Proposed database cancellations

From: Scrivener, Laurie L.
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:46 AM

Dear Colleagues,

The library is in the process of reviewing our subscriptions to databases, with the aim of reducing the amount annually spent. The humanities and fine arts librarians have reviewed database subscriptions in our subject areas and have come up with a list of proposed cancellations. In reviewing the databases, we considered their usage in relation to their annual cost, the amount of overlap in coverage with other databases, as well as the unique features of some of the databases. We are proposing the cancellation of some lower usage databases.

The list of proposed cancellations is below, as well as under the Humanities and Fine Arts tab on this guide Please review this list and share it with your colleagues. If there are any items that should not be cancelled, please contact me about them by September 30.

The proposed cancellations are:

  • Acta Sanctorum – Provides access to an electronic version of the complete printed text of Acta Sanctorum, including prefaces, original texts, critical apparatus, and indices. This collection of documents examines the lives of saints, arranged according to each saint’s feast day.
  • Art Index Retrospective – Includes materials on traditional art, art history, archaeology, architecture, fashion design, interior design, visual art, and non-western art. Materials indexed include journal articles, yearbooks, and museum bulletins. Includes multi-lingual material.
  • Black Studies Center – Includes the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), the Black Literature Index.
  • British Literary ManuscriptsProvides access to facsimile images of letters, poems, plays, novels, and other literary works.
  • Colonial State PapersProvides access to primary source documents from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The earliest English settlements in North America, encounters with Native Americans, piracy in the Atlantic and Caribbean, the trade in slaves and English conflicts with the Spanish and French are all covered in this database.
  • Early European BooksProvides access to high-resolution facsimile images of rare printed sources from the origin of printing through the seventeenth century.
  • Nineteenth Century Masterfile – 19th Century Masterfile provides access to Index to Legal Periodical Literature, 1786-1922; Index to Periodicals, 1890-1906; Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics Cumulative Index to a Selected List of Periodicals (1896-1899); Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1906; The Psychological Index (1894-1905) and Richardson’s Index to Periodical Articles in Religion (1890-1899).
  • RIPM – Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals – Provides access to international coverage of the music periodical literature published from the late 18th- to mid-20th- centuries in Europe and the United States.
  • Teatro Español del Siglo de Oro – Access significant literary plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth century in Spain. Full text available.

I will add this message to my archived email at


Laurie Scrivener, M.L.I.S.
Associate Professor of Bibliography
History and Area Studies Librarian
University of Oklahoma Libraries
630 Parrington Oval, Room 452, Norman, OK 73019 | 405.325.1903 | @LaurieScrivener
My Guides


Gateway to Oklahoma History: Newspapers

This was originally posted on the library’s Digital Scholarship Lab Blog.

Text Mining Oklahoma’s Newspapers

The Oklahoma Historical Society Research Division’s website, Gateway to Oklahoma History, is a fantastic, freely available source that includes digitized Oklahoma newspapers from the 1840s to the 1920s. Like many digitization projects, it’s a work in progress, but already contains a wealth of valuable information.

The basic search screen allows you to search the full text of the database, metadata, title, subject and creator. The “Explore” function in the upper right corner allows you to browse locations, dates, and titles.

When I first encountered this database, I did what many of us do, but may be ashamed to admit: looked up my family name. Unfortunately, the first newspaper result is about a bank robber who shares my last name and who may or may not be related. I quickly tried to think of ways to refine my search to the decent Scriveners, but saw no easy way out. Additionally, “scrivener” is a legal term and a profession that appears fairly frequently in historic newspapers.

Luckily, I remembered my father’s mother’s maiden name, Malahy, and quickly found a much nicer feel-good story: my grandmother had written a letter to Santa Claus that was published in a Shawnee newspaper in 1917, when she was 7 years old.


Whatever type of research you are doing, here are some helpful hints for the Gateway to Oklahoma History:

  • When you do a keyword search, your terms will be highlighted in yellow within the digitized document.
  • If the term doesn’t appear on the first page, be sure to check the other pages.
    • I prefer to do this by clicking on the front page of the newspaper, and then clicking on “zoom/full page.”
    • At that point, I can easily scroll through the pages until I find the yellow highlighting, or zoom in on the page so I can actually read it.
  • Keep in mind that optical character recognition is not perfect. For example, when I searched for the name Malahy, the word “salary” came up a lot.
  • In this database, like in most that have digitized materials, there is very little after the year 1923.
  • Even though my last name is not nearly as common as some, I still run into many “scriveners” when I do a keyword search because the word was more commonly used in the past.
    • When doing research in any digital database, have patience and be flexible with your keywords.

NEH & Mellon Invite SPARC Members to Apply for Humanities Open Book Grants

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pasting below some information on an NEH and Mellon grant to create “open books” for the humanities. It sounds like an interesting project that will help make important works available to the public. Please feel free to forward to anyone who might be interested.

Also, I am going to start archiving emails I send to you on my blog site:, because even I can’t keep up with all the emails I send you!


Laurie Scrivener, M.L.I.S.
Associate Professor of Bibliography
History and Area Studies Librarian
University of Oklahoma Libraries
630 Parrington Oval, Room 452, Norman, OK 73019
My Guides


NEH & Mellon Invite SPARC Members to Apply for Humanities Open Book Grants

Last year, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation partnered to create Humanities Open Book, a grant program that offers awards up to $100,000 to support digitization, rights clearance, and public dissemination of primarily backlist or out-of-print, in-copyright humanities scholarship. The program aims to give new life to a broad swath of publications in the humanities, many of which are quite difficult to access and read today. All books, once cleared, are released with a Creative Commons license.

The next Humanities Open Book deadline is coming up on September 13, 2016. We encourage applications from a diverse range of institutional types including university presses, libraries, museums, historical societies, independent research centers, and other non-profit publishers in the humanities.

Sr. Program Officer Perry Collins will be offering an upcoming webinar on Monday, July 11th, at 1pm EDT to further discuss the program and to answer questions. Click the link below to register:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

Also, please feel free to contact us directly ( with questions or draft proposals.

Thank you!

Brett Bobley
National Endowment for the Humanities

Research Consultation During a Tornado Warning

This is what the radar looked like right before a student came in for a research consultation on April 29th:radarJust as he got here, the tornado sirens went off. All was well, however! We moved downstairs with his laptop and proceeded to research Jack the Ripper. (Great WiFi in Monnet Hall!) Every few minutes he’d check the radar, and then we’d get back to research. Bizarre experience for us both. We did find sources and no tornado hit, so it ended up being a pretty good day. I can’t promise you such excitement if you come for a consult, but I can usually promise sources. Email me if you want to make an appointment:

Western History Collections

So if you saw my “librarian in her native habitat” post, (my first blog post ever!) you know that my office is in the Western History Collections (WHC). The WHC posts some great pictures to Facebook every week from its photo archives division. Check out this week’s and follow WHC on Facebook!

Can you imagine living in a sod house like this? I can’t, although my dogs did bring in so much mud last week, that it was beginning to feel like we had dirt floors…

Digital Scholarship Lab @ OU Libraries

Did you know the library has a Digital Scholarship Lab? (Lower level 1, Bizzell Library) The Lab offers people and spaces to assist faculty and grad students with digital tools and technologies. Check out the DSL blog.

Coming up, April 27-28: The DSL is offering a Software Carpentry Workshop. The workshop is particularly relevant to students and faculty interested in basic components of programming. Register here.

Also, every Thursday, 1-3: The DSL offers Digital Scholarship Meet-Ups where you can chat with specialists about your research ideas and questions regarding text analysis, GIS, and data visualization. NO sign-up needed. Just drop by!