Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Oh, Canada

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Happy Canada Day!  This seems an appropriate moment to highlight Canadian literature collections at UCLA and elsewhere in the University of California system.  At the moment, there are no Canadian literature programs, per se, in the UC system. However, although Canadian literature is not a huge focus of study at UCLA, I conducted a straw poll recently that indicated that there are people throughout the English and Comparative Literature departments, as well as French/Francophone Studies and perhaps elsewhere, who are making use of Canadian literature resources on a fairly regular basis. 

In light of this situation, University of California literature librarians banded together a few years ago to create a Canadian Shared Print project for anglophone Canadian literature. This project began several years ago as a pilot but will continue for the foreseeable future.  Basically, what happens is that the UC campuses pool their money for anglophone Canadian literature and purchase single, shared copies of a wide variety of Canadian fiction, poetry, and drama titles.  These books are stored at the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF) and can be located by searching Melvyl or OCLC WorldCat (or the new “Next Generation Melvyl” catalog). UC borrowers can then quickly and easily request these books.  In the meantime, my counterparts at the other UC campuses and I monitor the list of books we are getting through this shared print program and then decide whether we want to spend money on a duplicate copy for our local campus (e.g., if it is a major author like Margaret Atwood, or if I know that a professor is teaching a course featuring a particular author or title).

This program is great because it does not restrict us from collecting works of Canadian literature that we think our campuses need, but it helps us avoid spending money on unnecessary duplicate copies where 1 copy in the UC system would satisfy scholarly needs. If you have questions about how this shared print project works or comments about it, please let me know. We just finished a rigorous assessment of the project and welcome feedback from users of these materials. If you’re a librarian considering this type of shared print project, I’d be happy to answer your questions or point you toward our resident shared print expert in the California Digital Library.

 If francophone Canadian literature is your thing, rest assured that I am busy collecting in this area as well, trying to acquire works by established authors as well as up and coming authors.  If you have suggestions of francophone Canadian authors, poets, or titles to watch for, please let me know!


Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

We have access to a great resource for 19th-century research–C19: The Nineteenth Century Index.  This is very good news as it enables us to more effectively access some materials we already had in print reference volumes but also some information for which we had no subscriptions.

C19: The Nineteenth Century Index (University of California systemwide access)

“The most comprehensive and dynamic source for discovering nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives. The C19 Index draws on the strength of established indexes such as the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole’s Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.5 million books and official publications, 71,000 archival collections and 16.3 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers. C19 Index now provides integrated access to 12 bibliographic indexes, including almost a million records from the ongoing digitization of British Periodicals Collections I and II.” 

If you would like me to show you around this new resource, do contact me for an appointment or stop by the Reference Desk in Young Research Library or the College Library (Powell).

Scholarly communication?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I recently surveyed faculty and grad students in the English and Comp Lit Departments here at UCLA to see what terminology would get them to click on a web link if they wanted information pertaining to copyright, intellectual property, dissemination of research, academic publishing, and so on.  Here in the library, we lump all this stuff under the heading “scholarly communication.”  But in the survey, “scholarly communication” was roundly rejected by all respondents.  Not much of a surprise there.  Here are the results I got:

A. creating and using scholarship (or scholarly output) – 6%
B. scholarly communication – 0
C. copyright and IP issues – 72%
D. Other, please specify – 22% (“Publishing and Intellectual Property” or “Issues in Scholarly Publishing”; “Electronic Scholarship” or “Virtual Academic Publishing Issues”; “Copyright, Publication, and Intellectual Property Issues”; “Publishing Resources and Services”)

We will definitely use this feedback to inform the web resources we are in the process of designing for our campus community.  The “we” here refers to the Scholarly Communication Steering Committee of the UCLA Library, of which I am a member. 

The library world is not likely to jettison the term “scholarly communication” anytime soon.  That said, important and relevant resources are springing up everywhere, so scholars should be able to find information they need regarding copyright, intellectual property, dissemination of research, academic publishing, etc., as long as they know where to look for it.  One great resource of which I recently became aware is, a campaign spearheaded by The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).  Clearly, scholars need help when negotiating author agreements with publishers or when deciding what qualifies as fair use in the classroom, but the issues of scholarly communication go beyond these.  Traditional modes of scholarly communication—including but not limited to book and journal publication—need to transform to accommodate new modes of scholarship and to ensure that this scholarship is accessible to as many scholars as possible in perpetuity. More than anything, there needs to be a shift in the culture of scholarship and publishing in higher education and this is where comes in.

NEW RESOURCE: Collected Letters of Rosina Bulwer Lytton

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Since this blog’s inception, I have planned all along to announce significant new additions to our literature and related collections here in UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL).  Here I am, nearly at the end of Spring Quarter, finally able to start such announcements with more regularity.  Better late than never, I hope.

 Just received at YRL is a 3-volume set of The Collected Letters of Rosina Bulwer Lytton, edited by Marie Mulvey-Roberts and published by Pickering and Chatto.  Here is a blurb from the publisher’s announcement:

“Rosina Bulwer Lytton is remembered as the ‘mad wife’ of the eminent Victorian politician and novelist, Edward Bulwer Lytton. In fact, she was a clever and successful writer who published thirteen novels, a memoir, and several pamphlets and broadsheets. She was also a witty and prolific correspondent and used her pen to wage a life-long vendetta against her estranged husband. Over 800 of Rosina’s letters survive. This unique record reveals the innermost workings of the Victorian literary and political establishments. To date, only a fraction has been published; most remain in private collections.”

This set will nicely complement our existing Rosina Bulwer Lytton holdings in the Michael Sadleir Collection of 19th-Century British Fiction, located in the YRL Special Collections Department.

You can find The Collected Letters of Rosina Bulwer Lytton in the Library Catalog under call number PR4959.L5 Z48 2008.

NEW RESOURCE: Burney newspapers online

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

UCLA Library is pleased to announce that it has just licensed the digital version of the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, thanks to the collective efforts of the Research Library, the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies/Clark Library, as well as our good friends in the History and English departments. Here’s the description from the vendor’s website:

The newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) represent the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media. The present digital collection, that helps chart the development of the concept of ‘news’ and ‘newspapers’ and the “free press”, totals almost 1 million pages and contains approximately 1,270 titles. Many of the Burney newspapers are well known, but many pamphlets and broadsides also included have remained largely hidden. Newly digitized, all Burney treasures are now fully text-searchable in Gale Digital Collection.

The easiest way to access Burney is to go to the Library’s home page ( and follow these steps:

1. mouse over Search and find
2. scroll down to E-Resources and click
3. Type “burney” in the search box (as a keyword)
4. Click on the *long* Burney url

Keep in mind that access is limited to UCLA IP addresses.  Let me know what you think of this new resource!

Shakespeare plays coming soon on the web

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Just passing along news published recently in RTÉ of an upcoming Shakespeare resource on the web:

Libraries to create Shakespeare web resource

The Bodleian Library in Oxford and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC are to put all 75 editions of William Shakespeare’s plays from before 1641 online.

The quartos are the earliest printed editions of the plays and are the closest to what Shakespeare actually wrote still in existence.

The project is intended to give the public greater acccess to the plays and downloading of the quartos will begin next month.

Online users will be able to compare and study the texts, which are the earliest sources for the 37 plays Shakespeare is known to have written.

“There will be countless new ways for scholars, teachers, and students to examine the quarto texts, particularly of ‘Hamlet’,” Folger library director Gail Kern Paster told Reuters.

“You find out all sorts of things – about how the copies went through the press, and also about the printing process,” she added.


University of Chicago Press Online Journals

Friday, March 14th, 2008

The University of California now has systemwide access to the University of Chicago Press Online Journals.  This resource includes full access to some 14 humanities journals and many more social science and hard science journals.

Out-of-print public domain books on demand

Friday, February 8th, 2008

This item will be of interest to those of you who, though supportive of the efforts to digitize books in the public domain, still like to hold the physical piece in your hands.  I just learned of “an experimental non-commercial project to archive and re-publish public domain works.” is a non-profit operation started by Yakov Shafranovich.  At this site, you can search for and locate out-of-print texts in the public domain that have been digitally archived (e.g., in the Internet Archive or Google Books) and then request that a print copy be made.  Once the request is completed, you get an email telling you that it is ready and then at that point, you can decide whether or not to purchase it.

TRIAL SUBSCRIPTION: Literature Criticism Online

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Until February 28, 2008, UCLA has access to Literature Criticism Online. This database provides electronic access to most of the print content available in reference sources such as Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Drama Criticism, Children’s Literature Review, and Shakespearean Criticism–all of which we currently own in our print reference collections at UCLA.  (By the way, if you haven’t used these valuable print resources, give them a try.  In Young Research Library, these sets are kept on low shelves near the back of the Reference Reading Room.  A reference librarian would be happy to give you a quick tour.)

Why are we even considering the online version if we have already paid for the print?  A couple reasons: 1. These very expensive print sets don’t see much use anymore, even though there is a wealth of very useful information in them. This may be our fault as librarians for not promoting the print materials vigorously enough, but it seems that many scholars are–increasingly, and for a variety of reasons–erring on the side of convenience (full-text, online) rather than comprehensiveness (hunting down every single useful resource they can find). 2. Space is always an issue in our libraries and these sets take up a great deal of space. If they are not seeing much use, it might be preferable to relocate them to the bookstacks or to our off-site storage facility and use that space for reference materials that are not available in electronic form. 3. There may be cost-savings involved in the long term by going to one digital resource rather than having duplicate sets of the print in two or more libraries on campus.

This trial requires a password, so contact me if you are interested and I’ll give you the password.  (I monitor all comments on this blog before posting them, so if you use the comment feature to request a password, I can respond to you without actually posting your comment/request to the blog.)  If you do give Literature Criticism Online a try, please let me know what you think.

As usual, keep in mind that with a limited budget for electronic resources, the Library cannot purchase subscriptions to everything for which we get a trial.  That said, if I know that a resource will be of use to UCLA scholars, I will place it higher on the priority list.  Also keep in mind that for very expensive resources which are purchased at the University of California level, license negotiations may take up to a year or more.  Another reason to fight hard for open access resources…


Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Through March 14, 2008, UCLA has access to The Gilded Age, a database of primary documents and scholarly research pertaining to American history and culture, 1865-1902. You may access it from any UCLA IP address (please note that it may not work via proxy server).  If you give it a try, please let me know what you think.

As usual, keep in mind that with a limited budget for electronic resources, the Library cannot purchase subscriptions to everything for which we get a trial.  That said, if I know that a resource will be of use to UCLA scholars, I will place it higher on the priority list.  Also keep in mind that for very expensive resources which are purchased at the University of California level, license negotiations may take up to a year or more.  Another reason to fight hard for open access resources…