RSL Decant Project 2020-21 – Proposal and Consultation Papers

As part of the planned Parks College Development, it has been proposed that the Radcliffe Science Library’s undergraduate collection and services would be temporarily decanted to the Vere Harmsworth Library, from the period of January 2020-Summer 2021.

The proposal would provide Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) readers with study space, group study rooms, open shelf teaching collections and a service point for RSL related enquiries, during the Parks College development and the redevelopment of the RSL. This will impact on the VHL, its readers and on the RAI and its staff and fellows. Both the VHL and RAI as the foremost library and institution respectively for supporting the teaching and research activities in American studies in the UK. It is therefore very important ensure that the temporary science provision in the VHL will not harm those activities in any way.

Therefore, the Bodleian has been working, in advance of the decant, to ensure that any potential inconveniences to current users of the VHL and the RAI are identified and mitigated. This includes a consultation on these possible impacts and their amelioration with VHL staff, the Institute, the History Faculty and across the relevant academic divisions. The Consultations are a way of ensuring that our readers are able to feedback their concerns regarding the Decant Project, and consider possible ideas for the VHL’s future.

The Proposal and Consultation papers for the RSL Decant Project, 2020-21 are available for you to view on the VHL webpage. They include the current plans proposed for the VHL, issues already identified, and the mitigations which will be put in place. We encourage you to view these documents before providing your feedback.

You are welcome to provide your feedback to us in person at one of our upcoming Consultation Meetings (see below) or through our online survey, which closes on the 22nd October, 5pm. The survey is anonymous, and you would only need to provide details of your faculty and year of academic study.

Upcoming Consultation Meetings 

14 Oct. 4-5pm: Open Meeting, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

16 Oct. 2.30-3.30pm: Townhall meeting for history students, Lecture Theatre, History Faculty

Any issues or questions about the consultation process can be directed to Bethan Davies, Vere Harmsworth Librarian: bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk  

New in Oxford: Jewish Life in America via Adam Matthews Digital

I am pleased to announce that Bodleian Libraries have been able to make a new eresource purchase which may be of interest to American historians.

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers. The list includes items which cannot easily be covered by recurrent budgets.

Jewish Life in America via Adam Matthews Digital, c. 1654-1954

Based on a rich variety of original manuscript collections from the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, this indispensable resource offers captivating insights into the everyday lives of the American Jewish population over three centuries. Charting the Jewish Diaspora from the earliest settlements through to the mass European influx of the early twentieth century, Jewish Life in America will appeal to researchers of all aspects of this diverse and extensive cultural heritage.

The collection is based on a rich variety of original manuscript documents ranging from a peddler’s certificate signed by Benjamin Franklin, to records of organisations such as the Baron de Hirsch fund, which supported Jewish entrepreneurship all across America from 1819 to the 1980s.

Also of Interest:

Further US History resources can be found on our online guide. For further assistance with finding and using online resources, please feel free to contact the Vere Harmsworth Librarian, Bethan Davies. 

 

Welcome to Bethan Davies, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian!

I am delighted to announce that Ms Bethan Davies will start as the new Vere Harmsworth Librarian on Tuesday 27 August.

Originally from Shropshire, England, Bethan gained her undergraduate degree in English and American Studies (dual honours) from Keele University, which included a semester abroad at the University of Greensboro, North Carolina. She then studied for her taught master’s degree in Renaissance Literature at the University of York, before entering the field of librarianship as a library graduate trainee at Anglia Ruskin University.

In her current position as a Trainee Liaison Librarian at the University of Reading, she provides library-related support for Philosophy and Classics departments. This includes management of both department’s library budgets and online reading lists, and providing information literacy support for students and researchers, through teaching sessions and individual support. She also works with the Library’s Special Collections in promoting their collections to academics and researchers using social media and other platforms.

She has a postgraduate qualification in Librarianship from the University of Aberystwyth, is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), and is currently working towards Professional Registration with CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

Bethan very much looks forward to applying her knowledge of US Studies at the VHL and supporting and getting to know readers of the VHL and RAI fellows. Do come introduce yourselves and say hello! From 27 August, her email address will be bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk and her phone number will be 01865 (2)82701. You can also follow her on Twitter @BethanDavies9.

New accessibility aids available

We now have the following accessibility aids available for readers to borrow and use in the library:

  • Book rest
  • Foot lift
  • Reading lamp
  • Coloured acetate sheets
  • Magnifier
  • Ear plugs

Please ask staff at the desk if you would like to use any of these items.

Accessibility aids

New eresources: NCCO women: transnational networks; Political extremism & radicalism in the twentieth century; and more

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers. The list includes items costing up to £125,000 which cannot easily be covered by recurrent budgets. The first tranche of purchases includes a number of important primary sources from Gale Cengage, including some of particular interest to US historians such as NCCO: Women: Transnational Networks and Political extremism & radicalism in the twentieth century, together with their new Gale Digital Scholar Lab, which will allow digital research methods to be applied across all the primary sources published by them and acquired by the Bodleian Libraries.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Women: Transnational Networks

Issues of gender and class ignited nineteenth-century debate in the context of suffrage movements, culture, immigration, health and many other concerns. Using a wide array of primary source documents (serials, books, manuscripts, diaries, reports, and visuals) this resource focuses on issues at the intersection of gender and class from the late-eighteenth century to the era of suffrage in the early-twentieth century, all through a transnational perspective. The collection contains deep information on European and North American movements, but also expands its scope to include collections from other regions.

Researchers and scholars will find rare content related to:

  • Social reform movements and groups
  • High and popular culture
  • Literature and the arts
  • Immigration
  • Daily life
  • Religion

Source libraries include the Library of Congress, the London School of Economics and Political Science Library, and the Library of the Society of Friends.

Political Extremism & Radicalism in the Twentieth Century

This resource provides access to “a compilation of rare and unique archival collections covering a wide range of fringe political movements. It has been sourced from distinguished libraries and archives across the world but also premiers some previously hidden treasure troves.

With an extensive scope of content focused on political extremism and radical thought, this archive is one of the first digital archives covering such a broad assortment of both far-right and left political groups. It offers a diverse mixture of materials, including periodicals, campaign propaganda, government records, oral histories, and various ephemera, which allow researchers to explore unorthodox social and political movements in new and innovative ways and to understand what impact they have had on today’s society.

The collections cover a period of just over a century (1900s to 2010s) when the world saw the formation of several civil rights movements for the rights of minorities, women’s rights, and gay rights. It also encompasses the rise and fall of a number of peripheral groups deemed ‘extreme’ or ‘radical’ by contemporaries, such as anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, anti-war, communist or socialist, creationist, environmentalist, hate, holocaust denial, new left, survivalist, white supremacist, and white nationalist. Global in scope, although the archive presents materials largely from the US and Britain, it also showcases important factions from Europe and Australia, such as the Norwegian Nazi Party and the Australian National Socialist Party. By spanning multiple geographic regions, the resource shows both the cultural impact of radical groups at a national level as well as the international networking and cross-border exchanges of extreme political movements.

Of particular interest to Americanists are the following collections:

  • The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda from the John Hay Library at Brown Universit, features extremist literature ranging from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s – the most heated days of the civil rights movement. Publications in this collection represent a cross-section of extremist opinion towards integration and civil rights activism, but it also contains materials on American anti-Semitism, Christian Identity theology, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacy movements.
  • The American Radicalism Collection from Michigan State University is a collection of ephemera on radical political groups across a range of extremist and radical movements, including those involved in religion, race, gender, the environment, and equal rights. The materials represent a large variety of viewpoints, from the far-right to the far-left, on political, social, cultural, sexual, and economic issues in the United States from 1970 to the present.

Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Trans-Jordan: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1836-1944 (Archives Unbound)

This collection covers U.S. perspectives on Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Trans-Jordan, from Ottoman rule to the era of British and French mandates following the First World War. The archive is sourced from the Central Files of the General Records of the Department of State. The records are under the jurisdiction of the Legislative and Diplomatic Branch of the Civil Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Details on more new resources now available in Oxford may be found on the History Faculty Library blog:

iSkills Sources for US History and other sessions coming up

On 8 May the iSkills programme will run a session on Sources for US History which will be invaluable to anyone embarking on research on US topics, including undergraduates planning their dissertations. You can book a place by clicking on the link below:

Bodleian iSkills: Sources for US History (Wed 8 May 11.00-12.30)
Introduction to key information sources for the study of colonial America and US history. The session will provide an overview of the primary sources available in Oxford and online (such as early printed books, US newspapers and US government papers), as well as guidance on locating material for your research.
Who is this session for? Students, researchers and anyone interested in this topic.

Other iSkills sessions coming up which may be of interest to Americanists:

Bodleian iSkills: Managing research data and Data Management Planning (DMPs) (Tue 7 May 10.00-12.00)
Good research data management is vital to academic practice. Effectively storing and managing your project research data preserves it for the future and enables sharing and collaboration. This session introduces the University’s research data policy and outlines the practical impact this will have on your work. The services available at Oxford to assist you will be outlined. This session is not only essential during your current studies but will be invaluable if you plan to continue in research as a career.
Who is this session for? All DPhil students and research staff.

Referencing: Choosing and using software (Tue 7 May 14.00-17.00; repeated Fri 17 May 09.15-12.15)
Formatting your in text citations/footnotes and bibliography correctly for your thesis or publication is a chore. Reference management software makes it easier and saves you time. This introductory session gives an overview of how reference management works, explores the pros and cons of a wide range of reference management packages and gives you the opportunity to try out four different packages so that you can work out which one is best for you. The packages included are RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley.
Who is this session for? Postgraduate students, researchers and university staff.

Bodleian iSkills: Online resources for Historians (Wed 8 May 09.30-10.45)
A general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods of British and W European history: bibliographical databases, biographical / reference research aids, ebooks and ejournals, web portals, and collections of online primary source materials.
Who is this session for? Students, researchers and anyone interested in this topic.

Bodleian iSkills: Google for academic research (Fri 10 May 14.00-16.00)
Google is often dismissed as being irrelevant to the academic literature search. However, changes to the nature of the dissemination of scholarly research and official information in recent years mean that a wealth of relevant information can be accessed via standard Internet search engines such as Google. Too often however such information is lost amongst thousands of irrelevant, spurious and misleading results.
Based on an understanding of how the Google search engine works this practical workshop will show you the basic techniques to quickly filter your results for high quality academic material.
A couple of other search engines will be considered briefly, including DuckDuckGo which has become a popular alternative to Google in the light of concerns about the privacy costs of a ‘free’ search within search engines such as Google or Bing.
Who is this session for? Anyone who is interested in best use of Google for their academic research

For a full list of upcoming workshops in Trinity Term please go to http://libguides.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/workshops/workshopsbydate.

Library closed 19th-22nd April; 27th April

The library will be closed for Easter from Friday 19th-Monday 22nd April inclusive.

Term time hours will begin from Tuesday 23rd April (Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-5pm) but please note that the library will be CLOSED on Saturday 27th April due to a security lockdown of the Science Area.

NEW ERESOURCES: African American Newspapers (1827-1998); Ethnic American Newspapers (1799-1971)

Happy Christmas! Here’s a present: news of two new eresource acquisitions, both funded by a very generous donation from the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.

African American Newspapers (Series I), 1827-1998

Chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience, African American Newspapers, Series 1, features 280 newspapers from 35 states, including many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles. These titles published for or by African Americans constitute valuable primary sources for researchers exploring such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history; ethnic studies and more. Beginning with Freedom’s Journal (NY)—the first African American newspaper published in the United States—the titles in this groundbreaking series include The Colored Citizen (KS), Arkansas State Press, Rights of All (NY), Wisconsin Afro-American, New York Age, L’Union (LA), Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate (NY), Richmond Planet, Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN) and hundreds of others from every region of the U.S.

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971

Access to over 130 digitised newspapers published by and for ethnic groups in the United States, particularly those of Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Welsh descent.

Spanning the Early Republic’s Open Door Era to the Era of Liberalization in the mid-1960s, Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection covers two centuries of immigrant life in the United States. Nineteenth-century topics include the denial of citizenship to “nonwhites”; the founding of nativist political movements, including the anti-immigrant “Know-Nothing” party; the 1849 discovery of gold in California, which lured people from all over the world; New York City’s place as the world’s largest Irish city in 1860 with more than 200,000 Irish-born citizens; and the Immigration Act of 1882, which levied a tax on all immigrants landing at U.S. ports.

In addition to the major contributions of immigrants to business, music, science, education, labor movements and war efforts, later topics include the Naturalization Act of 1906, which for citizenship required immigrants to learn to speak English; the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which favored northern and western Europeans; the 1942 internment in “War Relocation Camps” of Japanese Americans, several of whom published newspapers; Truman’s 1953 Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, which revealed the positive impact of immigrants; and much more.

Both collections are now available via SOLO/Databases A-Z.

Christmas closure: 22nd December – 1st January

 

VHL Christmas tree

The library will close for Christmas at 5pm on Friday 21st December and reopen at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January.

For those readers with borrowing privileges, any books checked out or renewed from Thursday 20th December will be due back on 2nd January.

We’d like to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas! See you in 2019!

Book now: Research Skills Toolkit

Need to brush up on your IT and information skills for research? Why not come to a Research Skills Toolkit? These free 2-hour workshops introduce key software and online tools for your research, hone your searching and information skills and introduce you to subject specialists. Our next series will be running in 1st week of Hilary Term 2019. 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 MS Word
  • Analyzising data with Excel pivot tables
  • Podcasting with Audacity
  • Plagiarism and how to avoid it
  • Preparing your thesis for the Oxford Research Archive (ORA)
  • Finding highly cited journals and measuring research impact

Book a Humanities session | Book a Social Sciences session