Rothermere American Institute roof works, commencing July 4th 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). 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 11th July 2022. Noise levels from this work will be short term, intermittent and frequent throughout.

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.

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.

Announcement: VHL closure on April 30th, 2021 (morning only)

The Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) will be closed for the morning of April 30th, 2021, due to essential electrical works across the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) building.

The VHL expects to re-open from 1:30pm, for the beginning of the afternoon study sessions (1:30pm – 5:00pm), and remain open until the end of the evening sessions (5:30pm-9:00pm). We will aim to update readers of any changes to these plans as soon as possible via our Twitter account.

VHL study spaces and Browse and Borrow slots for the morning of April 30th have been removed on SpaceFinder, alongside collection slots for RSL and VHL material via Click and Collect. Readers wishing to return their books in the morning may use the Returns hubs based around Oxford.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions about the expected closure, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

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 vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk 

New service: Paying VHL fines online!

Do you have fines and can’t get to the VHL Enquiry Desk? Do you not have the physical cash to pay?

No problem! Readers can now pay their fines online. 

Visit the weblink at https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/product-catalogue/libraries/vere-harmsworth-library . Enter the amount you wish to pay, and then click “Shopping Basket” near the top of the page.

 

Please note that payments made must be a minimum of £2, and there will be a 1.5% charge on any Credit Card transactions.

You may also pay off your fines in person at the VHL Enquiry Desk.

Any further questions, please email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

RSL Decant: Planned closure of the VHL on Saturday 18th January

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on Saturday 18th January, 2020. This is to allow for unavoidable work on the Ground Floor of the Library.

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, works will need to be carried out by the ground floor entrance of the Vere Harmsworth Library. This will mainly be focused on the installation and set up of the new access control gates.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers have advised the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that access into the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor entrance will be blocked whilst this work is in progress. It will also be disruptive to Library services, and include a significant amount of noise and mess.

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 on the 18th of January, to ensure that work can be completed as swiftly as possible.

The Library will re-open on Sunday 19th January (11 am – 5pm), subject to the 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.

Further information on the proposed book moves and a title list of relegated journals and reference titles can be found in the RSL Decant Consultation documents on the VHL website. 

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

RSL Decant: Planned works on Thursday 9th January, some disruption expected – UPDATED

UPDATE: (15/01/2020) The enquiry desk has now been installed and set up for use. Both RSL and VHL library staff are manning the desk, ready to answer your queries, alongside RAI related enquiries. Some minor works will still be occurring at the desk area as we settle in.

PREVIOUS UPDATE (10/01/2020): Work on the enquiry desk has continued into Friday morning (10th January). The works are expected to continue for the rest of today. The temporary Enquiry Desk (located on the right as you enter the Ground Floor) will remain in use for the rest of the day.

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, works will need to be carried out by the ground floor entrance of the Vere Harmsworth Library, to install and set up the new Enquiry Desk.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers will be moving and installing the new desk on the morning of Thursday, 9th January, 2020.

The Librarian has been advised that the majority of the physical moving, and noisiest part of the works, will aim to be completed by 9 am, when the Library is expected to open. By this point, the entrance to the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor should be clear for readers to enter.

Work on the newly installed desk, however, would continue, including setting up electronic and internet points. Therefore, in the interim, library staff will be based on a temporary enquiry desk, which will be set up on the Ground Floor. This will allow for readers to check out books, and for staff to respond to any further enquiries.

Readers are advised that whilst the most disruptive part of the planned works will be occurring before the Library opens, there will be some noise on the Ground Floor of the Library whilst during the morning.

The newly installed desk should be completed and ready to use from the Thursday afternoon.[UPDATE: The desk has now been installed and is in use. See first Update above at the top of the page.]

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.

Further information on the proposed book moves and a title list of relegated journals and reference titles can be found in the RSL Decant Consultation documents on the VHL website. 

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