I don’t know about you, but I sure am missing visiting archives, museums and libraries. So much of my PhD has been spent in all of these places, and now I am unable to pack my bag, hop on a train, and head into the city at a moments notice, I feel a little bereft.
So, knowing that this is a feeling probably shared by many, so I’ve decided to write a little blog on a couple of historical resources that you can access online, from anywhere. I’ve used all of these fantastic websites, and they have really helped me, both in historical research and in just some plan old inspiration.
1 // BRITISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVES
This fantastic archive has been a LIFELINE throughout my PhD. It’s a collection of historic newspapers dating from the 1700s onwards. Not only does it feature big-named newspapers that are still published today, but also small, specialised sections of the press. Because of this, it’s a GREAT way to research specific events, people, and…well, anything! What’s even better is that it’s very accessible and easy to search which is crucial for a technophobe like me. More newspapers are added each day, and you can get a three month subscription for £8.64 per month!
If you’re a little bored, why not search the name of one of your ancestors and see what they were up to in 1836?
2 // THE OLD BAILEY ONLINE
The Old Bailey has been London’s Central Criminal Court for hundreds of years, and luckily for us, they have digitised proceedings in the court from the years 1674 to 1913. So, if you, like me, are OBSESSED with the grisly details of crime (most of my favourite podcasts are in the true crime genre!), you need to check out this fascinating site. It really is a capsule of human history, and gives us a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Londoners across a huge cross-section of time. Best of all, it is completely free!
Why not investigate the ‘on this day’ section of the website, and see what crimes occurred today but hundreds of years ago!
3 // F YEAH HISTORY
If I’m ever feeling a little down and dry, I head to F YEAH HISTORY, mainly because it’s the funniest history blog I’ve ever read. Not only is it unapologetically feminist, but it tackles topical issues in a sassy, GIF-filled manner that makes me laugh-out-loud on multiple occasions. PLUS, the girls over at F YEAH have recently started a YouTube channel, so if you prefer your history in video form,head over there. F YEAH HISTORY is an accessible blog that highlights diverse and under-researched areas of history in a snarky, irrelevant way. Here are a couple of my favourite posts:
What are your favourite online historical resources?