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: 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 SHAFR Guide Online

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA the Library now has access to The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600. This is a near-comprehensive, 2.1 million-word online annotated bibliography of historical work covering the entire span of U.S. foreign relations.

You can access The SHAFR Guide Online via the Databases A-Z list, History database list and other relevant subject database lists. You’ll soon also be able to access it via DiscoverEd.

The SHAFR Guide Online covers all eras in U.S. history from colonial days onwards.

It also includes four new thematic chapters—on economic issues; non-governmental actors; domestic issues, the Congress, and public opinion; and race, gender, and culture.

Created by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), entries in the guide are drawn from many sources, from collections of government documents to biographies, monographs, book chapters, journal articles, web sites, and more.

Access The SHAFR Guide Online via the Databases A-Z list, History database list and other relevant subject database lists.

Access is only available to current students and staff at the University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology

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.

Continue reading

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: Secrecy, sabotage, and aiding the resistance

The Library has been given trial access to the British Online Archives (BOA) collection Secrecy, sabotage, and aiding the resistance: how Anglo-American co-operation shaped World War Two. Giving you unique insight into US-UK diplomacy, intelligence sharing, and sabotage operations in enemy territory from 1939-1954.

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. 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).

Continue reading

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

On trial: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars

Following a successful trial towards the end of last academic year I’m pleased to let you know that we’ve been allowed trial access again to Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War: Intelligence, Strategy and Diplomacy from The National Archives and Taylor & Francis. This provides you with access to 144,000 pages of British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files source from the National Archives U.K. Content which is only available elsewhere by visiting the National Archives in London.

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

Trial access ends 26th March 2018.

This major primary source database contains nine file series which span four major 20th century conflicts – the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the early years of the Cold War and the Korean War. Files are sourced from the Permanent Undersecretary’s Department (PUSD) – the PUSD was the point of liaison between the Foreign Office and the British intelligence establishment – Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee, War Cabinet, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence. 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