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We are currently trialling this new online collection:

Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

This collection brings together material from within former British colonies and Commonwealth nations, alongside some from former French and Portuguese territories, to provide valuable primary source material created for local audiences by local actors during a period of enormous global change. After the Second World War decolonization movements around the world gathered pace, and from the small port colony of Aden to the vast Indian sub-continent, new borders were set and new nations built.

This recorded webinar explores this collection:

The trial runs from now until 17th February 2023.

As always, feedback on collections we are trialling is extremely appreciated. Please send your comments about this collection to (Subject Librarian for Archaeology and History).

This year, the Library has obtained access to hundreds of new digital archives, including the full collection from British Online Archives. These include new collections covering missionary, military, trade union, trade and political records including many collections covering the British Communist Party and some new collections on the East India Company. Overall, they offer a fantastic trove of resources for students and staff to explore. 

selection of British propaganda posters

Other notable recent acquisitions include the Royal Anthropological Institute Archive, and the archive of the Hindustan Times newspaper, which covers 1924-2010.

We have also updated our access to collections from Adam Matthew Digital: this includes the final part of the Mass Observation archives (covering the 2000's), a new archive on interwar culture and other new archives on Victorian film and the East India Company coming soon.

In addition, we have secured a deal with Gale Cengage to access a large number of their digital archives, maximising access for staff and students. These new archives include collections on China, Latin America, U.S. History, U.S. and U.K. declassified documents, political extremism and radicalism and the final part of the State Papers Online. Added to these are numerous newspaper archives, topping up existing access and adding access to the Picture Post magazine archive.


All new resources are available via our A-Z list, or you can browse by theme, time period or country on the Primary Sources Guide. Newspaper and magazine archives are listed on the News Archives Guide.

Ukraine flagDe Gruyter and publishing partners are offering free access until 30 June 2022 to selected ebook titles and journal articles to support research into the war in Ukraine and the history of Eastern European relations.

Materials are drawn from over 115 eBooks and 13 journals in fields such as:

  • European History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Modern History
  • Political Science
  • Slavic Literature
  • Sociology

Find out more about this initiative in the De Gruyter Newsletter or take a look at some of the Highlight Titles.

profile-icon Natasha Bayliss


With news of the discovery of the Endurance in the Antarctic, a timely note that the Royal Geographical Society digital archive includes thousands of primary documents relating to the expedition.

Not only photographs of the ship and her crew but also rare materials relating to the mission, such as Shackleton’s prospectus for investors, as well as papers given by crew members after it (with associated charts).

You can access the RGS archive via the A-Z database listing.

Run a simple search for ‘Endurance’ or ‘Shackleton’ to find material from the Imperial Tans-Antarctic Expredition 1914-1917 (Endurance).

You can also explore Shackleton’s earlier expeditions: National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904 (Discovery) and British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 (Nimrod).

profile-icon Sarah Jones

Staff and students at the University of Exeter now have access to Research Methods Primary Sources This link opens in a new window Description of this database

This tool, developed by publisher Adam Matthew Digital, is designed to help with understanding and critically evaluating primary sources.



It includes:

Learning tools

  • Videos from academics on how they use primary sources in their research, as well as insights into the work of archivists, conservators and digitisation specialists
  • Topics such as 'Why are some sources archived and others not?’, ethical considerations and under-represented voices
  • Guides exploring how to critically evaluate a source, find clues, and weigh sources against each other



Case studies

Over 100 case studies focusing on:

  • source types: correspondence, diaries, photographs and many more different types
  • themes: disability, the environment, gender, popular culture, religion, war and more
  • data: case studies from scholars discussing how to find and analyse data from historical documents



Practice Sources

Over 300 digitised items from 50 archives around the world, allowing you to practise using historical material.

Picture of laptop and tablet showing Sage Research Methods database, together with books, spectacles, and an appleAbout Sage Research Methods

For several years, the University has made use of the Sage Research Methods database.  This database comprises numerous modules and prior to summer 2021 the modules were primarily in written form; journal entries, books and encyclopaedia.  For 2021/2022, an enhanced portfolio of over 3,000 additional materials has been made available and encompasses video, datasets and research cases, together with learning activities to test understanding

Educators can call on multimedia and lesson content to assist students to build their research methodology understanding and skills throughout their module activities.  Students can explore the realities of research through working with practice datasets and learning from real life research experiences that are featured in the  video and cases content.  This helps bring the research experience to life in a way that is not possible through the book and journal content.


Access Sage Research Methods

Login with your University username and passwords to SAGE Research Methods.


More about the new content

The new content includes datasets, cases and video

SAGE Research Methods Datasets

A collection of sample datasets and instructional guides that can be used to support the teaching and independent learning of quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques.

SAGE Research Methods Cases

Detailed records of how real research projects are conducted, written by the researchers themselves. They explain why the researchers chose the research methods, how they overcame challenges, what went well, and what they might have done differently

SAGE Research Methods Video

A streaming video collection created to support undergraduate teaching, student reference, research projects and higher level academic interest material. Content includes tutorials, interviews, video case studies, and mini-documentaries covering the entire research process.

Click to see more info on datasets, cases and video

Link to PDF on Sage Research Methods: introducing datasets, cases and videos


Help and Support

For online help and support, take a look at Sage's Training Centre.

Link through to the Sage Training Resource Centre

If you are completely new to the Sage Research Methods database then you may like to join one of the upcoming webinars which will give you an introduction to the service.  Upcoming dates are: 

Mon 11 October @ 14.00 BST - RSVP

Mon 15 November @ 14.00 GMT - RSVP

Your liaison librarians are also available for help and support.  Just get in touch if you have questions about the database and how you might use it within your teaching.

profile-icon Nicola Nye

Exeter Medieval Online hero imageExeter Medieval Online combines the internationally renowned print series Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies and Exeter Studies in Medieval Europe and makes them available online for the first time.

Explore the full e-book collection of over 80 titles in Library Search.

Explore legal material from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century. 

Together, the distinct collections that comprise The Making of Modern Law cover nearly every aspect of American and British law and dig deep into the legal traditions of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other jurisdictions, both classic and contemporary. Encompassing a range of analytical, theoretical, and practical literature, these collections support and complement the traditional study of law by featuring valuable books from the most influential legal writers throughout history.

profile-icon Nicola Nye

A digitised collection of Medieval artworks produced between late Antiquity and the sixteenth century.  

Formerly  known as the Index of Christian Art, the collection has expanded in scope and now includes secular subjects as well as a growing number of subjects from medieval Jewish and Islamic culture.


Staff and students at the University of Exeter now have access to Gale Reference Complete This link opens in a new window Description of this database.

Gale Reference Complete is an extensive package of primary and secondary sources, and is made up of three components:


Search across millions of journal articles. View newspaper articles from major regional, national and local newspapers. Search across all resources or access each separately: Gale Academic OneFile, Gale General OneFile and Gale OneFile: News



Over 350 archival collections containing scans of monographs and manuscripts from their source libraries. Topics include African American Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian Studies, British history, Holocaust studies, LGBT studies, Latin America and Caribbean studies, Middle East studies, political science, religious studies, and Women’s studies. View the collections here: Archives Unbound


Access criticism and reviews, literary works including poems, short stories, speeches and plays, and biographical information on writers from all around the world, from different time periods and disciplines. Search across all of the literature resources or access each separately: Literature Resource Center, LitFinder, Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete OnlineSomething About the Author Online and Contemporary Authors Online 


If you need any help using Gale Reference Complete, please contact your Liaison Librarian.

profile-icon Nicola Nye

The correspondence and papers of missionary societies work within North America & Canada, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australasia during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Providing insight into the work, influence and changing attitudes of those involved in spreading the word throughout communities living under colonised rule.

profile-icon Nicola Nye


Detailed records of the transatlantic slave trade that operated from Africa and America to Britain. The series includes details of slave traders, business records, accounts of slave transportation and information on the plantations slaves were forced to work. Uncover the philosophies that endorsed or fought against the existence of this trade in people.


One of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese and Japanese ancient books including volumes of ancient books covering historical, political, economic, religious, philosophic, literary, ethnic and geographic documents. (Chinese language)

Si Ku Quan Shu
This is the largest collection of ancient books in China's history, spanning from the Pre-Qin period to the early Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty, covering many academic fields.

Qing Dynasty Archives
This archive includes precious historical collections such as Qing shi lu, Wu cao hui dian, Da qing jin shen quan shu, Da qing fu zheng yao lan quan shu, Da qing zhong shu bei lan, Huang di yu pi, and more.

A digital archive of monographs and periodicals on political economy, trade, finance, industry, business, labour, and related subjects. The archive supports research on critical topics, such as world trade, finance and capital formation, transportation and the growth of cities, industrialisation, imperialism and colonialism, socialism, labour and poverty, and other areas of study. This collection is of particular value to anyone with an interest in early twentieth century history, political science, philosophy, business and economic law, and women’s studies.

“A magazine devoted to social and political problems, literature and art… .”  

Published initially under the aegis of the of 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, their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, praising their achievements in the arts and the sciences. Originally published simultaneously in Russian, English, German and French, the magazine went on to add more foreign language editions aiming to reach even wider audiences both in the West and elsewhere to balance the Western narrative about the Soviet Union in these countries with a pro-Soviet ideological counterweight.

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.

Archive of the weekly periodical published by the BBC for radio listeners and later, TV viewers. Includes transcripts and commentary of broadcasts as well as articles and interviews.

The Listener is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts. In addition to commenting on the intellectual broadcasts of the week, the Listener also previewed major literary and musical shows and regularly reviewed new books.

Over its sixty-two-year history, the Listener attracted the contributions of literary icons such as E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, and Virginia Woolf. It also provided an important platform for new writers and poets, with W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath, and Philip Larkin being notable examples.

LGBT Thought and Culture is an online resource hosting the key works and archival documentation of LGBT political and social movements throughout the 20th century and into the present day. The collection contains rare archival content, including seminal texts, letters, periodicals, speeches, interviews, and ephemera. 




Key highlights include:

- The Pat Rocco Collection: Acquired from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, this collection features ephemora and correspondence from gay rights organizer and filmmaker Pat Rocco, documenting his impact in Southern California and Hawaii in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Includes letters from SPREE (The Society of Pat Rocco Enlightened Enthusiasts)
- The Jeanne Cordova Papers: The collection offers ephemera documenting the 1970’s activism of editor Jeanne Cordova. It includes correspondence regarding her magazine The Lesbian Tide, and other letters that provide insight into her role as a leader for Los Angeles-based LGBT and feminist movements.
- The Magnus Hirschfeld Collection:  Including the professional correspondence, publications, confidential reports, news clippings, court documents, and other materials from renowned German sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935).

A substantial archive of publications produced by the Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS), a unit operating within the United States CIA, from 1957-1995. The JPRS unit produced English translations of foreign-language monographs, reports, serials, journal and newspaper articles, and radio and television broadcasts from across the world, with a focus on communist and developing countries. These translations were produced for use by U.S government officials, U.S. agencies and research and industrial communities.

You can search across the entire collection:

This collection, curated in association with the National Archives (UK), provides an unparalleled insight into the political, economic, and military foundations of the post-war international order. The materials, which are diverse in nature, cover a wide range of subject matter, shedding light on the perspectives of various state and non-state actors during periods of both cooperation and conflict. The United Nations (UN)Marshall Plan, World BankInternational Monetary Fund (IMF)General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and European Economic Community (EEC), to name but a few examples, are all accounted for.  

profile-icon Nicola Nye

A bibliography of newspapers and periodicals published in the 19th century. The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals aims to include every periodical and newspaper published on a regular basis, from daily to annually, in every language, within England.

Search by title, person, publisher or town to find brief details of each publication and the physical location of copies held in the UK. 

We have short term trial access to Gale Reference CompleteAccess is available until 12 March 2021.

Gale Reference Complete provides access to an extensive package of primary and secondary sources.


You can search across all content using the Cross Search tool, or you can explore the individual components, which consist of:


General research: current journals, newspapers, and periodicals

  • Gale Academic OneFile - millions of articles from over 17,000 scholarly journals and other authoritative sources.
  • Gale General OneFile - general-interest periodical resource 
  • Gale OneFile: News - access to more than 2,300 major regional, national, and local newspapers, as well as leading titles from around the world. It also includes thousands of images, radio, and TV broadcasts and transcripts.



  • Cross-search these collections with Gale Literature:
    • Literature Resource Center – up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism, and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods, and from around the world
    • LitFinder – a wealth of literary works, including over 150,000 full-text poems and 800,000 poetry citations, as well as short stories, speeches, and plays
    • Subcollections of eBook titles – including Scribner Writers and Twayne's Authors
    • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online – signed scholarly essays that provide essential context to understand the careers and writings of more than 12,000 authors from all time periods and all parts of the world
    • Something About the Author Online – engaging biographies of classic, contemporary, and emerging authors and illustrators of children's and young adult literature
    • Contemporary Authors Online – current biographical and bibliographical data on more than 120,000 modern authors


Primary Sources

  • Archives Unbound - includes approximately 360 collections. Broad topic clusters include African American Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian Studies, British history, Holocaust studies, LGBT studies, Latin America and Caribbean studies, Middle East studies, political science, religious studies, and women’s studies.



We'd be interested in your feedback on this trial.  If it would be useful for your teaching or research, please send your feedback to your Liaison Librarian.

As part of their response to COVID-19, British Online Archives (BOA) has provided the University of Exeter with free access to their entire database of digital primary resources for 30 days from 1st February.


Their website hosts over 4 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, and are of use to undergraduate students and experienced academics alike.


Themes include:



To access BOA, click on the access link below and login with your University username and password

Access Link: British Online Archives

Browse BOA’s 95 collections and read how they are trying to help those working and studying in Higher Education during the pandemic. BOA say that the free access initiative will be continually reviewed and extended month by month if feasible.


Watch the short video below to learn more about the structure and content of the archives

You can also use the Guide to Advanced Searching to assist with effective searching.

If you would like to know more or have any feedback, please contact your Liaison Librarian. 

We have short term trial access to the Making the Modern Law Series.  Access is available until 8th February.  

The series is made up of 7 primary source databases.  Find out more about these below and use the links for access.


The Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers (Primary Sources)

Search the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records on free speech, citizenship, race, discrimination, and other topics

The Making of Modern Law: Foreign Primary Sources, 1600-1970 (Primary Sources) -

Access four centuries of historic legal codes from northern, central, and eastern Europe.

The Making of Modern Law: Foreign, Comparative, and International Law, 1600-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Explore four centuries of full-text legal history from a global, interdisciplinary perspective.

The Making of Modern Law: Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 1950-1980 -

Discover frequently studied case histories from the U.S. courts of appeals.

The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Search this comprehensive collection of legal treatises on U.S. and British law published from 1800 through 1926.

The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, 1600-1970 (Primary Sources) -

Find state and municipal codes, documents relating to constitutional conventions, and other American legal history resources.

The Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Read through full-text documents from Anglo-American trials, including transcripts, printed accounts, arbitrations, and books.


Cross searching

It is also possible to cross search one or more of these databases using the enhanced Gale Primary Sources platform. 

Use this link for access and click on the Legal Studies limiter Just to add that we have recently updated the Gale Primary Sources platform homepage to include a Legal Studies limiter:


We'd be interested in your feedback on this trial.  If it would be useful for your teaching or research, please send your feedback to Lee Snook.

profile-icon Lee Snook

Throughout March we are marking #AsianHeritageMonth with @ExeterGuild

We've complied an Asian Heritage LibGuide to flag all the great resources available in this area. 

Click on the LibGuide image below to explore all the resources.  As well as print and ebooks in the library, you'll discover a wide range of databases including newspaper archives, official publications, literature collections and lots more.

Field is required.