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.

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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!

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Exploring the State Papers Online Colonial module about Singapore, East Malaysia, and Brunei

|By Julia de Mowbray, Publisher at Gale |

September 2023 marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Lee Kuan Yew (1923—2015), the founder of the People’s Action Party, Prime Minister of Singapore between 1959 and 1990, and a Member of the Singapore Parliament until his death in 2015. This month also sees the launch of State Papers Online Colonial: Asia, Part II: Singapore, East Malaysia and Brunei, the digitisation of the British Colonial Office files documenting the Colonial Office’s activities in these territories until independence. The coincidence is poignant as Lee Kuan Yew founded the People’s Action Party to fight for independence from colonial rule, and led Singapore first to independence from the British, then from Malaysia, and on to an envied economic and social success story.

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The Silk Road Yesterday and Today in Gale Digital Resources

Historic map of China Silk Road

|By Emery Pan, Gale Asia Associate Development Editor in Beijing |

The year 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). A decade ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Twenty-first Century Maritime Silk Road” in September and October 2013, respectively, which have since evolved into what is now known as the BRI.

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The First Module in Gale’s Environmental History Series – Conservation and Public Policy in America, 1870-1980

│By Lindsay Whitaker-Guest, Associate Editor│

In the summer of 2023, four alarming global climate records were broken: the hottest day on record globally; the hottest June on record; the warmest global ocean temperatures in May, June, and July; and the lowest recorded level of Antarctic sea-ice. One could not turn on the television or look at a news website without seeing images of harrowing wildfires in Europe, Hawaii and Canada or the devastating typhoon in East Asia. As I sat sweltering on a Sardinian beach during heatwave Charon in late July, my thoughts echoed those from all over the globe, is the Earth now in a climate crisis? And how did we get here?  

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Decolonisation in the British Empire in Asia: The Malayan Emergency and Singapore

│By Dr Lucy Dow, Gale Content Researcher│

The recently published State Papers Online Colonial: Asia, Part I: Far East, Hong Kong, and Wei-Hai-Wei spans over four hundred years of British Colonial Office files, from the 1550s to 1970s. Britain’s colonial rule in Asia took various forms through the period and within different territories, with varying degrees of control, from local autonomy apart from defence and foreign relations, to full British administration. While some local people benefited from their involvement with the British, many colonised peoples suffered and resented colonial rule. This resentment led to resistance to British colonial authority, in various ways and to differing extents from territory to territory.

In the twentieth century, and particularly following the complete failure of the British to protect the local communities from Japanese invasion during the Second World War, the cumulative effect of this resistance, combined with other geopolitical factors, led to the rapid reduction in the size of British Empire, as former colonies secured their independence in what is now referred to as the period of decolonisation. The primary sources in this online archive document this change in the political landscape of Asia and Britain, as explored in the examples below.

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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.

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Global Communist and Socialist Movements – The Third Instalment of Political Extremism and Radicalism

Socialism

│By Emma Harris, Associate Editor, Gale Primary Sources

Global Communist and Socialist Movements is the third instalment of the award-winning Political Extremism and Radicalism series. For researchers interested in the workings of radical thinking, rhetoric, and twentieth century politics, this module offers a broad scope of material on left-wing thinking and political ideologies such as Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Trotskyism, and anarchism, adding to the material on far-right groups and some areas of the far left already in the Political Extremism and Radicalism series.

This module provides excellent international coverage, including material from the USA, UK, Europe, Latin America, and South Africa. This grants researchers the opportunity to study the historical trajectories of left-wing radical movements across the globe, considering how these groups saw themselves, as well as the reactions of the capitalist nations in which they emerged. The twenty-one collections digitised from eight source libraries contain approximately 870,000 pages, with documents ranging primarily from 1880 to 1960.

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Uncovering the History of Twentieth-Century Hong Kong, China, and the World

Hong Kong header

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

Gale released China and the Modern World: Hong Kong, Britain, and China Part 1, 1841–1951 in August 2019. During that summer and subsequent months, Hong Kong made the headlines of international media due to a series of large-scale mass protests launched against the government’s introduction of a bill to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance with regard to extradition. The protests turned into riots and plunged the city into political conflict, which did not end until after the outbreak of COVID in 2020. Such protests or riots are nothing new in the history of Hong Kong. Actually, in 1967, a series of riots of comparable scale swept across the city, leading to violent confrontation between the rioters and police, and causing mass arrests and injuries. Such riots constitute just one of the many topics covered by the just released Hong Kong, Britain, and China Part 2, 1965–1993, the seventh module in Gale’s China and the Modern World series of digital archives.

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Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

Decolonization header

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

Last week, I was lucky enough to go to India for the first time. I visited Mangalore in the state of Karnataka, as well as Kerala with its famous backwaters and cool green tea plantations in old hill stations. The British planted pine forests there and hid from the sun; in Mangalore old warehouses built along the river by the Portuguese for tile manufacture were visible from the high rise buildings around them. And everywhere – at busy roundabouts, by old government buildings and in front of smart new colleges – were statues and busts of solemn figures who I could not identify. The names Gandhi, Nehru and Modi are essentially the limit of my knowledge of modern India.

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