“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: 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

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.

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On trial: The Age of Exploration

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library currently has trial access to a brand new digital primary source collection from Adam Matthew Digital, Age of Exploration. This database allows you to discover through archive material the changing shape of exploration through five centuries, from c.1420-1920.

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

Trial access ends 18th June 2018.
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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