By Jutta Seibert
Bloomsbury Academic has given the Villanova community generous trial access to the Bloomsbury Cultural Histories book series until May 31. While the community has temporarily lost access to the print titles in the Library’s collection, it has gained electronic access to all titles published in the series.
If you are not familiar with Bloomsbury Cultural Histories, here is what you need to know in a nutshell. Each six-volume set explores a theme from antiquity to the present. Bloomsbury has published 16 sets so far. Topics include, among others, childhood and family, dress and fashion, the human body, the senses, western empires, work, and women. New this academic year are the six-volume Cultural History of Money and the Cultural History of Emotions. Announced for later this year are the Cultural History of Disability, the Cultural History of Marriage, and the Cultural History of Tragedy. Forthcoming themes include color, education, home, medicine, and sports.
Each six-volume set presents an authoritative survey of scholarship on a single topic through time. For example, each volume of the Cultural History of Western Empire has a chapter about race to allow readers to follow the topic through time. The first volume covers race in antiquity, followed by the medieval age, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the age of empire. The last volume covers race in the modern age.
The collection also includes a selection of cultural and social history books from Bloomsbury Academic, Berg, and Continuum. My personal favorites are Alison David’s Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present, Rudy Koshar’s German Travel Cultures. Leisure, Consumption and Culture, and David Sutton’s Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory.
Visual resources from the Wellcome Collection, the Rijksmuseum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art round out the collection, which also includes an interactive timeline and lesson plans for the undergraduate classroom. Remote access is provided from the Library’s Databases A-Z list.
Let us know if you want to recommend this collection for permanent access.
Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.