (1817-1950) (Oxford users)

Irish Times (1859-2011) / Weekly Irish Times (1876-1958) (Oxford users)

Irish Newspaper Archives (INA) (1738- ) (Oxford users) freely available in Oxford Central Library

If any Oxford historians would like free access to, then you might like to know that the Oxford Central Library, nr Westgate Centre, provides access to Ancestry Library Edition – as do many other public libraries across the UK.

The Family and Local History section on the top level of the Central Library has 4-5 PCs where you can access Ancestry Library Edition. Please note that you can’t open an Ancestry personal account for the purposes of creating family trees. You can print from a PC or save to memory stick. is particularly useful for family and genealogical research, esp. British, North American and Australian. You can trace a family tree using the largest site online including the UK Census from 1841; birth, marriage and death records; parish and probate records. Here is a listing topics and sources:

Birth, Marriage & Death
Birth, Baptism & Christening
Marriage & Divorce
Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries

Census & Voter Lists
UK Census Collection
U.S. Federal Census Collection
Canadian Census Collection

Immigration & Travel
Passenger Lists
Citizenship & Naturalization Records
Border Crossings & Passports

Draft, Enlistment and Service
Soldier, Veteran & Prisoner Rolls & Lists

Schools, Directories & Church Histories
City & Area Directories
Professional & Organizational Directories
Church Histories & Records

Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills
Land Records
Tax Lists
Court, Governmental & Criminal Records

Other useful resources


Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites

Medieval English Genealogy

Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz

Genealogische Datenbank Familie Beuss

and more from HFL Delicious: census websites, genealogy websites. If you want to make suggestions of other genealogy or census websites for bookmarking, please email Isabel Holowaty.