American National Biography Update: February 2021

Believing that the life of a nation is told by the lives of its people, the American National Biography consists of over 19,000 scholarly biographies of significant, influential, or notorious figures from American history.

The latest update to the American National Biography adds six new essays in celebration of black history month.

New additions include Bo Diddley (1928–2008), guitarist, singer, and songwriter who bridged the transition between the blues and rock and roll. Easily identifiable by his trademark sunglasses and black hat, Diddley was most associated with the Twang Machine, his homemade electric guitar. It featured a cigar box-shaped square body that he crafted himself and attached to the neck and electronics from a Gretsch guitar. Diddley’s career spanned generations; he became even more popular in the 1990s when he starred alongside Bo Jackson in a series of Nike advertisements.

Marsha P. Johnson (1945–1992), gay and trans rights activist, participated in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). In 1970, Johnson and her friend Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in New York City, the first LGBTQ youth shelter in North America and one of the first organizations in the United States founded by transgender women of color. She was also an AIDS activist associated with ACT UP, a direct-action political group combatting governmental and institutional neglect of the AIDS crisis. Johnson’s fierce passion for justice defines her as a founder and legend of the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy (1916–2000), lawyer and feminist activist, described herself as “too erratic to lead and too undisciplined to follow.” She was a pivotal and wide-reaching figure, building bridges between the civil rights, Black Power, feminist, anti-war, and reproductive rights movements that helped define the 20th century. She skillfully used the media to spread her message, writing a weekly column and hosting a radio and television show. She was also a lawyer and defended a number of Black Power activists, including H. Rap Brown, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Afeni Shakur. Kennedy was an original and instrumental member in the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Women’s Political Caucus; was influential in the founding of the National Black Feminist Organization; and organized the Feminist Party.

Gladys Bentley (1907­­–1960), blues singer and pianist, brazenly defied race, gender, and sexual stereotypes in Renaissance-era Harlem and later Los Angeles. She performed wearing tailored men’s shirts and jackets, skirts, and close-cropped hair. Langston Hughes called her “an amazing exhibition of musical energy—a large, dark, masculine lady, whose feet pounded the floor while her fingers pounded the keyboard.” Bentley was a forerunner of post-Stonewall views toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lives and experiences.

Lerone Bennett, Jr. (1928­–2018), author, journalist, and editor, was the major force behind Ebony magazine’s reporting on the civil rights movement. Many of his early stories became the impetus for his first book, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, (1619-1962). The book placed African Americans, whose American history was one year deeper than that of the Puritans who arrived on the Mayflower, at the forefront of American history. He also wrote an influential biography about his old Morehouse classmate, What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

James D. Saules (1806?–1850s), sailor and musician, is best known for likely inspiring Oregon’s first black exclusion law. He arrived in the Willamette Valley joining the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-1842), also known as the Wilkes Expedition. On May 1, 1844, he was arrested for allegedly inciting several indigenous men to threaten the life and property of Charles E. Pickett, a proslavery Virginian and white supremacist. The all-white jury found Saules guilty and he was forced to leave the Willamette Valley. The newly-created Provisional Government of Oregon passed its first black exclusion law on June 25, 1844. In 1857 Oregon’s state constitution banned all African American immigration.

 

Announcement: VHL closed February 19th 2021

Due to required construction works in the reading rooms, the Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on Friday, February 19th, 2021.

Reading room study space bookings and collection slots have been cancelled for this day. Readers who had already made bookings should have received an email notification confirming the cancellation.

We apologise for any inconvenience the closure causes.

The VHL will be reopened on Monday 22nd February.

If you have any questions, please contact vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk 

Trial Access: Black Authors and Native American Indians (ends 9th March 2021)

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to two online resources for Bodleian Readers; Black Authors, 1556-1922 and Native American Indians, 1645-1819.The trials will run until the 9th March, 2021.

These trials are running alongside our trial access of Black Thought and Culture, which you can read about in our previous blogpost. 

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Black Authors, 1556-1922

Created from the renowned holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, Black Authors, 1556-1922, offers more than 550 fully catalogued and searchable works by black authors from the Americas, Europe and Africa, expertly compiled by the curators of Afro-Americana Imprints collection, the largest existing collection of its kind. Genres include: personal narratives, autobiographies, histories, expedition reports, military reports, novels, essays, poems and musical compositions.

Authors included are Ignatius Sancho, Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Solomon Northrup, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Frederick Douglass, Bethany Veney, Paul Laurence Dunbar, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles W. Chestnutt, Booker T. Washington, James Weldon Johnson and hundreds of others.

You can access this resource here.

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Native American Indians, 1645-1819

Native American Indians provides a comprehensive record of Native America in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. It Includes more than 1,600 publications, which offer unparalleled insight into the relationship between Native Americans and European settlers, alongside text analysis tools, author biographies and more.

Genres include treaties, transcribed letters from Native American leaders, the minutes of tribal meetings, histories of numerous tribes, missionary reports, captivity narratives, first-hand accounts of battles, trading records, military rosters, expedition logs and maps, trial records, legislative bills, books on Native American languages and grammar, military rosters, governors’ and legislators’ reports, ballads, songs, plays and more.

You can access this resource here.

Please send any feedback you have regarding this resource to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

Trial Access: Black Thought and Culture (ends 1st March 2021)

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I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to the online resource, Black Thought and Culture. The trial will run until the 1st March, 2021.

This impressive database contains a collection of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders—teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures—covering 250 years of history. In addition to the most familiar works, Black Thought and Culture presents a great deal of previously inaccessible material, including letters, speeches, prefatory essays, political leaflets, interviews, periodicals, and trial transcripts.

The collection spans from the works of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois and Ida B. Wells Barnett, to Zora Neal Hurston, Audra Lorde, and Jesse Jackson. Most notably, the collection includes items previously undigitized, and difficult to obtain, such as:

  • The transcript of the Muhammad Ali trial
  • A full run of The Black Panther newspaper, with full-colour images of every page as well as searchable text
  • 2,500 pages of exclusive Black Panther oral histories owned by the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation
  • Selected audio files, heard here for the first time
  • the full run of Artist and Influence journal, tracking African American cultural trends in the 20th Century.

This resource will be of interest to those interested in African American history, politics, literature and culture.

You may access the resource here.

Please send any feedback you have regarding this resource to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

You can also find out more about our other two trials for Native American Indians and Black Authors on our new blogpost. 

 

‘America and Race’ Bibliography Now Available on Bodleian US History LibGuide

Today the VHL is delighted to be launching a new resource on Bodleian Libraries US History Libguide: ‘America and Race: A Bibliography for UK History Undergraduates.’ The bibliography project was directed by Dr Sonia Tycko and coordinated by Amelia Hart, in consultation with Bethan Davies.

Hart and Tycko began the project by trying to get a general sense of the materials that historians of America based in the UK are currently using to teach their students about racism. From there, they aimed to curate a bibliography of the best titles. Hart first collated reading lists from current or recent US history modules taught at five universities. They proceeded by surveying more than fifty UK-based historians with JISC Online Survey, asking them: What readings are most effective for teaching UK history undergraduates about race in America? Here they presented key titles from the collated lists and asked respondents to recommend more recent scholarship, and to be mindful to include the many important but often overlooked works by historians from marginalized groups. More than one thousand titles poured in. Hart used the referencing management program Zotero to keep track of bibliographic details and sort the titles into categories.

Throughout the process of curation, many historians in Oxford, the UK, and the US offered their time and expertise. The resulting bibliography has now been added to the Bodleian US History LibGuide by Bethan Davies. The LibGuide provides the ‘highlights edition’ of one hundred titles in twenty-five categories, each introduced with blurbs to help guide undergraduates in their reading.

The Rothermere American Institute is hosting PDFs of the highlights and extended editions here. The extended edition includes more than one thousand titles, which should be useful to module designers. Dr Tycko has written more about the motivations behind the bibliography project and the lessons learned here.

Bethan Davies, the VHL Librarian, provided Amelia and Dr Tycko support in using SOLO, locating resources and in discussions related to research techniques. Support was also provided by colleagues within the Bodleian referencing management team, who gave advice and assistance on using Zotero.

The VHL is committed to supporting the RAI, Bodleian Readers, and the wider academic community, by providing relevant, significant and diverse collections to support our readers’ studies and current research. With that in mind, the VHL Librarian will be reviewing the bibliography, and using this as a as a tool to consider any current gaps within our holdings. This will help to plan future spending on key research titles, and to continue to maintain and develop our collections.

Bethan Davies can provide support in finding resources, using databases and library catalogues, and planning your research in US History, Politics and Culture. To organise a 1-1 session with her, please email: bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

For more information on using the VHL, visit: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/vhl.

 

What to expect when using the VHL Click & Collect service in Michaelmas Term 2020

If you are planning on using the VHL Click & Collect service to access reading material, read this blogpost for further information, and advice on how to plan for your visit.

Selecting your book

To start requesting titles, you will first need to request a title via SOLO. Log in to your SOLO account, using your Single Sign-On information. Your name will appear at the top of the page.

Titles which you can select via Click & Collect will have a green Request button next to the Location Items information. You will need to visit the individual owning library in order to collect/borrow the item.

Please note that if the title is located as the BSF or the Vere Harmsworth Library Stack, then the item will be a non-loanable stack request, and you will need to consult the item in the library, via a booked reading room slot.

An example of Click & Collect – press the green Request button.

 

Once you have requested your item, your request will be sent to the relevant library staff, who will search for, and select your required title.

Once this has been done, you will receive an automated Holds Notification Email, which will alert you that your item is ready to be collected, and include a link, so that you can book your collection slot.

Booking a slot

In line with wider Bodleian policy, readers are required to use a booking system to book collection slots at the VHL.

Use this link to book your space at the VHL.

The time slots for Click & Collect are from 12:00-16:00, on weekdays only.

If you are nominating a person to pick up your items for you (see below), add their name to the Notes field.

If you have requested more than one title via Click & Collect from the same library, you don’t need to book seperate time slots for each item. So long as the library staff have been able to select your item, and you have received a Holds Notification Email to confirm your book is available, you will only need to make use of one time slot booking.

For more information about the wider Click and Collect service,, visit the Bodleian Libraries website on using Click & Collect.

Arriving at the VHL to pick up your book 

You may arrive at any time during your allocated study slot. Please follow all social distancing guidance and signage when entering the building. If there is a queue, may be required to wait in the foyer, or outside the building.

Upon arrival outside the building, please follow the below steps:

  1. Enter the Rothermere American Institute foyer, via the door marked Entrance (on your right as you approach the building – see image below).

The library is through the glass doors door, on the left side of the foyer (see below). Keep to the right hand side as you enter through the doors.

 

 

 

2. Tap your Bodleian card against the card reader on your immediate right, to activate the access gates (see below).

3.  Please enter the library one person at a time. If library staff are busy with an enquiry  at the library desk, you may be asked to wait before the access gates, or in the RAI foyer.

4. Once the library staff member at the desk confirms that they are available to deal with your enquiry, please confirm that you are here to collect a book.

5. You will be asked to show your Bodleian card, so that the staff member can confirm your collection time, and find your item. Display your card either through the Perspex screen, or by placing your card on the desk, and then stepping away from the desk area and stand behind the line marked on the floor.

6. If there is a long queue of readers wishing to enter the library for reading room spaces, you may be asked to come back later to collect your material, when the enquiry desk is quieter.

Upon entering the library, you will need to register with library staff at the enquiry desk (pictured above). Please stand behind the line on the floor, when speaking with staff. 

Collecting your item

Once library staff have checked your card, they will be able to locate your book/s from behind the library enquiry desk area.

After verbally confirming with you that they have the correct book/number of books under your name, the staff member will need to scan your library card, either through the Perspex screen, or via the gap near the desk ledge.

At this stage, library staff will check the title/s out to you, and confirm the return date.

What if I miss my collection slot?

You can rebook a collection slot at any point via the link in your Holds Notification Email (see above). Your title will stay on the Hold Shelf for at least 7 days before being returned to the open shelves or passed on to the next request.

If you are struggling to organise a time to pick up your book, please email us as soon as possible so that we can assist you.

Nominating another person to collect your book

If you need to self-isolate, you may find that you cannot collect your book in person from the VHL. You can nominate another person, such as a friend or family member, to collect your book for you (this is called “collection by proxy”).

When you book your time slot, add in the name of your nominated collector in the Notes field. This alerts library staff that another person will be coming to collect your book.

Your nominated person will need to bring photo ID with them when they come to collect your book/s.

If you are unsure, feel free to contact us beforehand.

Leaving the VHL after collecting your book

You should leave the VHL after library staff have handed your your requested book/s.

  1. Leave the library one at a time, keeping to your right, as you go through the security sensors.
  2. Use the card reader on the wall directly in front of you (on your immediate right as you turn to face the library doors) to activate the security gates and exit the library through the library doors.
  3. Exit the RAI foyer via the exit immediately on your right.

When exiting the library, please be aware of your fellow readers and others in the building, and follow social distancing signage and guidance at all times. There may be a rush of readers exiting the library, and you may be asked to queue as you leave.

Returning books to the VHL

When returning books at the VHL, readers will be asked to put their items directly into a blue crate. The crate is located immediately on the right as you enter the library, on the ground next to the library desk. Readers do not need to make a reading room booking, or use the access gates in order to return their books.

A blue box, labelled Returns, is on the floor of the library. A set of glass doors are on the right of the image, and the library desk wall on the left.

Our returns crate is next to the library enquiry desk, as you walk through the glass doors.

After a quarantine period of 24 hours, the book will be removed from your account. Bodleian libraries will be extending it’s grace period on library fines from the lockdown period across Michaelmas Term, so the extra period of time on your account will not affect you.

Readers may also return their books via the Returns Hubs based at the Social Science Library in the Manor Road Building, or the Sainsbury Library at the Saïd Business School.

Please note that if you cannot physically return the books yourself, you may ask a friend or family member to return the books for you. If this is not possible, please visit the Bodleian Loans Returns webpage, which provides further information and return options for readers.

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What to expect when using the VHL Reading Rooms in Michaelmas Term 2020

If you are planning on booking and using the VHL study spaces, read this blogpost for further information, and advice on how to plan for your visit.

Booking a slot

In line with wider Bodleian policy, readers are required to use a booking system to book spaces at the VHL. Pre-booking is mandatory and walk-in requests for study spaces will be politely rejected by library staff.

A screenshot of the Bodleian Library Space Finder webpage. Note that this example includes our new Browse & Borrow service options – please ensure you select the right option for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use this link to book your space at the VHL.

For more information about the wider Bodleian reading room policies, and for further information on the booking service, visit the Bodleian Libraries website on using library reading rooms.

The booking slots for the VHL are:

Weekdays: 9:30 – 13:00; 13:30-17:00; 17:30-21:00

Saturday: 10:00- 12:30: 13:00 – 16:00

Sunday: 11:00 – 13:30: 14:00 – 17:00

You may book for more than one slot across the day if you wish.

Spaces will be available one week in advance of the advertised dates.

You can choose to book a Desk space or a Reader PC space. You cannot book two spaces at the same time, and move between the PC/Desk.

You may use the notes field if you wish to provide further information to the librarians before your slot, such as if you wish to use a microfilm reader.

Please note that study spaces at the VHL, and across the Bodleian Libraries are very heavily booked up, and we are trying to make as many spaces available as safely possible. Do not make a study space booking if you are not intending on using it. Please be considerate of your fellow readers.

Arriving at the VHL for your study slot

You may arrive at any time during your allocated study slot. Please follow all social distancing guidance and signage when entering the building. If there is a queue, may be required to wait in the foyer, or outside the building.

Upon arrival outside the building, please follow the below steps:

  1. Enter the Rothermere American Institute foyer, via the door marked Entrance (on your right as you approach the building – see image below).

The library is through the glass doors door, on the left side of the foyer (see below). Keep to the right hand side as you enter through the doors.

 

 

 

2. Tap your Bodleian card against the card reader on your immediate right, to activate the access gates (see below).

3.  Please enter the library one person at a time. If library staff are busy with an enquiry  at the library desk, you may be asked to wait before the access gates, or in the RAI foyer.

4. Once the library staff member at the desk confirms that they are available to deal with your enquiry, please confirm that you are here for a study space booking.

5. You will be asked to show your Bodleian card, so that the staff member can confirm your place on the Reading Room register. Display your card either through the Perspex screen, or by placing your card on the desk, and then stepping away from the desk area and stand behind the line marked on the floor.

6. The library staff member will confirm your study slot booking, and the times of your registered study slot. They will also inform you of the main guidelines you need to follow whilst using the library. If you are studying for more than one slot, you will then be given a red library ticket (see below for further information on library tickets).

7. If you have a stack request, or Click & Collect material which you need to collect, inform the library staff member, so that they can provide you with your items. If there is a long queue of readers wishing to enter the library for reading room spaces, you may be asked to come back later to collect your material, when the enquiry desk is quieter.

Upon entering the library, you will need to register with library staff at the enquiry desk (pictured above). Please stand behind the line on the floor, when speaking with staff.

Selecting a Desk or PC Study Space

Available spaces within the VHL have been marked out by library staff in advance. Available spaces are socially distanced from other readers, and located to ensure the least amount of contact between readers.

Available spaces are marked with a green tick sign, which reads “You may sit here”. Unavailable seats are marked with a red “Do not sit here” sign.

You may use any available desk or PC Reader space in the VHL, so long as the seat is marked with the green tick sign and there is not a red Library ticket left on the desk.

PC study spaces are available on the Ground Floor only. Desk spaces are available on all floors of the library.

The Reader PCs are located on the Ground Floor. You can sit at any of the PCs with a green tick sign.

Once you have selected your desired space, please use the nearby cleaning materials to wipe down your desk area or reading room equipment before using the space for your studies.

If you are having problems with your chosen study space (such as your PC/electronic plugs are not working), inform the library staff as soon as possible for their assistance. If your study space is found to be unusable, staff may move you to another free space, but we do ask for you to wipe down your previous study space before moving.

Displaying your library ticket 

If you are going to be studying at the VHL for more than one time slot (so for example, a morning & afternoon slot), you will be given a red ticket by a member of staff on your arrival. The ticket is to ensure that other library staff do not incorrectly ask you to leave before your booked slot times have ended, and to avoid them disturbing you when asking other readers to leave. Please keep your red ticket clearly visible on your desk, with the side with text facing upwards.

Staying for more than one time slot? Make sure to keep your red ticket displayed!

You do not need to leave the library in between any of your booked slots, but you may leave the library at any point for meals or other reasons. If you are planning on leaving the library and returning, please leave your red ticket on your desk, to make sure other readers do not use your space in your absence.

When you have finished studying for the day, please return your ticket to the enquiry point when you leave. Do not take your ticket home with you.

Using the reading room during your slot 

Social distancing guidelines and cleaning material 

Any reader using the library study spaces will need to follow the guidelines set out by the VHL. These are created in consultation with the Rothermere American Institute and the wider Bodleian libraries policy.

Readers will be required to wear a mask at all times whilst in the library, and wider RAI building. Readers must also maintain a 2 meter social distance between themselves and others using the building. There is a limit of one person down each library shelving bay.

If you require help from a library staff member, consider using Library Chat or email, instead of speaking 1-1 with a member of staff, to reduce unrequired contact.

There are cleaning materials located around the library on each floor, to allow readers to clean their study spaces and any reading room equipment they use whilst at the VHL. There are also hand sanitisers located near reading room equipment, and in wall dispensers around the building.

If you have any feedback on the social distancing/one way system, or feel that more cleaning material should be made available, please inform library staff by email. We are more than happy to consider your feedback, and reflect on what we can do better.

Moving around the library

A one-way system is in place around the building to encourage social distancing and to avoid unwarranted contact between people using the building.

Upon entering and exiting the RAI foyer, use the separate Entrance and Exit doors. Please keep to your right as you enter or exit the VHL via the glass doors and library access gates.

There is only one staircase which connects the Ground Floor to the Mezzanine level, from which you can access the other floors. Please be aware of other readers using the stairs and give way at the signposted points (pictured below).

If you need to continue to the floors higher than the Mezzanine level, use the stairs immediately on your right (see above image). You should only use these stairs to go up.

To travel to lower floors from the First/Second Floor towards the Mezzanine, please use the stairs located closest to car park, and RAI foyer. These stairs are opposite the stairs you used to enter the building. You should only use these stairs to go down (see below).

On the First and Second Floor, a one way system is in place around the library shelves. To travel towards the area of the building closest to the cark park and where the stairs for travelling downstairs are located, please walk on the side of the floor closest to the Mezzanine and the large glass windows looking onto the garden.

To travel towards the area of the building furthest from the car park and where the stairs for travelling upstairs, please walk on the side of the floor furthest from the Mezzanine, next to the windows facing South Parks Road.

Please limit the number of people down each library shelving bay to one.

In order to exit the building, you will need to go downstairs (using the stairs located closest to the carpark and RAI foyer), and then walk parallel to the Mezzanine study spaces and large glass windows looking onto the garden. Remember that you may need to give way to others before using the staircase which connects the Mezzanine to the Ground Floor.

There is signage clearly displayed around the library, to show readers the correct routes using the one way system, and clarifying where to give way to others.

Please be aware of others as you travel around the building. You may need to stand to the side, or leave a library shelving bay, in order for others to use the building in the safest way possible.

If you have any feedback on the one way system, or feel that more signage should be displayed, please inform library staff by email. We are more than happy to consider your feedback, and reflect on what we can do better.

Bathrooms and breaks

Bathrooms are located on the First Floor of the library, on the side closest to the car park.

The bathrooms include two unisex toilet cubicles (with individual sinks and hand drying facilities) and one disabled bathroom. Please be aware that others may be using the bathrooms, and give way to readers leaving the bathrooms as a priority. Hand sanitiser is available in a wall dispenser next to the toilet entrances.

Readers may leave the library at any point, including for meals. If you are going for a long period of time, you should take your personal belongings with you. If you have been given a red library ticket to show you have more than one study booking, leave the ticket on the desk.

If you are planning on re-entering the library, please inform the library staff as you leave. You will be asked to show your card when you re-enter the library so staff can confirm your slot.

Browsing 

Any reader with a booked reading room slot may browse the open shelves for VHL and RSL material. Please follow the wider social distancing guidelines and visible signage when travelling around the reading room. There is a limit of one person down each library shelving bay.

PCAS machines and other reading room equipment

Any reader with a booked slot may use the PCAS machines for scanning, copying and printing. The two PCAS machines for the VHL readers are located on the Ground Floor, on the side opposite the enquiry desk. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the machines before and after you use them.

If you wish to use the microfilm reader, please make a note of this on your booking. The library staff will make sure that the reader is available for you to use. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the reader before and after you use it.

The VHL also has accessibility equipment available for readers to use. Please ask at the enquiry desk if you would like to use any of the equipment, and the library staff will sign them out to you. Please use the available cleaning material to wipe down the equipment before and after you use them.

Leaving the VHL at the end of your study slot

You may leave the VHL at any point before the end of your study slot. Library staff will alert relevant readers in the library 15 minutes before the end of each of the allocated time slots. (So for example, staff will warn readers at 12:45 if their booking will end at 13:00). This is to give readers enough time to collect their belongings and clean their study spaces/reading room equipment before leaving.

If you have booked for more than one time slot across the same day, please keep your red ticket clearly visible on your desk, with the side with text facing upwards. Library staff will be checking tickets as they alert readers, and will not disturb you.

When you have finished your reading room slot, or have received a 15 minute warning from library staff, please complete the following steps.

  1. Pack up your belongings.
  2. Use the nearby cleaning materials to wipe down your desk, PC or any other reading room equipment that you have used.
  3. Leave any library materials that you will not be borrowing on your desk, or nearby library trollies.
  4. Bring your red library tickets downstairs with you and leave them on the Enquiry Desk. Please do not take the red tickets with you. 
  5. Leave aside some time if you need to return stack requests or check out books from the enquiry desk.
  6. Leave the library one at a time, keeping to your right, as you go through the security sensors.
  7. Use the card reader on the wall directly in front of you (on your immediate right as you turn to face the library doors) to activate the security gates and exit the library through the library doors.
  8. Exit the RAI foyer via the exit immediately on your right.

When exiting the library, please be aware of your fellow readers and others in the building, and follow social distancing signage and guidance at all times. You may need to wait for others to finish using cleaning material before you can use it. There may be a rush of readers exiting the library, and you may be asked to queue as you leave. If you need to return a stack request or check out books at the enquiry desk, you may be asked to wait until a queue of readers have left, before staff can assist you.

We hope you have a productive and positive experience at our libraryIf you have any questions or feedback about using the VHL reading room, please contact us at: vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Using the VHL for Michaelmas Term 2020- Information for new and returning readers

In this blogpost, we will go through the key information you need to know for studying at the VHL in Michaelmas 2020. This information will be useful to any of our new readers, or those returning to the VHL after the lockdown period.

Opening hours

The VHL is now operating in our Term Time opening hours, as of Sunday 11th October. This means that the VHL is now open on evenings and weekends, until Saturday, 13th December. Please note, that you can only come in to the library if you have a pre-booked Click & Collect/Study Space spot, or if you are returning books.

Booking a Study Space

To use the VHL study spaces, readers will need to have pre-booked a Desk or PC study space, via the Bodleian Libraries Reading Room Booking service.

More information on using the central booking service, and Bodleian regulations regarding using Bodleian reading rooms during Michaelmas Term may be found on the Bodleian website. 

The booking slots for a VHL Desk or PC slot are:

Monday-Friday: 9:30 – 13:00; 13:30-17:00; 17:30-21:00

Saturday: 10:00-12:30; 13:00-16:00

Sunday: 11:00 -1:30; 14:00-17:00

Please note that study spaces at the VHL, and across the Bodleian Libraries are in high demand, and spaces are getting booked up very quickly. We are trying to make as many spaces available as safely possible. Do not make a study space booking if you are not intending on using the space. Please be considerate of your fellow readers, who also require study spaces in the library.

For more information on studying in the library, check out our separate blog post on What to expect when you use the VHL Reading Rooms.

Using Browse & Borrow

The VHL is now offering Browse & Borrow services on weekdays and weekends. Browse & Borrow spaces can also be booked via the Bodleian Libraries Reading Room Booking service.

Bookings to use the Browse & Borrow service can be made in between the following times:

Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 12:30; 14:00-16:30; 18:00-20:30

Saturdays: 10:30-12:00; 13:30-15:30

Sundays: 11:30 – 13:00; 14:30-16:30

Browse & Borrow allows Readers to enter the library for a pre-booked timeslot, to browse the open shelves for key titles, and to borrow loanable material. Readers may also use the Quick Search Terminals, PCAS machines to photocopy or scan relevant chapters or pages, in line with copyright guidance.

Readers using the Browse & Borrow service will not be able to use any of the library desks or Reader PCs. If Readers have Stack Requests, which need to be consulted in the library, they will need to book a study space.

More information on the Browse & Borrow service can be found on the Bodleian Libraries website.

Using the Click & Collect Service

Over Michaelmas Term, the VHL will continue to provide a Click & Collect service. Bodleian Readers may select loanable VHL titles via SOLO, by clicking the green “Request” button which is next to the location information.

An example of Click & Collect – press the green Request button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once library staff have collected your item, you will receive an automatic email, to book a collection slot. You will only need to book one time slot if you are picking up multiple items.

Collection slots are available from 12:00-1600 on weekdays.

Please book a collection slot before coming to the VHL to collect your title. This is to help library staff to manage collection bookings whilst overseeing our other reading room services.

If you do not attend your collection slot, your title will be kept on the Hold Shelf for 7 days, before being returned to the open shelves, or passed on to the next Hold request.

For more information on how Click & Collect works at the VHL, check out our separate blogpost on What to expect when using Click & Collect at the VHL.

Using BSF Stack Requests

Bodleian book deliveries are now running, allowing for stack requests from the BSF to be re-instated. If you come across a title in SOLO that you would like to read at the VHl, click the green “Request” button next to individual title, and select the VHL Library Desk as the desired collection point. An email will be sent confirming that the book has arrived from the BSF and is available to read.

Please note that BSF materials are non-loanable, and must be consulted in the library.  You must make a reading room booking in order to consult your stack request.

If you are struggling to make a reading room booking, please let our library staff know. We may be able to extend your stack request so that you may consult the title at a later date.

Upon arrival at the VHL, after confirming your Reading Room booking, inform the member of staff on the desk that you have a stack request. You will be asked to show your card. Our library staff will then find your stack request, and check it out to you for the duration of your time in the library for that day. If your selected title is historical material (pre-1920), or particularly fragile, you may be basked to sit on the Ground Floor, in sight of the enquiry desk.

When returning your stack request, you will need to advise the librarian whether you wish to continue keeping the item on the Hold Shelf, or if you have finished with it. The librarian will then either return it to the Hold Shelf, or send it back to the BSF.

Using LibraryScan

The VHL will continue to provide a scanning service, alongside our fellow Bodleian libraries. Scans are currently limited to one request per day. Scans are limited to a chapter, article or 5% of the title, in line with copyright legislation.

Please select the red LibraryScan button at the top of the SOLO record (see image below as an example). You will then be asked to complete further details, such as the required pages/chapter/article and any further details required.

If the same title is available at the BSF, please select the Blue Off-Site scan option, which will be next to the title location details. This is to help manage demand. The BSF have a larger scanning service in operation, and can handle more requests than the individual libraries.

Returning books to the VHL

When returning books at the VHL, readers will be asked to put their items directly into a blue crate. The crate is located immediately on the right as you enter the library, on the ground next to the library desk. Readers do not need to make a reading room booking, or use the access gates in order to return their books.

A blue box, labelled Returns, is on the floor of the library. A set of glass doors are on the right of the image, and the library desk wall on the left.

Our returns crate is next to the library enquiry desk, as you walk through the glass doors.

After a quarantine period of 24 hours, the book will be removed from your account. Bodleian libraries will be extending it’s grace period on library fines from the lockdown period across Michaelmas Term, so the extra period of time on your account will not affect you.

Readers may also return their books via the Returns Hubs based at the Social Science Library in the Manor Road Building, or the Sainsbury Library at the Saïd Business School.

Please note that if you cannot physically return the books yourself, you may ask a friend or family member to return the books for you. If this is not possible, please visit the Bodleian Loans Returns webpage, which provides further information and return options for readers.

****************************************************************************************************If you have any questions about any of the services above, or any general questions about using the VHL, please contact us by email (vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) or by phone (01865 282700). 

Our library staff look forward to seeing you, and wish you a productive Michaelmas Term!

New in Oxford: African American Periodicals

I am pleased to announce that the Vere Harmsworth Library has purchased online access to the resource African American Periodicals for the University.

 

 

 

Based on the work of James P. Danky in African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography (Harvard, 1998), this vast collection covers over 150 years of American history, from slavery up to the modern era. The collection features over 170 titles, written by and for African Americans.

Primary sources found here include news, commentary, advertisements, literature, drawings and photographs, Key titles in this unique resource include African Repository, El Mulato, The Black Warrior, Pennsylvania Freedmen’s Bulletin, Colored Harvest, Voice of the Negro, Horizon: A Journal of the Color Line, The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, Blue Helmet: A Magazine for the American Negro Soldier of All Wars, Harlem Pointer, African World, Black Pride Newsletter, Right On! and others from every region of the United States. Primary sources found here include news, commentary, advertisements, literature, drawings and photographs, helping to capture the voice of African American history and culture.

Our online platform allows our readers to search the African American Periodicals by full-text, or to browse by periodical title, historic period, or themes. Readers may also search via article type, such as advertisements, or opinion pieces. You may access the resource by clicking here

Bodleian readers may also search across our Readex databases, using Readex AllSearch. This allows researchers to cross-search across multiple primary resources, including the African American Newspapers and Ethnic American Newspapers.

Similar resources include:

If you would like any advice on using our databases or resources, please contact the Vere Harmsworth Librarian, Bethan Davies bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

New in Oxford: Black Abolitionist Papers, and more!

I am delighted to announce that access to a number of major new e-resources are now available.

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.

Of particular interest to US Studies are the Black Abolitionist Papers (1830-1865) 

This collection covers a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. The content includes letters, speeches, editorials, newspaper articles, sermons, and essays from libraries and archives in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Over 15,000 items written by nearly 300 Black men and women are available for searching,with over 30% consisting of handwritten and unique documents.

As described on the Black Abolitionist Paper’s website 

“This collection, when first published in microfilm, literally transformed scholarly understanding of Black activism during this period. Now it is available in a searchable, easily accessible format for research, teaching, and study.”

Other resources recently purchased that may be of interest include:

Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Published by every type of military and support service unit, from every involved nation, trench journals were a means of expression through which men and women engaged in all aspects of World War I could share their thoughts and experiences. Over 1,500 periodicals, drawn from the holdings of major libraries and research collections, make this resource the most comprehensive collection of trench journals available to scholars anywhere in one place.

Collections can be narrowed to specific nations, languages and army units. This resource would be useful for Americanists interested in the US involvement in World War 1, the perception of US forces by other allied forces, and further social-cultural studies of US forces in the early 20th Century.

This resource brings together complete runs of journals from disparate sources. Functionality allows both browsing and precision searching for editorials, advertisements, poetry, cartoons and illustrations, photographs, and obituaries, opening up opportunities for research in multiple fields: literature, history, war studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.

Women and Social Movements, International

Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life. This digital archive includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century.  It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements. Additionally, there are 30 essays from leading contemporary scholars exploring themes illuminated by the primary documents in the archive.

Researchers can limit their searches to specific geographic areas, or search across resources to review information on specific themes or topics.

LGBT Magazine Archive

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type in the US . The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement.

Art and Architecture Archive

Full-text archive of periodicals (cover-to-cover colour scans) in the fields of art and architecture. Date range: 19thC – 21stC. Subjects covered include fine art, decorative arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and photography worldwide.

Oxford researchers should use their SSO to gain remote access. The resources can be access via SOLO or Databases A-Z.