The Editor's Choice

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About The Blog

The Editor's Choice is the blog of the editorial team at Adam Matthew. Here we hope to bring you snippets from the fascinating collections that we have the privilege of handling on a daily basis, as well as posts about our travels to various archives and conferences across the world. The Editor’s Choice also features special guest blogs by leading academics on their personal collection highlights. Please subscribe and share!


The Moon Always Shines on TV

The Moon Always Shines on TV

On this day, 47 years ago, the words “that’s one small step..." were broadcast live, and the world knew that man had landed on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission had finally given the US the upper hand in the Space Race, more than a decade after the Soviet Union declared its intention to launch a satellite.

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Trim the intrepid seafaring cat

Trim the intrepid seafaring cat

On my recent business trip to Australia, I happened upon a rather touching monument outside the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney. Of course in cities such as Sydney there are numerous statues and memorials that line the streets and parks, but this one was conspicuous but its unusual subject matter.

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New lands on a plate: British vs French in eighteenth-century North America

New lands on a plate: British vs French in eighteenth-century North America

In the popular imagination, colonial-era America is equated with the thirteen colonies of Britain, and indeed our Colonial America resource, module 2 of which has just been released, is made up exclusively of British and British-American archive material. But the reality is that seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North America was contested between rival European powers, each vying for land, resources, trade, military superiority and advantageous relations with indigenous groups.

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Oh Hec… following the rise and fall of the Comte d

Oh Hec… following the rise and fall of the Comte d'Estaing in Colonial America, Module 2: Towards Revolution

With Colonial America, Module 2: Towards Revolution publishing next Wednesday, I thought it a fitting time to take a closer look at the rather tumultuous rise and fall of Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector, the Comte d'Estaing. As the CO5 team at Adam Matthew were presented with an array of weird, wonderful, and highly amusing names whilst indexing material collated within this collection (a personal favourite being Sampson Saller Blowers), you may be forgiven for thinking that the Comte d’Estaing sounds quite an uninspiring figure to investigate in comparison. However, the trajectory of Hector’s military and political career was far more colourful than his name, or indeed the sepia material that record it in this collection, might suggest.

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“My” American Declaration of Independence: A special guest blog by Joseph J. Felcone

“My” American Declaration of Independence: A special guest blog by Joseph J. Felcone

In October 2008 I was spending a week at The National Archives, Kew, recording their holdings of New Jersey imprints for a then forthcoming descriptive bibliography of printing in New Jersey before 1800. The CO 5 records from the British Colonial Office records are an extraordinary source for early American printing, but they have been largely neglected by printing historians because there is no item-level cataloguing.

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Mapping Gettysburg

Mapping Gettysburg

Mapping Gettysburg, a part of American History, 1493-1945: From the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York engages with the experiences of those who fought at Gettysburg by situating historic source material on an interactive map of the battlefield. The battle at a small Pennsylvanian town called Gettysburg that began on 1 July 1863 and finished three days later is now considered the American Civil War’s most renowned clash. It was certainly one of the bloodiest, with almost 50,000 of the battle’s 170,000 participants becoming casualties. Of these 7,000 lost their lives over those days. The result was a victory for the Union forces over the Confederacy’s heretofore-and-improbably-invincible Army of Northern Virginia and, coupled with the surrender of Confederate Vicksburg far away on the Mississippi on 4 July, a turning point in this bruising war that culminated in the reunion and reconstruction of the United States in 1865.

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Smiles from the Somme

Smiles from the Somme

Tomorrow marks the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War. Over 141 days, 1.2 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict were injured or killed, in what Captain Blackadder famously referred to as ‘another gargantuan effort to move [Field Marshal Haig’s] drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.’ 1st July 1916 has gone down on record as the single worst day in the history of the British army; in just one day, the army suffered 60,000 casualties. Desperate to keep the true horrors of the war from civilian eyes, the propaganda machine swung into overdrive.

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Women Whose Loves have Ruled the World

Women Whose Loves have Ruled the World

The sex scandal, commonly touted by tabloids today, while enormously popular is by no means a modern phenomenon, but has gripped public imagination for centuries. In the Victorian era, scandals of all sorts permeated the popular press and stories of moral degeneration were met in equal measure with anxiety, outrage and shameless fascination.

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