Building works outside the Rothermere American Institute, 21st June 2022

[UPDATE: The excavation works have been completed. We would like to thank readers for their patience and understanding. 11/04/2022]

Essential excavation works will be occurring outside the perimeter of the Rothermere American Institute building, on Tuesday, 21st June, 8am-5pm. There will be minimal and intermittent disruptive noise from the works.

University employed contractors will be required to perform excavation works around the RAI building. The VHL and RAI were informed that this work will be occurring on Tuesday 21st June, starting at 8am, and expecting to finish at 5pm. The works will involve intermittent drilling, and there will be some noise disruption, which will be kept to a minimum level throughout.

The works will not affect access into the RAI building, and the VHL will remain open as advertised.

It is recommended that readers avoid sitting near the windows, particularly on the north side of the library. Readers are also welcome to ask for earplugs, which are provided for free at the enquiry desk.

We apologise for the short notice, and for any inconvenience or disruption caused to readers.

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 works, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Requesting US Elections Campaigns Archive material via the Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts catalogue

You may have seen the recent news regarding the new online request service for Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts. 

However, not all archival material can be requested using this service, and this includes the Philip & Rosamund Davies US Elections Campaigns Archive, which is housed in the Vere Harmsworth Library. However, you can still use the Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts catalogue to view the catalogue records of the wonderful collection, and send email requests for individual items of interest.

When visiting the catalogue page for the US Elections Campaigns Archive, use the blue box on the right hand side of the page to Navigate across the Collection. The Archive is ordered via election type (Presidential/Congressional/State and Local), and by Party and Interest Groups. You can then use the Navigate tool to narrow down the items to material format (e.g. posters/buttons) and years.

A blue box showing the search option, which is at the top, and navigation tool for the US Elections Archive on the Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts webpage. The navigation tool has been used to narrow results to literature materials for the Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive) in the 1912 election.

Use the Search tool (near the top) or the Navigation tool to search through the archive.

Alternatively you can use the Search function to search across the collections for individual names or policies.

Search results for "Prohibition."

This is an example search of the Archive. You can use the filters on the left side to search within your results or narrow them down to specific years.

When viewing an individual item that you would live to view, click the blue Request This button at the top left of the page. This will bring up a similar message to the one below, which advises you that the material can be viewed at the Vere Harmsworth Library and noting the item shelfmark (please make a note of this when putting through your requests, as this is essential for locating the material you wish to view).

An example message which will appear when you Request an item from the US Elections Campaigns Archive. In the right hand corner of the message is a blue Send Email button.

An example message which will appear when you request an item from the Archive.

Click Send Email and an automatic email form will appear, with the Bodleian Special Collections email address already included. Special Collections will then triage any requests to the relevant team, which for the US Elections Campaigns Archive, would be the VHL Librarian.

Note that any consultation of the US Elections Campaigns Archive would need to be held at the Vere Harmsworth Library, and be supervised at all times by the VHL Librarian. Please allow at least two days (preferably longer) for the VHL Librarian to locate requested items and organise the materials for viewing.

Materials are being actively added to the Archive by the donor on a regular basis, and some materials have not yet been catalogued. A recent cataloguing project means that post-2010 material will be added soon to the Archives & Manuscripts Catalogue. However, if you would like to ask any questions about more recent material available in the Archive, or if you have any general questions about the Archive, please email the Vere Harmsworth Librarian (bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

Building works outside the Vere Harmsworth Library

[UPDATE: The construction works on the concrete have been completed, with only intermittent background noise expected until the 5th May. Windows on the north side of the building can now be opened. We would like to thank readers for their patience and understanding. 11/04/2022]

Essential construction works will be occurring on the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) offices outside the Rothermere American Institute building, with the most disruptive works occurring from the 28th March-8th April 2022 (approx). The construction works will be located on the north side of RAI (facing South Parks Road and the Archaeology building).

The DLO has informed the RAI and VHL that essential works on the DLO offices will be taking place from the 21st March -5th May 2022. The most disruptive period of the construction works will occur approximately 28th March-8th April, when the construction workers will be breaking up concrete. This work will be noisy and create dust. After this period, the works should be less disruptive, although there will be some general background noise.

The works will not affect access into the RAI building, and the VHL will remain open as advertised.

The VHL and RAI have been told that the construction workers will be putting in place mitigations to reduce the volume of dust whenever possible. However, because of this, the windows on the north side of the building will be kept closed, to avoid dust clouds coming into the library. The windows on the south side of the building (facing Mansfield College and the Princess Margaret Gardens) will be opened by staff, in line with University and Bodleian Libraries guidance, but may be closed by readers if they wish.

To reduce noise disruption when working in the library, readers are recommended to avoid sitting near the windows on the north side of the library. Readers are also welcome to ask for earplugs, which are provided for free at the enquiry desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience or disruption caused to readers.

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 DLO construction works, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Trial Access: Jet Magazine Archive (ended 30th March 2022)

[UPDATE: This trial has now finished as of 30th March, 2022.]

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to Jet Magazine Archive for Bodleian Readers. The trial will run until the 30th March, 2022.

Jet Magazine Archive covers the civil rights movement, politics, education, and other social topics with an African American focus. When completed, it will include over 3,000 issues providing a broad view of news, culture, and entertainment from its first issue in 1951 through 2014.

Currently the database has only released the issues from the 1980-1989, which are the issues available during our Trial.

Users can search across the articles using full-text search, or select specific issues, years or themes. Each article is indexed with relevant keywords. Researchers can also view images and advertisements within each issue.

The Vere Harmsworth Library has also organised trial access to Colonial America, which you can find out more about on our previous blogpost.

You can access Jet Magazine Archive using your Single Sign On here.

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

Trial access: Colonial America (ended 20th March 2022)

[UPDATE: This trial has now finished as of 20th March, 2022.]

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to Colonial America for Bodleian Readers. The trial will run until the 20th March, 2022.

Decorative screenshot of the Colonial America database.

Colonial America consists of all 1,450 volumes of the CO 5 series of Colonial Office files held at The National Archives in London, plus all extracted documents associated with them. This unique collection of largely manuscript material from the archives of the British government is an invaluable one for students and researchers of all aspects of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American history and the early-modern Atlantic world.

Documents can be browsed by title, date, volume, theme, document type and colony/region. They are also indexed with relevant keywords, names, and places. Print and manuscript materials are full-text searchable, thanks to handwritten text recognition technology.

The resource is made up of 5 modules:

Module 1: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries

The first module of Colonial America documents the early history of the colonies, and includes founding charters, material on the effects of 1688’s Glorious Revolution in North America, records of piracy and seaborne rivalry with the French and Spanish, and copious military material from the French and Indian War of 1756-63.

Module 2: Towards Revolution

This module focuses on the 1760s and 1770s and the social and political protest that led to the Declaration of Independence, including legal materials covering the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party. It is also particularly rich in material relating to military affairs and American Indians.

Module 3: The American Revolution

This module charts the upheavals of the 1770s and 1780s which saw the throwing off of British rule in the Thirteen Colonies. Contents include volumes of intercepted letters between colonists, the military correspondence of the British commanders in the field and material produced by the Ordnance Office and the office of the Secretary at War, as well as two copies of the ‘Dunlap’ edition of the Declaration of Independence printed on the night of the 4th-5th July 1776.

Module 4: Legislation and Politics in the Colonies

This module traces the colonies’ legal and political evolution between 1636-1782. Copies of council and assembly minutes record debates on international politics, including Britain’s war with Spain, expeditions against the French in Canada, and trade regulations. Court journals also trace legal cases and trials heard in the colonies, whilst series of official correspondence and revisions of acts reveal attempts to increase jurisdiction of British officials in the colonies, expand settlement, and improve public facilities and trade. The extensive revisions and annotations of these documents also expose the internal (and often personal) political agendas of their creators.

Module 5: Growth, Trade and Development

The preponderant part of this module consists of correspondence with the Board of Trade. There are also details of land grants, financial accounts and documents focusing on American Indian relations, as well as George Vancouver’s despatches to London from his 1791 expedition to the Pacific Northwest. The module contains a number of shipping returns, accompanied by a video interview with Hannah Knox Tucker (PhD candidate, University of Virginia), who discusses these documents and their value for researchers in detail.

You can access Colonial America using your Single Sign On here. 

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

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.