Trials until 13 February: ‘Public petitions 1813-1918’ and ‘House of Lords Papers 1800-1910’

Colleagues in Official Papers, Bodleian Law Library, have organised two trials which may be of interest to historians and are now available via the UK Parliamentary Papers (UKPP) database in SOLO. Please send feedback to Hannah Chandler by 13 February when the trials end.

Trial 1: Public petitions, 1833-1918

Trial 2: new content added to the existing House of Lords material ‘House of Lords papers 1800-1910’. Please note we have access to House of Lords papers from 1900 to the present via Public Information Online.

To search in either of these trials, use the Advanced Search in UKPP.

Learn about UKPP and sign up for the Bodleian iSkills UK Parliamentary and Government materials – an introduction, Wed 23. Jan. @ 10-11.30am.

Public petitions, 1833-1918

Public Petitions to Parliament, 1833-1918 is an online module of Parliamentary Papers covering the records of the Select Committee on Public Petitions, 1833-1918. It includes individually rekeyed metadata records for every one of the >900,000 petitions accepted by Parliament and includes the full text of each petition that the Committee transcribed. Integrated fully with U.K. Parliamentary Papers, this collection shows how “the people” during the 19th C influenced Parliament on political, ecclesiastical, colonial, taxation, and many other topics relevant to the study of Britain and the British Empire within a range of different disciplines within the historical and social studies.

Petitioning was by far the most popular form of political participation, but it has long been overlooked by historians and social scientists preoccupied with elections and election rituals, campaigns to extend the right to vote, and the rise of national political parties.  Utility of public petitions can be used to study the groundswell of public pressure for the expansion of the voting franchise and also to see  the views and priorities of both the populace and Parliament. How Parliament addresses the petition, or doesn’t address it, is a stark indicator of political and social priorities.

Containing petitions on ecclesiastical issues, crime and criminals, colonies, taxation, education, and on every other issue of interest to the populace of Britain, this project appeals to all social, cultural, and religious scholars of Britain. From religious scholars interested on Methodism and the Church of England, scientists concerned with pollution and pollution controls during the Industrial Revolution, and sociologists concerned with how these issues were influenced by and influenced the People, the popular constitutionalism inherent in this collection (as opposed to the “top down” approach to looking at history), is at the cutting edge of historical research today and has wide appeal across campus.” From ProQuest LibGuide UK Parliamentary Papers (https://proquest.libguides.com/parliamentary/petitions, accessed 21/1/2019).

As petitions are public responses to laws and contribute to the debate and formulation thereof, they add fantastic context to parliamentary proceedings. For instance, the current great flurry of petitions relating to Brexit are testament to the strength of feeling experienced amongst the British population in the country. Having access to historic petitions in the same database as historic parliamentary papers and debates (Hansard) will make it easier for historians to understand the national debate. You will also learn of individuals who were politically active locally and, for a brief period in the petition, also nationally. To find out more about individuals, you could search the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ODNB Oxford subscribers only) or, if they are not important enough to get into the ODNB, try the British Biographical Archive which is in World Biographical Information System WBIS (Oxford subscribers only).

You can search for historic public petitions in a variety of ways, including keyword searching and limiting, by the use of filters, to particular characteristics of the petitioner (e.g. names signatories, lobbying organizations, MP sponsoring petition, etc.):

Searching for “children” in Petition titles. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Please note that in the vast majority of cases you will only see a summary report of petitions compiled by the Select Committee on Public Petitions. Only 400 petitions in UKPP have the full-text of the original petition, added as an appendix to the Select Committee’s reports. If you wish, you are able to limit your search to find only the full-text appendices.

Searching for Petitions to repeal the Corn Laws with Appendix Full-Text. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Merchants, Manufacturers, and other Inhabitants of the township of Gomersal, in the county of York; Corn Laws – For Repeal; Petition no 96. January 27, 1840. Parliament: 1837-41. Second Report of the Select Committee. From ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers, Public Petitions 1830-1918.

Find out more:

New eresources: African American Newspapers (1827-1998); Ethnic American Newspapers (1799-1971)

Our wonderful colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have secured access to two more historical American newspaper resources, both funded by a very generous donation from the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Here is what they blogged on 20 December 2018:

African American Newspapers (Series I), 1827-1998

Chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience, African American Newspapers, Series 1, features 280 newspapers from 35 states, including many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles. These titles published for or by African Americans constitute valuable primary sources for researchers exploring such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history; ethnic studies and more. Beginning with Freedom’s Journal (NY)—the first African American newspaper published in the United States—the titles in this groundbreaking series include The Colored Citizen (KS), Arkansas State Press, Rights of All (NY), Wisconsin Afro-American, New York Age, L’Union (LA), Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate (NY), Richmond Planet, Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN) and hundreds of others from every region of the U.S.

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971

Access to over 130 digitised newspapers published by and for ethnic groups in the United States, particularly those of Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Welsh descent.

Spanning the Early Republic’s Open Door Era to the Era of Liberalization in the mid-1960s, Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection covers two centuries of immigrant life in the United States. Nineteenth-century topics include the denial of citizenship to “nonwhites”; the founding of nativist political movements, including the anti-immigrant “Know-Nothing” party; the 1849 discovery of gold in California, which lured people from all over the world; New York City’s place as the world’s largest Irish city in 1860 with more than 200,000 Irish-born citizens; and the Immigration Act of 1882, which levied a tax on all immigrants landing at U.S. ports.

In addition to the major contributions of immigrants to business, music, science, education, labor movements and war efforts, later topics include the Naturalization Act of 1906, which for citizenship required immigrants to learn to speak English; the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which favored northern and western Europeans; the 1942 internment in “War Relocation Camps” of Japanese Americans, several of whom published newspapers; Truman’s 1953 Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, which revealed the positive impact of immigrants; and much more.

Both collections are now available via SOLO / Databases A-Z.

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Also of interest:

New: Daily Express (1900-) and Daily Star (2000-)

I am delighted to report that thanks to a sharing agreement with colleagues in Social Sciences, historians now have access to the following UK tabloids:

These newspapers are all published by Express Newspapers and complement well our other online resources such as Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004 and Daily Mirror (1903-).

Learn how to best search online newspapers in our Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries (LibGuide).

Check out more blog posts on newspaper resources.

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: French Mandate in The Lebanon, Christian-Muslim Relations, and the U.S. Consulate at Beirut, 1919-1935

I am delighted to report that colleagues in the Oriental Institute Library have purchased online access to:

French Mandate in The Lebanon, Christian-Muslim Relations, and the U.S. Consulate at Beirut, 1919-1935 (Archives Unbound)

It is now accessible via SOLO and Databases A-Z to Oxford researchers.

Sourced from the U.S. National Archives, this collection consists of correspondence and telegrams received and sent by the American consular post in Beirut. The topics covered by these records include the protection of interests of American citizens, foreign trade, shipping, and immigration.

But there is more to these records than traditional consular activities—the Beirut post provides a unique look into the French Mandate in Syria-Lebanon. Consular officials reported on the administration of the Mandate, its problems, French repression and Arab rebellion.

There are unique materials on the Druse Rebellion of 1925, religious conflicts between Christian, Maronite, and Muslim communities, repression by French military forces, French efforts to settle Bedouin tribes in Syria, nationalist organizations and rebellion, anti-Zionism activities, riots and civil disturbances in the cities, villages and rural areas, failure of the Franco-Lebanese Treaty of 1936, creation of a new mandate administration in Syria in 1939, the war clouds in Europe, and Palestinian views on Syrian independence.

New: International Women’s Periodicals, 1786-1933: Social and Political Issues (Archives Unbound)

Womanhood, vol VI June To November 1901, in International Women’s Periodicals 1786-1933 (Cengage)

I’m pleased to inform Oxford researchers and students that you now have access to the online International Women’s Periodicals, 1786-1933: Social and Political Issues (Archives Unbound).

This Cengage resource provides online access 57 women’s magazine and journal publications covering the late eighteenth century to the 1930s.

The material allows researchers to explore the role of women in society and the development of the public lives of women as the push for women’s rights (woman suffrage, fair pay, better working conditions, etc.) grew in the United States and England.

Some of the titles in this collection were conceived and published by men, for women; others, conceived and published by male editors with strong input from female assistant editors or managers; others were conceived and published by women, for women. It is therefore also useful for the study of the history of women’s publishing.

Gallery Of Fashion, May 1796, in International Women’s Periodicals 1785-1933 (Cengage)

The strongest suffrage and anti-suffrage writing was done by women for women’s periodicals. Suffrage and anti-suffrage writing, domesticity columns, and literary genres from poetry to serialized novels are included in these periodicals. Thus this resource provides a wide array of views for study.

The collection contains overwhelmingly English and US publications, with 4 German, 1 French periodical and 1 Icelandic periodical.

Access is via SOLO or Databases A-Z. Use your Oxford Single Single On for remote access.

While you are here, you might find these subscription eresources also useful:

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: 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

New: American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection (1684-1912)

Our colleagues in the Vere Harmsworth Library have arranged permanent access to the online American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection (1684-1912). They write:

“We’re delighted to announce that Oxford users now have access to all five parts of the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection from EBSCO.

The collection provides digital access to the full text of thousands of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912, digitised from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society. Titles cover a broad range of subjects and interests related to every aspect of American life and culture, from politics to religion, science, law, literature and the arts.
>>More information on the AAS periodicals collection

Access is available via Databases A-Z – use single sign-on for remote access.”

From the VHL Blog post [accessed 15 March 2018]

Also useful: