COVID-19: New Primary Resources

[This blogpost will continually be updated with new online primary collections as they become available to Bodleian readers.]

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bodleian Libraries have been sourcing online collections to assist Oxford students and researchers in their studies. This blogpost contains newly available primary resources that may be of interest to those studying American History, Politics and Culture.

Please note that the resources listed here are separate to the online collections which have already been purchased by the VHL or Bodleian. You can view these collections on our online guide to US Studies at Oxford. 

You can also visit our Diigo page to view our recommended open access resources.

Gale Primary Sources (25/03/2020)

Gale Primary Sources have opened up the a significant number of their collections to readers of the Bodleian Library, without restriction or cost, until the 1st September.

The new resources include thematic collections focused on diverse topics such as legal history, sexuality and gender and forced migration. Individual collections which may be of interest include:

Visit Gale Primary Sources at Oxford to view all the collections now available to Bodleian readers.

Bloomsbury Collections (26/03/2020)

Bloomsbury have kindly provided access to Bodleian readers to their Bloomsbury Collections and Drama Online. This includes over 2,000 e-books which have been added into Solo, on topics as diverse as History, Constitutional and Administrative Law, International Relations and Literature.

Drama Online also includes interviews, critical works and text on key American dramas, such as the works of Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller. It also includes audio-recordings and texts of key performances.

Bloomsbury has also opened up a number of their digital platforms for Bodleian readers to access. These collections include edited titles regarding key topics and primary resources, and can be limited by place, time period or themes. Of particular interest includes:

Access to these resources will be available until 31st May 2020. 

The Literary Encyclopedia (01/04/2020) 

“The Literary Encyclopedia is a dynamic, online world-literature resources, providing useful introductions to authors, texts and contexts. It has in-depth coverage of the literatures of the English-speaking world and excellent coverage of… other world literatures.” (Quoted from the Database A-Z.)

The Literary Encyclopedia is a continually evolving online resource. Coverage includes in depth articles on American literature and culture, from colonial writings to contemporary literature. Extensive coverage is also provided for writings from specific cultures and identities within the United states, including African American, Chicano/Latino and indigenous cultures.

Access to these resources will be available until 30th June 2020. 

ProQuest Historical Newspapers (03/04/2020) 

ProQuest Historical newspapers allow students and researchers to access primary resources from historical periods, and provide historical contextual background. The trial resources shown below allow our readers to access newspaper sources across wider geographical and political perspectives.
The following newspaper sources will be available to all Bodleian readers until May 31st 2020.

ProQuest Congressional (06/04/2020) 

To support academic research, ProQuest Congressional has opened up it’s complete collections to Bodleian readers for a temporary period.

Currently the Vere Harmsworth Library are subscribed to (and will continue to subscribe to) Congressional Hearings Part A (1824-1979) and Congressional Record Part A (1789-1997) only. Access to the complete ProQuest Congressional platform now includes access to:

  • Congressional Record 1998-2009
  • Congressional Research (CRDC), 1830-2015, 2020
  • Congressional Hearings, 1980-2015
  • Digital U.S. Bills and Resolutions, 1789-2015, 2017, 2019-2020
  • US Congressional Serial Set 1 (1789-1969)
  • US Congressional Serial Set 2 (1970-2017)

And much more!

Access the ProQuest Congressional platform here, and search across all the resources, or narrow your search to specific documents or time periods.

Full access to ProQuest Congressional (except for the exceptions mentioned above) will end May 31st, 2020.  

ProQuest History Vault (06/04/2020)

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.

The ProQuest History Vault offers our American historians a significant collection of primary resources, covering many different eras, topics and mediums within American history and culture. Resources range from the papers of presidential administrations, FBI classified files, organisation records of key movements and organisations and individual eyewitness accounts from the general public.

Resources can be accessed here: https://congressional.proquest.com/historyvault

Each resource is organised under the following eight modules.

  • Civil Rights and the Black Freedom Struggle
  • Southern Life, Slavery and the American Civil War
  • American Indians and the American West
  • American Politics and Society
  • International Relations and Military Conflicts
  • Revolutionary War and Early America: collections from the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Women’s Studies
  • Workers, Labour Unions and Radical Politics

Please view our separate blog post to see more information on the variety of resources within the History Vault.

This resource will be accessible to Bodleian readers until 31st May 2020. 

Readex Historical Newspapers and The American Slavery Collection

II am pleased to announce that the VHL has organised temporary access to Readex American Slavery Collection and several key collections in their Historical Newspapers series. This is to support our readers wishing to access primary resources to support their studies and research during the current COVID19 situation.

The American Slavery Collection is the digital version of the American Antiquarian Society’s incredible collection of historical material. The collection includes over 3,500 books, pamphlets, ephemera and graphic material tracing the history of slavery from the Missouri Compromise of 1820, to the birth of Jim Crow and segregation in the 1920s.

The VHL has also organised temporary access to the following Historical Newspaper Collections and Titles.

  • Early American Newspapers Series 13 & 14
    • Series 13 represents the largest online collection of 19th-century U.S. newspapers from the American West. It delivers more than 2,300 titles published in all 24 states west of the Mississippi River, plus a number of titles published east of the Mississippi for valuable political and economic context.
    • Early American Newspapers, Series 14, 1807-1880, offers digital editions of many of the most notable 19th-century newspapers from America’s urban centers. It delivers long runs of 48 major titles published in 34 towns and cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Hispanic American Newspapers 1808-1980
    • One of the largest collections of Spanish language newspapers printed in the United States from the 19th-20th centuries. With several bilingual titles available, this is a great opportunity for researchers looking at Hispanic identity and voices.
  • Washington Evening Star (1852-1981)
    • Until its demise in 1981, The Evening Star was universally regarded as the “paper of record” for the nation’s capital. Published under such titles as Washington Star-News and The Washington Star, this long-running daily afternoon paper was one of the highest profile publications in the nation. Founded in 1852, by the 1930s its coverage of national politics–including the daily activities of every branch of government–made it the nation’s number one paper in advertising revenue.

Access to these collections will be available until 30th May 2020. 

If you have any questions about the collections listed above, or would like us to consider purchasing a particular online primary resource, email bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

“LGBT Americans for”: Presidential Elections and the Movement for Gay Rights, 1980-2020.

Emma Day is a DPhil candidate in American History at the University of Oxford and this year’s History Graduate Scholar at the Rothermere American Institute. Her dissertation is a history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, with a particular focus on women’s healthcare activism, from 1980 to the present. You can follow her on Twitter: @EmmaRoseDay

On March 1st, 2020, Pete Buttigieg, former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, ended his campaign to become the 46th president of the United States. A white man who attended a string of the world’s most prestigious universities, who, if elected, would have become the youngest president in US history, Buttigieg was an interesting candidate for simultaneously inhabiting a number of remarkable and unremarkable qualities in a presidential hopeful. Perhaps most notably, coming out at the age of thirty-three in 2015, just five years ago, he was also the first, openly gay person to seriously contend for the highest US office. While some within the LGBTQ+ community have debated the significance of Buttigieg’s campaign for the ongoing movement for gay equality, his success in getting as far as he did, not least in becoming the first gay candidate to win a presidential nominating contest with his narrow victory in Iowa, nonetheless represented how far the gay rights movement has come politically in the past forty years.

Election ephemera from the Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive at the VHL sheds light on the trajectory of gay rights issues from the margins to the centre of mainstream politics during this period. Much of this transition began in the early 1980s with the presidential campaign of Reverend Jesse Jackson, the second African American to run for president after Shirley Chisholm’s campaign a decade earlier. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1941, Jackson, a civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician announced his campaign for president of the United States in November 1983.[i] Pledging to create a “Rainbow Coalition” of various minority groups, Jackson used his platform to bring members of the LGBTQ+ community into the Democratic party in unprecedented ways as part of this coalition, as a 1984 leaflet in the archive demonstrates.[ii] His Rainbow Coalition speech, delivered at the Democratic convention in San Francisco in July 1984, was the first to mention gay and lesbian Americans at a national convention.[iii] After losing the nomination to Walter Mondale (D-MN), Jackson ran for president again in 1988, and gave his first speech after announcing his second presidential bid at the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in October 1987.[iv]

A leaflet showing Jesse Jackson, on yellow paper. There are rainbow bands behind the image.

Leaflet: Jesse Jackson for President, 1984, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

Left-wing political organisations with strong LGBTQ+ factions such as the Workers World Party in turn supported Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign as “part of the growing mass movement against racism and for basic democratic rights,” as a Workers World newspaper in the archive shows.[v] Following four years under President Ronald Reagan and facing the prospect of another four, groups such as the Workers World Party saw Jackson as an alternative to the imperialism, racism, and capitalism that they argued had characterised Reagan’s first term in office. Specifically, and, similarly to Jackson, they demanded “money for jobs—not wars abroad.”[vi] Moreover, as the devastation and human loss wrought by the AIDS epidemic from the early 1980s onwards was met with a slow federal response, such groups also fought for money to address the escalating health crisis instead of funding military intervention in Central America, Lebanon, South Africa and Grenada, as memos in the newspaper from 1984 show.[vii] Items in the U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive therefore speak to the intersectional and reciprocal coalition-building that took place between those fighting against capitalism, racism, sexism, imperialism, homophobia and for social justice in this decade.

A newspaper clipping from Workers World, showing support for Gay and Lesbian Rights,

Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), recto. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

The growing salience of gay rights issues to subsequent presidential races are further seen in a number of election pins from the 2000s. Badges from 2012 advocated “LGBT for Obama Biden” and “Obama for Marriage Equality.”[viii] While factions of the gay rights movement have long debated how much weight to place on the fight for marriage equality, as well as the fight to serve openly in the military, for the broader struggle for LGBTQ+ equality and rights, both issues continued to frame the political debate into the twenty-first century. Obama gained the support of LGBTQ+ voters in part through his revoking of the Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans form serving unless they remained closeted in 2010, and, in 2015, during his second term in office, the Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges. While these legislative developments show how far attitudes towards gay rights have evolved since the early 1980s, a majority of states still do not have explicit laws protecting LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination, similar to federal laws that exist on race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability on their books. The Equality Act, a federal law that would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, was passed in the House of Representatives in May 2019. It will require the next US president to sign it into law if it passes in the Senate.

Two pin badges. One on the left says "LGBT for Obama-Biden 2012" with a rainbow background. The second "Obama for marriage equality" shows Obama on a blue background.

Barack Obama Campaign, 2012, Buttons: “Obama-Biden: LGBT for 2012” and “Obama for marriage equality” MM Amer. s. 33 (not-catalogued).

The stakes of the 2020 presidential election for members of the LGBTQ+ community are therefore particularly high. President Donald Trump has already said that he opposes the Equality Act in its current form.[ix] As such, Democratic candidates seeking to beat Trump in November can learn from the importance of weaving together broad, intersectional platforms for social justice—as Jackson, in alliance with groups such as the Workers World Party, did in 1984—that are then acted upon and translated into policy when in office.

To request access to items from the Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive, email vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

*****

[i] Leaflet: Jesse Jackson for President, 1984, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[ii] Leaflet: Jesse Jackson Headquarters, Vote for Jesse Jackson: The Most Progressive Democrat, 1984; Leaflet: Women’s Press Project, “Jackson for President,” 1984, 162-163, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[iii] Alex Bollinger, “How Jesse Jackson helped bring gay rights to the Democratic mainstream,” LGBTQ Nation, February 28, 2018, accessed 5 March 2020, https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/02/jesse-jackson-helped-mainstream-gay-rights-democratic-party/

[iv] Emily K. Hobson, Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016), 168.

[v] Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), recto. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[vi] Newspaper: Workers World, 26(45), verso. 1 Nov. MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[vii] Memo: Workers World, “Workers World Presidential Candidates Support Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day, Demand Immediate Government Action on Lesbian and Gay Rights,” June 18, 1984, 30; Workers World, “Statement by Larry Holmes and Gloria La Riva in Front of Federal Elections Commission,” January 27, 1984, 1-2, MSS. Amer. s. 33 / 4 / 5

[viii] Barack Obama Campaign, 2012, Buttons: “Obama-Biden: LGBT for 2012” and “Obama for marriage equality” MM Amer. s. 33 (not-catalogued).

[ix] Chris Johnson, “The House vote on the Equality Act is the easy part. What’s next?” Washington Blade, 15 May 2019, accessed 4 March 2020, https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/05/15/the-house-vote-on-the-equality-act-is-the-easy-part-whats-next/

New in Oxford: Presidential Recordings Digital Addition

I am pleased to announce that the Vere Harmsworth Library, in partnership with the Social Science Library, have purchased online access to the Presidential Recordings Digital Edition for the University.

The Presidential Recordings Programme (PRP), was established by The Miller Center in 1998. Its aim was to make the previously secret taped conversations of six consecutive American Presidents (FDR to Richard Nixon) available for researchers. Covering historical events such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy Assassination, Vietnam and Watergate, the tapes offer “a unique and irreplaceable source for the study of U.S. history and American government.”

Previously, Oxford researchers could only access the curated transcripts hosted on the Miller Centre’s website. Now, through the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford researchers can access the Presidential Recordings Digital Edition (PRDE), the online portal for annotated transcripts of the White House tapes from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon era. This includes a searchable database that allows full text searches for specific phrases and terms. It also includes options to filter search results based on dates, participants and topics. The PRDE is continually being updated with new transcripts and recordings, as they become available.

Similar Resources:

If you would like any advice on using our databases or resources, please contact the Vere Harmsworth Librarian, Bethan Davies bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

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: http://vhlresources.blogspot.com/2011/10/chronicling-america-historic-american.html.

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 http://ox.libguides.com/ushistory.  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 – NYTimes.com
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

http://delicious.com/vhllib

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.