On trial: Cold War Eastern Europe, 1953-1960

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library currently has trial access to the digital primary source collection Cold War Eastern Europe, Module 1: 1953-1960, a unique and comprehensive, English-language history of post-Stalinist Eastern Europe. If you’re interested in East European and Soviet history, 20th century international relations, Cold War history or the history and culture of individual states within Eastern Europe then this database could be for you.

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

Trial access ends 25th May 2018.

Cold War Eastern Europe provides full-text searchable access to over six thousand primary source files from the political departments of the UK Foreign Office, source entirely from The National Archives series FO 371. Files cover every aspect of political, economic, cultural, social and dissident life behind the ‘Iron Curtain’. Continue reading

On trial: Secrecy, sabotage, and aiding the resistance

The Library has been given trial access to the British Online Archives (BOA) collection Secrecy, sabotage, and aiding the resistance: how Anglo-American co-operation shaped World War Two. Giving you unique insight into US-UK diplomacy, intelligence sharing, and sabotage operations in enemy territory from 1939-1954.

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

Trial access ends 9th May 2018. Continue reading

On trial: Service Newspapers of World War Two

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library has been allowed trial access to the brand new digitised primary source collection Service Newspapers of World War Two by Adam Matthew Digital. This resource gives you unique insight into the story of war as told by the newspapers and magazines that brought information, entertainment and camaraderie to the forces.

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

Trial access ends 14th May 2018.

Service Newspapers of World War Two contains an extensive range of both rare and well-known wartime publications for soldiers serving in major theatres around the world. Publications are included from many key nations involved in the conflict, such as the US, Canada, New Zealand, India, and the countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Both Allied and Axis publications are presented, offering a broad view of the war and the experiences of those on its front lines. Continue reading

On trial: The Stuart and Cumberland Papers

I’m pleased to let you know that Gale Cengage are giving us trial access to their brand new digitised archive from State Papers Online, the Stuart and Cumberland Papers. This archive contains two remarkable collections from the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, which have been digitised for the first time and are available online in their entirety.

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

Trial access ends 10th May 2018.

The Stuart Papers represent the correspondence and personal documents of the exiled members of the Stuart dynasty after 1688. These papers were acquired by George IV when Prince Regent, following the death of Henry Bennedict Stuart, Cardinal York, and were originally kept in the Prince’s Library at Carlton House. The collection tells the story of the lives of James II and his heirs with the majority of papers concerning the period 1713 to 1770, and provide an insight into Jacobite attempts to regain the throne. The later papers in the collection concern Cardinal York’s relations with the Vatican until his death in 1807. Continue reading

On trial: Military Intelligence Files

I’m happy to let you know that British Online Archives (BOA) have given us trial access to their digitised primary source collection Military Intelligence Files: Land, Sea & Air, 1938-1974. This collection provides access to secret British government files produced by the intelligence branches of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force and will be of particular interest to those of you looking at the Second World War or the beginnings of the Cold War.

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

Trial access ends 9th May 2018.

Screenshot from Royal Air Force: Weekly Intelligence, Jul 1940-Feb 1941 (Military Intelligence Files, British Online Archives).

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On trial: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars

Following a successful trial towards the end of last academic year I’m pleased to let you know that we’ve been allowed trial access again to Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War: Intelligence, Strategy and Diplomacy from The National Archives and Taylor & Francis. This provides you with access to 144,000 pages of British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files source from the National Archives U.K. Content which is only available elsewhere by visiting the National Archives in London.

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

Trial access ends 26th March 2018.

This major primary source database contains nine file series which span four major 20th century conflicts – the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the early years of the Cold War and the Korean War. Files are sourced from the Permanent Undersecretary’s Department (PUSD) – the PUSD was the point of liaison between the Foreign Office and the British intelligence establishment – Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee, War Cabinet, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence. Continue reading

On trial: primary source databases from Adam Matthew

We currently have trial access to Literary Print Culture: The Stationers’ Company Archive and London Low Life, two fascinating primary source databases from Adam Matthew.

So if you’re interested in the history of the book or of publishing, working and social lives in Victorian London, history of copyright, police and criminality in the 19th century, the workings of an early London Livery Company, commerce in London and more, then there may be something here for you.

Left: Hints to men about town, or, Waterfordiana: containing a list and description of the most known,swell, flash-up, and downright introducing houses and celebrated seraglios … with the means employed to prevent venereal infection … / by a sporting surgeon (1830s) from London Low Life. Right: Architectural plan for Oxford University Press, Amen Corner (1913) from Literary Print Culture.

Both databases can be accessed via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access for both databases ends 12th March 2018. Continue reading

On trial: The Listener Historical Archive

Following a request from a HCA student I’m pleased to let you know the Library has trial access to the The Listener Historical Archive from Gale Cengage. This gives you access to the complete archive of the BBC periodical that was published from 1929-1991.

You can access The Listener Historical Archive via the e-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 12th March 2018.

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC under its Director-General Lord Reith. Its aim was to be the intellectual counterpart to Radio Times, then the BBC listings magazine, and featured commentaries on the intellectual broadcasts of the week as well as previews of major literary and musical programmes. What makes the archive even more interesting is that The Listener was original developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks (radio and TV) so is one of the few records of the content of many early broadcasts. Continue reading

#100years: “Because…we want to get on with our work more quickly”

This was the response from suffragist, Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, when asked why women would want the vote1.

Today, 6th February 2018, marks 100 years since (some) British women were granted the right to vote for the first time through the Representation of the People Act. This was the culmination of a hard fought campaign and while it would take another 10 years before women would have equal voting rights to men in the UK, with the Representation of the People Act 1928, it was a victory for the suffragette movement.

There are lots of events, exhibitions, programmes, etc., taking place today and this year to mark this important historic event but I wanted to delve into some of the primary sources available to us at the Library which allow you to find out more about the suffragette movement in the UK.

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 suffragette movement in the 19th century up to the Representation of the People Act 1918 and beyond.

Screenshot from UK Press Online showing the front page of the Daily Express from Thursday February 7, 1918.

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Spotlight on our Centre for Research Collections

On Tuesday 30th January we’ll be holding a Discovery Day event in the Main Library where representatives from 3 publishers of digitised primary source collections and our very own Centre for Research Collections will be on hand to help you navigate through and find useful material in the huge range of primary sources you have access to at the Library.

The University of Edinburgh holds world class collections, including rare books, archives and manuscripts, art, historical musical instruments and museum objects ranging from geological specimens to anatomical models. These unique collections are and can be used for teaching and research within the University and by the wider community.

The main entry and access point for these collections is the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) which is based on the 6th floor of the Main Library. The CRC is open to all researchers, including students, staff, visiting academics and members of the public. Continue reading