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Digital Microfilm Guide, 2013: British Online Archives


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British Records on the Atlantic World

British Online Archives


British Online Archives is a wide collection ot documents touching upon the history and politics of the British Isles as well as upon the history of those areas of the world affected by British imperialism and missionary work.

British Records on the Atlantic World

People & Protest in Britain and Abroad, 1800-2000

United Kingdom




Middle East

Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

British Records on the Atlanta World

Records relating to the slave trade at the Liverpool Record Office

Part 1 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. These primary sources preserved at the Liverpool Record Office constitute one of the best collections in British archives of private merchants' papers relating to the transatlantic slave trade. Liverpool was the leading slave trading port in the world in the eighteenth century when these documents were compiled. Each individual item has a particular focus, but all illuminate the human and financial aspects of the slave trade. The material includes correspondence with ship captains and Caribbean agents about the acquisition of Africans and their sale; statistics on the Liverpool slave trade; sales accounts of the lots of Africans disembarked in the Americas, often with the names of purchasers and prices; information on dealings with diverse African groups along the coast of West Africa; and details of payments for slave sales. The account books of ships' voyages include material on the outfitting of vessels and the cargoes of goods exported to Africa. Among the items included in this collection are records of the wealthy merchant and banker, Thomas Leyland, who was three times Mayor of Liverpool, and letters by the slave trade captain, John Newton, who later became a clergyman, the composer of the hymn 'Amazing Grace', and a prominent abolitionist. These documents are drawn from papers held at the Liverpool Record Office.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University. (Included as a supplement to the above are the post-abolition papers of captain and ship-owner, James Brown (ca. 1807-1851), which are held with the main collection at the Liverpool Record Office.)

American material in the archives of the USPG, 1635-1812

Part 2 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. The importance of the material in this collection from historical research lies not merely in their religious content, but in the fact that missionaries in North America, as elsewhere, were often the only people recording and submitting regular reports of events from remote English-speaking communities around the world.

According Isobel Pridmore, former archivist of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, "The documents relating to North America here [reproduced] are true archives in Sir Henry Jenkinson's definition of the word: that is, they came into being as a result of the work of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and have been preserved ever since in its custody. After the first meeting at Lambeth Palace in 1701 the business of the Society was conducted from the office of the Secretary, which was at first his private house. Some of the original letters from missionaries have disappeared during the peregrinations of the Office, as is obvious to anyone who tries to collect all the letters of one man from the various Series. But much the greatest part of this correspondence from overseas has, however, survived from the 18th century..."

The papers of William Davenport & Co., 1745-1797

Part 3 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. William Davenport was a Liverpool merchant and British slave trader. From the late 1740s till the early 1790s, he invested regularly in the African slave trade and was a partner in slaving ventures with other leading merchant Liverpool families.

These papers from Keele University Library are accompanied by a guide to the collection by Professor David Richardson, Hull University.

Jamaican material in the Slebech papers

Part 4 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. This collection comprises a careful selection of documents from the extensive Slebech Estate archives now held in the National Library of Wales and the Pembrokeshire Record Office. They relate chiefly to the interests of Nathaniel Phillips, 1756?-1832, in the West Indies. The collection represents a major resource for research into the social and economic history of West Indies, slavery, plantations and trade.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University.

Papers relating to the Jamaican estates of the Goulburn family of Betchworth House

Part 5 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. These documents deal with the history of Amity Hall plantation, a sugar estate in Vere Parish, Jamaica, and some associated properties (principally Bogue livestock pen) while they were in the hands of the Goulburn family. Most of the papers concern these properties when they were administered by Henry Goulburn between 1805, after he had attained his majority, and 1856, when he died, though there are also documents relating to the late seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries.

Henry Goulburn was a staunch Anglican and a prominent Tory member of Parliament who was under-secretary in the Colonial Office (1812-21). He never found the time to visit his Jamaican properties but instead oversaw them as an absentee owner. Yet he took a close interest in their economic performance and in efforts to improve the living and working conditions of his slaves as well as their religious instruction. For this reason, the Goulburn papers provide a comprehensive guide to the operation of his Jamaican properties over a period which spans both the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807 and the subsequent Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which led to the emancipation of all slaves across the British Empire, including the West Indies.

Comprising the entire 304/J series, together with two short files relating to the issue of slavery in the general election of 1826 (304/A1/box 22/7 & /box 23/8), from the collections of the Surrey History Centre, Woking, the manuscripts contained here include letterbooks, extensive loose estate correspondence, accounts, some of the title deeds, land conveyances, wills, letters of administration, mortgages, supply lists, expenditure abstracts, lists of the increase and decrease of stock and slaves, monthly journals of the daily employment of slaves, sales accounts for sugar and rum shipped from Jamaica to London and Liverpool, circulars for the improvement of sugar manufacture, and letters relating to antislavery agitation in Britain. The manuscripts throw light on the management of a sugar estate by attorneys on behalf of an absentee owner, on the work undertaken by slaves and apprentices, and on the social, economic and political context of life in the British Caribbean in the nineteenth century.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University.

Papers of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, 1694-1709

Part 6 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. The Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, better known as the Darien Company, was created by Act of the Scots Parliament on 26 June 1695, receiving royal assent from King William II of Scotland (William III of England), almost 100 years after the 'Union of the crowns'. The intention was for Scotland set up trading colonies around the globe after the model of other European nations at that time, beginning with a settlement on the Darien Isthmus near present-day Panama.

This BRRAM collection includes all the principal manuscripts at the National Library of Scotland on the doomed scheme, and complements the earlier published collection of documents held in the archives of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

While the bulk of these papers date from 1696 through to 1707, including copies of the general journals for the Company, the collection also contains certain miscellaneous documents which antedate by two years the legal incorporation of the Company, and others that span the period of its dissolution up to 1709. The quality and variety of financial documents and in the amount of correspondence are remarkable, the bulk dating from the initial period to 1700, culminating in the return of survivors from the second disastrous expedition to Darien. Among the former category are numerous subscription books, dating from 1696. In addition there are account books, detailed cash books and receipts, trading ledgers and promissory notes, the book of the Company's store & warehouse keeper at the port in Leith, together with lists of goods shipped. The minute books and journals of the principal of the Company's committees also survive.

The enterprise was motivated by the desire to invigorate an ailing Scottish economy and, at the same time, to compete with the Honourable East India Company, established in England in 1600. However, the massive debts incurred as a result of the collapse of this initiative in 1699 were perhaps the chief factor which drew Scotland into the 'Act of Union' of 1707. As such, these manuscripts are significant not only to the study of British trade with the Americas in the late 17th century, but also the sweeping political and economic changes that gave rise to the forging of Great Britain. In addition, they provide a detailed and comprehensive, yet manageable, record of the systems and processes by which European colonisation and trade might be spread.

Journal, annual sermons and reports of the SPG, 1701-1870

Part 7 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. This collection offers a range of documents which reveal details of the lives the missionaries of the USPG really led. Starting with the formation of the USPG by Royal Charter in 1701, the reports, letters, minutes and accounts of places like Canada in the eighteenth to nineteenth century inform the reader about the colonists' attitudes and perceptions of American and other colonies during this period. Several documents in this collection feature commentary, directly or indirectly, on relations between the colonisers and the first nations such as the Iroquois and Algonquians including the Address of Indian sachems to Queen Anne. While missionaries first started working in the Gold Coast of Africa from 1752, work in Asia and India was first chronicled as a subject in itself nearly sixty years later in around 1815. The annual sermons of the society's preachers provide an opportunity to observe how various verses from the bible are used, to assert the value of the society's mission, during different phases within it.

South American Missionary Society records, 1844-1919

Part 8 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. Includes most of the material held in the SAMS archives for the period up to 1919. When originally founded in 1844, this Church of England-affiliated organisation was called the Patagonian Mission. This collection reproduces the minute books, reports from the mission field, articles and photographs on the geography, anthropology, natural history and economic development for the society's magazine, launched in 1867, as well as the journals of its Anglican founder, Captain Allen Gardiner, and two others of its missionaries, Edward Bernau and Adolfo Henriksen.

Liverpool street and trade directories, 1766-1900

Part 9 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. The city's importance began to grow following Parliament's decision in 1698 to end London-based Royal African Company's official monopoly in England on the triangular slave trade. By 1750, 43% of all British slave ships were setting sail from Liverpool, rising to 79% by the time the trade was abolished in 1807. This resource comprises all the street and trade directories in the collections of the Liverpool Record Office up to 1900, beginning with the first one to be published by John Gore in 1766. With few exceptions chiefly in the early years, Gore's directory thereafter appeared annually, enabling the researcher to chart the expansion of Liverpool as a commercial centre in the later 18th century, the effects of the cessation of the slave trade on the economic life of the city, and the revival of its fortunes in the Victorian era, as a major port bringing raw materials from the Empire to the industrial heartlands of North West England.

Also reproduced here are surviving examples of the half dozen unsuccessful attempts by other publishers to rival Gore's directory. These include: Lewis's Liverpool directory for 1790; Baines' History and directory of Liverpool for 1824; Robson's Alphabetical directory of Liverpool (1840); McCorquodale's Annual Liverpool directory (1848); Slater's Directory (1869); and A. Green & Co.'s Directory for Liverpool & Birkenhead (1870); as well as the section entitled "Description and directory of Lancaster and Liverpool", from the Universal British directory, dated c.1794.

Early colonial and missionary records from West Africa

Part 10 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. This resource comprises selected documents from a number of different microfilm collections, including: early Gold Coast records from the archives of the USPG; the papers of Thomas Perronet Thompson, the first Governor of the Colony of Sierra Leone; An account of two missionary voyages by Rev. Thomas Thompson; the letters of Rev. Philip Quaque, etc.

West Indies material in the archives of the USPG, 1710-1950

Part 11 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. Founded in 1701 to act as the spearhead of the Anglican Church overseas, the SPG was initially active only in North America and the Caribbean. Later it extended its activities to many other parts of the world, preaching and teaching, usually with the support of the established Church of England and of the British government. Although the work of the SPG in North America is well known and credit is given to the Society for its missions to the red Indians and negro slaves in the mainland colonies, in the West Indian islands the Society has more usually been regarded as a reactionary force, owning slaves openly and in league with the planters. In fact, the work of the SPG in the islands has received little attention and there is need for a further appraisal. One reason for the prejudice against the Society is that until 1824 all matters had to be referred to Britain where there was some conflict between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London over the direction of the Society. Only with the appointment of two bishops for the West Indies, for Barbados and Jamaica, in 1824 was there real diocesan organisation in the West Indies, working for emancipation and founding Christian institutions, although still raising controversy. The other issue which has over-shadowed much of the history of the SPG in the West Indies is the famous bequest of Christopher Codrington, a Barbadian planter, to the Society. On his death in 1710 he left the Society lands and slaves to found a college in Barbados to train negro slaves, a grant which received great support from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1710 and again in 1792 but which was not used until the nineteenth century when Codrington College was founded in part as a theological college, though a grammar school for the education of whites had existed much longer, nominally part of the original grant. In fact the work of the SPG in the Caribbean, giving money and books, sending missionaries and teachers, especially after 1824 and emancipation in 1833, is one of very hard and quiet endeavour, ministering as far as possible to slaves and then to the newly emancipated. When, in the mid-nineteenth century, the had finished the first pioneer stages of work, it left behind strong and independent churches, a stable force in the history of the islands.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Dr Clare Taylor, of the former University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and drawn from the archives of the USPG now held at Rhodes House Library in Oxford, this collection includes 20th-century reports recording the activities of a dedicated group of missionaries working in the West Indies at a critical and formative point of their history during the move from crown colony status to full independence.

The archives of the Associates of Dr Bray to 1900

Part 12 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. The body of records consists primarily of correspondence files, minute books and financial reports for the institution established by Dr Thomas Bray and his associates. The files concern the organisation of the Associates up to 1900, and include annual reports. Documents relating solely to the period after 1900, when the Associates were in decline (e.g. BRAY/f 20-29 in the initial series), have not been reproduced.

Of particular interest in this collection is the material on the Associates' activities in North America, including Canada, and in the Bahamas, both in the establishment and running of their Negro Schools and in the grant of library books. This work was funded in part by "Mr D'Allone's Charitable Bequest for the Conversion of Negroes" (e.g. in BRAY/GENERAL/1/f5).

Much of the remaining correspondence is the result of the provision of Bray libraries in England, Wales and abroad. Detailed financial accounts for the purchase and sending of books to colonial parochial libraries is included and these, with the correspondence from the early 18th century, allow the development and subsequent decline of the organisation to be understood.

The documents are organised by geographical location, except for ledgers of reports and volumes of the minutes of meetings, which are numbered chronologically by subject in a running series. The GENERAL heading denotes home correspondence, meaning that entered into by the Associates of Dr Bray, and REP denotes annual reports.

This archive forms part of the USPG archive, which is now held at the Rhodes House Library, Oxford.

Collected papers of the Bolton Whitman Fellowship

Part 13 of the BOA series: British records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. Regarded as the father of American poetry, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) maintained an active correspondence with this obscure group of socialist and ordinary working-class readers. Indeed, once, when the critic Herbert Gilchrist asked Whitman: "It surprises me that you should be so taken with those Bolton folks; they're not famous in England at all," the poet was heard by Horace Traubel to reply: "It surprises you, does it? Well, I've had my bellyful of famous people! Thank God they're just nobody at all, like all people who are worthwhile."

In addition to letters, the papers include photographs and journals of pilgrimages by founding members to Whitman in New Jersey, as well as records of the group's annual celebration of his birthday. So close became the relationship that the friendship between Whitman's inner circle and the group continued long after the poet's death.

These papers comprise the bulk of the archive generated by members of the group. Together with the separate collection deposited by Charles F. Sixsmith with the John Rylands University of Manchester Library and also the papers of Dr John H. Johnston, they form an essential resource for the reader-oriented study of one of the pre-eminent exponents of English-language poetry in the 19th century.

The Canadian papers of the 4th Earl of Minto

Part 14 of the BOA series: British Records on the Atlantic World, 1700-1900. The Canadian Papers of the 4th Earl of Minto (1845-1914) are an important collection of documents that cover his time both as Military Secretary between 1883 and 1886 and as Governor General from 1899 to 1904. Born Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the eldest son of the 3rd Earl of Minto, he became Viscount Melgund in 1859 and the Earl of Minto in 1891. After Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, he embarked on a military career that included duty in Afghanistan and Egypt and he also gained experience in colonial administration as Private Secretary to Lord Roberts in the Cape Colony. After serving as Military Secretary and Governor General in Canada he went on to emulate his great grandfather, the 1st Lord Minto, by becoming Viceroy of India from 1905 to 1910. 1883 to 1885 saw the first of his two significant periods of involvement in Canadian history, as Military Secretary in Canada during the Governor Generalship of Lord Lansdowne (1883-1888). His papers from this time include material concerning his efforts to raise a voluntary Canadian force to serve in Egypt, the employment of Canadian forces in the imperial service more generally and the Riel Rebellion of 1885 against the Conservative Government of Sir John Macdonald. His second period of office in Canada began in 1898 when he became Governor General, serving until 1904. His papers from this period include correspondence and memoranda of conversations with Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Liberal Prime Minister. This material refers to Canadian participation in imperial defence, especially the Boer War, and to the Alaskan Boundary dispute with the USA during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. So, too, does his correspondence with Joseph Chamberlain, the British Colonial Secretary, and Lord Lansdowne, then Secretary for War (though later Foreign Secretary). The collection also includes interesting documents relating to his trips to the Klondike in 1900 and to Japan in 1903. Overall, Minto's Canadian papers afford a valuable insight into the relationship between the British Government and its senior Dominion during a crucial phase of British imperial history. Published from the mss. Collections of the National Library of Scotland, and with an introduction by Dr Tony McCulloch, Director of Canadian Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University, the first period, 1883-1885, covers Minto's service as Military Secretary, and comprises: Ms. 12378(i), Ms. 12507 & Mss. 12549-55; while the second period, 1899-1904, during his governorship-general, comprises: Ms. 12372(i), Ms. 12381, Ms. 12382(i), Ms. 12452(ii), & Ms. 12556-87.

People & Protest in Britain and Abroad, 1800-2000

The Meerut Conspiracy Trial, 1929-1933

Part 1 of the BOA series, People & Protest in Britain and Abroad, 1800-2000.

On 20 March 1929, thirty-one people, suspected of either communist or trades unionist affiliations, were arrested across India, including Bombay, Calcutta and Poona. They were to be shortly followed by a thirty-second person - Hugh Lester Hutchinson - in June of the same year. Collectively, they were charged "under section 121A of the Indian Penal Code, of conspiracy to deprive the King of the sovereignty of British India."

Ever since the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917, there grew a ubiquitous fear within the West of the spread of communism via Moscow's chief manifestation, the Comintern (Communist International). Indeed, it had long been suspected by the India Office that the Comintern had instructed the three Britons charged in the trial - Philip Spratt, Ben Bradley and Lester Hutchinson - to travel to India with the specific task of engendering a revolutionary espirit de corps within India's own growing trades union movements. More than this, however, the Meerut trial also demonstrates an indigenous expression of anti-colonialism from which, it could be argued, the British authorities were ultimately unable to counter. Given the highly protracted nature of the trial, public sympathy for the accused and imprisoned grew rapidly and the following documents add weight to this assertion.

Collectively drawn from the British Library, Labour History Archive & Study Centre and Working Class Movement Library, the following documents bring together an array of differing, and balanced, perspectives on both the trial itself as well as its consequences for British imperialism as the sun was beginning to set on the Empire.

Accompanied by a guide and scholarly introduction to the collection by John Callaghan, professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Salford.

United Kingdom

BBC handbooks, annual reports and accounts, 1927-2001/2

This collection, covering 1927-2001/2, includes all the handbooks, annual reports and accounts published by the British Broadcasting Corporation during the 20th century.

In addition to financial data relating to the BBC's grant-in-aid and how it was spent, the collection contains a review of each year's public-service broadcasting, with detailed schedules, audience research, performance and objective tables, as well as commentaries and editorials.

The titles of the printed volumes vary during the course of the period, for example the changes of name between 'Yearbook', 'Annual' and 'Handbook', or when the Annual report and accounts were merged. Because of this bibliographic variation, items are grouped chronologically.

Drawn from the BBC's Written Archives Centre at Caversham Park near Reading, the collection is accompanied by a guide by Dr Hugh Chignell of the Media School at Bournemouth University.

(The BBC word mark and logo are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. BBC Logo © BBC 1996.)


BBC Listener Research Department, 1937-c.1950

The "Audience Research Reports of the BBC", covering the period 1937-c.1950, present the early research of the British Broadcasting Corporation's pioneering Listener Research Department (LRD) into wireless listening in Britain nationwide and at a regional level. From the controversial founding of the Department in 1936, it takes in the turbulent years of the Second World War through to the early post-war period leading up to launch of Britain's first national television channel. These items reproduce the entire available collection of weekly Audience Summaries, together with the weekly then daily Listening Barometers. Also included are the Audience Reaction Reports on specific programmes and Special Reports on particular themes or issues for the period, as well as some key policy documents produced by the LRD during these years, tracing the early development of what has come to be known as market research within the BBC.

During the Second World War, listener research took on a new urgency as the BBC became an indispensable part of life on the Home Front. The LRD's wartime audience research, reproduced here for the first time, provides crucial insights into the listening habits and cultural preferences of the British people at this time, as well as detailed listener responses to some of the key radio programmes and personalities of the era, from ITMA and The Brains Trust to Winston Churchill and William Joyce, the voice of Nazi propaganda better known as Lord Haw-Haw. Through its special reports on topics ranging from news readers' accents and evening listening habits to listeners' views about Russia, this collection provides a unique and revealing window onto the behaviour, attitudes and preoccupations of the British people at a key moment in their history. Accompanied by a guide by Siân Nicholas, University of Wales Aberystwyth.

(Note: To help with searching, optical character recognition (OCR) software has been used on the scanned images of the archived documents, and the resultant uncorrected OCR'd text has been associated to most images in this collection. The quality of the OCR output varies, depending on the clarity of the typeface, which are often carbon copies of the originals, using relatively low-grade paper and ink available during the austere WW2 and immediate post-war years.)


Bolton's textile industry, 18th-19th century : manufacture, trade and politics

This resource combines papers relating of two families prominent in the history of Bolton. Both families, the Cromptons and the Heywoods, were involved in Lancashire?s rapidly expanding textile industry. Samuel Crompton's 'Mule', invented near the turn of the nineteenth century, was instrumental in the revolutionising the manufacture of textiles, leading in turn to the subsequent prosperity of Bolton. Documents contained in the Crompton Archive, are highly instructive on the rise to prominence of the mule and on the efforts of its inventor, who did not patent his machine, to secure financial recompense for the economic benefits that it brought. They also facilitate research into contemporary business practices, as well as into more domestic concerns, including the nature of family relationships and their household expenditure. The papers also show some of the varied ways in which provincial Victorians sought to commemorate pillars of the community, in addition to providing insights into the religious life of members of the non-conformist New Jerusalem Church, or Swedenborgians.

The Heywoods were successful textile manufacturers. The business correspondence drawn from in this archive offers insights into the nature of trade within England and abroad. Robert Heywood became influential in local politics and public affairs, becoming the second Mayor of the Borough of Bolton in 1839-1840. Thus these Heywood papers also provide insight into contemporary political issues in Bolton, in particular the Chartist movement and riot of 1838, while his journals and letters relating to expeditions to America, Europe and the Levant shed light on nineteenth-century travel, in which business opportunities were never entirely forgotten during the sightseeing. The Heywood papers also contain personal correspondence between family members and friends, which complements items in the Crompton archive regarding the nature of kinship at that time.

Of related interest for studying the social and commercial history of Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution are the Liverpool directories and the Ecclesiastical, court and land records in the Manchester Cathedral archives.


The British Union of Fascists : newspapers and secret files

On Thursday the 23rd of May 1940, after a lengthy period of surveillance by the security services, Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) which he had founded in 1932, was arrested by police under Defence Regulation 18B of the Emergency Powers Act (1939). He was interned, initially in Brixton Prison and then in Holloway. Two weeks after his arrest, under the heading 'Treason in politics', the last ever issue of Action (No. 222, June 6, 1940) proclaimed: "There is nothing in the policy of British Union, that lends the slightest excuse for such treasonable practices. It has been laid down again and again that members must obey the law, must do nothing to impede the nation's war effort, and in case of invasion, must rally to Ihe defence of the British Empire. Where members have been found guilty of disloyal or unpatriotic behaviour, their expulsion from the Movement follows as a matter of course."

Increasingly, during the course of the 1930s, the authorities had come to view the BUF as pro-Nazi. Although the BUF continued to function throughout the "phoney war", the invasion of France in May 1940 and the fear of an imminent invasion of Britain led the authorities to act against the British Union. Mosley's repeated calls "For Britain, peace and people", for example on the front page of issue no. 184 (September 2, 1939) of Action, the day after the Third Reich invaded Poland, were cited as evidence of support for appeasing Hitler. Indeed, among the reasons given in Home Office files (HO 283/12) for the internment of Mosley, together with over a thousand other leading BUF officials, was the charge that "the persons in control of the organization have or have had associations with persons concerned in the Government of Germany, a power with which His Majesty is at war," in other words the authorities thought they were Nazi collaborators. Yet for all this, the accusations made against Mosley were never tried in court, though there were a number of hearings at which he attempted to overturn the order of arrest and internment.

The issue became a cause célébre, with Mosley even enjoying support from such unlikely quarters as Britain's anarchists. In December 1943, introducing 'It might have happened to you!' (The Word : special investigation report on 18B), Guy A. Aldred, a prominent member of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, "dare[d] to come forward, not as an apologist of their opinions, but as the defender of their civil rights. If they are traitors, indict them. If they are not traitors, release them. If they cannot be indicted, they ought to be restored to human liberty."

In addition to the three principal organs of BUF, Action (1936-1940), Blackshirt (1933-1939) and Fascist week (1933-1934), the present collection reproduces, from the National Archives at Kew, a wealth of information gathered by the Home Office, the Police, MI5 and the Cabinet Office on Mosley and also his second wife, Lady Diana Mosley, who was arrested and interned just over a month later, on the 29th of June 1940. Read together, these newspapers and previously classified documents permit researchers to evaluate the true extent not only of any threat home-grown fascism posed to Britain during the early stages of the Second World War, but also of the political and financial relationships between British fascists, the Nazis in Germany, and Mussolini's fascist party in Italy, as well as elsewhere in Europe during this period of political history.

The correspondence of Arthur C. Murray, 3rd Viscount Elibank

This correspondence is of interest to historians chiefly for the light it casts upon Anglo-American relations and the foreign policy of Franklin D Roosevelt. Arthur Murray was a Scottish Liberal MP from 1908 to 1923. Between 1910 and 1914 he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary of Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary in Asquith's Liberal Government. He worked closely with Grey in the years leading up to the First World War and was with Grey when war broke out. In 1917, having previously served in India and China then with distinction in France and Belgium as a Lieutenant-Colonel during the First World War, he was appointed Assistant Military Attaché to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. It was there that he met Franklin Roosevelt, who at that time was Assistant Secretary of the Navy in Woodrow Wilson's Democratic Administration. The two men struck up a close friendship which continued on and off until Roosevelt's death in 1945. Roosevelt was sympathetic to the Allied cause in 1917 and was also fast becoming a major figure in the Democratic Party. In 1920 he ran unsuccessfully as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democrats. In the 1920s Roosevelt and Murray endured difficult times, both personally and politically. The Democrats and Liberals were out of favour and the two men also had to overcome serious illness - Roosevelt having succumbed to polio and Murray to nervous exhaustion. But Roosevelt's recovery and his election as President in 1932 rekindled their friendship and throughout the 1930s and the Second World War the two men were engaged in an illuminating correspondence that is the main focus of the Murray papers. Murray's correspondence, which includes references to his visits to Roosevelt in 1935 and 1938, helps to show how the President's foreign policy evolved in the era of American isolationism and British appeasement. It refers to events such as the London Economic Conference of 1933, the Quarantine speech of 1937 and the Munich settlement of 1938. It also casts light upon Anglo-American relations during the Second World War. Murray's papers include letters to and from other important figures in Anglo-American relations between the two World Wars such as Colonel House, Woodrow Wilson's key adviser during the Great War, Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade (1931-37) and William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Canadian Prime Minister (1921-26, 1926-30 and 1935-48). But it is his correspondence with Franklin Roosevelt that takes centre stage in this significant collection.

Drawn from the Elibank papers (Ms. 8805-8812) held at the National Library of Scotland, this correspondence is published with a guide by Tony McCulloch, Head of American Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University.


Dissertations read to the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh

Founded in 1737, this is the oldest student society of its kind in the United Kingdom, whose members were duty-bound to deliver a dissertation for examination by their peers.

This collection comprises over 200 volumes of hand-written dissertations, providing a unique insight into the development in medical teaching and thought during the last 250 years. In subject, the dissertations range from framboesia to fear, from meningitis to mongolism and many represent the earliest original work of famous men of medicine.

The linked author index is in two parts: vols. 1-95 (1751-1833), and vols. 96-215 (1834-1968).

Scanned from the microfilm of the Royal Medical Society collections in the Edinburgh University Library.

Ecclesiastical, court and land records in the Manchester Cathedral archives

Manchester Cathedral is one of only a handful of Anglican cathedrals that hold their own archives on site. Dating from 1361 to the present day, its archives cover the parish functions of both the Cathedral and its predecessor, the Collegiate Church, founded in 1421, as well as of the capitular workings of the church. The collection contains the largest series of parish registers in the country, because of the peculiar coincidence of a very large parish with a huge population increase during the 18th and 19th centuries. At times of peak demand, more than a hundred couples would be wed in a single day, married in batches of 20-30. Yet not all would-be couples were married, as the Cathedral's apparently unique series of banns books starting from the Georgian period shows. These volumes provide unique insights for historians into the proportion of engagements that failed, what objections were raised, and by whom, as well as allowing detailed statistical analysis of residence and mobility in Victorian England.

The Capitular Archives record the management of the Chapter Estates comprising considerable land holdings from the 17th-20th centuries in what became the world's first industrial city. Again it is possible to chart the effects of the Industrial Revolution on land use and property values in one of Britain's most important urban centres, as farms and fields were converted to roads, railways, homes and factories.

Accessible through a full and detailed online catalogue of the entire fonds (Access to Archives), the materials chosen for publication include highlights from across the major collections. Each document selected serves to illustrate the parochial duties of the Chaplains and Churchwardens, including charity distribution and the daily management of the church and its fabric, as well as the land and financial management of the Warden and Fellows of the Collegiate Church. Taken altogether they reveal how the established church tried to cope not just with spiritual, but also with social and economic change on an unprecedented and massive scale.

Accompanied by an introduction guide to the collection by Christopher Hunwick, formerly Manchester Cathedral Archivist.

Parliamentary Labour Party papers, 1968/69-1993/94

The Parliamentary Labour Party is the organisation of Labour members of Parliament (MPs) founded in 1906. Included in this collection are all the minutes of the Party Meetings, the Liaison Committee and the Parliamentary Committee (Shadow Cabinet) for the period 1968-1994.

This period represents a turbulent one in British politics, during the early part of which Labour were twice in power. It begins with the latter half of a Labour government under Harold Wilson, followed by the Conservative government of Edward Heath, which brought Britain the three-day week and into the EEC. Less than a year after Labour returned to power in 1974 following a hung parliament, the Conservative Party elected a new leader. The Margaret Thatcher years appear in their entirety, including the Falklands War and the miners' strike. In the Labour Party, leadership moved from Jim Callaghan to Michael Foot to Neil Kinnock. Initially policy shifted to the left. However, after the Party's heavy defeat in the election of 1983, the concept of "New Realism" started to emerge. In its wake came Tony Blair, whose progress to the top is charted by these papers, which culminate in Margaret Beckett's caretaker leadership after the death of John Smith.

This span from the papers of the PLP is published with a short guide by Stephen Bird, former archivist at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, Manchester.


Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist periodicals

Although Methodism has come to be associated most closely with the Protestant Christian denomination founded by John Wesley (1703-1791), the term was already current in the seventeenth century, encompassing a number of different non-conformist churches including Calvinistic Methodism, to whose doctrine of predestinarianism Wesley, with his faith in universal redemption, was deeply opposed. Primitive Methodism emerged as a movement in the early 19th century from within the Wesleyan connexion, with which it eventually re-merged as part of the Methodist Union between the two World Wars.

This resource from the special collections of the Oxford Brookes University brings together the main periodicals of the Wesleyan movement, beginning with the minutes of its earliest conference in 1744 and The Arminian magazine in 1778, and continuing through to the twentieth century.

The materials in this collection are reproduced from items at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (Oxford Brookes University), which holds the library of the Wesley Historical Society.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Dr Peter S Forsaith, Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University.


Anti-fascist newsletters of the International Transport Workers' Federation

'Germany Under the Swastika' and 'Fascism' were two newsletters published fortnightly by the ITF (i.e. Internationale Transportarbeiter Foederation) between 1933 and 1945. Based on analyses of other newspapers of the day, the editorial policy was to give information about social policy as well as reports from cadres working under cover. In this way it provides a unique insight into life under fascist regimes, focusing in particular on the working-class movement, organised labour and the growth of trade unions. In fact, it seems from the volume numeration introduced in 1936, that the editors came to view the two newsletters as as one, but with a title change, as hinted at on p.1 of the first issue of Fascism:

"It is more than a year ago since the first number of 'Germany under the Swastika' appeared, a publication in which we tried to show in a matter-of-fact manner the great contrasts between the promises and the deeds of the Hitler regime in Germany. There has been ample evidence that this publication was keenly appreciated both by the unions affiliated to the I.T.F. and far beyond on account of its contents, tendency and reliability.

"That 'Germany under the Swastika' is to appear no more is not because there was no need for it. The opposite is the case unfortunately. Since its first appearance the number of countries where Fascism has risen to power, and then robbed the working classes of their rights and liberties, has increased by three, while in other countries Fascist influence has grown considerably."

David Irving's private research collection

David Irving is a British historian of World War II. He achieved notoriety when he was accused of Holocaust denial, particularly after 1996, following the unsuccessful attempt to clear his name of the charge. The documents in this collection comprise both Irving's personal notes and a significant proportion of the copies of original documents that he used, enabling researchers to draw their own conclusions on two levels: historical and historiographic. First, what does the material tell us about the conduct of the War? Second, to what extent do these documents, combined with other archives known to be accessible at the time Irving wrote Hitler's war, Göring and other works, betray a manipulation of the available evidence in order to achieve the objective of which this historian stood accused.

War diaries from the Imperial War Museum : the Great War

The last known First World War combat veteran died in May 2011 and the last known First World War service veteran died in February 2012 (the year of writing). However, the remarkable collection of personal material acquired in the past forty-four years means that we are still in a position to gain the views of combatants of all ranks, via their personal papers and sound recordings. As a result, scholars are in danger of being spoiled for choice: while this collection contains the personal papers of a wide cross-section of First World War veterans, it represents but a fraction of the material that is available at the Imperial War Museum.

The reason for the wide range of material stems from the fact that the Great War represented the first occasion on which a truly mass British army was placed in the field, thus dramatically increasing the number of men in a position to record their experiences, and, more importantly, an army of soldiers who could record their thoughts on paper. The implementation of the 1870 Education Act meant that the soldiers of the First World War, if not particularly literary (a fact that shows in some of the archival material), were at least literate. Consequently, they were more likely to jot down their opinions than soldiers in previous wars and to send letters back to their families anxiously waiting for news at home. Thus, we are provided with material from across all of the services, not limited to specific rank or social class.

This does not mean, of course, that the plethora of material should be taken at face value. Memory is not infallible, and experience shows that a person's recollection of events even a few days after they occurred may not be exactly in accordance with the facts. We also need to take account of the fact that most soldiers writing home would be likely to disguise some of the more unpleasant realities of war from their loved ones, preferring generality to specifics in such circumstances; this factor can be seen vividly on occasion where the opportunity exists to compare letters home with private diary entries. Also, letters would face censorship, so some of the more interesting military details are often skimmed over. That said, 'the censor' was not just one man (who would have been fearfully overworked), but a collection of junior officers, some of whom would be more lenient than others in their consideration of what information could legitimately be sent home.

These diaries provide a far broader picture of the daily existence of the average British soldier than official records, and help to counter some of the deeply-ingrained perceptions about the nature of the Great War, and the supposed unending horror of daily existence. The whole issue of morale and relationships between officers and other ranks can be addressed through personal, as opposed to official, material. Some idea of the spirits of the troops can also be ascertained, although, given their scrutiny by a third party, letters are unlikely to be critical of officers or to speak of poor morale.

Such material has a further role to play, that of illuminating our understanding of how battles were fought, and how the men were trained to fight them. Taken in concert with other sources of evidence, personal experience sources, diaries, letters, postcards and photographs, provide us with a far greater understanding of how the First World War was fought, and the manner in which those fighting it lived, prepared for battle and went about their task than we could expect were we forced to rely upon the official records alone.


Gold Coast records from the archives of the USPG, 1886-1951

As outlined in the short history entitled The beginning of Africanisation : the dawn of the missionary motive in Gold Coast education by F.L. Bartels, the SPG's mission was originally established at Cape Coast Castle in 1752 by Rev. Thomas Thompson, who was succeeded by Rev. Philip Quaque, the first African to be ordained a priest of the Church of England. The mid-nineteenth century saw the revival of Anglican activity with the arrival of missionaries sent by the Mission of the West Indian Church to West Africa, based in Barbados. The period from 1903 onwards is the most substantially documented in this collection, recording the amalgamation of the missions for the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the spread of English education, the introduction of education for women and the development of missionary work in an ever-widening area. Records relating to the first 150 years are reproduced in both the Early colonial and missionary records from West Africa and the West Indies material in the archives of the USPG, 1710-1950. From the archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, now held at Rhodes House Library, Oxford.

Universities' Mission to Central Africa

The UMCA was founded in the late 1850s, after the return of Dr David Livingstone from the region in 1857. This "high church" Anglican society drew its missionaries initially from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Dublin. Under its motto "A servant of servants", from its main centres of Zanzibar and Nyasaland (now Malawi), the UMCA began from an early date opposing the slave trade and promoting the education of the indigenous people and the training and ordination of African priests. In 1965 the UMCA merged with the much older Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to form the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. This collection, beginning with the Mission's monthly journal, Central Africa, comprises UMCA materials preserved in the USPG archive at the Rhodes House Library, Oxford.


The Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774

The papers of two leading actors in the East India Company in mid-18th century Bengal from the National Library of Wales. Chiefly in English, but with an array of original correspondence with local figures in Indo-Persian and occasionally Bengali, Marathi and Tamil, this collection allows researchers to understand the complex political web in the subcontinent as the power of the Mughal Empire began to wane.

Essential for those studying the life and career of Robert Clive (1725-1774), a man who stands in the very first rank of historical figures, this resource is also of the greatest importance to anyone exploring the often hotly debated events that preceded, accompanied and followed the establishment of Britain's Indian empire during the mid-18th century, especially the periods 1756-1760 and 1765-1766. By reproducing in full Clive's English and Persian correspondence, it is possible to compare firsthand Indian and European accounts of Clive's resounding victory in 1757 at Plassey over the superior French-backed force of the Nawab of Bengal in the aftermath of the notorious 'Black Hole of Calcutta' incident; of the conclusive routing of the Dutch in 1759; or of the ill-fated career of Clive's chief administrator of revenues, Maharaja Nandakumara, including supplementary material on his trial and execution in 1775 for forgery drawn from the 1st Earl of Minto's papers at National Library of Scotland.

First an officer in the EIC's private army, and then later twice governor of Bengal, Clive was the leading actor in the political and military events of the 1750s and 1760s that served to lay the foundations of the British Raj. But he was also a highly controversial figure who, during an often troubled lifetime, attracted much unwanted attention from the public, Parliament and the press. Many in Britain came to revile him and, tainted by accusations of corruption and the abuse of power in India, he was condemned for spending his enormous private fortune on houses, estates and possessions, acquired in an attempt to carve out an elevated position for his family in English landed society. Even in death Clive remained controversial, with many believing that he committed suicide in 1774 at the age of 49.

Originally part of the Clive family's Powis estate, these immensely rich and varied papers facilitate close study of a highly complex and enigmatic man, as well as the contested origins of Britain's Indian empire. In addition the papers contain invaluable material on the economic, social and political history of Britain during the 18th century.

Complementing our understanding of this turning point in the history of British power in South Asia, are some 2,000 items of John Carnac's correspondence. Carnac joined the EIC army with the rank of Captain in 1758, after his service with the 39th infantry regiment. As Commander-in-Chief between 1760 and 1761, he fought and defeated the French-supported forces of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II, near Bihar. Made Brigadier-General in 1764, Carnac again assumed command, defeating the Marathas in 1765 before handing control back later that year to Robert Clive. This correspondece's emphasis on the years between 1763 and 1766 helps to fill the gap in events during Clive's absence from India between March 1760 and April 1765, when he returned to Britain. At the same time, the collection amplifies our understanding of Clive's third and final tour of duty, providing an opportunity to contrast how two senior British figures set about implementing the EIC's new approach, combining commercial with growing political power.

Accompanied by a guide introduced by Huw Bowen, Swansea University.

The Indian papers of the 4th Earl of Minto

The papers of Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the 4th Earl of Minto, (1845-1914), Viceroy of India between 1905 and 1910, cover a period of dramatic and momentous change in the history of colonial India. The beginning of Minto's tenure in India was marked by unprecedented anti-colonial protests against the partition of Bengal, initiated by his predecessor, Lord Curzon of Kedleston. It ended with the crucial 'Morley-Minto reforms' contained in the Government of India Act and the Indian Councils Act, both of 1909. These two new laws established, among other things, the constitutional principle of separate electorates for India's Muslim communities.

This rich, varied and complex collection of documents forms part of a larger archive now held at the National Library of Scotland, and which covers almost the entire Elliot family of Minto. The 4th Earl's great-grandfather was the first family member to build an official connection with the Indian subcontinent, assuming the office of Governor General in 1807. Almost a century later, the 4th Earl was confronted with the sensitive political situation surrounding the partition of Bengal and the rise of radical nationalism in that same province, as well as in Maharashtra and Punjab.

Accompanied by a guide to the microfilm version by Dr William Gould, University of Leeds.

South Asian records of the USPG

The documents in this resource come from the archives of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). Some are true archives, arising from the work of the Society in India; some are manuscripts which cover the period when the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), founded in 1698 was working with the Royal Danish (Lutheran) Mission, founded in 1705. They chart the history of Anglican Protestant engagement in the region from shortly after the strategic turning point in the fortunes of the East India Company wrought by Colonel Robert Clive in the 1750s, through to the toppling of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the controversial changes to the EIC's charter in 1813, the Sepoy Rebellion of 1856-1857, and on right through to Partition in 1947. As with the Society's missions elsewhere in the world, the documents also trace the gradual shift that began in the early 19th century from a church dependent on English priests to one increasingly led by indigenous clergy.

Accompanied by a guide to the collection by Isobel Pridmore, formerly the archivist at the USPG, whose archives are now held at Rhodes House Library in Oxford.

Middle East

The papers of Sir Mark Sykes, 1879-1919 : the Sykes-Picot Agreement & the Middle East

Born in 1879, an only son, Sir Mark Sykes succeeded his father in 1913 as 6th Baronet with large estates in Sledmere, East Yorkshire. By then he had already distinguished himself in military affairs, and as an amateur diplomat, a writer, linguist, politician and keen traveller, particularly in the Middle East. As MP for the Central Hull constituency from 1911, Sir Mark built up a considerable reputation in the House, due in large part to his Middle Eastern expertise. Indeed, many of his contemporaries saw in him the potential to rise to the highest levels of political office. However, in February 1919, at the age of only 39, he succumbed to the H1N1 strain of avian influenza whilst attending the Paris Peace Conference and died. The papers left by Sir Mark together comprise over 4,000 items, now held in the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, and cover all aspects of his relatively brief, but nevertheless distinguished career. The present publication focuses on Sykes' experience in military intelligence and diplomacy in the Middle East both before and during the First World War. Indeed, on account of his part in the Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 9th, 1916, which laid down the basis for the subsequent carving up of the predominantly Arab countries of the region between British and French mandates following the anticipated collapse of the Ottoman Empire, it is no exaggeration to say that his influence continues to this day. Including all of the documents in the series relating to his early and later travels in the Levant and Mesopotamia and from the negotiations surrounding the final secret Anglo-French deal, as well as other related documents selected from this important fonds, this collection is of particular interest to research into the roots and role of European colonial powers in the emergence of nation-states from the Arab Revolts of the immediate post-War period, and also includes materials on the early 20th century massacres of the Armenians. As well as allowing the subsequent division of the region into the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, the Sykes-Picot Agreement has also been seen as a harbinger of the Balfour Declaration, which in turn led ultimately to "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" in 1948. What Sir Mark's thinking might have been on that outcome can be found in his surviving writings of the Jews and in support of Zionism, which are also included in this collection. The following series from the fonds are included in their entirety: * DDSY2/4 (1888-1919): Foreign affairs and travel; * DDSY2/11 (1914-1918): Papers relating to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Zionist movement and the British policy in Islamic countries; and, * DDSY2/12 (1915-1917): Papers of Sir Mark Sykes formerly on display at Sledmere House. In addition, a selection appears of miscellaneous related documents, for example: account books for travel expenses in the Middle East; notes for Sir Mark's history of the Turkish Empire, 'The Caliphs' last heritage', and on various of his literary works such as 'The Khalif' and a fragment entitled 'The Jew'.

Accompanied by a brief guide, incorporating the text of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in both French and English.

Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

Australian records in the USPG archive

This collection of C series records (C/AUS), along with selected volumes from the series of copies of letters sent and received (CLR & CLS), consists of files relating to the establishment of the Society's activities in the province of the Anglican Church of Australia, and the development of a diocesan organisation to support them. Correspondence was entered into by the SPG, the Colonial Office in London and the ecclesiastical officers in the colonies. The records also include printed reports, annual returns, and financial statements. The main period covered is the mid-nineteenth century, and the bulk of the records document the development of the Church of Australia. The records have been arranged by provincial region and sub-divided by diocese, except for a general group of Colonial Office papers relating to clerical appointments to the dioceses of Australia, which have been denoted by the heading 'GEN'. Though originally separate within the archive of the USPG, the papers and letters concerning Tasmania are included here.

New Zealand & Polynesian records in the USPG archive

This collection comprises the C series records relating to the early history of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia (C/NZ), along with selected volumes from the series of copies of letters sent and received (CLR & CLS), consists of files relating to the establishment of the Society's activities in the province, and the development of a diocesan organisation to support them. Correspondence was entered into by the SPG, the Colonial Office in London and the ecclesiastical officers in the colonies. The records also include printed reports, annual returns, and financial statements almost a hundred years, from the second quarter of nineteenth century, with the addition of one volume of letters received from the Diocese of Honolulu, in the north of the Polynesian region, over a forty year period from the 1870s until it fomally became part of the Episcopal Church in America. Of special interest among the papers relating to the diocese of Melanesia is the private correspondence and journal of its first bishop, John Coleridge Patteson.

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