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.

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.

The Moon Always Shines on TV
12 July 2016

On this day, 47 years ago, the words “that’s one small step..." were broadcast live, and the world knew that man had landed on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission had finally given the US the upper hand in the Space Race, more than a decade after the Soviet Union declared its intention to launch a satellite.

New lands on a plate: British vs French in eighteenth-century North America
08 July 2016

In the popular imagination, colonial-era America is equated with the thirteen colonies of Britain, and indeed our Colonial America resource, module 2 of which has just been released, is made up exclusively of British and British-American archive material. But the reality is that seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North America was contested between rival European powers, each vying for land, resources, trade, military superiority and advantageous relations with indigenous groups.

Oh Hec… following the rise and fall of the Comte d'Estaing in Colonial America, Module 2: Towards Revolution
29 June 2016
With Colonial America, Module 2: Towards Revolution publishing next Wednesday, I thought it a fitting time to take a closer look at the rather tumultuous rise and fall of Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector, the Comte d'Estaing. As the CO5 team at Adam Matthew were presented with an array of weird, wonderful, and highly amusing names whilst indexing material collated within this collection (a personal favourite being Sampson Saller Blowers), you may be forgiven for thinking that the Comte d’Estaing sounds quite an uninspiring figure to investigate in comparison. However, the trajectory of Hector’s military and political career was far more colourful than his name, or indeed the sepia material that record it in this collection, might suggest.
Smiles from the Somme
29 June 2016

On 1st July 1916 the first day of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War, began. Over 141 days, 1.2 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict were injured or killed, in what Captain Blackadder famously referred to as ‘another gargantuan effort to move [Field Marshal Haig’s] drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.’ 1st July 1916 has gone down on record as the single worst day in the history of the British army; in just one day, the army suffered 60,000 casualties. Desperate to keep the true horrors of the war from civilian eyes, the propaganda machine swung into overdrive.

Women Whose Loves have Ruled the World
23 June 2016
The sex scandal, commonly touted by tabloids today, while enormously popular is by no means a modern phenomenon, but has gripped public imagination for centuries. In the Victorian era, scandals of all sorts permeated the popular press and stories of moral degeneration were met in equal measure with anxiety, outrage and shameless fascination.
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