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.


WISER: courses for Historians, US Historians and Medievalists, Week 3

During Week 3 Bodleian Libraries will be a hosting a series of WISER events designed to help Oxford historians get the most out of the resources available to them. Sessions will provide useful tips and demonstrations, offering students and researchers opportunities to explore sources including ebooks, bibliographical databases, key online collections and web portals.

On Monday 12th May, ‘Online Resources for Historians‘ will offer a general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources available for all periods of British and Western European history. Aside from an exploration of bibliographical/reference research aids and databases, presenters will provide an insight to ebooks, ejournals, web portals and collections of online primary source materials. Students, researchers and anyone interested in the growing availability of online resources will benefit from this session. Book your place.

Also on Monday 12th May, ‘Sources for US History‘ will deliver an introduction to key information sources and finding tools for the study of colonial America and US History until 1990. For further details on this session, please see earlier blog post, or book your place.

On Friday 16th May, ‘Sources for Medievalists‘ will provide an overview of a range of e-resources relevant to British and Western European medieval studies. The session will include information on bibliographical databases, web portals and collections of online primary source materials including Greek/Latin texts, Anglo-Saxon sources, chronicles, charters and literary works. The material presented will be of use not only to students, but also researchers and academics with an interest in this area. Book your place.

If you would like to attend any of these WISER sessions, please book your place using the links provided. For further details, see the posters below.

WISER Online Resources poster

WISER US history posterWISER Medievalist Poster



Trial until 4 Dec: English Historical Documents Online

Oxford users are now invited to trial English Historical Documents Online (EHDO).

English Historical Documents Online homepageEHDO provides online access to the very well-known English Historical Documents series, essential to historians engaged in the study of British history from the early medieval ages to the 20th century and US history from 1776.

The selection of documents includes a wide range of sources, such as government and cabinet proceedings, military dispatches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, personal and official letters and diaries, covering political and constitutional history, religious, cultural and economic history.

As well as searching by keyword in the full-text, you can browse by volume (ie by period), but you can also find documents by themes, such as economic history, military history, social history, etc.

There is a handy list of abbreviations of sources selected and the editors’ prefaces.

English Historical Documents

The trial ends 4 December.  Please send feedback to  or leave comments on the History databases desiderata & trials site.

Did you know that…

… we already have bought e-access to many of the EHD volumes. Search SOLO or follow the links:

Sessions on digital images and open access plus Thesis Fair this week


There are two WISER sessions coming up in weeks 3 and 4 this term:
Digital images: ARTstor, Bridgeman Education and VADS for teaching and learning  (Tue 07 May 14:00-16:00) (wk 3)
The course examines two major digital image collections subscribed to by the University – ARTstor and Bridgeman Education – and a third resource, free for educational use, VADS. All of these are geared to research and teaching in the humanities, history of science and medicine, and social sciences. Viewing, presenting and managing images are also covered.
Presenters: Clare Hills Nova and Vicky Brown > Book Now
WISER: Open Access Oxford – what’s happening? (Thu 16 May 11.00-12.00) (wk 4)

A briefing on open access for research publications and Oxford’s position: Green vs. Gold; funder mandates and publisher policies; Oxford Research Archive (ORA) and Symplectic; new OA website/ helpline.
Presenters: Craig Finlay and Andy Kernot > Book Now

Keeping up with Bodleian Libraries training opportunities
Why not follow join our mailing list by sending an empty email to, follow us on Twitter at or visit the BodWiser blog at

Not a member of Oxford University?
If you are not a current member of Oxford University but would like to attend a workshop please contact Please quote your Bodleian readers card barcode number.

Please contact

plant 474 x 267 morguefile ANThesis Fair for 2nd year historians

Thursday 9 May 2.30-4.30pm
North Writing Schools, Exam Schools, High Street, Oxford

The Thesis Fair is running on Thursday afternoon and is an opportunity to talk to expert librarians, archivists and other subject specialists about how to find resources for your subject.  Whether you’re still picking your topic or have already started researching, advice is available on resources, skills training, reference management and tips on how to manage your thesis from a fellow student. This is a drop in session throughout the afternoon, 2.30-4.30pm and no booking is necessary.

Related Links WISER Workshops LibGuide | Bodleian History Faculty Library Training webpage | Thesis Fair Webpage | Reference Management LibGuide | Contact Us

History Database of the Month: Rock and Roll

Our database of the month for March is Popular culture in Britain and America 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest.

Homepage of the database

Homepage of the database

What is this database?

An example image from the database - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament © The People's History Museum

An example image from the database – Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament © The People’s History Museum

The database includes a variety of primary sources, including video, images and printed material covering the period 1950 to 1075 in the UK and US.  It also has some material on other parts of Europe (for instance Mai ’68 student protests in France).  The collection can be browsed by type of material, topic and date and also searched for key words.  The main themes covered by the material are:

  • Changing Lifestyles, 1950-1975
  • Youth Culture
  • Student Protests across Europe and the US
  • Mai ‘68
  • Popular Culture; TV; Music; Movies
  • Book, Magazine and Film Censorship
  • Civil Rights; Women’s Liberation; Minority Groups
  • The Space Race
  • Consumerism; Credit Cards; Computers
  • The Vietnam conflict
  • Nuclear Disarmament

In addition to the primary sources, chronologies, essays by specialists such as Robert Opie, a dictionary of key terms and links to other online resources are included in the database.

oxlip +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 when accessing the database off-campus.

Other useful databases on 20th century popular culture

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

History Database of the Month: State Papers Online

Each month we will be highlighting an online database available to Oxford University historians here on our blog and on the noticeboard in the Upper Radcliffe Camera.

February’s database is State Papers Online I – IV: The Tudors, Stuarts & Commonwealth 1509-1714 (Foreign & Domestic).(c) Gale Cengage

What is State Papers Online?

State Papers Online (SPO) contains the Tudor and Stuart government ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ papers – the equivalent of today’s documents from the Home and Foreign Offices and the Royal Archives.

Research Tools area on SPO

Research Tools area on SPO

These everyday working papers of the British royal government reveal Tudor and Stuart society and government, religion and politics in all its drama allowing scholars to trace the remarkable  –  and frequently violent  – transformations of the 16th & 17th centuries. This major resource re-unites the Domestic, Foreign, Borders, Scotland, and Ireland State Papers of Britain with the Registers of the Privy Council and other State Papers now housed in the British Library.

The papers are accompanied by fully searchable calendars, and each calendar entry has been linked directly to its related state paper.  As well as being able to search and browse through papers and calendars, there are additional research tools, including information about dates, money and maps, image galleries and essays by historians.

More information about the resources is available in the SPO online guided tour.

SPO via OXLIPHow can I access State Papers Online?

SPO can be accessed via OxLIP+ or SOLO by searching ‘State Papers Online’.  Current student and staff members of Oxford University can access SPO off campus by signing into SOLO or OxLIP+ using their Single Sign-On (SSO).

Other useful databases covering the 17th century

These databases are all available via OxLIP+

Related Links Primary Sources Online Guide for Historians (PDF)  | Early Modern History Sources Guide | Contact the History LibrarianGuide to using OxLIP+ |

Database of the month in the Upper Camera

Database of the month in the Upper Camera

Save Oxford Medicine Project catalogues papers from the Rhodes House Library

screenshot of blog

Newly catalogued papers from the Rhodes House Library

Three collections of personal papers from the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies have recently been catalogued byt the Save Oxford Medicine Project and made available to researchers. The letters, written by British doctors and nurses working in various parts of Africa in the second half of the 20th century, were sent home to family and friends and contain striking first-hand accounts of their lives.
  1. Letters of Barbara Akinyemi who worked as a nurse in the UK during World War II and Nigeria in the 1940s and 1950s.
  2. Letters of Peter Bewes describing his work as a surgeon and lecturer in Uganda and Tanzania in the 1960s and 1970s.
  3. Letters and papers of Cyril Sims Davies, a doctor, describing life in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Related links:

Connected Histories: Sources for British History, 1500-1900

Launched on 1 April Connected Histories: Sources for Building British History, 1500-1900 is a federated search engine to search in a single search a wide range of distributed digital resources relating to early modern and nineteenth-century British history.

The following 11 resources are included:

  • British History Online: The digital library of primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain, from the Middle Ages to c.1900.
  • British Museum Images: The collection provides searchable access to almost 100,000 images, relating to early modern and 19th-century Britain.
  • British Newspapers, 1600-1900: The most comprehensive digital historic British newspaper archive in existence, with 3 million pages of historic newspapers, newsbooks and ephemera from national and regional papers.  Oxford user? Check below for tip how to connect to British Newspapers from Connected Histories.
  • Charles Booth Online Archive: The online archive provides access to guides, digitised images and maps from the Booth archive collections at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of London Library.
  • Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835: A database containing details of the careers of more than 130,000 clergymen of the Church of England between 1540 and 1835, from over 50 archives in England and Wales.
  • House of Commons Parliamentary Papers: The Parliamentary Papers gives access to page images and searchable full text for over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers and supplementary information from 1688 onwards.
  • John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera: The collection provides access to more than 67,000 scanned items from the Bodleian Library’s holdings documenting various aspects of everyday life in Britain from the 18th to the early 20th century.
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 1674-1913: The Old Bailey Online contains accounts of the trials conducted at London’s central criminal court between 1674 and 1913; and also the Ordinary’s Accounts – detailed narratives of the lives and deaths of convicts executed at Tyburn, published between 1676 and 1772.
  • London Lives 1600-1800: London Lives provides a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscript pages from eight London archives and 15 datasets, giving access to 3.5 million names.
  • Origins Network: offers online access to some of the richest ancestral information available. The collection searchable through Connected Histories focuses on the early modern history of London.
  • John Strype’s Survey of London: This is a full-text electronic version of John Strype’s enormous two-volume survey of 1720, complete with its celebrated maps and plates, which depict the prominent buildings, street plans and ward boundaries of the late Stuart capital.

Oxford Users

Please note that some of the resources searched are free while others require subscriptions. Fortunately Oxford users have access to all resources with the single exception of

Connecting to Burney:

If you find results from British Newspapers, 1600-1900 (aka 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection), you will be prompted with the UserGroup Identification. Type in oxford to proceed.

Remote access to Oxford subscription resources works best if you use VPN.

Summary of newly bookmarked websites for historians 1/12/10

The latest online primary sources sites added to HFL Delicious are:

William Godwin’s Diary: Reconstructing a Social and Political Culture 1788-1836

A digital edition of the diary of William Godwin (1756-1836). The first entry is for 6 April 1788 and the final entry is for 26 March 1836. The diary is a resource of immense importance to researchers. It maps the radical intellectual and political life of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as providing evidence on publishing relations, conversational coteries, artistic circles, etc. over the same period. One can trace the developing relationships of one of the most important families in British literature, Godwin’s own, which included his wife Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), their daughter Mary Shelley (1797-1851) and his son-in-law Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). Many of the most important figures in British cultural history feature in its pages, incl. Anna Barbauld, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles James Fox, William Hazlitt, Thomas Holcroft, Elizabeth Inchbald, Charles and Mary Lamb, Mary Robinson, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, William Wordsworth, and many others.

Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714 (Foster) British History Online

Lists members of the University of Oxford from 1500 to 1714, along with brief biographical details such as ecclesiastical positions held and family relationships among the alumni. Digitisation is in progress

Staten-Generaal Digitaal: parlementaire documenten uit de periode 1814 tot 1995

The Dutch portal to find all Acts (House Reports, Papers and parliamentary questions) for the years 1814 to 1815 session until January 1, 1995. Includes name index.

Die Matrikel der Universität Gießen 1608 – 1707

Digitised matriculation records of the University of Giessen 1608 to 1707

Stampa (La) – Archivio Storico dal 1867

This Digital Historical Archive of La Stampa contains a copy of the entire newspaper collection. The first issue available is the one of February 9, 1867, when the newspaper was still called Gazzetta Piemontese. The database archive reach the year 2005. All the newspaper pages for a period of 138 years are published not only as images but also as digital texts available for e-text-mining queries. This is true for the more than 12 million articles indexed with the ability to search contents and highlight all keywords within the database.

Repertorium deutscher wissenschaftlicher Periodika des 18. Jahrhunderts

Repertory of German scientific periodicals of the 18th century is an an instrument for research on the history and philosophy of science and technology during the Enlightenment. It contains the table of contents of most 18th century periodicals that published scientific articles and/or reviews in the German speaking countries. These include the (Nova) Acta Eruditorum, and other important periodicals published under the auspices of Academies of Science and early professional journals. A total of over 400 volumes and more than 13.000 articles have been made accessible in this project.

Bundesgesetzblatt online (Bundesanzeiger Verlag)

Free online access to the history of Germany legislation as published in the Bundesgesetzblatt (Archiv BGBl Teil I und II) and dating from 1949 (1951 for Teil II) to the present.