Declassified Documents Online: Twentieth Century British Intelligence, Monitoring the World

Declassified Documents Online: Twentieth Century British Intelligence, Monitoring the World

|By Clem Delany, Acquisitions Editor, Gale Primary Sources|

It is now common knowledge that the German Enigma codes were broken during the Second World War in huts at Bletchley Park, and that this feat helped sway the tide of war in the Allies favour. Most people are also aware that Alan Turing was there, that early computers were being developed, and that after the war these codebreakers and the hundreds of people employed at Bletchley Park vanished into obscurity until the 1970s. These details have become part of popular culture: the shabby huts in the middle of a quiet countryside where great and secret things were happening providing the setting for the book Enigma by Robert Harris, or The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch in tweed, and even a BBC Radio sitcom, Hut 33.

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How Gale’s Archives Supported My Thesis on the Politics of Contraception in South Africa, 1970s–80s

Contraception plus archive article images

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

Having to complete my Honours research paper in the era of Covid-19 left myself and many other students feeling stranded so far as to how to obtain valuable and relevant academic resources. Access to digitised resources quickly became vital to one’s success in academia and I am happy that I came across Gale Primary Sources when I did because they contributed greatly to the completion of my thesis. This blog will show how I utilised Gale’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender, and Women’s Studies Archive collections to explore my thesis topic – the Media and Technologies of Contraception in South Africa between the 1970s and 1980s.

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The History of Extradition in Hong Kong

Victoria City, Hong Kong, circa 1920.

|By Winnie Fok, Assistant Editor, Gale Asia|

In February 2019, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government proposed a bill regarding extradition, to establish a mechanism for the transfer of fugitives to Mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau, which are currently excluded in the existing laws. The bill sparked fears over a potential loss of freedom and deterioration of the business climate in Hong Kong. As a result, protests erupted over the next few months, and lasted till early 2020. Extradition has a long and complex history in Hong Kong, owing in no small part to its colonial background. China and the Modern World: Hong Kong, Britain and China 1841–1951, a collection of rare historical materials from the British Colonial Office records, sheds light on this fascinating subject.

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Simla, McMahon, and the Origins of Sino-Indian Border Disputes

McMahon Line

|By Liping Yang, Publishing Manager, Digital Archive and eReference, Gale Asia|

From May 2020 to February 2021, Chinese and Indian border troops engaged in melee, face-offs, and skirmishes along the Sino-Indian border near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region. This series of disputes has resulted in numerous casualties, attracting worldwide attention in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such border disputes are nothing new. Three years prior to this in June 2017, the troops of the two countries had a border standoff in Doklam, a strategic location near a trijunction border area involving China, India, and Bhutan. Actually, China and India even went to war between October–November 1962 over their disputed Himalayan border.

Many of these border disputes and clashes can be attributed to the controversial McMahon Line. What is this line? And how did it come about? We can find some illuminating historical records on this in China and the Modern World: Diplomacy and Political Secrets, 1868-1950, a collection of rare historical materials selected from the India Office Records now held at the British Library.

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Indigenous populations: exploring early encounters, subjugation and protection in Gale Primary Sources

By Carolyn Beckford, Gale Product Trainer
Carolyn joined Gale in 2015 after working in US higher education. She likes working for Gale because it’s an opportunity to stay connected to higher education and support faculty and students with quality research content. When not visiting university libraries or delving into the Gale archives, she likes playing tennis and visiting historic English castles and estates.

Today is International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. This was first put forward by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1994, and came as result of a commission designed to promote and protect Human Rights. Now, on 9th August, the world works to remember, recognise and respect the rights of indigenous populations and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

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Tears, Cheers, The Archers, and Soy Sauce: The Hong Kong Handover of 1997

“History is not just a matter of dates. What makes history is what comes before and what comes after the dates that we all remember.” Chris Patten.

It will have been exactly twenty years, this coming weekend, since Chris Patten, the 28th and last British Governor of Hong Kong, gave his memorable speech at the ceremony marking the handover of the former British colony to China. Perhaps there was a tacit acknowledgment in Patten’s words that, actually, the Hong Kong handover was all about dates. Were it not for the clock ticking on the 99-year lease deadline for the New Territories, it is doubtful that the handover would have been negotiated as speedily and peacefully as it was.

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The Homophobic Response to the AIDS Crisis in the 1980s

Montage of images of primary sources about AIDS crisis

|By Rory Herbert, Gale Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth|

During the early 1980s, AIDS became an ever-growing concern in the minds of Americans, and brought to the fore the deep-seated tensions and homophobic tendencies that plagued the nation’s media and political institutes. Gale’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender provides access to a wealth of sources that help us to understand the issues and struggles experienced by these long-oppressed and ignored members of society during a particularly trying period.

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Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

Written by Anita Klich, Gale Ambassador & contributor

I am a Gale Ambassador as well as a Student Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth where I study Journalism and Media Studies. I’m graduating this year and hope to work in the fields of journalism, public relations or digital marketing next year. Some of my many interests are art, learning foreign languages and psychology. I have a passion for broadening my knowledge, and want to promote Gale resources as they give people the opportunity to explore history, which is a key element of research in every field of study. Anita Klich.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) is considered one of the most important alliances in LGBT history. It saw lesbians and gays coming together in the mid-1980s to support British miners who were striking to prevent colliery closures. The strike was condemned by the government led by Margaret Thatcher. Some believe the alliance between the LGBT community and British working class was a turning point in the history of LGBT people and their existence within British society. I decided to find out how different newspapers described the strike and the alliance. Thanks to the Archives of Sexuality & Gender resource in Gale Primary Sources, available through Portsmouth University Library, I was able to find out how newspapers covered the strike, including what visuals they provided to support their coverage.

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Australia’s 183-year Search for its Own Anthem

By Darren Brain, Sales Representative, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia & Northern Territory

On 19 April 1984, ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, following many decades of debate, disagreement and campaigns for change. I used Gale Primary Sources to research more about this topic, and experienced an entertaining and enlightening journey through Gale’s extensive collection of assorted British Newspapers.
‘God Save the Queen’ (or King depending on the gender of the British monarch) had been used on ceremonial and official occasions since the federation of Australia in 1901 (when the six British, self-governing colonies agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia). In our British Library Newspapers series, I found a number of examples in the early 1900s of interest in an Australian Anthem to compliment ‘God Save The King/Queen’ including the below examples from the gossip column of the Nottingham Evening Post.

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The Treaty of Waitangi and its Turbulent Past

By Liza Fisher, Sales Representative for Gale New Zealand

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. Signed in Waitangi, New Zealand on 6 February 1840 by Maori chiefs and Lieutenant-Governor Hobson (on behalf of the British government), its purpose was to create unity between the Maori and British Crown. The Treaty has thus been likened to New Zealand’s version of the Magna Carta.

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