The Big Leap: Top Tips for History Coursework moving from A-Levels to University

│By Lydia Clarke, Gale Ambassador at the University of Leeds│

Moving to a completely new place is incredibly challenging. After A-Levels, I know the last thing you want to think about is university assignments, but I promise they are not that scary. Whilst there is sadly not a magical wand to whisk away university stress, this blog post will hopefully help you manage your coursework without burning out. Gale Primary Sources digital archives were massively helpful for me to find relevant primary source material and get to grips with practising my critical thinking skills. I will demonstrate how in my first year at university I used a book I found in Eighteenth Century Collections Online to apply and evaluate my analysis of the debate about gender studies in history for my coursework.

Read more

Exploring the Inspiration for Romanticism: Was it a Counter-Enlightenment? 

│By Isabelle Partridge, Gale Ambassador at the University of Exeter│

Emotion, nature and individualism are some of the key themes of Romanticism. This cultural movement became popular in Western Europe during the late eighteenth century and was expressed primarily through art and literature. However, the major intellectual movement which preceded Romanticism was the Enlightenment, during which philosophers emphasised rationalism in the pursuit of knowledge. Thus, Romanticism has often been posed as an opposite reaction to the Enlightenment.

Through using Gale Primary Sources, I have gained access to a number of notable works from the Romantic period, from paintings to poems, as well as the opportunity to explore how these works have been perceived since their initial creation. Primary sources highlight how Romanticism was a dynamic and varied movement. Romanticism responded not only to the Enlightenment, but the many political and social developments, such as revolution and industrialization, which had created a backdrop for the turn of the nineteenth century. 

Read more

An Interdisciplinary Treasure Chest: The Pacific Coast Counterculture Collection

│By Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., Graphic Designer, Editor and Writer responsible for the Pacific Coast Counterculture Collection│

More than fifty years have passed since the rebellion of American youth during the 1960s that became known as the Counterculture. Now, this exciting and colourful movement is the subject of Gale Primary Sources’ Pacific Coast Counterculture Collection, which is part of their new digital archive Power to the People: Counterculture, Social Movements and the Alternative Press, Nineteenth to Twenty-First Century. The digital collection contains a unique mix of printed material – pamphlets, publications, periodicals and more – that captures the diversity, creativity and impact of individuals and small groups that emerged during this intense time.

Read more

Using Gale Historical Newspapers to Highlight Marginalised Voices in Journalism 

│By Amelia Jean-Marie Meade, Gale Ambassador at the University College London│

Journalism, like many other fields of work, is broadly based around the investigation of a conflict or event, its documentation, and its analysis. It can take several forms including video, radio, and written. But what distinguishes journalistic writing from other writing styles is that it is specifically intended for public reception and consumption. Therefore, the term journalism is often associated with large-scale news and popular media outlets like national newspapers and broadcasting channels. Whilst this narrative is somewhat reflective of the field, it is also slightly misleading. This is because it does not properly account for non-traditional forms of journalism or the historically marginalised groups who make and have made interesting journalistic contributions. This blogpost will illuminate some examples using the Gale Historical Newspapers collection with the intention of challenging stereotypical notions of what journalism is and who can do journalism.

Read more

Researching the History of Shanghai Between the 1830s and 1950s

|By Liping Yang, Senior Manager, Academic Publishing, Gale|

November 2023 marks the 180th anniversary of Shanghai being opened to foreign trade in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Nanjing and the Treaty of the Bogue, which were signed after the First Opium War between China and Britain.

Coincidentally, in the same month, Gale Primary Sources rolled out a thematic digital archive that features the history of Shanghai. Titled China and the Modern World: Records of Shanghai and the International Settlement, 1836–1955, this new archive provides an extraordinary primary source collection vital to understanding and researching the social, political, and economic history of the Anglo-America-dominated yet highly globalised International Settlement in Shanghai, as well as the history of modern China.

Read more

Baking Through Time: Gale’s Food History Bake Off!

│By Lucy Dow, Associate Acquisitions Editor and Cheryl Moody, Marketing Manager│

The recently published Archives Unbound collection Food History: Printed and Manuscript Recipe Books 1669-1990 contains 36 manuscript recipe books and 328 printed recipe books from the Winterthur Library and Museum in Delaware. The majority of the books are in English, with a few in French and German. The published volumes come from the UK, USA, France and Germany; the manuscript volumes are, most likely, from the UK and USA.

Thrilled to be releasing this exciting new archive collection, we ran a historical baking competition between Gale staff in which the unique and illuminating primary sources piqued the interest of colleagues in numerous departments within Gale. And thus arose Gale’s inaugural Food History Bake Off!

Read more

Screens to Pages: Discussion of Film in Newspaper Archives Over the Decades

│By Ava Nichols, Senior Gale Ambassador at the University of Aberdeen│

The film industry has taken great steps and developed in numerous ways since its creation in the nineteenth century. Using Gale Primary Sources collections, I decided to explore how the discussion of film in newspapers – be that promoting or reviewing individual films, or analysis of the film industry more generally – has evolved throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I decided to focus on The Times Digital Archive because selecting one publication as a controlled variable meant I was better able to examine the developing discussions of film and how it changed over time.

Read more

Exploring the Mail on Sunday Historical Archive, 1982-2011

Mail on Sunday header

│By Emma Harris, Associate Editor, Gale Primary Sources

Adding to the wealth of newspaper archives already in Gale Primary Sources, the Mail on Sunday Historical Archive, 1982-2011 has now launched. With approximately 1,800 issues available, researchers can explore some of the most prominent news stories, controversies, and debates from the period, in one of the top UK Sunday newspapers of the last forty years.

Read more

Top 10 Tips for Researching with British Literary Manuscripts Online

British Literary Manuscripts Online interface

│By Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull, Senior Gale Ambassador at the University of Oxford│ Researching literary manuscripts is difficult. In the years following their production, primary sources have often been spread across different institutional libraries around the world. This makes accessing them complicated and expensive, particularly for early career researchers and those conscious of the impact that travelling … Read more

Decolonising the Literary Curriculum: A Close Examination of Derek Walcott’s Omeros

Skyline of Cape Town, South Africa

|By James Carney, Senior Gale Ambassador at King’s College London|

Decolonisation refers to the process of attempting to undo the social, political, economic and cultural effects of imperialism on former colonies. Having just completed my undergraduate degree in English and Classical Literature at King’s College London, I have come to appreciate language and the written arts as potent mediums to contemplate, respond to and even resist the weight of colonial history.

My dissertation on Derek Walcott’s 1990 postmodern epic Omeros most thoroughly illustrated to me the nuances and creative potential of colonial victims to negotiate their present and historical standing in response to imperial agents. My exploration of this theme in Walcott’s work was particularly interesting as he ostensibly views colonisation as continuous, from nineteenth-century British and French empires to modern American capitalism, as the same force underlies both processes for the benefit of the typically white aristocracy, eclipsing native identity and homogenising Caribbean culture to artificiality.

Read more