On trial: Early European Books

Following a request from staff in History the Library currently has trial access to all collections available in ProQuest’s Early European Books, a database that aims to trace the history of printing in Europe from its origins to 1700.

While the Library already gives you access to Collections 1-4, this trial period gives you access to the further 7 collections currently available in Early European Books.

You can access this resource via the E-resources trials page. Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 15th September 2017.

Building on the success of Early English Books Online (EEBO) – which the Library already has access to – Early European Books is set to encompass all European printed material, and material printed in European languages, from the early modern period. Continue reading

Explore the Partition of India through our library resources

In August 1947 British India won its independence from the British and split into two new states, India and Pakistan (East Pakistan subsequently became Bangladesh), that would govern themselves. The Partition of India, as it was known, created a huge refugee crisis with millions of displaced people and the level of violence and loss of life prior to and after the Partition has caused reverberations over the years, with hostile relations between India and Pakistan continuing to this day.

With the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India being marked this month I’ve pulled together just a small selection of Library resources that will help you explore the Partition of India further.

What did the papers say?

The Library subscribes to a large number of online newspaper archives that will allow you to see what events were being reported on at the time and how they were being reported. Read full text articles, compare how different newspapers were covering the same issues and stories, track coverage from the start of the Indian independence movement in the 19th century until post-partition.

Screenshot from The Times of India.

The Times of India (1838-2007)
The Library has access to the online archive of The Times of India, which covers the period 1838-2007. The Times of India is the world’s largest circulation English daily newspaper and, as would be expected, is particular valuable for its coverage of key historical events in India, such as the Partition.

But how does this compare with how newspapers in the UK were reporting on it e.g. The Times, The Guardian and The Observer, The Scotsman, etc., or how international newspapers were reporting on events e.g. The New York Times, Washington Post, Japan Times, etc?

Want to look at more recent coverage of the Partition of India? The Library also subscribes to databases, such as Factiva and Nexis UK, that allow you to search and access the full text of a large number of UK and international newspapers from around the 1980s up to date. You can access these, the databases mentioned above and many other newspaper archives and magazine archives from Newspaper Databases. Continue reading

New to the Library: 4 new collections of declassified U.S. government documents

I’m pleased to let you know that after a successful trial in semester two, 2016/17, the Library has now purchased access to four more collections from ProQuest’s Digital National Security Archive (DNSA).

The four new collections are:

  • Chile and the United States: U.S. Policy toward Democracy, Dictatorship, and Human Rights, 1970–1990
  • Electronic Surveillance and the National Security Agency: From Shamrock to Snowden
  • The Iran-Contra Affair: The Making of a Scandal, 1983–1988
  • Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. Policy and the Prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980–1994

You can access these collections and the other 7 collections we already own from DNSA from the Databases A-Z list or subject databases lists. See Spotlight on Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) for information about the 7 previously purchased collections. Continue reading

Why football banned women

In this week’s blog I’m using some of the Library’s online resources to find primary source material relating to the popularity of women’s football during and just after the First World War and the decision by the FA to ban it.

The other night on catch-up I watched the Channel 4 documentary When Football Banned Women, programmed to coincide with the Women’s EURO 2017 (which Channel 4 just happens to be showing, it’s like they thought about their programming or something!) This interesting documentary looked at the rise in popularity of women’s football during the First World War and the subsequent decline after the decision by The Football Association (FA) to ban the women’s game in 1921.

If you’ve not seen it you can watch it on Box of Broadcasts (BoB).

Screenshot from ‘When Football Banned Women’ (Channel 4).

As I am always looking for an excuse to use some of the University Library’s fantastic online primary source collections, I decided this was a perfect story to try and find out more about from our online archives.

While I primarily used some of the online newspaper archives the Library has access to for that period, I did do some searching in some other primary source collections that covered the period in question. You can find a list of the specific databases I used at the end of the post.

Women’s football in the First World War

With 1000s of men being called up to fight in the First World War, women were expected to take on roles as never before in the workplace and with this came other opportunities. Women’s football teams began to form, often put together or sponsored by the industries and companies now employing the vast female workforce. These teams began to play matches with the primary aim of raising money for charity and while spectators may have originally attended to help raise money and to watch what they thought of as a novelty, they continued to attend as the matches were good and the teams did have skills. Continue reading

New to the Library: Presidential Recordings Digital Edition

The Library now has access to the fascinating Presidential Recordings Digital Edition. This rich resource includes transcripts and corresponding audio of secretly recorded conversations in the Oval Office from Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.

You can access Presidential Recordings Digital Edition via the Databases A-Z list and relevant Databases by Subject lists e.g. Primary Sources, Politics, etc. and you can access it via DiscoverEd.

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt through to Richard M. Nixon all secretly recorded many of their conversations in the Oval Office. The resulting 5,000 hours of telephone and meeting tape recorded during their time in the White House   capture some of the most significant moments in modern American political history. From Birmingham to Berlin, from Medicare to My Lai, from Selma to SALT, and from Watts to Watergate, the presidential recordings offer a unique window into the shaping of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Continue reading

On trial: primary source collections from British Online Archives

Following a request from staff in HCA, the Library currently has trial access to two digital primary source collections from British Online Archives, Conscientious Objection during the World War 1 and The Middle East, its division into countries and the creation of Israel, 1879-1919.

Trial access ends 6th August 2017.

Conscientious Objection during the World War 1

During World War One, Conscientious Objectors united to oppose the war despite the criticism they faced. Three of these anti-war protest groups included the Conscientious Objector Information Bureau, the Union of Democratic Control, and the No-Conscription Fellowship. Conscientious Objection during the World War 1 includes complete files of key anti-war publications. It also contains rare reports from the Conscientious Objector Information Bureau. The internal papers include minutes from the Union of Democratic Control and letters from the No-Conscription Fellowship. The Fellowship’s most prominent figure, Clifford Allen, wrote a number of these items. Local Fellowship branches in Willesden, Middlesex and in Hyde, Greater Manchester are also covered. Also included amongst the papers is Thomas Henry Ellison’s scrapbook. Thomas was a Conscientious Objector and spent much of his time during the war in prison. His scrapbook covers both his own experiences and the experience of the anti-war movement as a whole. Continue reading

New to the Library: British Library Newspapers, Part V

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library has purchased access to the final part of Gale Cengage’s British Library Newspapers collection (Part V). This means the Library now has access to the full British Library Newspapers, Parts I-V. 

You can access British Library Newspapers via the Databases A-Z list or Newspapers databases list.

British Library Newspapers, Part V: 1746-1950, has a concentration of titles from the northern part of the United Kingdom with 36 individual titles included. This doubles coverage in Scotland, triples coverage in the Midlands, and adds a significant number of Northern titles to the British Library Newspapers collections. Continue reading

New to Library: Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society archive online

The Library has recently purchased the online archive to the journal Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, covering the period 1935 (volume 1) until 2009 (volume 75).

The Library already has current online access to the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, covering the years 2010 (volume 76) onwards. So the purchase of the archive ensures the Library has full access to the entire run of this important journal in prehistoric research.

You can access both the archive and current access via DiscoverEd. Continue reading

New to the Library: History of Contemporary Chinese Political Movements, 1949-

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library has got a 1-year subscription to The Database for the History of Contemporary Chinese Political Movements, 1949-.

The database provides full-text primary source materials relating to the Chinese political movements after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

You can access The Database for the History of Contemporary Chinese Political Movements, 1949- via the Databases A-Z list. Continue reading

5 things to remember if using the Library this summer, 2017


I wrote a “5 things to remember if using the Library this summer” post last year and it is the second most viewed post on this site. So shamelessly clinging to the coat-tails of that post, this is an updated version for 2017.


We’re creeping ever closer to the official end of the academic year (Friday 26 May) and while some of you may already have finished, to those that haven’t, keep going you are almost there!

While many of you are probably thinking the last thing you’d want to do is use or visit the Library over your summer break, there will be a large number of students who want to or need to use the Library during the summer vacation period to continue with their studies or research.

So if you are one of the many who is planning on using Library facilities or services over the summer then read on. And for those of you who aren’t planning on this maybe you should read on anyway just in case (particularly if you have not returned borrowed books).

1) The Main Library and other site libraries remain open throughout the summer vacation period.

Opening hours and Helpdesk staffed hours will be reduced in some libraries so keep an eye on the opening hours web site and follow the Library on social media for updates e.g. @EdUniLibraries, @EdUniMainLib, Facebook, etc. Continue reading