VHL re-opened after half day closure (25th August 2022)

The Vere Harmsworth Library has re-opened to readers, following the essential scaffolding installation above the RAI foyer. 

The library re-opened at 1pm on the 25th August, and will remain open until 7pm.

A sign has been set up outside the RAI building to show readers how to enter the building.

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.

Planned half day closure for RAI roof works: Thursday 25th August 2022 (morning)

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on the morning of Thursday 25th August 2022, with an expected re-opening time of 1pm. 

As part of the ongoing essential RAI roof works, scaffolding will need to be installed above the entrance of the RAI foyer, from which readers enter the VHL library. The construction workers and Estates have informed the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that the building entrance would need to be temporarily closed off, to allow for the scaffolding to be safely installed.

Once in place, readers can resume accessing the building via the foyer entrance, under the installed scaffolding. Entry into the building will be signposted.

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 Thursday 25th August, 2022, to ensure that the essential work can be completed as swiftly and safely as possible.

The library will re-open from 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. The afternoon book deliveries are planned to go ahead as normal, again, subject to the completion of the works.

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.

New online resources: Jet Magazine Archive and more!

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has used funds to purchase the Jet Magazine Archive for Bodleian Readers.

Jet Magazine Archive covers the civil rights movement, politics, education, and other social topics with an African American focus. When completed, it will include over 3,000 issues providing a broad view of news, culture, and entertainment from its first issue in 1951 through 2014.

Users can search across the articles using full-text search, or select specific issues, years or themes. Each article is indexed with relevant keywords. Researchers can also view images and advertisements within each issue.

Our previous trial only provided access to the issues released from 1980-1989. Our access now includes issues published from 1970-2014, the bulk of the archive. Issues published from 1951-1969 will become available in the coming weeks.

Currently the database has only released the issues from the 1980-1989, which are the issues available during our Trial.

You can access Jet Magazine Archive using your Single Sign On here.

The Bodleian Libraries have also purchased new resources which you may find of interest. You can find out more about them via the History Faculty Library blogpost, but two resources of particular interest to Americanists include:

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940, Part 1

These diverse collections will be of interest to those studying modern American history, society and culture. Key coverage includes:

  • Records and papers of key organisations: ACT UP, Gay Activists Alliance, Daughters of Bilitis and the Mattachine Society of New York.
  • Government records and official papers for the National Commission on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1983-1994, and on the Bush Administration and the AIDS Crisis.
  • American newsletters and periodicals from key archival collections, such as: the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Historical Society and the Lesbian Herstory Archives, including some of the oldest LGBTQ periodicals published in America.
  • The Lesbian Herstory Archives subject files, which provides the most a hugely detailed information bank on lesbians throughout history, and the Herstory Feminist Newspapers collection, which is composed of US Newspapers written by, about and for women from the 20th Century, at a national and regional level.
  • Personal papers of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin (both as part of the Daughters of Bilitis and their wider involvement with the women’s rights movement and other social movements).
  • Personal papers of Donald Steward Lucas, (both as part of the Mattachine Society, and the wider homophile movement.)

This is alongside coverage from British and International organisations, governments and newspapers/periodicals. Access here (note that you will need to use your Single Sign on to access).

Kanopy

We now have access to videos in the Kanopy Film Archive, a huge collection of documentaries, classic films and original creations. Collections include those focused on diversity, current events and “Campus Collections”. Films can be saved as favourites, and the majority include closed captions and transcripts. This great resource is a real treasure trove!

Access here (note that you will need to use your Single Sign on to access. You will be asked to create your own personal account, but you don’t need to create one in order to view the films.)

 

 

Rothermere American Institute roof works update: Scaffolding

[UPDATE: Please see our most recent blogpost for an update on the expected end date for the works – updated 7th December 2022]

Scaffolding required for essential remedial work to the internal structure of the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) roof, is expected to be delivered on Wednesday 20th July, 2022. Scaffolding will then be erected on the south facing side of the building (facing Mansfield College and the Princess Margaret gardens), on Friday 22nd July. 

Access into the building will be maintained and signposted throughout the project and the VHL will remain open as advertised with normal library services in operation.

Readers will experience disruption with the installation of the scaffolding. Noise levels from this work will be short term, intermittent and frequent throughout. Scaffolding on the south side of the building will mostly affect the mezzanine area, and it is recommended that readers avoid sitting in this area.

Access into the building will be maintained and signposted throughout the project and the VHL will remain open as advertised with normal library services in operation.

Please note that the VHL will continue to provide earplugs at the VHL enquiry desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience and disruption caused to our readers. We will aim to provide up to date information on expected works as soon as possible, in order to help readers to plan their research. We will continually meet with the contractors and University Estates to pass on any reader feedback, and work together to help reduce disruption whenever possible.

You can find out more background information on the roof works in our initial blogpost. 

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

Rothermere American Institute roof works, commencing July 4th 2022

[UPDATE: The estimated end date for the roof works has been delayed, and is now estimated to be completed by February 2023 (subject to change). Read our most recent blog post for more information – updated 7th December 2022]

[UPDATE: The erection of the scaffolding has been delayed, and is now expected to be installed from the week commencing 18th July 2022. We apologise for any inconvenience – updated 11th July 2022] 

University Estates needs to undertake essential remedial work to the internal structure of the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) roof. It is estimated the work will take up to 22 weeks to complete: from w/c 4th July 2022 up to and including w/c 28th November 2022 (week 8 of Michaelmas Term) [Note: the estimated end date for the roof works has now been updated – see UPDATE at the top of the page.] The majority of the work is scheduled during the summer months to reduce the impact on as many readers as possible and we will work closely with University Estates to mitigate the level of disruption to library users. Access into the building will be maintained and signposted throughout the project and the VHL will remain open as advertised with normal library services in operation.

Noise levels should not be too disruptive in the w/c 4th July when the construction area will be set up and secured. Part of the preparations will involve moving the bicycle racks to the grassy area behind the Archaeology building, where they can still be used by VHL readers.

It is expected that scaffolding will be erected around the RAI building from Monday 18th July 2022. Noise levels from this work will be short term, intermittent and frequent throughout. [NOTE: the date of expected scaffold installation has been updated – see UPDATE at the top of the page] 

Please note that the VHL will continue to provide earplugs at the VHL enquiry desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience and disruption caused to our readers. We will aim to provide up to date information on expected works as soon as possible, in order to help readers to plan their research. We will continually meet with the contractors and University Estates to pass on any reader feedback, and work together to help reduce disruption whenever possible.

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

 

Building works outside the Rothermere American Institute, 21st June 2022

[UPDATE: The excavation works have been completed. We would like to thank readers for their patience and understanding. 17/06/2022]

Essential excavation works will be occurring outside the perimeter of the Rothermere American Institute building, on Tuesday, 21st June, 8am-5pm. There will be minimal and intermittent disruptive noise from the works.

University employed contractors will be required to perform excavation works around the RAI building. The VHL and RAI were informed that this work will be occurring on Tuesday 21st June, starting at 8am, and expecting to finish at 5pm. The works will involve intermittent drilling, and there will be some noise disruption, which will be kept to a minimum level throughout.

The works will not affect access into the RAI building, and the VHL will remain open as advertised.

It is recommended that readers avoid sitting near the windows, particularly on the north side of the library. Readers are also welcome to ask for earplugs, which are provided for free at the enquiry desk.

We apologise for the short notice, and for any inconvenience or disruption caused to readers.

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

Requesting US Elections Campaigns Archive material via the Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts catalogue

You may have seen the recent news regarding the new online request service for Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts. 

However, not all archival material can be requested using this service, and this includes the Philip & Rosamund Davies US Elections Campaigns Archive, which is housed in the Vere Harmsworth Library. However, you can still use the Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts catalogue to view the catalogue records of the wonderful collection, and send email requests for individual items of interest.

When visiting the catalogue page for the US Elections Campaigns Archive, use the blue box on the right hand side of the page to Navigate across the Collection. The Archive is ordered via election type (Presidential/Congressional/State and Local), and by Party and Interest Groups. You can then use the Navigate tool to narrow down the items to material format (e.g. posters/buttons) and years.

A blue box showing the search option, which is at the top, and navigation tool for the US Elections Archive on the Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts webpage. The navigation tool has been used to narrow results to literature materials for the Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive) in the 1912 election.

Use the Search tool (near the top) or the Navigation tool to search through the archive.

Alternatively you can use the Search function to search across the collections for individual names or policies.

Search results for "Prohibition."

This is an example search of the Archive. You can use the filters on the left side to search within your results or narrow them down to specific years.

When viewing an individual item that you would live to view, click the blue Request This button at the top left of the page. This will bring up a similar message to the one below, which advises you that the material can be viewed at the Vere Harmsworth Library and noting the item shelfmark (please make a note of this when putting through your requests, as this is essential for locating the material you wish to view).

An example message which will appear when you Request an item from the US Elections Campaigns Archive. In the right hand corner of the message is a blue Send Email button.

An example message which will appear when you request an item from the Archive.

Click Send Email and an automatic email form will appear, with the Bodleian Special Collections email address already included. Special Collections will then triage any requests to the relevant team, which for the US Elections Campaigns Archive, would be the VHL Librarian.

Note that any consultation of the US Elections Campaigns Archive would need to be held at the Vere Harmsworth Library, and be supervised at all times by the VHL Librarian. Please allow at least two days (preferably longer) for the VHL Librarian to locate requested items and organise the materials for viewing.

Materials are being actively added to the Archive by the donor on a regular basis, and some materials have not yet been catalogued. A recent cataloguing project means that post-2010 material will be added soon to the Archives & Manuscripts Catalogue. However, if you would like to ask any questions about more recent material available in the Archive, or if you have any general questions about the Archive, please email the Vere Harmsworth Librarian (bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

Building works outside the Vere Harmsworth Library

[UPDATE: The construction works on the concrete have been completed, with only intermittent background noise expected until the 5th May. Windows on the north side of the building can now be opened. We would like to thank readers for their patience and understanding. 11/04/2022]

Essential construction works will be occurring on the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) offices outside the Rothermere American Institute building, with the most disruptive works occurring from the 28th March-8th April 2022 (approx). The construction works will be located on the north side of RAI (facing South Parks Road and the Archaeology building).

The DLO has informed the RAI and VHL that essential works on the DLO offices will be taking place from the 21st March -5th May 2022. The most disruptive period of the construction works will occur approximately 28th March-8th April, when the construction workers will be breaking up concrete. This work will be noisy and create dust. After this period, the works should be less disruptive, although there will be some general background noise.

The works will not affect access into the RAI building, and the VHL will remain open as advertised.

The VHL and RAI have been told that the construction workers will be putting in place mitigations to reduce the volume of dust whenever possible. However, because of this, the windows on the north side of the building will be kept closed, to avoid dust clouds coming into the library. The windows on the south side of the building (facing Mansfield College and the Princess Margaret Gardens) will be opened by staff, in line with University and Bodleian Libraries guidance, but may be closed by readers if they wish.

To reduce noise disruption when working in the library, readers are recommended to avoid sitting near the windows on the north side of the library. Readers are also welcome to ask for earplugs, which are provided for free at the enquiry desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience or disruption caused to readers.

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

Trial Access: Jet Magazine Archive (ended 30th March 2022)

[UPDATE: This trial has now finished as of 30th March, 2022.]

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to Jet Magazine Archive for Bodleian Readers. The trial will run until the 30th March, 2022.

Jet Magazine Archive covers the civil rights movement, politics, education, and other social topics with an African American focus. When completed, it will include over 3,000 issues providing a broad view of news, culture, and entertainment from its first issue in 1951 through 2014.

Currently the database has only released the issues from the 1980-1989, which are the issues available during our Trial.

Users can search across the articles using full-text search, or select specific issues, years or themes. Each article is indexed with relevant keywords. Researchers can also view images and advertisements within each issue.

The Vere Harmsworth Library has also organised trial access to Colonial America, which you can find out more about on our previous blogpost.

You can access Jet Magazine Archive using your Single Sign On here.

Please send any feedback you have regarding this resource to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Trial access: Colonial America (ended 20th March 2022)

[UPDATE: This trial has now finished as of 20th March, 2022.]

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to Colonial America for Bodleian Readers. The trial will run until the 20th March, 2022.

Decorative screenshot of the Colonial America database.

Colonial America consists of all 1,450 volumes of the CO 5 series of Colonial Office files held at The National Archives in London, plus all extracted documents associated with them. This unique collection of largely manuscript material from the archives of the British government is an invaluable one for students and researchers of all aspects of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American history and the early-modern Atlantic world.

Documents can be browsed by title, date, volume, theme, document type and colony/region. They are also indexed with relevant keywords, names, and places. Print and manuscript materials are full-text searchable, thanks to handwritten text recognition technology.

The resource is made up of 5 modules:

Module 1: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries

The first module of Colonial America documents the early history of the colonies, and includes founding charters, material on the effects of 1688’s Glorious Revolution in North America, records of piracy and seaborne rivalry with the French and Spanish, and copious military material from the French and Indian War of 1756-63.

Module 2: Towards Revolution

This module focuses on the 1760s and 1770s and the social and political protest that led to the Declaration of Independence, including legal materials covering the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party. It is also particularly rich in material relating to military affairs and American Indians.

Module 3: The American Revolution

This module charts the upheavals of the 1770s and 1780s which saw the throwing off of British rule in the Thirteen Colonies. Contents include volumes of intercepted letters between colonists, the military correspondence of the British commanders in the field and material produced by the Ordnance Office and the office of the Secretary at War, as well as two copies of the ‘Dunlap’ edition of the Declaration of Independence printed on the night of the 4th-5th July 1776.

Module 4: Legislation and Politics in the Colonies

This module traces the colonies’ legal and political evolution between 1636-1782. Copies of council and assembly minutes record debates on international politics, including Britain’s war with Spain, expeditions against the French in Canada, and trade regulations. Court journals also trace legal cases and trials heard in the colonies, whilst series of official correspondence and revisions of acts reveal attempts to increase jurisdiction of British officials in the colonies, expand settlement, and improve public facilities and trade. The extensive revisions and annotations of these documents also expose the internal (and often personal) political agendas of their creators.

Module 5: Growth, Trade and Development

The preponderant part of this module consists of correspondence with the Board of Trade. There are also details of land grants, financial accounts and documents focusing on American Indian relations, as well as George Vancouver’s despatches to London from his 1791 expedition to the Pacific Northwest. The module contains a number of shipping returns, accompanied by a video interview with Hannah Knox Tucker (PhD candidate, University of Virginia), who discusses these documents and their value for researchers in detail.

You can access Colonial America using your Single Sign On here. 

Please send any feedback you have regarding this resource to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.