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 

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. 







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.







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


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

You can also find out more about our other two trials for Native American Indians and Black Authors on our new blogpost.