(Above) Elvis pictured with his Father, Vernon and (below) in his bathroom.
Taylor, Alina Corday. "Boywonder." Smithsonian Magazine Aug. 2002: 66+. Smithsonian Collections Online.

Remembering Elvis: the man behind the legend

Elvis Presley was just 41 when he died in August 1977. So much had been achieved in just over twenty years; a young country boy had risen exponentially to become one of the biggest – perhaps even the biggest – icons of twentieth-century popular culture. Looking back over his career with Gale’s digital archives reveals a more personal, introverted side to the man who became known as ‘the King’.

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India Independence day is today

by Naina Malhotra
I joined Gale in 2014, as Senior Marketing Executive for Gale India. I’m a sports enthusiast and an avid traveller. It’s pleasure working with a company which connects libraries to learning and learners to libraries.

August 15, 1947 was the day when the tricolor was raised and Independent India emerged. It has been a revolutionary period of more than 60 years for India since the nation became independent from colonial rule. I was curious to go down the history to find out how the changes took place through these years, looking at Gale resources: Continue reading

Letter from Britain’s Spanish Consuls to the British Ambassador Paul Methuen, 24th May 1715. SP94, vol. 83, ff. 213 and 214.

18th-Century Brexit? A sneak preview of State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century: Part III

When reading through some documents contained within the State Papers’ SP94 (Spain) series recently, I was struck by some parallels between early-eighteenth century diplomatic relations and those of our current post-‘Brexit’ times. There is palpable tension in Anglo-Spanish relations from the letters exchanged between British Ambassador to Spain Paul Methuen and James Stanhope, Secretary of State for the Southern Department.

More broadly, this was a time of flux for European relations, with 1713 marking the end of what has been termed the first ‘global’ war: the War of Spanish Succession. Lasting for thirteen years, the war placed greater strain on European ties. Developing from a dispute over the succession of the Spanish throne when King Carlos II died childless in 1700 (leaving the Bourbon, Philippe Duc d’Anjou as his heir), England, Austria, and the Dutch Republic could not countenance a Franco-Spanish alliance dominating Europe. They therefore rejected the proposed succession by declaring war. After a thirteen-year campaign, the 1713 treaty concluding the war confirmed the succession of Philippe as Felipe V of Spain. As those letters show though, this succession prompted a re-evaluation of Anglo-Spanish trade arrangement. Continue reading

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False predictions, chaotic systems: Revisiting US elections

In a few months’ time, the day millions of people have been waiting for will finally be upon us: Election Day in the United States. For the first time in eight years, a new President will be elected to the White House. Pitching effervescent Republican Donald Trump against the more sedate Democrat Hillary Clinton, long months of campaigning will come to an end in what is potentially the most globally scrutinised election ever known. The successor to Barrack Obama will finally be revealed.

While the level of fanfare surrounding the 2016 election may appear unprecedented, there have been a few notable elections in the US over the years which have come close to matching this year’s furore:

  • 1948: Harry S. Truman (Democrat) vs. Thomas E. Dewey (Republican)
  • 1960: John F. Kennedy (Democrat) vs. Richard M. Nixon (Republican)
  • 2000: Al Gore (Democrat) vs. George W. Bush (Republican)

Using Chatham House Online Archive’s expert analysis, some striking continuities emerge across all three elections. Continue reading

Royal Archives / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  2016
David Morier (1705?-70)
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-65)  1745-50?
Oil on canvas | 127.5 x 101.8 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 404328

The Stuart & Cumberland Papers Digitisation Project at Windsor Castle

By Roberta Giubilini & Puneeta Sharma, The Royal Archives

The Royal Archives was founded in 1914 and is a private archive which offers public access to historical papers for educational purposes and academic study, while protecting the personal private papers of The Queen and members of The Royal Family. Access to the Archives is the responsibility of the Keeper of The Queen’s Archives and this authority is exercised on a day-to-day basis by the Librarian as the Assistant Keeper of The Queen’s Archives. The archival collection reflects the changing world and the monarchy’s relationship to it, and contains, among its significant collection, the papers of the last Stuarts in exile, George III, George IV, and those of later monarchs and members of the Royal Family, including the correspondence and journals of Queen Victoria.

The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, is home to an extensive collection of documents related to the Royal Family and the British Monarchy spanning over 250 years. There are two collections, which are the focal point of a current project: namely the papers of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, and the papers of the exiled Stuarts.  The project consists of the surveying, conservation and digitisation of these papers, which the Royal Archives are carrying out in collaboration with Gale, a part of Cengage Learning who have employed UK Archiving to undertake the scanning. Continue reading

“Armstrong climbs off floor to upstage Ullrich." Independent 22 July 2003

Bicycle Races are Coming Your Way: following the Tour de France in Artemis Primary Sources

This year’s Tour de France is about to end, and like every tour it has seen its fair share of drama. The tour is still ongoing at the time of writing with Britain’s Chris Froome once again wearing the yellow jersey. It hasn’t been an easy ride for Froome, as a collision with a race motorcycle forced him to abandon his bike and run to the finish line atop the colossal Mont Ventoux. Collisions between riders and other road users are unfortunately common occurrence in the Tour, as I found in Gale Artemis: Primary Sources

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"London and Paris a Hundred Years Ago, Paris in 1790." Illustrated London News [London, England] 26 July 1890: 108+. The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003. Web. 9 May 2016.

“Hurrah for the red, white and blue”

14th July is the day of “fête nationale” in France, or “Bastille Day” as it is known in English, falling on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison on 14th July 1789, in the early days of the French Revolution. It is a day of popular celebrations, grand military parade and lavish fireworks. Contrary to the 4th of July, the American Independence Day celebrating events of 1776, the 14th July was slow to establish itself firmly as a date of national celebrations in France. The chequered history of this holiday can been traced in Gale’s rich newspapers archives. Continue reading

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The Ever-Changing State of Literary Criticism

By Larry Trudeau
Larry has been an editor at Gale for over 25 years, and loves doing deep research amid the library stacks. A recent vacation included a day set aside to explore the astonishing Burton Historical Collection at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library.

I was recently reviewing an entry on Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations for an upcoming volume of Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (NCLC), and was surprised—delighted, really—to see that we were including two reviews of the novel from 1861, the year it was published in book form.

What’s more, there was another article from 1877, in which the reviewer recalled the experience of reading the novel as it came out in weekly installments, between December 1860 and August 1961, in Dickens’s own magazine, All the Year Round. The reviewer, Edwin P. Whipple (how’s that for a good, Victorian-sounding name?), extolled Dickens’s skill at constructing his great novel essentially on the fly, with deadlines constantly looming. “When the novel is read as a whole,” Whipple marveled, “we perceive how carefully the author had prepared us for the catastrophe; but it required feminine sagacity and insight to detect the secret on which the plot turns, as the novel first appeared in weekly parts.” (Feminine sagacity and insight—another echo from another century!) Continue reading

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Bombs, Shells and Steel: Revisiting the Battle of the Somme

‘It ain’t the guns nor armament

Nor funds that they can pay,

But the close co-operation

That makes them win the day.

It ain’t the individual,

Nor the Army as a whole,

But the everlasting teamwork

Of every bloomin’ soul.’

Rudyard Kipling

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LGBTQ+ ‘Without Borders’ conference in London 2016

Following on from the recent release of Gale’s LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940 and in the days leading up to London Pride weekend, I recently attended the LGBTQ+ Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections ‘Without Borders’ 2016 conference in London to listen and learn from archivists, activists, librarians, researchers and performers from around the world share their ground-breaking efforts to disseminate knowledge of LGBTI histories and lives.

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