History

The Twelve Digital Images Of Christmas
21 December 2017

The season of good will, gift giving, holiday, Father Christmas and copious volumes of food and drink is upon us. Like most of us, you probably think you know all you need to about the key elements of Christmas. Yet, historical images of the holiday have varied enormously in their message and impact. So, what better time to rifle through the digital archives and find out how Christmas has been depicted, celebrated, captured and advertised throughout history? From the wacky to the wondrous, the moving to the marvellous (not to mention, the just plain baffling) I present to you, the snappily named, Twelve Digital Images of Christmas: A Miscellany.

Charles J.C. Hutson And Confederate Flag Culture: A Special Guest Blog
06 December 2017

The letters of Charles J.C. Hutson, a former student of South Carolina College and a soldier in the First South Carolina Volunteers, provide insight on various topics pertaining to the American Civil War era. ... But it is Hutson’s remarks on a company flag from early in the war that this piece will focus upon. Though perhaps trivial at first glance, these remarks offer us a personal perspective on the complex ways in which southerners developed a relationship with their fledgling nation and their wider ideas about the Civil War.

The Great Game Revisited: Afghanistan In The 1970s
01 December 2017

It was in the early 1970s that Afghanistan entered into the spiral of governmental instability, insurgency, outright civil war and foreign interventions that has plagued it to the present day. Amongst the dozens of Afghan-focused files in our resource 'Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan' two which date from the regime of Mohammad Daoud Khan, president from 1973 to 1978, shed light both on the circumstances under which he came to power and, with some considerable prescience, on the potential for instability and Soviet intervention which it was feared might follow the end of his rule.

Represented In The American Hemisphere: The United Kingdom, The Rise Of Pan-Americanism And The Canadian Question
29 November 2017

A special guest blog by Alex Bryne. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Pan-Americanism became a popular topic of debate within the United States and Latin America. Although Canada was excluded from traditional interpretations of Pan-Americanism, British policy makers grew concerned about the relationship between the two, and the Adam Matthew digital collection ‘Confidential Print: North America, 1824-1961’ provides valuable insights into their reasoning.

'Color Uncle Frank Playful Grey Flannel’: The J. Walter Thompson Colouring Book
24 November 2017

In the long-gone days of 2015-16, adult colouring books suddenly became nothing less than a phenomenon. The Independent even reported that the craze had led to a 'global pencil shortage'. Imagine my surprise, then, when working on Adam Matthew Digital’s forthcoming J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America, I came across a colouring book for adults, released as long ago as 1974!

In the Name of Lenin: Electrifying the Great October Revolution
08 November 2017

To celebrate the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Professor Graham Roberts introduces the 1932 film short, In the Name of Lenin. Directed by Mikhail Slutskii, this 14 minute feature was produced in the USSR to celebrate industrial progress in the years following the Revolution.

October Days: The Bolshevik Revolution at 100
07 November 2017

To celebrate the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Professor Denise J. Youngblood introduces the 1958 film October Days. Directed by Sergei Vasiliev, the film was produced in the USSR to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution and makes for a fascinating case study in Soviet memory.

Wallpaper Newspapers of the American Civil War
23 October 2017

There was a time in Britain when fish and chip takeaways were clad in unused newspapers, prompting the wry saying that today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapping. In a small twist on this, these items from American history below give us an instance of today’s wallpaper becoming tomorrow’s news plus an interesting symbol of the disparity in resources between two sides of a civil war.

Surviving the American Civil War: An Interactive Patient Database
23 October 2017

To celebrate the release of Medical Services and Warfare: 1850-1927, Adam Matthew Digital is providing free access to the interactive Civil War patient database Surviving the Civil War available to explore for 30 days from 24th October 2017.

The Battle of Passchendaele
19 October 2017

“I died in hell – they called it Passchendaele” – One hundred years on, Passchendaele is commemorated through the words of poet Siegfried Sassoon. But it can also be remembered through the memoirs and diaries of the men who experienced the events. Perhaps the First World War battle that is today most present in the collective British consciousness is the Somme, but at the time this battle was synonymous with the hopelessness and horror of what was playing out on foreign fields.

“Ever Yours”: The Florence Nightingale Papers and Handwritten Text Recognition Technology
13 October 2017

Medical Services and Warfare: 1850-1927 is a major new resource that examines the history of injury, disease, treatment and medical development within and around conflicts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.Collecting more than 4,000 documents from archives and libraries from the UK and North America, this resource includes the outstanding Florence Nightingale Papers from the British Library, comprising correspondence, notes and reports written between 1847-1889.

A Stone in Peleg Bradford’s Shoe May Have Saved His Life: A Special Guest Blog by Jake Wynn
11 October 2017

On June 17, 1864, while on the picket line outside Petersburg, Virginia, Private Bradford crouched down to remove the rock from his shoe. Just then, a Confederate sharpshooter took aim and fired. The bullet smashed through Bradford’s leg, which was raised as he attempted to put the shoe back onto his foot. “He always said he was sure that the Rebel sharpshooter had aimed for his head,” wrote Richard Bradford, Peleg’s grandson, “He always figured he swapped his knee for his head.”

Pictures of Some Things You Want
04 October 2017

Trade Catalogues and the American Home is a fascinating resource which published in early 2017 that allows you to see the changes in American consumerism over the twentieth century. The collection highlights many aspects of American daily life from around 1850-1950. One such aspect: our (and I’m lumping us Brits in with the Americans, here) great love of Stuff.

Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation (Eurabia)
02 October 2017

When reviewing an historical event, I often enjoy researching the minutiae of the moment. What, I will wonder, was the weather like? What did the participants eat for breakfast? It is for this reason that I wanted to put Adam Matthew’s facsimile of the summary booklet for the 1977 ‘Peace and Palestinians’ conference into a more detailed historical and cultural context – drawn in by the little details, and encouraged by the fact that the fortieth anniversary of this significant event is rapidly approaching.

Bobbies and Peelers: The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829
29 September 2017

On this day in 1829 the first units of the London Metropolitan Police appeared on the streets of London, under Sir Robert Peel. Having become Home Secretary in 1822, Peel set to work laying the legislation in place that would enable the very first English police force.

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