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Burns Night

Tonight (25/01/2022) is Burns Night, a tradition observed annually throughout Scotland, on the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796). Burns wrote many well-known poems and songs (primarily in Scots), including ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘Tam o’Shanter’ and, of course, ‘Auld Lang Syne’,... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 25th January, 2022 1 min read

International Day of Education

Today (24/01/2022) is the fourth International Day of Education. Started by the United Nations in 2018, this initiative aims to promote education as a human right, as well as a key contributor to global peace and development. As the UN notes,... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 24th January, 2022 1 min read

Airborne Propaganda: The Battle for Hearts and Minds

Since prehistoric times, warring rulers have recognised the importance of weakening the morale of opponents. Often the battle for hearts and minds is as pivotal to victory as any physical fighting. As technology has developed, so has the range and... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 20th January, 2022 21 min read

British Government Information and Propaganda, 1939-2009

Scanned from source at the British Library, this collection contains a carefully curated selection of materials produced by the British Ministry of Information (MOI) and Central Office of Information (COI) during the period 1939-2009. The items are diverse in nature, ranging... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 20th January, 2022 1 min read

British Online Archives Offers Free Institutional Access

British Online Archives (BOA) is once again delighted to offer Higher Education Institutions (HEI) free access to its entire platform for a limited period. We understand the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, and appreciate remote learning remains a top... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 18th January, 2022 1 min read

Martin Luther King Day

Today (17/01/2022) the U.S. remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Dr. King was a leader of the civil rights movement in the U.S.In 1955 he led the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted 382 days, and ended segregation on buses. Between 1957... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 17th January, 2022 1 min read

An Assessment of The History of Mary Prince as an Abolitionist text

Representations of slavery did important work in the argument for abolition. However, Black abolitionist writing was rarely left untouched by contemporary editors. Nowhere is this more evident than in Mary Prince’s autobiography, a shocking first person account of the horrors... Read more →
Niamh Franklin
Published 10th January, 2022 11 min read

The Power of State Apologies: The Irish Famine

In recent times governments have begun to formally apologise or express remorse for actions of their historical predecessors. Some argue that these collective apologies serve to build, repair, renew, and strengthen bonds between communities harmed by historical wrongdoing, and that... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 15th December, 2021 15 min read

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The 2nd December marks International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, it is a yearly event organised by the United Nations General Assembly. Slavery has existed in all societies across history, however, it has manifested itself differently. The most well-known... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 2nd December, 2021 1 min read

A Guide to British Government Information and Propaganda, 1939-2009

Although propaganda is thousands of years old, it really came of age in the 20th century, when the development of mass media (and later multimedia communications) offered a fertile ground for its dissemination, and the century’s global conflicts provided the... Read more →
Professor David Welch
Published 26th November, 2021 27 min read

The Historic Records held at Bethlem Museum of the Mind

Bethlem Museum of the Mind records the lives and experience and celebrates the achievements of people with mental health problems. Situated within the current day site of Bethlem Royal Hospital, the oldest psychiatric hospital in Europe, the Museum seeks to... Read more →
David Luck
Published 18th November, 2021 11 min read

Communism, Culture and Society in the 20th Century

This collection contains documents compiled by the Communist Party of Great Britain’s (CPGB) National Cultural Committee. The National Cultural Committee (NCC) was established in 1947 and functioned as an advisory panel for the Executive Committee. It aimed to develop policy related... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 16th November, 2021 1 min read

British Online Archives Internships

British Online Archives (BOA) is a West Yorkshire based academic publisher that specialises in primary resources. As part of our student outreach initiative, we’re offering  members of the Leeds University History Society the opportunity to enrol in our 2022 Winter &... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 8th November, 2021 1 min read

Charleston Vendor Showcase 2021

British Online Archives (BOA) in partnership with our exclusive North American sales representative, Digital Micro Media (DMM), are delighted to announce our attendance at the 2021 Charleston Vendor Showcase on Tuesday November 2.You can find us at BOOTH 30.Alternatively, you’ll also find... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 26th October, 2021 1 min read

34th Black History Month (UK)

October 2021 marks the 34th Black History Month in the United Kingdom. Black History Month is an annual observance that originated in the United States in 1970. However, as a result of local community activism it was also brought to... Read more →
Nishah Malik
Published 12th October, 2021 3 min read

Human Rights Day

Today (10/12/2021) is Human Rights Day“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 10th October, 2021 3 min read

Communism and Popular Culture in the 20th Century

Ivor Montagu (1904-1984) was best known for his work as a filmmaker, scriptwriter, and producer. He was also a trained naturalist, the founder of the International Table Tennis Federation, president of the Southampton F.C. Supporters’ Club, and an active member... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 5th October, 2021 1 min read

Hillsborough: The Archive as a Vehicle for ‘Truth Recovery’

On 27 July this year, Andrew Devine became the 97th victim of the infamous Hillsborough disaster. According to Liverpool coroner, Andre Rebello, ‘Andrew Devine died at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after a long illness of 32 years from aspiration pneumonia.’[i] ... Read more →
David Sarsfield
Published 29th September, 2021 12 min read

Australia in Records from Colonial Missionaries, 1808-1967 (Updated)

The British Online Archives team have recently updated the collection, Australia in Records from Colonial Missionaries, 1808-1967. This collection provides an unparalleled insight into the establishment and subsequent development of the Church of Australia.This collection contains records compiled by the... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 23rd September, 2021 1 min read

Contextualising the MOVE Remains Within American History

Every aspect of US history is irrevocably tied to slavery. The repercussions of the trade in human chattel can be seen in the modern descendants of enslaved peoples, but also within the societal frameworks that make up modern America. There... Read more →
Hanna Polasky
Published 19th August, 2021 16 min read

The Post-War International Order: Past, Present, Future?

In Western historiography, it is often presented as a given that the end of World War II ushered in a new international order. As this archival collection shows, a series of treaties and institutions including the United Nations (UN), the... Read more →
Dr. Danielle Young
Published 16th August, 2021 12 min read

Slave Trade Records from Liverpool, 1754-1792 (Updated)

The British Online Archives team have recently updated the collection, Slave Trade Records from Liverpool, 1754-1792. This collection allows researchers and students to explore Britain’s part in one of the darkest episodes in modern human history, the transatlantic slave trade.Liverpool’s... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 25th May, 2021 1 min read

British Communism in Campaigns and Events, 1947-1991

This collection contains documents relating to discrete campaigns and events organised by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) during the period 1947-1991. The documents include minutes, correspondence, press releases, posters, and programmes. They provide an insight into the ways in which... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 21st April, 2021 1 min read

Cholera Pandemic 1830s

The rapid development of multiple mRNA vaccines in a year to combat a previously unknown virus is a triumph of biotechnology and the maturation of research years in the making. That miracle of science is culminating in a race to... Read more →
Philip Feibusch
Published 19th April, 2021 8 min read

Marxist History and Historians in the 20th Century

Dona Ruth Anne Torr (1883-1957) was a Marxist historian, translator and activist. Despite being born into an aristocratic family, Torr became a founding member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). She went on to build a reputation not... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 30th March, 2021 1 min read

The historian and her group: Dona Torr and Marxist history

Dona Torr was born in 1883. Her recently-deceased grandfather John Torr had been a merchant and for the last seven years of his life the Conservative MP for Liverpool. She was brought up in a large and newly-built Victorian mansion,... Read more →
Dr. David Renton
Published 29th March, 2021 11 min read

Fashion as a political statement in the American Republic

Fashion as a political statement is a concept one generally associated with the  20th and 21st centuries, despite the practical knowledge that this could not possibly be true. Dressing deliberately for the sake of politics has far reaching roots, in... Read more →
Abigail Field
Published 24th March, 2021 16 min read

A re-evaluation of the legacy of James Marion Sims

History is always skewed by our perceptions of modern morals. What was once considered acceptable in the pursuit of science is no longer permissible. However, our perceptions themselves are influenced by the education to which we are privy. Take, for... Read more →
Hanna Polasky
Published 28th February, 2021 13 min read

Science and Marxism, 1956-1985

William Wainwright (1908-2000) was a British communist activist and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). During his time in the party, Wainwright briefly served as the secretary of the British Soviet Society and was heavily involved in... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 15th February, 2021 1 min read

From the Archive: Scottish Rebel Songs

This article examines the development of Scottish nationalism in the twentieth century through an analysis of ‘Rebel Songbooks’. These songbooks reflect the turbulent, ever-changing landscape of Scottish society, identity, and politics. Detailed contextual notes and song descriptions provide valuable insight... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 3rd February, 2021 15 min read

A Christmas Message from British Online Archives

2020 has been a challenging year for those studying and working in Higher Education.Our main concern since March has therefore been to make it easier for students, researchers, and librarians to use online primary resources. The most obvious way we... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 18th December, 2020 1 min read

Trade Unions in Crisis: the 1961 ETU Ballot-Rigging Scandal

The ETU ballot-rigging trial was a case brought to the High Court by prominent union members John Thomas Byrne and Frank Chapple in 1961. They alleged that members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) had engaged in "a... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 17th December, 2020 1 min read

From the Archive: Women’s Liberation and the CPGB

From the Archive: Women’s Liberation and the CPGBIn the 1970s, the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was facing heavy membership losses and an ever enigmatic class revolution that had failed to materialise after half a century of toil. New... Read more →
Sean Waite
Published 8th December, 2020 11 min read

Debate and Division on the British Left, 1917-1964

John Thomas (J.T.) Murphy and Molly Murphy (née Morris) were a married couple who were prominent members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) during its formative years. J.T. was expelled from the party in 1932, while Molly resigned shortly thereafter. This... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 3rd December, 2020 3 min read

The Methodist Recorder, 1861-1919

This collection contains copies of the Methodist Recorder published during the period 1861-1919. Founded in 1861 with the mission 'to tell truth and love', the Methodist Recorder was edited and published by six Wesleyan ministers in London. While the six ministers... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 24th November, 2020 2 min read

Methodist Publications, 1855-1919

John Wesley (1703-1791) was an English cleric who lead a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism in the 18th century. After Wesley's death, internal schisms led to a splintering of the original faith. The rival Methodist... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 24th November, 2020 3 min read

From the Archive: America Abroad, 1891-1907

Our exciting new collection, Transatlantic Civil Society in Periodicals, 1767-1925, explores the evolving relationship between North America and Europe over three centuries. A period that encompasses the conflict of the American revolutionary era through to changes wrought by industrialisation and... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 23rd November, 2020 11 min read

Gender, Feminism, and the British Left, 1944-1991

This collection contains records compiled by the Communist Party of Great Britain's (CPGB) Women's Department during the period 1944-1991. These records include minutes, agendas, and promotional materials from various women's campaigns, events, and conferences. They also include copies of Link, the... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 12th November, 2020 2 min read

Transatlantic Civil Society in Periodicals, 1768-1925

This collection contains a series of American journals, magazines, and trade papers published in the United Kingdom and continental Europe from 1768 to 1925—a period that encompasses everything from the Boston Tea Party to the First World War. The periodicals... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 5th November, 2020 3 min read

Soldiers and their Horses in The Great War

The British Army of 1914-1918 fully appreciated the numerous benefits to be gained by properly managing its equine resources. Despite the increased use of mechanised alternatives, horses were nevertheless still the most versatile and reliable means of transporting men and... Read more →
Jane Flynn
Published 30th October, 2020 6 min read

The Methodist Recorder, 1861-1919: Collection Guide

By Peter S. Forsaith, Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S. (Oxford Brookes University) with Rev. Dr. Martin Wellings.Methodism is arguably the most significant single Christian religious movement since the Protestant Reformation, now numbering some 80 million members and adherents worldwide. Other denominations (such as... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 22nd October, 2020 22 min read

Methodist Publications, 1855-1919: Collection Guide

By Peter S. Forsaith, Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S. (Oxford Brookes University) with Rev. Dr. Martin Wellings.Methodism is arguably the most significant single Christian religious movement since the Protestant Reformation, now numbering some 80 million members and adherents worldwide. Other denominations (such as... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 22nd October, 2020 22 min read

Aid in Africa: hurting or helping?

The idea of aid took off in the 1920s/30s, when wealthier countries started to make regular donations to places including Latin America and Africa. Before this, there had been some sporadic donations in the 19th Century, but nothing as structured... Read more →
Alice Broome
Published 8th October, 2020 10 min read

Miracle of Chile? The legacy of the Chicago Boys

Chile is often hailed as the ‘Miracle of Chile’ and is compared to the Asian Tiger economies, which boasted rapid economic growth between the 1960s and 1990s, paired with a huge improvement in the standard of living. Even today, it... Read more →
Alice Broome
Published 26th August, 2020 9 min read

From the Archive: The Paris Peace Conference and Upper Silesia

Our popular primary source collection, 'Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939', provides a wealth of archival material relating to the tumultuous period in the aftermath of the First World War. The Paris Peace Conference was the formal meeting of the... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 7th August, 2020 10 min read

Communisms and the Cold War, 1944-1986

This collection contains reports and other records compiled by the Communist Party of Great Britain's (CPGB) International Department between 1944 and 1986—a period which begins immediately after the dissolution of the Communist International (Comintern) and ends shortly before the collapse of... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 2nd July, 2020 3 min read

World News in Indian Newspapers, 1782-1908

Part of our wide-ranging Power and Preachers series, this collection contains copies of three English language newspapers published in India during the period 1782-1908: The India Gazette (1782-1834); The Bengal Hurkaru and Chronicle (1822-1866); and The Bengal Times (1876-1908).These newspapers were primarily sold to colonial businessmen, merchants,... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 31st March, 2020 1 min read

Fireside Chats 2: The Downfall of Chamberlain & Rise of Churchill

Talking History with British Online Archives is a platform for scholars to discuss and debate history and historiography in a collegiate environment.In the second episode of our new ‘Fireside Chats’ feature, Dr. Kris Lovell of Coventry University discusses the downfall... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 10th March, 2020 1 min read

Fireside Chats 1: The Legacy of Appeasement

Talking History with British Online Archives is a platform for scholars to discuss and debate history and historiography in a collegiate environment.In the first episode of our new ‘Fireside Chats’ feature, Dr. Kris Lovell of Coventry provides an overview of... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 26th February, 2020 1 min read

From the Archive: Prosecuting the Holocaust

Our recently published primary source collection, ‘Prosecuting the Holocaust: British investigations into Nazi Crimes, 1944-1949’, provides a valuable and unique study into the British governments efforts to investigate and prosecute Nazi crimes after the Second World War. The featured evidence shines... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 21st February, 2020 7 min read

British Online Archives continues successful partnership with JISC

British Online Archives is offering a unique opportunity for Jisc member institutions to make significant savings on its most popular primary source collections.multi-disciplinary. David Sarsfield, the Head of Library Sales, commented:   “Providing  member institutions with the opportunity to purchase our collections... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 28th January, 2020 5 min read

The Departments of the Communist Party of Great Britain: A Detailed Guide

The singular nature of the CPGB's relationship with the Communist International means that the organisational holdings of the archives in Britain are of a highly asymmetrical character. Discrete groups of documents from the inter-war years, some of considerable historical significance,... Read more →
Professor Kevin Morgan
Published 20th January, 2020 28 min read

Notable Individuals of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Individual deposits within the CPGB archives are significant both for the biographies of the individuals concerned and as a record of the wider activities of the party and its ancillaries. The dividing line between these materials and the party's institutional... Read more →
Professor Kevin Morgan
Published 20th January, 2020 29 min read

British Military Intelligence in Context, 1938-1974

Military Intelligence Files: Land, Sea & Air provides access to secret British government files produced by the intelligence branches of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Held by The National Archives of the United Kingdom, and covering... Read more →
Dr. Stephen Twigge
Published 5th December, 2019 19 min read

Remembering the Holocaust

British Online Archives convene a round-table discussion on the past, present, and future of Holocaust remembrance. We are joined by Holocaust survivors Leisel Carter and Arek Hersh, as well as the Director of the Mittlebau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial, Dr. Stefan Hoerdler,... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 1st November, 2019 1 min read

Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939

The Paris Peace Conference was a meeting of Allied diplomats that took place in the aftermath of the First World War. Its purpose was to impose peace terms on the vanquished Central Powers and establish a new international order.This collection... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 1st October, 2019 2 min read

In Conversation With...Stephen M. Walt

Stephen M. Walt is a distinguished academic who writes about international relations theory, grand strategy, and American foreign policy. He obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied under the late Kenneth Waltz, a... Read more →
Stephen M. Walt
Published 5th August, 2019 8 min read

Stranger Things, Nostalgia and Unintentional Meaning

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS You've got to hand it to the producers of Stranger Things for using the same deus ex machina to solve the same problem three series in a row. At least this time around there was something of a... Read more →
Jon Mackenzie
Published 26th July, 2019 11 min read

The Radical Romanticism of Piracy

In Western popular culture, pirates have emerged as dashing heroic figures.Despite the fact that, on the periphery, most people are vaguely aware that there is a profound disconnect between the realities of piracy and the popular fantasy, we choose to... Read more →
Katherine Waite
Published 10th July, 2019 13 min read

Interpreting the Unthinkable

In September 2018 the UK’s newest Holocaust exhibition opened to the public. ‘Though Our Eyes’ tells the story of the Holocaust as experienced by 16 Jewish men and women who escaped or survived the genocide and made new lives in the... Read more →
Emma King
Published 17th April, 2019 5 min read

In Conversation With...Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich is an historian and commentator who writes about American foreign and defence policy.He graduated from West Point in 1969 and served in the United States Army for two decades, including stints in Vietnam and Kuwait. After leaving... Read more →
Andrew J. Bacevich
Published 10th April, 2019 6 min read

British Online Archives team up with Jisc - Press Release

British Online Archives team up with Jisc to provide products at discounted rates to Higher Education Institutions British Online Archives (BOA) have been accepted onto a new framework with Jisc, which is geared towards selling their resources at a discounted... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 14th December, 2018 3 min read

British Online Archives Undergraduate Essay Award

The winner of the British Online Archives Undergraduate Essay Award will receive a Kindle e-reader (6") and £50 worth of Amazon vouchers, as well as having their essay published on our website. Question:   Leon Trotsky once said that "war is... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 26th November, 2018 1 min read

The Problem with Apollo

The American ‘moonshot’ is arguably one of the most memorable moments of the Cold War, if not the 20th century. It captured the world’s attention with record global viewing figures on live television and cemented the success of America’s military-industrial-scientific... Read more →
Bleddyn B. Bowen
Published 15th October, 2018 10 min read

Military intelligence files: land, sea and air, 1938-1974

Part of British Online Archives's wide-ranging World Wars series, the resources contained within this collection shed light on the activities and attitudes of British military intelligence agencies during the Second World War and Cold War.The majority of the documents are... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 10th August, 2018 1 min read

The Fashionable Form of Holocaust Denial

What do Holocaust deniers deny? The most extreme among them deny that the Nazis’ the extermination of the Jews ever happened—or, if some portion of it did take place, the Jews were behind it. These include such notorious figures as... Read more →
Professor David Patterson
Published 9th August, 2018 10 min read

International relations between America and Britain, 1796-1848

Sir Charles Vaughan (1774-1849) was a career diplomat who served as British Ambassador to the United States during the period 1825-1835. This collection contains Vaughan's personal and professional papers from before, during, and after his time in Washington. The papers shed... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 1st August, 2018 1 min read

British Union of Fascists: newspapers and secret files, 1933-1951

Part of British Online Archives' Politics and Protest series, the resources contained within this collection chart the rise and fall of fascism in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s, with a particular focus on Oswald Mosley’s blackshirt movement. The bulk of... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 20th July, 2018 1 min read

The Politics of the World Cup

It was a magnificent finale to a tense group stage encounter. Standing at five and a half feet, Xherdan Shaqiri’s run wasn’t graceful, but with legs pumping like pistons, the Switzerland midfielder surged past the defender and stuck the ball... Read more →
David Cowlishaw
Published 16th July, 2018 5 min read

Behind Enemy Lines: The Life and Death of Diana Rowden

On July 6th, 1944, Diana Rowden, Andree Borrell, Vera Leigh, and Sonya Olschanezky were executed by the SS at Natzweiler-Struthof, a concentration camp located near the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in Alsace. They had been transferred from a prison... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 6th July, 2018 2 min read

Pride in Perspective: Homosexuality in Britain Since 1967

In July 1967 the Sexual Offences Act decriminalized homosexual acts between men, making it legal between two men over 21 in private (though not in Scotland or Northern Ireland—those laws were finally abolished in 1980 and 1982 respectively).  This legislation... Read more →
Harry Cocks
Published 18th June, 2018 5 min read

VE Day Through the Eyes of East Prussian Refugees

"I did not know then that the 8th of May 1945 was a special day. Whatever happened in the world ‘outside’, did not apply to us. Here, everything revolved around food, the acquisition of food and sheer survival… We did... Read more →
Arddun Arwyn
Published 8th May, 2018 5 min read

Women and Protest in 19th Century Britain

Does women’s history actually exist? If the lives and achievements of just over half of the population were fully acknowledged as a vital part of the human story then, by definition, it wouldn’t. The tendency to see women’s experiences as... Read more →
Louise Raw
Published 5th April, 2018 6 min read

Black History Month with British Online Archives

Black History Month is celebrated every February in the United States and Canada, as well as here in the United Kingdom in October. The idea started as a way of remembering significant people and events in African history. Black History... Read more →
British Online Archives
Published 28th February, 2018 4 min read

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The British Online Archives blog is a platform for scholars to present their research to students and the general public. The posts cover a range of historical themes and debates from around the world. The opinions expressed represent those of the authors, not British Online Archives or Microform Imaging Ltd.

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