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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How Might a Cultural History Scholar Use State Papers Online: The Stuart and Cumberland Papers?

Stuart and Cumberland

|By Rose O’Connor, Gale Ambassador at Maynooth University|

The Stuart and Cumberland Papers from the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle document the lives of the exiled Stuarts, from the Glorious Revolution in 1688 to the death of the last Stuart heir, Henry Benedict, Cardinal Duke of York in 1807. The Jacobite movement was the struggle, conducted through military and diplomatic means, by the exiled Stuarts and their supporters to regain the English throne. The Stuart and Cumberland Papers archive contains a wide variety of sources on this period of history. From the daily operations of the Stuart government in exile to the details of failed rebellions, there is plenty of material here to assist a political or military historian wishing to investigate eighteenth-century politics in Europe. However, this blog post is going to show you how the sources are also of great use to cultural historians. By reading the same sources, but noticing different details, this is a great way to help with your own essay writing. Let me show you some examples.

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Examining the Emergence of Gothic Literature in the Early Nineteenth Century

Gothic castle shrouded in mist

│By Holly Kybett Smith, Gale Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth│

The late eighteenth century was a turbulent time for those in power. Across Europe, monarchies were clinging to their authority by threads: the American Revolution saw British imperial rule challenged, and in France, Louis XVI was unseated from his throne, putting an end to the Ancien Régime. Simultaneously, as the French people rebelled against their absolute monarch at home, the Haitian Revolution saw self-liberated slaves free themselves from French colonial rule. Everything, everywhere, was in flux. With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that the spirit of the era formed the crucible for the birth of the Gothic literary genre.

When discussing the Gothic in academic circles, we tend to ascribe the origins of the genre to one particular work: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, published in 1764. This is because Walpole himself described his tale as “Gothic” – the first noted use of this term to describe a piece of literature, as opposed to an architectural style. But one novel does not make a genre, and as the eighteenth century marched into the nineteenth, Gothic literature grew to encompass new components, stretching itself into the shape we recognise today. For more information on the Gothic as it evolved into contemporary horror, take a look at this blog post by my fellow Gale Ambassador, India Marriott.

In this blog post, meanwhile, I’m going to examine the emergence of early Gothic literature as it began to appear at the start of the nineteenth century – and explore how we can study this using Gale Primary Sources.

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Taking Your Master’s Dissertation to the Next Level: Using Gale Digital Scholar Lab for Research

Gale Egyptology sentiment analysis

│By Tamar Atkinson, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool│

Primary sources can be a great resource for Master’s dissertation research, providing a deeper understanding of history. Whilst they make handy supportive evidence to back up the points you want to make in an assessment, is there a way to take them further? Within Gale Digital Scholar Lab, you can find a whole range of data-mining visualisation tools and other resources that can allow you to bring elements of Digital Humanities methodologies into your research, through an easy, step-by-step process. This can add great insights to any work!

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Birds of a Feather, Work Together – Gale Digital Scholar Lab: Groups

Notes from our DH correspondent

│By Dr Sarah L. Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist│

December 2022 saw the release of the new ‘Groups’ feature in Gale Digital Scholar Lab. This blog post will consider the nature and benefits of teamwork in Digital Humanities (DH) and highlight Group workflows in the Lab that support effective collaborative practices.

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Keeping Your Love of Literature Alive While Studying at University

Image of young woman sat on the floor of a library, reading

│By Chloe Ann Hooper, Gale Ambassador at the University of Glasgow│

Although what inspired me to enrol in an English Literature degree course was my love of reading, throughout my undergraduate studies I found that, after spending hours a day making my way through reading lists, the last thing I wanted to do was pick up another book! Having since spoken to friends who studied the same course as me, I’ve found out that I wasn’t the only one who had felt this way – it actually seems to have been a fairly common experience. I didn’t realise that at the time, however, and thought that I was a fraud for passing the course while not acting like a stereotypical “reader”.

What took my friends and I a long time to realise is that reading a book to study it in class is a very different experience to reading a book for fun. Even after graduation, getting back to reading what you love can be a long and frustrating process which is why I decided to put this blog post together. Chances are that you’re not going to be reading a lot of action-packed mystery novels or YA romance/adventure books while at university, but after exploring Gale’s literature resources I found a few tools that students can use to stay inspired by and engaged with the written word.

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Researching the History of Emotions with Gale Primary Sources

Charles le Brun, The Expressions Trait é des Passions, 1732

|By Rose O’Connor, Gale Ambassador at Maynooth University|

It might take readers by surprise that the History of Emotions is now described as a cutting-edge field of history. When I first discovered it, I asked the same question you may be asking now; do emotions have a history? Yet this research area has been garnering momentum in the last two decades, with scholars from all aspects of academia – from cognitive psychologists to anthropologists – contributing. And no one yet knows how the History of Emotions will develop. Consequently, there is so much room for investigation and innovation. Let’s look at some of the tools we can use in Gale Primary Sources to help us investigate this exciting aspect of history and how it can bolster your own research.

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Student Career Advice: After University, What’s Next?

Woman working at laptop surrounded by books

│By Chloe Hooper , Gale Ambassador at the University of Glasgow│

Within every new cohort of students hurtling towards graduation, there will be many pondering the dreaded question: after university, what’s next? Chances are, if you’re reading this, you don’t have an answer to that question yet yourself. Career advice has long been a feature of the modern university experience, outlining the ways your degree can help you build a career. But Gale Primary Sources can help, too! Using The Times Digital Archive, undergraduates and postgraduates have access to decades of career advice geared towards finding the right job for each student. While the articles I examine below date from late the 1990s to the 2000s, many of the challenges facing graduates have stayed the same and much of the advice on overcoming them has stood the test of time.

One of the problems facing most students is that they don’t know how to discover what jobs are out there, particularly within the areas in which they’re interested or experienced. As a student, I had been using archives and archival services for years, but it never occurred to me that I could make a career out of it – or that it’s not just researchers driving digitisation projects, there are many other roles involved too, all of which are potential career pathways. It was actually reading through archives like The Times Digital Archive that helped me see this as a viable career option, and I am now studying Information Management and Preservation.

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King Tut and Digital Humanities: A Pedagogical Case Study

Notes from our DH correspondent

│By Dr. Sarah L. Ketchley, Senior Digital Humanities Specialist│

The Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) at the University of Washington has a history of supporting work in Digital Humanities (DH) dating back to the 1980s. More recently, the department has offered regular introductory classes in DH, which I have taught since 2015. These are usually topical in nature, i.e., the data we work with in class is related to a particular Middle Eastern theme, often related to travel or archaeology in Egypt, which is my area of research interest. This Spring Quarter 2022, my undergraduates and graduates participated in a class called ‘Digital Media – King Tut and Digital Humanities’ to learn about the theory and processes of building DH projects based on data related to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, one hundred years ago.

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A Conversation With Master’s Student Bokhutlo Tlhabanelo on Her Use of Gale Primary Sources

Women of Colour chatting

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

On a warm autumn afternoon in late May 2022, in the University of Johannesburg’s Library Project Room on the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, I interviewed Bokhutlo Tlhabanelo, who is popularly known as Mickey. Mickey is a first year Master’s student and a tutor for the first year students enrolled on the undergraduate History course at the University of Johannesburg. In the interview, Mickey shared her holistic experience with Gale Primary Sources and the extent to which these resources have contributed to her research project.

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