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Nineteenth Century British History  

Mostly digitized primary sources for 19th century British history (newspapers, government documents, books, images, etc.) Also includes Yale microform collections and printed guides.
Last Updated: Jul 8, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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General Collections

  • Bibliography of British and Irish History.
    The Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present. All titles included in The Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) are included in the database (with the exception of unpublished theses).
  • British History Online.
    British History Online digital library contains some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.
  • British Humanities Index (CSA).
    An international abstracting and indexing tool for research in the humanities, BHI indexes over 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK, including the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, and the Times. With the Subject Index to Periodicals, BHI provides an unbroken index to the humanities in Great Britain since 1915.
  • Defining Gender – 1450-1910 (Adam Matthew Digital).
    A collection of original source material from British and European archives for the study and analysis of gender, leisure and consumer culture with 21 libraries for comparative study and research. Manuscripts, printed works and illustrations address the key issues from both masculine and feminine perspectives. Documents include ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, etc.
  • Dictionary of Irish Biography.
    The Dictionary of Irish Biography, a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy, is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. It contains 9,014 signed biographical articles which describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.
  • Dictionary of National Biography.
    The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the premier source for biographical information on persons connected with the British Isles from all periods of history. The qualifications for inclusion are that subjects not be living, that they inhabited or were connected with the British Isles, and that they were noteworthy.
  • English Poetry Database.
    Essentially the complete English poetic canon from the 8th century to the early 20th. Poems by more than 1,250 poets drawn from nearly 4,500 printed sources.
  • English Poetry, Second Edition (PQ).
    English Poetry, Second Edition includes poems by over 2,700 poets, an archive of English verse from the 8th century to the early 20th representing both of the literary heritages of Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries and of the poetic legacies of English writers who have only been brought back to scholarly attention during the last thirty years.
  • Grand Tour.
    The Grand Tour was a rite-of-passage for many aristocratic and wealthy young men of the eighteenth century: a phenomenon which shaped the creative and intellectual sensibilities of some of the eighteenth century’s greatest artists, writers and thinkers. These accounts of the English abroad, c1550-1850, highlight the influence of continental travel on British art, architecture, urban planning, literature and philosophy.
  • Heritage of the Printed Book Database.
    The HPB Database (previously called the Hand Press Book Database) is a steadily growing collection of files of catalogue records from major European and North American research libraries covering items of European printing of the hand-press period (c. 1455-c. 1830) integrated into one file. This makes it possible for information to be retrieved in one single search across all files.
  • Irish History Online.
    Irish History Online is a guide to what has been written about the history of Ireland from earliest times to the present. It has been established in association with the Royal Historical Society Bibliography of British and Irish History and London's Past Online. IHO contains items, drawn from Writings on Irish History from 1936 to 2002, plus all the Irish material currently held on the online Royal Historical Society Bibliography.
  • Irish Women Poets of the Romantic Period.
    Irish Women Poets of the Romantic Period includes more than 80 volumes of poetry by approximately 50 Irish women writing between 1768 and 1842. Compiled and edited by Stephen Behrendt of the University of Nebraska, the database also offers numerous biographical and critical essays prepared by leading scholars specifically for the project. New content is added to the collection on a regular basis. It currently contains over 9,000 pages of poetry.
  • Literary manuscripts (Berg).
    The Berg Collection is recognised as one of the finest literary research collections in the world, and the Victorian holdings are the undisputed jewel in its crown. A broad range of authors from across the nineteenth century make this an essential research tool for all scholars and students researching Victorian literature.
  • Mundus: Gateway to Missionary Collections in the United Kingdom.
    The Mundus Gateway is a web-based guide to more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials held in the United Kingdom. These materials, comprising the archives of British missionary societies, collections of personal papers, printed matter, photographs, other visual materials and artefacts, are held in a large number of libraries, record offices and other institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present.
    Orlando provides entries on authors' lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies. Interacting with these materials creates a dynamic inquiry from any number of perspectives into centuries of women's writing.
  • Oxford Art Online - Grove Art Online.
    The Dictionary of Art Online is a fully searchable copy of the print dictionary, including some but not all of the illustrations and photographs in the print version. The online dictionary provides an image search for images from the Bridgeman Art Library and also links to images elsewhere on the internet. Types of searches include an Article Search, which performs a search for an article on a specific topic, and a full text search which searches the entire text of the articles.
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global
    The world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day and offering full text for graduate works added since 1997, along with selected full text for works written prior to 1997. It contains a significant amount of new international dissertations and theses both in citations and in full text.
  • Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period.
    Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period (SWRP) contains 60 volumes of Romantic Poetry, extensive contemporary critical reviews, as well as material specially written for this database by leading scholars.
  • Victorian Database Online.
    Search over 100,000 records listing books, articles, and dissertation abstracts published from 1945 to 2002 on every field of nineteenth-century British studies.

Newspapers and Periodicals

  • 19th Century British Pamphlets.
    Some of the most significant collections of 19th century pamphlets are held in UK research libraries. 23,000 paper copy pamphlets from seven university libraries were digitised by BOPCRIS and focus on political, economic and social issues. These provide an immensely rich and coherent corpus of primary sources with which to study the socio-political and economic landscape of 19th century Britain.
  • 19th century British Library newspapers.
    Searchable full text of full runs of newspapers specially selected by the British Library to best represent nineteenth-century Britain. This new collection includes national and regional newspapers, as well as newspapers from: established country or university towns; the new industrial powerhouses of the manufacturing Midlands; and Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Special attention was paid to include newspapers that helped lead particular political or social movements such as Reform and Chartism.
  • The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition.
    A free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers.The edition is formed of two integrated components: the 'Facsimile' component - a repository of full-page facsimiles and textual transcripts generated through OCR; and the 'Keyword' component - an index of semantic keywords and person, place and institution names, generated using data mining and natural language processing techniques. Both components of the system are fully searchable.
  • British Periodicals I and II.
    British Periodicals Collection I consists of journals spanning the late 17th through early 20th centuries, and covering a range of topics such as literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences. Derived from the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals the collection will contain the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes and over 3 million pages.
  • British Periodicals II
    Access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images of
    English Literary Periodicals and British Periodicals in the Creative Arts. Topics covered include literature, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
  • Periodicals Archive Online (ProQuest).
    An archive of digitized, full-image journal articles, international, scholarly literature in the humanities and social sciences disciplines from 1802 to 1995 with links to JSTOR enabled. Yale's Subscription includes access to these collections of titles that extend the range of JSTOR: English Literature (75 titles, 1813-1989), History (75 titles, 1813-1989) , British Periodicals Collection I (160 journals, 1681 - 1920).
  • Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900.
    The print edition of the Waterloo Directory was published in 10 volumes in 1998 and represents an expansion of the earlier one-volume Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900. The latter title was published in 1976 with about 29,000 brief entries gathered from a number of extensive secondary sources: the Times’ Tercentenary Handlist of English and Welsh Newspapers, the British Union Catalogue of Periodicals, the British Library Catalogue, and Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Director
  • Highland History & Culture.
    A searchable database of stories and articles carried in the newspapers of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The database contains a short summary of each article and a reference to the issue in which the article was published.
  • World newspaper archive
    Mostly holdings from North and South America, as well as titles from numerous Caribbean nations and Commonwealth Nations with relevant information about the UK.
  • Access Newspaper Archive for Great Britain
    Contains about 600 titles of varying extend and quality, mostly from the nineteenth to twentieth century.
  • Georgian and early Victorian regional newspapers (1750s-1870s)
    Extracts and transcripts of English and Irish newspapers, principally concentrating on Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, London, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey, Worcestershire, and Wiltshire.
  • John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera.
    Large collection of 19th century British pamphlets from the Oxford University Library.
  • Illustrated London News.
  • Internet Library of Early Journals.
    ILEJ, the "Internet Library of Early Journals" was a joint project by the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, conducted under the auspices of the Electronic Libraries Programme. It aimed to digitise substantial runs of 18th and 19th century journals, and make these images available on the Internet, together with their associated bibliographic data. Active curation was discontinued in 1999.

Political and Government Documents

  • House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (ProQuest).
    With all collections enabled, HCPP now includes over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688. HCPP delivers page images and searchable full text for each paper, along with detailed indexing. HCPP is currently complete from 1801-2006. Records and papers from recent sessions of Parliament will continue to be added on a regular basis.
  • Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, 1674-1834
    (Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield). A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
  • Annual Register.
    The Annual Register is a year-by-year record of British and world events covering 1758 to the present and including contemporary opinion, historical context and biographical information. From the American War of Independence, through western industrialisation and world wars, The Annual Register has chronicled and reported events across the globe from the perspective of a contemporary witness. The online version of The Annual Register enables cross-searching of volumes.
  • State papers online - Parts I through IV and Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782, Part I.
    State Papers Online, 1509-1714 and Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782, Part I ('SPO') offers a completely new working environment to researchers, teachers and students of Early Modern Britain. Whether used for original research, for teaching, or for student project work, State Papers Online offers original historical materials across the widest range of government concern, from high level international politics and diplomacy to the charges against a steward for poisoning a dozen or more people.
  • The Avalon Project.
    The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. We do not intend to mount only static text but rather to add value to the text by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.
  • Documents on British policy overseas.
    Documents on British Policy Overseas provides users with access to a wide range of primary source documents from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, shedding light on throughout the twentieth century. Selected and edited by the official historians of the FCO, Documents on British Policy Overseas includes many documents specifically de-classified for inclusion in the series.
  • Making of Modern Law (Gale).
    Contains legal treatises published from 1800-1926, from the Nineteenth-Century Legal Treatises and Twentieth-Century Legal Treatises microfilm collections. Includes more than 21,000 works on U.S. and British Commonwealth law. The nearly 10 million page images are fully searchable by keyword, author, title, date, subject, and full-text.
  • Confidential Print: North America, 1824-1961
    Colonial Office records spanning 1839-1914, including CO 884/1-38 West Indies, 1826-1961; FO 414/1-278 North America 1824-1941; FO 461/1-13 America, 1942-1956; FO 462/1-10 USA, 1947-1956

Microform Collections

Librarian for Literature in English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics

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Todd Gilman, PhD, MLS
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Sterling Memorial Library
130 Wall Street
PO Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
(203)-432-1761 (office phone)
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