6 New Digital Collections

Early Modern England: Society, Culture, and Everyday Life, 1500-1700

Published and unpublished sources selected for their capacity to document the history of everyday life. Sources include court records, administrative records, petitions, wills, inventories, tax records, financial documents, military records, church records, memoirs, diaries, unpublished essays, commonplace books, printed broadsides, and printed books. Also included are 164 objects, such as clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings. The collection is organized around twenty themes: Family life; Birth, marriage, death; Health and medicine; Land and property; Possessions; Work and employment; Poverty; Agriculture; Finance; Trade and economics; Law and order; Politics and government; Foreign affairs; War; Monarchy; Religion; Scholarship, science, and the humanities; Arts, literature, and culture; Travel; and Women’s history. In addition to these themes, documents can be browsed by region and date of creation.

Colonial Caribbean

Covers the period 1624-1832 (which will be extended to 1870 with future modules). This collection includes all records for this date range from the following National Archives Colonial Office record series: CO 7: Antigua and Montserrat; CO 8: Antigua; CO 23: Bahamas (includes Turks and Caicos Islands up to 1848); CO 28: Barbados; CO 37: Bermuda; CO 71: Dominica; CO 101: Grenada; CO 110: Guadeloupe; CO 111: British Guiana, formerly Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo; CO 116: British Guiana, formerly Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo; CO 123: British Honduras; CO 137: Jamaica; CO 152: Leeward Islands; CO 154: Leeward Islands; CO 166: Martinique; CO 175: Montserrat; CO 184: Nevis; CO 239: St Christopher (St. Kitts), Nevis and Anguilla; CO 245: Santo Domingo; CO 253: St. Lucia; CO 260: St. Vincent; CO 285: Tobago; CO 295: Trinidad; CO 301: Turks and Caicos; CO 314: Virgin Islands; and CO 318: West Indies. Collection also includes selections from the War Office (WO) record series 1: West Indies. Users can browse the collection by record series, by colony, and by governor. To further support document discovery, the collection has been organized around the following nine themes: Slavery and Emancipation; Crime and Punishment; Finance and Economy; Trade and Shipping; Law and Governance; War and Military; Religion; Plantations and Agriculture; and Piracy and Privateering. Many of the documents are also tagged by historical event (for example, “Haitian Revolution”).

Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement, and Colonial Encounters

Covers the period 1650-1920, with bulk of documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Emphasis is on British colonialism in North America, Africa, and Australasia. Collection includes books, government documents, legal records, correspondence, business records, maps, diaries and memoirs, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia. Organized around fifteen broad themes: Travel and Exploration; Natural World; Land and Property; Government and Politics; Warfare and Military History; Law and Order; Business and Commerce; Industry and Technology; Agriculture; Art and Entertainment; Healthcare; Women’s History; Children and Family; Religion; and Indigenous Peoples. Collection can also be browsed by subjects (topics, people, and places).

Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan: 1834-1922

Documents from British National Archives record series FO 65 (188 volumes), FO 106 (complete 11 volumes), FO 371 (30 volumes of correspondence), FO 539 (118 files of “Confidential Print”). Focus of the collection is on the the geopolitical rivalry between the British and Russian empires in Central Asia, especially in Afghanistan. Document types include correspondence, intelligence reports (including open source intelligence such as translations of Russian newspaper articles), telegrams, agents’ diaries, newspaper clippings, maps, government reports, treaties, photographs, and sketches.

Children’s Literature and Culture

Covering the period between 1810 and 1930, with an emphasis on America, this collection features over 2,000 children’s books and over 6,500 other documents, including instructional texts (readers, primers, atlases, geography books, spelling books, painting books); religious texts; sheet music; ephemera (calendars, postcards, certificates, pamphlets); realia (board games, card games, stereoscopic photographs, paper dolls, toys); sources from the archives of the children’s book publisher McLoughlin Brothers (correspondence, catalogs, drawings, paintings); and artefacts documenting the history of children’s book production with an emphasis on printing and chromolithography. To help users explore the collection, the documents have been organized around twenty key themes: Animals and Nature; Calendar Events and Holidays; Crime and Punishment; Disability; Education; Family; Gender and Sex; Illness and Death; Leisure and Play; Morality, Manners, and Consequences; Nationality and Place; Poverty, Debt, and Welfare; Professions; Race, Ethnicity and Racism; Religion; Slavery; Temperance and Addiction; Travel; War and Revolution; and Women in Publishing.

Poverty, Philanthropy, and Social Conditions in Victorian Britain

Published reports, books, petitions, correspondence, maps and architectural drawings, meeting minutes, newspaper and periodical clippings, government documents, printed lectures and speeches, pamphlets, periodicals, and other types of documents. Collection is organized around ten broad themes: Charitable Organizations and Friendly Societies; Education and Children; Health, Medicine and Disability; Manufacturing, Technology and Trade; Race and Immigration; Sanitation, Slums and Housing; Social Order and Discipline; Social Reform and Welfare; Socialism and Political Movements; and The Poor Laws, Workhouses and Outdoor Relief. Also includes subject indexes, place name indexes, and personal name indexes. Highlights of the collection include the complete correspondence of the Poor Law Commission, Poor Law Board and Local Government Board, 1834-1904; National Archives record series MH (Ministry of Health) 32: Local Government Board and Predecessors: Assistant Poor Law Commissioners and Inspectors, Correspondence, 1834-1904; and MH 33: Poor Law Commission: Assistant Poor Law Commissioners, Registers of Correspondence, 1834-1846.

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