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.

HTR: Introducing AI as an Aid to Manuscript Research in Adam Matthew Collections
18 August 2017

Adam Matthew Digital is the first primary source publisher to utilise Artificial Intelligence to offer transformative search capabilities with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology, which we will be showcasing in the third module of our Matthew’s award-winning resource Colonial America: The American Revolution. Whilst the vast selection of material covering the American Revolutionary period in this collection was sure to pique many a budding American history enthusiast’s interest, this new HTR software has catapulted our latest collection to the forefront of academic and digital curation discussion.

What links W.H. Smith, Rudyard Kipling, Edward VIII, and Harold Macmillan? A Special Guest Blog by Ian Gadd
16 August 2017

What links W.H. Smith, Rudyard Kipling, Edward VIII, and Harold Macmillan? They were all members of the Stationers’ Company, the 600-year-old London livery company whose records have just been digitised by Adam Matthew as Literary Print Culture: The Stationers' Company Archive, 1554-2007.

“Sedgwick Boys”: An Experiment in Colonial Labour
14 August 2017

On 25 January 1911 a party of 50 British boys arrived in Wellington, New Zealand as part of an unusual colonial experiment. Varying in age from 16 to 20 and coming predominantly from lower class occupations such as domestic service, the lads were part of a trial scheme to ascertain the feasibility of sending city boys with no previous agricultural experience to rural farms within the British Dominions. This three-year apprenticeship scheme was the brain child of Thomas E. Sedgwick and other like-minded philanthropists, who felt increasing alarm at the enforced idleness of youth.

Samuel Dyer and the Boston Tea Party
08 August 2017

The Colonial Office 5 records cast useful light on high-level administrative aspects of the American Revolution. However, not all who documented these events were as well-placed as colonial governors and secretaries. CO 5 records reveal glimpses of much more obscure figures, too.

Unusual Gifts By the Hundred
28 July 2017

If, like me, you find that celebratory occasions for family and friends tend to cluster together (birthdays, weddings, baby showers, hen parties, anniversaries), you may find yourself struggling to think of appropriate and thoughtful gifts year after year.

Using Mass Observation Online in the Classroom: A Case Study at Bristol University
24 July 2017

One of best parts of my role in the Academic Outreach team here at Adam Matthew is working with faculty and instructors to integrate our primary source collections into undergraduate teaching. While there is a significant user base of independent scholarly researchers, we also have many undergraduate instructors who want to build specialist primary source content into their students' learning.

Adam Matthew presents!: Conference papers and panels
21 July 2017

Scarcely a week goes by at the Adam Matthew office without a report landing in my inbox from colleagues returning from conferences in far-flung locations such as Utrecht, Florida and Budapest. One or other of us is forever off to an academic gathering somewhere in the world, often as an exhibitor with a booth of leaflets and goodies, and other times as an inquisitive delegate attending papers and workshops.

'[I]t Would Be Very Difficult to Secure Such a Child' - The American Red Cross and Wartime Propaganda
20 July 2017

'If you can send to me a little French girl, one or both of whose hands have been cut off by the Germans, we will take care of her and her presence will do more to help us raise large sums of money than anything else.'So wrote a member of the Westchester County Chapter of the Red Cross in November 1917, five months after the United States' entry into the First World War.

Back to Fortress Singapore: A First-Hand Account
14 July 2017
Singapore, the epitome of British colonial rule with its grand government buildings and famous hotels, was also the British military stronghold in the East. However, when in 1942 the Japanese took the British by surprise, advancing down the Malay peninsula with speed and ferocity, it led to one of the greatest military defeats in British history. Singapore was occupied by the Japanese and would not be back in British hands until the war was over.
The Red Star Line in Antwerp, 1873-1934
13 July 2017

In search of a better life, almost two million people emigrated to the United States and Canada on Red Star Line vessels between 1873 and 1934. They came mainly from Germany and Eastern Europe, of which an estimated 25% were Jewish. Only 10% of the emigrants travelling via Antwerp were Belgian. In the 1870s and 1880s good rail connections ensured that many emigrants from Switzerland and western and southern Germany booked their passage from Antwerp, rather than from Bremen or Hamburg.

Love in the time of the USSR
07 July 2017

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ classic single All You Need Is Love. This blog, however, isn’t about the Beatles, but it is about love with a little socialist industrialism thrown in. I’ve recently been working on Module II Newsreels & Cinemagazines of Adam Matthew’s Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda resource, and thought I’d share one of my favourite clips (so far)!

Historical Memory and the Race Relations Institute
04 July 2017

Recently the issue of race and public memory has ignited long-simmering passions in American cities and states over how to properly record and represent the past. On May 18, 2017, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu, finally achieved his goal – the removal of the 80-foot statue of General Robert E. Lee from a downtown site; the last of four towering monuments to the Confederacy that had stabbed the skyline for over 130 years.

The Kinsmans: Love and Loss in Nineteenth-Century Macau
03 July 2017

The words that Nathaniel Kinsman hastily penned to his “dearly beloved Wife” aboard a fast boat that carried him against the current of the Pei-ho River, from Macao (Macau) to Canton (Guangzhou) in China, reveal how Americans experienced China in the nineteenth century. They are emblematic of stories that reveal the human side of the Old China Trade, and lie beneath the conventional narrative that regales in opium sales and opium wars, pirates and typhoons, and, of course, tea, porcelain and silk.

‘Fastest, highest, longest and safest’: The Coney Island Cyclone
30 June 2017

Ninety years ago this week, a rollercoaster called the Cyclone opened in Coney Island, on the Atlantic coast of the New York borough of Brooklyn. I am no particular rollercoaster fan – though not a tall man I’m always convinced I’ll be decapitated in the tunnels; in the merry photos taken at the end I’m the pale one hunched over – but when I found myself in Coney Island a few years ago I felt obliged, since the Cyclone is still there, to toddle along (fortified by a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog) and have a go.

Wonder Women
22 June 2017

Wonder Woman has kicked down doors for female superheroes everywhere this summer with her Lasso of Truth, steely commitment to peace and wholly impractical wardrobe – raking in $600 million in the process. ... While working on Adam Matthew’s upcoming resource Medical Services and Warfare, I stumbled across a biographical collection charting the real-life women who dedicated their lives to the war effort.

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