New in Oxford: Jewish Life in America via Adam Matthews Digital

I am pleased to announce that Bodleian Libraries have been able to make a new eresource purchase which may be of interest to American historians.

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers. The list includes items which cannot easily be covered by recurrent budgets.

Jewish Life in America via Adam Matthews Digital, c. 1654-1954

Based on a rich variety of original manuscript collections from the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, this indispensable resource offers captivating insights into the everyday lives of the American Jewish population over three centuries. Charting the Jewish Diaspora from the earliest settlements through to the mass European influx of the early twentieth century, Jewish Life in America will appeal to researchers of all aspects of this diverse and extensive cultural heritage.

The collection is based on a rich variety of original manuscript documents ranging from a peddler’s certificate signed by Benjamin Franklin, to records of organisations such as the Baron de Hirsch fund, which supported Jewish entrepreneurship all across America from 1819 to the 1980s.

Also of Interest:

Further US History resources can be found on our online guide. For further assistance with finding and using online resources, please feel free to contact the Vere Harmsworth Librarian, Bethan Davies. 


Chronicling America talk: write-up now available

If you missed last week’s talk on Chronicling America, or if you came but would like a reminder for future reference, I have written up my notes from Deborah Thomas’s presentation on our Resources blog at:

For those who haven’t come across the Resources blog yet, this is a blog designed to provide more in-depth guidance to the US Studies/US History collections at the VHL, as well as electronic resources and those freely available online. You can see the latest posts linked to in the sidebar of this blog and in our online guide to US History sources, as well subscribe directly to the blog via email, RSS, Facebook or Twitter.

New! Online guide to US History sources

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the online Guide to US History Sources, on the Bodleian Libraries’ LibGuides site.  This guide replaces the old yellow paper versions which used to be available in the library, and provides links to and information about a whole variety of resources available for research in US History.

The web address for the guide is  The benefits of an online guide are that the links to e-resources are active (if you’re not connected to the University network you will need to sign in on SOLO first), and the guide can be easily and frequently updated.  Hopefully it will provide you with an excellent starting point for your research.  Please feel free to make suggestions about more resources to include, or if the guide could be made more user-friendly.  We also have a separate online guide available for US Government Publications, and could potentially create further specific guides in the future.

The online guide is designed to be complemented by the US Studies Resources at Oxford blog, which will go into more depth about individual resources and topics.  I’m also always happy to help you if you have questions about resources available either in the library or online.

New sites saved on our delicious page, and new post on the resources blog

John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Digital Archives
The Digital Archives provides access to a growing collection of searchable digitized historical documents, images and materials. Archivists at the JFK Library are working to digitize and make available to the public all of our archival and museum holdings, beginning with the papers of President John F. Kennedy and his administration.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database has information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries. You can search and browse the database by voyage and by names.
Google News Archive
Listing and full-text access to thousands of newspaper issues digitised by Google, including many American titles from the 19th and 20th centuries. Once you click on a title, you can browse the page images via a chronology.
Doris Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History (University of Oklahoma)
he Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History online provides access to typescripts of interviews (1967 -1972) conducted with hundreds of Indians in Oklahoma regarding the histories and cultures of their respective nations and tribes. Related are accounts of Indian ceremonies, customs, social conditions, philosophies, and standards of living. Members of every tribe resident in Oklahoma were interviewed. The collection includes the original tapes on which the interviews were recorded, as well as microfiche copies of the typescripts. The digital representation of the typescripts are organized by tribe but may be searched by interviewee, by interviewer, by tape number, or by keyword searching of the full-text of the transcript.
Top 50 American History Blogs (History Masters)
A listing of some recommended blogs covering all periods of American history (and some more global ones too).
University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections
Portal to the Digital Collections from the University of Mississippi Libraries. Collections include: Civil War Archive, Integration at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State Textbook Purchasing Board Minutes, United States v Mississippi Interogatory Answers, Mississippi Women Suffrage Association, CK Berryman cartoons (of Senator Pat Harrison), Presidential Debate Collection Photographs (Obama v McCain), Elijah Fleming Collection and Class of 1861.
Ann Curthoys and Marilyn Lake – Connected Worlds: History in Transnational Perspective (ebook download)
Supplementary reading for MSt US History week 1 HT.
Mapping America – Census Bureau 2005-9 American Community Survey –
Interactive maps showing local data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2005-2009 across the US. Maps are available for race & ethnicity, income, housing & families, and education.
North Carolina Digital Repository
The North Carolina Digital Collections is a collaborative effort, bringing together items held in the physical collections of the State Archives and State Library of North Carolina. The primary focus is on documentary and state government information from and about North Carolina.
A map of American slavery
One of the most important maps of the Civil War was also one of the most visually striking: the United States Coast Survey’s map of the slaveholding states, which clearly illustrates the varying concentrations of slaves across the South. Abraham Lincoln loved the map and consulted it often; it even appears in a famous 1864 painting of the president and his cabinet.
“Transnations” Among “Transnations”? The Debate on Transnational History in the United States and Germany
Core reading for week 1 Hilary Term, MSt US History

And while I’m posting anyway, here’s a quick reminder about the VHL resources blog, which now has a new post on accessing US newspapers in Oxford.  Also, don’t forget that as of tomorrow we are open on Saturdays throughout Hilary Term, 10am-2pm!

Vacation lending and resources blog update

For those VHL readers who are entitled to borrow from the library, please note that we do not offer vacation loans.  Any books you take out over the Christmas vacation (before 21st December) will still be due back after two days.  Please do not take books away from Oxford if you can’t return them if someone else needs them!

Any books taken out after 21st December will be due back when the library reopens after the Christmas and New Year break on 4th January.

And in the spirit of taking with one hand but giving back with the other, the first post is now up on the new US Studies Resources blog.