Bread Rationing: a surprising and timely subject

Today’s post, highlighting the wide range of newspaper archive databases the Library has and how these can be used to research a particular topic or event, is written by Louise Peterkin, Helpdesk Assistant, University of Edinburgh Libraries. During lockdown Louise also worked part-time with the Library Academic Support team.

I was delighted to be asked to write a blog showcasing the University’s wide range of databases and primary sources. These have been bolstered considerably in the last few months with the exciting addition of 365 new databases through our new ProQuest 350 Access subscription.

Looking for inspiration as to what to write about I searched Google for important events in history that fell between July and August. 22 July 1946 – Bread rationed for the first time in the UK leapt out at me. I always thought bread had been rationed during World War 2? I was keen to find out more.

Screenshot of “Bread Rationing Begins; and Other News Events of the Week.” Illustrated London News, July 27, 1946, 101. The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003.

I researched the topic through the University’s databases, starting with our newspaper archives. We have access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers, which includes access to The Guardian (1821-2003), The Observer (1791-2003) and The Scotsman (1817 -1950) and Gale Primary Sources and Gale News Vault which contain access to many historical newspapers including to the Daily Mail Historical Archive (1896-2004) and Times Digital Archive (1785 to 2011). Continue reading

New to the Library: African American Newspapers

I’m pleased to let you know that the Library now has access to African American Newspapers Series 1 and 2 from Readex. These fascinating databases provide online access to approximately 330 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience.

You can access African American Newspapers Series 1 and 2 via the Newspapers, Magazines and Other News Sources guide, the Databases A-Z list or Black Studies databases list. Continue reading

ProQuest Access 350: 600 years of world history

I’m very pleased to let you know that University of Edinburgh Library has set up a new subscription with ProQuest that gives you access to almost all available ProQuest digital primary source databases until 31st December 2021.

ProQuest Access 350 allows you to explore 600 years of world history online and will help enrich learning, teaching and research at the University across a range of subject areas and topics including History, the Arts, Literature and Social Sciences.

Continue reading

On trial: Gale Primary Sources (even more content!)

I’m very pleased to let you know that the Library has been given extended trial access to an extensive range of primary source databases and collections from Gale. This is an exciting opportunity to access a wide range of these digital primary sources that wouldn’t normally be available to us but also compliment the wide range of primary source databases we already have access to from Gale.

You can access all of these trial databases via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off campus.

Trial access to these databases ends 30th June 2020. Continue reading

On Trial: The Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2016

Thanks to a request from a HCA student I’m happy to let you know that the Library has extended trial access to The Sunday Times Historical Archive from Gale, giving you online access to the complete run of this important UK newspaper from 1822 until 2016.

You can access from The Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2016 the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 30th June 2020.

The Sunday Times launched on the 20th October 1822 and since that first issue, the newspaper has consistently provided thoughtful analysis and commentary on the week’s news and society at large. Murder, theatre, sport and politics-all collide in its pages in an abundance of colourful detail. Continue reading

On trial: Telegraph and Financial Times Archives

Thanks to a request from a HCA student the Library currently has trial access to two extensive newspaper databases from Gale, The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2016 and Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2016.

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

*Trial access has now been extended until 30th June 2020.*
Continue reading

On trial: Translations of the Peking Gazette Online

Thanks to a request from HCA staff the Library currently has trial access to Translations of the Peking Gazette Online from Brill. This is a comprehensive database of approximately 8,500 pages of English-language renderings of official edicts and memorials from the Qing dynasty that cover China’s long nineteenth century from the Macartney Mission in 1793 to the abdication of the last emperor in 1912.

You can access Translations of the Peking Gazette Online from the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 4th December 2019.

*Trial has been extended and access will now end on 14th December 2019*

The Peking Gazette was a unique publication that allows contemporary readers to explore the contours, boundaries, and geographies of modern Chinese history. Contained within its pages are the voices of Manchu emperors, Han officials, gentry leaders, and peasant spokesmen as they discussed and debated the most important political, social, and cultural movements, trends, and events of their day. As such, the Gazette helps us understand the policies and attitudes of the emperors, the ideas and perspectives of the officials, and the mentality and worldviews of several hundred million Han, Mongol, Manchu, Muslim, and Tibetan subjects of the Great Qing Empire. Continue reading

On trial: Black Newspaper Collection

*The Library has access to all titles from the Black Newspaper Collection until 31st December 2021 as part of ProQuest Access 350.*

Thanks to a request from staff in HCA, and to coincide with Black History Month, I’m pleased to let you know the Library currently has trial access to the full Black Newspaper Collection from ProQuest. This superb resource contains the archives of 9 individual newspaper titles (2 of which the Library already has access to) that provide cultural perspective and insight to the events that shaped the United States in the 20th Century.

You can access Black Newspaper Collection from the E-resources trials page.
On-campus access is direct. For off-campus access you will need to connect to VPN.

Trial access ends 20th November 2019.

Black Newspapers offers primary source material key to the study of American history and African-American culture, history, politics, and the arts. The 9 titles included in this resource are: Continue reading

New to the Library: Archives of Sexuality & Gender

I’m really pleased to let you know that the Library now has access to the Archives of Sexuality & Gender. Spanning the 16th to the 20th century it is the largest digital collection of primary source materials relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality and gender. Documentation covering social, political, health and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world is included, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities.

You can access Archives of Sexuality & Gender via the Databases A-Z list and the Digital primary source and archive collections guide. You can also access it via DiscoverEd. 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