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.

02 December 2016

With last week’s news of the death of Fidel Castro and Cuba’s nine days of mourning underway, I thought it would be fitting to explore Adam Matthew’s upcoming Socialism on Film resource to discover how the divisive leader and his legacy have been captured on film. I soon found my answer in the 1961 documentary Island Ablaze, a powerful propaganda film which tells the story of the Cuban revolution and explores its implications for Cuba’s future generations.

The Freedom Machine
25 November 2016

Despite economic depression the 1890s had an air of optimism and progression that led social commenters to name it the “Gay Nineties”. One advance that captured both the enthusiasm and the technological advancement of this era was the booming popularity of bicycles.

Cross-Dressing Actresses: Into the Breeches: A Special Guest Blog by Felicity Nussbaum
21 November 2016

Felicity Nussbaum, Distinguished Research Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles and Editorial Board member for Eighteenth Century Drama: Censorship, Society and the Stage, discusses female cross-dressing in eighteenth-century theatre.

Gaston d’Orléans: Prince, Refugee and General
18 November 2016

The Paraguayan War generated significant interest in Europe, and the Foreign Office in London compiled much of the traffic it received into a printed file, for easy future reference. This volume, digitized as part of Adam Matthew Digital’s Confidential Print: Latin America 1833-1969, contains some fascinating insights into the Comte d’Eu’s role in the conflict – and indeed, British estimations of the Prince.

Let's Have a Moments Silence
07 November 2016

“Let’s have a moments silence,– Let’s say a pray’r or two,– Let’s give a moment of our time for the boys who fought for you;– Let’s have a moments sorrow,– Let’s pray because it’s thru, Let’s have a moments silence, For the boys who died for you.”

The Dodgy US Presidential Election of 1824
03 November 2016

The 2016 contest for the US presidency, fought between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, is commonly held to be one of the most bitter and acrimonious American political campaigns in their history. Though as you can imagine, bitter and acrimonious US presidential elections are not in the least bit new in American history. Here’s one.

Fighting for the Right to Love
02 November 2016

This week sees the release in US cinemas of Jeff Nichols’ film Loving, a dramatization of the story of interracial couple Mildred and Richard Loving whose marriage lead to their arrest under anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia in 1958. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, they appealed against the conviction and the case went to the US Supreme Court in 1967 where, in a ground-breaking decision, the convictions were overturned and all remaining anti-miscegenation laws in US states were rendered unconstitutional.

Programmes 1895-1920 – Reaching the Audiences of The Past: A Special Guest Blog by Dr. Phil Wickham
31 October 2016

Examining the material culture of the past can help us to understand how audiences of that time might have felt about what they saw, diminishing our assumptions that we bring from the present day. Some of the most fruitful sources for this research are programmes from popular venues. At The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter we have 4000 cinema programmes, including fascinating examples from the beginnings of cinema history between 1896 and 1920.

The Lady’s Magazine: A Special Guest Blog by Jennie Batchelor
26 October 2016

Jennie Batchelor, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Kent, discusses her long-running interest in The Lady's Magazine, and recent research conducted using the digital copies of the magazine available in Adam Matthew's Eighteenth Century Journals.

Cement, Chemicals, Bricks and Beer: Women in Industry During the First World War
18 October 2016

When we think of the role of women on the Home Front during the First World War, the images which spring to mind are inevitably those of fresh-faced city girls perched precariously on fence posts, wellies on and pitchfork in hand. Think harder and you might also have a vague recollection of countless rows of twenty-somethings handling and packing shell cases in London munitions factories; but what other jobs did women do during the First World War?

The Conman Cazique of Poyais
14 October 2016
One of the greatest and most brazen of swindles known to man is in fact not very well known by many. Born in 1786, Gregor MacGregor was the author of this delicious duping, and lived a colourful life in which he exhibited all the oleaginous qualities needed to enable a man to put his greed before all else.
The Wipers Times
12 October 2016

Last week I had the opportunity of seeing Ian Hislop’s and Nick Newman’s stage play based upon the true story of The Wipers Times, currently showing at the Watermill Theatre, near Newbury, 22 September – 29 October 2016. I also attended an afternoon discussion session where the co-writers were interviewed about their work and answered questions from the audience. The Wipers Times was a trench journal published by British soldiers fighting on the Ypres Salient during the First World War. It became the most famous example of trench journalism in the English-speaking world.

Reviving interest in indigenous languages and traditions with the help of Ely Samuel Parker
11 October 2016
Learning that the annual international conference held by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, (ATALM) is taking place this week in Phoenix, Arizona, I thought it a fitting time to highlight a sample of the material collated within our recently published resource: Frontier Life: Borderland Settlement & Colonial Encounters, that demonstrate attempts made over 100 years ago to restore both indigenous languages and histories.
Spectacle of the First World War: A special guest blog by Elizabeth Mantz
07 October 2016

One of the reasons I like the Adam Matthew resources so much is the visual richness contained within each one. The historical value and depth of the primary source content is complemented and augmented by a wealth of accompanying vivid images, many in colour.

Critiquing a Nation: Dickens' Quarrel with America
06 October 2016

America has been the focus of global news over the last few months due to the almost continuous coverage of the upcoming US Election. The election, while obviously a very hot topic in America, is also of interest to people around the world and, in time honoured fashion, ‘outsiders’ are also sharing their opinions and viewpoints. In 1842, it was my [cue shameless name drop] great-great-great Grandfather, English novelist Charles Dickens, who wrote a commentary on America during his first visit to the country.

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