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We’ve moved!


The OIL Blog has moved to a new location at

This brings us closer to the content of other Bodleian Libraries; do please keep reading!


July headlines and announcements for August


We trust everyone is having a lovely summer? The recent spell of very hot weather made for some slightly stuffy days in the office, which does not have windows that open, but after last summer with the constant sound  of rain pattering on the skylights it was welcome!

As usual, July has been fairly quiet. However, there was some excitement with the launch of the Oriental Institute Library’s new website, which we hope will prove to be useful to our readers. The site can be found at

OIL website screenshot

Elsewhere, Kate has been taking advantage of the quiet at the issue desk to continue the ongoing reclassification project, and this year is counting how many she books she reclassifies during the Vacation. Updates as to how she gets on will follow in September, when there will also be a minor book-move to fill up the spaces.

That’s all the news for July, I’m afraid. There are, however, a couple of early reminders of closures later on:

Firstly, the entire Bodleian Libraries, including OIL, will be closed over the August Bank Holiday Weekend – Saturday 24th August to Monday 26th August inclusive.

Secondly, OIL will be closed as usual during St Giles’ Fair, which this year will be the 2nd and 3rd of September. We will post notices and update the Facebook page nearer the time.

May Headlines and Announcements for June


A slightly topsy-turvy post this month…

Firstly, to get things out of the way (and make sure that people notice them), we have some

Announcements and reminders:

FINALISTS! Don’t forget to return your books to the Library or you will not be able to graduate!

The reminders for library fines have now gone out; outstanding fines will also prevent graduation, so make sure you have cleared your accounts!

As we have mentioned before, you can now pay fines for any Bodleian Library in any Bodleian Library, so there is no need to traipse round all the libraries in turn, but please remember that lost book fees may only be paid to the library which owned the book in the first place.

Library staff will be pleased to help if you have any questions.

May Headlines:

May is a month which always seems to fly by; the two bank holidays being one of the reasons, although of course the Library remained open for those.

It is always at this time of year that we notice a change in the readers’ behaviour as revision and exams alter priorities. We also notice a marked decline in the numbers of readers asking directions; most of you are now familiar with the library’s idiosyncrasies, although there are always the perennial “this book says it’s here but isn’t on the shelf” questions…

We also tend to see new readers from different subject areas who find themselves needing to access the Library – Hello to all the History undergraduates who are visiting us! Hope you found us without too much difficulty.

Meanwhile the additions to the Library’s Window On Korea collection are continuing with some urgency; the official Grand Opening will be on the 21st June (watch this space for updates and photos!) and the reclassification of the collections into Library of Congress Classification is also progressing. As we have no major moves planned for this Summer Vacation period – unlike last year when we were moving the Middle East Centre books – we hope to make some real progress with the reclassification during the quieter period.

New Electronic Resource on Trial!


Al-Manhal (trial)

Al Manhal offers a wide variety of electronic publications; eBooks (4522 titles divided into10 collections), eJournals (250 eJournals divided into 9 collections on Humanities and Social Sciences subjects) , eReports (Daily, weekly and monthly news and analyses reports) and eDissertations (Databases of Masters and Ph.D dissertations from the Arab World’s leading Universities). It currently holds rights to over 63,483 publications from the most well renowned publishers regionally.

Al Manhal’s powerful search and discovery tools for Arabic language content include: Full-text search; Contextual linking; Highlighting and annotating; Personal bookshelves; Automatic citations.

You can access it from the front page of OxLIP+ under New Resources and Trials.

Alternatively from OxLIP+ >Find Database>subject>Middle Eastern Studies/Islamic Studies


We are currently focusing on new titles ( mostly academic titles ) and the period we cover so far for books is as per the graph below, but our strategy for phase 2 is to add high value titles regardless the publication year.

September Highlights and Announcements


Before I get to the highlights for September, a big announcement (well, big for us!):

From next week, the start of Term proper, readers will be permitted to borrow 8 books at a time from OIL instead of the former upper limit of 6. The usual two-week borrowing period still applies during Term.

So, September? Always a quiet one for us, I’m afraid. The Library’s annual leave calendar runs October-September, so at some point in June or July everyone panics and books most of the last month off to use up their leave. Subsequently OIL has been without at least one member of staff for most of the month, but given that we rarely have huge numbers of readers during the month before Term starts this has not proven to be an insurmountable problem.

We have not been idle! The work on the Window on Korea room downstairs continues, and the ongoing reclassification of the older BP sequence has been rattling on apace, currently somewhere in the Islamic Law section and therefore keep an eye on KBP in the new sequence, which is shuffling around in various directions as books are added and moved.

We have also been preparing for Inductions; the Library Open Day is this Friday, 5th October, and will feature sessions on how to use SOLO, various subject-related points of contact and also a brief (and easy) session from your humble blogger on the Library’s Social Media presence. Look out for the fliers/posters during the week!

Looking ahead, we have the mammoth task that is processing all the books which will be returned at the start of Term, which is probably a good place to remind people that books borrowed over the Vacation are due back NEXT MONDAY 8th October! I will post a reminder of Facebook nearer the time, but thought it should be mentioned here too.

International Conference on Solomon Caesar Malan


We have been asked to publicise the following:

Places are still available at the International Conference on Solomon Caesar Malan, held at Wadham College 22-24 August 2012. Please see the website – – for more details.

Network Disruption During the Long Vacation


The Oxford University Computing Service will be upgrading the University network during the Long Vacation, primarily on Tuesday mornings. There are several dates which directly affect the Oriental Institute; including two over the next couple of weeks when your humble blogger will be on holiday and unlikely to post Facebook/Twitter reminders nearer the time.

On Tuesday 26th June and Tuesday 3rd July *all* University network services will be unavailable between 0700 and 1100. SOLO, which is on a separate system and will have to be restarted manually, will be unavailable until 1130 at the latest on those days. Library staff will endeavour to allow borrowing of books using the Offline Circulation function, but access to the catalogue, email, wireless and wired networks will not be possible.

This will also be the case on the 7th August, and on September 4th, but I will post something nearer the time in both cases.

We apologise on behalf of everyone involved for the inconvenience and hope that everything will be up and running sooner than they estimate!