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July 19, 2007

New online research collections available

I'm delighted to announce the recent availability of three online research collections from Adam Matthew Publications. These products are one-time purchases, so we can look forward to many years of research coups!

The three collections are: Defining Gender, 1450-1910; Everyday Life and Women in America; Mass Observation Online.

Defining Gender, 1450-1910 (linked here)

Defining Gender, 1450-1910 is a collection of over 50,000 images from original documents relating to Gender Studies. The source documents are drawn from the holdings of libraries and archives throughout the world, including many from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.

Defining Gender was developed to encourage undergraduate work with rare primary documents. By using images of the texts rather than transcriptions, the database permits students studying the past to connect with greater immediacy. Retaining the look and feel of the original sources engenders greater interaction with the materials. In addition, the circumstances in which sources were created, as well as the ways in which the original authors chose to present their arguments can be better appreciated.

Everyday Life and Women in America, 1820-1900 (linked here)

This digital collection provides access to rare primary source material on American social, cultural, and popular history from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at Duke University (website here), as well as materials held at the New York Public Library.

The collection comprises thousands of fully-searchable images, alongside transcriptions, of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes. The contents of the collection emphasize conduct of life and domestic management literature, the daily lives of women and men, and contrasts in regional, urban and rural cultures.

Mass Observation Online (linked here)

"Mass Observation" was a pioneering social research organization, and its papers provide insight into the cultural and social history of Britain from 1937 to 1965.

The material at the Mass Observation Archive, and now on Mass Observation Online, offers an unparalleled insight into everyday life in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s. This database opens up a host of essay and project possibilities on topics such as abortion, old age, crime, eating habits, shopping, fashion, dance, popular music, sex, sport, reading, ethnic minorities, and the decline of Empire. Mass Observation Online will be welcomed by historians, literary scholars, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists.

The D.B. Weldon Library also owns two related microfilm units, entitled Papers from the Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex (catalogue record linked here). These units are not included in the online database, so their availability in microfilm (Part 7 deals with "Air raids, Morale, and the Blitz" , while Part 8 deals with "Conscription, Pacifism and War Service") is highly relevant.