Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) trial access

Trial access to the entire 12 collections comprising Nineteenth Century Collections Online is provided to University of Cambridge members until 10 August 2022.

Access NCCO via this direct link.

What do you think of NCCO? Have your say on this feedback form. We value your feedback.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online offers unique ways to explore and find as well as to discover new relationships previously buried in archives that were once accessible only to the few.

Textual analysis tools, public and private tagging, an annotation feature, and social media sharing help users to organize content for their own research and to share their findings with colleagues.

The nineteenth century was the first great age of industrialization and technological innovation, an age of political revolution and reform, nationalism and nation building, the expansion of empire and colonialism, growing literacy and education, and the flowering of culture. Summaries of each of the 12 collections encompassing these themes are given below:-

Asia and the West

Asia and the West features primary source collections related to international relations between Asian countries and the West during the nineteenth 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.

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.

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.

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.

British Theatre, Music, and Literature

British Theatre, Music, and Literature 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.

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.

Children’s Literature and Childhood

Children’s Literature and Childhood provides a wide range of primary sources related to the experience of childhood in the long nineteenth century. Included in the archive are books and periodicals for children, primers and other material related to education, pamphlets produced by child welfare groups, documents and photos related to children and crime, newspapers produced by youths, and much more. This unique assemblage of material is sourced from such renowned institutions as the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library Collection of Historical Children’s Literature, the National Archives, Kew, and the British Library, among others.

Europe and Africa, Colonialism and Culture

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, Colonialism and Culture 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.

European Literature, the Corvey Collection, 1790–1840

European Literature, the Corvey Collection, 1790–1840 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.

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, the Corvey Collection, 1790–1840, 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.

Maps and Travel Literature

Spotlighting a distinguished array of historic atlases, gazetteers, travel narratives and a variety of maps, Maps and Travel Literature offers unique insight into the age of cartography and the rise of leisure travel. Sourced from the British Library, American Antiquarian Society, and the Bryn Mawr College Library, among others, the materials focus on travel and exploration during the nineteenth century, including a myriad of sketch maps created during colonial exploration and expansion.

Maps, historic atlases, and gazetteers offer unique city, town, and country information first used by the nineteenth century traveler, providing a window into the Age of Imperialism and the burgeoning middle classes. Featuring a multitude of both European and non-European travel narratives, the collection offers a glimpse not only of the lands and peoples these travelers encountered, but also valuable insight into how the Industrial Revolution changed people’s experiences in their ever-shrinking world.

Photography

Including images from Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Photography 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.

Religion, Reform, and Society

Religion, Reform, and Society examines the influence of both faith and skepticism on the shaping of many aspects of society—politics, law, economics, and social and radical reform movements. In the nineteenth century, the intellectual work of Comte, Marx, Weber, Darwin, Freud, and others unleashed secularizing impulses that gave rise to both new humanist religious projects and new faith-based social reform movements. The heightened interest in the perfection of man, the power of science, and the confidence in social progress also had an impact. Alongside Comte’s positivist “religion of humanity,” utopian collectives, and settlement houses, there grew a new fascination with alternative spiritual and mystical practices.

The archive provides essential documentary materials that explore religious and philosophical movements in reaction to dramatic changes in culture and society wrought by the industrial revolution and modernity. Topics covered include positivism and anti-positivism, freethinking, the cooperative movement, alternative Christianities, and the application of the social principles of Christianity to everyday life by a variety of denominations.

Science, Technology, and Medicine, Part I

Science, Technology, and Medicine, Part I 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.

Science, Technology, and Medicine, Part II

Science, Technology And Medicine, Part II, expands upon the subject coverage in Science, Technology And Medicine, 1780-1925, with an extraordinary gathering of European and British periodicals and American monographs from renowned sources. Collections include Natural History; The Rise of Public Health in England and Wales; and Academies of Science Publications.

The archive supports enhanced “scientific literacy,” and is sourced from the Huntington Library, the National Archives (Kew), and Brill, among renowned institutions. Using the archive, scholars will be able to analyze technical and conceptual dimensions of scientific knowledge—from physics to psychoanalysis to macroeconomics. Diversity of coverage ensures an expansive, integrated, global view of science and technology from a critical era of scientific development.

Women and Transnational Networks

Including a wide array of primary source documents—serials, books, manuscripts, diaries, reports, and visuals—Women and 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.

British Online Archives – trial access added to supplement our new collections extended to 31st March

Cambridge University has acquired new collections of digitized archives from British Archives Online (BOA), details of these collections can be found at near the end of this post.

As part of their response to COVID-19, British Online Archives (BOA) has provided additional free access to their entire database of digital primary resources until 31st March to supplement our new acquisitions.

Their website hosts over 4 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, and are of use to undergraduate students and experienced academics alike.

Themes include:

Acquired Collections

The following digital archives have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

The 8 digital archives can be found on this page or separately via the links with collection level descriptions below.

Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation 1689-1907

Apartheid through the eyes of South African Political Parties 1948-1994

Caribbean colonial statistics from the British Empire, 1824-1950

Colonial Africa in official statistics 1821-1953

India, Uprising and Reform 1879-1910 in the records of the Governor-General

Indian Communists and Trade Unionists: the Meerut Conspiracy 1929-1933

Slavery, Advocacy and Opposition 1675-1865

World News in Indian newspapers 1782-1908

Image credits:

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

‘Clare College Cambridge’ by Mark Seton on Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/KtYydf

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

British Online Archives – trial access added to supplement our new collections

Cambridge University has acquired new collections of digitized archives from British Archives Online (BOA), details of these collections can be found at near the end of this post.

As part of their response to COVID-19, British Online Archives (BOA) has provided additional free access to their entire database of digital primary resources for 30 days from 1st February to supplement our new acquisitions.

Their website hosts over 4 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, and are of use to undergraduate students and experienced academics alike.

Themes include:

Acquired Collections

The following digital archives have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

The 8 digital archives can be found on this page or separately via the links with collection level descriptions below.

Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation 1689-1907

Apartheid through the eyes of South African Political Parties 1948-1994

Caribbean colonial statistics from the British Empire, 1824-1950

Colonial Africa in official statistics 1821-1953

India, Uprising and Reform 1879-1910 in the records of the Governor-General

Indian Communists and Trade Unionists: the Meerut Conspiracy 1929-1933

Slavery, Advocacy and Opposition 1675-1865

World News in Indian newspapers 1782-1908

Image credits:

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

‘Clare College Cambridge’ by Mark Seton on Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/KtYydf

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

New e-resources: Historical Newspaper Archives, including British Library Newspapers, & Digital Scholar Lab

Digital Archives of Historical Newspapers of critical importance to the humanities and social sciences.

British Library Newspapers : All 5 parts now available : Cambridge University now has online access to the complete British Library Newspapers, adding Part III: 1740-1950, Part IV: 1732-1950, and Part V: 1746-1950, comprising regional newspapers from across the UK offering new insights from alternative sources of history voiced from outside the national newspapers.

Major newspaper archives available for 2021: Key archives, including the Financial Times archive and the Punch archive, are available online for 2021 only. (Continuation of access of these archives will be reviewed at the end of 2021.)

New insights to be uncovered from text-mining newspaper archives : Users may now browse millions of news pages or search keywords, themes, or term frequencies and term clusters on each archive’s platform. To take research on the archives to a new level, identifying previously undiscovered data, testing theories, analysing results, and gaining new insights, Cambridge now makes available Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab for text mining across all or a selection of the archives.

The digital archives are listed here or can be accessed via the links below. Discover the newspaper archives available on the British and Overseas & Foreign Language Newspapers pages or on the Newspapers LibGuide.

Cambridge University Libraries makes available from 2021 the following newspaper archives from Gale Cengage. These new digital archives have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

British Library Newspapers

All 5 parts of the British Library Newspapers are now available, comprising collections from the British Library which span 300 years of newspaper publishing in the U.K. The rise of newspapers in Britain was a phenomenon which characterized a new age. The newspaper was increasingly a medium for information required by the commercially minded societies of major cities and regional centres. Taken as a whole, the huge production of newspapers in Britain provides an enormous resource for research on all subjects for all of the U.K., both urban and rural. Cultural trends, political currents and social problems are reflected in the newspapers and give new freshness and immediacy to the historic events.


Daily Mail archive

Described by the New Yorker as “the newspaper that rules Britain,” the Daily Mail has been at the heart of British journalism since 1896, regularly changing the course of government policy and setting the national debate. It currently boasts a circulation of over 2 million, and its website is the most visited news site in the world.

As well as the regular edition of the newspaper, the Daily Mail Historical Archive also includes the Daily Mail Atlantic Edition, which was published on board the cruise ships that sailed between New York and Southampton from 1923 to 1931. Copies were printed and sold to passengers on every day of the five-day voyages, with news transmitted from London and New York to the middle of the Atlantic by wireless radio transmission. These editions published different content to the regular London version of the paper and contained articles specifically commissioned for the journey, with a heavy emphasis on American content.

More than 100 years of this major UK national newspaper can be viewed in full digital facsimile form, with copious advertisements, news stories, and images that capture twentieth-century culture and society. The archive is currently available to 31 December 2021 when we will review whether access can be extended.


Telegraph archive

The Telegraph was once the world’s largest-selling newspaper. Researchers and students can full-text search across 1 million pages of the newspaper’s backfile from its first issue to the end of 2000, including issues of the Sunday Telegraph from 1961.

Launched in 1855, The Telegraph is generally seen by press historians as the start of a new era of journalism that emerged following the repeal of stamp duty and signaling the first step towards the mass-market journalism of the Daily Mail.

Directed at a wealthy, well-educated readership, the newspaper is commonly associated with traditional Toryism despite its more liberal beginnings, especially in regard to foreign policy. Under the editorship of poet and Orientalist Edwin Arnold from 1873 to 1899, the paper frequently featured articles on foreign affairs and foreign cultures. This led to The Telegraph‘s coverage of Henry Morton Stanley’s expedition to Africa in search of David Livingstone, which was co-sponsored with the New York Herald.

In 1908, the Daily Telegraph published an infamous interview with Kaiser Wilhelm, the German chancellor who alienated the British public with such uncensored comments as “you English are mad, mad, mad as march hares.” During World War II, the cryptic crossword puzzle used to recruit Allied codebreakers was published in the Telegraph.

The Telegraph also included many notable contributors, such as George Augustus Sala. One of the most famous journalists of the nineteenth century, Sala pioneered a more lively, personal style of writing and reported from all over the world. He is also celebrated for his coverage of the US Civil War. In addition, Sir Winston Churchill’s first journalistic attempts were contained within the pages of The Telegraph, written when he was a twenty-two-year-old army officer. The archive is currently available to 31 December 2021 when we will review whether access can be extended.

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society contains over 195 titles, starting in the Colonial era, moving through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and into the twentieth century. One of the biggest strengths of this collection is the diversity of content. While the major issues are covered, the periodicals included go beyond politics, economics and general history. Alongside titles dedicated to arts and literature, there is coverage ranging from entertainment to agriculture, building a comprehensive and expansive record of the era. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Financial Times Archive

1886-2016. Every article, advertisement, and market listing is included — shown both individually and in the context of the full page and issue of the day. Each item has been subject- or topic-categorized for fast retrieval and review.

The paper began as a City of London news sheet and grew to become one of the best-known and most-respected newspapers in the world. Along the way, the Financial Times — printed on its distinctive salmon-colored paper — has chronicled the critical financial and economic events that shaped the world, from the late nineteenth and entire twentieth centuries to today. This historical archive is a comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased research tool for everyone studying the economic and business history and current affairs of the last approximately 120 years.

Initially focused on the global financial and economic issues that were to become the predominant forces of the twentieth century, the Financial Times expanded coverage in the postwar years, reporting on topics such as industry, energy, and international politics. In more recent decades, coverage of management, personal finance, and the arts have been added. Today, with more full-time foreign correspondents than any other European newspaper, a wider readership internationally than in the UK, worldwide circulation of nearly 500,000, and estimated global readership of more than 1.9 million people, the Financial Times is recognized as the complete newspaper for the world of business throughout the world [Source: FT Average Daily Global Audience (ADGA), May 2010]. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


International Herald Tribune Archive

Sold in over 160 countries and read worldwide, the International Herald Tribune is one of the most innovative and original newspapers, famous for its objective and clear coverage. Bringing an international perspective, it provides a valuable counterpoint to the Anglo-American press, adding a new dimension to research.

An online, fully searchable facsimile, the International Herald Tribune Historical Archive, 1887–2013 delivers the full run of this internationally-focused daily paper, from its first issue through to 2013. Articles, advertisements, and market listings are included—shown both individually and in the context of the full page and issue of the day. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Mirror Archive

The Daily Mirror Historical Archive extends the ‘mass market’ content available in Gale Historical Newspapers. The Daily Mirror (working-class) and the Daily Mail (middle class) challenged the broadsheet dominance of newspapers such as The Times and The Telegraph, providing both an alternative view and journalistic style which went on to dominate the British newspaper market in the second half of the twentieth century.

“The Mirror is a sensationalist newspaper. We make no apology for that. We believe in the sensational presentation of news and views, especially important news and views, as a necessary and valuable public service in these days of mass readership and democratic responsibility […] Sensationalism does not mean distorting the truth. It means the vivid and dramatic presentation of events so as to give them a forceful impact on the mind of the reader”. (Sylvester Bolam, editor of the Daily Mirror, 1949.)

Started by Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) in 1903, The Daily Mirror was influential in changing the course of British newspapers in the second half of the twentieth century, becoming Britain’s bestselling daily newspaper by 1949. Consistently left-leaning and populist to reflect the views of its target working-class audience, it offers a counterpoint to the more conservative newspapers that dominated the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, such as The Times and The Telegraph. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Nichols Newspapers Collection

John Nichols (1745–1826) was a printer and former Master of the Stationers’ Company, biographer of Hogarth and Swift, and writer of a county history of Leicestershire. He began collecting newspapers around 1778 through purchasing a large share in the Gentleman’s Magazine, who had provided Samuel Johnson with his first regular employment as a writer. Not only did he collect many more materials after this, he also made them available to scholars, a tradition continued by the Bodleian Library, and now Gale. The collection contains over 150,000 pages of printed text, spanning nearly 100 years of history.

Through a partnership with the Bodleian Library, Gale has digitally scanned each page of this collection, and with Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Nichols Newspapers Collection brings these rare documents to scholars around the world in an easy-to-use, full-text searchable digital format. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Picture Post Archive

The Picture Post Historical Archive, 1938–1957 comprises the complete archive of the Picture Post from its first issue in 1938 to its last in 1957 – all digitized from originals in full colour. Picture Post’s innovative use of photojournalism captured the imagination of the British people. 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. Above all, Picture Post provides a fascinating snapshot of British life from the 1930s to the 1950s, with thousands of photos of ordinary people doing ordinary things — from boys rolling a tyre, to a view of a postwar bedsit, to young women on a rollercoaster — all caught in a single moment in time.

Users can browse and search more than 38,000 pages and 95,000 articles online, gaining remarkable insight into a crucial period of twentieth-century history — from the stormy years leading up to World War II to the first decade of the Cold War. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Punch Archive

From 1841 to 1992, Punch was the world’s most celebrated magazine of wit and satire. From its early years as a campaigner for social justice to its transformation into national icon, Punch played a central role in the formation of British identity — and how the rest of the world saw the British nation. With approximately 7,900 issues (200,000 pages) from all volumes of Punch between 1841-1992, including Almanacks and other special numbers (issues), as well as prefaces, epilogues, indexes, and other specially produced material from the bound volumes, and the images in the archive appear as originally published, the Punch Historical Archive, 1841–1992 enhances teaching, learning, and research This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Sunday Times Archive

The twentieth-century run of this newspaper is powerful in its hard-hitting and investigative journalism, with in-depth information and widely researched, long-term news stories. It is an important resource for all humanities and social sciences courses, especially in history, media studies/journalism, literature, cultural studies, politics, and performing arts. The Sunday Times Historical Archive 1822-2016 brings two centuries of news together in one resource, providing the complete run of the newspaper and its supplements, in one cross-searchable and browseable platform.

Despite the similarity of names, the Sunday Times was an entirely separate paper from The Times until 1966, when both papers came under common ownership. To this day, the Sunday Times remains editorially independent from the Times, with its own remit and perspective on the news.

The Sunday Times is famous for many of its stories, including Kim Philby’s outing as a Soviet spy, the thalidomide investigation, and the publishing of Adolph Hitler’s diaries. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


The Independent Archive

The Independent is a major British daily national newspaper, launched in 1986 as an antidote to its often overtly political rivals. Its evolution over a quarter of a century has been considerable, but the publication has also retained a unique position in British journalism. Featuring journalists and columnists from across the political spectrum, the paper is generally regarded as centrist, presenting fresh, alternative views on the free market, social issues, and culture.

Over the last thirty years, the Independent has taken strong campaigning positions on issues such as drug legislation, the war on terror, and the environment. It received the Newspaper of the Year award in 1987 by What the Papers Say Awards, a BBC radio and television program. It received the award during its first full year of publication, and by the end of 1988, its circulation had risen to more than 400,000. This success led to the launch of The Independent on Sunday in January 1990. In the 1990s, The Independent scored a series of scoops when it published three separate interviews by its Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk with a then little-known Osama bin Laden. In British politics, it has been a strong advocate of electoral reform, arguing that the UK’s first-past-the-post system and unelected House of Lords are not suited to a modern democracy. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


The Listener Archive

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in 1929 under its director-general, Lord Reith. It was the intellectual counterpart to the BBC listings magazine, Radio Times. Developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks — initially on radio, but in later years television as well — the Listener is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts. In addition to commentary expanding on the intellectual broadcasts of the week, the Listener also previewed major literary and musical shows and regularly reviewed new books. Over its sixty-two-year history, the Listener attracted the contributions of literary icons such as E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, and Virginia Woolf. It also provided an important platform for new writers and poets, with W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath, and Philip Larkin being notable examples.

Articles were diverse, with features on the death of King George V; a series of essays accompanying Sir Kenneth Clark’s landmark art history show Civilization; interviews with authors such as Vladimir Nabokov; and the historian Geoffrey Elton writing on the decline of British universities in the 1960s. What united them was the BBC’s cultural mission (as created by Reith) of educating the masses. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.

New e-resources: British Online Archives

Key Primary Sources for Study of the British Empire, including Africa, India, and the West Indies

Cambridge University has acquired new collections of digitized archives from British Archives Online (BOA) which will support the study of the history of the British Empire, as well as the African slave trade during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and more lately the white rule of Apartheid in South Africa.

The 8 digital archives can be found on this page or separately via the links with collection level descriptions below.

These new digital archives have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation 1689-1907

This collection contains records pertaining to the Tudway family’s ownership of an Antiguan sugar plantation during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The papers cover the period from the early slave trade to the post-slavery economy. The combination of statistical ledgers and narrative correspondence provides a unique insight into the operation and eventual abolition of the slave trade in the West Indies. 

Apartheid through the eyes of South African Political Parties 1948-1994

Apartheid was a system of white minority rule that prevailed in South Africa for much of the 20th century. This collection contains various materials published by political parties on both sides of the racial and ideological divide. The bulk of the documents are drawn from the archives of the main opposition movement, the African National Congress (ANC). The main party of government, the National Party, is also well represented, as are several minor parties and independent candidates.

Caribbean colonial statistics from the British Empire, 1824-1950

For the most part these statistical records cover the years from 1839 to 1938, although some records commence from 1824 and others continue until 1950. The records for each colony are prefaced by a brief introduction to that colony. The population returns are published alongside education reports, while grants of land reveal who held the colonial wealth. Imports and exports are joined by prison records which reveal what the crimes were at that time. As these records are published together, the reader can compare the living conditions and access to services across colonies. The imperial statistics in this collection are listed by year for ease of reference.

Colonial Africa in official statistics 1821-1953

The late nineteenth century ‘Scramble for Africa’ saw European colonial powers carve up the African continent between themselves. The United Kingdom controlled the largest portion of territory, with its Colonial Regulations requiring an ‘Annual Blue Book’ to be submitted from each colony to the British Colonial Office. The Blue Book was an attempt to standardise statistical reports, primarily covering economic development as well as demographic, ecclesiastical, and public records. This collection contains Blue Books and other archival material from 13 British colonies and protectorates in Africa compiled during the period 1821-1953. The standardised nature of the Blue Books enables comparisons to be drawn geographically (between colonies) and over time on issues from the slave trade and colonial economic practice to education and public health. 

India, Uprising and Reform 1879-1910 in the records of the Governor-General

Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the 4th Earl of Minto, was the Viceroy of India between 1905 and 1910. This collection contains a diverse range of documents relating to Minto’s tenure in India. The documents shed light on a tumultuous period in the history of the British Raj, providing an insight into the partition of Bengal and the growth of anti-colonial sentiment.

Indian Communists and Trade Unionists: the Meerut Conspiracy 1929-1933

The Meerut Conspiracy refers to the 1929 arrest and trial of twenty-nine Indians and three Englishmen suspected of having either communist or trade union affiliations. They were collectively charged under Section 121A of the India Penal Code with “conspiracy to deprive the King of Sovereignty of British India.” This collection contains documents derived from a variety of sources, including the India Office and the private papers of Ben Bradley, one of the accused conspirators. These documents provide a balanced perspective on the trial and its consequences for British imperialism in India.

Slavery, Advocacy and Opposition 1675-1865

This collection contains a wide range of documents concerning the African slave trade during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The papers focus primarily on Jamaica and the West Indies, but also cover the experience of other nations and regions. Through a combination of statistics, correspondence, pamphlets, and memoirs, they offer insights into the commercial and colonial dimensions of slavery and the views of its advocates and opponents.

World News in Indian newspapers 1782-1908

This collection contains copies of three English language newspapers published in India during the period 1782-1908: The India Gazette (1782-1834); The Bengal Hurkaru and Chronicle (1822-1866); and The Bengal Times (1876-1908). These newspapers were primarily sold to colonial businessmen, merchants, and administrators with an interest in regional and international trade. Editors and reporters therefore focussed on providing readers with an overview of significant political, military, economic, scientific, and societal trends, as well as their potential impact on stocks, commodities, and other investments. Subjects covered range from the American Revolution and the Crimean War to British parliamentary debates on the India Act of 1858 and the dramatic industrial and pharmaceutical breakthroughs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. India, England, France, Ireland, Italy, the United States, and China receive the most attention, though items regarding other nations also feature.

Churchill Archive now online for University of Cambridge

We are delighted to announce that the Churchill Archive has been acquired for full access to all members of the University of Cambridge.  Access is available now via the following link:

http://ezproxy.lib.cam.ac.uk:2048/login?url=http://www.churchillarchive.com/

Cambridge University Library would like to acknowledge the generosity of the private donation made with the support of Bloomsbury that led to the acquisition of this important archive for all our students and researchers.

The Archive can also be accessed via the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z here.  Access is alternatively available via Shibboleth login on the http://www.churchillarchive.com/ site if you prefer to go to the site directly when off campus.  (As this resource is an archive, there are no individual MARC records for its contents in iDiscover, but a “collection-level” record for the archive will be added shortly.)

The Churchill Archive is a unique resource that brings nearly 800,000 documents amassed by Winston S. Churchill throughout his life, together online for the first time.   The original documents, produced between 1874 and 1965, include Churchill’s personal correspondence with his family and friends; financial and legal papers; political and constituency-related materials; ministerial and official correspondence; drafts of his speeches; as well as notes, drafts, and proofs of his many articles and books.

To complement the core content, the Churchill Archive offers an expanding range of additional materials, including pedagogical resources and secondary materials, plus editorially-selected links to other resources, video and audio content, and biographical and bibliographic databases.

 

 

A “Collection Highlights” section reveals themes of special interest in Churchill’s career and over the historical periods covered by the Archive, including how he used the power of words to boost the nation’s morale, how some exceptionally influential women supported him in his work and personal life, and most recently highlighting how he fostered the “special relationship” between this country and America, in the era of Soviet expansionism after the Second World War in particular.

For readers coming to the Archive afresh, or who are unfamiliar with researching with archival materials, there are heplful pages (FAQs; MyArchive) on interpreting documents and navigating the Archive’s content, with some advice about microfilm transcriptions and conventions of cataloguing and taxonomy in the organization of the papers over time.

A “Teaching and Research” page demonstrates the wealth of potential sources in the Archive for the study of topics in twentieth-century history, including for example an in-depth guide on Winston Churchill and the Islamic World by Warren Dockter, University of Cambridge.

Read the blog of the Churchill Archive and keep up to date with the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College at their site here.

 

Churchill’s visit to the College, 17 Oct 1959, ref. CCPH 4/2

 

Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774

The University of Cambridge now has online access to the Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774.  This collection from British Archives Online is made available thanks to an agreement for Higher Education institutions between JISC Collections and British Archives Online for the duration of 2017 only.

This new resource is available via this link:

http://ezproxy.lib.cam.ac.uk:2048/login?url=https://www.britishonlinearchives.co.uk/collection.php?cid=9781851171859

The papers of two leading actors in the East India Company in mid-18th century Bengal from the National Library of Wales. Chiefly in English, but with an array of original correspondence with local figures in Indo-Persian and occasionally Bengali, Marathi and Tamil, this collection allows researchers to understand the complex political web in the subcontinent as the power of the Mughal Empire began to wane.

Essential for those studying the life and career of Robert Clive (1725-1774), a man who stands in the very first rank of historical figures, this resource is also of the greatest importance to anyone exploring the often hotly debated events that preceded, accompanied and followed the establishment of Britain’s Indian empire during the mid-18th century, especially the periods 1756-1760 and 1765-1766. By reproducing in full Clive’s English and Persian correspondence, it is possible to compare firsthand Indian and European accounts of Clive’s resounding victory in 1757 at Plassey over the superior French-backed force of the Nawab of Bengal in the aftermath of the notorious ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ incident; of the conclusive routing of the Dutch in 1759; or of the ill-fated career of Clive’s chief administrator of revenues, Maharaja Nandakumara, including supplementary material on his trial and execution in 1775 for forgery drawn from the 1st Earl of Minto’s papers at National Library of Scotland.

First an officer in the EIC’s private army, and then later twice governor of Bengal, Clive was the leading actor in the political and military events of the 1750s and 1760s that served to lay the foundations of the British Raj. But he was also a highly controversial figure who, during an often troubled lifetime, attracted much unwanted attention from the public, Parliament and the press. Many in Britain came to revile him and, tainted by accusations of corruption and the abuse of power in India, he was condemned for spending his enormous private fortune on houses, estates and possessions, acquired in an attempt to carve out an elevated position for his family in English landed society. Even in death Clive remained controversial, with many believing that he committed suicide in 1774 at the age of 49.

Originally part of the Clive family’s Powis estate, these immensely rich and varied papers facilitate close study of a highly complex and enigmatic man, as well as the contested origins of Britain’s Indian empire. In addition the papers contain invaluable material on the economic, social and political history of Britain during the 18th century.

Complementing our understanding of this turning point in the history of British power in South Asia, are some 2,000 items of John Carnac’s correspondence. Carnac joined the EIC army with the rank of Captain in 1758, after his service with the 39th infantry regiment. As Commander-in-Chief between 1760 and 1761, he fought and defeated the French-supported forces of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II, near Bihar. Made Brigadier-General in 1764, Carnac again assumed command, defeating the Marathas in 1765 before handing control back later that year to Robert Clive. This correspondence’s emphasis on the years between 1763 and 1766 helps to fill the gap in events during Clive’s absence from India between March 1760 and April 1765, when he returned to Britain. At the same time, the collection amplifies our understanding of Clive’s third and final tour of duty, providing an opportunity to contrast how two senior British figures set about implementing the EIC’s new approach, combining commercial with growing political power.

 

East India Company

Trial access has been enabled for the University of Cambridge to the East India Company resource from Adam Matthew Digital.

The trial is available here:

http://ezproxy.lib.cam.ac.uk:2048/login?url=http://www.eastindiacompany.amdigital.co.uk

The trial ends 10 February 2017.

Please send feedback to : rmr29@cam.ac.uk

Portrait of a European painted by Mughal artists, Ca.1590

Portrait of a European painted by Mughal artists, Ca.1590

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947.

London Low Life

The University of Cambridge now has trial access to the London Low Life collection until 10 November 2016.

Access the trial here:

http://ezproxy.lib.cam.ac.uk:2048/login?url=http://www.londonlowlife.amdigital.co.uk

We want to know what you think of this resource.  Is it useful to you; if so, in what way?  Please send us your thoughts and feedback by writing an email to: ejournals@lib.cam.ac.uk.  Thank you!

London Low Life is a full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London. It is designed for both teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond.

In addition to the digital documents, London Low Life contains a wealth of secondary resources, including a chronology, interactive maps, essays, online galleries and links to other useful websites.

This image of the viewing of Harriet Lane’s body is one of many in a Police News Edition pamphlet on the Whitechapel tragedy in 1874.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers new platform

The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers has now been upgraded and launched on the ProQuest Government platform and can be accessed at this link.  It will run concurrently with the legacy Chadwyck Healy platform here until end of March 2016.  The links on the eresources@cambridge A-Z and subject pages and on the LibGuides A-Z have been updated accordingly.

The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers are an essential primary source for Britain, its colonies, and the wider world. They are the working documents of the British government for all areas of social, political, economic, and foreign policy. 

They include Bills, Reports of Royal Commissions, Reports of Select Committees, Accounts and Papers and other materials. The Papers influenced public opinion and social and political philosophy, and provided a forum for ideas of hundreds of thinkers including Edward Jenner, Matthew Arnold, Anthony Trollope, John Stuart Mill, Michael Faraday, Carlyle, Darwin, and Marx.

Before the advent of a fully formed Whitehall departmental system, Parliament was the main source of public information, ordering the publication of papers, returns, reports and evidence on a grand scale.

On the new improved platform, you will find searching faster and more intuitive, be able to apply post-search filters, bookmark search forms, use dedicated search forms for members of parliament; find full text PDFs fully searchable and discover related news content.

Debate Tonight: Whether a man’s wig should be dressed with honey or mustard! A 1795 cartoon satirizing the content of debates.

Silence Gentlemen, to Order, only 10 speak at a time! for if you all Bray together it’s impossible to decide on this important Question.