Indian Government Publications

The Indian Institute used to be located at the top of the New Bodleian building, which is now undergoing a major renovation. Because of this, the Indian Institute Government Publications are currently being kept in the Oriental Institute basement, on open shelves where readers can consult them. Whilst they’re here, we’ve been taking the opportunity to make sure they’re all catalogued and on SOLO. Over the past month we’ve had two important developments in the collection:

Some of the Indian Institute Government Publications used to be kept in Nuneham Courtney. These have now joined their fellows in the basement, meaning that all the Government Publications are finally reunited! Also it means that all of the Lok Sabha debates (the details of government debates) are on open shelves – which should be exciting news for scholars of the Indian government.

Also, the cataloguing project has just completed the Geography (shelfmark P) section. This section includes the gazetteers (shelfmark Pa), extensive descriptions of every district in India that are invaluable reference guides. There are now full details of all of these books available on SOLO. The Social Conditions (BB) and Statistics (CC) sections are due to be catalogued next.

NBRR Move Finished

The book move is finished; silence has once more descended upon the library. We’ve update our floorplans and our photo-tour on our LibGuide:

There are also photos of the move on the Bodley’s Flickr account:

There are lots of changes in the library, and lots more books, so please swing by and check it all out (but not on Monday 30th August, Monday 6th September or Tuesday 7th September when we’re closed!)

Book Move Begins!

Apparently the book move of the New Bodleian Reading Room to OIL will begin sometime today. Exciting!  Over the course of this week we’ll be getting lots more books and journals on a variety of Oriental subjects- Islam, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Former Soviet Central Asia, Syria, China, Korea, Buddhism, Hinduism, Hindi, Ceylon, Tibet and more.

The library may well be quite hectic as the work happens.

Updates will be posted on our Twitter:

Date for Book Move

On the 25th-27th August the OIL will have many new books coming to it from the New Bodleian. These will mostly be the books from the New Bodleian Reading Room, plus some items from reading lists at the Indian Institute.

Obviously the library will be rather busy over those 3 days and will not be as quiet as normal, so we’re advising all readers to plan their visits here accordingly! However after the move is completed our library will have considerably larger collections, and will hopefully be a more useful area to study in.

The New Bodleian Reading Room will be closing after this move and the move of the maps, meaning the Bodleian Oriental Institute Library will become Oxford’s main location for oriental studies.

Stock Check & Stock Move

This has been a busy week!

The library staff have been doing a stock check. Readers have complained about books that say they are in place in SOLO/OLIS but aren’t actually on the shelves. Whilst some of these are probably on people’s desks, a stock check enables us to work out which books really are missing. So if you’ve seen people wandering around the OIL with little beepy machines, that’s why!
We’ve managed to stock check the Minor (600s & 700s), South Asian (500s) and Islamic Religion (B) sections. Hopefully we’ll do the rest of the library in a future holiday.

Meanwhile, the Bodleian Turkish and Persian books have been being moved out of our basement storage area to the Central Bodleian’s storage. This is to clear space for the up-coming closure of the New Bodleian- we’re due to get lots of books from the Reading Room and from the Indian Institute. Our previously locked stacks will then become open access, allowing people to browse our new material. At least, that’s the current plan. Expect more news as and when we get it…

The Return Of The Bookmovers

Our book move a couple of weeks ago didn’t quite go as swiftly as we’d expected. We slightly underestimated the amount of time it’d take…

So this Saturday and possibly next Saturday the bookmovers will return. We’ll still be open as normal, from 10am to 1pm, but it might be rather noisy.

Last time we compressed the entire of the D/DS/DT section (Islamic History). This time we’re going to be working on the B/BP (Islamic Religion) and PJ/PK/PL (Arabic/Turkish/Persian Literature) sections. We’re not removing any books, just moving them up to get rid of empty space on the shelves. The extra shelves this frees up will be used to accomodate New Bodleian books, when the New Bod closes.

Here’s a map of our current plans:


Book Moving

If you come into the OIL today, you’re in for a big surprise…

Today’s the day we’re moving all our books around. The B-BP Islamic section that’s been on temporary shelves at the front of the library during building works is being moved back into sequence, and meanwhile we’re taking the opportunity to compress all our upstairs books & removing empty space. We’ll also hopefully be moving the South Asian and Japan/Korea reference works downstairs, so they’ll be nearer their main sequences. This should leave us lots of empty shelves for when the New Bodleian books get shipped over, as well as leaving us lots of room for our Library of Congress sequence to expand into.

We’re hoping to have new maps of the library ready to show everyone by early next week, but hopefully the new sequence will be fairly intuitive.

New Students

It’s been a hectic week at OIL, as we’ve welcomed all the new students to the Institute. Dawn has been running around between Inductions, whilst Mark, Lidio & James have had constant stream of people to enroll on the front desk. Hopefully all the new students are settling in ok, and finding their way around the libraries!

A reminder to all our borrowers, old and new:
-You are allowed 6 books out at a time from OIL. This number isn’t changed by how many books you have out at other libraries.
-Each book is issued for two weeks during term (longer during vacations).
-You can only renew books online a limited number of times before you have to bring it in to us, and if someone requests a book you can’t renew it at all.

As we’re now in termtime, we’re back to termtime opening hours. So we’re open this Saturday from 10am to 1pm, and from Monday we’re open on weekdays from 9:15am to 7pm.

Advanced Warning: next Saturday (Sat 1st Week, 17th October) we will be open but we’ll be rather busy as the book moving team are arriving to re-organise all our books. Hopefully we’ll have maps showing the new locations of all our books ready at the start of 2nd Week. The changes shouldn’t be *too* dramatic- the books are just being shuffled round a bit to use up all the gaps and create empty space for the New Bodleian’s books. This will mainly affect the books on the ground floor: the Islamic/Arabic/Turkish/Persian books and the reference books.

Preparing For The New Bodleian

In 2010 a major refurbishment program will take place at the New Bodleian Library. It will be transformed into the new Weston Library (named for the Garfield Weston Foundation), and will focus increasingly on special collections- with new exhibition spaces and better conservation & curation facilities, as well as rebuilt storage and more reading rooms.
For more information, see:

The New Bodleian Reading Room currently has an Asian and North African Collection that includes around 33 shelves of Arabic books, 16 shelves of Persian books, 16 shelves of Turkish books, 34 shelves of Indian books, 8 shelves of Oriental books and over 80 shelves of periodicals and reference books.
For more information, see:

The plan is that many of these books will come to the Oriental Institute whilst the work is going on. Luckily, we’ve worked out that if we start using the top and bottom shelves of all our bookcases, we’ve just about got room to fit all of the books we need to accomodate. So don’t be surprised if over the next couple of months all the books in our library get shifted around a bit… Hopefully this will end up with our library having even more books, and being even more useful, than it is already!

In other news, the building works in our library are nearing completion. The stairs are in place, and the box around the stairs has been built. They’re currently doing plastering- hopefully they’ll be finished early next week, and the shelves will be back up by the end of next week.