The Death of Winston Churchill: As Seen in One American Newspaper Archive

January 24, 2015, was the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. The soldier, politician and writer lived a long and notable life, which was extensively covered in American newspapers. From his 1899 prison escape during the Boer War, he was in the public eye, serving in parliament from 1900 on and in government almost continuously from 1908 to 1929. He took a brief time away from government during World War I, when, following the battle of Gallipoli—which he championed, but which was a failure—he resigned as first Lord of Admiralty to serve on the front lines.

From 1929 through the 1930s, he was an early and implacable foe of Hitler and the Nazis. He decried the Munich Agreement. He argued for the rearming of Britain. He re-entered government in 1939 and became Prime Minister in 1940. He made mistakes in and out of office. He returned Britain to the gold standard as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He supported the King in the Abdication Crisis. He was against freedom for India. There was no other politician in Britain who could have rallied the people and worked with Roosevelt and, later, Stalin to win World War II.
The Death of Winston Churchill: As Seen in One American Newspaper Archive

Ukraine: Crossroads of Conquest

There is no lack of irony in Russia’s recent use of Cossack militia in the embattled Ukraine. In the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994, within the document titled “Soviet Total War – ‘Historic Mission’ of Violence and Deceit – Volume I” [85/1 12017 H.Doc 227, p. 723], we find “Russia’s two histories” described as a tension between “Russian state imperialism” and “lawless bands of fugitive peasants” which resisted czarist control even as their conquests consolidated the territories that would become the Soviet Union.

In their latest incarnation, however, it appears that the Cossack wolves have been domesticated, culminating in their revival as the Russian state paramilitary force they are today. Clothed as much in the romance of conquest as in their distinctive uniforms, the former renegades now serve as the vanguard of Russian nationalist aspirations in the western reaches of the former Soviet Union.

Ukraine: Crossroads of Conquest

Free Webinar! American Broadsides and Ephemera: Exploring Visual Culture in 19th-Century America

Readex will offer a live webinar on Feb. 26, 2015, for librarians, faculty and students who have an interest in Visual Culture studies. This in-depth session will explore the content, features and functionality of American Broadsides and Ephemera, 1749-1900, a Readex Archive of Americana collection.

Based on the American Antiquarian Society’s landmark collection, American Broadsides and Ephemera provides nearly 30,000 fully searchable images of visual and graphical materials printed in America during the 18th and 19th centuries. These rare materials provide
Free Webinar! American Broadsides and Ephemera: Exploring Visual Culture in 19th-Century America

“Beware of Imposters and Sharpers” and Other Advice for Civil War Soldiers and Surgeons

The January release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society contains works providing advice to discharged soldiers returning home, guidance on potential pension benefits, and instructions to surgeons on the changing use of anesthetics. Also included is a brilliantly illustrated biography of Robert E. Lee.

The Soldiers' Guide in Philadelphia (1861)
Published for gratuitous distribution by Robert R. Corson

This nifty city guide for soldiers includes railroad timetables as well as other pertinent information. Its “Instructions for Discharged Soldiers” provides rates of travel pay in addition to pension amounts for certain veterans and rates of survivors’ benefits for the heirs of deceased soldiers. It also gives special instructions to disabled veterans, directing them to the Citizens’ Volunteer Hospital where they will receive:

…every attention that kindness and medical aid can suggest, for the alleviation of their sufferings. Those soldiers who can bear transportation to other hospitals are carefully taken thither in the ambulances provided by the various Fire Companies of the city.

Advice is also tendered to those traveling beyond Philadelphia:

“Beware of Imposters and Sharpers” and Other Advice for Civil War Soldiers and Surgeons

Women in Disguise, Distress and Even in Battle: Riveting Works by Women in American Pamphlets

Although men constitute a preponderance of the authors of the more than 25,000 American pamphlets in the New-York Historical Society’s extraordinary collection, many works written and published by women are also included. From the most recent release of American Pamphlets, Series 1, 1822-1922, here are brief descriptions of three gripping personal narratives by American women:


The life and adventures of Ann Eliza Dow being a true narrative written by herself (1845)

Women in Disguise, Distress and Even in Battle: Riveting Works by Women in American Pamphlets

The “Unhallowed, Demoralizing and Blighting Influences” of Slavery

The December release of Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia includes documents on an arresting array of subjects. Highlighted here are imprints about natural history, a religious justification of slavery, judicial opinions in the Dred Scott case, and a critique of a work of Reconstruction-era fiction.



A General Introduction to the Natural History of Mammiferous Animals, with a Particular View of the Physical History of Man, and the More Closely Allied Genera of the Order Quadrumana, or Monkeys (1841)
By William Charles Linnaeus Martin

This voluminous work ranges over many topics and includes this brief foray into phrenology.  

The “Unhallowed, Demoralizing and Blighting Influences” of Slavery

Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees – From 1936 to Today

On January 6, 2015, the newest inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced. They were three pitchers (the first time three pitchers were elected on one ballot) and a second baseman: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, and Craig Biggio. The three pitchers, Johnson, Smoltz, and Martinez, were on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The last time four players were voted in on the same ballot was in 1955, the year Joe DiMaggio was elected, two years after he was first eligible in 1953.

It is difficult to understand how a player like DiMaggio was not elected to the Hall of Fame until his third year of eligibility!

Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees – From 1936 to Today

Make the Most of Your Readex Collections: Spring 2015 Training Schedule

Readex online training sessions for spring 2015 are organized around major Readex collection families. Register today for one or more of these sessions!

  • America's Historical Imprints [Register]

Collections covered include Afro-Americana Imprints; The American Civil War Collection; American Pamphlets; The American Slavery Collection; Early American Imprints, Series I and II: Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker; Supplements from the Library Company of Philadelphia; and American Broadsides and Ephemera.

  • America's Historical Newspapers and World Newspaper Archive [Register]

Collections covered include Early American Newspapers, American Ethnic Newspapers, Caribbean Newspapers, 20th-Century American Newspapers, American Newspaper Archives and the World Newspaper Archive series.

Make the Most of Your Readex Collections: Spring 2015 Training Schedule

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