The Editor's Choice

Welcome to the blog of the editorial team at Adam Matthew Digital. Here we will bring you snippets from the fascinating collections we have the privilege of handling on a daily basis, as well as posts about our travels to various archives and conferences across the world.

Also featured are special guest blogs by leading academics on their personal collection highlights. Please subscribe to recieve new blog posts direct to your inbox.

What is Jazz?
21 October 2015

‘The literal translation of jazz is improvisation. But jazz is an expression of the spirit, and the soul, and musician, enables a musician to express himself from deep within himself and to be spontaneous.’

A Very Victorian Illusion: Ghoulies, Ghosties and Halloween Nasties
20 October 2015

For many, Halloween conjures memories of Vincent Price Hammer Horrors, greasy face paint and gaggles of small children with chocolate-plastered faces. As the occasion has arisen, I thought we would do something fun and attempt to summon a spirit. Now, I don’t mean the Ouija Board type of spiritual shenanigans the Victorians were so fond of attending, no. I mean a real summoning 
 the creation of a real spiritual image.

A Blue Room, far from Crimson Peak
13 October 2015

With chilly mornings and the leaves changing colour we’re reminded that Halloween is just a week away. Any excuse to restock our snack shelf is always widely celebrated at Adam Matthew so we’ll be favouring treats over the tricks.

12 October 2015

One hundred years ago, on 12 October 1915, having sentenced her to death for treason, the Germans executed British nurse Edith Cavell (1865-1915) in Belgium.

Welsh Patagonia: 150 years of 'Y Wladfa Gymreig'
08 October 2015

Having grown up in a Welsh-speaking community in Cardiff, I have long been familiar and fascinated with the history and concept of 'Y Wladfa Gymreig', a Welsh-speaking settlement in Patagonia, Argentina. Founded in 1865, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Y Wladfa with celebrations taking place throughout the year in both Wales and Argentina.

01 October 2015

When most African American migrants connected freedom with the North, “the mecca was Chicago.” In 1910, Chicago’s 40,000 black residents were scattered throughout a city of two million. But by the 1960s, African Americans made up one third of the city’s three million and were largely segregated within ghettoes on the South and West sides of town.

A Royal Affair
18 September 2015

Whilst browsing through a collection of material from our up-coming World’s Fairs resource, a familiar face appeared to me amidst a stream of photographs of jubilant crowds, exotic pavilions and iconic industrial feats. It was none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attending Expo 67, Montreal’s international exposition.

To ‘Gladden the Hearts of the Most Fastidious
09 September 2015

While I accept that for many, September signals the start of crisper mornings and the new school year, most of us can agree that autumn is also all about watching a host of celebrities fumble their way through the foxtrot and wrangle with the rumba, leading us up to Christmas with a feast of spangles, silliness, glitter and glamour along the way.

Service Not Servitude
07 September 2015

Today marks the US federal holiday Labor Day; a day dedicated to honouring the American labour movement and recognizing the contributions and social and economic achievements of American workers. It is a day to celebrate strength and prosperity and to have one last hurrah for summer.

Fun, Sun and Summer Flings
07 September 2015

Summer in the northern hemisphere is drawing to a close and with it comes the end of peak holiday season. ‘Back to School’ advertisements and darker evenings remind us that the summer holiday is over, but it won’t be long until travel agents are persuading us to book next year’s dream getaway. To cheer myself up in the meantime I’ve been browsing holiday and tourism paraphernalia from the 1960s and dreaming of vacationing in a more glamourous age.

The Utter Ruin of Mary Musgrove Bosomworth
02 September 2015

Documents included in Colonial America cover daring feats of piracy, bloody wars, rugged expeditions through frontiers infested with ‘vigorous rattlesnakes’ and reams of legislation that ultimately shaped a nation. However, after hours spent tilting my head this way and that in an attempt to decipher the handwriting of various clerks, it has become clear that the lives of women within the Thirteen Colonies were of less interest to record keepers than politics and trade. A queen may have sat on the throne when English explorers first landed on the coast of Virginia, but the age of empire was, primarily, an age of withered, wigged, white men.

Rough dust gold in a purple bagg: Pirate treasure in colonial America
28 August 2015

Over the past couple of months I’ve been spending most of my time indexing documents for our forthcoming Colonial America resource, which consists of British Colonial Office files from The National Archives, Kew. This material covers all aspects of life in the Thirteen Colonies and beyond, from the everyday administrative grind of council meetings and petitions about land rights to the more evocative subjects (from the comfortable vantage point of twenty-first-century Britain) of battles with the French, parlays with Indians, and pirates – or ‘pyrates’, as most writers of the time rather pleasingly spelled it.

Escape from Spandau Prison
21 August 2015

Migration to New Worlds: A Century of Immigration reminds me of a photo-mosaic. The resource sweeps across several cultures, tens of decades and thousands of miles to explore the mass migration of peoples in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but this rich narrative is actually comprised of a multitude of stories of the individuals, families and communities that decided to up sticks and ship themselves off to a whole new life.

New Online this Fall: ‘African American Communities’
20 August 2015

One of my personal highlights from the forthcoming African American Communities resource has been working with the oral history collections that will be featured within the project. The oral histories (sourced from the Atlanta History Center, Washington University in St. Louis and the Weeksville Heritage Center) contain personal accounts of the Atlanta Civil Rights Movement, African American art and culture and the African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn.

Graham crackers: the original health food (or, bourbon marshmallow s'mores with bacon!)
06 August 2015

It may surprise you to learn that fad diets are not a recent phenomenon; the 1830s saw a health food craze, founded by Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), sweep across the US. Graham’s philosophy resonates with current trends; championing fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains while cutting out fat, meat and sugar.

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