The Editor's Choice

Welcome to the blog of the editorial team at Adam Matthew Digital. Here we will bring you snippets from the fascinating collections 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.

Also featured are special guest blogs by leading academics on their personal collection highlights. Please subscribe to recieve new blog posts direct to your inbox.

Frontier Football
15 October 2018

Everyone knows that modern football [soccer] players are soft yet crafty. The recent evidence is endless: Rivaldo in the 2002 World Cup, Neymar in 2018, Klinsmann at Italia 90, Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets … and who can forget Sheffield Wednesday’s pitiful antics vs Cambridge Utd in in the 1998/9 edition of the Worthington Cup? But if you like a time when men were men in your football I refer you to this match up on Christmas Day, 1882. Mounties vs Civilians in the frontier town of Battleford in modern-day Saskatchewan, Canada.

An Autumn Abroad
12 October 2018

Get into the spirit of autumn with the sources from Leisure, Travel & Mass Culture.

Freedom's Signal for the Indians
10 October 2018

While reading through American Indian Newspapers, the latest digital collection from Adam Matthew, one particularly arresting image repeatedly caught my eye; an illustration of a man trapped beneath a fallen tree trunk carved with the title, “Indian Bureau”. This striking tableau comprised the masthead of Wassaja, “Freedom’s signal for the Indians”.

Robert Robert Robert
27 September 2018

It’s baby season at Adam Matthew at the moment, with our staff producing almost as many babies this year as we have collections. With each bundle of joy comes the discussion of baby names, a discussion I remember having myself when I had my own bundle of joy (now a toddler terror) a few years ago. Whilst lists of boys and girls names are made and debated in our offices and staff room, I’m starting to wonder if it would all be a bit simpler if we just took a leaf from the Livingstons of New York’s book and just call all upcoming babies the same name.

“To be, or not to be”: Writing to survive in the Arctic
21 September 2018

On the 21st December, 1852, whilst enduring extreme temperatures and surrounded by nature at its most treacherous, a group of Royal Navy men stranded in the Arctic seemingly put on a production of Hamlet. At least, that’s what the local Arctic news source of the time, The Queen’s Illuminated Magazine and North Cornwall Gazette, informs us.

Unicorns: 'fierce and extremely wild?'
14 September 2018

Recently digitised for Adam Matthew’s Age of Exploration, the papers of Sir Joseph Banks offer fascinating insights into European maritime exploration, scientific developments and the intellectual life of his day. As well as accompanying Cook on his first voyage to the Pacific, Banks patronised numerous expeditions, and played a leading role in European academia. The range of individuals who corresponded with Banks is astounding; his correspondents include the naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, the astronomer William Herschel, the polymath explorer Alexander von Humboldt, and even revolutionaries (Benjamin Franklin and Jean-Paul Marat.)

Riots and rough justice in Colonial America: the great escape of Nehemiah Baldwin
07 September 2018

To celebrate the publication of module IV of Colonial America: Legislation and Politics in the Colonies earlier this week I wanted to highlight one of my favourite documents from the collection. The New Jersey: Minutes of Council in Assembly, January-February 1748 may not have the most intriguing of titles but, within “a brief state of facts concerning the riots and insurrections in New Jersey” three years earlier, dedicated readers are rewarded with dramatic details of Nehemiah Baldwin's hearing.

Unfolding Empire in Adam Matthew Digital’s Colonial America.
05 September 2018

Adam Matthew Digital's Colonial America is a magnificent achievement, testimony to the company's vision and the skill and dedication of the staff in providing accessible, machine readable facsimiles of original historical documents. As a research resource, it is unquestionably enriching the research process. Together with printed collections, online repositories, and archival collections, scholars today have opportunities to scope projects on larger scales. The publication of module IV, covering the proceedings and legislation of the continental American Colonies, enables intercolonial comparative research like no other resource.

The Moving Target - Marketing to Women in the 1970s
31 August 2018

Rena Bartos was named Senior Vice President at the J. Walter Thompson Company in 1977 and was an influential figure in the advertising industry. She was highly regarded for her pioneering work on marketing to women, a concept she called ‘The Moving Target’. ‘The Moving Target’ focused on changing perceptions of women in the 70s; it was designed to help advertisers recognise the shifting roles of the modern woman, encourage them to portray her more realistically in the media and sell to her more effectively as a consumer.

Were Nazi troops headed for my house?
24 August 2018

Here in the office, everyone has their favourite search terms when exploring our new collections. I often search for “Devizes” to see what historic documents I can turn up on my own stomping ground. For a small Wiltshire town, the results so far have been surprisingly varied, with letters written from the house next to my favourite Chinese turning up in Colonial America, travel guides for canal walks in Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture, and tales of war-time community spirit in First World War.

Beer, Football and Public Transport: A GI’s Guide to Great Britain
21 August 2018

In my time as an intern at Adam Matthew Digital, I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling across some fantastic sources. One that stood out to me whilst working on the upcoming World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts project was a booklet produced by the US War and Navy Departments in Washington D.C., titled ‘A Short Guide to Great Britain’.

Summer holidays: Soviet style
10 August 2018

As the thermometers refuse to budge from the high 20s, supermarket freezers become devoid of any ice-based products and social media fills up with photographs of far-flung beaches and pools, thoughts inevitably drift to summer holidays of times past.

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps): The Japanese Yokai
02 August 2018

Being something of a fan of the stories of M. R James, whose heroes often come across intriguing manuscripts telling of ghosts and demons, I couldn’t help but be reminded of his work when I happened across today’s featured item, the ‘Book of Monstrosities’ (or, Nihon itai jinbutsu zu).

 

 

 

An Island, Alone in the Sea
27 July 2018

The expansionist route that Japan pursued during the 1930s has historically been linked with domestic issues during this decade. However, ahead of the upcoming publication of Foreign Office Files for Japan 1919-1930, I found myself uncovering documents telling a different tale and presenting reasons, during the ‘20s, as to why Japan chose this route.

 

 

 

 

1931 vs. 2018: How Traditional is My Wedding?
19 July 2018

Wedding season is in full swing once again and in light of my own impending nuptials, I’ve decided to take a look back at a bridal etiquette leaflet from 1931 in Adam Matthew’s resource Trade Catalogues and the American Home to explore bridal traditions after months of being asked things like…

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