Temporary Access: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War

Our colleagues at the Social Science Library have organised temporary access to Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War: Intelligence, Strategy and Diplomacy, available until the 30th July. 

As noted by Isabel Holowaty on the History Faculty Library blog:

“This resource provides access to British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files from 1873 to 1953, with the majority of files dating from the 1930s and 1940s.

Spanning four key twentieth century conflicts, with a spotlight on the Second World War, the material is sourced from The National Archives, U.K.” 

Files can be searched for via country, conflict or intelligence organisation (e.g. CIA). Researchers may also browse specific files organised under themes, such as “Foreign Policy and International Relations”.

Please send feedback to Jo Gardner, Bodleian Social Science Librarian.

American National Biography: March 2020 Update

Believing that the life of a nation is told by the lives of its people, the American National Biography consists of over 19,000 scholarly biographies of significant, influential, or notorious figures from American history.

The latest update to the American National Biography adds six new biographies of lives spanning from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. New additions include Eugene Cernan (1934–2017), astronaut who was the second American to walk in space and the first to circle the earth. On his next mission, in 1969, he piloted the Apollo 10 lunar module, coming within 50,000 feet of the surface of the moon. He would reach the moon on his third trip to space. All told, seventy three of the 566 hours Cernan logged in space were on the surface of the moon. His time included 22 hours of moonwalks, more than any other astronaut. In 1972, upon leaving the moon for the final time, and making him to this point the last person to walk on the moon, Cernan said, “We leave as we came, and God willing, we shall return with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Tisquantum (ca. 1590-Nov. 1622), the Native American interpreter and emissary referred to in the original ANB essay as Squanto. Historian Neal Salisbury has written this new essay, which reflects the advances in scholarship that have occurred over the last two decades. English authors, particularly William Bradford and Edward Winslow, shaped the popular image of Tisquantum as the broker of Anglo-Wampanoag peace in Plymouth colony. That image dominated scholarship on Tisquantum until the late twentieth century. More recent scholars show a man no less singular but far more complicated and hardly heroic.

Chris Burden (1946­–2015), a sculptor who pioneered body and endurance art. He gained international renown in 1971 with Shoot, in which Burden asked his marksman friend, artist Bruce Dunlap, to graze his arm with a bullet, using a .22 rifle from a distance of 15 feet. At 7:45 P.M. Dunlap missed his aim and the bullet penetrated Burden’s upper left arm. He was rushed to hospital. Shoot represented Burden’s response to pervasive violence in the United Stats during the 1960s.

Anne Anastasi (1908­­–2001), psychologist, psychometrician, and educator who was a key architect of mass educational and psychological testing in the twentieth century. Across her remarkable 71-year career, she published two hundred journal articles and many books that reshaped her field, including Differential Psychology (1937), Psychological Testing (1954), and Fields of Applied Psychology (1964).

Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985), designer of women’s fashion and swimwear whose bold, futuristic fashions were innovative body-conscious designs that not only anticipated the social changes of the 1950s and 1960s. He also provoked change by challenging social taboos and conventions. His vision of the liberated body and freedom from gender-norm constraints in dress were revolutionary and have inspired designers ever since.

Esther Wheelwright (1696–1780), religious leader and Indian captive who was the rare colonial North American woman to live in three different cultures in the eighteenth century: Indigenous, French, and British. She became the first and only foreign-born Mother Superior of the Ursuline convent in Québec.  Ursuline religious life gave the former child captive an opportunity for leadership and prominence not offered to most women in colonial North America.

Believing that the life of a nation is told by the lives of its people, the American National Biography consists of over 19,000 scholarly biographies of significant, influential, or notorious figures from American history.

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 bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

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

American National Biography: February 2020 update

Believing that the life of a nation is told by the lives of its people, the American National Biography consists of over 19,000 scholarly biographies of significant, influential, or notorious figures from American history.

The latest update to the American National Biography, released Thursday 27th February, adds six new biographies of men and women who worked as educators and academics. New additions include:

Paul Samuelson (1915–2009), the MIT economist who in 1970 became the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Economics (technically the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel). The leading representative of the Keynesian age, his scholarly and popular writing reshaped mid-twentieth-century economic thought.

Fabiola Cabeza De Baca (1894–1991), whose work teaching in rural New Mexico evolved into working for the New Mexico Agriculture Extension Services, where she visited and lived in people’s homes, empowering women by teaching them to combine modern technologies with traditional practices. Her writings preserved New Mexican history and culture.

Octavius Catto (1839–1871), teacher at the Institute of Colored Youth in Philadelphia whose incredible career included serving as major and inspector general for the 5th Brigade, 1st Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard during the Civil War, fighting successfully to integrate Philadelphia’s trolley system in the 1860s, and even co-founding and playing for the Pythian Base Ball Club, the city’s second black baseball team.

Mary Daly (1928–2010), a controversial radical feminist philosopher and theologian who spent thirty-three years teaching at (and clashing with the administration of) Boston College, finally leaving in 1999 when the university refused to let her teach men and women in separate classes.

Robert Leslie Wharton (1871–1960), a Presbyterian missionary who established religious schools in Cuba, including La Progrresiva in Cardenas. Ultimately, La Progresiva served over 2000 students with a Christian workers training school, a vocational school, and a junior college.

Mary Elizabeth Carnegie (1916–2008), African American nurse who established Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program at Hampton Institute, and, beginning in 1945, transformed the nursing curriculum at the Florida A & M school of nursing. She became the first African American elected to the Florida State Nurses Association Board of Directors, before joining the editorial staff at the American Journal of Nursing, where, over the next 35 years, she would advance up the ranks to Senior Editor.

Jo Payne, Head of Biographical and General Reference, Oxford University Press

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 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.