Primary Sources: Presidential Recordings Digital Edition

The Library has acquired Presidential Recordings Digital Edition, an online portal for annotated transcripts of telephone conversations of Presidents Johnson, Kennedy, and Nixon. Recordings and transcripts are presented together. The transcripts are searchable and browseable by administration, series, speaker, date, place, and duration.


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: New Oxford Shakespeare Online

NOS coverThe Library has a trial to New Oxford Shakespeare Online through January 31, 2018. This resource includes digital access to the following titles:

  • New Oxford Shakespeare Modern Critical Edition: complete full-text plays with modernized spellings, annotations, and extras. (Library also has in Print.)
  • New Oxford Shakespeare Critical Reference Edition: complete full-text plays with original spellings. (Library will also have in Print.)
  • New Oxford Shakespeare Authorship Companion: secondary research on attribution and authorship. (Library also has in Print.)

For comparison, other digital versions of the plays include Folger Digital Shakespeare Texts and Internet Shakespeare Editions. See more about what the Library offers on Shakespeare at the Literature in English Library Research Guide.

We welcome your feedback about the New Oxford Shakespeare Online. Share your feedback here.

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Trial: Colonial America, with handwritten text recognition

Adam Matthew Digital (AMD) has completed three of five modules of Colonial America, an online resource that will include all 1,450 volumes of the CO 5 series from The National Archives, UK, covering the period 1606 to 1822. The Library currently has trial access to the three modules until October 16, 2017.

It is with the third module of Colonial America that AMD has implemented a technology that allows for full text searching of handwritten documents. The Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) application uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to determine possible combinations of characters in manuscripts.

The default search will search both metadata applied to documents and their text. When results are found in the text, they are displayed as snippets.

example of search results






Clicking on a hit will take you to the page where the word appears.

example of page









This search function is ground-breaking, but not 100% accurate. I’ve searched for words that exist in a document and have retrieved no results. I have also searched for words that were written sloppily or with a long s and have retrieved results.

I am interested in your feedback on both the value of the database and your successes (or failures) with full-text searches. Email me at

(Please note that PDF downloads are not available during the trial.)

Trial: Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820

Banner image from database

Through April 18, 2017, The Library has a trial of Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820, a supplement to Women and Social Movements, International. Documents included in this digitized resource explore prominent themes in world history since 1820: conquest, colonization, settlement, resistance, and post-coloniality, as told through women’s voices.

For more information about the content included in this collection, click HERE.

Trial: Four primary source modules from ProQuest

The Library will soon be acquiring four additional primary source collections from ProQuest. In the meantime, we have set up trial access to them until March 16.

FBI Confidential Files and Radical Politics in the U.S., 1945-1972

Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI vigorously investigated and tracked the activities of Communist groups, Communist-front groups, and other radical organizations in the United States. This module consists of records of the FBI and the Subversive Activities Control Board from 1945-1972. Highlights of this module include J. Edgar Hoover’s office files; documentation on the FBI’s so-called “black bag jobs,” as they were called before being renamed “surreptitious entries”; and the “Do Not File” File. The “Do Not File” file consists of records that were originally supposed to be destroyed on FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s order, however, through both intended and inadvertent exceptions to this order, large portions of these files survived. Another key collection in this module consists of the records of the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB). The SACB files constitute one of the most valuable resources for the study of left-wing radicalism during the 1950s and 1960s.

Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantation Records, Part 2

 The records presented in Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantation Records: Part 2, come from the holdings of the University of Virginia and Duke University. One of the extraordinary collections from the University of Virginia, especially for the study of slavery, is the papers of General John Hartwell Cocke. The papers of the Berkeley family from 1653 to 1865 are exceptional for the 18th and 19th centuries on such matters as land and crop sales, slave and medical accounts, and family and overseers’ correspondence. The massive collection from the wealthy Bruce family is valuable for overseer correspondence and business records as well as for personal correspondence, women’s diaries, and slave records. Other collections from University of Virginia include correspondence from overseers; documents on slave sales, runaway slaves, discipline, diet, health, and the work loads of adults and children; plantation management, and westward migration to Arkansas and Louisiana prior to the Civil War. Major collections from the Duke University holdings document plantation life in the Alabama, as well as South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Records from Alabama and Mississippi depict the opening of the southern frontier in response to the cotton boom of the early 19th century. Among the exceptional collections are the Henry Watson papers and the Clement Claiborne Clay papers from Alabama, and the John Knight and Duncan McLaurin collections from the Natchez area in Mississippi. Another major collection from the Duke holdings is the William Patterson Smith Collection. William Patterson Smith, along with his brother Thomas operated a mercantile firm in Gloucester, Virginia

 Student demonstrations, political unrest, coup d’etats, assassinations, political trials, meetings and visits of foreign leaders, economic and agricultural assistance, disputes over the use of international waters, international trade, military conflicts. These are just a small sampling of the subjects covered by Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files on the turbulent 1960s around the world. The U.S. State Department Central Files are an important source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the 20th century. Concentrating exclusively on those U.S. State Department Central Files Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives or distributed by other publishers, the U.S. State Department Central Files Central Files in History Vault contain a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: reports on political, military, and socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; and reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers. The Africa and Middle East files document a number of fascinating issues. The Africa files cover the brutal civil war between Biafra and Nigeria in the late 1960s, the 1964 Rivonia trial of Nelson Mandela and seven leaders of the African National Congress, violent protest against the South African government coupled with police crackdowns on the resistance, the troubled relationship between the U.S. and the apartheid regime, and the first years of independence in Ghana and the Congo. The files on Egypt offer considerable detail on the Egyptian political structure which was dominated by Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1960s. Political issues are also covered in extensive detail in the files on Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Documents on Iran follow Ali Amin’s tenure as prime minister and his succession by Asadollah Alam. In Israel, State Department personnel tracked developments in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), the political fortunes of important members of the Israeli government, and the fragile security situation faced by Israel. The countries covered in this module are: Biafra/Nigeria; Congo; Egypt; Ghana; South Africa; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Lebanon; Palestine; Saudi Arabia; the Persian Gulf States (Aden, Bahrein, Kuwait, Muscat & Oman, Qatar, Trucial Sheiks); and Yemen.

 Women at Work during World War II consists of two major sets of records documenting the experience of American women during World War II: Records of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps. Records of the Women’s Bureau consist of two major series. The first series documents the role of the Women’s Bureau as an investigative agency, as a clearinghouse for proposed changes in working conditions, and as a source of public information and education. Items in this first series include reports of the bureau director to the secretary of labor, records of bureau-sponsored conferences, and speeches and articles by women officials of the bureau. The second series of Women’s Bureau records consists of a detailed study on the treatment of women by unions in several midwestern industrial centers, complete with extensive background interviews and other research materials; community studies conducted nationwide on the influx of women to industrial centers during the war; and subject files and correspondence on women’s work in war industries, including issues like equal pay and child care. The Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps dates from 1942–1946 and documents the women who joined and served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC, known as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps [WAAC] from May 1942 until July 1943) during World War II. Every topic of importance to the WAC is covered in the correspondence, with an emphasis on issues such as recruiting, public support for the WAC, personnel matters like discipline and conduct, and race.

Trial: The Digital Karl Barth Library

The Digital Karl Barth Library –

The Digital Karl Barth Library supports a new generation of research into the works of one of the 20th century’s most influential theologians. The collection includes the original German version and the English translation of Karl Barth’s magnum opus, The Church Dogmatics, in its entirety. Also included is Barth’s Gesamtausgabe, which includes hundreds of letters, sermons, lectures, conversations, and academic writings.

For more information about the content included in this collection, click HERE.
For general help, including navigation instructions and search tips, click HERE.

The trial will run through March 8th.

Please send your comments and feedback to me at

Trial: East India Company (digital archive)

The Library has a trial of the Adam Matthew Digital digital archive, East India Company, until February 23rd.

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947.

*Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

Please send any feedback you have about the resource to me at

Current Trial: Drama Online

Drama Online (Bloomsbury) is an online resource of primary and secondary sources for the study and performance of drama. It contains 1700 playtexts, 350 audio performances, and 150 hours of video. The platform has a web-based e-reader with page and line numbers that correspond to the print edition, download options, full text search, visualization tools including a Words and Speeches Graph and a Character Grid for each play, the ability to view lines for one specific character, genre, period, title, or playwright browsing, and annotation tools.

Content included:
* 1,100+ playtexts from Methuen Drama, Faber and Faber, and Arden Shakespeare, as well as contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides.
* Productions from Shakespeare’s Globe On Screen
* Early modern drama titles staged and filmed specifically for educational use (Doctor Faustus, The Duchess of Malfi, Volpone and School for Scandal).
* L.A. Theatre Works audio collection
* Playscripts from theatre publisher Nick Hern
* BBC Drama Films

The trial will last until March 24th, and can be accessed at
Please send your comments and feedback to sreardon at