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UK Parliamentary Papers Now Available Through Falvey

By Jutta Seibert

You asked for it and we delivered: Falvey recently acquired permanent access to the digital archive of UK Parliamentary Papers. The archive comprises documents from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, as well as some earlier papers. The twenty-first century collection is not available to the Villanova community, but some of the papers from this period are freely available through the UK’s Parliamentary Archives.

The House of Parliament, as seen from Lambeth.
Image taken from “The Earth and Its Inhabitants. Europe. Vol. 4, The British Isles” by Élisée Reclus. New York: Appleton and Co., 1881, p. 184. Courtesy of Hathi Trust.

Research applications are endless given the scope of the archive. Its contents hold wide appeal for scholars from a range of disciplines, including political science, history, and Irish studies. They cover a vast sweep of events tracing the political discourse on matters large and small. Expect to find sessional papers, acts, bills, agreements, public petitions, and reports among the archived documents. Among the many issues and events covered figure universal suffrage, the slave trade and its abolition, the poor laws, child labor, mandatory vaccination, a long list of wars, national trade statistics on products such as cotton, coffee, tea, sugar, timber, and rubber, government funded expeditions such as the ill-fated arctic expedition led by Sir John Franklin, British overseas colonies and their struggles for independence, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland to name just a few topics.

The archive offers an advanced search interface and search facets that will narrow results by date, document type, Parliament chamber, and subject. Document features, such as maps, plans, tables, graphs, and illustrations, are indexed and easy to identify. Documents can be downloaded in PDF format.

This archive does not generate document citations, but the Details view includes common and Cockton titles, date, series, document number, and a permalink; in short, all the necessary elements. I am including below a selection of documents that illustrate the broad sweep of archival sources included in this archive.

Let us know if you have any further questions or visit the ProQuest Guide to UK Parliamentary Papers. Access to the archive is provided via the Databases A-Z list and the Library’s catalog.

A Sampling of Documents from the UK Parliamentary Papers Archive

Illustration of the work performed by Margaret Hipps, age seventeen, in a UK coal mine.
Taken from “Children’s Employment Commission. First Report of the Commissioners. Mines,”
published in London by William Clowes and Sons in 1842 (fig. 19, p. 95). UK Parliamentary Papers (ProQuest)


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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News From Around the World: The Global Press Archive

By Jutta Seibert

In prior decades, access to historical news sources has been revolutionized through large-scale digitization projects. Yet many of the newly created digital newspaper archives remain tied to institutional subscriptions that limit the number and types of archives academic communities can access.

Regrettably, the digitization of non-western newspapers has been neglected for many reasons, including language, writing systems, and demand. These important historical sources were collecting dust in remote storage facilities of large research libraries until 2019 when the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), recognizing the unique value of these collections, partnered with East View, a publisher specializing in Russian, Chinese, and Arabic news databases, to develop a series of digital collections that would provide “global access to a wide selection of newspapers from around the world.”

Thus the Global Press Archive was born. It currently features five open access collections, besides a few more collections that require subscriptions.

Geographic distribution of newspapers in the Global Press Archive.

East View is well known in academic circles as a provider of Russian and Chinese news sources. East View’s experience in digitizing news sources published in non-Roman scripts made them a good fit for CRL who was looking for a partner with expertise in digitizing non-Western newspapers. CRL member institutions hold rich primary source collections from all around the world, and while local interest in these sources can be low, the global communities which produced these newspapers in the first place would be given the unique opportunity to access them freely online.

CRL raised the necessary funds to create a number of open access collections of non-Western news sources and as a result five open access collections were published for the Global Press Archive project since 2019.

Gazetnyĭ mir Rossii XIX – nachala XX veka

The Imperial Russian Newspapers collection features a selection of 32 newspapers published between 1782 and 1917. Most of them are from Moscow and St. Petersburg, but some regional titles are also included. The search interface features a transliteration table and a Cyrillic keyboard to facilitate discovery. Bibliographic indexes of newspapers published in Imperial Russia are part of the collection. Some of the contents of the collection were supplied by the National Library of Russia in collaboration with CRL.

The Southeast Asian Newspapers collection comprises 118 newspapers published in Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam between 1831 and 1958. Most of these news publications were short lived, and the archive will then only include a few years’ worth of issues. The newspapers were produced in a range of Southeast Asian languages including Filipino, Indonesian, Javanese, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Thai. Those unable to read any of these languages might be interested in the Arabic, French, English, Spanish, and Dutch publications that are part of this collection. A quick search for independence retrieves matches for various forms of the word, such as the Spanish independencia and the French inédependance. Most of the newspapers in the archive can only be browsed as the search interface only permits searches for words using the Roman alphabet.

The Middle Eastern and North African Newspapers collection includes about 80 newspapers, mostly from Syria and Lebanon, but also from Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Palestine. Most newspapers are in Arabic but a few papers published in English and French are also included. The collection spans from the second half of the 19th century to the early 20th century. While most of the content of this collection is freely available, access to five newspapers is limited to CRL member institutions. The search interface includes an Arabic keyboard to enter and retrieve search terms in Arabic.

Newspaper vendors in Beirut, 1956. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

El Debate, June 11, 1910.
Courtesy of Global Press Archive.

The Independent and Revolutionary Mexican Newspapers collection offers by far the greatest number of publications with nearly 1,000 newspapers from Mexico’s pre-independence, independence, and revolutionary periods (1807-1929). The newspapers are predominantly in Spanish but a few French, English, and German language titles are also included. While holdings for many of the newspapers featured in this collection are available only in short runs, the titles are often unique and, in many cases, represent the only existing record of a newspaper’s short-lived publication. The collection was digitized based on archival newspaper holdings of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, a research library at the University of Texas at Austin, considered to be the preeminent Latin American library in the United States.

The Late Qing and Republican-Era Chinese Newspapers collection comprises 292 newspapers spanning the period 1911-1949. All papers are in Chinese. Sadly, the collection lacks a Chinese character keyboard and can hence only be browsed as search results will be limited to ads and names that use the Roman alphabet. Newspapers from more than 20 major cities are included covering most regions of mainland China.

Open access is made possible through the generous support of the Center for Research Libraries and its member institutions. A link to the Global Press Archive collection can be found under “G” on the Library’s Databases A-Z list.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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A Free Library of Marxist Thought: The Marxists Internet Archive

By Jutta Seibert

The Marxists Internet Archive (MIA) may at first glance look like a hold-over from the early internet years, but a closer look quickly reveals its lasting scholarly relevance. This one-of-a-kind library is home to a wealth of sources representative of the width and depth of Marxist thinking worldwide. Scholars can find here the works of most Marxist thinkers and practitioners, selected works of contemporary practitioners, and a range of influential works that predate Marx and Engels.

As should be expected from a library of Marxist thought, all content is freely available as promised in the MIA’s charter. The texts in the archive are either in the public domain or were published with the permission of the current copyright holder. Other texts, including transcriptions and translations, were contributed by volunteers.

Some core texts are missing because current copyright holders do not permit to share them freely online. Foremost among these is the authoritative English translation of the collected works of Marx and Engels. This 50-volume set was produced through the collaborative efforts of three left-leaning publishing houses: Lawrence & Wishart (London), International Publishers (New York), and Progressive Publishers (Moscow). Initially Lawrence & Wishart permitted the digital publication of the collected works through MIA but later withdrew its permission fearing a loss of revenue. Today, Lawrence & Wishart only grants free online access to the collected works on its own website. The Villanova community has access to this set through the Past Masters collection, and the Library’s print collection. The German edition of the collected works is freely available online.

The New Masses, Nov. 1930 issue.

Despite the gaping hole left by the absence of the authoritative English translation of the collected works of Marx and Engels, there remains a wealth of Marxist thought to be explored. The Beginner’s Guide to Marxism introduces the subject with a carefully curated selection of fundamental Marxist ideas. The works of major Marxist thinkers, such as Marx & Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Mao Zedong, are organized in special sub-archives. MIA can also be explored by browsing through its many subject collections, including archives about branches of Marxism, such as Anarchists and Bolsheviks; key historical events, such as the French Revolution and the Comintern; and related movements, such as the Black Liberation and African Liberation movements. The works of Marxist thinkers who are still alive and politically active are out of scope. The same goes for works that are copyright protected, such as important English translations of the works of Marx & Engels. However, because of the global impact of Marxist thought a wide range of languages and geographical regions are represented in the archive.

The MIA periodicals collection brings together an impressive lineup of socialist and communist newspapers and magazines. They can be accessed through a separate drop-down menu on the archive’s homepage. Most of the periodicals are in English, German, and French. Among the titles are the Black Panther (1967–1976), the Camden Voice of Labor (1912–1920), the Irish Marxist Review (2012–present), the Masses (1911–1917), the Liberator (1918–1924), and the New Masses (1926–1948).

In some cases, only selected articles, as opposed to complete issues, have been digitized. The Rheinische Zeitung is one case in point. Only the articles contributed by Marx are available. The Beijing Review (formerly the Peking Review), an English language news magazine published by the Chinese Communist Party, is not listed on the periodicals menu, but rather the Chinese Communism Archive links to the extensive archive which goes back to the first issue published in 1958 and includes over a thousand issues up to 2006. Besides the works of Marxist thinkers and the extensive collection of periodicals, MIA also offers a small selection of recorded speeches as well as images and short videos.

Each new visit to the MIA promises serendipitous discoveries. On my last visit I found two pamphlet collections from the 1920s: the Little Red Library and a collection of Trade Union Educational League Pamphlets. These pamphlets were published by the Communist Party USA and various trade unions and intended for the education of party and union members. For example, one of the volumes in the Little Red Library was written by Max Shachtman about the Paris Commune, and another one presents Engels’ Principles of Communism in English translation. Make some time and stop by the Marxists Internet Archive! The MIA is linked from the Library’s Databases A-Z list.

Related resources:


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Organizing African American Workers: The National Negro Congress, 1936-1947

By Jutta Seibert

Proceedings of the 1st National Negro
Congress, Feb. 14-16, 1936, Chicago.
Courtesy of Washington Area Spark.

Labor rights were an important facet of the civil rights movement and figured prominently on the program of the National Negro Congress (NNC). Some union excluded African Americans while others limited their rights in one way or another. The Communist Party of the United States of America, which promoted worker solidarity across racial and national boundaries, supported the work of the NNC. Although the NNC did not expressly favor any political party some of its members were affiliated with the Communist Party. James W. Ford, one of the co-founders of the NNC, was three times selected to run as the Communist Party’s vice presidential candidate. The novelist, poet, and activist Richard Wright was likewise affiliated with both organizations. Other prominent members of the NNC included the singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson and Asa Philip Randolph, the founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. African America, Communists, and the National Negro Congress (AACNNC), a collection of primary sources documenting the work of the NNC is available at Falvey Memorial Library. The papers in the collection outline the history of the NNC from its inception to its dissolution.

John P. Davis, a lawyer, journalist, and activist, who was the driving force behind the NNC, envisioned it as an umbrella organization that would unite and focus existing efforts in the struggle for equal rights and thus increase national impact. He already had an extensive network of connections among African American organizations, such as the NAACP and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters from his prior work with the Joint Committee on National Recovery.

The NNC convened for its first national convention in Chicago on February 14, 1936. Richard Wright attended the convention and wrote about it in an essay entitled “Two Million Black Voices,” which appeared in the communist magazine The New Masses (Feb. 25, 1936, p. 15). In it he vividly evoked a sense of shared purpose and hope.  African American newspapers likewise reported on the Chicago convention. Throughout the month of February The Chicago Defender informed its readers about the activities at the Convention in great detail. It also published the resolutions adopted by the NNC.

“Resolutions Adopted by the National Congress.” Chicago Defender, February 22, 1936, p. 10.

The oldest documents in the AACNNC collection date back to 1933, predating the formation of the NNC by a few years. The papers from those early years document the efforts to get the new organization off the ground. The range of documents in the collection includes print materials as well as typed and hand-written manuscripts from the papers of John P. Davis, Edward Strong, and Revels Cayton, who served as executive secretaries from 1935 to 1947, as well as Davis’ files from the Negro Industrial League and from his work on the Joint Committee on National Recovery along with records of the Negro Labor Victory Committee. The original documents are preserved at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which provides a detailed description of the collection on its website.

Villanova students, faculty, and staff may access the collection on Gale’s Archives Unbound platform via the Library’s Databases A-Z list under “A”.

Related Resources

  • Wittner, Lawrence S. “The National Negro Congress: A Reassessment.” American Quarterly 22, no. 4 (1970): 883–901. https://doi.org/10.2307/2711875.
  • Davis, John P. Let Us Build a National Negro Congress. Washington: National Sponsoring Committee, National Negro Congress, 1935. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112063345828.
  • Black Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
    Offers access to the major African American newspapers of the 20th century: the Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), the Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), the Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), the Chicago Defender (1910-1975), the Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), the New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), the Norfolk Journal & Guide (1921-2003), the Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and the Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).
  • The New Masses Digital Archive (Marxist Internet Archive)
  • The Daily Worker Online, 1922-1968 (Brill)
    Offers the complete archive of the Daily Worker, which was the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) between 1924 and 1958.
  • African American Studies Center (Oxford University Press)
    Contains a selection of information sources ranging from the authoritative Encyclopedia of African American History to the African American National Biography project. Selected primary sources, maps, images, charts, and tables round out the collection.
  • Race Relations in America (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Documents the fight for civil rights with digital copies of the reports, surveys, analyses, and speeches produced by staff and participants of the Annual Race Relations Institute based at Fisk University from 1943 to 1970. Sourced from the records of the Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, housed at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans.

Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Introducing Falvey’s Newspapers & Magazines Research Guide

By Jutta Seibert

Newspaper section of
Emily McPherson College Library,
Russell Street, circa 1960s.
Courtesy of Museums Victoria.

Newspapers and magazines are popular primary sources for good reasons: many of them have been digitized, they cover most topics and events, and they are continuously published over many years.

Compared to other primary sources, which are preserved in brick and mortar archives and which may only exist in their fragile original format, newspaper and magazine archives are widely available with few hurdles to access. By their very nature they were mass-produced when they were first published, and in many cases have since been converted to microfilm and digital formats.

Identifying suitable newspapers and magazines for a project among the plethora of serial publications would be daunting where it not for specific research tools designed to help with this task.

Newspaper and magazine archives present some unique research challenges, such as locating existing archives or issues and finding access to them through library portals. Falvey’s new research guide Newspapers & Magazines addresses most of these challenges. It offers guidance on how to find a specific newspaper or magazine, how to find a cited article, how to identify newspapers and magazines for a project, and gives advice on how to work with digital and microfilm archives. It also covers Chicago-style citations for news articles. One of the most exciting features of the new guide is an A-Z list of available newspaper and magazine archives.

Microfilm reader, Haifa University Library, ca. 1980.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Newspapers & Magazines research guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which encourages interested readers to reuse all or part of its contents. Falvey also offers a workshop on research with newspaper and magazine archives, which can be requested through the Library’s website.

We invite you to take a closer look and revisit the guide the next time you are looking for newspaper and magazine archives. The Newspapers & Magazines research guide can be found on the history subject guide on the Library’s website.

Let us know what you think and send us your questions.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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New Resource Available on the History of Gender Activism

By Sarah Hughes

Gender: Identity and Social Change is a new resource from Adam Matthew Digital containing both primary and secondary resources from the 19th century up to the present. As the name suggests, the collection covers the interdisciplinary area of gender history. Pivotal historical moments related to activism, which lead to equality and women’s rights are found through international primary resources from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Official program, Woman Suffrage Procession, 1909-1919, © Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Some of the themes in the collection include women’s suffrage, feminism, employment and labor, organizations, education, legal cases, and domesticity and the family.

Speeches, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and diaries are just a few of the primary sources that detail the historical development gender identity, roles, and relations. Also featured is an array of visuals, including photographs, illustrations, posters, scrapbooks, and objects. Some of the secondary resources are supplemental essays from leading scholars in the field and video interviews with leading academics.

Access to the collections is available via the link above or on the Library’s Database A-Z list and its catalog.

 


Sarah Hughes is Nursing & Life Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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Digital Scholarship at Its Finest: Letterpress Editions on the Rotunda Platform

By Jutta Seibert

Some of the largest book sets on the shelves of Falvey Memorial Library are letterpress editions of the papers of the nation’s founding fathers and other influential political figures. Their sheer size and the outsized scholarly effort that it takes to bring together in one place historical documents that are widely dispersed over hundreds of archives, libraries, and private collections are awe-inspiring.

Some of these editorial projects took decades to publish while others have yet to be completed. Among the latter are the papers of Thomas Jefferson. The planning for a comprehensive edition of Jefferson’s papers began in 1944 and the first of sixty originally projected volumes was published in 1950 by Princeton University Press. Over 50 volumes have been completed under the direction of five consecutive general editors at this point.

 

Many of these letterpress editions have been transformed into digital editions in recent years. Editions published by Rotunda, the electronic imprint of The University of Virginia Press, combine “the originality, intellectual rigor, and scholarly value of traditional peer-reviewed university press publishing with thoughtful technological innovation designed for scholars and students.”

For example, all Rotunda projects follow text encoding initiative (TEI) guidelines, thus opening up the individual and collective text corpora to text mining and text analysis projects. Over the years, Falvey Memorial Library acquired many of the Rotunda editions to facilitate new modes of scholarship. For example, scholars need no longer work with a corpus in isolation, but can now query all the Rotunda editions simultaneously.

The University of Virginia Press grants temporarily free access to all collections available through its Rotunda imprint in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which has closed many library buildings and made the letterpress print editions of presidential papers inaccessible. Collections that are only temporarily available are highlighted below.

Note the recently added collection of The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. Links to the collections owned by the Library can be found in the Library’s catalog. The Library’s Databases A-Z list includes a link to the American History Collection on the Rotunda platform.

American Founding Era

Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction

American Century

  • New at Falvey: The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966. 69 volumes.
  • Presidential Recordings Digital Edition.
    Features annotated transcripts of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon White House tapes.
    This collection is not part of the Falvey collection. Rotunda grants temporary access to the digital edition until June 30, 2020.

Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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American Historical Newspaper Collections Online

Linotype operators of the Chicago Defender newspaper, 1941.

 

By Darren G. Poley

Newspapers are primary sources for facts and opinion concerning people and events. They can also tell us a lot about society and culture in a historical time and place. For these reasons, one of the newest databases now available to the Villanova community is one of Gale’s primary sources collections: Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers. It provides full-text access to an array of major 19th-century American newspapers, regional newspapers, illustrated papers, and those published by groups and interests, such as African Americans, Native Americans, women’s rights groups, labor groups, and the Confederacy.

Some of the other historical newspaper collections Falvey also provides access to online by means of its Databases A-Z list and guides on its website:

 


Darren G. Poley is Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, and Theology, Humanities & Classical Studies Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 



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Primary Sources Set in Stone: SEG

By Jutta Seibert

Votive relief for the cure of a bad leg.
Marble. British Museum.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG), now available online to the Villanova community, is a critical discovery tool for classicists working with ancient Greek inscriptions. The study of inscriptions, commonly known as epigraphy, goes back to the 16th century when travelers and explorers informally began to trace and collect ancient inscriptions. By the early 19th century with the publication of the first systematic collection of ancient Greek inscription, the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum by August Böckh, epigraphy had matured into an academic discipline.

The historical paper record overshadows inscriptions as primary sources in most areas of specialization outside the field of ancient history, but texts chiseled in stone, etched into metal surfaces, or scratched into clay tablets constitute a historical record for most cultures and time periods. These texts offer a self-conscious portray of events and people intended for posterity. Modern examples of inscriptions include the much-visited Vietnam Veterans and 9/11 memorials, which present a modern-day historical record for generations to come.

While inscriptions are often on the more “stuffy” side, the corpora of ancient inscriptions also include graffiti, which add layers of competing and occasionally irreverent public opinion to the “official” public record. The KILROY WAS HERE etching at the back of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a wonderful example of piggyback messages on public monuments.

P.J. Rhodes’ essay on Epigraphy, published in the Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies (Barbara Graziosi, Phiroze Vasunia, and George Boys-Stones, eds.), offers a clear and succinct introduction to the subject matter.

Selected text corpora and meta sites in the field of ancient Greek epigraphy

     Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum / Brill
An annual survey of newly published ancient Greek inscriptions.

     Bulletin épigraphique published annually in issue 2 of the Revue des Études Grecques
An annual survey of newly published ancient Greek inscriptions.

     Claros: Concordance of Greek Inscriptions
A clearing house for new editions of Greek inscriptions.

     Searchable Greek Inscriptions / (The Packard Humanities Institute)
A clearing house for inscription captured in the major corpora.

     Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum / August Böckh
First systematic collection of Greek inscriptions.

     Inscriptiones Graecae / Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Open access to volumes published since 2001. Older volumes published prior to 1923 can be found in the Internet Archive.

Recommended Reading List

Bodel, John P. Epigraphic Evidence: Ancient History from Inscriptions. London: Routledge, 2001.

Davies, John Kenyon, and J. J. Wilkes. Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

McLean, B. Hudson. An Introduction to Greek Epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods from Alexander the Great Down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C.-A.D. 337). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.

Rhodes, P.J. “Epigraphy.” In The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, edited by Barbara Graziosi, Phiroze Vasunia, and George Boys-Stones. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Woodhead, A. G. The Study of Greek Inscriptions. 2nd ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.

 

Access to SEG is available via the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the catalog. Consult the SEG Search Tips if you are new to this resource or ask a librarian for assistance.

 


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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New Electronic Resources Explore China Through Western Eyes

By Jutta Seibert

In the past, faculty and students interested in Chinese history depended mostly on Falvey’s book collection for primary sources, unless their research budgets allowed for visits to archives and libraries elsewhere. Now, as a large part of the book collection is temporarily unavailable because of campus access restrictions, the small subset of electronic books with primary sources related to Chinese history, while most welcome, leaves much to be desired.

New digital archives with a focus on relations between China and the West are heaven-sent additions to the Falvey collections. Each collection offers unique Western representations of Chinese life, politics, and culture covering 200 years of economic, cultural, and political relations. Digital surrogates of selected documents, artwork, maps, illustrations, and objects were sourced from originals held by a wide range of libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies. Interested scholars can search all Adam Matthew Digital collections simultaneously via the AM Explorer platform or focus on individual collections that match their distinctive research interests.

China: Trade, Politics & Culture, 1793-1980 features selected primary sources on China’s relationship with the West dating back to the first English embassy and covering most of the 20th century. The collection contains digital copies of official papers, personal accounts, letters, books, and periodicals as well as reproductions of illustrations, maps, artwork, and photographs that depict Chinese people, places, customs, and events. Events covered include the opium wars and the Boxer War, the Nanjing Massacre, the Communist Revolution, and Nixon’s visit to China as seen by British observers. Originals are held at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the British Library among others. Two essays by recognized scholars put the collection in its historical context while short biographies and search directories further facilitate discovery.

China, America and the Pacific: Trade & Cultural Exchange complements China: Trade, Politics & Culture with primary sources from US and Canadian libraries, museums, and historical societies. The collection explores trade and cultural exchange between China, America, and the Pacific region from the 18th to the early 20th century. Primary sources featured in the collection include digital copies of rare books and newspapers, personal accounts, diaries, letters, shipping papers, travel posters, historic maps, artwork, and images of material objects. The sources largely reflect North American viewpoints of China and the Pacific region. Essays such as Behind a Cup of Tea: The Commodities of America’s China Trade, 1784-1839 (John Rogers Haddad, Penn State Harrisburg) contextualize the contents of the collection. Short merchant biographies, a glossary, and subject index offer research assistance.

China: Culture and Society is based exclusively on pamphlets from the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia at Cornell University Library. This unique collection of pamphlets on Chinese culture and society spans close to 200 years with the earliest pamphlets dating back to the mid-18th century. Also included are tourist guides, lecture notes, magazine articles, diaries, letters, and annual reports mostly written by Western diplomats, missionaries, merchants, scholars, and travelers. The collection was started by Charles W. Wason, a Cleveland based engineer, who developed a deep interest in China after a visit there. While some pamphlets, particularly those published in Britain and the US, can be easily found online in places like the Internet Archive, other pamphlets, especially those published in China, are rare and not available anywhere else in digital format. Contents range from English translations of Chinese poetry by Ezra Pound, to Sun Yat Sen’s “Kidnapped in London,” and tourist guides for Western visitors. Scholarly essays such as The Story of the Wason Pamphlet Collection (Liren Zheng, Cornell University) and a series of mini guides add historical context.

Scholars with an interest in China may also be keen to explore Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980, another Adam Matthew Digital collection with British government documents from The National Archives at Kew and Socialism on Film, 1918-1988, a streaming collection of documentaries, feature films, and newsreels archived at the British Film Institute, which includes films produced in China for distribution in the West.

Access to the collections is available via the Library’s Database A-Z list and its catalog.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Last Modified: May 19, 2020