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Primary sources: Records of Syria, 1918-1973

Cover - Records of Syria The Library has acquired an electronic version of the 15 volume set Records of Syria, 1918-1973. This work is a selection, by Cambridge Archive Editions, of British diplomatic despatches and includes 12,000 pages of original research carried out at the National Archives in London. The resource is browsable and searchable and up to 50 pages at a time can be downloaded as a PDF document.

Some of the topics addressed in the documents include:

  • Issues arising from the proposed Sykes–Picot Agreement, 1916
  • The seizure of Damascus from the Turks in 1918
  • Arab Government and King Feisal
  • French occupation, 1920
  • The French Mandate and the struggle for self-government
  • Druze rebellion 1925/26
  • Proposed Franco-Syrian Treaty, 1936, and the failure of the French to ratify it
  • The Vichy administration overthrown, 1941
  • The Free French and General de Gaulle
  • The French imprison the Syrian Government, 1943
  • Bombardment of Damascus and the final break with the French
  • Independence in 1946 and the ensuing political instability
  • Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din Bitar and the creation of the Ba’th party
  • Antun Sa’ada, executed in 1949, and the Parti Populaire Syrien
  • Reactions to the war with Israel, 1948, including the coup bringing Colonel Husni Zaim to power
  • The rise of the Ba’th Party and union with Egypt in 1958
  • Communism and relations with Russia
  • The Arab–Israeli War, 1967
  • The struggle for power between the Ba’th and the progressives 1968–1971
  • The final coup d’état which brought Hafiz al-Asad to power

Trial: Struggles for Freedom – Southern Africa

Until February 18, the Library has a trial of Struggle for Freedom: Southern Africa, a JSTOR collection of materials from archives and libraries throughout the world documenting colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region.

According to their site, the resource “consists of 76 different collections of more than 20,000 objects and 190,000 pages of documents and images, including periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other particularly relevant books, pamphlets, speeches, and interviews with those who participated in the struggles.”

Trial: North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories

Until 2/15/2018 the Library has a trial set up for North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories

This text-based collection includes over 100,000 pages of material, including Ellis Island oral histories, scrapbooks, pamphlets, previously unpublished diaries, and more, related to the immigrant experience in America.

Trial: British Labour Party papers, 1906-1969

Until February 12th, the Library has a trial for British Labour Party papers, 1906-1969, a module that is part of British Online Archives.

According to the BOA site, the papers cover the foundation of the Parliamentary Labour in 1906, then “follow the Party through Ramsay MacDonald’s Governments, two world wars, the first Harold Wilson Government and the early part of his second Government. The events in these records are a reflection of current events as much as of the Party itself. From the suffrage campaign for the electoral enfranchisement of women, to nuclear tests over the Pacific Ocean, through the Beveridge Report, the Trade Union Bill and the development of the United Nations. Early policies like the minimum wage would not pass for decades and Party discipline would be a challenge for every Party Leader. Those challenges existed alongside the removal of the right for employers to sue trade unions and the creation of social services. These papers have been arranged by year and divided into thematic groups for ease of analysis.”

Trial: State Papers Online – Foreign

images of monarchs
Through February 18th, the Library has trial access to the Foreign State Papers of early British Monarchs.

State Papers Online Part II: The Tudors, 1509-1603: State Papers Foreign, Scotland, Borders, Ireland and Registers of the Privy Council
“Documents Tudor England’s relations with its neighbours, both near and distant including those it sought to control (Scotland, Ireland and Wales), those it fought wars or maintained peace with in Europe (the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France) and those it traded with (the Ottoman Empire, the Barbary coast and Russia.)” (http://gale.cengage.co.uk/state-papers-online-15091714/part-ii.aspx)

State Papers Online Part IV: The Stuarts and the Commonwealth, James I – Anne I, 1603-1714: State Papers Foreign, Ireland and Registers of the Privy Council
“Part IV completes the Papers of the Stuart period and contains volumes of State Papers from, to and about all the countries of Europe. Many of these countries have lost their own collections from this period increasing the rarity and value of these British State Papers. All the great international themes of the 17th century play out in document after document making them an essential resource for not only British but European History: marriage alliances, revolutions, wars and treaties, trade and commerce and, crucially, religion.” (http://gale.cengage.co.uk/state-papers-online-15091714/part-iv.aspx)

Your feedback on these two resources is welcome.

Primary Sources: Moscow News Digital Archive

Front page of Moscow Daily News issue The Library has recently acquired access to Moscow News (pub. 1930-2014), which, as described on the database platform, “was the oldest English-language newspaper in Russia and, arguably, the newspaper with the longest democratic history. From a mouthpiece of the Communist party to an influential advocate for social and political change, the pages of Moscow News reflect the shifting ideological, political, social and economic currents that have swept through the Soviet Union and Russia in the last century.

“The Moscow News Digital Archive contains all obtainable published issues (1930-2014, approx. 60,000 pages), including issues of the newspaper’s short-lived sister publication Moscow Daily News (1932-1938).

“The Moscow News Digital Archive offers scholars the most comprehensive collection available for this title, and features full page-level digitization, complete original graphics, and searchable text, and is cross-searchable with numerous other East View digital resources.”

Primary Sources: Golden State Mutual Insurance Company records (UCLA)

photograph of gathering of young black men Over 2400 digitized items have been made available online at Calisphere from the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company records held at UCLA’s Spccial Collections in the Charles E. Young Research Library. The company was founded in 1925 in Los Angeles to provide dignified employment for African Americans and to provide them with insurance protection. The collection includes moving images, sound recordings, photographs, film strips, and slides. A finding aid for the entire collection is available at the Online Archive of California.

Trial: The Guatemala Collection

picture of house, overlaid with The Guatemala CollectionThe Library has arranged a trial until 28 December 2017 for The Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991).

Populated predominantly by indígenas (indigenous peoples) who speak Kaqchikel-Maya, Sacatepéquez Department offers an excellent window into Latin American and Native American history. Crucial to Guatemala’s colonial and national development, indígenas were largely discounted and denigrated. Despite such discrimination and disadvantages, many found ways to survive and thrive. Often converging at the nexus of modernization and tradition, the documents in this collection convey the complicated hybrid history of a nation striving to present itself as progressive and civilized in an Atlantic world that seldom associated those qualities with indigeneity. The Guatemala Collection houses a rich array of government, church, and civil documents that bear testimony to an indigenous population’s struggle and success with the changing social, economic, political, and religious dynamics of colonial and independent rule.

The Guatemala Collection comprises ten series. Across these ten series, the documents of the collection are organized into fifty-seven distinct classifications that include such themes as economy, agriculture, forced labor, complaints, crime, annual reports, natural disasters, municipal affairs, education, elections, military, public works, religion, public health, lands and estates, development, resignations and solicitations, regulations, festivities, and maps.

Language: Spanish

Please send your feedback to Liladhar Pendse (lpendse (at) library.berkeley.edu).

Primary Sources: Ukrainian Émigré Press Collection

Cover of journal Tsvirkun The Slavic and East European Materials Project (SEEMP) at the Center for Research Libraries has digitized newsletters, pamphlets, and other documentation created by emigrees who left the Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s. These publications, spanning 1945-1954, “provide texture and detail about how a group of displaced people carried on with their personal and professional lives in the first decade after the war….”1 The Ukrainian Émigré Press Collection includes holdings currently located at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the Ukranian Free Academy of Sciences in New York City. The titles can be accessed through CRL’s catalog and links to the titles are included in the finding aid.

1 “Window Into Lives of Ukranian Refugees, 1945-1954,” Center for Research Libraries, accessed 11/18/2018, http://www.crl.edu/impact/window-lives-ukrainian-refugees-1945-1954.

Event: Pizza and Primary Sources

Join me on November 14, from 5:00-6:00 pm in 3335 Dwinelle for a presentation by Adam Matthew Digital showcasing some of the digitized primary source collections that the Library has acquired over the past few years. Learn how these collections are sourced and organized, how to access them through the Library’s website, and how to search across all of them using the AM Explorer tool. See how the brand new Handwritten Text Recognition technology that Adam Matthew is implementing will transform how we study manuscripts. Oh, yes, there will be pizza.


Flier for event

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