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

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.
Continue reading

New books in the Library for History, Classics and Archaeology

Thanks to recommendations from members of staff and requests via RAB from students the Library is continually adding new books to its collections both online and in print. Here are just a (very) small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in semester two, 2017/18 for the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and these demonstrate the wide range of subjects being taught, studied and researched within School.

–> Find these and more via DiscoverEd.

Ritual matters: material remains and ancient religion edited by Claudia Moser and Jennifer Knust (shelfmark: Folio BL808 Rit.)

Radiocarbon and the chronologies of ancient Egypt edited by Andrew J. Shortland and C. Bronk Ramsey (e-book).

A companion to the Anglo-Norman world edited by Christopher Harper-Bill and Elisabeth van Houts (shelfmark: DA195 Com. Also available as e-book).

Jefferson: architect of American liberty by John B. Boles (shelfmark: E332 Bol.)

The Pacific war and its political legacies by Denny Roy (shelfmark: D767 Roy.)

Decolonizing the map: cartography from colony to nation edited by James R. Akerman (shelfmark: GA108.7 Dec. Also available as e-book). 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

Spotlight on film and moving images

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

While previous posts in this series have looked at groups of online primary source collections, in this post I wanted to highlight resources that give you access to film and moving images, including films, documentaries, TV programmes, public information films, archival film footage, cinema newsreels, advertising, home movies, etc.

Film provides a fascinating insight into the past through documentary, archival and amateur film footage and a deliberately constructed historical world through feature films. However, using film as ‘historical evidence’ is far from straightforward; specific skills are required to understand the complexities of the visual medium, its relationship to the society from which it emerges, the industry which created it and those who consumed it. Despite these obstacles, film is a crucial means for understanding the recent past.1

Academic Video Online

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Trial access: Socialism on Film

And finally…Adam Matthew have given the Library trial access to their just released resource Socialism on Film. 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.

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

Trial access ends 5th April 2017.

Continue reading

USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library currently has trial access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive®.

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You can access this online archive via the E-resources trials page. You must register with the site to get access. Access is available on-campus or off-campus if using VPN.

Trial access ends 30th November 2016.

The Visual History Archive® is a collection of audiovisual interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides and it allows users to search through and view more than 50,000 of these video testimonies. Continue reading