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.

Gilded, not Golden: Perspectives from the Gilded Age
07 December 2021

This week marks the publication of The Gilded Age and Progressive Era, a resource which brings together varied primary source material from eight archives to shed light on this transformative period in American history.

Lest We Forget: Learning to evaluate the past
09 November 2021

This week marks the centenary of the first paper poppies sold by the Royal British Legion in November 1921. These small red flowers have become a symbol of remembrance, a physical marker of national grief following the bloodshed of the First World War ‚Äď but also a flashpoint for political debate over who should wear them, when and why. Over the past few weeks, as poppies began to materialise on lapels across the land, I started to think about public memory, history and how the events of the past are recorded for future generations. Research Methods Primary Sources, the new pedagogical platform from Adam Matthew, was created with precisely these topics ‚Äď and many others ‚Äď in mind. How do we know what happened in the past? What are primary sources? Why are some historical documents archived and why did others disappear? Why does that matter today?

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot: Bermuda and the American Revolution
05 November 2021

‚ÄúThe Powder magazine, which in the dead of night of the 14th August was broke into [‚Ķ] the doors most audaciously and daringly forced open, at the great risk of their being blown up‚ÄĚ. So wrote George James Bruere on the 17th August 1775 in his role the Governor of Bermuda at the height of the American War of Independence.

Enmity on board the Friendship: A tale of mutiny from Colonial Caribbean
13 September 2021

All my life, I have been drawn to stories of the sea. My grandfather‚Äôs bookshelf was lined with maritime histories, and I followed his lead to the best of my ability with bedtime tales of Captain Pugwash. My parents were scuba divers too, and a holiday wasn‚Äôt worth having if fifty per cent of it wasn‚Äôt spent in the water. It‚Äôs little wonder, then, that Colonial Caribbean captures my imagination the way it does ‚Äď so many of the narratives in this vast and fascinating collection lead, in one way or another, to the ocean.

The Explorations of William Watts McNair
04 August 2021

Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan, 1834-1922: From Silk Road to Soviet Rule - the latest addition to Adam Matthew Digital‚Äôs Archives Direct platform - showcases a wealth of documents from the National Archives, UK relating to the ‚ÄúGreat Game‚ÄĚ, a struggle between the British and Russian Empires for political influence, territory, and trade in the region. Filed in one of the volumes digitised for this collection is a report concerning William Watts McNair's ‚ÄėExplorations in part of Eastern Afghanistan and Kafiristan', an exhaustive record of travels undertaken in 1883.

Yes to the dress?
26 July 2021

This week marks 40 years since the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29th July 1981.

Isabella Bird: Explorer or Exploiter
14 July 2021

This guest blog was written by Edward Armston-Sheret, a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway’s Department of Geography. As part of the collaboration between the Royal Historical Society and Adam Matthew Digital, Ed, and a number of other early career researchers, were awarded a twelve-month subscription to Adam Matthew Digital’s collections of digital primary sources. Ed used Nineteenth Century Literary Society to access the material on Isabella Bird, such as the letters mentioned in the blog below:

Isabella Bird is remembered as a pioneering woman traveller. She went to and through every continent except Antarctica and wrote best-selling books on her journeys. Bird was also one of the first women admitted to the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in 1892. Studying her life and travels can draw attention to the often ignored role of women within Victorian geography. But there is a danger of ignoring the people who made her journeys possible.

'Of whiche londes & jles I schall speke more pleynly here after': The travels of Sir John Mandeville
28 May 2021

As covid restrictions are eased and thoughts turn, at least here in Britain, to travelling abroad, my own thoughts have turned to our digital collection Medieval Travel Writing, and to a mysterious globetrotter, or yarn-spinner, or both, about whom so much is contested that even his existence is a matter of debate ‚Äď Sir John Mandeville.

'There is Still Hope': The Aftermath of Pearl Harbor for the Iwata Family
19 May 2021

Migration to New Worlds holds a fascinating collection of letters from the Iwata family highlighting the devastating aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor for Japanese Americans in the US.

17 May 2021

Launched last year, Nineteenth-Century Literary Society: The John Murray Publishing Archive charts the growth of the famous John Murray publishing house through the correspondence, accounts and written work of the literary luminaries who worked with the firm for almost 150 years of its history. One such luminary was the poet and aristocrat, Lord Byron, and among the highlights of the resource is the Byron Papers, the largest surviving collection of his writings, personal papers and correspondence.

The Show Must Go On: Posthumous performances, publicity and legacy in ‚ÄėPopular Culture in Britain and America‚Äô
23 April 2021

This weekend marks the 93rd Academy Awards, the biggest annual event in the Hollywood calendar. The 2021 nominations made Chadwick Boseman the seventh actor nominated for an acting Oscar posthumously. In honor of this, and his potential upcoming win, I took a deep dive into Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 to see what I could uncover about some of the previous posthumous Oscar nominees.

‚Äú‚Ķthe slumbering past‚ÄĚ: Revisiting Franklin‚Äôs Lost Expedition
16 April 2021

Re-watching the excellent drama series The Terror, recently shown on BBC2, has inspired me to scour through Adam Matthew‚Äôs Age of Exploration resource once again for material on Arctic exploration and, in particular, on Franklin‚Äôs Lost Expedition of 1845. As I browsed through journals, drawings, maps, reports, personal correspondence, newspaper clippings and other treasures digitised from across the world, the following sources ‚Äď all of which reveal parts of the lost expedition‚Äôs long and continuing narrative ‚Äď particularly stood out...

Unwrapping a piece of history: Making chocolate in Food and Drink
06 April 2021

Many of us may have spent the last few days surrounded by a glut of chocolate eggs ‚Äď large or small, hidden or not, the chocolate Easter egg has become a staple springtime treat.

Celebrating World Poetry Day with the John Murray Archive
19 March 2021

This Sunday, March 21 2021 marks World Poetry Day. I have taken this opportunity to explore the John Murray Archive, digitised from the National Library of Scotland in Adam Matthew Digital‚Äôs Nineteenth Century Literary Society: The John Murray Publishing Archive

Learning from the best: Lena Richard’s Creole Cookbook
12 March 2021

Lena Richard was a trailblazer, a savvy entrepreneur, committed to the wellbeing and heritage of her community. She was also an exceptionally talented chef and educator, passionate about Creole cuisine.

[12 3 4 5  >>