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.

Another Christmas in the Trenches
07 December 2018

For some, the festive season is marked by traditional fare – carol singing, sleigh rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. For others, however, nothing heralds the arrival of Christmas like Hans Gruber prowling about Nakatomi Plaza or Elton John hawking pianos for an ad-obsessed department store. Inevitably, watching the crooner transported through Christmases past, my thoughts turned to famous festive stories throughout time; Washington and his troops fording the Delaware, Cromwell – that classic panto villain – cancelling Christmas, and, of course, the famed football match of 1914. 

Dogs of War
30 November 2018

This year marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, and stories of bravery proliferated in our media, reminding us of the enormity of the war’s impact. Looking at the First World War Portal, I quickly found several of these accounts, making it nearly impossible to choose just one to write about.

Inspired by my faithful companion, and not knowing where else to begin, I did a quick search for the word “dog”.

It's Behind You!
23 November 2018

 

As November draws to a close and the countdown to Christmas begins, what better way to get into the festive spirit than a good old Christmas panto?

Light-hearted comedy, audience participation and eccentric costumes are all familiar aspects of the classic Christmas pantomime which we owe in large to the enterprising Victorians. This is illustrated in Victorian Popular Culture.

Around the World in 1,663 Days: Vancouver's Expedition
16 November 2018

A highlight from the forthcoming Colonial America: Module V: Growth, Trade and Development is the despatches of a certain Captain George Vancouver, from his ship, HMS Discovery, during his expedition to the Pacific Northwest.

The Armistice: A Global Experience 100 Years On
06 November 2018

This Sunday will mark 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War, and acts of remembrance are planned across the world for communities to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who came before.

Documents in our forthcoming resource, The First World War: A Global Conflict, offer some real gems for those interested in how the Armistice was experienced globally in 1918. Here I have selected three items, created by people based in Japan, France and Constantinople.

March on the Pentagon
02 November 2018

In 1967, the sentiment against the Vietnam War had spread nationwide. Many Americans had protested U.S participation and had become involved in a largely nonviolent and diverse war resistance. In October of 1967, at a march in Washington organised by The National Mobilisation Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the anti-war movement entered a new stage – typified by a willingness to engage in direct confrontation with authority. This became known as the March on the Pentagon.

Halloween in the Archives
31 October 2018

It's a common misconception that Halloween and its sweet-fuelled, trick-or-treat festivities has its origins in America. But these traditions are also deeply rooted in Irish culture, as a 19th-century issue of The Queen, The Lady’s Newspaper illustrates.

Looking to the future in 1975: JWTrends
26 October 2018

Produced weekly by the Information Center of J. Walter Thompson’s Chicago office, JWTrends offered advertisers insights into the latest technological, social and economic news and research. Initially presented as a newsletter for JWT’s Chicago office alone upon its launch in 1974, by early 1975 this weekly, single-page newsletter could boast that it was a ‘digest of news… of interest to those in the advertising and marketing community’, suggesting a wider circulation than just the staff of one Thompson office.

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.

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