New Databases from Archives Unbound!

I am pleased to report that the VHL has committed funding towards four new databases from the Archives Unbound collections from Gale.

These four collections are now available for all Bodleian readers to use, and can be found in SOLO or our Database A-Z. You can find out more about each collection below. Their topics range from the American Confederacy, religion, politics and African American movements in 1930s/40s America.

You can search across all the above databases via Gale Primary Sources. Please note that you will need to use your Single Sign On to access these resources.

Confederate Newspapers: A Collection from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama

This collection is a mixture of issues and papers from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama ranging from 1861-1865. These newspapers “recorded the real and true history of public opinion during the war. In their columns is to be found the only really correct and indicative ‘map of busy life, its fluctuations and its vast concerns’ in the South, during her days of darkness and of trial.” The newspapers are text-searchable, and include advertisements. Topics include everyday life in the Confederacy, as well as discussions of the Civil War and Slavery.

You can access this database directly here.

Election of 1948

This collection provides documents and the perspectives of the four base camps from the 1948 United States presidential election: Democrat incumbent President and eventual victor Harry S. Truman (1884–1972; U.S. President, 1945–1953), Republican and New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (1902–1971), Progressive and former Vice President Henry A. Wallace (1888–1965) and Dixiecrat and South Carolina Governor J. Strom Thurmond (1902–2003). Sources include Papers of Harry S Truman, Thomas E. Dewey Papers, Papers of Americans for Democratic Action as well as selections from several southern newspapers. These sources show the political landscape of the United States post-WWII, and the growing tensions within the country.

You can access this database directly here.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Race Relations, 1933-1945

This new series contains a collection of essential materials for the study of the early development of the Civil Rights Movement-concerned with the issues of Lynching, Segregation, Race riots, and Employment discrimination. FDR’s record on civil rights has been the subject of much controversy. This new collection from FDR’s Official File provides insight into his political style and presents an instructive example of how he balanced moral preference with political realities. Topics also include the migration of African Americans to northern states, the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in championing equal rights and racial justice, and reports on key individuals and organisations, such as the NAACP.

You can access this database directly here.

Global Missions and Theology

This collection documents the broad range of Nineteenth Century religious missionary activities, practices and thought in the United States by reproducing pivotal personal narratives, organizational records, and biographies of the essential leaders, simple missionaries, and churches. This collection includes materials on missionary activities among Native Americans and African Americans, both slaves and freedmen. In addition, it highlights activities in far-flung regions and countries, such as Africa, Fiji and Sandwich Islands, India, China, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Hawaii.

You can access this database directly here.

 

Celebrating Alain Locke: A new collection for the VHL

In spring 2021, the VHL and RAI agreed to create the Alain Locke Collection with support from the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS). Named after the first African American Rhodes Scholar, the collection aims to focus on research monographs in the areas of African American history, politics, biography and culture, alongside notable gaps in material not produced by commercial publishers.

The Bodleian is committed to providing students and researchers with world class access to resources to enable them to fulfil their scholarly ambitions. We are therefore hugely grateful to the AARS for pledging a gift of $25,000 over five years supporting the Alain Locke Collection. This supports our intention for the VHL to become a leading centre for the study of African American history, politics, and culture.

This ambitious vision the VHL will be achieved by enhancing our current collections through the focused and strategic purchase of African American research material, including valuable electronic database collections which will support students and researchers in their studies. Reflecting our commitment to maintain and promote our African American-based collection, this vision sits within the current strategic aims of the Bodleian Libraries and alongside the work of the RAI, whose mission is to promote ‘greater public and academic understanding of the history, culture and politics of the United States’.

About the Collection

The collection will be created through consulting bibliographies recommended by the Frederick Douglass Book Prize Board (Gilder Lehrman and Yale); recommendations by Professors Eddie Glaude at Princeton and Henry Louis Gates at Harvard; and gaps identified by the VHL Librarian.

The establishment of the Alain Locke Collection will allow the VHL to expand the purchase of African American focused research monographs, without affecting expenditure on other research areas. It will build on the VHL’s current holdings and run alongside the continued intake of research monographs via the legal deposit agreements and e-book packages. It will allow the VHL to identify and address potential gaps in some of the older materials. Most significantly, it will demonstrate our commitment to representing African American history and culture within our collections.

Front covers of 40 books from the Alain Locke Collection. A link is provided below with a full list of the titles.

You can see above a selection of some of the titles that have been selected for our first intake for the Alain Locke Collection. You can view the full list here. 

About the display area

Readers will be able to see the first selection for the Alain Locke Collection on the Ground Floor of the Library. This area, as part of our agreement with the AARS, will be dedicated to displaying and promoting the Collection. Alongside works by Locke, on display are items related to African American political history from our Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive. These items show the breadth of the Archive.

A photograph of the display area with Alain Locke Collection in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any further questions about the Alain Locke Collection, or the display below, please contact Bethan Davies. To find out more about supporting the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Alain Locke collection please contact Jenny Haimes

ANNOUNCEMENT: RAI roof works: Planned half day closure Wednesday 22nd February

[UPDATE: The planned works for this morning were completed on schedule, and the library re-opened at 1pm. We would like to thank our readers for their patience. 22/02/2023] 

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be CLOSED for the morning of Wednesday 22nd February 2023, and will re-open at 1pm the same day. 

As part of the completion of recent essential RAI roof works, the scaffolding currently in place around the RAI building entrance and main ramp needs to be removed. Estates have informed the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that the closure is required to ensure the safe removal of scaffolding material, and will block the main entrance into the RAI building.

Once removed, the entrance to the RAI building will be accessible via the ramp or the steps, as it had been prior to the scaffolding installation.

After careful consideration of the above information, and discussions with the Rothermere American Institute regarding alternative entrances, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian has agreed to close the library on the morning of Wednesday 22nd February 2023 to ensure that essential work can be completed as swiftly and safely as possible.

The library will re-open from 1pm, for our normal advertised term hours (1pm-10pm), subject to completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

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 the short notice of this closure period, and for any disruption caused by this closure.

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

Trial Access: Race Relations in America and Everyday Life and Women in America (Trial Ended)

[Update: These trials have now ended. If you have any feedback you wish to give regarding these databases, please contact Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian – 2nd March 2023]

I am pleased to announce that the VHL has organised trials of two databases; Race Relations in America and Everyday Life and Women in America, 1800-1920.

The trials for both databases last until the 1st March 2023 – please plan your use of these databases accordingly, and pass any feedback that you have to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Race Relations in America title. Image of a group of African American children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Relations in America

Based at Fisk University from 1943-1970, the Race Relations Department and its annual Institute were set up by the American Missionary Association to investigate problem areas in race relations and develop methods for educating communities and preventing conflict. Documenting three pivotal decades in the fight for civil rights, this resource showcases the speeches, reports, surveys and analyses produced by the Department’s staff and Institute participants.

Key themes covered include:

·         Desegregation of schools, industries and public transport – survey material documents the attitudes of the community towards prospective desegregation, as well as analysing the results. The progress of legislation and legal cases can also be explored within the collection, alongside statistical data used in key Supreme Court Cases.

·         Migration of African Americans from the rural South to urban centers, which had a significant impact on American industry and the labour movement, as well as domestic issues such as housing, overcrowding and poverty.

·         The role of the Church in the Civil Rights Movement and in African American communities, from helping to fund organizations like the Race Relations Institute, to the part played in encouraging integration or segregation among their congregations. Other religious and spiritual groups are also covered.

·         Race riots and other racial tensions, which the Race Relations Department worked to diffuse or prevent by aiding communities to identify and address their problems. Alongside surveys created by field workers are reports on specific events, with testimonies from individuals involved in events such as police brutality.

·         Activities of the Civil Rights Movement, including protest marches, sit-in demonstrations, student movements, and legal cases. Reports and correspondence are kept on key organisations, as well as the activities of specific hate groups.

·         Speeches and reports by key figures of the time, including Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks, alongside sociologists, activists, psychologists, teachers, ministers, students and housewives.

Alongside this are contextual essays, thematic guides, audio recordings and video interviews, interactive maps of survey locations and data on attendees of Race Relations Institute.

Title Everyday life and women in America. Illustration of a family around a dining table. A text box reads "Discover the Collection: Explore documents from the Sallie Bingham Centre for Women's History and Culture, Duke University and the New York Public Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Life and Women in America, 1800-1920

Everyday Life & Women in America comprises thousands of fully searchable images of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes. The collection is especially rich in conduct of life and domestic management literature, offering vivid insights into the daily lives of women and men, as well as emphasizing contrasts in regional, urban and rural cultures.

Key themed areas within the collection are:

·         An extensive number of periodicals, with either complete or near complete runs, covering both national and local levels. Titles include society periodicals like Town Topics and general household magazines such as Household News. Periodicals focused on religious, political and social causes are included (like the anarchist Lucifer, The Light Bearer, which later became the American Journal of Eugenics), alongside official publications of clubs, organisations and educational institutions. Topics also cover national events and topics, such as the American Civil War, suffrage movements and race.

·         Documents which refer to, and were aimed for, African Americans, Native Americans and Jewish women. There are also publications aimed at and for white supremacist movements (such as Installation ceremonies; Women of the Ku Klux Klan).

·         A broad collection of popular fiction series and sensational literature.

·         Guidance books, etiquette manuals and advisory literature on the expected behaviour of women and their conduct, marriages, motherhood and house roles.

·         Works and official reports on the role of women in education and the workplace.

·         Rare cookbooks, medical guidance works and collections of home remedies.

·         Fashion advertisements and periodicals, as well as works on the “ideal form of Beauty”.

Alongside this are contextual essays, thematic guides, an interactive chronology of events throughout 1800-1920, and subject search directories.

 

Ceiling works: Closure of main stairway and western alcove of mezzanine 9th-13th January

[UPDATE: This work has now been completed and the mezzanine and stairway areas are now accessible. Many thanks to our readers for their patience. 19/01/2023] 

The main library stairway and western alcove of the mezzanine (the side furthest from the building foyer), will be CLOSED from 9th -13th January.

This is due to required works on the ceiling in these areas, which will require the installation of internal scaffolding.

The library will remain open during this week. Access to the rest of the mezzanine and upper floors will be maintained via the remaining stairways.

There will be noise disruption in the library from this required work. We recommend sitting on the upper floors and avoiding the mezzanine level. You can ask for ear plugs at the VHL Enquiry Desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. You can find out more background information about the works in our previous blogposts.

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

Rothermere American Institute roof works update: change in expected end date

Vere Harmsworth Library readers will be aware of the current roof works taking place at the Rothermere American Institute (the building in which the library is located). The works began in July 2022, and have involved the installation of scaffolding around the building, and intermittent noise disruption for our readers.

Unfortunately, due to supply issues, the estimated end date for the works to be completed has now been moved to February 2023. Estates have stated that this timeframe is very much an estimate, and may be subject to change. The VHL will continue to be open for it’s previously advertised opening hours, until further notice. However, it is recommended that readers continue to monitor our blog, social media channels (@vhllib on Twitter and @vereharmsworthlibrary on Facebook) and our website for further updates on the expected roof works, and to help them in planning any potential visits to the library.

We would like to apologise to our readers for the delay, and thank them for their continued patience and understanding whilst the works are being completed. You can find out more background information about the works in our previous blogposts.

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

NEW Online Resource: Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000

Decorative image of women throughout American History.I am pleased to report that Bodleian readers now have access to Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000.

Loosely organized around the history of women in social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000, the site seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding of U.S. history while making the insights of women’s history accessible to scholars and students. It features document projects, as well as extensive collections of primary sources. Women and Social Movements in the United States is also an online journal, and our access includes issues up to and including 2019, which feature  document projects and book reviews, as well as a host of other material, including essays, roundtables, and other special features.

Primary source collections within Women and Social Movements in the United States includes:

  • Memoirs, biographies and historical works of women in the U.S. suffrage movement, including the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, by Stanton, Anthony and others, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as Revealed in Her Letters, Diary and Reminiscences, as well as an online edition of the biographical dictionary Notable American Women (1971-2004).  
  • An almost complete run of Equal Rights, the official publication of the National Women’s Party, 1923-1954.
  • More than 1,800 items written by black women suffragists, 1831-1965
  • 42 major contemporary published works that examine women’s activism from the time of the Civil War to the mid-1950s.
  • 640 publications from the League of Women’s Voters (1923-1999), taken from the League’s library in Washington D.C.
  • More than 1,850 publications of state and local commissions on the status of women, and 73 reports on gender bias in state courts, 1983-2002
  • Records from the National Consumer’s League from 1904 to 1934.
  • Transcriptions of 25 women’s rights conventions (1848-1870), three national conventions of anti-slavery women (1836-1838) and the conference minutes for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), 1874-1898.
  • Annual reports of the WCTU, 1874-1898.
  • Transcripts of interviews with female US historians who developed the field of women’s history in American academia from the 1960s onwards.

Alongside the above collections, Women and Social Movements in the United States also includes 129 document projects, which present and interpret primary sources, a dictionary of social movements and organisations and a chronology of American women’s history.

This compliments our similar collection, Women and Social Movements, International 1840-present which includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century.

You can access Women and Social Movements, United States here, or via the Bodleian Libraries Database A-Z.  Note that you will need to use your Single Sign On to access this resource.

VHL re-opened after half day closure (7th September 2022)

The Vere Harmsworth Library has re-opened to readers, following the essential scaffolding installed above the main ramp entrance to the RAI building. 

The library re-opened at 1pm on Wednesday 7th September 2022, and will remain open until 7pm.

A sign has been set up outside the RAI building to show readers how to enter the building, and new signage will be reviewed.

We would like to thank our readers for their patience and understanding.

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.

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

ANNOUNCEMENT: RAI roof works: Planned half day closure this Wednesday

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed for the morning of Wednesday 7th September 2022, and will re-open at 1pm the same day. This closure is separate to the previously advertised full day closure on Saturday 10th September. 

As part of the ongoing essential RAI roof works, extra scaffolding needs to be installed above the main ramp, which leads to the main building entrance. Estates have informed the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that this will block the entrance into the RAI building.

Once in place, readers can resume using the ramp to access the building, under the installed scaffolding. Entry into the building will be signposted.

After careful consideration of the above information, and discussions with the Rothermere American Institute regarding alternative entrances, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian has agreed to close the library on the morning of Wednesday 7th September, 2022, to ensure that essential work can be completed as swiftly and safely as possible.

The library will re-open from 1pm, for our normal advertised vacation hours (1pm-7pm), subject to completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

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 the short notice of this closure period, and for any disruption caused by this closure.

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

Planned closure for RAI roof works: Saturday 10th September

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on Saturday 10th September 2022 and will re-open the following Monday (12th September). 

As part of the ongoing essential RAI roof works, a temporary roof cover needs to be installed on the top of the building. This will involve the use of a crane, which will be located in the RAI car park area. Estates have informed the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that pedestrian access to the RAI building will not be allowed whilst the crane is on site, and access to the car park via the South Parks Road entrance will be blocked off.

Once in place, the temporary roof will allow the builders to complete their full plan of works, and access to the building can resume once the crane has been removed. The expected removal day for the crane will be either the Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th September, depending on completion of works.

After careful consideration of the above information, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian has agreed to close the library on Saturday 10th September, 2022, to ensure that essential work can be completed as swiftly and safely as possible.

The library will re-open from Monday 12th September, for our normal advertised vacation hours (9am-7pm), subject to completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

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.

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