History

Anyone for a Guinness?
17 March 2015

A global phenomenon, few patron saints are as enthusiastically celebrated as St. Patrick. Credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland’s pagans in the fourth century, he has since become a symbol of Irish patriotism. And it doesn’t seem to matter much where you are in the world on 17 March ¬– chances are you’ll be encouraged to wear green, don your fanciest shamrock brooch and gulp down gallons of Guinness.

Sweet Home Weeksville
13 March 2015

I think the majority of us will agree that our most treasured possession is the home in which we live. It is filled with objects that define us and, in some cases, legacies that outlive us. It is within these walls that we create a sense of belonging, an identity.

The Jews of British Colonial America
06 March 2015

With an academic background in British-Jewish studies, I am naturally drawn to archival material on Jewish life and culture. Whilst examining documents sourced from the Colonial Office for Adam Matthew’s forthcoming resource Colonial America (first instalment publishing in autumn 2015), I found some intriguing material relating to early Jewish settlers in the New World.

Equal Pay for Equal Work
27 February 2015

Through all the glitz and glam of the Oscars one part of the ceremony that has got everyone talking is Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress award. She received huge support in the theatre audience (as can be seen in the reactions of the likes of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez) and created a stir on social media as she demanded equal rights for women.

Close-up, fade-out clinch; the world’s greatest kiss!
23 January 2015

When American innovator, Thomas Alva Edison, and his British predecessor, Eadweard Muybridge, set themselves the grand task of inventing a device that could capture movement on film, they surely could not have predicted the social, ethical and moral repercussions that would surface and surround moving pictures from that point onwards.

China fights in Britain
22 January 2015

In the British popular memory of the Second World War, China is largely absent. Japan had invaded and annexed Chinese Manchuria eight years before Nazi Germany marched into Poland, so in one sense the war began on Chinese soil. But perhaps it is because of this that we forget about them – they only became our allies because their war with Japan happened, after 1941, to coincide with ours.

Elephants on Milsom Street, Bath
09 January 2015

Whilst exploring the visual collections of Victorian Popular Culture, a photograph caught my eye. It showed a group of elephants processing down Milsom Street in Bath – not a sight you see every day! The caption was simply “Barnum’s procession through Bath” and I was intrigued to find out more.

A Pioneer, I Presume: The life of W. Barbrooke Grubb
18 December 2014

At the tender age of 19, Wilfrid Barbrooke Grubb had an interview with the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) to be considered for missionary work abroad. In 1989, after a stint in Tierra del Fuego, he was sent to northern Paraguay to establish the first mission station in Chaco. South America was still a largely unexplored continent that held many unknown dangers, and Chaco was a particularly notorious region. Previously uncontacted tribes are still being discovered there, and in the late 19th-century stories of ritual mutilation and cannibalism were rife.

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas
28 November 2014

Intense debate has broken out among sections of the Adam Matthew staff this week following the decision to open our box of Christmas decorations. A number of employees have steadfastly refused to go near the festive items before December 1st. Others have insisted that the extra cheer they bring justifies their appearance in November, though suspicions remain that this is a ruse in order to get first call on the choicest tinsel.

Where Were You on May 12th?
12 November 2014

The final part of Mass Observation Online has been released today making the Mass Observation Archive available to researchers in its entirety. But where did it all begin?

We will remember them
07 November 2014

On 11 November the nation, and many others around the world, will observe the annual memorial day for all those who lost their lives through war. This year, and surely for the next four years, particular thought is given to those who fought in the First World War, as we mark 100 years since the conflict began.

Psychic Photography:  snaps of the spirit world
29 October 2014

Halloween is here again, and ghouls and monsters will roam our streets tonight. In honour of this spookiest day of the year, today’s blog will explore the dark art of Psychic Photography, as revealed in Adam Matthew’s Victorian Popular Culture resource.

Aliens, Conspiracy and Abduction: UFO tales from the 1950’s Underground Press
24 October 2014

After a BBC story about a UFO today, it got me thinking about how the UFO phenomenon was handled in the 1950’s and onwards.

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