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!

WWI Centenary: Primary Resource Guide

Historians keen to explore locally held resources focused on the First World War may be interested to visit our LibGuide. The guide highlights key items centred on the British experience, many of which are held within the Bodleian collections. Resources showcased (both printed and electronic) are organised thematically, and include newspapers, diaries and journals, literature, music, cartoons and government reports. To access the LibGuide, please click on the image below:


New LibGuide: Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries

Newspapers are a wonderful source for historians. They are useful to find out about key events, people and places. They also include opinion pieces, of either writers, editors or members of the public in form of Letters to the Editor. All sorts of ephemera (weather forecasts, court circulars, advertising, sport results, etc.) give insight into daily life. Larger newspapers will also provide battle or war reports, law or court reports and parliamentary reports, including occasional reproductions of full-text speeches.

Finding and using newspapers effectively, however, and navigating your way through large newspaper datasets can be tricky. Help is now at hand!

A new LibGuide Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries aims to outline which newspaper and news resources, with the emphasis on online availability, are available in Oxford. While we aim to be global in our coverage, some countries or regions will have more newspaper resources than others. We have included all of Oxford’s online subscriptions, covering the 17th to the 21st centuries, and, where possible, provided details of many newspapers on microfilms, print or free on the web. Please note, therefore, that this guide is not a complete catalogue of Oxford’s newspapers.

You can browse by country/ region or by title.

The guide also alerts you to common problems and gives tips how you best construct your searches. For instance, you need to consider in which section of a newspaper you are searching and be careful what search terms to use, especially when searching full-text.

The layout of articles or advertising may also be relevant. Unfortunately many modern newspaper collections have not retained the original formatting. We provide guidance where this is the case:

Finally, we have added resources to help understand newspapers as source materials and suggested further readings.

We hope this guide will be useful to researchers. Feedback is welcome, so email if you have any comments, questions or suggestions on historical newspaper resources.

Also useful

More blog posts on newspapers

Who’s who of Humanities Subject Librarians

Can’t remember which Oxford librarian covers Celtic? Wondering about Women’s Studies, Palaeography or History of the Book? And who provides research support for which East European country? The Humanities Libraries’ LibGuide ( will tell you.

Bodleian Humanities Libraries serves the largest concentration of Humanities scholars in the world with a wide range of academic interests. At a single glance, researchers, locally or from abroad, can find information on the extensive collections and research support available in Oxford – and who to ask for further advice.

The site provides links to subject guides for 43 individual Humanities subjects, ranging from African Studies to Women’s Studies. These subject guides outline what printed, archival and electronic resources are available to researchers and how they can be accessed. You can also use the LibGuide to find the contact details of any one of our 37 subject specialists.

To assist in the use of the libraries, collections and services, the site also provides links to guidance and research support in areas such as Open Access, Digital Scholarship, Research Data Management, etc. Over time, more information regarding Digital Humanities endeavours will be added.

James Legg, Head of Bodleian Humanities Libraries, Sackler Librarian, Taylor Librarian

New LibGuide: German archives: a guide to discovering and using them

Students and researchers intending to use archives in Germany might find the new German archives: a guide to discovering and using them useful.

LibGuide - German archivesCreated by Ms Ulrike Kändler as part of her internship at the Bodleian Library, August 2014, the guide is designed to help you finding your way through German archives and to enable you identifying exactly what you need for your research – quick and easy! There are more than 3.600 archives offering their holdings and services in Germany so it can be daunting to know where to start.

The guide comes in three main sections:

  • Get Ready
    You are planning a research trip to Germany? Or you are for the first time ever on your way into an archive? Here you will find everything you need to know to make the most of your trip
  • Discover German Archives
    Which archives should you visit? Here you will find a short introduction on the various types of German archives as well as links to a number of the more important ones.
  • Find it
    Here you are introduced to some different search tools: Regional gateways to search by region and identify smaller archives or meta/search engines such as Kalliope.

The many archives are usefully indexed by broad subject areas as follows:LibGuide - German Archives - Bundesarchiv

  • State Archives
  • Municipal and local archives
  • Church archives
  • Literary archives
  • Economic archives
  • Political Archives
  • Media archives
  • University archives
  • Movement archives

Do you know your Ablieferungsliste from your Zugang?

A glossary will help you understand specialists terms you are likely to encounter and enable you to communicate with German archives more effectively.

Help, I can’t read the script!

The guide also includes links to script tutorials and useful transliteration resources.


I am very grateful to Ms Ulrike Kändler. Without her incredibly hard work, dedication and expertise this guide would not exist. Her short period in Oxford leaves a legacy from which Oxford researchers can benefit from for a long time to come.

New LibGuide: History collections on open-shelves in the Old Bodleian, Radcliffe Camera and Weston Library

Looking for the VCH, HMC Reports or Camden Society publications in the Bodleian?

These “big” series of printed sources are sometimes difficult to find in library catalogues. Use this new guide History collections on open-shelves in the Old Bodleian, Radcliffe Camera and Weston Library to find them on the open-shelves in the Bodleian Library and Weston Library

LibGuide - Open shelf history collections in Bodleian - screenshotAn topic index directs you to the most relevant reading room. Most major named series are listed. Where possible, I have also indicated where there is access to digital version.

LibGuide - Open shelf history collections in Bodleian - VHC screenshotIf you have any feedback on the guide or suggestions for it, then I would be pleased to hear back from you. Email me!

Looking for more guides? There are lots of other LibGuides for Historians.


Knowing your EBL from your ebrary: guide to ebooks

EBL, Ebrary and EBSCOhost e-books logos

Are you struggling to find our ebooks in SOLO? Do you want to learn how best to use ebooks?

Read here about LibGuide on Ebooks, which ebook collections are available and where you can sign up for eBooks courses.

Bodleian Libraries provide access to thousands of online books across many subjects. We have subscriptions to modern monographs as well as early printed books.

> Overview of ebook collections in Oxford.

To help our readers find the ebooks and make best of them, a new LibGuide on eBooks has now been published at

Use the guide to learn more about:

  • the different ebook providers and how their “loan” policies differ.
  • which devices are compatible with different formats. This is useful if you are thinking of buying an ebook reader.

ebook LibGuide screenshotMultidisciplinary ebook packages

eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – Currently Oxford Libraries have over 2100 purchased e-books across all subjects (‘Our Collection’) plus more than 3000 free e-books.
Access to each e-book is normally limited to two simultaneous users.

E Book Library (EBL) – a growing collection of e-books from major academic publishers worldwide in humanities, science and medicine and social studies. The collection also provides 5 minutes free browse to over 200,000 “non-owned” books in the collection, with the option to send purchase requests to library staff.

Ebrary Academic Complete – a collection of around 110,000 e-books from over 500 academic publishers. University members may also download books for 14 day loans (loan limit of 10).

University Press Scholarship Online – 16,000+ titles in 28 subject areas, from Oxford and 17 other leading scholarly presses, e.g. British Academy, Chicago UP, Edinburgh UP, Liverpool UP, Stanford UP, Yale UP, University of California UP, etc.


Early printed books

Free online books

Google Books Millions of books digitised by Google.  Many only available in Snippet View. Be careful you know what exactly you are looking at. Describing multivolume works or different editions is not Google’s strength.

Internet Archive  ( Giant digital library of 1.8 million texts. Excellent also for digitised European books, esp. of the 19th century.

Project Gutenberg “Download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone or other device. Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free ebooks.”

Need more help? Sign up for the Bodleian iSkills course on ebooks

iSkills: e-Books

Date: 21 Nov (wk 6), 9:15-10:30

An overview of academic e-books looking at what is currently available in e-format, how to find and access e-books and how to make the most of e-book functionality. Who is this session for? All members of Oxford University and other Bodleian Libraries readers. Book now.

Location: IT Services Help Centre, 13 Banbury Road
Presenter: Hilla Wait, Jo Gardner

iSkills: e-Book Readers

Date: 21 Nov (wk 6), 10:45-12:15

How useful are e-book readers in academic work? Can they be used for accessing library materials? What are the features to look out for when considering purchase? These and similar questions will be considered with reference to the i-Pad, the Amazon Kindle and Sony Touch e-readers and smart phones. Who is this session for? All members of Oxford University and other Bodleian Libraries readers. Book now.

Location: IT Services Help Centre, 13 Banbury Road
Presenters: Hilla Wait, Ian Chilvers

New LibGuide: World War One Primary Resources

Readers are alerted to a newly created LibGuide, which seeks to highlight a range of primary resources pertinent to the British experience of WWI, pointing users towards key libraries, archives and databases. The resources featured, both printed and electronic, are organised thematically, with a variety of topics covered and a series of illustrative examples provided. Multiple source types are explored, including: maps, official papers, newspapers, diaries and journals, literature, music, posters, cartoons and government reports, many of which have been digitised. Attention has also been drawn to resources available locally, including several which are held within the Bodleian collections.


New online guide to oral history resources

Interested in oral history? Visit our new online guide to oral history resources at

This newly launched LibGuide provides an introduction to the subject and acts as a portal to oral history resources available online.

Browse by topic, location or date

Browse by topic, location or date

The introductory pages provide links to advice on the use and conduct of oral history.  They also highlight some key resources for beginning your research in the field and for staying up-to-date with new developments.

At the centrepiece of the guide is an extensive set of links to over 150 British and Irish oral history resources available online, both through dedicated oral history project websites and digitised archival holdings.  The resources are each accompanied by a summary description of their subject and content, and can be browsed by title, decade, location or topic.

The resources featured are extremely wide-ranging, from a collection of interviews with British diplomats (BDOHP), to a record of  post-war British theatre, a study of migration in Ulster during the 1970s (VMR), and an exploration of the former jobbing system of the London Stock Exchange.

All the websites featured in the LibGuide have also been added to the Bodleian History Faculty Library’s Delicious page and are fully searchable by keyword.

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