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.

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.

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.