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.

American National Biography Update: April 2020

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 features five new essays, with a focus on important American writers and critics. It includes one of the nation’s foremost film critics, Pauline Kael; the noted black nationalist writer and poet Amiri Baraka; Esther Rome, co-author of the feminist bestseller Our Bodies, Ourselves; Chicano poet, artist, and civil rights activist José Montoya; and poet John Ashbery, whose collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1976.

Pauline Kael (1919–2001), one of the most iconoclastic, controversial, and revered film critics in the history of American print journalism. She was known for the exuberant writing style, her vision of the movies as an unparalleled populist national theater, and her desire in the late 1960s and 1970s to generate a new seriousness and sophistication in American film audiences, directors, and critics.  She made movies and movie-going seem at the center of American culture. No critic had done so before with her panache, wit, and zeal.

Amiri Baraka, (1934–2014), born Le Roi Jones, one of the most influential African American writers of the twentieth century. A poet, playwright, and jazz critic, Baraka galvanized the Black Arts Movement, making an indelible contribution to modern African American culture and consciousness.

Esther Rome (1945–1995), women’s health activist who helped found the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. Its 1973 book Our Bodies, Ourselves was a revelation, arguing that women were the best experts on women’s health at a time when the vast majority of physicians and medical professionals were male. Rome continued to work on women’s health issues for the rest of her life.

José Montoya (1932–2013), who in 1969 co-founded Rebel Chicano Art Front (RCAF), a Chicano artist collective that sought to bring a consciousness towards laborers’ rights and Chicano identity through public art. Montoya also wrote many iconic poems that represented Chicano culture.

John Lawrence Ashbery (1927–2017), part of a group of postwar poets who added new lyrical forms to contemporary American poetry, even as those forms proved inaccessible to many contemporary readers. As he explains in “The Lament upon the Waters” “the problem isn’t how to proceed/ But is one of being.”

 

 

American National Biography: March 2020 Update

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 biographies of lives spanning from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. New additions include Eugene Cernan (1934–2017), astronaut who was the second American to walk in space and the first to circle the earth. On his next mission, in 1969, he piloted the Apollo 10 lunar module, coming within 50,000 feet of the surface of the moon. He would reach the moon on his third trip to space. All told, seventy three of the 566 hours Cernan logged in space were on the surface of the moon. His time included 22 hours of moonwalks, more than any other astronaut. In 1972, upon leaving the moon for the final time, and making him to this point the last person to walk on the moon, Cernan said, “We leave as we came, and God willing, we shall return with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Tisquantum (ca. 1590-Nov. 1622), the Native American interpreter and emissary referred to in the original ANB essay as Squanto. Historian Neal Salisbury has written this new essay, which reflects the advances in scholarship that have occurred over the last two decades. English authors, particularly William Bradford and Edward Winslow, shaped the popular image of Tisquantum as the broker of Anglo-Wampanoag peace in Plymouth colony. That image dominated scholarship on Tisquantum until the late twentieth century. More recent scholars show a man no less singular but far more complicated and hardly heroic.

Chris Burden (1946­–2015), a sculptor who pioneered body and endurance art. He gained international renown in 1971 with Shoot, in which Burden asked his marksman friend, artist Bruce Dunlap, to graze his arm with a bullet, using a .22 rifle from a distance of 15 feet. At 7:45 P.M. Dunlap missed his aim and the bullet penetrated Burden’s upper left arm. He was rushed to hospital. Shoot represented Burden’s response to pervasive violence in the United Stats during the 1960s.

Anne Anastasi (1908­­–2001), psychologist, psychometrician, and educator who was a key architect of mass educational and psychological testing in the twentieth century. Across her remarkable 71-year career, she published two hundred journal articles and many books that reshaped her field, including Differential Psychology (1937), Psychological Testing (1954), and Fields of Applied Psychology (1964).

Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985), designer of women’s fashion and swimwear whose bold, futuristic fashions were innovative body-conscious designs that not only anticipated the social changes of the 1950s and 1960s. He also provoked change by challenging social taboos and conventions. His vision of the liberated body and freedom from gender-norm constraints in dress were revolutionary and have inspired designers ever since.

Esther Wheelwright (1696–1780), religious leader and Indian captive who was the rare colonial North American woman to live in three different cultures in the eighteenth century: Indigenous, French, and British. She became the first and only foreign-born Mother Superior of the Ursuline convent in Québec.  Ursuline religious life gave the former child captive an opportunity for leadership and prominence not offered to most women in colonial North America.

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.

“LGBT Americans for”: Presidential Elections and the Movement for Gay Rights, 1980-2020.

Emma Day is a DPhil candidate in American History at the University of Oxford and this year’s History Graduate Scholar at the Rothermere American Institute. Her dissertation is a history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, with a particular focus on women’s healthcare activism, from 1980 to the present. You can follow her on Twitter: @EmmaRoseDay

On March 1st, 2020, Pete Buttigieg, former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, ended his campaign to become the 46th president of the United States. A white man who attended a string of the world’s most prestigious universities, who, if elected, would have become the youngest president in US history, Buttigieg was an interesting candidate for simultaneously inhabiting a number of remarkable and unremarkable qualities in a presidential hopeful. Perhaps most notably, coming out at the age of thirty-three in 2015, just five years ago, he was also the first, openly gay person to seriously contend for the highest US office. While some within the LGBTQ+ community have debated the significance of Buttigieg’s campaign for the ongoing movement for gay equality, his success in getting as far as he did, not least in becoming the first gay candidate to win a presidential nominating contest with his narrow victory in Iowa, nonetheless represented how far the gay rights movement has come politically in the past forty years.

Election ephemera from the Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive at the VHL sheds light on the trajectory of gay rights issues from the margins to the centre of mainstream politics during this period. Much of this transition began in the early 1980s with the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse Jackson, the second African American to run for president after Shirley Chisholm’s campaign a decade earlier. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1941, Jackson, a civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician announced his campaign for president of the United States in November 1983.[i] Pledging to create a “Rainbow Coalition” of various minority groups, Jackson used his platform to bring members of the LGBTQ+ community into the Democratic party in unprecedented ways as part of this coalition, as a 1984 leaflet in the archive demonstrates.[ii] His Rainbow Coalition speech, delivered at the Democratic convention in San Francisco in July 1984, was the first to mention gay and lesbian Americans at a national convention.[iii] After losing the nomination to Walter Mondale (D-MN), Jackson ran for president again in 1988, and gave his first speech after announcing his second presidential bid at the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in October 1987.[iv]

A leaflet showing Jesse Jackson, on yellow paper. There are rainbow bands behind the image.

Leaflet: Jesse Jackson for President, 1984, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

Left-wing political organisations with strong LGBTQ+ factions such as the Workers World Party in turn supported Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign as “part of the growing mass movement against racism and for basic democratic rights,” as a Workers World newspaper in the archive shows.[v] Following four years under President Ronald Reagan and facing the prospect of another four, groups such as the Workers World Party saw Jackson as an alternative to the imperialism, racism, and capitalism that they argued had characterised Reagan’s first term in office. Specifically, and, similarly to Jackson, they demanded “money for jobs—not wars abroad.”[vi] Moreover, as the devastation and human loss wrought by the AIDS epidemic from the early 1980s onwards was met with a slow federal response, such groups also fought for money to address the escalating health crisis instead of funding military intervention in Central America, Lebanon, South Africa and Grenada, as memos in the newspaper from 1984 show.[vii] Items in the U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive therefore speak to the intersectional and reciprocal coalition-building that took place between those fighting against capitalism, racism, sexism, imperialism, homophobia and for social justice in this decade.

A newspaper clipping from Workers World, showing support for Gay and Lesbian Rights,

Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), recto. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

The growing salience of gay rights issues to subsequent presidential races are further seen in a number of election pins from the 2000s. Badges from 2012 advocated “LGBT for Obama Biden” and “Obama for Marriage Equality.”[viii] While factions of the gay rights movement have long debated how much weight to place on the fight for marriage equality, as well as the fight to serve openly in the military, for the broader struggle for LGBTQ+ equality and rights, both issues continued to frame the political debate into the twenty-first century. Obama gained the support of LGBTQ+ voters in part through his revoking of the Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans form serving unless they remained closeted in 2010, and, in 2015, during his second term in office, the Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges. While these legislative developments show how far attitudes towards gay rights have evolved since the early 1980s, a majority of states still do not have explicit laws protecting LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination, similar to federal laws that exist on race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability on their books. The Equality Act, a federal law that would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, was passed in the House of Representatives in May 2019. It will require the next US president to sign it into law if it passes in the Senate.

Two pin badges. One on the left says "LGBT for Obama-Biden 2012" with a rainbow background. The second "Obama for marriage equality" shows Obama on a blue background.

Barack Obama Campaign, 2012, Buttons: “Obama-Biden: LGBT for 2012” and “Obama for marriage equality” MM Amer. s. 33 (not-catalogued).

The stakes of the 2020 presidential election for members of the LGBTQ+ community are therefore particularly high. President Donald Trump has already said that he opposes the Equality Act in its current form.[ix] As such, Democratic candidates seeking to beat Trump in November can learn from the importance of weaving together broad, intersectional platforms for social justice—as Jackson, in alliance with groups such as the Workers World Party, did in 1984—that are then acted upon and translated into policy when in office.

To request access to items from the Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive, email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

*****

[i] Leaflet: Jesse Jackson for President, 1984, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[ii] Leaflet: Jesse Jackson Headquarters, Vote for Jesse Jackson: The Most Progressive Democrat, 1984; Leaflet: Women’s Press Project, “Jackson for President,” 1984, 162-163, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[iii] Alex Bollinger, “How Jesse Jackson helped bring gay rights to the Democratic mainstream,” LGBTQ Nation, February 28, 2018, accessed 5 March 2020, https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/02/jesse-jackson-helped-mainstream-gay-rights-democratic-party/

[iv] Emily K. Hobson, Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016), 168.

[v] Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), recto. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[vi] Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), verso. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[vii] Memo: Workers World, “Workers World Presidential Candidates Support Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day, Demand Immediate Government Action on Lesbian and Gay Rights,” June 18, 1984, 30; Workers World, “Statement by Larry Holmes and Gloria La Riva in Front of Federal Elections Commission,” January 27, 1984, 1-2, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[viii] Barack Obama Campaign, 2012, Buttons: “Obama-Biden: LGBT for 2012” and “Obama for marriage equality” MM Amer. s. 33 (not-catalogued).

[ix] Chris Johnson, “The House vote on the Equality Act is the easy part. What’s next?” Washington Blade, 15 May 2019, accessed 4 March 2020, https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/05/15/the-house-vote-on-the-equality-act-is-the-easy-part-whats-next/

American National Biography: February 2020 update

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, released Thursday 27th February, adds six new biographies of men and women who worked as educators and academics. New additions include:

Paul Samuelson (1915–2009), the MIT economist who in 1970 became the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Economics (technically the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel). The leading representative of the Keynesian age, his scholarly and popular writing reshaped mid-twentieth-century economic thought.

Fabiola Cabeza De Baca (1894–1991), whose work teaching in rural New Mexico evolved into working for the New Mexico Agriculture Extension Services, where she visited and lived in people’s homes, empowering women by teaching them to combine modern technologies with traditional practices. Her writings preserved New Mexican history and culture.

Octavius Catto (1839–1871), teacher at the Institute of Colored Youth in Philadelphia whose incredible career included serving as major and inspector general for the 5th Brigade, 1st Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard during the Civil War, fighting successfully to integrate Philadelphia’s trolley system in the 1860s, and even co-founding and playing for the Pythian Base Ball Club, the city’s second black baseball team.

Mary Daly (1928–2010), a controversial radical feminist philosopher and theologian who spent thirty-three years teaching at (and clashing with the administration of) Boston College, finally leaving in 1999 when the university refused to let her teach men and women in separate classes.

Robert Leslie Wharton (1871–1960), a Presbyterian missionary who established religious schools in Cuba, including La Progrresiva in Cardenas. Ultimately, La Progresiva served over 2000 students with a Christian workers training school, a vocational school, and a junior college.

Mary Elizabeth Carnegie (1916–2008), African American nurse who established Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program at Hampton Institute, and, beginning in 1945, transformed the nursing curriculum at the Florida A & M school of nursing. She became the first African American elected to the Florida State Nurses Association Board of Directors, before joining the editorial staff at the American Journal of Nursing, where, over the next 35 years, she would advance up the ranks to Senior Editor.

Jo Payne, Head of Biographical and General Reference, Oxford University Press

New service: Paying VHL fines online!

Do you have fines and can’t get to the VHL Enquiry Desk? Do you not have the physical cash to pay?

No problem! Readers can now pay their fines online. 

Visit the weblink at https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/product-catalogue/libraries/vere-harmsworth-library . Enter the amount you wish to pay, and then click “Shopping Basket” near the top of the page.

 

Please note that payments made must be a minimum of £2, and there will be a 1.5% charge on any Credit Card transactions.

You may also pay off your fines in person at the VHL Enquiry Desk.

Any further questions, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Trials: Archives of Sexuality and Gender – LGBT Magazine Archive – LGBT Life Full Text

[Re-blogged from Isabel Holowaty’s post on the History Faculty Library Blog on 4th February 2020]

As part of the LGBTQ History Month, Bodleian Libraries has organised trials of three LGBTQ eresources. They can all be accessed via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Let our colleague Helen Worrell know which resource is most useful to you and why.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender (Gale Cengage) (trial until 4 March 2020)

This resource spans the sixteenth to twentieth centuries and is the largest digital collection of historical primary source publications relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, and gender research and gender studies research.

Documentation covering disciplines such as social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities around the world are included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities to support research and education.

Documents include:

  • Meeting, committee, and conference minutes, notes, and transcripts from LGBTQ rights organizations worldwide
  • Administrative records of LGBTQ rights groups, such as bylaws and membership lists
  • Materials produced by these groups slated for the public: press releases, articles, fliers, handbills, brochures, presentations
  • Complete contents of US and International newspapers, newsletters, and magazines
  • Press clippings about gay and lesbian issues
  • Internal US government memoranda
  • Studies and reports by US government agencies and nongovernmental organizations
  • International reports, policy statements, and documents related to LGBTQ health and rights
  • Medical research records and reports
  • Private correspondence
  • Surveys, election questionnaires, records of site visits
  • Government briefing books
  • Photographs

Covers 16th to the 20th centuries. Has global coverage.

Relevant for scholars and researchers focused on sex, sexuality, and gender studies; health and hygiene; cultural change; LGBTQ studies; women’s studies; American studies; civil and human rights; journalism; literature; social movement history; British twentieth-century history.

LGBT Magazine Archive (Proquest ) (trial until 2 March 2020)

The Advocate; Los Angeles Iss. 82, (Mar 29, 1972). Copyright: ProQuest

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. 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.
LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

Some publications may contain explicit content.

This resource covers the period 1954-2015.

Subject coverage: Lesbian; Gay; Bisexuality; Transgender; Homosexuality; Gay rights; Gay culture; Gay literature / art; Gay rights movement; Gender identity; Gender studies; Lesbianism; LGBT; LGBT Activism; LGBT studies; Social history; Transgender community

LGBT Life Full Text (EBSCO) (trial until 29 February 2020)

“Homosexuality.” 2008. GLBTQ Social Sciences, January, 1–8.

LGBT Life with Full Text is a specialised database for LGBT studies. It provides scholarly and popular LGBT publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines and newspapers. It also includes a specialized LGBT thesaurus containing thousands of terms. Content includes more than 140 full-text journals and nearly 160 full-text books and reference materials. In addition, more than 260 abstracted and indexed journals and more than 350 abstracted and indexed books and reference works. Has some global coverage.

What to do next? Send your feedback to Helen Worrell.

RSL Decant: Planned closure of the VHL on Saturday 18th January

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on Saturday 18th January, 2020. This is to allow for unavoidable work on the Ground Floor of the Library.

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, works will need to be carried out by the ground floor entrance of the Vere Harmsworth Library. This will mainly be focused on the installation and set up of the new access control gates.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers have advised the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that access into the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor entrance will be blocked whilst this work is in progress. It will also be disruptive to Library services, and include a significant amount of noise and mess.

After careful consideration of the above information, and of alternative methods of entry into the Library, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian has agreed to close the Library on the 18th of January, to ensure that work can be completed as swiftly as possible.

The Library will re-open on Sunday 19th January (11 am – 5pm), subject to the completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

We will aim to provide information on any further works in the Library via this blog, the Twitter (@vhllib) and Facebook (@vereharmsworthlibrary) accounts, and by email.

We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience caused to Readers at this time.

Further information on the proposed book moves and a title list of relegated journals and reference titles can be found in the RSL Decant Consultation documents on the VHL website. 

If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please ask at the Information Desk, or email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. For further information about the RSL Decant, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

RSL Decant: Planned works on Thursday 9th January, some disruption expected – UPDATED

UPDATE: (15/01/2020) The enquiry desk has now been installed and set up for use. Both RSL and VHL library staff are manning the desk, ready to answer your queries, alongside RAI related enquiries. Some minor works will still be occurring at the desk area as we settle in.

PREVIOUS UPDATE (10/01/2020): Work on the enquiry desk has continued into Friday morning (10th January). The works are expected to continue for the rest of today. The temporary Enquiry Desk (located on the right as you enter the Ground Floor) will remain in use for the rest of the day.

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, works will need to be carried out by the ground floor entrance of the Vere Harmsworth Library, to install and set up the new Enquiry Desk.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers will be moving and installing the new desk on the morning of Thursday, 9th January, 2020.

The Librarian has been advised that the majority of the physical moving, and noisiest part of the works, will aim to be completed by 9 am, when the Library is expected to open. By this point, the entrance to the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor should be clear for readers to enter.

Work on the newly installed desk, however, would continue, including setting up electronic and internet points. Therefore, in the interim, library staff will be based on a temporary enquiry desk, which will be set up on the Ground Floor. This will allow for readers to check out books, and for staff to respond to any further enquiries.

Readers are advised that whilst the most disruptive part of the planned works will be occurring before the Library opens, there will be some noise on the Ground Floor of the Library whilst during the morning.

The newly installed desk should be completed and ready to use from the Thursday afternoon.[UPDATE: The desk has now been installed and is in use. See first Update above at the top of the page.]

The Librarian will aim to update readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible. We will aim to provide information on any further works in the Library via this blog, the Twitter (@vhllib) and Facebook (@vereharmsworthlibrary) accounts, and by email.

We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience caused to readers at this time.

Further information on the proposed book moves and a title list of relegated journals and reference titles can be found in the RSL Decant Consultation documents on the VHL website. 

If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please ask at the Information Desk, or email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. For further information about the RSL Decant, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.