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Jane Austen in the 21st Century: Special Collections

Resources for students in English 4853 and beyond.

OU Library's Special Collections

The History of Science, Bass, and Nichols collections on the 5th floor of Bizzell have rare books and other items related to Jane Austen and her times (Open 9-5pm Monday to Friday 405-325-2760). 


How to Find Books

  • Use this Topical Bibliography to get started. Items in this bibliography are held by the Special Collections and are included in OU Libraries' online catalog Discover Local. 
  • To find more materials held in the Special Collections, search Discover Local and tweak the results for Location (for Bass, Nichols, or History of Science Vault) or Collection (History of Science). Here is a tip sheet
  • Need keywords to use for searching Discover Local? Use secondary sources for leads on authors, titles, topics. Also use subject links in existing catalog records to find more/similar works.


How to Request Books

  • Use the Sooner Express link in the catalog record to request an item, or email Dr. Palmeri ( You will be notified when the item is available for viewing.
  • You can request materials in person at the Research Desk, but items may not be able to be retrieved until a later time.


How to View Books

  • Since the collections are non-circulating, you will be asked to look at your requested books in the Roller Reading Room on the 5th floor, during the hours of 9-5pm Monday to Friday.  
  • Please bring your OU ID. This is required to view materials in the Reading Room. You will also be asked to fill out a Reader Registration Form


How to Find Images/OU's Digitized Books
  • Use Twitter Advanced Search to find images relating to Austen and her times which have been posted on the collections twitter account @OUHOSCollection (Use hashtags or terms like #Jane200 #JaneAusten Bath Warner England)
  • Browse the Digital Collections Repository - books from OU Special Collections which have been fully digitized; most are from the Galileo's World Exhibit. There are some items from Jane Austen's time, mostly scientific texts, like Catherine Vale Whitwell's An Astronomical Catechism (1818)  
  • Keep in mind that a small percentage of our Special Collections books are already digitized. If you need images, you can arrange to take them while viewing the item in the Reading Room.


Need HELP?

  • You are welcome to make an appointment to meet with Dr. JoAnn Palmeri to discuss the selection of primary sources for your project, the use of the collections, or about topics in book history.
  • Contacts:   Email