New in Oxford: Black Abolitionist Papers, and more!

I am delighted to announce that access to a number of major new e-resources are now available.

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.

Of particular interest to US Studies are the Black Abolitionist Papers (1830-1865) 

This collection covers a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. The content includes letters, speeches, editorials, newspaper articles, sermons, and essays from libraries and archives in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Over 15,000 items written by nearly 300 Black men and women are available for searching,with over 30% consisting of handwritten and unique documents.

As described on the Black Abolitionist Paper’s website 

“This collection, when first published in microfilm, literally transformed scholarly understanding of Black activism during this period. Now it is available in a searchable, easily accessible format for research, teaching, and study.”

Other resources recently purchased that may be of interest include:

Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Published by every type of military and support service unit, from every involved nation, trench journals were a means of expression through which men and women engaged in all aspects of World War I could share their thoughts and experiences. Over 1,500 periodicals, drawn from the holdings of major libraries and research collections, make this resource the most comprehensive collection of trench journals available to scholars anywhere in one place.

Collections can be narrowed to specific nations, languages and army units. This resource would be useful for Americanists interested in the US involvement in World War 1, the perception of US forces by other allied forces, and further social-cultural studies of US forces in the early 20th Century.

This resource brings together complete runs of journals from disparate sources. Functionality allows both browsing and precision searching for editorials, advertisements, poetry, cartoons and illustrations, photographs, and obituaries, opening up opportunities for research in multiple fields: literature, history, war studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.

Women and Social Movements, International

Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life. This digital archive 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.  It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements. Additionally, there are 30 essays from leading contemporary scholars exploring themes illuminated by the primary documents in the archive.

Researchers can limit their searches to specific geographic areas, or search across resources to review information on specific themes or topics.

LGBT Magazine Archive

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 in the US . 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.

Art and Architecture Archive

Full-text archive of periodicals (cover-to-cover colour scans) in the fields of art and architecture. Date range: 19thC – 21stC. Subjects covered include fine art, decorative arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and photography worldwide.

Oxford researchers should use their SSO to gain remote access. The resources can be access via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

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.

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.

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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.