Tag Archives: primary sources

British records on “Apartheid South Africa” boosts primary resources on South Africa

Columbia faculty and students can now access the full text of digitized selected documents from the British National Archives on South Africa during the “apartheid” era.  The “Archives Direct” collection on South Africa from Adam Matthew includes files from the Foreign, Colonial, Dominion and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices spanning the period 1948 to 1980; divided into three sections: 1948-1966, 1967-1975, and 1976-1980.  For more details, see:  Nature and scope of the collection.

This new digital resource complements other “primary resource” materials relating to 20th century South Africa and the southern Africa region available to researchers at Columbia, including: Aluka–The Struggle for Liberation in Southern Africa South African Government Gazettes–1910-1993 and 1994 to the Present ; Digital National Security Archive: South Africa: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1962-1989 ; The Gay J. MacDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers ; and, The Papers of The Committee for Health in Southern Africa.

For earlier historical periods, researchers at Columbia can search other “online” sources in Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966 ; Nineteenth Century Collections: Europe and Africa ; and, World Newspaper Archive–African newspapers before 1923.

A “subject” search in CLIO, using the terms “South Africa Sources”, will provide a greater sense of the “primary resource” offerings on South Africa at Columbia in print, microform, and electronic formats.

Himalayan Times Archive (1947-1963)

A digital archive of the Himalayan Times, an English language newspaper published in Kalimpong, India is available from Heidelberger historische Bestände — Digital for the years 1949-1963. The newspaper provides historical material on social and political developments in the Eastern Himalayas after World War II.

EIGHT early American Jewish newspapers, now available digitally!

I am pleased to announce that the following Early American newspapers are now available digitally through the following links.  With the exception of the American Israelite and American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger, all newspapers are freely available through the Historical Jewish Press website

Columbia is very proud to have been involved, with New York University and the New York Public Library, in helping the American Jewish Press to be added to the Historical Jewish Press’s corpus.  We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the years to come.

In English:

1. Occident and American Jewish Advocate: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/JPress/English/Pages/The-Occident-and-American-Jewish-Advocate.aspx
2. B’nai Brith Messenger: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/JPress/English/Pages/BBM.aspx
3. Chicago Sentinel: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/JPress/English/Pages/Sentinal.aspx

4. American Israelite: http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio11136600

5. American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger: http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio11136586

In Ladino:
1. La America: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/JPress/English/Pages/usa-section.aspx
2. El Progreso: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/JPress/English/Pages/epo.aspx

In Yiddish:
1. Morgen Zjournal: http://jpress.org.il/Olive/APA/NLI/?action=tab&tab=browse&pub=TJM

(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies blog)

Human Rights 365

110169028 crop December 10th is Human Rights Day, first designated by the United Nations in 1950 to bring attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles it espoused. This year’s theme emphasizes that every day is human rights day. I think it’s fair to say that every day is human rights day within the Columbia Libraries; our collections and initiatives to preserve and make available resources related to human rights are extensive and involve continuous effort and commitment. Some highlights of our collections:

And in recognition of today’s release of Brazil’s Truth Commission Report:

Contact chrdr@columbia.edu  to learn more about human rights resources in the Libraries. Follow us on Twitter @HRdocumentation And follow the Human Rights day conversation #Rights365.

Six Archives Unbound Digital Collections

Columbia University Libraries has purchased six new Archives Unbound digital collections of primary sources:

  • Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files (9,674 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    Afghanistan’s history, internal political development, foreign relations, and very existence as an independent state have largely been determined by its geographic location at the crossroads of Central, West, and South Asia. This collection provides an opportunity to peer into the mountains, valleys, villages, and cities that is called Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan in 1919: the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1898 images from the British Library)
    The Third Anglo-Afghan War began on 6 May 1919 and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. While it was essentially a minor tactical victory for the British in so much as they were able to repel the regular Afghan forces, in many ways it was a strategic victory for the Afghans. This collection of confidential correspondence, memoranda, orders, reports and other materials provide a broad spectrum of information on military policy and administration, including the organization, operations and equipment of the army during the war.
  • The Hindu Conspiracy Cases: Activities of the Indian Independence Movement in the U.S., 1908-1933 (2,706 images from the Justice Department Library and U.S. National Archives)
    During World War I, Indian nationalists took advantage of Great Britain’s preoccupation with the European war by attempting to foment revolution in India to overthrow British rule. Their activities were aided politically and financially by the German Government. In the spring of 1918, the “Hindu Conspiracy Case” trial (as it was called in the press and Department of Justice correspondence) was held in San Francisco, at which 29 people were convicted in indictments arising from the arms shipment. Indictments arising from the fraud case were dismissed.
  • Indochina, France, and the Viet Minh War, 1945-1954: Records of the U.S. State Department, Part 1, 1945-1949 (10,715 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    This collection contains records relating to the internal affairs of Indochina, during the period 1945-49. The records include instructions sent to and correspondence received by the State Department; the State Department’s internal documentation, as well as correspondence between the Department and other federal departments and agencies, Congress, and private individuals and organizations; telegrams, airgrams, instructions, inquiries, studies, memoranda, situation reports, translations, special reports, plans, and official and unofficial correspondence.
  • India from Crown Rule to Republic, 1945-1949: Records of the U.S. State Department (53,824 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    This collection identifies the key issues, individuals, and events in the history of the Indian Subcontinent between 1945 and 1949, and places them in the context of the complex and dynamic regional strategic, political, and economic processes that have fashioned India in the postwar period.
  • The Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920 (5,280 images from the British Library)
    For generations of British and Indian Officers and men, the North-West Frontier was the scene of repeated skirmishes and major campaigns against the trans-border Pathan tribes who inhabited the mountainous no-man’s land between India and Afghanistan. This collection contains Army Lists; Orders; Instructions; Regulations; Acts; Manuals; Strength Returns; Orders of Battle; Administration Summaries; organization, commissions, committees, reports, maneuvers; departments of the Indian Army; and regimental narratives.

3 New British Online Archives Resources

Columbia University Libraries has purchased three new British Online Archives historical collections:

The Indian papers of the 4th Earl of Minto
(From the National Library of Scotland) The papers of Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the 4th Earl of Minto, (1845-1914), Viceroy of India between 1905 and 1910, cover a period of dramatic and momentous change in the history of colonial India. The beginning of Minto’s tenure in India was marked by unprecedented anti-colonial protests against the partition of Bengal, initiated by his predecessor, Lord Curzon of Kedleston. It ended with the crucial ‘Morley-Minto reforms’ contained in the Government of India Act and the Indian Councils Act, both of 1909. These two new laws established, among other things, the constitutional principle of separate electorates for India’s Muslim communities.

The Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774
(From the National Library of Wales) The papers of two leading actors in the East India Company in mid-18th century Bengal. By reproducing in full Clive’s English and Persian correspondence, it is possible to compare firsthand Indian and European accounts of Clive’s resounding victory in 1757 at Plassey over the superior French-backed force of the Nawab of Bengal in the aftermath of the notorious ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ incident; of the conclusive routing of the Dutch in 1759; or of the ill-fated career of Clive’s chief administrator of revenues, Maharaja Nandakumara, including supplementary material on his trial and execution in 1775 for forgery drawn from the 1st Earl of Minto’s papers at National Library of Scotland. Complementing our understanding of this turning point in the history of British power in South Asia, are some 2,000 items of John Carnac’s correspondence. This correspondece’s emphasis on the years between 1763 and 1766 helps to fill the gap in events during Clive’s absence from India between March 1760 and April 1765, when he returned to Britain. At the same time, the collection amplifies our understanding of Clive’s third and final tour of duty, providing an opportunity to contrast how two senior British figures set about implementing the EIC’s new approach, combining commercial with growing political power.

The Meerut Conspiracy Trial, 1929-1933
(From the National Library of Scotland) Part 1 of the BOA series, People & Protest in Britain and Abroad, 1800-2000. Collectively drawn from the British Library, Labour History Archive & Study Centre and Working Class Movement Library, these documents bring together an array of differing, and balanced, perspectives on both the trial itself as well as its consequences for British imperialism as the sun was beginning to set on the Empire.

Human Rights Day 2013

On December 10th, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Two years later the UN proclaimed December 10th as Human Rights Day. This day is commemorated throughout the world and calls attention to the ongoing work of promoting and protecting human rights. Columbia University Libraries has made a significant investment in supporting teaching, learning, and research related to human rights and related advocacy movements. Our Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research acquires unique primary resources, including the archives of several major human rights organizations. We have a network of subject specialist librarians who build excellent general collections of resources from around the world in many languages.

Some highlights our our collections: Human Rights organizational archives,  including the records of Human Rights Watch , Amnesty International USA, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Committee for Health in Southern Africa.

 

Notable individuals’ papers

  • Gay J. McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers, which includes records of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project.  This collection documents Ms. McDougall’s work in coordinating the defense of political prisoners, and her work on South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission.  This collection is being processed.  Please check our Center’s website for updates on the availability of the collection for research.
  • Telford Taylor Papers, 1918-1998.  Taylor was a prominent lawyer who served as Counsel  for the Prosecution at the International and Nuremberg Military Tribunals.

Digital Collections:

Marathi Manuscripts Digitized

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library has added two new catalogs of digitized Marathi Manuscripts. The archival partner for this project, “Preserving Marathi Manuscripts and Making Them Accessible,” was the Marathi Manuscript Centre, Pune.

Project EAP023 includes digital images and a project description.

Project EAP248 includes digital images and a project description.

Gandhi Heritage Portal

The Gandhi Heritage Portal was launched by the Government of India on September 2, 2013. It includes 100 English language volumes of The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 82 Gujarati language volumes of Gandhiji no Aksharadeha (ગાંધીજીનો અક્ષરદેહ), and 97 Hindi language volumes of Sampūrṇa Gāndhī vāṅmaya (सम्पूर्ण गांधी वाङ्ग्मय). There are two modes for reading materials: "Archival" (scanned images of the originals) and "Enhanced" (simple black and white images). The portal includes a gallery of multimedia including photos, videos, and political cartoons. A Journals by Gandhiji tab provides full scans of journals and newspapers owned or edited by Gandhi including Indian Opinion, Young India, Navjivan, Harijan Bandhu, Harijan, and Harijan Sevak. Approximately 5,000 pages of material are presently available; the site will eventually expand to over 15,000 pages.

For more details, see the announcement in The Hindu.

Online Resources: Holocaust and Genocide

 

The Shoah Visual History Archive is largest database of first-person Holocaust testimonies, founded by Steven Spielberg.  With over 50,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors and liberators, carefully indexed in short segments for ease of searchability and use, the VHA is a tremendous resource for the history of the Holocaust.

Recently, the VHA has expanded to include other genocides, and now also holds 65 indexed testimonies of survivors from the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide.

To search the database, visit the Visual History Archive.  Once you create a username and password, you will be allowed access to the tremendous index within the database.  You can search by basic keyword, but also limit by qualifiers like "Warsaw" or 'ghetto bribery," to narrow your search and make it extremely specific.

Due to the large size of the database, the videos are not held locally at Columbia, but are uploaded upon request to a Columbia server.  Once you find a testimony that looks appropriate for your research, click on the link to "request this testimony."  You will receive an email notification when it is available for viewing. Because the uploaded videos are held on a Columbia server, the testimonies can only be viewed on the physical campus.  If you are not in New York, or can't get to Columbia, you can view testimonies at one of many access sites (sfi.usc.edu/locator/) located around the world.

(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies blog: https://blogs.cul.columbia.edu/jewishstudiesatcul)