British Online Archives – full access until 30th June 2020

*Access has been extended until 30th June 2020*

I’m happy to let you know that British Online Archives (BOA) are providing 30 days free access (starting from 23rd March) to its entire collection of digital primary sources in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

BOA provide students and researchers with access to unique collections of primary source documents. Their website hosts over 3 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, from politics and warfare to slavery and medicine. Continue reading

On trial: Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939

Thanks to a request from HCA staff the Library currently has trial access to Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939 from British Online Archives (BOA). The Paris Peace Conference was a meeting of Allied diplomats that took place in the aftermath of the First World War. Its purpose was to impose peace terms on the vanquished Central Powers and establish a new international order. This fascinating digital primary source database gives you access to official and personal papers relating to this conference and the treaties that came from it.

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

Trial access ends 17th March 2020.

The First World War gave rise to a complex system of alliances and antagonisms. The various treaties imposed by the Allied powers in its aftermath settled conflicts with Germany, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire (later Turkey), Austria, and Hungary. Paris Peace Conference and Beyond contains documents that cover the treaties of Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Trianon, Sèvres, Lausanne, and Locarno, as well as the foundation of the League of Nations. Continue reading

On trial: World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War

I’m pleased to let you know that thanks to a request from an HCA student the Library currently has trial access to World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War: as reported by an Ambassador, 1863-1939 from British Online Archives. This fascinating digital archive contains over 37,000 pages from Esmé Howard’s personal and professional papers. Howard (1863-1939) is widely regarded as one of the most influential British diplomats of the early-20th century.

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

Trial access ends 22nd February 2020.

Howard held a number of important posts before serving as British Ambassador to the United States between 1924 and 1930. This collection contains Howard’s papers, from private correspondence to professional records. These documents provide an interesting insight into the evolution of British foreign policy during and between the two world wars. Continue reading

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

New to the Library: The New Republic Archive

I’m pleased to let you know that through the Saunders endowment for North American history the Library has been able to purchase The New Republic Magazine Archive from EBSCOhost. This digital archive offers a searchable full-text backfile of all issues of The New Republic from 1914 onwards.

You can access The New Republic Magazine Archive  via DiscoverEd. You will also soon be able to access it via the Databases A-Z list or the Newspapers, magazines and other news sources guide. Continue reading

On trial: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Thanks to a request from a student in HCA the Library currently has trial access to the primary source database Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War from ProQuest. The database is an archival research resource containing a vast collection of rare magazines by and for servicemen and women of all nations during the First World War.

You can access this digital resource via the E-resources trials page.
Access on-campus is direct, for off-campus access you must use VPN.

Trial access ends 28th February 2019.

Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War is a unique source of information on the common serviceman and woman’s experience of the war. These magazines were written by and for every type of unit from every combatant nation. The database gives you the unique opportunity to access unheard voices of hundreds of thousands of men and women writing from every facet of the conflict. Continue reading

First World War: through our Library resources

This weekend, Sunday 11th November, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. 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 the First World War, the events leading up to it and the aftermath.

“Armistice Day: The Scene outside Buckingham Palace after the End of the Fighting Had Been Announced.” Illustrated London News [London, England] 16 Nov. 1918: n.p. Available from Illustrated London News Historical Archive.

What did the papers say?

Screenshot of front page from The Daily Mirror, Wednesday, August 5, 1914. Available from UK Press Online.

During the war the British Government tried to strictly control reporting on events, particularly from the front line. Legislation was passed in 1914 which allowed the War Office to censor the press and at first journalists had to go undercover to try and report on what was happening. Even when the Government relented and agreed to send accredited British war correspondents to the front line their reports were still heavily censored and were often overt propaganda, with actual facts about events never being reported (see reporting or non-reporting on the Battle of the Somme as an example).

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 the First World War from the escalating hostilities prior to the outbreak to its conclusion and aftermath. 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

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