New to the Library: Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Over the summer the Library was able to purchase the British Politics and Society collection, part of Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) from Gale Cengage. This is a major new resource for the Library and provides a fascinating look at this period of great change.


British Politics and Society  brings together primary source documentation, allowing a greater understanding and analysis of the development of urban centers and of the major restructuring of society that took place during the Industrial Revolution.

You can access Nineteenth Century Collections Online: British Politics and Society via the Databases A-Z.

The materials in the collection allow for an in-depth examination and analysis of the growing calls for political reform that were met with state resistance and marked a crisis of legitimacy for both the government and the reform movements themselves.

British Politics and Society is composed of a number of individual collections, drawn together from a variety of sources. Collections 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

The collections can be easily searched, with both simple and advanced search options available. The menu on the left-hand side of your search results allows you to limit your results by content type, publication year and subject. There are also options allowing you to analyse your results in different ways including by term clusters.


Term Clusters for keyword search: Radicals [screenshot from British Politics and Society]

British Politics and Society has been successfully trialled in the past and we received very positive feedback on the resource. I am pleased that the Library has now been able to purchase access to this primary source collection. It should prove useful for anyone teaching, learning or researching political and social history in the 19th Century.

You can access the database via the Databases A-Z list or in the Databases by Subject pages (History, Politics, etc.) It is listed under its full title, Nineteenth Century Collections Online: British Politics and Society.

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

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