Spotlight on: FBI Files

This is part of an occasional series highlighting some of the digital resources available at the Library that will be of interest to students and staff in History, Classics and Archaeology.

Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was formed in 1908 by then Attorney General, Charles Bonaparte, under President Theodore Roosevelt. Initially known as the Bureau of Investigation (it added “Federal” in 1935) over the next 110 years the FBI’s remit and influence grew considerably and they are synonymous with American cultural, social and political history in the 20th century and beyond.

The FBI have been involved in a large number of famous, not so famous and infamous cases dealing with organised crime, terrorism, civil rights, white collar crime, espionage, violent crime and more. And did you know that through the Library you have access to a range of digitised files from the FBI?

FBI Files in Archives Unbound

Through the Library’s subscription to Archives Unbound (an enormous digital primary source database) you have access to over 20 collections of digitised material direct from the FBI, covering over 70 years of American history. You’ll spot some famous cases and names within these but possibly also some less known. However, between them they provide a fascinating insight into the political, cultural and social climate of the United States in the 20th century.

FBI File: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were a nondescript couple accused in 1950 by the U.S. government of operating a Soviet spy network and giving the Soviet Union plans for the atomic bomb. The trial of the Rosenbergs, which began in March 6, 1951, became a political event of greater importance than any damage they may have done to the United States. It was one of the most controversial trials of the 20th century. Their guilt and the harshness of their sentences continue to be vigorously debated to this day. 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).

Continue reading

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: Socialism on Film

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library has been given the opportunity to trial for a second time the fascinating Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda from Adam Matthew Digital and the BFI National Archive.

This impressive collection of documentaries, newsreels and features reveals the world as seen by Soviet, Chinese, Vietnamese, East European, British and Latin American film makers. Documenting the communist world from the Russian Revolution until the 1980s and covering all aspects of socialist life. And what makes this resource unique is the collection of films were produced almost exclusively in the communist world and then versioned into English for distribution in the West.

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

Trial access ends 20th November 2017. Continue reading