Author Archives: katieguest

Autumn News

Hello, and welcome to the usual monthly blog post from the Oriental Institute Library! We’ve delayed by a few days to ensure that those of you who have recently liked our Facebook page will see the link – hopefully we’ve got some new readers as well as the regulars!

Summer reshuffles

Those of you who have been away over the summer may have noticed that the Library of Congress collection has been substantially rearranged since the end of last Term. The end of the sequence – from PK to Z has now moved into the middle of the library on the shelves where the rest of the old PJ and PK books are, and will continue to move down into that part of the library as the old sequence gradually diminishes. We have updated our plan of the library to show the changes and all the shelves are labelled clearly with the shelfmark ranges. If you have problems, do come to the desk and someone will be able to give you directions.

As well as the Library of Congress material, the few Z.Per. periodicals have now moved to the shelves where the rest of the periodicals are kept (round the corner past the photocopiers). Again, feel free to ask if you can’t find anything.

The past academic year has seen 1049 shelfmarks – equating to 1419 individual books – reclassified. This is a little down on previous years, which reflects that Kate, who has done most of the reclassification, is now only with us two afternoons a week instead of three.

Building Works

In preparation for a refit of the heating system in the entire building which is currently scheduled for next summer vacation, engineers will be replacing pipes and duct-work at various locations throughout the faculty. The Library is expecting this to happen during November – we are on the plan as having work carried out in our basement area from October 30th to November 16th. The noisy work should be taking place during closed hours, but if there is likely to be disruption we will inform readers as soon as we know. We will also keep readers informed if there is any change to the schedule, or if any areas of the basement are going to be off-limits. The ground floor of the library should not be affected, except by possible noise coming from other areas, but again, we will keep everyone informed as much as we can.

Arabic Reading Group

Alasdair Watson, the subject specialist for Islamic manuscripts, is seeking participants for an Arabic Reading Group :

Please contact him directly to express and interest.

Rules of the Library: a gentle reminder

In line with other Bodleian Libraries we would request that readers remember that food and drink are not allowed in the library. Bottles of water are permitted, as long as they have a lid and are kept sealed when not in use. Other drinks, including coffee, must not be brought into the library. This is to prevent damage to books and equipment and also to discourage pests – insects or other vermin which are attracted by your crumbs may stay and munch on the books afterwards!

We have now switched to our term-time opening hours of 0900-1900 on Monday – Friday and 1100-1700 on Saturdays. Readers are requested to pack up and leave promptly when the bell is rung at 1850 – you do risk being plunged into darkness if the staff do not realise you are here!

And finally…

Do keep an eye on the Sale Trolley for duplicate books which is located just inside the Front Office; we will be adding new books when time permits during the term.

Summer catch-up and reminders

Firstly…

We hope everyone has had a lovely summer!

Oxford’s official Autumn begins with St Giles’ Fair next week, so don’t forget that OIL will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as usual. We re-open on Wednesday, and will continue our shortened opening hours until the first week of October.

 

Summer shifting

Readers familiar with the layout of the library will no doubt be delighted to discover that Kate has now rearranged it…  Much of the collection has moved – but only from the middle of DS onwards, so those of you who use BP and similar will still find everything in the same place!

For the first time, the LC sequence has encroached on the old classification stronghold that was “the bit in the middle”. The end of PK, the whole of PL and everything up to and including Z are now at the Sackler end of that section, with the rest of old PJ and PK and others still to do. PK starts under the windows near the reader computers and PJ takes up much of the bay in the middle near the windows, with G and H having moved further from under the windows on the Sackler side. Lidio has helpfully re-jigged the floor plan of the ground floor to take into account all the changes. New shelf-labels have been applied to the entire ground floor.

Another change is that the Z.Per section is now with the other Periodicals at the far end of the library round towards the stairs. All the periodicals are now in once place, which we hope will avoid confusion.

We have also created a pair of “Outsized Folio” shelves on the Folio section near the windows; please be careful with these books as some of them are very heavy (especially the big green ones).

 

Building matters

Unlike last summer, when we had the delight of the replacement of the skylights, this year has been relatively quiet, with only the minor works in the basement taking place. We thank our readers who were frustrated by lack of access to the library’s basement for their forbearance! Next summer will see the replacement of the heating system, but we can worry about that nearer the time.

As ever, do keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates about everyday things which are going on; we promise the blog will get more lively once the rest of the University does…

 

 

Summer reminders

Vacation Opening Hours

Now that Term is over and the last of the exams are done, we would like to remind readers that this year we will be reducing our opening hours over the summer.

This Saturday, July 1st, will be our last Saturday until October 7th, and during the week we will be open from 0900 until 1700, Monday to Friday.

Readers who wish to consult books on a Saturday may discuss this with library staff, who may be able to move some material to the Sackler. This will be limited to confined books – readers will be expected to borrow books which can be borrowed, as long as they have the correct borrowing rights – and we reserve the right to refuse if the numbers of books being moved become unmanageable. Please give adequate notice that you wish to transfer books for use on Saturday (i.e. please don’t come to the desk at 4.55pm on a Friday with a massive mountain of books – this will not be appreciated!).

 

Basement Closure

Following all sorts of rumours about the imminent building work, the final version for 2017 appears to just be for some preparatory work to take place in the Oriental Institute basement. This will be taking place between the 21st and 28th July inclusive.

Due to the nature of the works, the Library Basement will be inaccessible to everyone, even library staff. This is because the fire exits are to be sealed – the work will not be in the library itself – which means we cannot risk going down there for Health and Safety reasons.

Readers who wish to consult books from the KSL, Hebrew & Jewish Studies, South Asian, and Eastern Christianity sections are strongly advised to either move them up to a desk in the ground floor space or to contact staff in advance if they are coming that week so that we can move them for you. If anyone is aware of a potential visitor who might need these books during the closure period, do please let them know about this; we have informed our colleagues in Special Collections at the Weston Library in case they are expecting academic visitors who might need access to our collections.

During this time, the Common Room and the toilets will also be out of action.

 

Book Moves – a long process

Kate, who has now reduced her hours to two afternoons a week (Tuesdays and Fridays), has begun moving the LC books into space vacated by the reclassified PJ section, and also the Z.Per. periodicals which have now been moved round to the same area as the rest of the journals. This will necessarily take some time, but she intends to keep the shelves updated with handwritten notes until the move is finished.

We apologise in advance for any confusion this may cause!

Summer Announcements

We apologise for the late blog post; this has been largely due to waiting on confirmation about several matters which will affect the Library over the Long Vacation. Having finally had some information, please note the following:

Opening Hours

There will be changes to the Library’s opening hours in the vacation:

From Monday 3rd July to Saturday 30th September, the new hours will be Monday to Friday: 09:00-17:00 and closed on Saturdays.

A system of transfer of material from OIL to the Sackler Library from 16:00 on Fridays from 7 July will be trialled (and adjusted if the quantity proves to be unmanageable).  This will cater for non-lending material and for readers without borrowing privileges.  It is expected that material transferred in this way will be returned to OIL by 10:00 on the following Monday but staff may consider requests from readers to keep the material on reserve in Sackler for their convenience.

The library will be closed as usual on August Bank Holiday Monday (28th August) and the two days of St. Giles’ Fair (4th-5th September).

 

Building Works and Library Closure

During the summer vacation, the Oriental Institute Library will need to close temporarily to allow for work to install a new central heating system in the Oriental Institute building. The closure dates will be communicated as soon as the library receives a detailed schedule of work from the Faculty. Should the closure be prolonged, we will make arrangements for books to be fetched from the Oriental Institute for use in the Sackler, subject to it being safe for staff to enter the building.

The graduate student vacation loan limit has been raised to 20 books and we strongly advise people to borrow their books at the beginning of the vacation.

We would ask readers who are planning to work in the library over the summer vacation to watch for further communications and/or to get in touch with library staff to let us know as soon as possible when you are planning to work in the library and which Open Shelf books you are intending to use.

If you know of any colleagues from outside of Oxford who are planning to use the Oriental Institute Library over the summer, we would be grateful if you could share this advance warning with them.

We will post further updates to this as and when we get them, both on the website and on the Social Media platforms.

Book Moves

When other factors allow, Kate will be undertaking another move of books around the LC section over the summer. Having cut down her hours to two afternoons a week for unrelated operational reasons, she reckons that this will take slightly longer than previous moves, but will endeavour to get it done with the minimum of noise and disruption. As part of this, the last of the periodicals currently not shelved over by the photocopiers (the Z. Per. Section) will be moved across the library and the LC sequence will continue from under the windows by the reader computers to the central section from where Kate has been moving the PJs. We will ensure that the shelf labels are kept up to date so that readers can find everything.

 

 

April News

Reclassification

Those of you who use the Arabic folio section – Fol. PJ – may have noticed the old sequence diminishing over the vacation as Kate has been reclassifying them, and should finish this week. The Folio shelves have been extended to the other side of the bay from where they used to finish (in the furthest corner, by the windows) to allow more space for the PJs. This area is still a work in progress, with a long-term likelihood that we will reorganise the larger books again, but for now they should remain in that place for a while at least. If you cannot find anything, do ask a member of staff.

 

Revision reminders

Readers are gently requested that, despite the stress of exams and other deadlines, they still adhere to the rules of the library regarding food and drink. *Only* water in bottles with a lid is allowed in the library; we have seen an increase in cups from the water cooler being brought in, which are a potential spill-hazard and could also affect electrical outlets. Food is, as ever, not allowed, but readers are welcome to use the Common Room downstairs. This rule is to prevent pests in the library, such as rats or mice, which might eat the collections when they run out of crumbs.

We know that OIL is favoured by people wishing to revise as it is a quieter environment than the busier Sackler Library (for example) and we welcome this and ask our regulars to do their best to maintain our good reputation!

 

Old £5 notes

Finally, the old (paper) £5 note goes out of circulation on 5th May (Friday). The Library will no longer accept these notes as payment for fines, locker deposits or book sales. If you have any old £5 notes in your possession you are advised to take them to a bank to be swapped with a new one.

 

 

March Headlines, Easter Reminders

E-Resources

We hope that some of our readers were able to take advantage of the e-resources trials publicised here which were available throughout March; do let Lydia know if you have any comments, and remember that e-marifah.net trial from the Middle East centre, which we mentioned on Facebook on the 14th March, is still available until April 27th.

We will keep you posted with any other trials which we decide to run in the future!

Book Moves

A small-ish move has taken place during the last couple of weeks; the “Z” books – Z.Arm, Z.G, Z.T, Z.Sov, and Z.C, which used to reside on the tiers opposite the Library of Congress Folios at the Sacker end of the library have been moved down three rows to the space vacated by the Japanese books last year in order to expand the shelves of folios. This is because Kate is currently working on the PJ folios – a quite extensive section – and was concerned about running out of space. We will be re-thinking this area of the library and there will be further moves of the Z.Per journals (which will go with the rest of the journals over by the photocopiers) over the Long Vacation. In the meantime, if anything you need has vanished without trace do come and ask at the desk! The shelves are labelled, and nothing has gone very far at this point.

Wifi

We are pleased to report that the router, which had been faulty for some time, has now been replaced and that the Bodleian Libraries Wifi is now available again. EduRoam and OWL are also available for those who prefer to use them, and the signal should be better now that we have a router in the library again. Thanks to all of you for your patience!

Easter Closing

As usual, the whole Oriental Institute building will be closed from Thursday 13th April to Monday 17th April inclusive. The Library will be open until 7pm on the Wednesday 12th, but the rest of the building will close at 5. Other Bodleian Libraries are open on Thursday 13th.

Additionally, the Library will close at 5pm on Tuesday 18th April, before normal opening until 7pm resumes from the 19th. We will post reminders on the Facebook page nearer to the time.

February News and March Reminders

 

Another quiet but busy month in the Oriental Institute Library; we have been pleased to see how popular our Facebook link to the new blog post about the Digby collection has been – for those who missed it you can find it here: http://wp.me/p5Eblf-ZQ.

E-Resources Trial

Of interest this month has been the exciting trial of new e-resources, mentioned in our previous post and now with its own display just inside the Library door.

We hope our readers are taking advantage of these resources which are all available via OxLip+ until the end of March EXCEPT for the Early Arabic Printed Books resource, which is available until the 10th. Don’t miss the chance to try them out!

 

Wifi

While the Bodleian Libraries wifi issues appear to have been resolved for now, we have been asked to inform readers that the infrastructure is being migrated to a new platform on the 7th March (Tuesday of 8th Week) and that the service will be unavailable for a short time while the migration takes place. Eduroam and OWL will still be available to readers during the outage.

 

Vacation Loans

Long loans for the Easter vacation will commence on Tuesday 7th March and from then on all books checked out or renewed will be out until April 25th (Tuesday of 1st Week). If you have books which you want to keep for the vacation do remember to check that you can renew them – remember only three renewals are permitted before the books must be returned to the Library, so don’t get caught out! If in doubt, a member of staff can help.

The Library will be closed over the Easter long weekend from Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April inclusive, but we will otherwise be operating our usual hours over the Vacation. A reminder of this closure will be posted nearer the time.

 

Moving books

Once we are out of Term we are planning another of our small book-moves, this time in the Reference Section at the far end of the ground floor. This will involve moving the “Z.” shelfmarked books which came here from the New Bodleian into the space vacated by the Japanese Reference books, and is necessary in order to increase the space for the Folios which are currently just on the last two bays along the back wall. Kate is imminently going to be reclassifying the PJ Folios and is concerned that there is not enough room in the current Folio section to accommodate them and the PK Folios (which she will reach within the next few months if she carries on at her current speed).

New e-resources being trialled this Term!

From now until the end of March*, there are several exciting new electronic resources available through the OxLip+ portal which we would like to encourage our readers to try out:

 

Early Arabic Printed Books (Trial until 10th March)*

Gale’s Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library, based on A.G. Ellis’ catalogue of the British Library’s collection, represents the first major searchable online archive of pre-20th century Arabic printed books. It includes examples from over 400 years of books printed in Arabic script as well as translations into European and Asian languages in the fields of Islamic religion, history, law, language, literature, philosophy and science. Together they demonstrate Europe’s fascination, study and assimilation of ideas and knowledge from the Arabic-speaking world with its rich heritage of science, poetry and Islamic texts and commentaries. Scholars can search on the full text of items in Arabic, English, French, German, Latin, Italian, Dutch and Spanish while also being able to discover content in Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac and more.

eBook Arabic Subscription Collection (Trial until 31st March)

Serving the countries and territories of the Arabic League and beyond, this Middle Eastern collection of more than 4,000 Arabic e-books covers a broad range of academic subjects, including art, biography, business, child development, education, medicine, social sciences, humanities, Islamic studies, history, law, music, religion, political science, technology, engineering and more.

Arab World Research Source (Trial until 31st March)

This unique full-text database is ideal for students and researchers of Arabic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies. Covering many major subject disciplines, it offers academic journals, magazines, trade publications, conference papers and industry profiles that are published in or pertain specifically to the Arab World.

Islam in the Modern World (1804-1918) (Trial until 31st March)

Islam in the Modern World, 1804-1918 addresses the beliefs, practices, theology, spirituality, and history of Islam. Content includes biographies of the Prophet Muhammad, works comparing Christianity and Islam, key theological and philosophical texts (including the Quran), relevant mystical and spiritual works, and texts surveying the history of Islam.

 

January News and February Reminders

 

January was a relatively uneventful month at the Oriental Institute Library, with the exception of the return of most of our readers at the start of Term, of course!

We were pleased to note that the hole in the ceiling down in the common room which caused a bit of concern during the electricians’ works before Christmas has now been prevented from leaking and covered over. Fortunately there was no danger to the library collections during the incident, which happened when a workman drilled through a heating pipe in the week before Christmas. We were intrigued by the ingenious device which was rigged up to take any residual leaking water safely into the drain of the sink in the kitchen:

 

In broader library news, readers of South Asian collections may be interested to in this blog post: http://wp.me/p5Eblf-Yb which details the digitisation of the Chandra Shum Shere collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. We hope that some of you find this new resource useful!

Finally, we have been experiencing difficulties with the Bodleian Libraries wifi signal for the last week or so; possibly related to a power shut-down which happened on the weekend of the 21st-22nd January. This will hopefully be resolved soon, in the meantime readers can access the wifi via Eduroam or OWL, depending on their membership type.

 

February Reminders:

We don’t have many of those either (it’s been very quiet here) except to refer people to the Open Access drop-in sessions which are taking place all over this term at various locations – see the picture in the previous post for details.

 

 

 

2016 Highlights

Happy New Year!

We trust everyone had a pleasant holiday!

Before we get on with the serious business of reminding everyone of the exciting things which happened at OIL in 2016, readers interested in Rumi may wish to attend the lecture on the Poetry of Rumi which takes place on January 20th at the Weston Library: (details here). Note that you will need to book a place for this; we will post a reminder on the Facebook page nearer the time.

2016 Recap

Books

Last year saw a number of adjustments and changes at the Oriental Institute Library; the Japanese collections were relocated to the Bodleian Japanese Library after a decision was made by the Faculty to consolidate all the Japanese holdings in one place.

The space freed up by the Japanese move enabled us to rearrange the books in the basement, so that the Korean Studies Library is now on the shelves just at the bottom of the stairs, with the Indian Institute section now also moved so it resides on the shelves on the ground floor by the photocopiers.

The space where the Korean books were kept is currently being used by the Taylorian Library for a number of their periodicals which are to be barcoded, but which needed to be moved out of their previous locations to make room for the books from the Taylor Slavonic library which left its previous location over the summer. We have welcomed a few slightly baffled Modern Languages scholars who were looking for their usual publications over the last few months, some of whom had no idea we were here!

At the end of Michaelmas Term a number of periodicals which had previously been shelved among the Library of Congress books were shifted to the empty shelves near the other OIL periodicals; these have had a suffix “Per.” Added to their shelfmarks on the system which should make them easier to locate, but do ask staff if something has vanished from its usual place!

Finally, as we mentioned in the previous post, Kate has finished the “D” section in the reclassification project, as well as a few smaller groups of books under “L”, “M” and “N” and will be starting the “P” section as soon as she has finished a bit of essential moving to make space. In the last calendar year, 1808 shelfmarks were reclassified, many of which were multivolume works – the total number of individual books reclassified was 2136.

People

In December we said goodbye to Jonathan Acton, who had worked with us since 2010. We hope he is enjoying retirement and able to spend more time with his grandson!

During the summer we had a number of guests from the Muller Library after a minor fire in the Clarendon Institute forced them to close and relocate for a number of weeks while the building was repaired. The library is happily now open and the staff have returned to their normal workplaces, but it was interesting to have different people around at OIL for a few weeks!

Services

New PCAS – and with it shiny new photocopiers – was launched successfully in September, with only a few minor glitches being identified in what is otherwise a very similar system to the old one. Those of you with long memories may shudder at the thought of the original PCAS launch in 2009 which was very different; in the case of the new system we are happy to report that only minimal staff time has been taken up showing readers (usually those new to the system entirely) how to use the machines.

Building works

Over the summer we had the excitement of the replacement of the Library skylights, which actually proved far less disruptive than most of us had feared (visions of the entire LC section on the back wall being sheeted off proved unfounded), with crash-towers erected, but not preventing access to the books. One of these came into its own on a memorable Friday when Vasiliki was at the desk, heard a shouted expletive, and saw one of the workmen fall through the hole from the roof! Fortunately he was unharmed.

During the work we were given an interesting opportunity to see the sky from parts of the library which usually can’t…

20160803_141501

Directly before Christmas work began to replace the lights in the common room area. This has taken longer than anticipated due to an unfortunate incident on the last Friday before Christmas when one of the workmen drilled through a water pipe in the common room ceiling. Library staff brought in a preventive conservation expert from the Bodleian to monitor the humidity in the basement during the weekend immediately after the accident, and happily there was no change, so the books at the end of the basement are at no increased risk of mould at present. Work to fix the problem is ongoing; we will keep readers informed if the library is affected.

And finally…

Readers who need to find out more about Open Access and how it affects them are encouraged to attend one of the following drop-in sessions this Term:

OA poster