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Oxford History Handbooks Online


Falvey Library recently acquired the Oxford Handbooks Online history subject collection. The print editions of the Oxford Handbooks have long been popular for their thorough research reviews. It came as no surprise that history faculty expressed strong interest in a switch to the online platform.

The history subject collection currently consists of twenty-eight complete handbooks, but also includes numerous chapters from forthcoming print handbooks. Oxford University Press publishes chapters of handbooks which are still in production on its online platform often long before the print edition becomes available. Thus, Dr. Hartnett’s students are able to read a selection of chapters from the Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History this fall even though the handbook has not yet been published in print. Unfortunately, students and faculty cannot readily discover this exclusive online content as forthcoming handbooks are neither cataloged in the library’s catalog nor indexed in the library’s article database.

OHO exampleThe Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution and two volumes of the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History will be completed this year. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History, the Oxford Handbook of Europe 1914-45 and the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History are currently in production with available online content. Planned for the future are handbooks about Asian American history, the New Deal, World War II, American political history, the history of race and the history of education.

The library’s catalog provides links to all complete handbooks. Links to individual chapters can readily be created with the help of the digital object identifier (DOI) included in the chapter citations. Copy and paste the number into the library’s link builder application and share the URL via email, syllabus or online classroom. Links are currently the best method to share chapters with students because of known problems with the publisher’s pdf server. Oxford University Press is aware of this problem and will upgrade its server in October. Contact the library if you need pdfs for individual chapters. We will gladly assist you.


Questions or comments? Share them with us online or via email.


Upcoming Chicago-Style Workshops

chicago-manual-of-stylesmallAre you confused by the different formats required by Chicago-style for footnotes and bibliographies?  Are you unsure about how and when to use “ibid.”?  —  Answers to your questions are just around the corner.

Come to Falvey Memorial Library for a quick introduction to Chicago-style rules for footnotes and bibliography.  Sessions will be held in Falvey 207 in the second-floor Learning Commons. For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu).

  • Tuesday, April 14:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 22:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Seeking state or local statistics?

Try SAGE Stats, a combination of state stats and local stats collections. A trial subscription of SAGE Stats, from CQ Press/SAGE Publications, is available until April 9.


SAGE Stats was developed as a data visualization and research resource providing extensive social science data, including states, cities, counties, and metropolitan statistical areas and topics “across 21 high-interest research areas” within the United States, such as economy, education, crime, government finance, health, population, religion, social welfare, and transportation. The data series span as far back as 1980 and are updated on a timely basis in accordance with the collection and publication schedules of original sources. Detailed source information, with links where applicable, is provided for every data series.

Browse information by topic and location and retrieve data in an interactive map format. Users can create visual comparisons of state and local data and datasets for visualization, comparison citing, sharing, saving, downloading and exporting. Data tables can be downloaded in XLS or CSV formats and visualizations can be converted to JPG or PNG formats.

Additional information about SAGE Stats is available via a video and online guide. Explore other CQ/SAGE products available through Falvey, in the CQ Press Library (SAGE). Explore another statistical database on trial, Policy Map, at the Business Reference blog.

For more information or comments, contact Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


Investigating the Investigators: The U.S. Bureau of Investigation Case Files Archives

case files

Founded in 1908 as the investigative branch of the Justice Department against the opposition of Congress by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Bureau of Investigation was charged with the investigation of violations of federal statutes. As its powers and influence increased in the face of internal and external threads, the Bureau was repeatedly accused of acting outside the law. Eight years later the Bureau employed three hundred agents, a steep increase from the modest thirty-eight investigators hired in 1908. In 1916 the Bureau was charged with counterintelligence and the investigation of radical activities in the U.S. J. Edgar Hoover, who was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, cleansed the Bureau of its corrupt elements. He remained in his position when the Bureau was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.

The Bureau of Investigation case files are hosted on the EBSCO Fold3 platform. The files are labeled as FBI case files while the collection itself is called Bureau of Investigation case files. It consists of four series, Bureau Section Files, Mexican Files, Miscellaneous Files and Old German Files. Although browsing is an option, it is not a productive approach as file names consist mostly of numbers and personal names. The basic keyword search is a good starting point. Results can be filtered and searches can easily be modified. Scanning documents is at times challenging as the pages of some files are lined up from right to left.

pamphletThe case files cover the years 1909 through 1921 and contain reports and documents related to World War I and the surveillance of groups suspected of un-American activities. The Bureau’s agents regularly reported about labor organizations, the radical press and “Negro subversion.” The case files include pamphlets and magazines published by the “radical press,” such as complete issues of The Masses. Interesting examples from the collection include Babe Ruth, who was investigated as an “alleged slacker,” a.k.a. draft dodger, Joseph McGarrity, whose surveillance files are part of the Old German Files as he was considered a friend of the Germans, and Emma Goldman, the well known anarchist.  Margaret Sanger’s activities were closely watched as well. Her files include pamphlets about her speaking engagements and some of her publications. The short but politically turbulent time period covered by the case files will guarantee many interesting discoveries.

Links to the collection can be found in the online catalog, on the Databases A-Z list and on the history subject guide. Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.


More Historical American Newspapers: Series 6-10 on trial until February 13, 2015


America’s Historical Newspapers (AHN) has been an important part of the library’s historical newspaper collection since 2007 together with the digital archives of The New York Times, The London Times and the recently added Washington Post. The library currently owns series 1-5 (1690-1922) of AHN. Readex, the publisher of AHN, continues to add new content to the collection and Villanova faculty and students currently have the opportunity to assess the expanded archives available in series 6-10 (1730-1922).

The expanded archives increase geographical coverage and include new titles and additional content for titles already contained in series 1-5. Series 7, for example, includes over thirty additional years of the Philadelphia Inquirer (1829-1860, 8,777 issues). Trial content is interfiled with content already owned by Villanova University, which makes it difficult to assess the additional content. Detailed information about the content of each series is available online and warrants closer inspection.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/1/1900

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/1/1900

Trial access to AHN series 6-10 will be available until February 13. Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.








Meet the Proxy Link Builder: Create Your Own Links to the Library’s E-Resources

Access to the library’s e-resources is easy on campus as authentication occurs via the university’s IP address. Students and faculty who try to access the same e-resources from off-campus often encounter problems. Falvey Memorial Library uses a proxy server for off-campus access to restricted online resources. This prevents unauthorized users from entering the library’s databases and e-journals and illegally downloading content.

The library has a new web application, the Proxy Link Builder, which creates proxy links for stable URLs and DOIs (digital object identifiers) in two simple steps: Paste the URL or DOI in the provided box and click on the button below the box. The proxy link will appear in a matter of seconds. Proxy links are necessary for off-campus access as they authenticate authorized users. Although not necessary, proxy links will also work on-campus.

link builder

The directions below show how to locate stable URLs and permalinks and turn them into proxy links for individual journal articles and book chapters. Some databases already include proxy links. The publishers may call them stable URLs and permalinks. If the URL includes Villanova’s proxy prefix — http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=  –, then the link should work from off-campus. Proquest and EBSCO provide proxy links. EBSCO includes Permalinks on its right hand menu on the record level whereas Proquest includes the Document URL at the bottom of each record, where it is often missed. Journal publishers generally do not include proxy links.

From URL to Proxy Link

A proxy link has two elements which together create a new URL: the proxy prefix and the URL. Find the URL on the journal website:

JSTOR urlThen paste it behind the proxy prefix OR paste it into the Proxy Link Builder to generate a proxy link.

proxy1Put these two elements together and you have a stable proxy link: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://www.jstor.org/stable/4485893

From DOI to Proxy Link

A proxy DOI link has three elements which together create a new URL: the proxy prefix, the DOI prefix and the DOI. Find the DOI on the journal, chapter, or ebook record:

doi linkThen paste it behind the proxy prefix and the DOI prefix OR use the Proxy Link Builder to generate a proxy link.

proxy2Put these three elements together and you have a stable proxy link: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://dx.doi.org/10.1484/J.VIATOR.1.102246. Note that some publishers already include the DOI prefix together with the DOI. In this case, only the proxy prefix is needed.

Bookmarking the Proxy Link Builder makes it easy to share URLs with Villanova students and colleagues. Please note that proxy links will only work for Villanova faculty and students who can log in via the single sign-on screen. Let us know, if you run into problems as we can make links for you as needed.

EZproxy (from Wikipedia)
DOI (from Wikipedia)


Oxford Handbooks Online (on trial until 2/11/2015)

The history subject collection of the popular Oxford Handbooks series is currently on trial. While most publishers delay the publication of electronic monographs to protect their print market, Oxford University Press committed to a distinct publishing model for the Oxford Handbooks series, which makes the chapters of its handbooks available online prior to the print publication. Take The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History, which is not yet available in print, for example: the first chapters were published as part of the 2013 online collection, more chapters became available in 2014, and the remaining content will be published later this year.

Oxford University Press plans handbooks on American Indian history, Asian American history, American political history, the history of race, the history of education, the New Deal and World War II for 2015. The 2015 history collection will for the first time include online only articles. While Falvey Library has many of the older Oxford Handbooks in its print collection, it owns only about half of the 2013 and all of the 2014 history handbooks. A complete title list of the Oxford Handbooks history subject collections is available upon request.

All articles in the handbook collection are indexed with subject keywords and notes are linked from the text. Articles can be reformatted for printing and/or downloaded as pdf files. Full-text searching is straightforward and the advanced search option offers various useful limits. Each article as well as the various handbooks themselves have assigned DOIs (digital object identifiers), which are preferred over URLs in Chicago-Style notes and bibliographies. Citations for articles are available among others in Chicago Style, but citations can also be exported to RefWords, Zotero and a number of other citation managers. Unfortunately, the search limit for individual handbooks works only for those handbooks which have been completely published.

OHO1Explore the complete Oxford Handbooks history collection or browse individual titles such as The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism, The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, or The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History. Trial access to Oxford Handbooks Online will be available until February 11. We are looking forward to your feedback.



Human Rights Studies Online and on trial


A trial subscription of Human Rights Studies Online, from Alexander Street Press, is available until March 2. Human Rights Studies Online is a unique database of streaming video and text materials providing comprehensive, comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide currently covering the years1900-2010.  The collection includes primary and secondary materials (some publicly available materials) across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than thirty additional subjects.

Resources for each topic guide users through the full scope of the event, from the historical context that made such violations possible through the international response, prosecution of perpetrators, and steps toward rebuilding. Materials are meant to work together to help explore significant questions and themes, such as how human rights atrocities could have been prevented, common patterns associated with human rights crimes, and the impact that is made by government intervention.  Alexander Street Press reports that “the collection is growing to include 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes in the 20th and early 21st centuries.”

Additional information is available online and in brochure form. A bibliography of documents currently included in the database is also available. Advanced search capabilities allow for seeking words anywhere, fulltext/transcripts, title/series, date written, date published, language and sorting options. Further search help is accessible.

Explore other Alexander Street Press subscriptions available through Falvey, such as Counseling and Therapy in Video, PBS Video Collection, Digital Karl Barth Library, North American Theatre Online , and search Oxford Bibliographies – Political Science, International Relations, also in trial subscription this semester.

For more information or comments, contact Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


Upcoming Chicago-Style Workshops

chicago-manual-of-stylesmallAre you confused by the different formats required by Chicago-style for footnotes and bibliographies?  Are you unsure about how and when to use “ibid.”?  —  Answers to your questions are just around the corner.

Come to Falvey Memorial Library for a quick introduction to Chicago-style rules for footnotes and bibliography.  Sessions will be held in Falvey 204 in the second-floor Learning Commons. For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu).

  • Wednesday, Novemer 19:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 4:     4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


African American Periodicals, 1825-1995

Black Panther cover, 1/4/1969

Black Panther cover, 1/4/1969

While mainstream newspapers and magazines are fairly well-represented in the library’s digital collections, minority publications are generally difficult to find in digital and print formats. The wildly popular African American Newspapers: The 19th Century collection from Accessible Archives, which includes the Christian Recorder, is a notable exception. Current news archives such as Lexis-Nexis Academic and ABI/INFORM include a sprinkling of minority news sources, but these are difficult to isolate and coverage is limited. Ethnic NewsWatch, a Proquest collection of minority news outlets, includes a number of important African American newspapers and magazines such as the Chicago Defender, Essence, the Philadelphia Tribune, Pride, and Black Renaissance, but as with most other current newspaper archives, coverage goes only back to the early nineties.

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995 is a small boutique collection of often hard to find African American magazines and newsletters. Villanova University faculty and students currently have trial access to this collection through November 28. According to Readex, the collection is based on James P. Dansky’s African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography. This claim could lead to unrealistic expectations as Danksy identified 6,562 individual titles compared to the 172 titles included in the Readex collection. The content of the collection was in fact determined by the holdings of the Wisconsin Historical Society. With only 172 titles and over sixty percent of these represented with less than ten issues, the collection represents but a small segment of the rich African American periodicals world.

beauty trade

Beauty Trade, 4/1/1960

Nevertheless, the collection has its merits. It includes periodicals published in the twentieth century which are generally hard to find in digital collections as a result of copyright restrictions. Students and faculty alike will appreciate access to primary sources which reflect unique African American perspectives on the civil rights and black power movements. The collection includes the Black Panther (1967-1975), the organ of the Black Panther party. There are noticeable gaps in the online collection and the lack of color digitization is unfortunate. On the other hand, the option to download a complete issue, as long as it does not exceed 75 pages, will be much appreciated by readers who prefer browsing to searching. Other noteworthy titles in the collection are the Black Worker (1929-1968), the official organ of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the African Repository (1825-1892), which was published by the American Colonization Society. Titles such as Beauty Trade (1954-1978) and the music magazine Soul (1966-1976) make for interesting insights into African American popular culture. It is unfortunate that only the first ten years of Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, the official organ of the NAACP, are included in the collection.

The trial will be running until November 28. Feel free to share the link with other Villanova University faculty and students and let us know what you think.



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Last Modified: October 31, 2014