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.

Early Women Travellers and The East India Company: A Special Guest Blog by Amrita Sen
27 September 2016

In 1617 three unlikely travelers, Mariam Begum, Frances Steele (nee Webbe), and Mrs. Hudson, arrived at the busy port of Surat onboard an East India Company ship called the Anne. What made their journey so exceptional was that during the early years of its operation the Company expressly forbade women from traveling out to the East Indies, despite numerous pleas from its factors and sailors who did not wish to leave their wives behind.

Recreating the music of Shakespeare: “We can’t unhear Lady Gaga”
23 September 2016

After the announcement of our project with Shakespeare’s Globe last month, along with the launch of Shakespeare in Performance, attending the World Shakespeare Congress and a visit to the Globe itself to watch Iqbal Khan & co’s latest staging of Macbeth I can definitely say I have got the Shakespeare bug.

Poll taxes, intimidation and impossible tests: the experience of African American voters in the 1950s
16 September 2016

How many people are on the United States government payroll? If you don’t know the answer to this question, and particularly if you were an African American living in the 1950s, then chances are you would not have been allowed to vote. Last Friday, the 9th September, was the 59th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Act. Although there were criticisms at the time as to its efficacy and even motives, it was significant in being the first civil rights legislation to be passed in 82 years.

Send his scalp to the British Museum
08 September 2016

In his classic 1893 the frontier thesis – first delivered at the St Louis Worlds’ Fair – the historian Frederick Jackson Turner gave an analysis of how the experience of this contested space creates a particular culture and forges aptitudes, democracy, mentality, self-reliance, and so forth.

Mathews in the Archive: Assembling the Traces of Performance: A Special Guest Blog By Jane Wessel
06 September 2016

One of the biggest challenges of studying theatre history is reconstructing the non-textual elements of performance: the performers’ gestures and expressions, the costumes and set, the audience reaction. The challenge is amplified when studying illegitimate entertainments or legitimate plays that relied heavily on mimicry. How do we imagine the sounds or conjure the image of a scene in which a single actor, without leaving the stage, performs five or ten separate characters?

Attention Weightlessness! Cosmonaut Training in the USSR
02 September 2016

Visitors to my desk tend to comment on two things; firstly, the fan incessantly running regardless of the season, and secondly, the postcards propped up under the monitor. Bought from an exhibition gift shop last autumn, the cards feature Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova - respectively the first man and woman in space – against a back drop of hammers, sickles and rockets, staring nobly out into the office from under their helmets. My interest in - or perhaps idolatry of - these famed cosmonauts was sparked by our upcoming video resource, Socialism on Film, which is being produced in conjunction with the British Film Institute.

An Interview With Pink Floyd
23 August 2016

In December 1979 my dad was in town waiting for a bus home when a motorcycle rounded the corner a little too quickly, sending something flying off the back and landing in the road. It looked like a white envelope at first but as he walked over to pick it up he saw the simple design of a white brick wall and two words in black ink: Pink Floyd.

19 August 2016

It’s been a dramatic 2 weeks of triumph, teamwork and towering feats of sporting achievement during the 31st Olympic Games, and after years of planning, the eyes of the world were firmly on Rio de Janeiro.

The Olympic Games 1904
11 August 2016

The Olympic Games are a great opportunity for usually unheralded sports to take centre stage, and many of the same events were on display when the modern games first started over a century ago.

A tale told by an idiot: Shakespeare through the ages
01 August 2016

If you didn't already know (of course you did) this year is a HUGELY exciting one for scholars, thespians and fans of William Shakespeare. 2016 marks the the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death, and cultural organisations the whole world over have been pulling out all the stops to celebrate his life and works.

Exploring London Low Life: The Forgotten East End: A Special Guest Blog by Professor Brad Beaven
29 July 2016

When we think of the East End in the nineteenth century our minds often conjure-up images of dark back-street rookeries and communities blighted by crime and poverty. Well known polemic pamphlets by contemporaries like Andrew Mearns’ The Bitter Cry of Outcast London and the haunting images sketched by Gustave Doré have influenced both academic writing and popular culture to this day. When imagining the East End in the nineteenth century, very few of us associate it with sailors and the maritime culture that they brought ashore.

Just Little Bits of History Repeating? Muhammad Ali at the Olympic Games
29 July 2016

It has been difficult to miss the build up to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which starts a week from today, for all of the hard-hitting headlines in the news recently. Whether it be state-sponsored drugs scandals, concerns about sanitary conditions in the Olympic Village, or the ongoing threat of the Zika virus there has been lots to read about over the last few weeks. In light of this a positive look at an Olympic Games of the past might help buck the trend and provide an opportunity to pay homage to a sporting great – Muhammad Ali.

The Power of Etiquette in 19th Century America
21 July 2016

“Everyday Life & Women in America” is a recently revamped resource for the study of American social, cultural and popular history, providing access to rare primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History, Duke University and The New York Public Library. The collection is especially rich in conduct of life and domestic management literature, offering vivid insights into the daily lives of women and men through the use of documents such as etiquette advice manuals.

Holding the Manuscript, Pining the Actress: A Special Guest Blog by Robert W Jones
20 July 2016

In 2009, supported by an Andrew W Mellon Foundation Fellowship, I spent a month at the Huntington Library. My intention was to research how eighteenth-century plays were translated from manuscript into performance and later print. My focus was the Larpent manuscripts, the play scripts submitted to the examiner of plays prior to their production.

Trim the intrepid seafaring cat
14 July 2016

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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