Empire and Globalism

Those magnificent men in their soaring machines? Early aviation in The Mechanical Engineer
17 April 2020

Published by the Scientific Publishing Company, Manchester, between 1897 and 1917, The Mechanical Engineer is a remarkable publication. Digitised for Business, Economic and Labour History, the latest of Adam Matthew’s Research Source resources, this weekly paper provided its readers with news on the latest developments in a wide range of industries, often accompanied by detailed technical drawings. One of the great developments of this era was the advent of powered flight, and the paper's coverage of pioneer aviators is truly fascinating.

27 March 2020

This month we are celebrating both Women’s History Month and Mothering Sunday here in the UK. In honour of these celebrations, I have decided to write this week’s Editor’s Choice Blog about Sojourner Truth, an African American abolitionist, women’s rights activist and brave and devoted mother, who defied the odds to become reunited with her son.

Defending the Enemy: John Adams and the Boston Massacre of 1770
28 February 2020

Next week marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, one of the key milestones on the road to the American Revolution.On the evening of 5th March 1770, in a snowy Boston, eight British soldiers led by Captain Thomas Preston confronted a crowd of Bostonians, who had gathered to protest outside the Custom House.

Meet Me at the Fair: A Christmas Controversy
20 December 2019

At Adam Matthew headquarters, the annual debate over what constitutes a Christmas film has been raging. Does it have to be Christmas throughout the narrative? Does Christmas have to be integral to the plot? Does Die Hard count? Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 musical Meet Me in St Louis is a personal favourite, but one that I have struggled to convince my Editorial colleagues is a bone fide Christmas classic, taking place as it does throughout a whole year, but featuring Judy Garland’s iconic and undeniable rendition of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'.

Hope and Empire Building: Prester John and the Mongols
29 November 2019

Prester John, the fictional Asian Christian ruler, dwelt within the western medieval psyche for centuries and features heavily in Medieval Travel Writing. He is the subject of numerous letters and as an artistic subject of the period. How, when there was so little physical evidence for his existence, did his legend persist?

From the Great Exhibition to London Design Festival
20 September 2019

This week sees the opening of London Design Festival, an annual event ‘held to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community.’

From the Mayflower to Massachusetts Bay: Colonial America V
06 September 2019

On September 6th, 1620, a group of pilgrims left Plymouth aboard a ship called the Mayflower, bound for a new life in what was then the British colonies of America. Almost 400 years on from one of the most well-known events from America’s colonial beginnings, it feels fitting that, here at Adam Matthew, work on our long-running Colonial America resource has finally reached its conclusion with the publication of Module V: Growth, Trade and Development.

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

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.

“All the world’s a stage”: diplomatic entertainment in inter-war Japan
08 February 2019

In 1929, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester travelled to Japan to invest Emperor Hirohito with the Order of the Garter and in honour of the visit, the prince was treated to a presentation of a Kabuki drama by the famous Kabuki-za theatre in Tokyo. Browsing through Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1919-1930: Japan and Great Power Status, the newly released third section of Adam Matthew’s Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1919-1952 collection, I came across a programme prepared specifically for the drama’s performance for Prince Henry.

The Fate of a Nation, on a Single Page
16 January 2019

Upon the conclusion of the First World War, the victorious countries convened for the Paris Peace Conference. At the conference, peace terms were stipulated for the defeated Central Powers. One of the major discussion points was the confiscation of the Central Powers overseas territories.

An emperor in exile: Napoleon in St Helena
11 January 2019

Before its airport opened in 2016, St Helena was accessible only by a five-day voyage by Royal Mail ship from Cape Town, making it a candidate, given its position in the middle of the Atlantic between Brazil and Angola, for the most isolated inhabited place on earth.

The Empire Writes Back: ‘Christmas in its true aspect’
21 December 2018

One of the many collections from Adam Matthew’s microfilm catalogue which we’ve digitised in 2018 – and also, I’m confident in asserting, the best-named – is The Empire Writes Back.

Christmas Greetings from the North Pole!
14 December 2018

The Adam Matthew Christmas party is imminent, with alcohol flowing, plenty of mingling and, of course, an abundance of food. Feeling festive, I decided to venture around AM Explorer, reflecting on Christmas parties and dinners over time and the difference between celebrations now and in times gone by. During this search, a rather unusual Christmas Day menu caught my eye from the Age of Exploration collection, for the crew on the Ziegler Polar Expedition, 1904.

Around the World in 1,663 Days: Vancouver's Expedition
16 November 2018

A highlight from the forthcoming Colonial America: Module V: Growth, Trade and Development is the despatches of a certain Captain George Vancouver, from his ship, HMS Discovery, during his expedition to the Pacific Northwest.

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