New electronic resource – 19th Century US Newspapers

We are pleased to announce access to our latest acquisition, the 19th Century US Newspapers by Cengage.

This database provides access to approximately 1.7 million pages (over 28 million articles) of historical newspaper content from the 19th century, featuring full-text content and images from c 500 newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the U.S. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century, with an emphasis on such topics as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history, Western migration, economic development, the Antebellum-era and many other subjects.

Available via OxLIP; off campus access is with VPN.

New interface to America: History & Life

For the past six months it has been possible to access America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts via two interfaces: the old ABC-CLIO interface and the new Ebsco one. The old versions will cease on 1 July.

Important to note is that keyword searching is different in the new version. Example: Military orders will be searched as a phrase; military and orders will be searched as a combined keywords.

Other changes of note are the ability to save searches, create electronic alerts, RSS feeds. If you have any existing alerts on the old ABC-CLIO version, then you will need to redo them on the new version as they won’t be carried over.

Access via OxLIP; remote access is with VPN.

Trinity Term seating – follow-up

Now that Trinity Term is over it seems a good time to report on the effect of our change of policy towards the first floor study carrels this year. We received various comments and feedback from a variety of library users, and had a good number of votes on the poll we had running here on the blog. Unsurprisingly, feedback was very positive from Americanists, but more surprisingly, there was only one complaint about the new restrictions. The poll showed a more evenly spread response, with 45% voting for Americanists only, 30% for priority to Americanists and 25% for no restrictions whatsoever. From the staff point of view, the most telling indication is that we have not once been asked to intervene or move a non-Americanist, and have not had a single complaint that a reader cannot find anywhere to sit. This is despite the fact that our usage statistics show that we have been about as busy as we were last year, when there were quite a few complaints. We are therefore judging the new system a success! The first floor study carrels are therefore now available to be used on a first-come, first-served basis for most of the year (with priority to Americanists if the library becomes unexpectedly busy), but during Trinity Terms will be reserved for Americanists only.

Finally, a reminder that as of today we revert to summer vacation opening hours – Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm only.

Summer opening hours

Summer opening hours start next week (23rd June) – the library will be open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm only. We are closed on Saturdays from now on (ie, no Saturday opening this Saturday 21st).

Remote access to electronic resources

A message from OULS:

The Library Services currently recommend that readers download the VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to enable access to resources when off-campus. Step by step instructions are at:

Many databases have also been available through an Athens username, but this service will terminate at the end of July 2008. Most database suppliers will be offering an institutional log-in using the Oxford Single Sign-On instead (this is the same as your WebAuth or Herald userid and password). A small number of databases will initially not work with SSO access; these will continue to be available through the VPN. You can check the remote access arrangements for each specific database from OxLIP. For information about the Oxford Single Sign-On see

We are working to develop a new portal service which will make it much simpler to use the Oxford SSO for remote access to electronic resources. Please follow progress on the OULS website at

A few resources (e.g. ZETOC) use Athens for personalised services such as alerts. These will have to be either migrated or cancelled and reinstated. For advice on access to legal databases please contact the law librarians.

If you have any concerns or would like more information please email
The links given here should give you all the information you need and, in addition, a WISER session has been arranged on Remote access on Wednesday 11th June 12.30-1.30 at OUCS – to book see:

WISER coming up

WISER: Finding quality information on the internet
Wednesday 11th June 2008 (week 8), 12.30 – 1.30, OUCS, Banbury Road.
This session will help you to develop effective web searching techniques for use with a variety of search engines and web directories and will introduce strategies for evaluating web resources.
Angela Carritt and Penny Schenk.
Book at:

Full programme at:
All enquiries to: