Trial – Nineteenth Century Collections Online


We are currently trialling all sections of Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) until 30th November.  Access NCCO via the trials webpage or DiscoverEd.


British Politics and Society

Including papers of British statesmen, Home Office records, ordnance surveys, working class autobiographies, and other unique collections, British Politics and Society is a remarkable resource for scholars looking to explore the political and social history of Britain. Source libraries are the British Library, Oxford University, and The National Archives, Kew.

A small selection of collections included in the archive include:

  • Civil Disturbance, Chartism and Riots in Nineteenth-Century England
  • Discontent and Authority,1820-1840
  • Home Office Papers and Records, 1783-1894
  • People’s History: Working Class Autobiographies
  • Public Order, Discontent, and Protest in Nineteenth Century England, 1820-1850
  • Rare Radical and Labour Periodicals of Great Britain
  • Radicalism, Anti-Radicalism and Reform in England, 1769-1861, Original Papers and Minute Books
  • Selected Papers of the Prime Ministers of Great Britain

British Politics and Society enables researchers to explore such topics as British domestic and foreign policy, trade unions, Chartism, utopian socialism, public protest, radical movements, the cartographic record, political reform, education, family relationships, religion, leisure and many others. With this archive scholars have instant access to a range of never-before-available primary sources, including manuscripts, maps, drawings, newspapers, periodicals, government correspondence, letters, diaries, photographs, poster, pamphlets and more.


Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange features primary source collections related to international relations between Asian countries and the West during the 19th century. These invaluable documents—many never before available—include government reports, diplomatic correspondences, periodicals, newspapers, treaties, trade agreements, NGO papers, and more. Documents are sourced from The National Archives, Kew; The National Archives, United States; and other collections.

The collections in this archive include:

  • British Foreign Office: Japan Correspondence, 1856-1905
  • Dispatches from U.S. Consuls in Osaka and Hiogo (Kobe), Japan, 1868-1906
  • Dispatches from U.S. Consuls in Seoul, Korea, 1886-1906
  • Chinese Missionary Gleaner (1853-1859)
  • History of the Philippine Insurrection Against the United States, 1899-1903, and Documents Relating to the War Department Project for Publishing of History, 1899-1903
  • Missionary Files: Methodist, Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1846-1912 (China, Japan, Korea)
  • Notes from the Korean Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1883-1906
  • Philippine Insurgent Records, 1896-1901, with Associated Records of the U.S. War Department, 1900-1906, 1896-1906

This unmatched resource allows scholars to explore in great detail the history of British and U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy; Asian political, economic, and social affairs; the Philippine Insurrection; the Opium Wars; the Boxer Rebellion; missionary activity in Asia; and many other topics. Asia and the West also includes personal letters and diaries, offering first-hand accounts and revealing the human side of international politics, as well as nautical charts, maps, shipping ledgers, company records, and expedition and survey reports for more than a century of world history.

Europe and Africa: Commerce, Christianity, Civilization, and Conquest

Through a variety of official government documents, political papers of prominent individuals, and newspaper accounts, researchers can trace the development of British strategic imperatives, French and Belgian desire for the expansion of trade and raw materials, and Germany and Italy’s late entrance onto the imperial stage. Europe and Africa: Commerce, Christianity, Civilization, and Conquest covers exploration, military and missionary activities, and economic and political imperialism in the ninetenth century. Documents are sourced from The National Archives, Kew; the U.S. National Archives; the Library of Congress; the National Library of Scotland; and Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

A small selection of collections included in the archive include:

  • Personal Narratives and Reminiscences of the Exploration of Africa
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Sierra Leone, British Africa, 1858-1906
  • Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1846-1912: Africa
  • The East African Standard; Mombasa Times; and Uganda Argus
  • The Bartholomew Archive: Maps on Africa
  • Annual Reports of French Colonial Governments
  • Selected India Office Records on Colonial Africa
  • Joseph Chamberlain Papers Relating to Africa

European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection

European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection includes the full-text of more than 9,500 English, French and German titles. The collection is sourced from the remarkable library of Victor Amadeus, whose Castle Corvey collection was one of the most spectacular discoveries of the late 1970s. The Corvey Collection comprises one of the most important archives of Romantic era writing in existence anywhere—including fiction, short prose, dramatic works, poetry and more—with a focus on especially difficult-to-find works by lesser-known, historically neglected writers.

The archive includes:

  • Novels and Gothic Novels
  • Short Stories
  • Belles-Lettres
  • Short Prose Forms
  • Dramatic Works
  • Poetry
  • Anthologies

As a resource for Romantic literature and historical studies, the Corvey Collection is unmatched. It provides a wealth of fully searchable content with digital research tools that enable scholars to uncover new relationships among authors and works. The inclusion of texts from neglected writers further provides scholars with new topics for exploration. With the European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection, scholars can research a range of topics, including Romantic literary genres; the mutual influences of British, French and German Romanticism; literary culture; women writers; the canon; Romantic aesthetics; and many other subjects.



British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture features a wide range of primary sources related to the arts in the long nineteenth century, from playbills and scripts to operas and complete scores. These rare documents, many of them never before available, are sourced from the British Library and other institutions. Curation is by experts in British arts history. Covering more than a century, and encompassing both the Georgian and Victorian theatre, British Theatre, Music, and Literature is without equal as a resource.

Collections include:

  • Archives of the Royal Literary Fund
  • Archives of the Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Crystal Palace Saturday Concerts
  • Crystal Palace Triennial Handel Festival
  • Drury Lane Theatre Archive
  • J.W. Davison Papers
  • King’s Theatre, Haymarket Archive
  • Konzert-Programm-Austausch
  • London Theatre Archives: Programmes, Receipts
  • Lord Chamberlain’s Plays
  • Manuscript Music from the Library of the Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Royal Albert Hall Archives
  • Sir George Smart Papers
  • St. James Hall Monday/Saturday Popular Concerts
  • Wandering Minstrels

The collection provides a detailed look at the state of the British art world and includes manuscripts and musical compositions as well as documents such as personal letters, annotated programs, meeting minutes, and financial records. It offers scholars an unmatched glimpse into the inner workings of the world of the arts in Britain.


Photography: The World through the Lens Includes images from Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Photography: The World through the Lens assembles collections of photographs, photograph albums, photographically illustrated books and texts on the early history of photography from libraries and archives from across the globe.

A small selection of collections included in the archive include:

  • Nineteenth-Century Photographs from the Royal Archives, Windsor
  • Early Rare Photographs from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • British Journal of Photography and Annual, 1854-1914
  • The Photographic News, 1859-1908
  • Photographs from the Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine
  • Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period
  • Photographs from the National Media Museum
  • Photographs from the Science Museum

Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925

Science, Technology, and Medicine, 1780-1925 features more than 3.5 million pages of journals, books, reports, and personal documents that explore the rapid acceleration of scientific, technical, and medical knowledge during the nineteenth century. Source libraries include the Huntington Library, the Burndy Library, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

A small selection of collections included in the archive include:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mathematics
  • Electricity and Electromagnetism
  • Civil Engineering
  • Evolution and the Origin of Species
  • Color Theory and Practice
  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia: Minutes and Correspondence
  • American Medical Periodicals

Women: Transnational Networks

Including a wide array of primary source documents—serials, books, manuscripts, diaries, reports, and visuals—Women: Transnational Networks focuses on issues at the intersection of gender and class from the late-eighteenth century to the era of suffrage in the early-twentieth century, all through a transnational perspective. Source libraries include the Library of Congress, the London School of Economics and Political Science Library, and the Library of the Society of Friends.

A small selection of collections included in the archive include:

  • The Journal of the American National Women’s Trade Union League
  • Papers of Carrie Chapman Catt
  • Action Sociale De La Femme Et Le Livre Francaise
  • Britannia: Official Organ of the Women’s Party
  • Suffragist
  • Quaker Women’s Diaries: 18th-19th Centuries
  • British Birth Control Material at the British Library of Political and Economic Sciences: 1800-1947
  • The Diaries of Elizabeth Fry, 1797-1845

Feedback and further info

We are interested to know what you think of these e-resources as your comments influence purchase decisions so please do fill out our feedback form.

A list of all trials currently available to University of Edinburgh staff and students can be found on our trials webpage.

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