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The Cecil Papers (1540-1640) [Proquest]

This databases comprises almost 30,000 documents from the Hatfield House Archives gathered by William Cecil (1521-1598), Lord Burghley and his son Robert Cecil (1563-1612), First Earl of Salisbury. The database includes digitised copies of state papers, maps, correspondences, treatises, illuminated manuscripts, political memoranda, and other legal documents.

In addition to the two Cecils, this collection pertains to a number of significant political figures from the late Tudor Period including: Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and James I. It will be of interest to any scholar or student researching the political, social, and military events of late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century Britain.

Trialled in July 2012.

Available in the British Library.

State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782

State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782 is a three part series that extends Gale’s widely acclaimed British State Papers Online programme into the eighteenth century giving researchers and students unprecedented access to British government records during the Age of Enlightenment.

State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782 represents the final section of the State Papers series from the National Archives in the UK before the series was closed and replaced by the Home Office and Foreign Office series in 1782. Covering the reigns of the Hanover rulers George I (1714-1727), George II (1727-1760) and part of the reign of George III (up to 1782), the series provides unparalleled access to thousands of manuscripts that reveal the behind the scenes, day to day running of government  during the eighteenth century. As such State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782 is vital to any understanding of the political, social and economic history of the period and an essential resource for any scholar or student studying the eighteenth century.

Part I: Domestic and Privy Council was publishing in late Spring 2013.

Parts II and III will cover the extensive ‘foreign’ government records that focus on Britain’s relations with its colonies, European neighbours and Russia.

Witchcraft in Europe and America (Archives Unbound) [Cengage]

Sourced from the Cornell University Library. Includes texts dating from the 15th century to the early 20th century.

The majority of the material concerns the “classic period” of the 16th to 18th centuries. In addition to these classic texts, the collection includes anti-persecution writings, works by penologists, legal and church documents, exposés of persecutions, philosophical writings and transcripts of trials and exorcisms.

Included are many rare and fragile manuscripts containing eyewitness accounts and court records of the trials of witches, including harrowing original manuscript depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber.

Also enables researchers to trace the history and culture of European civilization during the Renaissance and Enlightenment.

The majority of texts are in Latin, English and German, although there are also selected items in French, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch and Spanish.

Trialled in July 2012.

Actes royaux français, 1256-1794 (Archives Unbound) [Cengage]

This database comprises around 16,000 documents from libraries and other collections in the United States which are pertinent to the history of France 1256-1794. Its focus is on French legislative and administrative history, but does not exclude other aspects of French social history. Nearly three-quarters of the documents concern the financial administration and policy of France.  The oldest documents are most often reprints of texts published during the Ancien Régime that deal with royal obligations to the populace. The purview of this database includes: fiscal affairs at the Chambre des Comptes; taxation and tariffs, mainly during the eighteenth century; fees for the passage through private property; documents including the names of landowners which may be of genealogical and historical interest; and disputes concerning tolls.

Trialled in July 2012.

Early Modern Pamphlets Online (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

This database aims to become the premier source for digital facsimiles of early modern pamphlets. Thus far, the archive includes over 47,000 Dutch and German pamphlets. Other series, including French pamphlets will be added in the future. Currently, the Dutch pamphlets run from 1486 to 1853, the German pamphlets from 1501 to 1600. Most of these digitisations are from microfiche; however, over 600 colour reproductions have also been included.

These pamphlets are a major primary source for scholars of early modern Europe, particularly those interested in political, religious, and social commentary.

Trialled in July 2012.

Philipp Melanchthon, Theologian and Humanist (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), reformer and humanist scholar at the University of Wittenberg, was one of the most important figures in early modern Europe. His writings, covering the fields of language and logic, Greek and Latin literature, philosophy, theology, politics, history and even astrology, mathematics and medicine.

This collection focuses on three types of literature in the Melanchthon corpus. First, it especially includes works not contained in more recent collections of Melanchthon's works (i.e., the Corpus Reformatorum, Supplementa Melanchthoniana, and Melanchthon Studien Ausgabe). Second, it preserves important earlier printings of works, which have been hitherto unavailable in modern sources, especially where these differ radically from later editions. Third, it contains a copy of the four-volume Opera omnia, both to indicate the materials available immediately after Melanchthon's death and to give readers access to the only index of his more well-known theological works. This collection of microfiche makes available for the first time to the widest possible range of scholars the work of an enormously influential teacher and thinker of the sixteenth century.

Trialled in July 2012.

Reformation in Heidelberg (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

This collection has been gathered for the purpose of illuminating the intellectual and religious developments during the reigns of Ottheinrich (1556-1559) and Frederick III (1559-1576). This collection is likely to be only the first instalment of a larger project that will continue to track Palatine developments into the early seventeenth century. Primary goal has been to present the complete works of the major Heidelberg figures (Bouquin, Erastus, Olevianus, Ursinus, Zanchi) and samples of the works of secondary figures (Johannes Brunner, Jacob Curio, Klebitz, Johannes Lange, Peter Lotichius Secundus, Wilhelm Roding, Sylvan, Daniel Toussain, Tremellius, Johann Willing, Hermann Witekind, Wilhelm Xylander). Including translations or editions of works of Beze, Calvin, Andreas Dudith, and Melanchthon that were significant in the Heidelberg context. Favoured original editions to the extent that availability and microfilming considerations allow.

Secondarily, illuminating the theological development of the Palatinate including the origins and reception of the Heidelberg Catechism. Including attacks on the Palatine confession by Lutheran scholars (e.g., works by Heshusius, Matthaeus Flacius Illyricus, and Paul Einhorn). Endeavoured to include a wide range of scientific, philosophical and literary works whose variety attests to the intellectual vitality of Reformed Heidelberg.

Trialled in July 2012.

Italian Reformation Online I (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

A collection of 189 sources, mainly Italian and Latin, also English, French and German, on the Italian Reformation.

"The theological profile of the Italian reformation has not been researched in sufficient depth. Obviously, such an exploration will require specific knowledge of the primary texts. Critical editions, however, are very rarely available. This collection offers a synopsis of the diversity of the manifestations of the Italian Reformation and will therefore facilitate research in this fascinating, still largely fallow area." Brill.

Conrad Gessner's Private Library (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

The present collection presents the entire corpus of all public interventions by representatives in the National Convention during the trial from November 1792 to January 1793. A six-volume compilation of speeches and interventions during the trial constitutes the nucleus of the collection. It contains some 300 original writings which originally appeared separately.

Two other important items in the collection are contemporary source collections, published during and immediately after Louis's trial: the eight volumes of the Histoire impartiale du procès de Louis XVI by Jean-François Jauffret (Paris: C.-F. Perlet, 1792-1793), and the very rare seven volumes of Le Pour et le Contre. Recueil complet des opinions prononcées à l'Assemblée conventionelle dans le procès de Louis XVI (Paris: Buisson, Chaudé, 1793). Two important speeches in the king's defense, by Jacques Necker (1792) and Lally-Tolendal (Paris-London, 1793), make for a remarkable and representative compilation of contemporary documents on the king's trial.

Trialled in July 2012.

The Grand Tour [Adam Matthew Digital]

The Grand Tour includes the travel writings and works of some of Britain’s greatest artists, writers and thinkers, revealing how interaction with European culture shaped their creative and intellectual sensibilities. It also includes many writings by forgotten or anonymous travellers, including many women, whose daily experiences offer a vivid insight into the experience and practicalities of travel over the centuries.

This collection of manuscript, visual and printed works allows scholars to explore Anglo-European relations during this period from every angle. Topics covered include:

  • European political and religious life
  • British diplomacy
  • Material culture, taste and collecting
  • Everyday life
  • Life at court and social customs on the Continent

There is a wealth of detail about cities such as Paris, Geneva, Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples, that will excite both urban and architectural historians.

The Grand Tour is also wonderful source of information about daily life between 1550 and 1850, highlighting such everyday issues as transportation, money, communications, food and drink, health and sex.

Available in the British Library.

French Revolutionary Opinions (Brill Primary Sources Online) [Brill]

The present collection presents the entire corpus of all public interventions by representatives in the National Convention during the trial from November 1792 to January 1793. A six-volume compilation of speeches and interventions during the trial constitutes the nucleus of the collection. It contains some 300 original writings which originally appeared separately. Two other important items in the collection are contemporary source collections, published during and immediately after Louis's trial: the eight volumes of the Histoire impartiale du procès de Louis XVI by Jean-François Jauffret (Paris: C.-F. Perlet, 1792-1793), and the very rare seven volumes of Le Pour et le Contre. Recueil complet des opinions prononcées à l'Assemblée conventionelle dans le procès de Louis XVI (Paris: Buisson, Chaudé, 1793). Two important speeches in the king's defense, by Jacques Necker (1792) and Lally-Tolendal (Paris-London, 1793), make for a remarkable and representative compilation of contemporary documents on the king's trial.

Trialled in July 2012.

Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange

Trial ended.

Includes wide-ranging sources:

  • Records of individual traders, showing patterns of consumption for a range of commodities over time.
  • Business Accounts and Records of both small and large companies from an early fur trapper to a major chocolate manufacturer.
  • Dock Accounts describing the development of a major port from 1755 to 1960.
  • Bills of Entry for major ports which show changing patterns of trade between 1820 and 1939.
  • 17th and 18th century Trade Returns and Prices Current for key markets.
  • Material on the discovery and exploitation of commodities in Asia, Africa and the Americas from 1492 to 2000.
  • Government records concerning taxation, economic development and colonial business schemes.
  • Exhibition Catalogues.
  • Statistical sources documenting world trade; and a vast range of visual material including advertising and packaging, photographs, paintings and prints.

For each commodity there is a vast array of historical material documenting their origins, transportation, consumption and impact on society. Also, each commodity is documented through a wide range of manuscript materials, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, ephemera, objects and rare books so that the student can explore the origins of the commodity, their first uses, the trade that developed and the ways in which these items were marketed.

Relevant for world history, economic and trade history, social history, discovery and exploration, history of consumption and life style, etc.

Covers early modern to 20th century.

Available in the British Library.