New to the Library: World War Two Studies

Thanks to a request from HCA staff the Library now has access to Research Source: World War Two Studies from Adam Matthew Digital. This resource includes important primary sources, offering insight into many aspects of the conflict, including government policy, the war in the Pacific, and the war in Europe.

You can access Research Source: World War Two Studies via the Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide, the Databases A-Z list or via DiscoverEd. Continue reading

Spotlight on Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars

Are you interested in British intelligence, foreign policy, international relations, and military history in the 20th century? Then Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars: Intelligence, Strategy and Diplomacy may be just what you’re looking for.

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars provides access to British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files from 1873 to 1953, with the majority of files dating from the 1930s and 1940s.

You can access Secret Files from World Wars to Cold Wars via the Databases A-Z list or Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide. Continue reading

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

Spotlight on ProQuest History Vault

Interested in American history? Then ProQuest History Vault may be exactly what you are looking for.

History Vault gives you access to millions of pages of cross-searchable, full-text/full-image documents including articles, correspondence, government records, photographs, scrapbooks, financial records, diaries and more, documenting the most widely studied topics in 18th- through 20th-century American history. It’s a fantastic resource for those teaching, learning or researching in the areas of history, African American studies, women’s studies, political science, social sciences, sociology, and international studies.

You can access ProQuest History Vault via the Databases A-Z list or Digital Primary Source and Archive Collections guide. 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

British Online Archives – full access until 30th June 2020

*Access has been extended until 30th June 2020*

I’m happy to let you know that British Online Archives (BOA) are providing 30 days free access (starting from 23rd March) to its entire collection of digital primary sources in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

BOA provide students and researchers with access to unique collections of primary source documents. Their website hosts over 3 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, from politics and warfare to slavery and medicine. Continue reading

New to the Library: Picture Post Historical Archive

Did you know the Library now has access to the Picture Post Historical Archive? This database comprises the complete archive of the Picture Post from its first issue in 1938 to its last in 1957 – all digitised from originals in full colour.

You can access the Picture Post Historical Archive via the Databases A-Z list or the Newspapers, magazines and other news sources guide. Access via DiscoverEd will also soon be possible.

Picture Post was a photojournalistic magazine, often seen as the UK equivalent of Life, that was considered a groundbreaking example of photojournalism and was hugely successful from its first issue and throughout the 1940s. At its peak it is estimated its readership was 80% of the British population. In the era before television, it became the window on the world for ordinary people, bringing the major social and political issues of the day into popular consciousness. 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

On trial: Prosecuting the Holocaust: British investigations into Nazi war crimes

I’m happy to let you know that the Library currently has trial access to the brand new digital primary source collection, Prosecuting the Holocaust: British investigations into Nazi war crimes, 1944-1949, from British Online Archives. Drawn from the UK National Archives, this collection contains a wealth of information regarding the British government’s efforts to investigate and prosecute Nazi crimes.

You can access Prosecuting the Holocaust via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 30th April 2019. Continue reading

On trial: Archives of Sexuality & Gender

*The Library has now purchased access to Archives of Sexuality & Gender. See New to the Library: Archives of Sexuality & Gender*

Thanks to a request from staff and students in HCA the Library currently has trial access to the Archives of Sexuality & Gender from Gale. This fully searchable digital archive spans the 16th to 21st century and is the largest digital collection of primary source material relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality and gender.

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

Trial access ends 18th March 2019.

Archives of Sexuality & Gender include documentation covering social, political, health and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, as well as rare and unique books on sex and sexuality from the sciences to the humanities, providing a window into how sexuality and gender roles were viewed and changed over time. The types of documents covered include periodicals, newsletters, manuscripts, government records, organizational papers, correspondence, posters, books and other materials. Continue reading