The Story behind Pure Brightness Festival

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By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

Chinese people celebrate the Pure Brightness Festival each year, they largely take it as an occasion to offer sacrifice to ancestors. I was unclear of its origin but through Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Gale’s ebook platform, I found out the fascinating legend behind it.

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Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library – tracing the exchange of ideas between East and West in the new Sciences, History and Geography module

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library continues to grow this week as we launch the next module, Sciences, History and Geography. As Editor, this module has been a particular joy to work on because of the breadth and depth of subject matter, covering everything from Alchemy to Zoology, and containing some of the very earliest printed works in Europe. Indeed, the presence of these early European printings in this module indicates the exchange of ideas between the Islamic and European worlds, and I thought I’d look to see if I could trace this exchange using the content in Sciences, History and Geography.

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Which (potentially unknown) American novel will inspire your research?

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American Fiction, 1774-1920, released this week from Gale, brings over 17,750 titles to digital life. If you read one of these books every hour and didn’t stop to sleep or eat, it would still take you more than 2 years to read through the full collection. The content from 1774-1900 is based on Lyle H Wright’s famous American Fiction: A Contribution Toward a Bibliography, the most comprehensive bibliography of American adult fiction during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and includes both well-known authors (Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc) and the obscure.

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Business, Bribery and the Broadsheets: Researching Companies and Industry with The Daily Telegraph

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With The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 launching March 2016, we will be bringing you a series of essays from scholars featuring research case studies, enlightening biographies of key Telegraph figures, and more.

Dr James Nye is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary British History at King’s College London. His research focuses on the corrupt, scandalous reputation – deserved, or perhaps not –  of the company promoter in the first few decades of the 20th century. In this, newspaper records are, of course, invaluable; specifically, the use of multiple newspapers, as ‘each journalist might record something different – a composite picture is reasonably likely to be much better than one that relies solely on The Times, however much it might be regarded as the principal paper of record’[1] .

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Why study regional and local newspapers?

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The British Newspapers, 1600-1950 series, the most comprehensive digital collection of regional newspapers from across the UK, is a key resource for studying local history. Part V, releasing in March 2016, will soon take the total number of pages covered by the series to over 5.5 million, with an impressive 161 newspaper titles. Academic Advisor to Parts I and II of the series, Dr Martin Conboy, described the series as an ‘enormously rich’ resource, which has already proved of great value to a range of scholars. But why invest in regional and local papers? What makes regional papers valuable to students and researchers?

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Chinese New Year has arrived!

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“… the blessed Chinese New Year has come round, the Post Office has ceased to function, the office boy has burned his fingers lighting fire crackers and the door between my office and the Depot is locked; the doorkeeper has gone home with the key ….” The Chinese Recorder, March 1933

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Marking Columbus’s First Journey

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Working for a US-based company like Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, it is hard to escape the fanfare of nationwide ‘federal holidays’. Far more interesting – and, seemingly, more commonplace – than the various ‘bank holidays’ we have here in the UK, the US recognises eight official federal holidays. Yet when I noticed that Columbus Day was pencilled in on my email calendar for 10th October 2016, I was surprised to learn that it was not, in fact, considered one of those eight holidays. In 2013, just 24 states observed the holiday. A mark of the re-evaluation of Columbus’s influence upon America and, for many, the effects upon indigenous ways of life, Columbus Day is today a far more contested occasion than it once might have been. With January marking 524 years since Columbus was granted the funds to finally embark upon his first voyage, I was spurred to delve into Gale’s digital archival collections to see if I could detect a change in mood towards Columbus Day observance.

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