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: J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America

Are you interested in the social, cultural, and historical impact of advertising and marketing? If so, the Library currently has trial access to J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America from Adam Matthew Digital which may be just what you are looking for as it documents one of the world’s oldest, largest and most innovative advertising agencies.

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. Continue reading

On trial: Migration to New Worlds II: The Modern Era

The Library currently has trial access to Migration to New Worlds II: The Modern Era from Adam Matthew Digital. The Modern Era presents thousands of sources focusing on the growth of colonisation companies during the nineteenth century, the activities of American immigration and welfare societies, and the plight of refugees and displaced persons throughout the twentieth century.

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. 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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Explore black history through Archives Unbound

With our current trials to online primary source databases African American Newspapers and Black Newspaper Collection (and Black History Month in the U.S. just ended) I wanted to highlight a number of primary source databases that you already have access to at the University that allow you to discover more about black history.

I’m concentrating on collections available to you through Archives Unbound, which presents topically-focused digital collections of historical documents. There are currently 265 collections in Archives Unbound covering a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to 20th century political history.

You can access Archives Unbound via the Databases A-Z list or Primary Sources database list.

As Archives Unbound covers such a vast range of subjects and collections, searching through the whole database will provide material perhaps from some surprising areas (so it’s very worthwhile doing this), however, I’m going to focus on some of the individual collections. You can access the individual collections by clicking on “Browse Collections”, where you can either browse through an alphabetical list or choose to browse by “Categories” instead.

So here is just a small selection of collections that will allow you to take your research into black history further.

Fannie Lou Hamer: Papers of a Civil Rights Activist, Political Activist, and Woman

Fannie Lou Hamer (née Townsend) was born in Mississippi in 1917. The youngest of 20 children she would go on to become an American voting rights activist and a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Hamer was instrumental in organising Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was actively involved in starting the Delta Ministry, and she was one of the founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party later to become the Vice-Chair. 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.

Continue reading

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

Discovery Day – find your way round our digital primary sources

Working on your dissertation and looking for primary source material? Looking to incorporate digitised primary sources into your teaching? Wanting to expand your research with digital resources? Or just have no idea what primary source material might be available to you at the Library?

The Library’s very first Discovery Day, on Tuesday 30th January, may be exactly what you are looking for.

We invite you to the 1st floor, Main Library on Tuesday 30th Jan between 10am-3pm where representatives from 3 of the major publishers of digitised primary source collections, Adam Matthew, Gale Cengage and ProQuest, and our very own Centre for Research Collections (CRC), will be on hand to help students and staff navigate through and find useful material in the huge range of primary sources we have access to online at the Library. Continue reading

Spotlight on ProQuest digital primary sources

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. ProQuest are one of the publishers who will be attending and this blog post highlights the fantastic collections the Library has access to through them.

The Library has access to a large and broad range of primary source collections that can be accessed via the Primary Source database list or the separate Newspapers & Magazines list and Images & Moving Images list.

Through ProQuest the Library has access to around 45 of these fantastic databases. ProQuest has built its expertise in preserving and widening access to significant research collections over 75 years, partnering with large and small libraries and archives, to bring you collections encompassing government, humanities, and historical documents that formerly may have been difficult to retrieve. Alexander Street Press and Chadwyck-Healey databases are also part of the ProQuest suite of resources.

Below are the databases you have access to via ProQuest. As there are so many I have split them into broad categories. Continue reading