New e-Resource – Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia

[Item originally posted on on the EFL blogpost]

Black Authors, 1556-1922This online collection consists of 550 fully searchable works written by Black authors from Africa, the Americas, and Europe, and spans from the mid-sixteenth century to the early twentieth century. The collection is remarkable for the diversity of its content and contains texts that fall within a wide range of genres, including autobiographies, essays, letters and poems, as well as examples of more unusual genres such as maps and sheet music.

The archive may be browsed by author, genre or subject (such as agriculture, economics and trade, education, government, health, law and crime, literature, philosophy, politics, and slavery and race relations). It is also possible to narrow down search results within a given subject as each is further divided into several subtopics. The archive can also be searched by place of publication and by publisher.

Individual authors include Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho and Bethany Veney.

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.

Purchase of this resource was partly funded by the Drue Heinz Fund.

New in Oxford: Time and The Atlantic magazine archive

I am pleased to announce the the Vere Harmsworth Library has purchased the online archives for The Atlantic and Time magazines.

Both of these magazines greatly add to our 20th Century newspaper and magazine holdings, and provide fascinating primary resources for modern American history, politics and culture.

Time magazine archive (1923-2000)

Published weekly by Time Inc., Time Magazine has focused on conveying to a broad audience both domestic and international news and analysis on a spectrum of subjects.

Intended to be read in under an hour, each issue of Time contains reports of national and international current events, politics, sports, and entertainment. Capturing the relevant news for a given week, the magazine remains an important resource for researchers studying just about any aspect of 20th-Century history and life.

Four covers from Time Magazine's past editions.

An example of magazine covers from Time magazine. Top row, from left to right: Clarke Gable (August 31st, 1936); Jackie Robinson (September 22nd, 1947). Bottom row, from left to right: Richard Nixon (November 5th, 1973, “The Push to Impeach”); Ronald Regan (January 5th, 1981, “The Man of the Year”)

 

Articles and cover pages are fully indexed and advertisements are individually identified, ensuring researchers and readers can quickly and accurately locate the information they seek. The Time Magazine Archive is valuable to researchers of 20th-Century current events, politics and culture, as well as those interested in the history of business, advertising, and popular culture.

The archival collection compliments our current online access to Time magazine via EBSCO Business Source Complete (1990-current), alongside our physical collection held in the BSF.

The Atlantic magazine archive (1857-2014)

The Atlantic was originally created with a focus on publishing leading writers’ commentary on abolition, education and other major issues in contemporary political affairs at the time. Over its more than 150 years of publication. It has featured articles in the fields of politics, foreign affairs, business and the economy, culture and the arts, technology, science and more.

Some of the founding sponsors of the magazine include prominent writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Images of the front covers of the Atlantic Magazine.

Examples of front covers of The Atlantic Magazine. Top row, from left to right: November 1947 (90th Anniversary special); April 1956 (Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman). Bottom row, from left to right: September 2008 (Special Election issue); March 2012 (Special Commemorative Issue to mark 150th anniversary of the Civil War.)

 

The Atlantic Magazine Archive, covers events and political issues through literary and cultural commentary. It includes more than 1,800 issues providing a broad view of 19th, 20th and early 21st-Century American thought.

You may also be interested in our other periodical resources such as The National Review, The Nation, The New Republic and Vogue. For more information on our newspaper and periodicals, please visit our online guide.

New in Oxford: Black Thought and Culture

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Following a trial period, and positive feedback from readers, I am pleased to announce that the Vere Harmsworth Library has purchased access to the online resource, Black Thought and Culture.

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.

Announcement: VHL closure on April 30th, 2021 (morning only)

The Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) will be closed for the morning of April 30th, 2021, due to essential electrical works across the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) building.

The VHL expects to re-open from 1:30pm, for the beginning of the afternoon study sessions (1:30pm – 5:00pm), and remain open until the end of the evening sessions (5:30pm-9:00pm). We will aim to update readers of any changes to these plans as soon as possible via our Twitter account.

VHL study spaces and Browse and Borrow slots for the morning of April 30th have been removed on SpaceFinder, alongside collection slots for RSL and VHL material via Click and Collect. Readers wishing to return their books in the morning may use the Returns hubs based around Oxford.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions about the expected closure, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

American National Biography Update: March 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 thirteen new essays in celebration of Women’s History Month.

New additions include Nina Allender (1872­–1957), who merged art and activism to have a lasting effect on the women’s suffrage movement. Allender’s art aimed to entertain, but the imagery provided important commentary on politics, race, and gender. She also collaborated with Alice Paul to promote the National Woman’s Party’s positions in her illustrations. Allender carved out new space for professional female artists and activists within social movements and in public life. Her work challenged decades of negative anti-suffrage cartoons and advanced a new (and lasting) stereotype of suffragists as fashionable, young, white women.

Alice Coachman (1923­–2014), track and field sensation who in 1948 became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, in the high jump event. A lifelong competitor whose athleticism propelled her from poverty, segregation, and gender constraints to international triumph, Coachman is now revered as a civil rights pioneer. She presented as demurely feminine off the track and scorched competitors on it, proving her worth in elite global contests and challenging racism and sexism by virtue of her success. She set the standard in U.S. track and field for Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Allyson Felix, and other black women athletes who, since 1948, have realized their own potential because of her leadership in American sports.

Angel De Cora (1868 or 1869–1919), Winnebago artist and educator who insisted on the inherent artistic ability of indigenous people and the distinctiveness of the art they produced. De Cora promoted an alternative to the European American aesthetic, arguing that Indian art be viewed by its own standards rather than European American ones. She simultaneously pushed for recognition of Native American productions as art rather than ethnographic artifacts and aimed to establish Native American art as a cultural category in mainstream American society

Alvenia Fulton (1906–1999), African American health food promoter and celebrity dietitian who looked to improve community health through fasting and vegetarianism. Fulton’s sought to confront racism in whatever form it took—whether by helping black athletes and celebrities overcome racial barriers in their respective fields, helping families get healthy affordable food, or creating sustainable and anti-racist techniques for reversing heart disease. Ultimately, Fulton’s pioneering work as a healer and community leader laid the groundwork for the black vegan movement of the 21st century, with its attention to issues of health and racial equality.

Rose Winslow (1899–unknown), suffragist and labor activist whose life reveals the connections forged between working-class immigrant women and women’s middle-class reform movements in the Progressive Era. Working as a hosiery knitter and then a shopgirl, Winslow became an organizer for the National Woman’s Party, the National Consumers’ League, and the Women’s Trade Union League. Jailed for picketing the White House, she also had an audience with President Woodrow Wilson, where she made the working-class case for woman suffrage.

Neith Boyce (1872–1951) feminist-anarchist novelist and playwright whose work with the Provincetown Players made them one of the twentieth century’s most influential theater groups. She was also an important forecaster of strains on the institution of marriage as it changed during the twentieth century. Her life exemplifies how modernism was more than an artistic aesthetic; it was a new way of conceptualizing human relationships.

Maria Gertrudes “La Tules” Barceló (c.1800–1852), entrepreneur who operated the most extravagant gambling halls and saloons in nineteenth-century Santa Fe. La Tules’s saloon served as the site where men of all social standings and backgrounds gathered, including soldiers, traders, businessmen, the upper-class, and immigrants, both Anglo and Spanish. Barceló actively participated in gambling and surprised men with her winning skills in the Spanish game of Monte. Her saloon served as a bridge between New Mexicans and Euro Americans, who shared and exchanged cultural and economic commodities, and it provided a place for Euro Americans to grow accustomed to the New Mexican society.

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 (ended 9th March 2021)

Note: These trials ended on 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 (ended 1st March 2021)

Note: This trial ended on 1st March, 2021. decoration only

 

 

 

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.