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From the Bodleian’s Public Engagement Department

The Geology of Oxford Gravestones

On 17 July, a new display opened in the Weston Library’s Blackwell Hall: The Geology of Oxford Gravestones. The exhibit was curated by geologists Nina Morgan and Philip Powell, Honorary Associates at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The focus of the display is the geology that can be explored through gravestones, how gravestones can be used as a teaching tool to learn about rock and mineral identification, and the scientific applications resulting from studying the geology of gravestones.

In Oxford, the oldest gravestones are made from local stones, often dug from quarries just a few miles away. With the growth of the canal network and the coming of the railways, gravestones made using rocks from Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland began to adorn Oxford cemeteries. Improved transportation links and the Victorian taste for more elaborate gravestones led to a flourishing of the funeral and monumental masonry trades.

Examples of Cornish granite, Shap granite from Cumbria, Portland Stone, Carrara marble, Banbury Ironstone, Forest marble, and terracotta stones are on display, some of them loans from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History as well as St Michael’s Church, Cumnor. The mineral composition of the stones is outlined, for example how granite is composed of feldspar and quartz, and Portland Stone composed of calcium carbonate and fragments of fossil shells. The exhibit will be on display until 12 September.

Library space and physical services

Service updates

The Bodleian Libraries will maintain social distancing and face covering restrictions beyond Monday 19 July.

3D printing

The Radcliffe Science Library’s 3D printing service has now resumed. If you have any questions or would like to discuss using the service, feel free to contact Richard Smith at Further information, including how to submit an order, can be found on their online 3D printing guide.   

Collections and online resources

Study Skills reading list

We have compiled a curated selection of study skills books in one list.  The list contains titles suitable for undergraduates and graduates, from general to specific, and by subject. You can go browse the list by scrolling the page or by using the Table of Contents tab, to jump to a category. The list will be reviewed and updated regularly with new recommended titles. 

Equality Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) collection

The library is committed to expanding its EDI collection in areas such as LGBT+ Studies, Women's Studies, Disability Studies, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) Studies.  

Here is a selection of titles:

More is available in the SOLO catalogue. 

Do you want the e-book of a title already on the catalogue?  Do you have a recommendation? Contact

New eresources for MPLS

Birds of the World

E-resources have confirmed that this new subscription database has now been added to Databases A-Z and to the blog. Birds of the World is a powerful research database that brings together deep, scholarly content from four celebrated works of ornithology, Birds of North America, Handbook of Birds of the World, Neotropical Birds and Bird Families of the World, with millions of bird observations from eBird and multimedia from the Macaulay Library into a single platform where biologists and birders can explore comprehensive life history information on birds.

See an in-depth overview of Birds of the World features.

Open Access news

British Heart Foundation funding

Oxford’s BHF Open Access funding allocation (for April–September 2021) has been spent. We expect to have new funding from 1 October 2021. Until then, BHF recommend researchers select journals that allow the author to self-deposit the author’s manuscript in Europe PMC within 6 months of publication. Up-to-date information about funder requirements and block grants can be seen via our Open Access Oxford webpages.