Trial access to the entire 12 collections comprising Nineteenth Century Collections Online is provided to University of Cambridge members until 1st December 2022.
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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.
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.
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.
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