Unlocking Archives Talk on 25 July

harold nicholsonLunchtime talk: Unlocking Archives
a new series about research in Balliol College’s special collections

Dr Ross McKibbin
Senior Research Fellow,
St John’s College

Thursday 25 July, 1-2 pm
Balliol Historic Collections Centre
St Cross Church, Manor Road
* all welcome *

Feel free to bring your lunch. The talk will last no more than half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards, and a closer look at some of the Balliol MSS discussed.

Another in Balliol Special Collections’ Unlocking Archives talk is coming up on Thursday 25 July; beat the ‘heat’ with a refreshing lunch hour in a cool stone building.

Dr McKibbin was Tutor in History at St John’s 1972-2005 and is now a senior research fellow at St John’s. His research interests are in late nineteenth and twentieth century British history. The diaries of Harold Nicolson (1886-1968), of which Balliol owns the surviving volumes for the years pre-1930 and the complete typescript originals for 1930-1963, are among the most frequently and thoroughly consulted of Balliol’s modern personal papers collections  – both because they form a fascinating picture of a man and his times, and because the editions of the diaries that have appeared thus far are very heavily edited. There is still much to discover….

The next Unlocking Archives talk will be in October.

Related Links

Queen’s College Library closed this summer

(c) Queen's College Library

(c) Queen’s College Library

The Queen’s College Library will be closed completely to all readers from Friday 14 June 2013 for refurbishment.

It is intended that parts of the collection will be open again for consultation towards the end of October 2013 but all manuscripts and books from the Upper Library (an example of an Upper Library shelfmark is 53.C.6) will remain inaccessible to readers until the end of January 2014.

Please e-mail library@queens.ox.ac.uk for further information and keep up to date with developments via the Library’s website or Facebook and Twitter pages.

Related Links Queen’s College Library homepage | Queen’s College on Facebook | Queen’s College on Twitter | Queen’s College Library Online Guide

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs

Those interested in the history of Botany might be interested in an article published on 22 April in The Spectator by Dr Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections, Bodleian Library). He writes on the library’s recent acquisition of a ‘Catalogus Plantarum’ kept in the 1790s by an anonymous Botanist who roamed the south of England looking for specimens.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs


Oxford Bibliographical Society Lecture Mon 28 Jan

OBS posterOxford Bibliographical Society Lectures
Monday, 28 January 2013
Taylor Institution, Lecture Theatre, 5.15 p.m.

RICHARD GAMESON (Durham University)

The Earliest English Royal Books

Richard Gameson is Professor of the History of the Book at Durham University. He has published some 80 studies on medieval manuscripts, book collections and art.  His most recent publication is The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain vol. I, c. 400-1100 (2012).  He has just completed a book on the history and contexts of the Lindisfarne Gospels, to accompany a spectacular loan exhibition to be held in Durham this summer (2013).

Related Links

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.  http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/akinyemi.html
  2. Letters of Peter Bewes describing his work as a surgeon and lecturer in Uganda and Tanzania in the 1960s and 1970s.  http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/bewes.html
  3. Letters and papers of Cyril Sims Davies, a doctor, describing life in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe from the 1960s to the 1990s.  http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/sims-davies.html

Related links:

Rare Books in the History Faculty Library

Chürpfalzbaierische militair Etat, an 18th-century manuscript in the collection

This is a guest post from Clare Bristow, the HFL’s Graduate Trainee in 2010-11, on her final day:

Over the past year, I have been working on a project making an inventory of the HFL’s collection of antiquarian books, which are kept in closed stacks.  This involved looking through over 500 volumes and recording their bibliographic details and any features of interest such as provenance or annotations.

The HFL Rare Books blog is the outcome of this project.  It contains details of all the books, most of which are not on SOLO.  Here, you can browse the collection by author, date, publisher and place of publication, or use the tags to find books of a particular provenance.

The books are available for use by registered library readers – just ask a member of staff in the library, or contact us.

I hope the Rare Books blog will help to make readers aware of some of the uncatalogued gems in the HFL, and the varied backgrounds of the library’s collections.  This collection is particularly strong in British history, including long runs of parliamentary source material such as Journals of the House of Commons and Public General Statutes.

On a personal note, I would like to thank all the staff and readers who have made my year in the HFL so enjoyable and worthwhile, and wish all the best to next year’s Graduate Trainee.

ARTstor news: Now available: Special collections from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ada Rehan as Sylvia and Virginia Dreher as Mistress Melinda in a scene from "The Recruiting Office," 19th century. University of Illinois Theatrical Print Collection.

Ada Rehan as Sylvia and Virginia Dreher as Mistress Melinda in a scene from “The Recruiting Office,” 19th century. University of Illinois Theatrical Print Collection.

Today’s ARTstor news:

“ARTstor Digital Library has released nearly 4,000 images from a variety of special collections from the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The collection in ARTstor consists of images digitized from visual materials held in the University Library, which are relevant to a variety of fields, including Irish political history, theater and costume history, and campus architecture and design.”

> more