Criminalizing Sexual and Gender Deviance

Posted on May 10, 2016

By: Jen Manion

The changing meanings and usages of terms related to gender and sexuality can be charted in the American Antiquarian Society Collection on Literature, Reports, and True Crime in Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920, which features a diverse range of true crime tales, dime store novels, formal state reports, and longer accounts, factual and fictitious. The term “gay” appears in over one thousand monographs over a one-hundred-year period from 1820–1930, peaking in the 1860s with 318 documents describing spirits, songs, companions, groups, conventions, deportment, and art. The term “unsex” appears a scant nine times. One such usage appeared in a trial testimony implicating a woman as an accessory to a crime for which her husband was charged:

But if you dare to raise your arm, to unsex yourself and engage in a conspiracy against the nation’s life and the nation’s honor, to make a widow of one of your own sex, to strike down the father and husband in the presence of his wife and child, I call upon this honest jury of my countrymen to spurn that spirit of mawkish sentimentality.[i]

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A Captivating Crime Story: the Brighton Railway Murder

Posted on May 4, 2016

By: Daniel Pullian

The compartment was much bespattered with blood’: the Brighton Railway Murder

Barely a week went by in the nineteenth-century press without a sensational crime story appearing. Whether it was the gory prospect of blood and dismembered bodies, or simply the thrill of a classic ‘whodunit’, there can be little doubt that crime reporting made compelling copy. This was certainly the case with the ‘Brighton Railway Murder’ which took place in the summer of 1881. From beginning to end, the case captivated the imagination of the British people, eager to discover who had murdered wealthy tradesman Frederick Gold, and what would become of the culprit. A search of Gale Artemis: Primary Sources highlights the case’s notoriety, giving me the perfect opportunity to trace its development.    

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Peaceful and Quiet Conduct on the Streets of the Village: New York City in the Years following Stonewall

Posted April 7, 2016

By Caitlyn Colman-McGaw

It’s now widely acknowledged that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 represent the historical tipping point of the Gay Rights movement. Years and years of work by LGBT folks in New York City and beyond culminated in riots on the street of the Village. With this year representing the 45th anniversary of Stonewall I decided to take a look back at what was it like in the years after Marsha P. Johnson & Company threw the first brick and ignited a movement. Specifically, what was it like to be a lesbian in the 70s in New York City? Gale’sArchives of Human Sexuality and Identity is a fantastic place to discover more fantastic information.

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Vast digitizing project will put Harvard’s colonial archives online

Published on April 6, 2016 Harvard University has launched a project to digitize almost half a million items from its 17th and 18th century archives – the largest digitizing effort the university has ever undertaken. The letters, journals, documents and drawings tell the story not only of the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning, but … Read more

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity: What is It?

Posted February 24, 2016

By Robert L. Lisiecki

As you may or may not know, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, recently released a new primary source collection, Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940This collection brings together approximately 1.5 million pages of primary sources and is perfect for students, educators, and researchers looking for the largest available, accessible collection materials supporting Women, Gender, LGBTQ, and Sexuality studies.

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Women Unite!

Posted on February 17, 2016

I love learning about history, and there’s nothing like having the entire month of March devoted to the often overlooked contributions of women.I take my middle-school daughter to historic sites (sometimes with her feet dragging), and it’s great when she connects to historic figures to further understand what she reads about in books.  Here are some notable women we’ve “met” in our travels:

  • A Deborah Sampson re-enactor was our tour guide along Boston’s Freedom Trail. She related her fascinating story – dressing as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War – as we toured some of the sites of the American Revolution.  Years later, she fought for – and eventually received – a soldier’s pension.

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Meet the Growing Need for Transnational History with America in the World

Posted on February 3, 2016

Help undergraduates examine the role of the U.S. from early days to the present with a new title from Charles Scribner’s Sons, American in the World. One of the first references with a transnational perspective, this Dictionary of American History supplement focuses on the global role of the U.S. and Americans, while also analyzing global influences on the U.S. Supporting undergraduates, community college students, and high schoolers alike, this text offers signed and peer-reviewed articles as well as some 100 photographs, maps, and graphics.

Learn more about American in the World with Editor-in-chief Dr. Edward J. Blum as he weighs in on the value of America in the World.

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ECCO the World, and Why…

Published on December 18, 2015

Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) recently celebrated its 14th anniversary on December 4th and it got me to thinking.  Most commonly, the conversations surrounding the 18th century point to the major stories or developments of the American Revolution, French Revolution, and Industrial Revolution. For example, the industrialization of the world and manufacturing of powered, special-purpose machinery, factories, and mass production.  Others might think about the American Revolution’s Boston Tea Party or the Battle of Bunker Hill, for instance.  But what about the moments that lead up to these events?

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Tales for the ‘Every-day Reader’: Winston Churchill and the ‘War in the Indian Highlands’

Posted on December 14, 2015

By: Daniel Pullin, Publishing Assistant, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

When the name ‘Winston Churchill’ is mentioned, images of a heroic war leader with cigar in mouth and face set in steely determination are usually the first to come to mind. His wartime speeches became iconic in symbolising gung-ho British determination to battle on through endless bloodshed, helping steer Britain through the turmoil of a cataclysmic conflict. Yet, with perhaps less well-known flair, the former Prime Minister proved equally adept on paper.  This is evident in his first published material: a series of war letters commissioned for British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Between October and December 1897, Churchill wrote and published the eleven letters while accompanying the Malakand Field Force in India. With Gale’s The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 now available, these letters are fully-searchable in digital format for the first time. This gave me the perfect opportunity to explore their contents.

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