Monthly Archives: February 2012

Oxford’s Google books available on SOLO

Bodleian Libraries books digitised for the the Google Books project can now be accessed via SOLO, the library catalogue.

front page of Commentarii de Senatu RomanoAbout the project
In 2004, Oxford University entered into partnership with Google to scan the Bodleian Libraries’ out-of-copyright holdings, in particular those from the 19th century. The initial phase of this work completed in the summer of 2009, with several hundred thousand of our books being scanned and made available via Google Books (

Items were selected solely on their copyright status and suitability for scanning, and the works that have been digitized cover a wide range of languages, disciplines, and genres. They include Alfred Franklin’s Les Chirurgiens and Ernest Godard’s Egypte et Palestine: Observations medicales et scientifiques

Accessing digitised copies via SOLO in 2 steps
1.   A search on SOLO will normally produce a list of “brief-display” results.  If there is a digitized copy associated with a record, as in this example, a line will be added saying:
*** Digitized copy available – see Details tab for link ***

screenshot of SOLO

2.  Clicking on the title of a bibliographic record found in SOLO or on its Details tab will display the whole record.  If the digitized version is available, it will be indicated by a link on the right-hand side saying: View digitized copy (PDF) of… followed by the name of the holding library and the shelfmark of the physical copy that was scanned. Clicking on this link will download the file.

More to come
Further work is planned to enable the text in digitized copies to be search and to make it possible to cut and paste text from the files.   Additional copies are due to be added to SOLO in the future, once they have been processed by Google.

Related links: SOLO | Oxford’s digitised books | Google Books

Wellcome Unit Seminar by Shane Doyle on changing patterns of disease and mortality in Uganda

Global and Local Approaches to the History of Medicine Seminars

Week 7 – Monday 27 February
Shane Doyle,
University of Leeds
Changing patterns of disease and mortality in Uganda, 1920-1980’

At: The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford
Coffee is available from 2.00pm – Seminars begin at 2.15pm prompt

Conveners: Dr Sloan Mahone and Kathleen Vongsathorn, DPhil candidate

You are welcome to join the speaker and convenor for lunch, at 12:50.  Please contact for more details.

About the speaker
Shane Doyle is a Senior Lecturer in Modern African History at the University of Leeds.   He is currently carrying out a research project funded by the AHRC, the British Academy, the British Institute in Eastern Africa, and the ESRC.  As part of the project, he is writing a book that will examine the medical and demographic histories of three neighbouring societies in East Africa in order to explain why patterns of sexual behaviour, fertility and mortality changed so dramatically in the decades before the emergence of HIV.

Related links
WUHMO | WUHMO Seminar page | Shane Doyle profile

Tues 6 March seminar by Charles Webster ‘Paracelsus: Chemistry and Revolution’

Oxford History of Chemistry Seminar – Sponsored by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (

Date: Tuesday 6 March 2012, 5-7 p.m.
Location: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, Old Boys’ High School, George Street, Oxford 

Charles Webster (Emeritus Fellow, All Souls, Oxford)

Paracelsus: Chemistry and Revolution

paracelsus lecture posterCHARLES WEBSTER was senior research fellow at All Souls College and previously Reader in the History of Medicine and Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. Webster is well known for his magisterial study of the Baconian tradition in seventeenth-century science, The Great Instauration. Science, Medicine, and Reform, 1626-1660 (1975). In Oxford, he combined his work on early modern science and medicine with a parallel commitment to the history of the National Health Service.  As the Official Historian of the NHS, Webster produced a two- volume history of the organisation published in 1988 and 1996. His elegant and definitive analysis of the life and works of Paracelsus:  Paracelsus, Medicine, Magic and Mission at the End of Time (2008) was shortlisted for the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Prize.

Related links: History Faculty | Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry | Institute of Historical Research

New book in Wellcome Unit Library by former students

We have a new acquisition in the library edited by two of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Oxford’s previous DPhil students:

Ryan Johnson and Amna Khalid, Public health in the British empire : intermediaries, subordinates, and the practice of public health, 1850-1960, (New York:  Routledge, 2012).

(c) Routledge

About the book

The edited volume is part of Routledge’s ‘studies in modern British history’ series.  It contains chapters by WUHMO Research Associate Dr Margaret Jones on Jamaican hospitals in the mid-nineteenth century and Oxford Brookes’ Professor Anne Digby on South African health workers.

About the editors

Dr Johnson is now a lecturer at the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, Glasgow (jointly run by Glasgow Caledonian University and Strathclyde University).  Prof Khalid is now based in the Department of History at Carleton College in the United Stated.

Related Links: Full details and description of book | WUHMO homepage | Wellcome Unit Library homepage | Recent acquisitions

WUHMO Seminar Mon 20 Feb on An American Gaze at Population Control in Postwar Japan

Global and Local Approaches to the History of Medicine Seminars

Week 6 – Monday 20 February 2012
Aya Homei, University of Manchester
‘An American Gaze at Population Control in Postwar Japan’
At: The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford
Coffee is available from 2.00pm – Seminars begin at 2.15pm prompt

Conveners: Dr Sloan Mahone and Kathleen Vongsathorn, DPhil candidate

About the speaker
Aya Homei is a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the University of Manchester’s School of Language, Linguistics and Cultures.

Related links
WUHMO | WUHMO Seminar page | Aya Homei profile

WISER sessions on finding stuff next week

Bodleian Libraries will be running the following WISER sessions during week 6:

WISER: Finding stuff – Books etc on SOLO (Wednesday 22 February 2.00-2.45) – Ashort 45 minute session introducing tips and techniques for searching SOLO for books, journals and other materials in Oxford Libraries. We will cover both basic and advanced search techniques and also look at placing hold requests for items in the book stacks and some of SOLO’s personalised features such as the e-shelf and saved searches. The session will take place at Oxford University Computing Services – please book your place online.

WISER: Finding stuff – Journal Articles (Wednesday 22 February 2.45-4.00) This session will focus on using bibliographical tools and indexes to find high quality papers in your research area.  We will look at how to find reliable bibliographical databases in your subject and how to search them effectively to optimize your results. The session will take just over an hour and will include time for you to practice. Please book your place online.

WISER:Finding Stuff – Conferences (Wednesday 22 February 4.00-5.00) – Finding past conference papers and proceedings and keeping up with forthcoming conferences in your research area are important skills for all researchers but can be quite tricky. Next week’s 1 hour workshop on finding conferences will start by looking at where to find forthcoming conference announcements and how to keep up with them and will then move on to look at ways of tracking down elusive conference papers. Please book your place online.

Keep up to date with WISER – Why not follow us on Twitter at or visit the BodWiser blog at You can also check the timetable on the WISER web site at or join our mailing list by sending an empty email to

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.

If you have any questions please contact

Research Skills Toolkit for graduate researchers

swiss army knife

(c) Flickr: AJC1

Need to brush up on your IT and information skills?  Why not come to a Research Skills Toolkit in 8th week? These free 2 hour workshops introduce key software and online tools to streamline your research, hone your searching and information skills and provide opportunities to  meet subject specialists.

Topics on offer include:

  • Finding articles, papers, conferences and theses
  • Keeping up to date and current awareness
  • Using Endnote to manage your references
  • Manipulating images using Gimp
  • Managing your thesis with word
  • Analyzising data with Excel pivot tables
  • Podcasting with Audacity
  • Plagiarism and how to avoid it
  • Your thesis, copyright and ORA
  • Finding highly cited journals and measuring research impact

These workshops are open to Oxford graduate researchers in week 8 of Hilary Term. Please attend the session for your division or subject area.

The History session is on Wed 7th March 2.30-4.30pm and the general Humanities session is on Tues 6th March 12.00-2.00pm.

> Find out more and book your place (Oxford University members only, single sign on required).

Toolkits take place at Oxford University Computing Services and are run jointly by the Bodleian Libraries and Computing Services.

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:

Temporary changes to library opening hours

Over the next two weeks there will be some alterations to the library’s staffed opening hours.  The library will be open to non-Wellcome Unit members at the following times:

door with open sign on

(c) Flickr: tanakawho

Wed  8th  Feb 9am-1pm
Thur 9th  Feb 2-5pm
(Fri 10th Feb closed)
(Mon 13th Feb closed)
Tues 14th Feb 3-5pm
(Wed 15th Feb closed)
Thur 16th Feb 2-5pm
Fri  17th Feb 2-5pm

After this, we will return to our normal opening hours of Monday-Friday, 2-5pm.

If you would like to visit the library for the first time, please make an appointment for an induction with library staff.  If you have any queries about using the library or about our resources then please contact us.