You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > History & Political Science

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

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: April 7, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

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.


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

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: January 16, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized


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

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: January 14, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

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)

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: January 13, 2015
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

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.



Upcoming Chicago-Style Workshops

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: November 3, 2014
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

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

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: October 31, 2014
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized
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.



Oxford Bibliographies: A Point of Departure


Explore the political science and international relations bibliographies from Oxford University Press now through the 2014 academic year.  The bibliographies have their own editors, are peer-reviewed, annotated by leading scholars and designed to be starting points for research.

You can search one of these bibliographies by visiting the Databases A-Z list on the library homepage.


 The bibliographies can:

* Introduce a research topicSimple and advanced search capabilities are available.  Subject bibliographies are browsable together or individually (political science or international relations) and updated approximately three times per year.

Search results can be exported to citation management tools such as EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero.

* Provide examples of annotated bibliographiesSearch responses include an introduction and general overview, citations to the best articles, books, and a range of other online sources centered on a topic. 

 Where available, journal citations are linked to full-text via the  link and book citations are linked to Falvey via the  link.

* Direct researchers to multiple types of contentSearch responses can include books, journals, web resources, multimedia, primary documents, forthcoming and related articles.

The My OBO feature allows the user to set up a free account to save and annotate search results. Results are available online.


Oxford Bibliographies was named one of the Top 10 Internet Resources of 2013 by CHOICE Reviews Online

Don’t forget to use other popular Oxford resources, available from Falvey Library,  such as Oxford Islamic Studies Online, select political science Oxford handbooks and history Oxford handbooks.

Find out more about it: from Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


A Library like an Elephant

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: October 15, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Nikolaus Fogle

HathiTrust Digital Library is an immense online repository of 10.5 million scanned volumes, 31 percent of which are in the public domain and accessible free of charge. Its name comes from the Hindi word for elephant, an animal renowned for its size, strength, and memory.

The site could be described as a nonprofit version of Google Books, and in fact much of its content was originally digitized by Google. But if Google represents quick and simple (and often unreliable) access to book content, then HathiTrust is a resource for the scholar. It also has loftier preservation goals than its corporate cousin. Its creators describe it as “a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.”

Massive as it is, the collection takes in a bit of everything. There are fiction and nonfiction books in every language, as well as periodicals, government documents, genealogical records, Spanish books from the fifteenth century—and on and on. As with Google Books, you can search the full-text of the collection with the click of a button. But HathiTrust’s advanced full-text search far outstrips Google. Say you want to find personal narratives about the Napoleonic Wars. A subject search yields 166 results. Limit your search to titles in French, and you’ve still got more than seventy titles. The full-text search is also great for working with an individual text. Can’t remember exactly where it is that Proust’s narrator takes his famous bite from the madeleine? Just do a keyword search.

HathiTrust users can create and share their own collections, compiled out of materials found on the site. It’s sort of like a playlist for digital books. For example, the collection How to Be a Domestic Goddess, created by the user sooty at the University of Michigan, contains 147 titles about cooking, child-rearing, and housewifery, from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Once you create a collection, you can search just that material.

For now, HathiTrust books are intended mainly for online reading. Limited page-by-page downloads are allowed, and full chapter downloading is coming soon, but only partner institutions may download full text. That said, even if the books you find are under copyright, HathiTrust is still a powerful means of discovering that they exist. Just click the “find a library” link on the book’s catalog page. You’ll be connected to the WorldCat catalog, where you can see if we have the book at Falvey, or else request it through Interlibrary Loan. The vast majority of public domain works in the HathiTrust catalog (those published before 1923) are also available for full-text download through Google Books.

The site also includes a few really arresting graphics, like this interactive pie chart that breaks down the collection by Library of Congress classifications. This is bit of a promotional gimmick, but it can also help you browse the site in a more focused way.

Best of all, a federal judge declared this week that HathiTrust’s services are legal, and not a violation of copyright.


The Complete Schottenstein Talmud in English Translation now at Falvey

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: October 11, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Darren Poley

As the Torah is the written law of Judaism, the Talmud is the oral law of Judaism, written down. Talmud Bavli, commonly called the Babylonian Talmud, is a monument of rabbinic literature from around 70 A.D. until the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land at the beginning of the seventh century. Falvey has added to its print collection Talmud Bavli; the Schottenstein daf yomi edition. This edition of Talmud Bavli is located in the Falvey West stacks, call number: BM499.5 .E5 2000.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007) identifies the publisher, ArtScroll, as having “embarked on large-scale translation projects that have had little precedent (and not much success) among other English-language Judaica publishers, such as the case of their widely acclaimed, 73-volume Schottenstein Talmud (completed in 2005), which involved a remarkable array of sponsors, translators, and talmudic authorities from both within and outside the ḥaredi [that is the ultra-Orthodox Jewish] world” (Stolow, Jeremy. “Artscroll.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 534-535. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 Sep. 2012.).

Next Page »


Last Modified: October 11, 2012