New electronic resource: American Founding Era Collection (Rotunda)

We have just purchased access to the American Founding Era Collection, via the University of Virginia’s ROTUNDA platform.  The collection offers digital versions of the published papers of several major figures of the Early Republic:

  • The Papers of James Madison
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
  • The Adams Papers
  • The Papers of George Washington
  • The Dolley Madison Digital Edition
  • The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Consitution

The papers are fully searchable, both within each set and across the entire collection, and you can view and download page images as well as view the text.  As well as searching, the collections can be browsed in contents order (as in the published editions) or chronologically.  There are indexes available for the Adams, Jefferson, and Washington papers.

Many of these collections are still growing as the published papers projects continue, and new content will continue to be added.  In addition, we will soon also have access to The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, which is due to be added to the collection this summer.

For more information on this resource and how to navigate it, please see the latest post on the Resources blog.

Access is available via OxLIP+ (single sign-on for remote access).

New sites saved on our delicious page

Topics in Chronicling America
Information and links to sample articles about various historic topics, available through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America site.
Civil War in the American South
In recognition of the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War, Civil War and the American South provides a central portal to access digital collections from the Civil War Era (1850-1865) held by members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). ASERL members hold deep and extensive collections documenting the history and culture of the American South, developed over hundreds of years to support scholarly research and teaching. Many of the special or unique manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers, broadsides, and other materials have been digitized to provide broader access to these documents for scholars and students around the world. Civil War and the American South is a collaborative initiative to provide a single, shared point of access to the Civil War digital collections held at many individual libraries. This site currently links to more than 8804 items from 23 libraries.
Oregon Digital Library
The Oregon Digital Library Project provides a searchable portal for a number of digital collections created by institutions around the state of Oregon. At present, the ODL gateway can search and index approximately 500,000 items.
The National Archives on YouTube
Links to the YouTube channels of the National Archives and eight of the Presidential Libraries: Bush, Eisenhower, Hoover, LBJ, JFK, Nixon, FDR, Truman.
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives’ on Flickr
Eber Carle Perrow collection of Southern ballads (Houghton Library, Harvard University)
Collection consists primarily of texts of lyrics of Southern African-American ballad folk songs, collected by Perrow, some pages apparently signed and in the hand of the local persons who related the text, but most in hand of Harvard students who wrote compositions for English A in 1909. Manuscripts are often only fragments, written in multiple hands, some are typed transcripts of lyrics, and there is one sheet of manuscript music of a ballad. There is also a 1908 letter from an unidentified person at Louisiana State University written to Perrow concerning text of Southern ballads.

New! Online guide to US History sources

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the online Guide to US History Sources, on the Bodleian Libraries’ LibGuides site.  This guide replaces the old yellow paper versions which used to be available in the library, and provides links to and information about a whole variety of resources available for research in US History.

The web address for the guide is  The benefits of an online guide are that the links to e-resources are active (if you’re not connected to the University network you will need to sign in on SOLO first), and the guide can be easily and frequently updated.  Hopefully it will provide you with an excellent starting point for your research.  Please feel free to make suggestions about more resources to include, or if the guide could be made more user-friendly.  We also have a separate online guide available for US Government Publications, and could potentially create further specific guides in the future.

The online guide is designed to be complemented by the US Studies Resources at Oxford blog, which will go into more depth about individual resources and topics.  I’m also always happy to help you if you have questions about resources available either in the library or online.

Timetable for switchover to new library system, June-July 2011

This is a draft timetable for the major points to note throughout June and July as the Bodleian Libraries move over to our new library system (see previous post).

31st May: Please let us have any book purchase recommendations by this date. 

1st-17th June: Reduced purchasing.

18th June – 17th July: No purchasing. If you have urgent requests, please let us know and we will see what we can do!

1st- 7th July: Put your stack requests in now for the downtime, and familiarise yourself with SOLO (if you haven’t already!)

7th July: Last day for stack requests. Make sure you know your OLIS password (for logging on to PCs, placing stack requests, renewing loans) – passwords cannot be reset 8th-17th July.

8th July: OLIS switched off at 17:00. Beginning of transfer of data to new system. Withdrawal of character-based catalogue (ie, telnet OLIS).

8th-17th July: switchover


  • Existing catalogue (SOLO), allowing bibliographic searching, location of open-shelf material.
  • Borrowing (via back-up system, ie, not recording transactions on OLIS). 

Not functioning:

  • Stack request
  • Other circulation functions 
  • Password resets

18th July: OLIS (Aleph) goes live at 09:00.

Important information: switchover to new library system, July 2011

The Bodleian Libraries is implementing a new Integrated Library System this summer which will provide enhanced catalogue, circulation and acquisitions functionality for users and staff.

From 8 – 18 July 2011, while implementation is taking place, all Bodleian Libraries will remain open subject to usual vacation hours, open-stack materials will be available, SOLO will be live (although with reduced functionality), and e-resources will continue to be available. However, from 5pm on Thursday 7 July to 9am on Monday 18 July while the new system is being implemented, it will not be possible to order items from the closed stacks and the catalogue will not be updated, although it will be available to view using SOLO. Readers planning a visit to the Bodleian Libraries during this period are advised to order material in advance by Friday 1 July.

Most Special Collections materials currently held in the Radcliffe Science Library and material kept in the VHL stack or the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House stack can be ordered manually for consultation locally but readers planning a visit to view Special Collections during this period in July are advised to contact Special Collections at

From 17 June – 17 July, purchasing of new library material will also be suspended.  If you have recommendations of books for us to buy, please let us have them by the end of May (or early June at the latest) if you need us to get them before mid-July.

For more information on the switchover to the new system, please see the Bodleian Libraries’ website. Please contact us or if you have questions about the downtime or how to order in advance. Readers with admissions queries should contact