IT Services

Arts & Humanities Resources


1. Oxford Links


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Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and Oxford college libraries - The website of the “Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and Oxford College Libraries” contains a freely available PDF version of Brian Ó Cuív’s two-volume catalogue of manuscripts that range in date from the eleventh to the twentieth century.


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Elements of drawing : an online version of Ruskin's teaching collection at Oxford - This website aims to make available digital images of the collection of works assembled by John Ruskin to aid his teaching of drawing at Oxford University, together with the various catalogues of the collection which Ruskin created.


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Oxford Russian life history archive : remembering the past in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia - The Oxford Life History Archive offers an overview of material on memory in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia collected during two substantial research projects: "Childhood in Russia, 1890-1991: A Social and Cultural History" (2003-2006, funded by the Leverhulme Trust) and "Russian National Identity from 1961: Traditions and Deterritorialisation (2007-2010, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council).


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Old English literature : a hypertext course pack - The Old English Course Pack website is designed to help students (primarily undergraduates) study some of the more popular Old English texts in their original language. The pack includes primary texts of: 'The Wanderer'; 'The Dream of the Rood'; and parts of 'Beowulf' among others, together with: running glossaries and notes; reading lists; translations; and contextual information. The site is hosted by the English Faculty at the University of Oxford and is part of a project funded by the Higher Education Academy's English Subject Centre. UK academics can download a version of this site for their own use, but need to credit the original project when doing so.


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Early manuscripts at Oxford University - This website contains scans of over 80 early manuscripts from collections associated with the University of Oxford. It forms the culmination of the Early Manuscript Imaging Project, which sought to create a wider availability for original texts that might otherwise be too fragile for handling.


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BODcasts - Free digital recordings, or BODcasts, from special events and other highlights throughout the year.


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Chinese Multimedia CD-ROM - The course has been designed to supplement classroom teaching of Chinese, but can stand alone for use by students studying independently.


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Interactive Aural Comprehension Materials - The IACM system is designed to provide self-access materials for aural comprehension work in Modern Languages, to supplement traditional face-to-face classes with lectors and tape-recorded listening materials.


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Transits of Venus - This website provides a set of historical instruments and images, drawing on collections around the world. Institutions and individuals are invited to expand the site by contributing their own material.


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First World War Poetry Digital Archive - A range of resources to support the teaching and learning of First World War Literature and History.


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Oxford portraits - The Oxford Portraits project aims to publish an integrated digital catalogue of portraits in the University of Oxford and its constituent colleges.


OxLIP Resources - Library catalogue


Intute: Arts and Humanities - The best websites for study and research.


Oxford Text Archive - The Oxford Text Archive develops, collects, catalogues and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources.

1.15. Podcasts

Podcasts: all available at

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Ruskin Art Show Podcasts - Recent graduates of the Ruskin Art School talk about their Final Year Projects.

Podcasts from Medieval English lectures - Podcasts of Medieval English lectures, and supporting material, presented at the English Faculty, University of Oxford.

Podcasts from The Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics - Podcasts of events and lectures taking place at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Russian Ab Initio Students: Pre-Course Listening Material - Podcasts of pre-course listening material for Russian Ab Initio presented by the sub-faculty of Russian at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford.

History of Art Audio and video Podcasts - History of Art at the University of Oxford draws on a long and deep tradition of teaching and studying the subject.

Tolkien at Oxford - Podcasts that explore the relationship between J.R.R. Tolkien and Oxford University, where he both studied and worked.

John Locke Lectures in Philosophy - The John Locke Lectures are among the world's most distinguished lecture series in philosophy. The series began in 1950 and are given once a year.

2. National Links


2.2. HEA Subject Centre Blogs


Languages, Linguistics, and Area Studies

New language trends survey sets demanding agenda for primary and secondary schools
CfBT Education Trust today published the results of national surveys of primary and secondary schools, revealing the multiple challenges for languages within the new English National Curriculum.
The ‘Language Trends’ report shows that while foreign language teaching is already a reality in most primary schools, there is a very wide spectrum of practice and a lack of consistency in both approach and outcomes. Teachers need further training and support as the subject becomes statutory in September 2014, particularly in those schools where provision is currently least developed.
Download the report
Do you engage with iTunesU?
iTunesU is an area within Apple iTunes which allows institutions to create accounts and publish their own, branded educational content. It is a place to showcase excellence in education through the open publication of teaching resources. We, at LLAS, have recently been involved in the HEA-funded ‘iTunes and You’ project, where  we have taken existing open educational materials published for research and teaching by humanities staff at the University of Southampton, and worked with the university marketing department to repackage them as learning modules in the form of iTunesU course packages. This is a new way of presenting content through the University’s iTunes site and offers a model of engagement for academics to showcase and package their research and teaching work in appealing ways to a broad, global audience.

iTunesU is often seen as exclusively for high-quality video or audio recordings and it can be an intimidating place for researchers and teachers to consider when wishing to publish their work openly. The iTunes and You project has clarified and demystified the process for staff and provided clear guidance material to assist them in understanding how to publish their work in this way. In addition, the project has created an exemplar model of how nuggets of related research and teaching materials can be packaged as mini, bite-sized modules of learning and published with coherence through the iTunesU site (and other OER-sharing platforms).

A key aspect of the project has been to demonstrate that materials created for one particular discipline and educational context (Spanish language, migration studies) has wide applicability across the humanities and to a range of audiences in different parts of the world. OERs used for this project have been published by Southampton as part of the JISC-funded OpenLIVES project. The material consists of oral testimonies collected from Spanish migrants, and includes images, learning objects, and various teaching materials. Materials are in Spanish and English. Click on the link below to see the materials on iTunes:

Some of our key findings are:

Engagement with iTunesU can be effective if part of a ‘holistic approach’ to publishing open content. Our analysis of iTunesU content and site management revealed that it has advantages and limitations as a site for publishing open content. Its advantages include its reach to an international audience, its high production values (as a website), its value as a promotional site, and its reputation and requirement for high quality materials. It also has limitations as a site for publishing open content: there is limited facility for the addition and display of metadata on each file; iTunesU is hidden from principal search engines; use of the site is dependent on installation of Apple iTunes (this is possible at the University of Southampton only on request from our central IT services); management of the site requires staff dedicated to this purpose; there are perceptions amongst staff that iTunes is for audio and video material only, and that the site is only for hosting material of exceptionally high quality (which puts-off potential depositors). This mix of advantages and limitations means that iTunesU is perhaps best used as part of a ‘holistic’ OER approach, which would include promotion and use of other sharing sites, such as public social networking sites like YouTube and Flickr, as well as academic repositories like Jorum or HumBox. The high quality and promotional aspects of iTunes are important ways of raising awareness internationally about UK HE and UK HE resources and staff, and therefore should be part of any ‘open access toolkit’ in an institution.

Publishing on iTunesU offers a more supported way of engaging with open practice because users can make use of established university systems to help them navigate their way through issues around publishing open content. For example, most institutions have lecture-recording software widely available which facilitates the easy capture of content suitable for publication on iTunes. From our experience, material intended to go on to an iTunesU site is moderated for quality and copyright issues by another university staff member before being shared on the site, which offers reassurance to depositors fearful of infringing copyright, or doubtful over the value of the material (fears which are often noted as barriers to sharing).

iTunesU would benefit from more readily accessible web statistics. The key argument in promoting use of iTunes to staff and senior management is that it has impact demonstrable by web statistics. If Apple were to create an ‘administrator interface’ which gave access to a variety of download statistics, along the lines of Google Analytics, this would improve its take-up and impact with potential users.

Use of iTunesU has advantages and disadvantages for the sharing of open content; however, it is an important tool for publishing a range of different OERs and promoting the excellence of UK HE internationally. Effective use of the site requires active institutional support, encouragement and guidance, and we suggest that it is best used as part of a range of methods of engagement with OERs.

We would like to hear from you and your experience of iTunesU. Leave a comment below or contact us at

Kate Borthwick
LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies
Polyglots required if we want a place in the global academyEnglish cannot be the only acceptable language of scholarship, says Toby Miller. It’s arrogant, impractical and anti-intellectual

Times Higher Education

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