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. 

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Making Peace Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Primary Sources

│By Tom Taborn, Gale Ambassador at the University of Oxford│

Primary sources can be, let’s face it, intimidating. In the first few weeks of university the idea that we should use them was constantly drummed into me. I, like most other students I know, immediately ignored this advice, and ploughed into the swelling lists of secondary sources. Primary sources seemed like a distraction from the stress of churning out an essay, and the few students who did use them seemed like god-like beings who’d mastered pomodoro timers and bullet journaling in the pram.

Over the course of my first year, however, I realised that they were exactly the opposite. Primary sources are the stressed student’s best friend. Reading what real people thought, how they talked, and what they felt, can make the trickiest topics easier. And more than that, they can be fun. The archives in Gale Primary Sources made using primary sources so much less terrifying as a student for me. This is the story of how my worst essay was saved by a primary source, and how yours can be too.

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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.

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Using Literary Sources to Research Late Nineteenth-Century British Feminism

│By Lucy McCormick, Gale Ambassador at the University of Birmingham│

Using literary sources – such as newspapers, journals, pamphlets, and periodicals – to research feminism in late nineteenth-century Britain is a valuable way to enrich historical scholarship. Regarded as intellectually inferior to their male counterparts, women’s voices had long been deemed unimportant and thus excluded from mainstream media. However, by the second half of the nineteenth century, the intensification of debates pertaining to the ‘Woman Question’ rendered women not merely objects, but also participants, in arguments about the rightful role of women in British society.

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Down To The Wire: The Impact of the Newswire in the Post-World War Two Period

│By Charlotte Steffen, Gale Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth│

One of the greatest revolutions in journalism was the introduction of the newswire which allowed the sending of information around the world at a much faster pace than ever before. As a History PhD student, and a frequent user of Gale Primary Sources, I have come to heavily rely on newspapers for information in my research but also use them to get an insight into public opinions or changes in opinion. Using Gale’s Associated Press Collections, I investigated how these historic documents give an insight into the civil population’s daily life during the post-war period and its importance for the present-day historic discourse. 

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Uncovering the Betrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer with Gale Primary Sources

│By Nicolas Turner, Gale Ambassador at Leiden University│

The release this year of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer biopic has focused attention on the ‘Red Scare’ of the early 1950s in the United States, a period of history filled with all the ingredients of a thriller: double agents, secret recordings, and dramatic revelations. As Nolan’s film reminds us, however, there was also a very real human cost to the persecutions, with – in the words of the historian Ellen Schrecker – an impact on “the lives of thousands of people”.1

I have always been fascinated by this McCarthyite moment, in which the tide of history seemed to suddenly go out, leaving people stranded with beliefs that had previously been acceptable but were now framed as treasonous or worse. I was therefore thrilled to discover in Gale’s Political Extremism and Radicalism archive a treasure trove of documents that offered direct access to the experiences of those living through that dramatic moment – including, most tantalisingly of all, J. Robert Oppenheimer himself.

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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.

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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

Developments in the Fashion Industry Post-WWII

Montage of images from blog post of fashion in The Telegraph

│By Nonkoliso Tshiki, Gale Ambassador at the University of Johannesburg│

Do you find writing for academic purposes challenging? I did too. However, I have recently discovered and started implementing a new and exciting trick to improve my writing skills, which also ignites greater interest in my writing. I write short essays about topics which I come across and find interesting. For instance, when I was going through lecture notes about writing a research proposal a couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an article exploring the evolution of global fashion trends between 1945-1965, and I thought to myself, “this is quite interesting, I would like to know more about this topic!” Then all I needed was a research database that offers accredited, valuable and interesting sources. Luckily for me, I did not have to look too far because, as a Gale Ambassador, Gale Primary Sources is one of my very first go-to and most favourable research databases. Thus, the following blog post uses Gale Primary Sources to explore some of the fashion trends that made fashion headlines 1945-1965.

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Exploring the Rise of Black Consciousness in South Africa using Gale Primary Sources

Anit-apartheid protest

│By Sasha Mandakovic, Gale Ambassador at Erasmus University, Rotterdam│

In the midst of finishing the final year of my Bachelor’s degree, I wrote a comparative analysis between the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa and La Négritude, a literary black resistance movement in Senegal. Inspired by this, in this blog post I will be focusing on the rise of Black Consciousness in South Africa and what it sought to be. This topic is also of great personal relevance to me, as it delves into the experiences of individuals who share my own racial and cultural identity. Furthermore, as someone who has lived in West Africa and had the opportunity to visit South Africa, I find it truly captivating to delve into the nuances of this movement and acquire a more profound understanding of it.

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