New eresources for 20th century history: World War I, British Union of Fascists files, Northern Ireland, Middle East, Soviet women, world news

We are pleased to announce access to six major eresources which are useful for 20th century historians. They cover key historical events in British, European and world history and contain a great range of sources, from newspapers, government and diplomatic documents, maps, to digitised newsreels. Most resources are strong in international relations and political and diplomatic history, while two resources (Soviet Women, World Newsreels Online) also have a social, gender and cultural aspect, to varying degrees.

Oxford researchers, you can also access these resources remotely with your SSO.

The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951

Homepage of the resource, depicting a black and white photo of Oswald Mosley walking past supporters showing the fascit salute.

Homepage of
The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951, British Online Archives

Part of British Online Archives’ Politics and Protest series, the resources contained within this collection chart the rise and fall of fascism in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s, with a particular focus on Oswald Mosley’s blackshirt movement.

The bulk of the documents are official BUF publications, including Fascist Week¸ The Blackshirt, The East London Pioneer, and Action. In addition, there are hundreds of government documents relating to Mosley’s internment under Defence Regulation 18B during the Second World War. Geographical coverage includes Great Britain and the United States.

The series covered include: CAB 127 (Cabinet Office: Private Collections of Ministers’ and Officials’ Papers); HO 45 (Home Office: Registered Papers); HO 262 (Ministry of Information: Home Intelligence Division Files); HO 283 (Home Office: Defence Regulation 18B, Advisory Committee Papers); KV 2 (The Security Service: Personal Files); PCOM 9 (Prison Commission and Home Office, Prison Department: Registered Papers: Series 2); and PREM 4 (Prime Minister’s Office: Confidential correspondence and papers).

The Middle East Online Series 2 – Iraq 1914-1974 (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of almsot five thousand documents in the collection.

Screenshot from Middle East Online: Iraq 1914-1974.

Drawing on the collections from the National Archives at Kew, UK, these documents cover the political and administrative history of the modern state which has emerged from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.

Like Series 1 (Middle East Online: Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970), this database offers conference reports, ministerial memos and diplomatic dispatches, as well as official letters of correspondence from regional leaders, press releases and arms deal reports. This collection will also appeal to those with an interest in economics, politics and peace studies.

Series 2 on Iraq covers these events:

  • The war in Mesopotamia and the capture of Baghdad in 1917
  • Introduction of the British Mandate and the installation of King Faisal in 1921
  • Independence and Iraq’s membership in the League of Nations in 1932
  • Coups d’état in the 1930s and 1940s
  • The Baghdad pact of 1955 and the military coup of 1958 leading to the establishment of a republic
  • Oil concessions and the threat to Kuwait
  • The rise of Ba’athism and Saddam Hussein
  • The USSR-Iraq Treaty of Friendship in 1972
  • Iran-Iraq relations

The vast majority of the almost 5,000 documents are in English with c 100 in Arabic and c 160 in French.

Northern Ireland: A Divided Community, 1921-1972 Cabinet Papers of the Stormont Administration (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of more than 1500 documents in the collection.

Screenshot from Northern Ireland: A Divided Community.

The history of Ireland in the twentieth century was dominated by the political and sectarian divide between the north and the south, leading to sustaining armed violence over several decades. 2021 markes the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland in May 1921.

This resource provides access to Government documents of the British administration in Northern Ireland 1921-72 (CAB/4) offer what have been described as the best continuous record of government activity and decision-making in the world, and shows “how government actually worked”. The papers are a complete digital facsimile of the Cabinet Conclusion files of the Northern Ireland Government, filed as CAB/4 at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). These CAB/4 files contain a full record of every debate and transaction for the entire duration of the Stormont administration, the devolved government of Northern Ireland. Separate files exist for each Cabinet Meeting and include minutes and memoranda. The discussions and decisions reflect the wide range of problems and activities involved in making the new administration work.

Topics debated and reported in just one sample year of the Troubles (1970) include: policing, arms and explosives, social need, prevention of incitement to religious hatred, army occupation of factories, road spiking, routing of Orange Day parades, dock strikes, law and order, riots, and the roles of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939

An image of the resource' s homepage, depicting 4 key statesmen (Foch, Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Orlando)

From left to right: Marshal Foch, George Clemenceau (French PM), David Lloyd George (British PM), Vittorio Orlando, (Italian PM), from Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939, homepage, British Online Archives (accessed 9 Aug 2021)

Drawn chiefly from the UK National Archives, including selected FO 608 files, these Foreign Office records for the first time offer an emphatic and comprehensive coverage of the various peace treaties signed at the end of the First World War. The Treaties of Versailles, Saint-Germain, Sevres, Trianon, Neuilly and Lausanne are all covered in great depth. They collectively saw to the redrawing of boundaries, the stripping back of German military might and the effective end of the Ottoman Empire. These records are supplemented by the personal papers of Robert Cecil and Arthur Balfour – held at the British Library – both of whom played prominent roles during the course of the Conference.

The papers include cabinet papers, agenda, records of conversations, memoranda, dispatches, telegrams, confidential reports, maps, treaties, and selected news clippings.

This resource has a global reach. Use it to explore and learn how the Allied Powers scrambled to create a diplomatic epilogue to ‘the war to end all wars’.

Soviet Woman Digital Archive (1945-1991)

Front cover of Soviet Women, Nov 1989, depicting a woman with 2 fluffytoy animals.

“FRONT COVER” Soviet Woman. 1989.

Established in the aftermath of WWII in 1945, the magazine Soviet Woman proclaimed on the cover of its first issue its fundamental mission: “A magazine devoted to social and political problems, literature and art…”

Published initially under the aegis of the Soviet Women’s Anti-Fascist Committee and the Central Council of Trade Unions of the USSR, it began as a bimonthly illustrated magazine tasked with countering anti-Soviet propaganda by introducing Western audiences to the lifestyle of Soviet women, including their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, and their achievements in the arts and the sciences. The Soviet Woman digital archive contains all obtainable published issues from the very first issue, comprising more than 500 issues and over 7,500 articles.

Over the years the magazine developed regular sections covering issues dealing with economics, politics, life abroad, life in Soviet republics, women’s fashion, as well as broader issues in culture and the arts. One of its most popular features was the translations of Soviet literary works, making available in English, (and other languages) works of Russian and Soviet writers that were previously unavailable, allowing readers worldwide a peek inside the hitherto insular Soviet literary world. An important communist propaganda outlet, the magazine continued its run until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

World Newsreels Online: 1929–1966

In December of 1941, cinema audiences around the world—from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam to Paris—waited expectantly for news of Pearl Harbor. This resource lets  historians see what those audiences saw and more, by delivering more than 500 hours of newsreels content instantly.

A screenshot of a girl on crutches

“February 28, 1944.” , directed by Anonymous , Universal Pictures Company, 1944. Alexander Street, https://video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/universal-newsreels-release-272-february-28-1944.

The vast majority of newsreels come from Polygoon-Profiti and Universal Pictures Company. Footage also includes 87 documentaries and commercial announcements. About 3000 reels are in Dutch and just over 2000 are in English, with a few hundred in French and Japanese. While newsreels focus on conflict during this time, but there is also content on children, sport, culture, social life, the environment, science and technology.

Reels come with searchable transcripts, tools to share and embed elsewhere, and tools create and export citations.

World War I and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1918: Records of the British Foreign Office (Archives Unbound)

Lists details of two out of almost 3,500 documents in the collection.

Screenshot from World I and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1918

This collection documents the Russian entrance into World War I and culminates in reporting on the Revolution in Russia in 1917 and 1918. The documents consist primarily of correspondence between the British Foreign Office, various British missions and consulates in the Russian Empire and the Tsarist government and later the Provisional Government.

Drawing on the National Archives, UK, collection within Foreign Office 371: Records of General Political Correspondence – Russia, this resources gives online access to almost 3,500 documents. This collection comprises the complete contents of the former Scholarly Resources microfilm collection entitled British Foreign Office: Russia Correspondence, 1914-1918. The vast majority of documents are in English, with c 450 in French and a very small number in other European languages.

New: LGBT Magazine Archive; Women and Social Movements, International; Trench Journals

I am delighted to announce that access to a number of major new eresouces is now available.

The Bodleian Libraries have committed substantial external funding to a one-off set of purchases of electronic research resources deemed to be important to researchers in the University. This follows a project to identify desiderata across all subjects and to list suggestions from readers.

The list of purchases of ProQuest eresources includes items which cannot easily be covered by recurrent budgets. Under the banner of diversity, we are particularly pleased to improve our resources useful for the study of gender, LGBTQ, women’s history and race.

The new acquisitions include:

  • Art and Architecture Archive (part 1)
  • Black Abolitionist Papers (1830-1865)
  • Die Deutsche Lyrik
  • Digitale Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker
  • LGBT Magazine Archive
  • Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War
  • Twentieth Century Religious Thought III & IV
  • Women and Social Movements, International

Oxford researchers should use their SSO to gain remote access. The resources can be access via SOLO or Databases A-Z.

Art and Architecture Archive

Full-text archive of periodicals (cover-to-cover colour scans) in the fields of art and architecture. Date range: 19thC – 21stC. Subjects covered include fine art, decorative arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and photography worldwide.

Black Abolitionist Papers (1830-1865)

This collection covers a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. The content includes letters, speeches, editorials, newspaper articles, sermons, and essays from libraries and archives in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Over 15,000 items written by nearly 300 Black men and women are available for searching.

Die Deutsche Lyrik

Die Deutsche Lyrik in Reclams Universal-Bibliothek covers almost 500 years of German lyric poetry and includes the work of over 500 authors from the 15th to the 20th century. Published with the co-operation and support of Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart, it contains the complete text of each poem, including material such as dedications and authorial notes which are an essential part of the original volumes. Publisher’s prefaces and epilogues, introductions, editorial notes, biographies, glossaries and indices are not usually included.

Digitale Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker

The Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker series has been in print publication since 1981. Published with the cooperation and support of the publishers Deutscher Klassiker Verlag Frankfurt am Main, this database covers covers the works of major authors spanning eleven centuries and includes historical, philosophical, theological, political and art history texts. Collections of essays, speeches and other non-literary material add context and background material. As every individual text is edited to the same high standard, you can rely on the quality and accuracy of each edition and the collection as a whole.

LGBT Magazine Archive

The resource archives of 26 leading but previously hard-to-find magazines are included in LGBT Magazine Archive, including many of the longest-running, most influential publications of this type. The complete backfile of The Advocate is made available digitally for the first time. As one of the very few LGBT titles to pre-date the 1969 Stonewall riots, it spans the history of the gay rights movement. LGBT Magazine Archive also includes the principal UK titles, notably Gay News and its successor publication Gay Times.

Twentieth Century Religious Thought III and IV

Twentieth Century Religious Thought Library is a multivolume, cross-searchable online collection that brings together the seminal works and archival materials related to worldwide religious thinkers from the early 1900s until the first decade of the 21st century.

Vol I (Christianity) and Vol II (Islam) are already available in Oxford.

Vol III (Judaism): Focuses on modern Jewish theology and philosophy and details Judaism’s evolution from the late 19th century by examining printed works and rare documents.

Vol IV (Buddhism, Hinduism & Taois): Focuses on the various facets of Eastern Religion spanning over two-hundred years.

Women and Social Movements, International

Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.  This digital archive includes 150,000 pages of conference proceedings, reports of international women’s organizations, publications and web pages of women’s non-governmental organizations, and letters, diaries, and memoirs of women active internationally since the mid-nineteenth century.  It also includes photographs and videos of major events and activists in the history of women’s international social movements. Additionally, there are 30 essays from leading contemporary scholars exploring themes illuminated by the primary documents in the archive.

Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Published by every type of military and support service unit, from every involved nation, trench journals were a means of expression through which men and women engaged in all aspects of World War I could share their thoughts and experiences.

Over 1,500 periodicals, drawn from the holdings of major libraries and research collections, including the Imperial War Museums and the British Library, make this resource the most comprehensive collection of trench journals available to scholars anywhere in one place.

This resource brings together complete runs of journals from disparate sources. Functionality allows both browsing and precision searching for editorials, advertisements, poetry, cartoons and illustrations, photographs, and obituaries, opening up opportunities for research in multiple fields: literature, history, war studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.

Trial until 27 Nov: Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939

Oxford historians are now invited to trial Paris Peace Conference and Beyond, 1919-1939 (British Online Archives) which is available via SOLO and Databases A-Z.

The Paris Peace Conference was a meeting of Allied diplomats that took place in the aftermath of the First World War. Its purpose was to impose peace terms on the vanquished Central Powers and establish a new international order.

This online resource draws on material chiefly from The National Archives: FO 373 (Foreign Office: Peace Conference; Handbooks): FO 608 (Foreign Office: Peace Conference; British Delegation, Correspondence and Papers); FO 893 (Foreign Office: Ambassadors to the Peace Conference, 1919; Minutes of Proceedings); CAB 29/139 (Cabinet Office: International Conferences; Minutes and Papers; Lausanne Conference, 1932).

These Foreign Office records for the first time offer an emphatic and comprehensive coverage of the various peace treaties signed at the end of the First World War. The Treaties of Versailles, Saint-Germain, Sèvres, Trianon, Neuilly and Lausanne are all covered in great depth. They collectively saw to the redrawing of boundaries, the stripping back of German military might and the effective end of the Ottoman Empire.

These records are supplemented by the personal papers of Robert Cecil and Arthur Balfour – held at the British Library – both of whom played prominent roles during the course of the Conference.

Explore how the Allied Powers scrambled to create a diplomatic epilogue to ‘the war to end all wars’. This resource will interest those researching: The First World War, The Second World War, Inter-War International Governance, International Relations, Peace-making, Colonialism, 20th Century, War, Diplomacy, and Politics.

Please send feedback to isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Useful subject searches in SOLO: Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) or World War, 1914-1918 — Reparations.

While you are here…

… did you know that the Bodleian has The Papers of Richard Meinerzhagen (1878-1967)? He was on Balfour’s staff at the Paris Peace Conference.

New Bodleian History Books: November 2018 – WWI

Right on schedule for the Centenary of the First World War a number of exciting new history books on various interesting aspects of WWI have arrived at the Bodleian!

In Ypres Mark Connelly and Stefan Goebel examine the small Belgian city which between 1914 and 1918 became the location of five major battles between the Allied troops and the Germans – battles which resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, and placed Ypres at the heart of First World War battlefield tourism.

Opening his focus to the entirety of the Western Front rather a single battlefield, David T. Zabecki’s The generals’ war: operational level command on the Western Front in 1918 examines the plans and decisions of the senior-most German and Allied commanders, exploring the military strategies of those generals during the last year of the Great War.

And not from the generals’ view, but from the complete opposite side of the spectrum come Les carnets de guerre de Louis Barthas: 1914-1918. This is an edition of the 19 notebooks compiled by a French corporal who fought for four years in some of the most dangerous sectors of the front, including Verdun and the Somme. Into these notebooks Barthas transcribed his diary and letters, adding collected picture postcards, illustrations, and maps clipped from newspapers and magazines.

Unlike these first books which examine the war and WWI warfare proper, several of the newly arrived books focus on the social and cultural history of WWI. Laura Rowe writes on Morale and discipline in the Royal Navy during the First World War, and Roger L. Ransom examines the dark history of war profiteering in Gambling on war: confidence, fear, and the tragedy of the First World War

Along with socio-cultural history, gender studies are also gaining a foothold in war historiography – while all of the above monographs focus rather naturally on the (male) soldiers and their (male) commanders, the final pair of books I would like to present in this blog post take as their topic the often neglected “other half” of humanity involved in the Great War – the women.

Alison Fell’s Women as veterans in Britain and France after the First World War looks at former nurses, charity workers, secret service agents, members of resistance networks in occupied territory or of the British auxiliary corps. After the end of the war these women appropriated the cultural identity of “female war veteran” in order to have greater access to public life in a political climate in which women were rarely heard on the public stage.

Similarly, the women Stefania Bartoloni writes on in Donne di fronte alla guerra: pace, diritti e democrazia (1878-1918) demanded more rights and more democracy and called for women’s participation in decisions on national and international affairs. Beginning at the end of the 19th century but continuing through to the end of WWI, this group of feminists and suffragists critiqued the male power system in which men were the heads of governments and diplomacy who chose to settle conflicts between nations through the instrument of war.

You can find all the books tagged with “World War I” on the Bodleian History Faculty LibraryThing pages here!

 

 

New: online access to Deutsche Reichsanzeiger und Preußischer Staatsanzeiger 1819-1945

Oxford reseachers now have access to the digitised Deutsche Reichsanzeiger und Preußischer Staatsanzeiger 1819-1945. It is listed in Databases A-Z and will soon also appear in SOLO.

The Deutsche Reichsanzeiger and Preußische Staatsanzeiger was a newspaper that appeared until April 1945 and acted as the official press organ of the state of Prussia and then the German Reich. The history of the newspaper goes back to 2 January 1819, changing title and scope in the course of time. Included in this online resource are:

  • Allgemeine Preußische Staats-Zeitung, 1819 (1) (2 January) – 1843 (179) (30 June)
  • Allgemeine Preußische Zeitung, 1843 (1) (1 July) – 1848 (119) (30 April)
  • Preußischer Staats-Anzeiger, 1848 (1) (1/3 May) – 1851 (179) (30 June)
  • Königlich Preußischer Staats-Anzeiger, 1851 (1) (1 July) – 1871 (116) (2 May)
  • Deutscher Reichs-Anzeiger und Königlich Preußischer Staats-Anzeiger, 1871 (1) (4 May) – 1918 (267) (9 November)
  • Deutscher Reichsanzeiger und Preußischer Staatsanzeiger, 1918 (268) (12 November) – 1945 (49) (14 April)

The content also changed over time. Alongside interesting government-controlled editorial sections, the value of this resource lies in an enormous treasure of orderly gathered microdata.  While the gazette published official government notices, in the course of the second half of the 19th century it also published details relating to trade and commerce (e.g. bankruptcies) and between 1873 and Deb 1943 also stock market information.

Königlich Preußischer Staats-Anzeiger, no. 3, 4 January 1871

This resource will also be of interest to those engaged in genealogical studies in Germany in as far as it published extensive lists of casualties during the First World War and expatriation lists during the Third Reich.

Deutscher Reichs-Anzeiger und Königlich Preußischer Staats-Anzeiger, no 137, 13 June 1916

The text is in German Gothic script. You can zoom in and out to enlarge the text and easily create a snippet image to save or print out. Full-text searching is possible also.

Also of interest:

Launch of the University of Oxford’s ‘Lest We Forget’ – and how YOU can help

Today marks the launch of the University of Oxford’s ‘Lest We Forget’ project aimed at saving and preserving material owned by the public related to WW1. WEW are seeking to donations to fund the project which will lead to a national campaign of training and supporting volunteers throughout the UK to run local digital collection days in which people can bring in the material they own, it will be digitized and uploaded to a freely available web site to launch on 11th November 2018.

Please help spread the word about this project and donate by going to: https://oxreach.hubbub.net/p/lestweforget/

For more information see: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordLWF/.

New: Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 (Archives Unbound)

Following a successful trial last year and thanks to the very generous donation by John and Jean Dunbabin, Oxford historians now have access to Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 (Archives Unbound).

This resource fully documents the essential contribution of women during the Great War as well as the revolutionary and permanent impact the War had on the personal, social and professional lives of these women. It is an important collection for research into 20th century social, political, military and gender history.

Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 - screenshotThe resource reproduces primary source material (115,225 images) brought together in the Imperial War Museum, London, and originally published by the Air Ministry, League of Mercy and War Fund, Purple Cross Service, Russian Relief Fund and many other organizations. This definitive digital collection of charity and international relief reports, pamphlets, photographs, press cuttings and more is fully searchable.

Poster: The Babies' Candidate. Mrs. How Martyn's Election Address. Suffrage And Politics. N.d. The Women at Work Collection, Imperial War Museum, London. The Imperial War Museum, London, United Kingdom. Archives Unbound. Web. 15 July 2016

Poster: The Babies’ Candidate. Mrs. How Martyn’s Election Address. Suffrage And Politics. N.d. The Women at Work Collection, Imperial War Museum, London. The Imperial War Museum, London, United Kingdom. Archives Unbound. Web. 15 July 2016

On behalf of the library and the Committee of the Library Provision and Strategy (CLiPS) in History, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to JOHN and JEAN DUNBABIN for donating sufficient funds to permanently add this resource to the library’s holding and ensure that future generation of historians have access to important source material on this period and topic.

Other useful resources:

Trial until 24 Oct: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War

Oxford users are now invited to trial Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War which is now available via OxLIP+ and SOLO.

This resouTrench journal trial - logorce provides online access to digitised rare magazines published by service personnel of the First World War. Published by every type of military and support service unit, from every involved nation, trench journals were a means of expression through which men and women engaged in all aspects of World War I could share their thoughts and experiences.

It will be useful to those researching literature, history, war studies, cultural studies, and gender studies of the First World War period. The sources include over 1,500 periodicals, drawn from the holdings of major libraries and research collections, including the Imperial War Museums and the British Library.

While the majority of the magazines are English, the collection includes 188 French magazines, 182 German magazines, 10 Italian magazines, etc. In term of geographical spread, most Unit magazines comes from the Western Front and Great Britain, but there are some from Egypt, India, the Eastern Front, Gallipoli‎, etc.

The Illustrated War News 93 p7 May 1918 - Army Music at Kneller Hall School (Proquest: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War)

The Illustrated War News 93 p7 May 1918 – Army Music at Kneller Hall School (Proquest: Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War)

You can search for publications by Unit names, Unit types or Unit locations. In Advanced Search you can also limit your search to types of content, such as cartoons, editorials, poem and drama, but also statistics, photographs, musical scores, etc.

Please leave feedback at History databases desiderata & trials or email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Trial until 26 October: Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 (Archives Unbound)

I am pleased to announce a trial of Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 (Archives Unbound) which is now available to our readers.

Women, War and Society, 1914–1918 - screenshotThis resource fully documents the essential contribution of women during the Great War as well as the revolutionary and permanent impact the War had on the personal, social and professional lives of these women. It is an important collection for research into 20th century social, political, military and gender history.

The resource reproduces primary source material brought together in the Imperial War Museum, London, and originally published by the Air Ministry, League of Mercy and War Fund, Purple Cross Service, Russian Relief Fund and many other organizations. This definitive digital collection of charity and international relief reports, pamphlets, photographs, press cuttings and more is fully searchable.

Please leave feedback at History databases desiderata & trials or email isabel.holowaty@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Related resources:

New: BelgicaPress – digitised Belgium newspapers 1831-1950

BelgicaPress - screenshot - sample newspaperOn 24 April, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek België (Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Royal Library of Belgium) launched BelgicaPress, an online resource providing access to nine digitised historical Belgium newspapers. Over 4 million pages have been digitised. They cover 1831 to 1950 for the following newspapers:

L’Echo De La Presse, Gazet Van Brussel, Het Handelsblad, L’Indépendance Belge (printed in Britain), Le Messager De Gand, De Nieuwe Gids, De Nieuwe Standaard and Het Nieuws Van Den Dag.

However, only content before 1919 is freely accessible over the internet. That is still an amazing 1.2 million pages and particularly good news for 19th century and World War I historians.

How do you spot free content? In your search results list, look out for:BelgicaPress - screenshot - online availableContent after 1919 can only be consulted in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek België itself. And how do you spot those? In your search results list, look out for:

BelgicaPress - screenshot - available in KB onlyThanks to OCR, the content is full-text searchable. However, I have found it somewhat temperamental. For instance, Hitler also retrieves bitter and Ritter.

Once you have an image on the screen, you can zoom in really well and you can pick up a permalink. I particularly like the ability to select a section which then automatically gets enlarged. A nice touch.

A useful search guide is available online.

Despite a few niggles, this resource should be hugely welcomed by researchers and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek België should be praised for its work.

As it’s so useful, it is now also listed in Databases A-Z and SOLO.

Related resources: