Trial until 10 July 2017: Public Information Online (PIO)

Oxford Historians are invited to trial Public Information Online (PIO). This is a web-based archive of Parliamentary and Official documents for the 20th century.

Collections include:

  • House of Commons and Lords papers from 1997-,unique access to House of Lords twentieth century historical collection.
  • The historical collection of Standing Committee debates are now in the process of being loaded to the website and are available from 1964/65.
  • The database also has a growing collection of government publications to include: the Army, Navy and Airforce Lists, 1969- and the ‘Civil Service Yearbook’, 1974-.
  • Any researcher in this area will know how invaluable the HMSO annual catalogues are, they are now available from 1922-1995.
  • PIO also consolidates and formats information and data from government sources to provide easy to use, coherent documents, for example, the ‘Annual Abstract of Statistics’.
  • PIO also contains parliamentary and non-parliamentary publications from the UK’s devolved assemblies and parliaments.
  • The database has excellent search facilities, to include browsing by parliamentary session and publishing body.

Publications are loaded daily so the collection is up to date. If you are presented with a Login page, just select PublicInformationOnline in the top left to proceed to the home page.

This trial has been set up by the Law Library, but please send feedback to

New: The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991

Cold War - Readex - frontpageThanks to colleagues in the Social Science Library, modern historians now have access to The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991.

This resource is a digital archive of international primary source documents on the Cold War, spanning five decades, and will be of interest to anyone researching 20th-century global studies.

Cold War - Readex - screenshot

The sources seem to be a selection of FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports) documents, i.e. these are CIA monitored, recorded, and translated coverage of the Cold War in foreign media and government publications. They covers newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, books, government reports, and more.

If you are looking for similar English-language Cold War sources, you might also be interested in…

New: Gallup Analytics – US public opinion data since 1935 & world polls since 2005

Gallup Analytics - landing pageI am delighted to announce that Social Science Library colleagues have subscribed to  Gallup Analytics. It is now accessible via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Note that the subscription is limited to only one user at a time so here’s a plea to close your browser when you are finished or are going for a cup of tea so that others can access it.

Gallup Analytics is a searchable resource of unique public opinion data and analysis compiled by Gallup, Inc. It includes answers to more than 125,000 questions, and responses from more than 3.5 million people interviewed in the Unites States since 1935.

With this data resource you can:

  • perform detailed searches on hundreds of U.S. and global metrics
  • examine data by demographic and socio-economic groups, including income, education, age and gender
  • export data to create custom data tables, trends, charts and scatter plots

Gallup Analytics comes in three parts:

  1. Gallup Brain (historic surveys going back to 1935)
  2. Gallup World Poll (surveys from 160+ countries since 2005)
  3. Gallup Daily Tracking (daily surveys across the US since 2008).

Gallup Brain (historic content 1935-2000s)

Historians are most likely going to be interested in Gallup Brain. As it’s not very obvious how to find it, here are some tips:
To access the historic content, click on Gallup Brain (bottom of the homepage)

Gallup Analytics - GallupBrain for historic data

You can browse surveys by decade or search by keyword:

GallupBrain - 1940s

Gallup World Poll (post-2005 surveys)

Here is an example where I’ve asked for mapped EU responses in which EU country immigrants would find a “good place”. Comparing it to 2016 makes a very interesting comparison!

Immigrants – European Union: 55% (2006) Good place – Aggregate

Immigrants – European Union: 55% (2006) Good place – Aggregate

Modernists can find surveys which cover many other topics, amongst others:
  • economic confidence
  • employment
  • entrepreneurial energy
  • confidence in leadership
  • confidence in military and police
  • religion
  • food access
  • corruption
  • freedom of media
  • life evaluations


New catalogue: The Past & Present Society papers

The catalogue of the archive of the Past & Present Society is now available online. The Oxford-based Society was founded in 1952 in order to publish the history journal Past & Present, which it continues to do, while also running its own history book series and conferences, and appointing two post-doctoral fellows every year.

The archive covers the period 1952-2011 and mainly comprises peer review comments on submitted articles, as well as papers relating to books published by the society and the organisation of annual history conferences and research seminars, plus administrative papers for the Society itself and for the journal. The archive will be most relevant to researchers interested in twentieth-century historiography and academic publishing.

Source: New catalogue: The Past & Present Society

New: Nashriyah: digital Iranian history

If you are interested in modern Iranian history, then you will be pleased to know that Nashriyah: digital Iranian history has been added to SOLO and Databases A-Z but is also freely available at


This project, led by the University of Manchester Library, provides digital versions of Iranian newspapers and periodicals many of which have previously been difficult to access. The provision of this collection supports the work of students and researchers interested in modern and contemporary Iranian history by enabling them to explore key events as they happened.

The collection’s main coverage is:

  • the premiership of Mohammad Mossadegh and the August 1953 coup d’état against his government (1950-53),
  • the 1979 Revolution
  • the late 1990s/early 2000s ‘reform era’ of former President Mohammad Khatami.

Containing more than 12,000 pages, the collection is freely accessible without restriction.

What is included in the collection?

There are currently 23 rare newspapers and periodicals (over 12,000 pages) available digitally, documenting real-life news from the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, the 1979 revolution and the late 1990s/early 2000s ‘reform era’ of President Mohammad Khatami.

The following publications are included:

  • Ayandegan (165 issues)
  • Khank Va Khun (46 issues)
  • Rastakhiz (150 issues)
  • Tehran Mosava (2 volumes)
  • Kayhan (10 volumes)

Film interviews with 22 leading historians online

Film interviews with leading thinkers - screenshot

Film Interviews with Leading Thinkers (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University)

Those interested in the lifes and work of some leading historians of the 20th century will be pleased to know that 22 film interviews between Alan Macfarlane and selected individuals are available online.The interviews are lengthy and details, covering a lof the individuals early life, family life, education and so on.

Example: Brian Harrison interviewed 22 June 2012

The videos can be streamed and also embedded. Transcripts are also available.

Here is the list of historians:

To go directly to the Cambridge University Streaming Media version, click SMS

  1. DAVID ELLISTON ALLEN – historian (naturalist, administrator) – interview 1983 SMS
  2. PETER BURKEhistorian – interview 2004 SMS
  3. JAMES CAMPBELL – historian – interview 2009 SMS
  4. OWEN CHADWICKhistorian (theologian) – interview 2008 SMS
  5. MARTIN DAUNTON – historian – interview 2013 SMS
  6. JOHN DUNNhistorian (political theorist) – interview 2008 SMS
  7. MARK ELVIN – historian (late imperial Chinese) – interview 2012 SMS
  8. OWEN GINGERICH – historian of science (astronomer) – interview 2008 SMS
  9. BRIAN HARRISONhistorian – interview 2012 SMS
  10. AKIRA HAYAMI – demographer (economic historian) – interview 2009 SMS
  11. ERIC HOBSBAWM – historian – interview 2009 SMS
  12. LISA JARDINE – historian (English literature) – interview 2008 SMS
  13. LI BOZHONG – economic historian – interview 2011 SMS
  14. JEAN MICHEL MASSING – art historian – interview 2014 SMS
  15. PETER MATHIAS – historian – interviews 2008 and 2009 SMS
  16. ANDREW MORGAN – historian – interview 2000 SMS
  17. RICHARD RATHBONE – historian (Africa, anthropology) – interview 2013 SMS
  18. SIMON SCHAFFER – historian of science – interview 2008 SMS
  19. QUENTIN SKINNER – historian – interview 2009 SMS
  20. GARETH STEDMAN JONEShistorian – interview 2012 SMS
  21. BARRY SUPPLEeconomic historian – interview 2010 SMS
  22. KEITH THOMAShistorian – interview 2009 SMS