Bye-bye COPAC, hello Library Hub Discover – search UK and Irish libraries

A generation of researchers and librarians will have grown up with COPAC (Consortium of Online Public Access Catalogues), the union catalogue for research libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Today (31 July 2019), COPAC was retired and replaced by JISC Library Hub Discover ( Time to update those bookmarks!

Library Hub Discover currently contains over 39 million records contributed by 110 institutions across the UK and Ireland. The holdings will include books, journal titles, grey literature, etc. but also maps which you can locate using Advanced Search.

Library Hub Discover is a great resource to discover rare and specialist material tucked away in other libraries or to find out what is available in a library near you.

Contributing libraries include national libraries (e.g. British Library, National Library of Scotland, etc.), Higher Education libraries and some specialist libraries (e.g. Historic England Library, National Gallery Library, National Portrait Gallery Library, National Trust Libraries, Royal Asiatic Society, Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal Society Library, Science Museum Library, The National Archives Library, V&A Libraries, Wellcome Library and many more).

While you are here…

… have you considered using WorldCat, a major union catalogue for US libraries? Excellent to just find out whether something actually exists. Access our subscription (better) version or the free version.

… do you know about the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog, a huge union catalogue based in Germany? Excellent of course for German-speaking countries, but you can also, in a single search, locate collections in worldwide library or library-consortia catalogues.

New Bodleian History Books: March 2019 – Ireland

In honour of St Patrick’s Day celebrated not two weeks ago, I would like to use this March edition of the New Bodleian History Books blog to showcase a number of studies on Ireland and Irish history newly arrived at the library this month.

The history of the island of Ireland is a long one, from the first evidence of human habitation 12,500 years ago through the Christianisation period and St Patrick’s work on the island in the 5th century; the Viking presence from the raids in the 8th century to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014; the Norman invasion in 1169; the conquests, rebellions and religious conflicts in the early modern period; the Battle of the Boyne in 1690; the union with Great Britain in 1801; the great Famine in the mid-19th century; the Home Rule, Easter Rising and Irish War of Independence in the early 20th century; the Troubles in the late 1960s and Bloody Sunday; the Good Friday Agreement; all the way to the threat of a hard border in Ireland and the role of the DUP in Britain’s Brexit negotiations today.

Rather than attempting to provide anything like a comprehensive overview of any of these eventful eras, most of the books on Irish history that have arrived in the Bodleian this month can be seen as presenting a variety of interesting snapshots of Ireland’s long history, and its societies and cultures.

The Great Famine

This year marks the sesquicentenary of the end of the Great Irish Famine (1845-49), and two of the volumes deal with this watershed event in the history of Ireland: The Great Irish Famine and Social Class looks at the impact of the catastrophe on Ireland’s economy (including its relations with Britain) and investigates topics such as the suffering of the rural classes, landlord-tenant and class relations, Poor Laws, and relief operations during the food crisis. A rather different approach is taken by Niamh Ann Kelly in Imaging the Great Irish Famine, which examines commemorative visual culture – memorial images, objects and locations – from that period to the early twenty-first century, linking these artefacts of historical trauma and enforced migration to the ongoing dispossession of people across the world who are driven out of their homes and countries on a wave of conflict, poverty and famine.

The Irish Abroad

Voluntary rather than enforced emigration and travel by Irish nationals is thematised in two other new studies. In Medieval Irish Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela Bernadette Cunningham traces the long connection between Ireland and the shrine of St James in Galicia, and tells the stories of some of the men and women who undertook the hazardous journey by land and sea between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, drawing on sources from official documents, historical chronicles, literary texts and saints’ Lives to archaeological finds to look at the varied influences on and motivations of these pilgrims. The story of a group of 1,300 young Irish men who travelled across Europe several centuries later to defend Pope Pius IX’s Papal States on the Italian Peninsula is told by Donal P. Corcoran in The Irish Brigade in the Pope’s army 1860. The volume looks at the battles in which the Irish fought and died for the pope at Perugia, Spoleto, Castelfidardo and Ancona, as well as their imprisonment at Genoa after the defeat of the pope’s forces, and their heroes’ welcome when they were finally allowed to journey home to Ireland.

Irish Local History

Charting the history of the diocese of Derry is Ciarán Devlin’s The Making of Medieval Derry; originally published in 2013 it is out in a new paperback edition made greatly accessible through a number of new indices. Devlin’s history of Derry is a tale of saints and sinners, of churchmen and warlords, of scholars and craftsmen, of Derry itself as sacred city, as frontier citadel, as royal capital and episcopal see. Also looking back at local history is John O’Callaghan in his volume on the role of Limerick as a key social, political and military battleground during the Irish revolution, Limerick: The Irish revolution, 1912-23. This is only one of so far eight similar volumes on these eventful years published by Four Courts Press which draw on a wide array of contemporary sources to try and draw a realistic picture of the lives of local people in Mayo, Louth, Derry, Monaghan. Waterford, Tyrone and Sligo as well as in Limerick during this time.

Residing in Ireland

The long and varied relationship between religion and landscape in Ireland during the dawn of Christianity, the Middle Ages and the post-medieval era is discussed in Church and Settlement in Ireland, with twelve individual essays on how, over the centuries, the church formed a core component of settlement and played a significant role in the creation of distinct cultural landscapes in Ireland. For the 20th century, Emer Crooke takes a look the same topic of residence and buildings on the island with his book White Elephants, which discusses the country house and the state in post-independence Ireland from 1922 to 1973. Not regarded as an integral part of the national heritage, but rather symbols of British oppression, hundreds of former landlords’ residences were sold on, demolished or simply abandoned to ruin in these decades, with politicians torn between conserving them, or burying them and the past they represented.

 Ireland in the Press

Finally, historians and journalists celebrate the character, role, culture and history of the Irish Sunday newspaper over the course of the last century in The Sunday papers: a history of Ireland’s weekly press, with chapters, with individual chapters each examining a particular paper, from long-running, prestigious publications like the Sunday Independent or the Sunday Times to papers such as the Sunday Freeman which only ran in the years 1913–16. The chapters examine the Ireland in which these papers first appeared, their origins, proprietors, editors, journalists and contributors, their major stories and controversies, business dynamic, circulation and readership, and assess their overall contribution to Irish journalism, society and culture.

You can find all our books tagged with “Ireland” on LibraryThing here.

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.

Full electronic access to Irish Historical Studies: 1, 1938- current

IHS coverI am pleased to report that Oxford users now have full electronic access to the most important scholarly history journal for Irish studies, Irish Historical Studies (IHS), starting with v. 1 (1938) and going right up to the most recently published issue. Access is via SOLO and OU eJournals.

As a consequence of CUP taking over publication of this journal in 2015, electronic access picks up (v. 37, 2010) where JSTOR stops  (v. 36, 2009).

Regular Cambridge Journals Online users will therefore benefit from other CJO services, e.g. set up issue and article alerts, cross-searching with other CUP journals, etc.

Founded in 1938, the IHS “is the joint journal of the Irish Historical Society and the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies and is the authoritative voice in Irish history. It publishes articles embodying original research on Irish history; articles on the scope and teaching of Irish history; select documents, with editorial comment; select and critical bibliographies; guides to sources; as well as review articles and short reviews of selected works resulting from research into Irish history.” Cambridge Journals Online.

New: Chronicle: BBC Northern Ireland’s Television News from the 60s and 70s

Chronicle - logoOxford users now have access to Chronicle: BBC Northern Ireland’s Television News from the 60s and 70s.

The Chronicle project provides members of UK Higher and Further educational establishments with access to digitised copies of news and current affairs material covering Northern Ireland and The Troubles, along with web-based tools allowing it to be searched, viewed and annotated. It contains material digitally transferred from the BBC NI news archive between 1963-1975.

Example: Gerry Adams was released by the Northern Ireland police on 4 May 2014 following interrogation of the disappearance and murder of Jean McConville. In the Chronicle you can view the interview by Graham Leach with her children which was screened in Scene Around Six on 17 January 1973:

Chronicle - example

Any notable events or broadcasts missing from this period have either not yet been digitised or are absent from the original film collection, or may not have been recorded by BBC NI at the time. (Material not originally broadcast may occasionally be included.) Chronicle is delivered through a partnership between the JISC-funded Strategic Content Alliance, the British University Film and Video Council (BUFVC) and the BBC.


This resource is listed in OxLIP+. Access to Chronicle is available to Higher and Further educational establishments in the United Kingdom only; use of material is allowed for personal non-commercial educational purposes only (ie for the purpose of education and teaching, distance learning,
private study and/or research). Commercial use is strictly excluded. Further details of terms and conditions of use can be found here.

In the Where Are You from box select University of Oxford, login using SSO and choose New User. Enter your e-mail address and save.

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)

New: Irish Newspaper Archives (1738-)

Oxford users now have access to Irish Newspaper Archives (INA) covering 1738 to current. Bodleian Libraries is very pleased to be able to offer this much sought-after resource to its readers.

INA provides access to over the archive of over 23 Irish national and regional newspapers. It includes for instance Irish Independent (1905-2001), Leitrim Observer (1904-1998), The Munster Express (1908-2004) but also historic newspapers such as the Freeman’s Journal (1763-1924), Nation (1840-1900) and Leinster Journal (1767-1828).

INA 1914 snippet

Irish Independent, Thurs 3 Dec 1914

It is very useful not just for Irish history, literature and language, sociology and culture in general, but also for those working on British and American studies.

Happy searching! Access is via SOLO and Databases A-Z.

Related links & more Irish resources

History Database of the Month: ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Our database of the month for April is ProQuest Historical Newspapers.


Historical Newspapers offer full text searching and access to the archives of some key British, Irish, Indian and US newspapers, incl. a selection of black newspapers,  from the 1800s to the 2000s:


A search result from The Scotsman

  • The Guardian 1821-2003
  • The Observer 1791-2009
  • The Times of India 1838-2002
  • The Irish Times 1859-2010
  • The Weekly Irish Times 1867-1958
  • The Scotsman 1817-1950
  • The Chicago Defender 1910-1975
  • The New York Amsterdam News 1922-1993
  • The New York Times 1851-2009
  • The Pittsburgh Courier 1911-2002
  • The Washington Post 1877-1996

The archive offers access to primary source material with full text search and also the original print layout of the article so that you can see the context of the article within that edition of the newspaper.

Advanced search tools allow cross-searching with other ProQuest databases (e.g. Dissertations and Theses) and also narrowing results to specific dates, publications and types of newspaper article. Results can be limited to images or editorial content and advertising and obituaries can also be searched.

How can I access it?
University of Oxford members can access this subscription resource on and off campus via OxLIP+. Remember to sign on to OxLIP+ with your Single Sign-On (SSO) when accessing the database off-campus.

Database of the month display in the Upper Camera

Database of the month display in the Upper Camera

Other newspaper archives online

Great Britain and Ireland:



Related Links OxLIP+ | Guide to using OxLIP+ | Bookmarked websites for newspapers (HFL Delicious) | Primary Sources Online Guide for Historians (PDF)  | Modern History Sources Guide (PDF)Contact the History Librarian

Trial until 14 March: Irish Newspaper Archives

UPDATE 8 /3/13: The trial has been extended to 14 March 2013.

Oxford users are invited to trial the Irish Newspaper Archives.

Irish Newspaper Archives INA provides access to over the archive of over 23 Irish national and regional newspapers. It includes for instance Irish Independent (1905-2001), Leitrim Observer (1904-1998) and The Munster Express (1908-2004) but also historic newspapers such as the Freeman’s Journal (1763-1924), Nation (1840-1900) and Leinster Journal (1767-1828).

Content (title, date coverage, location):

  • Freeman’s Journal    03/01/1763 – 19/12/1924    National
  • Irish Farmer’s Journal    16/03/1957 – 26/12/1998    National
  • Irish Independent    02/01/1905 – 31/12/2001    National
  • Sunday Independent    07/01/1906 – 29/12/2002    National
  • Irish Press    05/09/1931 – 25/05/1995    National (Online Sept 2010)
  • Anglo-Celt    06/02/1846 – Current    Cavan
  • Connacht Sentinel    02/08/1927 – Current    Galway
  • Connacht Tribune    22/05/1909 – Current    Galway
  • Connaught Telegraph     02/01/1975 – Current    Mayo
  • Donegal News    12/01/1980 – 14/12/2001    Donegal
  • Finn’s Leinster Journal    01/04/1792 – 31/12/1828    Kilkenny
  • Galway City Tribune    07/09/1984 – Current    Galway
  • Kerryman    07/01/1950 – Current    Kerry
  • Leitrim Observer    02/01/1904 – 30/12/1998    Leitrim
  • Meath Chronicle    01/05/1897 – Current    Meath
  • Munster Express    04/01/1908 – Current    Waterford
  • Nation – The    15/10/1842 – 05/06/1897    Dublin
  • Nenagh Guardian    21/07/1838 – Current    Tipperary
  • Southern Star    13/02/1892 – Current    Cork
  • Tuam Herald    13/05/1837 – 30/12/2000    Galway
  • Westmeath Examiner    28/09/1882 – Current    Westmeath

The trial has been extended to 14 March 2013.

Please send feedback to or or leave comments here.

New: Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO)

Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) provides a large and growing resource of essential medieval and early modern sources online. It is an excellent way to access a large library of books essential to the study of medieval and early modern England, Scotland and Ireland. It includes selections of annals and chronicles, calendars and registers, saints’ lives, Rolls’ Series and HMC reports and Statutes of the Realm.

MEMSO is now available from OxLIP+ to Oxford users.