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.

Salvage for Victory: Lessons on Recycling and Waste Reduction from Wartime America
15 May 2019

We all seem to have plastic on our minds. The recent growth of public interest in waste reduction is unmistakeable, and as someone who has long been concerned about the impact of our throwaway culture on the environment, it’s encouraging to see. However, while one might be forgiven for thinking this was a recent phenomenon, the concepts of waste management and recycling are anything but new.

Looking for Cognac and someone to kiss: Celebrating VE Day
10 May 2019

This week saw the 74th anniversary of VE Day, the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. Famous photographed moments live on in public memory; a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square and soldiers dancing in London conjure up an image of all out celebration. For millions of people around the world, this was the case, but as documents from the newly published America in World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts reveal, reactions to victory in Europe were more nuanced than this.

He Hōʻiliʻili Hawaiʻi: A Brief History of Hawaiian Language Newspapers
30 April 2019

Prior to foreign arrival, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) was a completely oral language. From the advent of the birth of the islands to our kūpuna (ancestors) who first called Hawaiʻi home, and from the volcanic deities’ love escapades to campaigns of warring chiefs staking claim over ʻāina (land), what we as Hawaiians know about ourselves and our collective histories was memorized and passed down from generation to generation via the spoken word.

A special guest blog by J. Hauʻoli Lorenzo-Elarco.

Playing God: Richard Brinsley Peake and the Fate of Frankenstein on stage
26 April 2019

Last year marked 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel that has since become one of the premiere titles of Gothic fiction. Rivalled only by Bram Stokers Dracula, it has been adapted for film, television, radio, opera and the theatre.The first of these adaptations (at least those recorded) however, is perhaps just as influential as the novel which spawned it. Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption: Or the Fate of Frankenstein, is a three act play first performed in 1823 and is included in our Victorian Popular Culture collection. What is so astounding about this version however is that it features several elements not included in the novel which have reappeared consistently in subsequent adaptations.

 

Sub-Contracting Empire: F D Lugard
17 April 2019

Sub-contracting might seem like quite a modern phenomenon, indeed many of the world’s biggest companies have built their entire business model around outsourcing and subcontracting

No Front Line in Sight: Reporting on Merrill's Marauders
12 April 2019

With the upcoming publication of the second module of Service Newspapers of World War Two, we find a report in Yank: The Army Newspaper from Sgt. Dave Richardson. Richardson spent over three months in the dense Burmese jungle fighting alongside men of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional).

Bear ahoy! 6 Moments of Soviet Kitsch
05 April 2019

This week Culture & Society, the third and final module of Socialism on Film, launches. Comprising documentaries produced in states such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and Vietnam, it touches on themes including the arts, sport, everyday life, youth and education, providing Western audiences an unparalleled insight into life behind the Iron Curtain. Rigorous and informative documentaries focussing on healthcare, women’s work, environmentalism and politics can also be found in this collection, but today, we hope you’ll forgive us a few moments of glorious kitsch.

Half a Century of Sport: Soviet sport on film
03 April 2019

Sport has many powers. It gives people purpose. It keeps us fit and healthy. It can unite a population and create waves of nationalism. And it can also be the answer to the question: how can a country as large as the Soviet Union raise its life expectancy from thirty-two years to nearly seventy within fifty years? According to the Soviet film Half a Century of Sport, credit for this remarkable achievement belongs to the sports program that was part of everyday life for millions of Soviet citizens.

A special guest blog by Dr Erin Redihan, Worcester State University.

News out of Nothing: POW Newspapers
29 March 2019

I think most would agree whatever the world’s current problems, a lack of news is not one of them.

Taxing Times: The Stamp Act of 1765
22 March 2019

On Friday 22 March 1765, the British Parliament voted to pass one of the most incendiary and politically damaging pieces of legislation in its history - the Stamp Act.

20 March 2019

In her Annals of a Publishing House (1897), the English writer Margaret Oliphant refers to George Eliot, otherwise known as Mary Anne Evans, as “the woman of genius” who occupies the space of being “one of the great writers of her time”. Eliot’s reputation continues to live on over 120 years later.

12 March 2019

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the third battle of Monte Cassino; the battle which marked the penultimate stage in the Allies’ attempts to break through the German stronghold in the Gustav line and proceed to Rome.

International Women's Day: Celebrating women
08 March 2019

International Women's Day is celebrated around the world, recognising women's achievements and promoting gender equality. It has working class beginnings, emerging from the strike of 1908 in New York, where 15,000 garment workers marched to demand workers rights and to protest their difficult working conditions.

Take a bow, the Front of House staff at Shakespeare’s Globe
07 March 2019

In the theatrical experiment that is the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe, it’s said that the audience is one of the most important discoveries. In attempting to recreate the playing conditions of Shakespeare’s time, the Globe has up to 700 ‘groundlings’ in the uncovered yard that separates the stage from three tiers of seating.

Our Friend Angela Davis
01 March 2019

Spring has sprung here at Adam Matthew and as February draws to an end and March gets underway, we find ourselves dodging daffodils and rain showers at every turn. As well as a change of season, March 1st marks the close of (US) Black History Month and the dawn of Women’s History Month, two movements designed to promote figures marginalised by the traditional top-down historical narrative. With this in mind, it seems timely to share an intriguing propaganda piece about the African American woman and “enemy of the state” who toured Leonid Brezhnev’s USSR at the height of the Cold War.

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