World History


Announcing the digital edition of Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star, 1852-1922

Old Evening Star Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. -- Source: Carol M. Highsmith Archive (Library of Congress)

This spring Readex will begin releasing a complete 70-year span of The Evening Star—one of the most influential newspapers in U.S. history. For more than a century, historians have regarded The Evening Star as the newspaper of record for the nation’s capital. Today, curators from leading newspaper repositories cite this long-running afternoon daily as one of their most heavily researched papers.

Man buying The Evening Star from newsboy -- Source: National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

Announcing the digital edition of Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star, 1852-1922

The Lady’s Maid: A Life in Service in America

Downton Abbey, a drama that recently ended its second season on PBS about the English aristocracy and their servants during the Edwardian era, has become a cult hit in the United States. A great deal of its appeal is nostalgia for an elegant way of life unfamiliar to most of us. And there is likely not a woman alive who has not wished for a lady’s maid (of a nicer sort) than the dour and scheming O’Brien, lady’s maid to Lady Grantham (Cora Crawley). Ladies’ maids were part seamstress, masseuse, hairdresser, beautician and secretary. Unlike the rest of the servants, they reported directly to the lady of the house rather than to the housekeeper or butler, which set them apart from the others. As Downton Abbey makes abundantly clear, a strict hierarchy ruled "below stairs" too. The butler, housekeeper and ladies' maids were at the top. Because of the close nature of the relationship between the lady of the house and her maid, maids were carefully selected. According to The Lady’s Maid: Her Duties and How to Perform Them, a manual published in 1870,
The Lady’s Maid: A Life in Service in America

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler (by Louis E. Grivetti)

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler

By Louis E. Grivetti, Professor of Nutrition, Emeritus, University of California, Davis

International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2010 Award Finalist in the Culinary History category

Between the years 1998-2008 my large research team had the good fortune to be funded by a generous grant from Mars, Incorporated, to investigate the culinary, medicinal, and social history of chocolate.1 Our initial research focused on chocolate-related information from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and the transfer of medical-related uses of chocolate into Western Europe. Between the years 2004-2008 our research shifted to the introduction, distribution, and social uses of chocolate within North America. To this end we paid special attention to cacao/chocolate-related aspects of agronomy, anthropology, archaeology and art history, culinary arts, diet and nutrition, economics, ethnic and gender studies, geography, history, legal and medical issues, and social uses.

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler (by Louis E. Grivetti)

Finding Fatalism and Overconfidence in a Cruel Port (by Ian Olivo Read)

Finding Fatalism and Overconfidence in a Cruel Port: The Bubonic Plague’s First Appearance in Brazil

By Ian Olivo Read, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, Soka University of America

Published by Stanford University Press on January 25, 2012

Finding Fatalism and Overconfidence in a Cruel Port (by Ian Olivo Read)

The Real War Horses of America

Michael Morpurgo’s fictional story “War Horse” has gone from a beloved children's book to successful stage production to bestselling Hollywood movie directed by Steven Spielberg. But who were the real war horses of America?

The Real War Horses of America

Amundsen, Scott and Their Race to the South Pole

The Morning Oregonian (Aug. 23, 1908)

It was 100 years ago this month that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, reached the South Pole. For the first time, two expeditions were making attempts to get there in the same summer season. Amundsen had been a member of an earlier expedition to Antarctica and had led expeditions in the Arctic. Robert F. Scott had led an earlier British expedition to Antarctica, and he was back to make another attempt to reach the pole. Their expeditions and their leadership styles continue to fascinate us.

Amundsen, Scott and Their Race to the South Pole

Pearl Harbor: As Reported the Day After

Today is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Here's how four American newspapers reported it the next day on their front pages.    
Pearl Harbor: As Reported the Day After

A uniquely valuable archive of translated foreign materials

 

Discover Joint Publications Research Service Reports

A uniquely valuable archive of translated foreign materials

Just Browsing: Cool Items from the Past

One of the joys of browsing American historical newspapers is discovering the unexpected from around the world. Take this photograph, for example, of a car being dragged across a Siberian river during the Peking-to-Paris race in 1907:

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer; Date: Aug. 18, 1907; Page: 29

Or this photo of European ostrich racing in the 1920s:

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, Date: Sept. 28, 1924; Page 76

Just Browsing: Cool Items from the Past

The Bomarc Missile Plutonium Spill Crisis: Exercises in Propaganda and Containment in 1960 and Beyond

According to the Boeing Corporation’s history of its Bomarc missile,

Source: Boeing.com

The Bomarc Missile Plutonium Spill Crisis: Exercises in Propaganda and Containment in 1960 and Beyond

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