Covid19: New online temporary resource – ProQuest History Vault

I am pleased to announce that the VHL has organised temporary access to the ProQuest History Vault, to support our readers wishing to access primary resources to support their studies and research during the current COVID19 situation.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bodleian Libraries have been sourcing online collections to assist Oxford students and researchers in their studies. To view other newly available primary resources that may be of interest to those studying American History, Politics and Culture, visit our blogpost, COVID-19: New Primary Resources, which is continually being updated.
 These resources will be available for Bodleian readers until May 31st 2020. 
The Collection is broken into the following modules:
  • Civil Rights and the Black Freedom Struggle
    • NAACP Papers (currently we only hold an incomplete collection as part of our Microfilm collections.)
    • Organisational Papers  (such as CORE, SCLC and SNCC)
    • Personal records of A. Philip Randolph, Mary McLeod Bethune and Claude A. Barnett’s records connected to the Associated Negro Press.
    • Federal Government Records (such the FBI files on Martin Luther King and civil rights records from FDR to George H.W. Bush administrations)
    • African American Police League Records
  • Southern Life, Slavery and the American Civil War
    • Southern Plantation Records, documenting business operations, labour routines, and the social and cultural life of the plantation.
    • Collections of petitions from 1775-1867, submitted to state legislatures and county courthouses.
    • State Slavery Statutes collection – a comprehensive record the laws governing American slavery.
    • Slavery in Antebellum southern industries – business records documenting the breadth of southern industries using slave labour. Includes company records, production processes and records related to individual slave labourers.
    • Confederate military manuscripts and military records of Union generals and the Union army
    • Reconstruction and military government – includes records of the US Army’s Office of Civil Affairs, letters and petitions sent by citizens to the government and attorney general, and records of the Freedman’s Hospital and Freedman Savings and Trust Company.
  • American Indians and the American West
    • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    • Records of the Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes
    • First hand accounts of Indian Wars and Western migration
  • American Politics and Society
    • Papers of Thomas Edison
    • Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Records
    • American legal manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library – including papers of Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
    • Robert M. La Foretell Papers
    • Progressive era: Reform, regulation and rights – 11 collections connected to the Progressive movement and attempts to improve American livelihoods, including suffrage and investigations into corruption.
    • Collections related to the Prohibition and Temperance movement, including the papers of the Anti-Saloon League of America (ASLA) and Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and the papers of key individuals.
    • Papers of John R. Commons, Charles R. Van Hise, Richard T. Ely, Edward A. Ross and Charles McCarthy, key figures in the Progressive movement.
    • Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), 1880-1930
    • Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1912-1969.
    • Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946 – focusing on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.
    • Records from the presidential administrations, from FDR to Richard Nixon.
    • FBI Confidential Files (1945-72), covering radical organisations. Includes J Edgar Hoover’s office files, “black bag jobs”, and “Do not file” collection.
    • Anti-Vietnam War Movement – records from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Vietnam Veterans against the War (VVAW) and other Anti-Vietnam War organisations.
  • International Relations and Military Conflicts
    • US Military Intelligence Reports from WWI to WWII.
    • US Diplomatic Post records, 1914-1945.
    • WWI records – Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and materials on U.S. intelligence operations and the post-war peace process.
    • WWII records – includes Office of War information papers, papers of the War Refugee Board, WWII combat interveiws with soldiers, FBI files on Tokyo Rose, documents from the Manhatten Project and more.
    • Office of Strategic Services (OSS) intelligence and research reports (1941-61)
    • Confidential US State Department Central files, 1960-1969.
    • Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-75 –  includes records of the Associated Press’s Saigon Bureau and Military Assistance and Advisory Command, Vietnam (MACV).
    • CIA Cold War Research Reports and Records on Communism in China and Eastern Europe, 1917-1976
  • Revolutionary War and Early America: collections from the Massachusetts Historical Society
    • Over 26 collections digitised.
    • Highlights include the papers of the Revere and Hancock families.
  • Women’s Studies
    • Records of southern women and their families in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1671-1979).
    • Records of Suffrage organisations, 1880-1990 (includes National Woman’s Party, League of Women Voters, and the Women’s Action Alliance)
    • Papers from the Schlesinger Library documenting voting rights, national politics and reproductive rights.
    • Women at work during WWII – includes Records of the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor, and Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps.
    • Margaret Sanger papers
  • Workers, Labour Unions and Radical Politics 
    • Papers of Terence V. Powderly and John W. Hayes, executives in the Knights of Labor.
    • Records of the AFL-CIO.
    • Records from the Wilson administration, including Papers of the National War Labor Board, Papers of the President’s Mediation Commission, and Records of the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations.
    • Government survelience files on radical groups, organizations and individuals.
    • Socialist Party of America Records

This resource also includes the following records which are not focused on US History, but may be of interest.

  • British Foreign Office Correspondence
  • Creation of Israel – British Foreign Office correspondence on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-48.
  • Nazi Looted Arts and Assets: Records on the Post WWII restitution process.

More help can be found via the ProQuest History Vault Libguide. 

If you have any questions about the collections listed above, or would like us to consider purchasing a particular online primary resource, email

Trials: Archives of Sexuality and Gender – LGBT Magazine Archive – LGBT Life Full Text

[Re-blogged from Isabel Holowaty’s post on the History Faculty Library Blog on 4th February 2020]

As part of the LGBTQ History Month, Bodleian Libraries has organised trials of three LGBTQ eresources. They can all be accessed via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Let our colleague Helen Worrell know which resource is most useful to you and why.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender (Gale Cengage) (trial until 4 March 2020)

This resource spans the sixteenth to twentieth centuries and is the largest digital collection of historical primary source publications relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality, and gender research and gender studies research.

Documentation covering disciplines such as social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities around the world are included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities to support research and education.

Documents include:

  • Meeting, committee, and conference minutes, notes, and transcripts from LGBTQ rights organizations worldwide
  • Administrative records of LGBTQ rights groups, such as bylaws and membership lists
  • Materials produced by these groups slated for the public: press releases, articles, fliers, handbills, brochures, presentations
  • Complete contents of US and International newspapers, newsletters, and magazines
  • Press clippings about gay and lesbian issues
  • Internal US government memoranda
  • Studies and reports by US government agencies and nongovernmental organizations
  • International reports, policy statements, and documents related to LGBTQ health and rights
  • Medical research records and reports
  • Private correspondence
  • Surveys, election questionnaires, records of site visits
  • Government briefing books
  • Photographs

Covers 16th to the 20th centuries. Has global coverage.

Relevant for scholars and researchers focused on sex, sexuality, and gender studies; health and hygiene; cultural change; LGBTQ studies; women’s studies; American studies; civil and human rights; journalism; literature; social movement history; British twentieth-century history.

LGBT Magazine Archive (Proquest ) (trial until 2 March 2020)

The Advocate; Los Angeles Iss. 82, (Mar 29, 1972). Copyright: ProQuest

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type. The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement.
LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

Some publications may contain explicit content.

This resource covers the period 1954-2015.

Subject coverage: Lesbian; Gay; Bisexuality; Transgender; Homosexuality; Gay rights; Gay culture; Gay literature / art; Gay rights movement; Gender identity; Gender studies; Lesbianism; LGBT; LGBT Activism; LGBT studies; Social history; Transgender community

LGBT Life Full Text (EBSCO) (trial until 29 February 2020)

“Homosexuality.” 2008. GLBTQ Social Sciences, January, 1–8.

LGBT Life with Full Text is a specialised database for LGBT studies. It provides scholarly and popular LGBT publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines and newspapers. It also includes a specialized LGBT thesaurus containing thousands of terms. Content includes more than 140 full-text journals and nearly 160 full-text books and reference materials. In addition, more than 260 abstracted and indexed journals and more than 350 abstracted and indexed books and reference works. Has some global coverage.

What to do next? Send your feedback to Helen Worrell.

New term news round-up

Welcome back to those returning after the summer, and a warm welcome too to new students!  Our term time hours start today (Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm), and we look forward to seeing you all in the library soon.

Here’s a round-up of various bits of news from over the summer that you may have missed:

New electronic resources
We have been able to acquire (or contribute to the acquisition of) four major new electronic resources for US studies this summer, as follows:

All are now available through SOLO/OxLIP+ and listed in our online guide. Click on the links above for more information.

Improvements to SOLO: clustering, display of locations
Various changes were implemented to SOLO over the summer, as follows:

Click on the links above to learn more. 

History Faculty Library move
The move of the History Faculty Library to the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link took place as planned over the summer vacation. The old HFL on the corner of Catte St and Holywell St has now closed. All the details, including information on where and how to access HFL books now, can be found on the HFL website and blog. HFL staff are also offering tours throughout 0th and 1st weeks for returning tutors and students.

Less directly relevant to VHL readers, the Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library has also moved this summer, and is now open in its new location in the Radcliffe Humanities Building on Woodstock Road.

Annual ILL price rise
Charges for inter-library loans increased by 25p per request on 1st August.

RAI Elections 2012 blog
If you are avidly following the US elections, you may be interested to know that the Rothermere American Institute has launched a blog in partnership with Politics in Spires, designed to bring together contributions from scholars from a range of different fields to discuss the upcoming elections. The blog can be read on the RAI website and will run until mid-November.

Would you like to have input into the future of the Bodleian Libraries?

Bodleian Libraries are holding a series of meetings to consult with members of Congregation, students, and other readers on its proposed Strategic Plan for 2013-17.

Details of event times and locations are below. Please note that the first two meetings are intended principally as consultation with members of Congregation, while the final meeting is intended for students and is being coordinated with OUSU.

Consultation with members of Congregation
Wednesday 3 October, 3-5pm
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics

Consultation with members of Congregation
Wednesday 24 October, 11am-1pm
Bernard Sunley Theatre, St Catherine’s College, Manor Road

Consultation with students
Monday 29 October, 5-7pm
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics

Please visit to access the current strategic plan and the proposed draft plan.

For any queries, please email

Annual ILL price rise

From 1st August 2012 the charges for inter-library loans will increase by 25p as follows:

  • Loan, photocopy, or delivery of an item by secure electronic delivery for University members from £4.75 to £5.00
  • Urgent requests for University members from £10.75 to £11.00
  • Worldwide requests for University members from £12.75 to £13.00 

Our charges were last increased in January 2012; this was the delayed increase from August 2011. This price rise brings our annual increases in line with the University financial year.

Full information on the Bodleian Libraries’ inter-library loans service can be found at:

New SOLO service information and updates web page

The Bodleian Libraries website now includes a page dedicated to information and updates about SOLO. The web page can be found under ‘Services’ on the Bodleian homepage and includes pointers to sources of help and guidance as well as a list of current known issues and plans for future development of the service.

Updates about the SOLO service and its development will also be provided through the Reader Notices feed as and when appropriate.
You can access the new SOLO Service Updates page at

Scan & Deliver: New service from the Bodleian Libraries

Today the Bodleian Libraries launch Scan & Deliver, a service offering an electronic document delivery solution for over six million items held in our Book Storage Facility.  This pilot will be available for current members of the University.

Requests will be placed through SOLO.   The Scan & Deliver option will be offered only for eligible items and will only be visible after an Oxford Single Sign On log in.  The same copyright regulations will apply as with our existing reading room and reprographics services (one article from a journal issue, one chapter or 5% of a book.); you will need to specify which section you require.

Once processed, the scan will be posted on a server and you will receive an email including a link to the scan.  The Scan & Deliver team will usually fulfil the request within 24 hours although this turnaround time does not account for weekends and any University holidays.  Each request will incur a flat rate fee of £4.75 with payment managed through PCAS (printing, copying, and scanning) accounts.  This cost reflects an unsubsidized estimated cost, which will be reviewed in future against actual costs and take-up.

More information is available at:

Postgraduates and Academics: Help the Libraries and get a £10 Amazon voucher

Bodleian Libraries will be running a focus group in week 8 to gather feedback on our forthcoming “scan on demand” service which will allow readers to order scans of library materials such as books, journals etc held in the library bookstacks. The focus group will take about one hour and participants will be thanked with a £10 Amazon voucher. If you would be interested in participating please email with the name of your department, your academic status (e.g. postgraduate, research staff, academic) and your telephone number.

Calling all Historians: Proposed move of the History Faculty Library

Bodleian Libraries is consulting with staff and students of the History Faculty over the proposal to transfer the existing services and collections of the History Faculty Library to the Radcliffe Camera during the Long Vacation 2012.

The proposal will improve:

  • Your library: services and collections centred in the iconic Rad Cam. Borrow from Lower Camera.
  • Your time: 24 extra hours per week, and all day Saturday and Sunday opening. > more
  • Your convenience: Access on a single site to all history collections. > more
  • Your books, journals and databases: More funding for books, journals, and databases.
  • Your space: More desks and varied spaces > more
  • Your library support team: Better and more specialist support for historians offered by re-grouped HFL staff into the History Information Services Team

The proposal has to be seen in the context of the following:

  • agreed consolidation of Humanities libraries into fewer sites as a long-term strategic aim;
  • continuing aspirations for service improvement set against pressure on finances;
  • the likely delay in development of the main Humanities facility at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter for some years;
  • the threat of extremely disruptive building works when a lift is installed in the Old Indian Institute (OII) building in 2012/13 and associated significant and permanent loss of shelf, reader and support space;
  • ability to fully fund the move and improvements to working environments.

For more information about the proposal and the consultation, please see the History Faculty Library website at The HFL is also regularly updating their blog with news about the consultation at

Image credit: HFL