Spotlight on Adam Matthew 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. Adam Matthew 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 digital primary source collections that can be accessed via the Primary Source database list (see also the separate lists for Newspapers & Magazines and Images & Moving Images).

Adam Matthew are a publisher who specialise in producing high-quality, digitised primary source collections online. They put together thematic collections sourced from libraries, archives, museums, etc., around the world and they have databases that cover the Medieval period onwards.

The Library is very lucky to have access to 11 of these collections (or databases) from Adam Matthew and all can be accessed via the Primary Source database list.

China: Culture and Society

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1066 and all that (by ‘that’ I mean Box of Broadcasts)

I’m sure all history lovers know today is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Probably one of the most famous battles in England’s history, this led to the end of the Anglo-Saxon era and was the beginning of the Norman conquest of England under William, the Duke of Normandy (to be William I, also known as William the Conqueror or William the Bastard). But this defining battle didn’t just have consequences for England, it’s ramifications were felt in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and beyond down the years.

If you want to read more about the battle itself, the events leading up to it and the impact the outcome of the battle had then you can find lots of books and journal articles through the Library via DiscoverEd or some of the Library databases.

However, I wanted to take the opportunity to use Box of Broadcasts (BoB) to have a look at just some of the TV programmes (and a couple of radio programmes) available that examine at the Battle of Hastings and the events surrounding it.

Please note you will be asked for your University email address the first time you log into BoB. And like any TV recording service you will often get a few minutes of the previous programme at the beginning (that can be interesting in itself).

1066 (and all that) on BoB

First up Conquest, the second episode from series one of Simon Schama’s A History of Britain. Schama takes us through the events leading up to the battle, the battle itself and its aftermath, roughly covering the period 1000 – 1087. If you don’t know much about this time in history then this is a good starting point. Continue reading

*New* Medieval Family Life

The Library has recently purchased access to Medieval Family Life, a collection of letters and manuscripts from c1400-1490. Only five major letter collections exist from fifteenth century England and they are all available for the first time in this resource.

These letter collections and associated manuscripts take you into the world of medieval family, business, relationships, trade, politics and community.


Medieval Family Life contains the letter collections of the Paston, Stonor, Cely, Plumpton and Armburgh families. Continue reading