Doegen Records Web Project

Doegen Records Web Project. “This digital archive of Irish dialect recordings made during 1928-31 comprises an important collection of early Irish language recordings of folktales, songs and other material. It includes recordings from many regions of Ireland where traditional Irish dialects have disappeared since the time the recordings were made. [They are] accompanied by transcriptions and translations…information on the people recorded, and other related content”. This is a project of the Royal Irish Academy.

Saint Patrick’s Confessio Hypertext Stack

In 2011 the Royal Irish Academy published Saint Patrick’s writings in a freely accessible form online at both in the original Latin and in a variety of modern languages, including Irish.  There is an introductory video.  “The project provides facsimiles and transcriptions of the extant manuscript testimonies and digital versions of relevant editions – from the editio princeps of 1656 up to the canonical version of the critical text, established in the scholarly edition by Ludwig Bieler in 1951” (see DHO).  For more information on the website, click here where the question is also asked, “Is the book any longer really the most appropriate medium for exploring and representing such a highly complex thing as textual tradition – even though books were the very medium by which the tradition has reached us? Unsurprisingly, the answer given here can only be no”.  Whether or not you agree, the multi-layered Confessio hypertext stack is testimony to the power of digitisation for the transmission of historical texts.

Irish –Australia transportation records

These records held in the National Archives of Ireland list the names crimes and sentences of people sent to the penal colonies. In many cases burglary and robbery brought sentences of seven years, though cow or sheep stealing could bring sentences of ten years.  Sometimes transportation sentences were commuted to shorter periods of imprisonment. Nineteen year old Thomas Adams from Antrim had his proposed transportation commuted to eighteen months imprisonment. Murder brought the death penalty but could be “respited” if the convict was transported for life.  Such was the fate of Thomas Kenna of Waterford. Patrick Hagan, aged 60, was detained in Dundalk Guardhouse for being a United Irishman. The records are searchable and give interesting insights into the crimes and punishments of late eighteenth/early nineteenth century Ireland.  There is also an article by Rena Lohan on the Archives’ resources on the transportation of Irish convicts to Australia.

KGB in the Baltic States

This site presents the digitised documents of different KGB departments, illustrating the differences in their work in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania. All the documents, scanned from the originals, have descriptions. Descriptions are in English and Russian. They can be searched by name, place and date, KGB department and title of document.  There are NKGB files 1940-41; MGB files 1943-53 and KGB files 1954-91.

Kays Catalogues

JISC and the University of Worcester have collaborated in producing a fascinating website of over 1500 images celebrating Kays Catalogues from the 1920s through to the 1990s.  It will interest social historians and researchers interested in advertising, fashion, body image, health and social behaviour. For example along with images of 1930s fashion, there is information on the new material of the decade, rayon (marketed as artificial silk), which allowed clothes to be cheaper and easier to clean.  Women were encouraged to be more active, and for men there was a growing variety of clothes for sport. 1990s images show the commercialisation of childhood and the desire for expensive designer clothing. The website has a video accompanying each decade, a blog and an opportunity for members of the public to submit their own stories.

ITN news

The JISC MediaHub database gives researchers access to 6,300 ITN news clips focusing on UK news coverage: the Miner’s Strike, the Thatcher era, John Major, and Tony Blair, right up to the present day. The ITN collection includes (from 1989) the Sky News archive.  There is access to longer ITV specials, such as the 32 minute programme on the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. The database also has Channel 4, Channel 5 news, Gaumont British News (1935-1959) and Reuters News.

To access JISC MediaHub logon to the Portal, click on the Learning Resource tab and select it from the Library’s A-Z list of databases.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913

This is “a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court”. It is one of a number of resources in the Connected Histories website and is obviously an important resource for the legal researcher.

It is also of value to historians and social researchers.  In the community histories section there are analyses of the minority communities in London: black communities, the Chinese, gypsies and travellers, Irish, Jewish and Hugenot communities. For the social historian the proceedings provide detailed evidence of “the sophisticated worlds and subcultures of London’s homosexual communities”. There are analyses of gender and crime seen through the Proceedings and of the types of punishments imposed. It is a rich source of information complemented by the site’s research and study guides.

The project is a collaboration between the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield and the Open University.

Oxford Music Online: research resources

Oxford Music Online is an excellent starting point for the music researcher.  for example, in the manuscripts section under Research Resources it gives, “a review of the character and repertory of the main classes of manuscript in use before 1600, arranged by subject matter and also chronologically. The text is interspersed with descriptions of the major individual sources. After a general introduction, the text is divided by period, region, and genre in eight parts: Western plainchant; Secular monophony; Organum and discant; Early motet; English polyphony, 1270–1400; French polyphony, 1300–1420; Italian polyphony, c. 1325–c. 1420; Renaissance polyphony.” There are 24 sections under Renaissance polyphony alone.  For example in section 18 there is a comprehensive list of Vatican MSS.

In Research Resources there is also guidance on Congress Reports, dictionaries and encyclopedias, editions, periodicals, sources of instrumental ensemble music to 1630, sources of keyboard music to 1660, sources of lute music, private collections, libraries and sound archives.

For access to Oxford Music Online logon to the University Portal, click on the Learning Resources tab and select it from the A-Z list of databases.

Celtic Digital Initiative

“The aim of the Celtic Digital Initiative (CDI) is to make scarce resources available in an electronic format to students and scholars…There are five major sections: Images (digitised pictures of interest to Celticists), Text Archive (PDF files of rare material), Articles (PDF files of selected publications by staff members), Celtic Noticeboard (an area devoted to announcements of forthcoming conferences, events, vacancies, publications etc.) and Celtic journals (tables of contents of journals of Celtic studies interest).” (From Celtic Digital Initiative Homepage)

The Word on the Street

The Word on the Street is a National Library of Scotland archive of 1,800 Scottish broadsides from 1650-1910. The broadside was the tabloid of its time: single sheets of news, speeches and songs pinned up on walls of houses and ale-houses to inform and entertain the public of the day. There is, for example, an 1870 ballad encouraging political agitation over Home Rule for Ireland; an 1841 broadside about anti-catholic riots in Edinburgh; and a 1660 proclamation in Edinburgh on the restoration of Charles II.

For those interested in popular culture such as ballads, broadsides, songs and folklore there is further reading and links under Resources.