“Ye are many—they are few”: Exploring the Peterloo massacre through our library resources

Next year on this day, 16th August, it will be the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. The ironic name given to events at St Peter’s Fields in Manchester on 16th August 1819 when the cavalry charged into a peaceful crowd of 50,000-80,000 people who were attending a mass demonstration for political reform. Between 10-20 people were killed and 100s were injured. In this week’s blog post I have pulled together just a small selection of Library resources, digital and physical, that will help you explore Peterloo, the events leading up to it and the aftermath.

The Massacre of Peterloo. George Cruikshank [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The 19th century was a period of huge economic, social, political and idealogical changes. Post the Napoleonic Wars, which ended just four years before Peterloo (“Peterloo” a play on Waterloo), demands for political reform were growing. Industrial cities such as Manchester had no representation in Parliament,only relatively small numbers of wealthy male citizens were eligible to vote and working and economic conditions were incredibly poor. Campaigns for parliamentary reform became more strident and found growing levels of support, political radicalism in the UK was on the rise. Continue reading

New to the Library: Service Newspapers of World War Two

I’m really pleased to let you know that following a successful trial the Library now has access to Service Newspapers of World War Two from Adam Matthew Digital, a brand new digitised primary source collection just released this year. 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 Service Newspapers of World War Two via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access it through DiscoverEd.

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

New to the Library: Illustrated London News Historical Archive

I’m delighted to let you know that the Library now has access to The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003 from Gale Cengage. Illustrated London News was the world’s first pictorial weekly newspaper and this archive gives access to the full run of this iconic illustrated newspaper.

You can access The Illustrated London News Historical Archive via the Databases A-Z list and the Newspapers & Magazine databases list.

The first issue of Illustrated London News was published on Saturday 14 May 1842 and as the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, it marked a revolution in journalism and news reporting.

Screenshot from front page of Illustrated London News, May 14, 1842; pg. [1]; Issue 1.

Continue reading

New to the Library: Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1937

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library has recently purchased access to the Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1937 from Adam Matthew Digital. This means we now have access to the full Foreign Office Files for China database covering the years 1919 to 1980. This fantastic resource provides access to the digitised archive of British Foreign Office files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

You can access Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980 via the Databases A-Z list, Primary source database list, the History Subject Guide or DiscoverEd. Continue reading

New to the Library: The Listener Historical Archive

I’m happy to let you know that after a successful trial earlier this year the Library now has access to The Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991 from Gale Cengage. This gives you complete access to the archive of this landmark BBC publication.

You can access The Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991 via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access the title through DiscoverEd.

Screenshot from front page of first issue, Wednesday, January 16, 1929.

Continue reading

NHS at 70: Explore the history of the NHS through our primary sources

70 years ago today, 5 July, the National Health Service (NHS) was established, one of a number of social and welfare reforms from the post-World War II Labour government (though initial proposals for the NHS came from the World War II coalition government). Launched just over two years after Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health, published his National Health Service Bill, the NHS provided medical and healthcare services for free at the point of delivery.

On the NHS’s 70th birthday I have pulled together a small selection of primary resources, digital and physical, you have access to at the Library that will help you explore the history of the NHS.

What did the people think?

Mass Observation was a pioneering social research organisation founded in 1937. The aim was to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’, and by recruiting a team of observers and a panel of volunteer writers they studied the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. This original work continued until the early 1950s and gives unparalleled insight into everyday life in Britain during that time.

Through our Library you have access to Mass Observation Online, which makes available the entire Mass Observation archive from that period and includes original manuscript and typescript papers (such as diaries, day reports, questionnaires, observations, etc.) created and collected by the Mass Observation organisation, as well as printed publications, photographs and some interactive features.

Mass-Observation. 1949. Meet Yourself at the Doctor’s. London: Naldrett. Available from Mass Observation Online.

In Mass Observation Online you will find a large amount of material detailing people’s opinions and experiences of the NHS from its earliest days. From Mass Observation’s own file reports and publications pulling together people’s comments, observations and experiences of the NHS to the original diary entries and questionnaire responses.

The material available allows you to read about people’s views on the NHS prior to it being launched and their opinions and experiences of the service in its first few years of existence.

When you are using Mass Observation Online the easiest way to find material regarding the NHS is by clicking on the “Popular Searches” button near the top right-hand side of page and then under the “Organisations” tab click on “National Health Service”. Continue reading

New to the Library: Daily Mail Historical Archive

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library has purchased access to the Daily Mail Historical Archive (1896-2004) from Gale Cengage. Regardless of your personal feelings about the Daily Mail this is a fascinating archive that provides access to over 100 years of the newspaper, while also providing an important alternative perspective to newspapers such at The Times, The Guardian, etc.

You can access Daily Mail Historical Archive (1896-2004) via the Databases A-Z list, Newspapers & Magazines database list and relevant subject guides. Access via DiscoverEd will also become available soon.

The Daily Mail Historical Archive includes nearly 1.2 million pages of content from the paper, including all of the major news stories, features, advertisements and images. And as well as the regular edition of the newspaper, uniquely the archive also includes the Daily Mail Atlantic Edition, which was published on board the transatlantic liners that sailed between New York and Southampton between 1923 and 1931. Issues of the Daily Mail Atlantic Edition are very rare and not available digitally from any other source. Continue reading

Channel Islands occupation: through the Library’s online primary sources

On this day, 30 June, in 1940 the Germans invaded the Channel Islands which was the beginning of nearly 5 years occupation. In this week’s blog I’m using some of the Library’s online resources to find primary source material to discover more about this facet of the Second World War.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Jersey War Tunnels, one of Jersey’s many tunnel complexes built by mostly forced and slave labour under German command during the occupation.I have to admit that before that visit I really knew very little about this period in the Channel Islands history but I was inspired by the incredibly moving and fascinating exhibition to try and find out what primary source material was available to us through the University Library’s fantastic online primary source collections about the occupation.

© Mark Cairney

There are many stories that could be told about the Channel Islands occupation and I encourage you to seek them out but due to the nature of our online primary source collections and time limits I’m focusing on what the outside world, mainly Britain, knew (or didn’t) about what was happening on the Channel Islands during the occupation.

The blitzkrieg nears Britain

The first half of 1940 was a dark time for the Allies in the Second World War. In fairly quick succession Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and France were invaded by Germany. With the evacuation at Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) and France, faced with no real other choice, signing an armistice with Germany in June of that year, Britain was now on its own and under threat.

The Daily Mirror, Tuesday, 18 June 1940, p. 7. UK Press Online. Accessed 25th May 2018.

Continue reading

On trial: Scottish nationalist leaflets, 1844-1973

I’m pleased to let you know that thanks to a request from a student in HCA the Library now has trial access to Scottish nationalist leaflets, 1844-1973 from British Online Archives. This primary source collects together pamphlets relating to Scottish nationalism printed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) and their predecessors.

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

Trial access ends 4th July 2018.
Continue reading

New to the Library: Irish Newspaper Archive

I’m very happy to let you know that following a successful trial earlier this year and further to requests from students and staff in HCA the Library has a 1-year subscription to the Irish Newspaper Archive. This is the largest online database of Irish newspapers in the world covering nearly 300 years worth of history.

You can access the Irish Newspaper Archive via the Databases A-Z list or Newspapers and Magazines database list. You will soon also be able to access it via DiscoverEd. Access on-campus is direct but if you are working off-campus you will need to use VPN to get access. Continue reading