Finding and using historic books online

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The Library has access to thousands of contemporary books online, but did you know we also have online access to almost every work published in the English language from the invention of printing in the fifteenth century to the start of the nineteenth century?

Read on to find out about four of our major historic book collections online, and how to get the best out of them.

1. Early English Books Online (EEBO)

EEBO gives access to the full text of almost every book published in the British Isles and British North America between 1470-1700. It contains over 146,000 titles, including literary works, royal and parliamentary documents, ballads, tracts, and sermons, giving a unique insight into the cultural and political life of that period. You can read works by major figures such as Shakespeare, Newton and Galileo, as well as many lesser-known works. EEBO displays digital facsimile images of every page of content, and full text transcription is available for many of the texts.

You can search, browse and export from EEBO in various ways, and all the individual works are individually catalogued on Library Search as well. If you are likely to be making frequent use of EEBO, we’d strongly recommend you spend some time exploring this EEBO guide, as it gives tips on key aspects such as searching for spelling variants.

2. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

ECCO gives access to the full text of every book printed in the United Kingdom, and territories under British colonial rule, in the eighteenth century. It contains over 180,000 titles, including literary works, royal and government proclamations, schoolbooks and petitions.

As with ECCO, digital facsimile images of every page are provided, and optical character recognition enables full text searching. All items are individually catalogued on Library Search, but we’d recommend searching directly from the ECCO interface to benefit from advanced search options, and special features such as term frequency and topic finder. As ECCO is part of the Gale Primary Sources platform, you can cross-search it along with other Gale resources, such as historic newspapers.

3. Early European Books

The Early European Books collection complements EEBO, and aims to encompass European printed material from circa 1450-1700.

Content comes from major European libraries, and is being added to regularly (we currently have access to over 25,000 titles). Facsimile images scanned directly from the original printed sources are provided, and detailed catalogue records help you search (we recommend choosing Advanced Search to see the full range of options).

These books aren’t individually catalogued on Library Search, so you’ll need to search directly from the Early European Books interface.

4. Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO)

OSEO enables you to explore old works in new ways. It brings together authoritative editions of major works, so you can explore variations between editions, annotations and extensive notes side-by-side with the texts, or you can just read the texts on their own.

We have access to 272 Oxford editions, containing 344 works, including poetry, prose, drama, essays and correspondence, in the following categories: Romantics Prose; Romantics Poetry; 18th Century Drama; 18th Century Prose.

You can browse by work, edition or author, or search in highly specific ways (e.g. just search within notes or stage directions) to pinpoint exactly what you want.

The editions are individually catalogued on Library Search, but we’d recommend searching for works and editions via the OSEO interface itself. If you haven’t used OSEO before, we’d strongly recommend watching this introductory video, so you can understand its potential and how to get the best out of it.

Resource in focus: Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice

Continuing our series of blogposts exploring our specialist humanities resources in depth…

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice brings together a huge range of primary source materials relating to slavery and abolition studies from across the world, covering the time period between 1490 and 2007.

Primary source content

The content includes thousands of digitised sources, including images, maps, manuscripts, registers, ships’ logs and court records. It is arranged into sixteen broad themes, including Slavery in the Early Americas; Resistance and Revolt; Slave Testimony, and Urban and Domestic Slavery. Contemporary sources include materials from Anti-Slavery International, and submissions to the UNCHR.

Getting started

If you’re using Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice for the first time, we’d strongly encourage you to click on Introduction and take a little time to read about the content and themes, so you can get the best out of it: it is an extensive resource.

You can browse or search the content in various ways: we’d recommend choosing Documents from the top menu, as you can then browse by theme, geographic region, document type, date or more.

You may also find it useful to click REGISTER, so you can personalise your searching experience, including saving searches, documents and creating your own image slideshows.

Help and context

The primary sources are complemented by essays, tutorials and timelines to help you interpret the content: click on Further Resources from the top menu.

Have you used Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice? Please feel free to post your comments and tips by clicking Leave a comment below.

Accessing resources beyond the Library

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If you’re working on a dissertation, thesis or project right now, or will be doing so next academic year, what can you do if the Library doesn’t have access to all the specialist books and other information resources which you need? And how can you find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held elsewhere?

Current Covid-19 restrictions are obviously making it more difficult than usual to go ‘beyond the Library’, but there are still options available, and more should gradually return later this year. Find out below….

1. Search

You can search across the catalogues of over 170 UK and Irish academic and national libraries, together with other specialist and research libraries, via Library Hub Discover (formerly COPAC). The range of libraries included in Library Hub Discover is expanding all the time, and includes all UK universities, as well as the libraries of such diverse organisations as Durham Cathedral, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Horticultural Society.

In response to Covid restrictions, Library Hub Discover is also making it easier for you to find Open Access resources via its catalogue, and it has also recently incorporated the HathiTrust Digital Library of over 17 million items.

For a more in-depth and up to date search, you can also search individual academic library catalogues online. Need to look further afield? Search library catalogues internationally via WorldCat.

If you are looking for archives elsewhere, whether in the North East or beyond, our colleagues in the Special Collections and Archives team have compiled a list of useful search tools.

2. Obtain

If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it, via our Recommend a book service.

If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, you can apply for it via our inter library loan service, which is currently free. Please note that inter library loans options are more restricted than usual during the current lockdown.

You can search UK doctoral theses via the national EThOS service. This has records for over 500,000 theses, of which over half are freely available online (do note you have to register with EThOS before being able to download).

3. Visit (virtually for now)

Under normal circumstances, the SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to visit most other academic libraries around the country. Unfortunately, this service has been suspended since March 2020, and is unlikely to resume this academic year (2020/2021).

However, if your research will continue in academic year 2021/2022, do check back with the SCONUL Access site, and/or the web site of any libraries of particular interest to you, in case visiting restrictions start to ease.

As with libraries, most archives are either closed to visitors at present, or only open with considerable restrictions. Nonetheless, archives services may still be able to answer queries, provide access to selected digitised items, or even a Virtual Reading Room, so it may well be worth enquiring, even if you can’t visit in person.

Resource in focus: Westlaw Books

Westlaw UK logo

Westlaw is one of our much-valued legal databases and can be accessed via our Law Subject Guide and Library Search, logging in with your Newcastle University Campus ID & password. One of the lesser-used aspects of Westlaw is its Books collection and it’s a resource that should not be overlooked.

Westlaw Books gives access to invaluable titles such as the White Book and Archbold, alongside comprehensive and authoritative coverage of common law through titles from the Common Law Library series, including Charlesworth & Percy on Negligence, Chitty on Contracts, and Benjamin’s Sale of Goods. While these are titles you will use more regularly in practice, all Newcastle Law School students are encouraged to become familiar with them during your time at University.

An image of a selection of Westlaw Books from the Common Law Library  and practitioner titles.

We also have academically-based books available in the Sweet & Maxwell Academic Collection to support your studies. These include Winfield & Jolowicz on TortTreitel on the Law of ContractMegarry & Wade on the Law of Real Property, and Elliott & Wood’s Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (the latter being written and edited by former academics of Newcastle Law School).

An image of a selection of Westlaw Books available from the S&M Academic Collection.

To access this content, log into Westlaw and click on Westlaw Books in the menu at the top of the page.

An image of the Westlaw home screen with Westlaw Books highlighted in the top menu.

You can browse through the 350+ titles included in the Library’s subscription plan, but if you know the book you are looking for, search by a title keyword, e.g. criminal.

An image of the Westlaw Books search options, with 'Search by Title' highlighted.

If you want to browse those student-focused books, use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen. Scroll down and select ‘Sweet & Maxwell Academic’ in the Publisher/Series filter section.

An image of a filtered result in Westlaw Books.

This short Thomson Reuters video (1:56 mins) gives tips on using Westlaw Books effectively in locating bibliographic information (essential for referencing these titles in your work), searching the materials using keywords, saving your favourite titles for repeated use, and how to email, print, download, save into a Westlaw folder or simply view the material on the screen (in reading-mode too).

If you’re not a fan of videos and want a handy guide to download or print, then this Westlaw Books PDF will help.

An extract from the Thomson Reuters Westlaw Books PDF guide showing how to annotate text.

If you have any comments or questions about Westlaw Books, or any other library resource, please contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk or leave your comments here.

Resource in focus: Loeb Classical Library Online

Containing over 520 volumes of Latin and Greek poetry, drama, oratory, history, philosophy and more, the Loeb Classical Library is a key resource for those studying the ancient Greek and Roman world.  The side-by-side layout of the ancient text and English translation makes the literature accessible to readers and can be especially helpful to those new to the study of ancient Greek or Latin. 

The online Library presents tools that allow readers to explore the texts at various levels, via browsing, searching, annotating, and sharing content.  The online works include the same content, page, and volume numbers as their print counterparts so you can easily switch between the two or share ideas related to certain passages or pages.

Loeb volumes

For each volume in the Library, you’ll find an introductory page containing useful information on the author, some details of the Loeb edition, a bibliographic reference for the text as well as a table of contents that you can use to navigate through the online work. You can access this page at any time by clicking on the LCL number located above the right hand page.

Screenshot showing the left and right hand pages from a Loeb edition of Plato's Phaedo.

In the text itself, the left (verso) page contains the original Greek/Latin language, while the right (recto) presents the English translation.  Tools along the bottom of the page allow you to hide either the left or right pages as needed. The tool bar also includes options for searching within the work or printing sections of the text. Further options to bookmark pages, highlight and annotate text, and organise or share your annotations with others, are also available in the toolbar but require you to create a free My Loeb account.

Screenshot showing the Loeb toolbar.

Browsing the Library

The browse option allows you to scan the Loeb Library by author name, Greek or Latin works, and Loeb volume number.

When browsing Greek or Latin works, you’re given further filter options so you can narrow your search by author, form (poetry or prose), time period, and genre/subject.  These options can be particularly useful if you are interested in certain themes presented in the ancient world across specific time periods.

Screenshot showing the Loeb 'Browse' page for Greek Works.

Searching the Library

The search box at the top right of the page allows you to do a quick search for titles, authors, keywords or phrases.

Alternatively, advanced search allows you to be more specific, searching for terms within introductions, bibliographies, or indexes.  You can also limit your search to verso or recto to focus on the Greek/Latin text or the English translations. All search boxes provide you with a Greek keyboard to simplify searching for keywords in the original language.

As within browse, the search results allow you to filter records further by language, author, period, or genre.  If you’ve searched for a specific keyword, clicking on ‘Show results within’ allows you to browse instances of the word appearing within a text from the results page.

Screenshot showing the 'Show results within' option in the results page on Loeb.

Find out more

For more help, visit the Using the Library link at the top right of the Loeb Library page.  Here you’ll find further advice on using tools within My Loeb, how to search and how to cite volumes from the Library.

You can find out more about key features and take a quick visual tour of the digital Library via the Loeb Classical Library website.

Get more out of Box of Broadcasts!

Have you met BoB? Box of Broadcasts is a fantastic resource for all subject areas: an archive of over two million radio and television broadcasts from over 75 free-to-air channels, including all BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4, plus some international channels. New programmes are added to BoB as they are broadcast each day.

We know it’s a very popular resource, but are you getting the best out of it? Here are some quick tips for newbies and experienced users alike!

Smarter searching

BoB is a huge database, so searching by keyword may retrieve a lot of irrelevant results, especially as the default search looks for your keyword in all programme transcripts (i.e. every word spoken in a programme). Click on the Search options link just under the search bar to see various ways of making your search more precise, including searching in the programme titles only, or limiting by date. This help video gives more detail:

Playlists and clips

You can create your own playlists: really helpful if you’re researching for an assignment, or preparing to teach a module. You can also search public playlists curated by other BoB users around the UK: just select Public playlists underneath the search bar, or explore this showcase of playlists for more inspiration.

BoB curated playlists

Clips are really easy to make too:

Need more help?

Got more BoB questions? Try their extensive FAQs or take a look at their updated collection of short video guides.

Trial: Springer Protocols

We have temporary trial access to Springer Protocols from now until 1st May 2021.

Springer Protocols is a collection of ebook series, including the world’s largest online database of biomedical and life science protocols, comprising:

  • Methods in Molecular Biology
  • Methods in Molecular Medicine
  • Neuromethods
  • Springer Protocols Handbooks
  • Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Methods in Biotechnology

Springer Protocols offers researchers access to up to 30 years’ worth of time-tested, step-by-step protocols for immediate use in their labs. Building on the heritage of the Methods in Molecular Biology series and content from other quality resources, researchers can be sure that whichever protocol they choose, it will be the most reliable and accurate technique.

What are the key features of Springer Protocols?

  • Access to over 58,000 protocols, growing rapidly
  • Covering cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience, immunology, pharmacology, plant sciences and more
  • Based on tried and tested resources including Methods in Molecular Biology
  • Springer Nature Experiments interface connects researchers with the most relevant protocols quicker, allowing you to refine your search by technique, organism and cell line

Explore Springer Protocols on and off campus, logging in with your Newcastle University username and password as prompted, until 1st May 2021.

Please send any comments on how this resource supports your research, teaching or study, or any queries, to your Liaison team.

Elsevier’s Clinicalkey Student

Getting Started

Elsevier’s Clinicalkey Student gives you electronic access to some of the most popular recommended clinical textbooks plus lots of other really useful resources including images and video. Subjects covered include medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. It allows you to add a book to your own Bookshelf, highlight text, add notes, create flashcard, make presentations and more. All of which is described below with videos to watch.

All of the eBooks available from Elsevier’s Clinicalkey can be found individually by searching for them on Library Search. To search or browse the collection go to Library Search and search for Clinicalkey.

To Login

To find out how to login and search for a book follow the instruction below or watch this video to get started.

  • Click on Log in via your institution on the right hand side
  • In the Institution search box type Newcastle University
  • Login using your University Username and Password

You are now ready to search for content either:

  • a book by title, author or keyword
  • a subject keyword for any content e.g. book, chapter, video available

Using the Bookshelf

To find out how to use the Bookshelf follow the instruction below or watch this video to get started.

To add a book to the Bookshelf you need to be within the content of a chapter. Search for the book by title, author or keyword

  • Click View book TOC
  • Click on the chapter you want
  • Click Add to Bookshelf on right hand side
  • If you want to see the book on your bookshelf, click Launch Bookshelf
  • If you click on the Home option this will show you all the books you have added to your Bookshelf
  • Once you have added to your Bookshelf you can go straight to it from the homepage by clicking on Bookshelf

For more details on using the Bookshelf watch this video.

Highlighting and Saving Text

When you are within the text of a chapter you can highlight any part to save it as a note for later. See instructions below and for more detail watch this video on Highlighting and Saving text.

  • Highlight the text you want to save
  • Select either green or yellow to highlight the colour
  • Give the note a name to show what it is

To look at all your notes click on the Notepad option on the left of the screen.

Creating Flashcards

When you are within the text of a book you can highlight any part to create a Flashcard. See instructions below and for more detail watch this video on Creating Flashcards.

  • Highlight the text you want for the front of the flashcard
  • Choose an existing Deck or a New Deck and Create it
  • Highlight and select Copy to get the text for the back of the card – Paste this text into the card
  • Save the card
  • You can create as many decks as you want and as many cards you want in each deck
  • By clicking on the Play button in the top right hand corner of the deck you can run through the cards to test your knowledge

Creating Presentations

You can share the latest evidence-based information with colleagues by exporting images with their citation and copyright information into a PowerPoint presentation.

See instructions below and for more detail watch this video on Creating Presentations

  • Search or Browse for an image
  • Click the Add to Presentation link at the bottom of the image
  • Select an Existing Presentation from the drop down menu
  • Click Add

OR

  • Click Create a New Presentation
  • Give it a name in the Presentation Name box
  • Click Add

Download the presentation and save as a .ppt file. You can then add your own slides and text to complete your presentation.

Using the Clinicalkey APPs

There are two types of Bookshelf apps:

  • Mobile App (iOS or Android): You can download the mobile app directly in the iOS or Android app store. To find the app, search for the name of the app (Bookshelf ClinicalKey Student).
  • Desktop App (Windows 10+): The app name appears as ClinicalKey Student Bookshelf. During the download process, you will be prompted to install the app and agree to the terms and conditions. This will create a menu icon and add a shortcut on your Windows 10 desktop.
  • Desktop Apps (Mac OS): Download the Mac version and follow the steps on the screen to complete the download and install the app.

Authentication requirements depend on the app you are using: mobile or desktop.

  • Mobile App (iOS or Android): The first time you use the Bookshelf mobile app, you must be in your authenticated medical school’s network when you sign up or sign in. For only this first-time usage, you have to be authenticated by your medical school’s network. After this unique confirmation that your account belongs to a medical school that provides ClinicalKey Student, the app will remember this authentication, and you can use the app online (in any network) or offline.
  • Desktop App (Windows 10+): You do not need to be on an IP-authenticated network to access the desktop app. Use your ClinicalKey Student username and password to log in to the desktop app.

Resources for Archaeology

The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming.  Library Search can be a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you get the best out of our resources we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for Archaeology.

Let’s dive in!

Scopus

Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers and trade publications. 

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  You can also set up citation alerts, so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically.

Scopus tutorial: How to expand your search results

Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.

JSTOR

JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher.

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

Archaeology Data Service Library (ADS)

ADS is a database which brings together material from the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB), the ADS library of unpublished fieldwork reports, as well as documents from the ADS archives and publishers such as Oxbow.

There are three ways to search ADS:

  • Archsearch – for searching for short records about a monument or historic environment event from the UK.
  • ADS Library  – for a report, book or article about the historic environment of Britain and Ireland.
  • ADS Archives search – for raw data.

Find out how to search ADS for a known article in this video guide:

PastScape

The information on PastScape is derived from the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) which holds records on the architectural and archaeological heritage of England. The NRHE contains over 420,000 records of archaeological sites and buildings in England and its territorial waters. The record is very broad in scope and contains information on sites dating from prehistoric times to the modern period, from finds of early stone tools to contemporary architecture, from Roman roads to disused railways and 19th century shipwrecks.

Although PastScape is no longer being updated, it is still a useful resource for finding descriptions of sites or buildings, surveys and excavation information and other useful links.

Encyclopedia of Ancient History

The Encyclopedia of Ancient History is a reference work containing a comprehensive collection of 21st century scholarship on the ancient Mediterranean world.  Entries span the bronze age through to 10th century Byzantium and extend to all Mediterranean civilisations including the Near East and Egypt.  Materials include articles, images and maps of the ancient world.

Our video guide below demonstrates how to browse and search for information using the Encyclopedia:

Video Guide to finding information on the Encyclopedia of Ancient History

Abstracts of International Conservation Literature (AATA)

AATA Online is a comprehensive database containing over 150,000 abstracts of journals and conference proceedings related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage, including archaeological sites and materials.

You can browse the database by topic or use the search tab to do a quick keyword search, a more detailed search in particular fields or a text search for a more detailed keyword search.

The results tab allows you to sort items by date, author or title, and export record details to a reference management tool such as EndNote.

Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts provides bibliographic records for thousands of journals and books, including several key archaeology journals such as Historical Archaeology, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and World Archaeology.  Content covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women’s history, history of education, and more.

This video explains how to search effectively in EBSCOHost databases such as this one:

EBSCOHost Tutorial: Creating an Advanced Search

Aph

l’Année philologique is a bibliographic database, indexing journal articles and book chapters about the classical world, going back to 1924. It’s an excellent resource for researching topics related to Greek and Latin literature and linguistics, Greek and Roman history, art, archaeology, philosophy, religion and more.

Our video guide below demonstrates how to find information on l’Année philologique:

Video guide to finding information on l’Année philologique

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts allows you to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s Freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource for finding documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

Archaeology Subject Guide

This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit your Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for Archaeology students. 

Snowball your way to success by using EndNote

What is EndNote?

The official blurb on EndNote is that it is “…the industry standard software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies, citations and references.”

Have you drifted off yet? Don’t – read on!

EndNote takes a little getting used to and we recommend you familiarise yourself with it at the start of your research process. But as Library Staff, we wouldn’t spend a significant amount of time demonstrating and training our academic staff and students on what EndNote is, and how to use it, if we didn’t think it was valuable. It will save you a huge amount of time in terms of writing up your assignments.

Essentially, you can use EndNote to create and organise a personal library of resources relevant to your research. You can import references from Library Search, and a huge range of databases such as ScopusWeb of ScienceIEEE Xplore and Business Source Complete. You can ask EndNote to locate the full-text PDFs of the resources you are going to use in your research, and you can annotate them as you wish too. Did you know you can instruct Google Scholar to import references into EndNote? No? Try it. Finally, if you already have materials stored in your home folder (H:\) then you can attach them to a manually-created reference within EndNote, bringing all your research together in one place.

In addition to organising your references (and this is the clever bit) you can then get EndNote to ‘talk’ to your word processing software, e.g. Microsoft Word, and insert the citations into your work for you in your chosen referencing style, e.g. Harvard at Newcastle, Vancouver, APA or MLA. If you don’t want to do that, then EndNote will also allow you to create an independent bibliography of your references, saving you an awful lot of typing.

Teach Yourself EndNote

Intrigued? You should be. Enrol on our Teach Yourself EndNote module on Canvas to become proficient in using EndNote. It might make your life easier down the line.

You can also take a look at our EndNote Guide. It contains all the introductory information you need, step-by-step workbooks to train yourself on the use of EndNote (the Desktop and Online versions), videos, useful FAQs, and contacts for help, should you need it.

Finally, Newcastle University provides support for EndNote but it is not compulsory to use. You may prefer MendeleyZoteroRefWorks or another piece of bibliographic management software. That’s fine, whatever makes your referencing lives easier. Go on, give them a try.