RSL Decant 2020-21: Planned Library closure on morning of Monday 9th December

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed, 9 am-1 pm, Monday 9th December, 2019. 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 include the temporary removal of the Enquiry Desk.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers have advised the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that access into the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor entrance cannot be maintained whilst this unavoidable work is in progress. It will also be disruptive to Library services, and include a significant amount of noise.

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 for the morning of the 9th December, to ensure that work can be completed as swiftly as possible.

The Library will re-open in the afternoon at 1 pm, subject to the completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

The morning book delivery has been cancelled, but the afternoon delivery will be still be occurring. Deliveries expected for the morning should be made available for the afternoon. Readers can return any items expected on the 9th in the afternoon. If you have any concerns about your hold requests or loans, please contact us (details below.)

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. Any VHL readers wishing to speak to library staff, please ring 01865 (2)77162 (Main Enquiry Desk, Bodleian).

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 2020-21: Oversize and general book moves update

As part of the RSL Decant 2020-21, a number of works will need to be completed in the VHL to make space for RSL Readers and books. This includes a number of internal book moves. The Bodleian will try to ensure that these moves cause as little disruption as possible to VHL Readers.

At the end of this week, the following changes have taken place on the First and Second Floor.

  • All Oversize titles are now located on the First Floor (on the side closest to the Lift). Oversize materials have an x at the front of their Call numbers (for example xA 124 .B45 2000). If you are unsure if the book you are searching for is oversize or not, ask at the enquiry desk.
  • The rest of the titles on the First and Second Floor have been moved along the shelves to fill up empty shelf space, and create room for the RSL Collections. Readers may notice that some titles have been moved a few shelves along, but should still be available and on the same floor.

The Librarian will inform Readers if any further book moves between the 1st and 2nd Floor take place.

Other book moves which have taken place include:

Ground Floor

  • The Congressional Record has been moved into the VHL Stack, and is available by request (please include details such as the Congress/Volume that you require.) Please note that the Bodleian Library also provides online access to the Congressional Record.
  • A number of primary sources have been moved to the Ground Floor. Please check our previous blogpost on the Ground Floor book moves for more information. 
  • Items from the Microfilm collection have been moved to the BSF. Collections which have been moved are either collections where we have complete, stable online access, or other collections within the Bodleian Libraries. Microfilm cards can still be requested by Readers to be viewed in certain Bodleian Libraries.
  • Because of this, several Microfilm cabinets have been removed. The remaining cabinets have been reorganised.
  • The Reference collection has been relegated in line with Appendix C in the RSL Decant History Addendum, as part of the Consultation Process. The current collection is currently housed in the second to last island bay on the Ground Floor. Please refer to the Information Desk if you are having trouble finding any specific titles.
  • Metal shelving has been installed on the wall of the Godfrey Hodgson Study Room, to accommodate further book moves.

If you are struggling to find any specific titles, 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.

VHL Update: Library open with full services

Following the leak and shut-down of electrics in the RAI and VHL on Sunday and Monday, I am pleased to announce that we have full power restored to the Library across all floors.

As of Wednesday 13th November, we will resume our standard term opening hours. This includes:

  • Weekdays 9am-7pm
  • Saturdays 10am-4pm
  • Sundays 11am-5pm.

The Library will therefore be open tonight until 7pm.

Electricians will still need to come into the Library to finish their works. The Library will inform our readers of any potential disruption to their work caused by this.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our readers for their patience during this time of disruption.

Wednesday 13th November: Library open with limited services continues

Following the leak and shut-down of electrics in the RAI and VHL on Sunday and Monday, I am pleased to announce that we have partial power restored to the Library.

Electricians have been able to restore power to the ground floor of the Library. This includes the Reader PCs, PCAS Machines and the service desk.

Work will be continuing on the electrical works for the 1st and 2nd Floors, which is hoped to be completed in the early morning (7:30-10am).

We hope for full power to be restored on Wednesday morning, but will make a further announcement tomorrow.

The Library will be open between 9am and 5pm. If lighting is restored to the higher levels, the Library may remain open until 7pm, dependent on the decision of the Librarian.

  • If the lighting remains off, then none of collections on the open shelves on the 1st and 2nd Floor will be accessible due to lack of lighting. A staff fetching service from open shelf collections will operate during this time.

You can follow us on Twitter for any further updates and if you need to speak to a member of library staff, please contact the Bodleian’s Main Enquiry Desk on 01865 (2)77162.

Many apologies for the continued disruption.

Tuesday 12 Nov: VHL open 10am-4pm with limited service

Following the leak and shut-down of electrics in the RAI and VHL yesterday and today, we continue to experience disruption to power. For Tuesday 12 November we are planning to open the library and run a limited service as follows:

  • The RAI building is open as normal but the Library will be open between 10am and 4pm only.
  • Only the study spaces in the Mezzanine Level will be accessible. Please note that the desk lamps and powersockets will not work.
  • None of collections on the open shelves on the 1st and 2nd Floor will be accessible due to lack of lighting. A staff fetching service from open shelf collections will operate during this time.
  • Book stack deliveries will resume. Orders due to have been delivered today will be made available tomorrow.
  • Wifi is working, but there will be no Library PCs and PCAS services.
  • We are not expecting our telephones to work.

We hope for full power to be restored on Wednesday but will make a further announcement tomorrow.

You can follow us on Twitter for any further updates and if you need to speak to a member of library staff, please contact the Bodleian’s Main Enquiry Desk on 01865 (2)77162.

Many apologies for the continued disruption.

Announcement: VHL Library Closed

The Vere Harmsworth Library is closed from today (Sunday 10th November, 2019) and all day Monday (11th November 2019.)
This is due to a leak which requires the electronics of the RAI Building (and therefore the VHL Library) to be shut down.
Updates on the situation will be provided via:
Queries regarding library access can be passed to the Bodleian’s Main Enquiry Desk on 01865 (2)77162.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

RSL Decant 2020-21: Ground Floor Book Moves

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, titles are being moved in order to create space for RSL titles. The Vere Harmsworth Library will aim to update you about the moves as soon as possible, and to provide assistance in finding any titles you require.

The Bodleian Libraries PADS team, who are managing the book moves, will aim to do most of their work in the early morning (7am-9am), to avoid disturbing Readers as much as possible. However, please be aware that there may be some noise or disruption the library during this time.

Internal moves within the VHL Library will be updated on the Library catalogue as soon as possible. If you are having difficulty with finding any of your titles, please ask at the Library Information Desk. 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. 

As of the 4th November, 2019, the following primary source titles have been moved on the Ground Floor:

  • Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, 1900-1969 (v.1-v. 28)
  • The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934 (v. 1 -v. 26)
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (up to President Barack Obama, volume 1.)
  • Official Congressional Directory, 1925, 2007-9.
  • Documents on American Foreign Relations, 1938/39-1964,1970
  • Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers [FRUS], 1925-
  • Treaties and other International Acts of the United States of America, 1931- (v.1-v.8)
  • Documentary history of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, 1972- (v.1-v.22)
  • The documentary History of Ratification of the Constitution, 1972- (v.1 -v. 29)
  • Library of Congress – Journal of the Continental Congress, 1941- (v.1 – v. 34)
  • U.S. Treaties & other International Agreements, 1950-
  • The American Oxonian, 1914-
  • British Parliamentary Papers: United States of America, 1971 (v.1 -v.10)
  • United States News, 1933-1948 (v. 8 – v. 24)
  • Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1964-1978, 1981

Other moves affecting the Ground Floor include:

  • The Congressional Record has been moved into the VHL Stack, and is available by request (please include details such as the Congress/Volume that you require.) Please note that the Bodleian Library also provides online access to the Congressional Record.
  • Items from the Microfilm collection have been moved to the BSF. Collections which have been moved are either collections where we have complete, stable online access, or other collections within the Bodleian Libraries. Microfilm cards can still be requested by Readers to be viewed in certain Bodleian Libraries.
  • The Reference collection has been relegated in line with Appendix C in the RSL Decant History Addendum, as part of the Consultation Process. The current collection is currently housed in the second to last island bay on the Ground Floor. Please refer to the Information Desk if you are having trouble finding any specific titles.

If you are struggling to find any specific titles, 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 and Consultation Papers – Update

The following information regards recent updates which have been made to the consultation papers and online feedback form deadline.

The History Addendum (pdf) has been updated to outline the latest planning, some in response to feedback already received. It also includes additional book move plans following the realisation that in fact 70% of the RSL collections will need to be on the open shelves (as opposed to 60% as originally envisaged).

As a result of this change, the consultation period has been extended to 23 October midday.

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

You are welcome to provide your feedback to us in person at one of our upcoming Consultation Meetings (see below) or through our online survey, which now closes on the 23rd October, midday. The survey is anonymous, and you would only need to provide details of your faculty and year of academic study.

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

RSL Decant Project 2020-21 – Proposal and Consultation Papers

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Consultation Meetings 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also of Interest:

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