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.

Bathing Parades and Bicycles: The Life of a Missionary Family in Japan
07 April 2016

Whilst working on Church Missionary Society Periodicals, Module II: Medical Journals, Asian Missions and the Historical Record: 1816-1986, I have been constantly entertained and intrigued by the photographs which illustrate the periodicals. The articles surrounding an image can often offer an interesting insight into its production and its significance to the CMS mission.

Emma Abbott the pre-Madonna prima donna: extraordinary everyday lives of women in 19th century America
01 April 2016

Singing about California while wearing a cupcake bra, running a business, racing yachts around the world, writing and producing a TV show, telling jokes to millions of people, leading a political party, writing Nobel prize-winning fiction, looking for cures, performing surgery 
 the list of fun, incredible and important work that women do these days goes on and on. Ok, so we don’t all own a cupcake bra like Katy Perry, but we do have the ability to choose a career that we want and for most women work is a part of our everyday lives.

Three Go Camping in Yosemite
24 March 2016

Summer 2016 will see the release of Adam Matthew’s History of Mass Tourism, a highly visual and searchable collection celebrating the growth of tourism from the mid-1800s to 1960s. One of the treasures found in this resource is a photograph album belonging to a young Alfred Ghirardelli, heir to the Ghirardelli chocolate empire, depicting a trip to Yosemite in the summer of 1903.

Guy Fawkes the Feminist
17 March 2016

Excuse me - late to the party, as always - but last week, International Women’s Day, the annual celebration dedicated to championing 50% of the population for 0.27% of the year, rolled around once again.

Available now - World’s Fairs: a Global History of Expositions
02 March 2016

The latest online resource from Adam Matthew Digital is now available. World’s Fairs: a Global History of Expositions digitises thousands of pages of primary source material relating to the inception, planning, organisation, exhibits and experience of over 200 international exhibitions. These enormous global events brought together the leading lights in technology, architecture, design and entertainment throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and continue to this day.

A Peep Into The Great Exhibition of 1851
26 February 2016
An item I assessed back in 2014 provided a challenge in terms of how to digitise it; Spooner’s Perspective View of the Great Exhibition is a folding concertina peepshow. It is made of ten pieces of card, each with a different layer of a scene from inside Crystal Palace, where the 1851 Great Exhibition was held (widely regarded as the most influential single event in the history of design and industry). Folded out and viewed through the peephole, these pieces make up a three-dimensional perspective of a long architectural gallery.
The Australian ‘Colonial Experiment’
19 February 2016

A little over a year ago I was lucky enough to visit Australia for the first time and spent some time in the city of Sydney. While wandering around the Central Business District and down to Circular Quay, it was hard to think that this major cultural and economic centre had only been settled by European colonisers a little over two hundred years ago. For it was on the afternoon of 26 January 1788 when a fleet of eleven vessels under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip entered what today is known as Sydney Harbour and started what was described by Robert Hughes in his book The Fatal Shore as ‘a new colonial experiment, never tried before, not repeated since’.

The Cyrus Cylinder: celebrating 2500 years of the Persian Empire
16 February 2016
In 1971, the Shah of Iran threw a party the likes of which the world had rarely before seen. It featured roasted peacocks, a city of silk, Italian son et lumiere amusements and dignitaries from every corner of the globe. You may have seen the recent BBC4 programme which examined this extraordinary event, which was a celebration of 2500 years of the Persian Empire, dating back to Cyrus the Great. In hindsight we know that this empire would soon come crashing down in the Iranian revolution of 1979, and it is this aspect which is so often analysed and studied nowadays.
St. Louis: the 'Northern City, with Southern Exposure': A special guest blog by Priscilla A. Dowden-White
15 February 2016

Newly arrived African-American migrants to St. Louis during the opening of the Great Migration became part of an already established cosmopolitan community with deep roots dating back to the city’s early beginnings. A major center of social welfare progressivism, St. Louis was also particularly weeded to residential segregation.

In need of some advice?
12 February 2016

I think it’s fair to say we probably all need a little advice from time-to-time and in this modern world there seems to be no shortage of professionals, books, websites and television shows to turn to when we need a little guidance. But this is by no means a modern phenomenon; guides offering advice have been circulating for centuries.

Atlanta and the American Historical Association
09 February 2016
Last month I travelled out to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the four-day 130th American Historical Association (AHA) conference. This was a chance to get some real insight into the hot topics currently being discussed within the field of migration studies and was attended not just by movers and shakers from American Universities, but by academics from the UK, South Africa, Japan, Germany and many other countries across the globe.
Dealing with Distance from the Archives through Digitization: A special guest blog by Craig Gallagher
08 February 2016
To access and make use of manuscript documents in the archives, historians have to deploy a variety of skills they have acquired in their training. Chief among these are the ability to navigate manuscript catalogues that are often labyrinthine, decipher the frequently challenging handwriting of historical figures, and read these materials critically in the political, social, and even curatorial context in which they were produced and catalogued.
'Love me or hate me': the perils of theatrical marriage
05 February 2016
Sometimes it's easy to think that the obsession with glamorous celebrities and their lives behind the scenes is purely a modern phenomenon, aided and abetted by social media and reality TV shows. But as I've been working on material for the upcoming Shakespeare in Performance resource, it's very clear that this phenomenon is timeless.
Sweet Liberty: World’s Fairs’ love affair with the Liberty Bell
05 February 2016

The Liberty Bell, which has long been the symbol of American independence, is now a very familiar object to everyone in the office who’s been working on our upcoming World’s Fairs resource. Many of America’s expositions proudly hosted the bell on the fair site as a central attraction, with millions of visitors flocking to catch a glimpse of this famous national symbol.

Gentlemen, You Can't Fight In Here! This is the War Room
29 January 2016
Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the release Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy satirising Cold War anxieties of an all-out thermonuclear holocaust as a result of nuclear tensions between two countries. The film on its release predictably caused a good deal of controversy. This is hardly surprising of a film in which a crazed American General (Jack D. Ripper) manages to call for a nuclear strike against the USSR, in defence of the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people, without consulting the President.
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