On trial: British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries

Thanks to a request from a 4th year dissertation student in HCA the Library now has trial access to Alexander Street’s digital collection British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1500-1900. Spanning more than 400 years it brings together the personal writings of women from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

You can access the database via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on-campus. For off-campus access you must be connected to the VPN.

Trial access ends 16th November 2018.

Extending back to the 1500s, the collection lets you view history in the context
of women’s thoughts—their struggles, achievements, passions, pursuits, and desires. The collection shows the various shapes and formats of the diary as it evolved, including the travel diary, offering detailed accounts of journeys and descriptions of places; the daily personal diary, in which women reflected more broadly on aspects of their lives; letter diaries, wherein a daily dated letter to a recipient served simultaneously as a diary entry; and other forms. Continue reading

On trial: Women’s Magazine Archive

Thanks to request from a student in HCA the Library currently has trial access to ProQuest’s Women’s Magazine Archive, collection I and II. This unique database comprises archival runs of leading women’s consumer magazines of the twentieth century.

You can access the database via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on-campus. For off-campus access you must be connected to the VPN.

Trial access ends 14th November 2018. Continue reading

Battle of Cable Street: through our newspaper archives

On this day, 4th October, in 1936 large crowds of people gathered in London’s East End, an area of the city that had a large Jewish population, in an attempt to stop a march through the area by the British Union of Fascists (BUF). The protests turned into a riot with anti-fascist demonstrators clashing with Police, large numbers of demonstrators were arrested and even larger numbers of them (and Police) were injured. But they did manage to prevent the march from taking place.

In this week’s blog post I’m using some of the Library’s digital newspaper databases to find primary source material about the Battle of Cable Street (as the demonstrations became known).

Screenshot from Illustrated London News, October 10, 1936, p. 635. From The Illustrated London News Historical Archive.

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“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.

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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.

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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: New York Amsterdam News

I’m delighted to let you know that following a successful trial in 2017/18 the Library has now purchased access to the New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) from ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Founded in 1909 this is one of the leading Black newspapers of the 20th century and the oldest and largest Black newspaper in New York City.

You can access New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access the title through DiscoverEd*

The Amsterdam News was founded over 100 years ago by James H. Anderson and was named after the street where he lived and where the first issues were produced and sold. It was one of only 50 Black newspapers in the United States at that time. Continue reading