On trial: Medical Services and Warfare

Further to a request from staff in the Medical School the Library currently has trial access to the digital primary source database Medical Services and Warfare from Adam Matthew. This resource tells the story of medical advances during warfare from the mid-nineteenth century to the outbreak of the influenza epidemic in 1918 and the discovery of penicillin in 1927.

You can access Medical Services and Warfare from the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 16th December 2019.

Medical Services and Warfare allows you to explore multiple perspectives on the history of injury, treatment and disease on the front line. Chart scientific advances through hospital records, medical reports and first-hand accounts, and discover the evidence of how war shaped medical practice across the centuries. Continue reading

Normandy landings: through our digital primary sources

On this day, 6 June, 75 years ago the Normandy landings took place. This was part of a major combined naval, air and land assault on German-occupied France by Allied forces, codenamed Operation ‘Overlord’. The D-Day landings saw around 150,000 Allied troops land on French soil but it was just the start of a much longer operation to liberate France. In this week’s blog post I have pulled together just a small selection of our digital library resources that will help you explore the Normandy landings, the events leading up to it and the aftermath. And you can use many of these to find out more about the many other events happening around this time that contributed to the end of the Second World War.

D-Day For the Second Front, ‘Illustrated London News’, Saturday 10 June 1944, pp. 644-645. From Illustrated London News Archive.

What did the papers say?

Operation Overlord was top secret, so it wasn’t until the 6th June that news of the invasion began to filter through. Reports of the Normandy landings does appear in some late editions of newspapers from that day but it is mostly covered in issues published the next day, 7th June, or on next subsequent publication date.

Front page of the ‘Daily Express’, Wednesday 7 June 1944. From UK Press Online.

The Library subscribes to a large number of digitised 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 and track coverage of Operation Overlord from the Normandy landings onwards. Continue reading

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

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