History

1931 vs. 2018: How Traditional is My Wedding?
19 July 2018

Wedding season is in full swing once again and in light of my own impending nuptials, I’ve decided to take a look back at a bridal etiquette leaflet from 1931 in Adam Matthew’s resource Trade Catalogues and the American Home to explore bridal traditions after months of being asked things like…

Women’s Suffrage: Getting creative
10 July 2018

Recently, I attended an event at the National Archives celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage. Whilst there, I listened to a talk about Edith Garrud, the woman who taught ‘Suffragette jiu-jitsu’.

Marko Marulić and the 'Kirishitan ban': The Jesuits in Japan
09 July 2018

When we’re indexing historical documents at Adam Matthew we’ll sometimes come across one in a language we can’t read. Occasionally we’ll not only be unable to read it but also be unable to identify what the language is, even after consulting multilingual colleagues.

False witness, coercion, and the Cooper River conspiracy
29 June 2018

Our upcoming resource, Colonial America Module 4: Legislation and Politics in the Colonies, contains many records of petitions, land grants, and legislation, but an entry in the South Carolina Minutes of Council marks the beginning of a drama which demanded the council’s almost entirely undivided attention (and my own) for no fewer than eighty pages.

Football during the Second World War
22 June 2018

The 2018 Football World Cup is in full swing, after kicking off (no pun intended, I promise) with Russia vs. Saudi Arabia. Football has long been accepted as crucial form of recreation and relaxation for the masses, and this is evident in reports on spectator sports during the Second World War, which can be found in Mass Observation Online. During times of crisis, Sport, particularly football in Britain was recognised as a way in which to raise morale.

Shoes burnt off my feet: Anna Airy on painting the ferocious heat of WWI shell furnaces
14 June 2018

A newspaper clipping begins with the following account: ‘A lady engaged in painting, for the Imperial War Museum, in a large munitions factory was watched by two workmen. Said one, “She’s sketchin’ for the papers, ain’t she?” His mate, better informed, replied, “Naow, she’s from the Ministry, she is” and added as an afterthought, “but she seems to know ‘er job"'. The workmen were discussing Anna Airy who, whilst considered one of the leading British women artists of her generation, was also one of the first women to be officially commissioned as a war artist, one hundred years ago.

Nantucket as a Summer Holiday Destination
11 June 2018

The small spit of land off the coast of Massachusetts which maps refer to as ‘Nantucket’ was called the ‘far away land’ by its first settlers, the Wampanoag Nation. Nowadays, this small island, which at just under 273 km squared is smaller than Malta or the Maldives, is easy to reach by long-distance bus and the ‘Cape Flyer’, by high-speed ferry or by commercial airline.

In Search of Captain Kidd's Lost Treasure
01 June 2018
Last week saw the anniversary of the execution of one of history’s most notorious pirates - Captain William Kidd. Late in the afternoon of Friday 23 May 1701 William Kidd stepped up to the gallows on the shore of the River Thames at Wapping, east of London.
Royal Weddings through The Years: Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip, 1947
25 May 2018

The royal wedding last weekend prompted me to delve into one of our latest releases Service Newspapers of World War Two to explore the headlines that were sent from home to battlefield to report on the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh (i.e. Queenie and Prince Philip).

A Chilling Mystery: Franklin's Fatal Arctic Expedition
18 May 2018

Nineteenth century exploration produced countless thrilling tales of derring-do, but the epic story of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition is a blockbuster.

The Time for Propaganda
15 May 2018

During this Age of Information (or should I say Too Much Information?), it’s difficult to log onto any social media site and avoid the turbulent disorder that is the world’s political stage. We’re constantly being exposed to some kind of political scandal or conflict that we simply must be aware of to stay well-informed. And so, with the waves of Wi-Fi reporting on nuclear deals gone wrong and the world on another precipice, I thought I’d serve up the AMD Special: a film from the archives of the British Film Institute.

The Last Heroic Stand in the Age of Exploration
04 May 2018

Age of Exploration, Adam Matthew's new collection for May 2018, contains over 2,400 documents that reveal the history of maritime exploration; explorers, navigators, diplomats, pirates and spies all feature in the pages of this fantastic resource. Well-known voyages of Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Captain Cook, Abel Tasman, Bligh’s Bounty and the infamous mutiny aboard its decks, and Franklin’s lost expedition, to name a few, are represented within the collection. One such famous expedition is Shackleton’s aptly named Endurance.

Putting Together the Pieces:  Preparing a Highly Fragmented Book for Digitisation
01 May 2018

At The National Archives, before a historical document is digitised, it passes through a team of conservators to ensure it is fit for scanning. This ‘stamp of approval’ requires that all information contained within the document be legible and that any damage repaired so that it may be safely handled.

Life in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp
27 April 2018

Tens of thousands of British servicemen endured the brutal treatment in Japan’s prisoner of war camps during World War Two. Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1946-1952: Occupation of Japan makes available the signed affidavits of some of these men, who documented their ill-treatment to help prosecute those responsible.

Rivers of Blood 50 years on
19 April 2018

50 years ago today, on 20th April 1968, Enoch Powell delivered a speech at a Conservative Association meeting in Birmingham criticising the then-Labour government’s proposed Race Relations Bill. With charged rhetoric and a strong anti-immigration stance, it became better known as the ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.

The resource Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 includes a fascinating collection from the Prime Minister’s Office which contains a document collating a full transcript of the speech, press releases and correspondence with Prime Minister Harold Wilson regarding both the public and legislative reaction in the year following its delivery.

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