LGBT databases available until 30th June 2020

The ProQuest LGBT Magazine Archive and the LGBT Thought and Culture database are available to access until 30th June 2020.

Please send your feedback about these resources via the online form.

LGBT Magazine Archive

A searchable archive of major periodicals devoted to LGBT+ interests, dating from the 1950s through to recent years.

The archives of magazines serving LGBT+ communities are of central importance for research into LGBT history, often being the principal sources for the documentation of gay cultures, lives, and events. Researchers consulting these publications may trace the history and evolution of myriad aspects of LGBT history and culture, including legal contexts, health, lifestyle, politics, social attitudes, activism, gay rights, and arts/literature. Despite the value of these publications for research, however, locating the backfiles in print format has been difficult for researchers as they have not typically been collected by libraries.

The archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type. Crucially, the complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. The oldest surviving continuously published US title of its type (having launched in 1967), it is the periodical of record for information about the LGBT community; it has charted the key developments in LGBT history and culture for over 50 years. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement.

LGBT Thought and Culture

is an online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection illuminates the lives of lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual individuals and the community with content including selections from The National Archives in Kew, materials collected by activist and publisher Tracy Baim from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s, the Magnus Hirschfeld and Harry Benjamin collections from the Kinsey Institute, periodicals such as En la Vida and BLACKlines, select rare works from notable LGBT publishers including Alyson Books and Cleis Press, as well as mainstream trade and university publishers.

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels

Text from the ProQuest and Alexander Street Press platforms

British Archives Online : trial extended until 30th June 2020

British Archives Online have generously been made accessible to the University of Cambridge by Microform Academic Publishers until 30th June 2020.

Please send us your feedback about this, and any of our other trials, via the online form.

British Online Archives is one of the United Kingdom’s leading academic publishers.

The richness and diversity of BAO’s 89 collections (currently and growing) both for the study of British and global history is staggering and will provide an online library of great value to researchers at Cambridge.

The Archive 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.

Whether you’re an individual interested in your family’s history, a librarian looking for ways to adapt in the digital age, or a professor in search of innovative teaching tools, we have something to meet your needs.

Newsbank databases : available until 30th June 2020

A number of newspaper databases have been made available on the Newsbank (Readex) platform for access until 30th June 2020.

Please send your feedback about these eresources via the form.

Collections included in our access are:

Evans Digital Edition (Web)

  • Books, pamphlets, and broadsides published during the 17th and 18th centuries
  • From the bibliography by Charles Evans and Roger Bristol’s Supplement
  • Published in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society

Shaw-Shoemaker Digital Edition (Web)

  • Books, pamphlets, and broadsides published during the early 19th century
  • From the bibliography by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker
  • Published in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society

Rand Daily Mail, 1902-1985

Quintessential reporting on South Africa from the Boer Wars to the apartheid era

African Newspapers: The British Library Collection

More than 60 African historical newspapers from the nineteenth century

African Newspapers, 1800-1922

African Newspapers, Series II, 1835-1925

Explore African History and Culture during the 19th and 20th Centuries

South Asian Newspapers, 1864-1922

Historical Newspapers from South Asia
Explore South Asian History and Culture during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Latin American Newspapers (Series I)

Latin American Newspapers (Series II)

Historical Newspapers from Latin America
Explore Latin American History and Culture during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Digital Collection All Regions, 1941-1996

  • An archive of 20th Century news from around the world
  • Global views on United States foreign and domestic policy after World War II
  • Covers the Cold War, China, the Middle East, Latin America, the Soviet Union, and more

Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees, 1941-1996

Translated and English-language radio and television broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals, government documents and books providing global insight on immigration in the mid-to-late 20th century

Pravda Archive: Global Perspectives, 1959-1996

Articles published by Pravda during the Cold War and the years immediately following, from 1959 to 1996, collected and translated into English by the CIA

History Vault (ProQuest) : access to 31 May 2020

American history of the 19th and 20th century at your fingertips in millions of primary sources from ProQuest History Vault accessible to end May 2020

ProQuest History Vault unlocks the wealth of key archival materials with a single search. Researchers can access digitized letters, papers, photographs, scrapbooks, financial records, diaries, and many more primary source materials taken from the University Publications of America (UPA) Collections.

Access for Cambridge is enabled via this link

ProQuest History Vault

Please use your feedback form to tell how these archives have been useful to you.  Thank you.

Get help on using the History Vault from the History Vault LibGuide.

ProQuest History Vault first launched in 2011 and consists of manuscript and archival collections digitized in partnership and from a wide variety of archival institutions. Major collection areas in History Vault focus on the Black Freedom Movement of the 20th Century, Southern Life and Slavery, Women’s Rights, International Relations, American Politics and Society with a strong focus on the 20th Century, and labor unions, workers and radical politics in the 20th Century. On the topic of civil rights and Black Freedom, History Vault contains records of four of the most important civil rights organizations of the 1950s and 1960s: NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, and CORE.

History Vault’s collections on Slavery and Southern plantations candidly document the realities of slavery at the most immediate grassroots level in Southern society and provide some of the most revealing documentation in existence on the functioning of the slave system. Many of the collections in History Vault were originally available in microfilm from the University Publications of America (UPA) research collections and others come from the University Microfilms International (UMI) research collections with additional collections scanned from the original documents.

Horses in landscape, Franz Marc whose works are recorded in the collection Nazi Looted Art and Assets : Records on the Post-World War II Restitution Process 1942-1998


The Brexit Collection at LSE

The London School of Economics has made a collection of campaigning leaflets from the 1975 and 2016 referendums on the UK’s membership of the common market and EU available online. 

The collection can be browsed by referendum year, affiliation, organisation and subject. There are almost 40 leaflets for the 1975 referendum and over 180 from 2016.

For the 1975 referendum they say:

“After Charles de Gaulle famously vetoed the UK’s decision to join the European Communities (EC), the UK finally became a member in 1973. By 1975 the first ever UK-wide referendum took place, where the electorate were asked “Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the common market)?” with 67% of the voting electorate answering “yes” and 33% “no”.”

The collection is part of a wider archive of documents looking at Britain and the European Union.


The images are not copyright free and are made available for research only.

This collection is not available to search in iDiscover and should be accessed on the LSE website.

Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996: trial access

The University of Cambridge has trial access to the digital archive Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996 here:

Access is available from 1 to 31 March 2019.

Please send your feedback on this trial using this online form.  Thank you.

From the beginning of World War II through the end of the twentieth century, the mass movement of peoples caused problems for governments around the world. Responses to legal immigration, illegal immigration, and refugee crises varied greatly, often depending on a country’s proximity to the crisis. These problems and responses helped shape the world we live in.

What is the context of this database?

This database contains news reports, television transcripts, and radio transcripts from around the world. The reports were chosen by a U.S. government agency called the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)—which became part of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947–to be disseminated among government officials and decision makers. The reports begin with the refugee flows during World War II and cover all crises through 1996. The reports come from many nations and, where necessary, were translated into English. No U.S. newspapers or broadcasts are included in this database.

Armenian refugees from Turkey carding wool in Tiflis, Georgia. Photograph by Melville Chater from the National Geographic Magazine, 1920.


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America is required to declassify all records after a period of 25 years. These documents have been made available online in the CREST archive. 

Over 12 million pages have been made available as full text in electronic format. It has only been possible to view these records online from January 2017, previously access was only available on site the National Archives in Maryland.

The CREST collection covers a myriad of topics, such as the early CIA history, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Berlin Tunnel project, the Korean War, and the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. The documents also extensively address developments on terrorism, as well as worldwide military and economic issues.

The CREST Archive is freely accessible and can be used by anyone.

For a more detailed search you may want to use the U.S. Declassified Documents Online (USDDO) database by Gale. USDDO offers access to over 600,000 pages of primary source information from presidential libraries, the Department of State, Department of Defense, CIA, FBI, United Nations, and National Security Council, amongst others. The documents cover the period 1900-2008.

U.S. Declassified Documents Online’s greatest value lies in the wealth of facts and insights that it provides in connection with the political, economic, and social conditions of the domestic U.S. and foreign countries. Materials as diverse as State
Department political analyses, White House confidential file materials, National Security Council policy statements, CIA intelligence memoranda, and much more offer unique insights into the inner workings of the U.S. government and world events in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

A modern interface allows researchers in foreign policy, public policy, international law and security, modern history, area studies, journalism, and more to easily locate and analyse records from numerous agencies and libraries

USDDO is provided by subscription and requires a Raven login for off-campus access.

Twentieth Century China

New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Twentieth Century China.

From the Project Muse website for the journal:

Twentieth-Century China, a refereed scholarly journal, publishes new research on China’s long twentieth century. Articles in the journal engage significant historiographic or interpretive issues and explore both continuities of the Chinese experience across the century and specific phenomena and activities within the Chinese cultural, political, and territorial sphere—including the Chinese diaspora—since the final decades of the Qing. Comparative empirical and/or theoretical studies rooted in Chinese experience sometimes extend to areas outside China, as well. The journal encompasses a wide range of historical approaches in its examination of twentieth-century China: among others, social, cultural, intellectual, political, economic, and environmental. Founded as a newsletter in 1975, Twentieth-Century China has grown into one of the leading English-language journals in the field of Chinese history.”

Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from the Project Muse platform from volume 33 (2007) to present.

Access Twentieth Century China via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.

Krokodil digital archive

The University of Cambridge has trial access to the Krokodil digital archive until 15 May 2015.

Access the trial of Krokodil via this link

The essay below by John Etty of the University of Leeds describes the history and importance of the Krokodil magazine.

Visit also the Krokodil magazine blog here.

‘Red Crocodile: the Bravest of the Brave!’

On 27 August 1922, Krokodil (the Crocodile) magazine was published as an independent publication for the first time. Bursting from its front cover was a snarling red crocodile, an avatar that has symbolised the magazine and its brand of political satire ever since. Over the years, Krokodil’s list of editors and contributors included many of the Soviet Union’s literary luminaries and esteemed artists. Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikail Kol’tsov, Ilf and Petrov, Samuil Marshak, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Sergei Mikhalkov and Lyudmila Petrushevskaya all wrote for Krokodil; Dmitri Moor, Mikhail Cheremnykh, Boris Efimov, the Kukrynisksy trio, and Ivan Semenov all created cartoons. In the first issue Demyan Bednyi defined the magazine’s aims: ‘To reach any rottenness/And to stir rot without any mercy,/So that the NEP sludge does not flower,/And is not rotten./Here is the task of the Red Crocodile!’ (‘Dobirat’sia do vsiakoi gnilosti/I voroshit’ gnil’ bez vsiakoi milosti,/Chtob NEPovskaya mut’ ne tsvela,/I ne gnila./Vot kakova zadacha Krasnovo Krokodila!)

Krokodil was not unique in the 1920s—numerous satirical publications existed in the USSR at this time—but by the end of the 1920s, practical difficulties (including paper shortages), party efforts to reduce ‘parallelism’ (the existence of multiple publications with identical aims and methods) and ideological attacks combined to force all other union-wide satirical journals to close down. Before 1941, circulation remained around 300,000, but in the post-war period it peaked at around 5.8 million (in 1980) and was firmly established as one of the leading publications in the Soviet Union. In form, apart from variations in publication dates, issue numbers and length, Krokodil remained essentially unaltered until its final issue in 1991. Admonished in 1948 by a Central Committee decree, the Editorial Board regularized production so that for the majority of the postwar period, the magazine was a sixteen-page, four-color journal, published thirty-six times annually (on the 10th, 20th and 30th of each month), on newsprint paper. Satirical content was mainly found in political cartoons and poems, but also in articles, letters, feuilletons and other genres.

Its status, as the only satirical journal published in the USSR, under direct Party control after 1932, leads to fundamental but as yet unexplored questions about the function of state-sponsored visual satire, official humor and popular responses to it, about artistic independence and working practices, and about the real extent of Krokodil’s popularity. Readers’ contributions, in the form of letters, cartoons and competition entries, and subscription numbers, but in the absence of empirical audience research and an accessible archive, the text itself remains the best source on the magazine.

Krokodil emerged in the USSR at the moment of the creation of a national Soviet mass media, broadcast and communications systems, and its demise coincided with the expansion of the internet. Between these dates, Krokodil provided a mediated documentation of life in the USSR. The magazine often engaged with topics relating to the media and a fascination with the nature of the Soviet media system is evident in Krokodil’s texts and cartoons. Krokodil in fact represents an important and double-voiced discursive investigation of Soviet media and power: if it was not overtly critical of government policy or personalities, it was profoundly skeptical in its attitudes to the manifestations of Soviet modernism, despite being a product of Soviet modernity. It was critical of technology and over-mechanization, it ridiculed bureaucracy and excessive centralized control, and it was dubious about urbanization and collectivism. Perhaps more effectively than any other publication in the USSR, Krokodil fulfilled the social role of Soviet media imagined by Lenin when he outlined the newspaper’s importance in On Party Organisation and Party Literature (1905). In the 1960s, the magazine routinely received around five hundred letters per day, and some of this correspondence was published in the magazine. Since Krokodil was a publication that was co-constructed by professional and amateur producers, and the magazine may be understood as a mode of communication between government and populace. In a sense, since it was the result of collaboration between joint stakeholders, Krokodil may be understood as a kind of merged official-popular discourse.

Krokodil was an important creative force in the visual language of Soviet graphic satire. Each issue contained an average of twenty-five cartoons, and the magazine’s prolificacy, as well as its numerous similarities with poster art, ensured that its contributions to visual communication were significant. Krokodil is considered by some to represent a type of ‘proto-comic’, and indeed its reliance upon word-image constructions to communicate meaning is an important part of its exploration of semiosis. Krokodil is much less studied than other Soviet visual media but no less central or influential. The magazine’s ephemerality and its tendency towards repetitiousness have perhaps devalued it in the eyes of some scholars, but Krokodil provides an important perspective on the cultural shift away from logocentrism, a trajectory more commonly analyzed through literature and film.

In authoritarian regimes such as the USSR, humor is vitally important, and Krokodil’s humor is central to understanding the laughter in the Soviet Union. Soviet satire’s methods were mocking and ridiculing, and its targets were identified using Party ideology. The tone of its high profile, anti-western cartoons was didactic and aggressive, but a close study of Krokodil’s humor reveals a surprisingly playful approach that allowed for more interpretive freedom. A large and significant group of cartoon images satirized domestic topics, and it is important to acknowledge the range of political opinions embedded in them. Excavating dissident opinions and assuming perpetually faithful support would be two equally erroneous approaches to Soviet humor in Krokodil, since the magazine was always more complex. The function of affirmative official-popular satire, whether as a political weapon or as a social pressure valve, may be productively explored through Krokodil.

Krokodil had, and indeed it continues to have, a loyal following. Satirists and cartoonists of various political persuasions cite its influence. Fan sites on social media websites, repeated attempts to revive the magazine, media interest in the magazine, its anniversaries and individuals connected with it, and the ongoing publication of a 12-volume history of the twentieth century told through extracts, all testify to the ongoing interest in and nostalgia for the publication. The publication of this digital resource brings the magazine closer to a scholarly audience and offers the opportunity to fill in the gaps in our understanding, some of which are identified above, and to gain a better understanding of the intersection of media power, politics and humorous popular engagement in the Soviet context.

New eresource: The First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment

New to eresources@cambirdge: The First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment


Alfred Leete [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With events taking place to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War an extension to the Adam Matthew resource The First World War has recently been added to the eresources@cambridge database A-Z.

Focusing on the reality of the daily lives of individuals the database offers a range of primary source material relating to propaganda, recruitment and personnal experiences as well as interactive maps, essays and case studies.

The primary sources include personal diaries, letters, journals, photos, posters and postcards. The digitised images of these documents can be viewed online or downloaded as PDFs.

Material from the renowned War Reserve Collection from Cambridge University Library is included in this resource. This collection includes British, French and German books, periodicals, pamphlets and ephemera relating to the 1914-1919 war.ul

The collection is described on The First World War site as having:

“… a truly international dimension, covering material from North and South America, the Far East, North Africa, the Middle East, Australasia and Scandinavia, as well as principal European protagonists. A vast array of propaganda material is featured, such as: Allied and German propaganda literature aimed at front-line troops, the home front, businessmen, wives and mothers, politicians and neutral nations (particularly the campaign by the Allies to persuade the United States to enter the war); periodicals and magazines, such as Bull and The Fatherland; reports on French atrocities in Spain and the Belgian atrocities; anti-imperialist tracts aimed at weakening Britain’s Indian and African support; and much more.”

First World WarAnother resource covering the First World War is Europeana 1914-1918, a free digital resource funded by the EU, which now includes a learning site created by the British LIbrary.

On Monday 17th Februrary The British Library and History Today are hosting The First World War: The Debate.This debate will look at how

the upcoming centenary of the First World War has already sparked great debate and public comment about how we should remember and commemorate the conflict.

The First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment is now available via the eresources@cambridge database A-Z or here.