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A primary source for historical research, the Annual Register - first edited by Edmund Burke - is a complete and detailed chronicle of events in Britain and across the world from 1758 to the current year. The link here lets you access the volume for 1758. To find the others, just type Annual Register plus the year you need into the Portsmouth library catalogue.

This archive contains letters, memos, transcripts, photos and official correspondence from leaders and governments that shaped the events of the last 2 centuries. The archive includes documents written by British officials recording their perspective on events and their impressions of people they met. A search for "Royal Navy" (in double quotation marks as shown) will pull up numerous documents of interest.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

The Customs’ Gazette, published by order of the Inspector General of Customs of China in Shanghai, provided quarterly reports on trade that were prepared and submitted by various custom houses based across the country. This statistical and narrative information provided the central Chinese government with an in-depth analysis on trade. But, the Gazette also provided insights into local and regional economic and social conditions, policing of customs and trade, and conditions at Treaty Ports.

Access 800,000 pages of primary source documents produced between 1874 and 1965. You will find handwritten letters to and from Winston Churchill, plus the typed manuscripts of his speeches. The Teaching & Research section also contains academic overviews on key topics such as women and social change, empire and imperialism, the origins of the First World War, the Cold War and nuclear weapons, the "special relationship" between Britain and America and Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty - all have links to relevant documents within the archive.

Watch this introductory video.

This collection consists of the Foreign and Colonial Office Confidential Print for the countries of the Levant and the Arabian peninsula, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Sudan digitised from The National Archives, UK. Beginning with the Egyptian reforms of Muhammad Ali Pasha in the 1830s, the documents trace the events of the following 150 years, including the Middle East Conference of 1921, the mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia, the partition of Palestine, the 1956 Suez Crisis and post-Suez Western foreign policy, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Published in three parts, this collection makes available extensive coverage of British Foreign Office files dealing with Japan between 1919 and 1952.

- Japanese Imperialism and the War in the Pacific, 1931-1945

- Occupation of Japan, 1946-1952

- Japan and Great Power Status, 1919-1930

Incorporating the Taishō to the Shōwa periods, these papers throw light on Anglo-Japanese ties in a time of shifting alliances. Documenting Japan’s journey to modernity, the files discuss a period in which the country took on an increasingly bold imperialist agenda. Strong relations following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles were tested then ultimately destroyed, and by December 1941, Japan and the United Kingdom were on opposing sides of the Second World War.

These Foreign Office files cover British concerns over colonial-held territory in the Far East, as well as Japanese relations with China, Russia, Germany and the United States. Following surrender at the end of the Second World War, Japan was occupied by foreign forces for the first time in its history. The occupation resulted in disarmament, liberalisation and a new constitution as the country was transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Japan emerged once again as a player on the world stage.

Consisting of diplomatic dispatches, correspondence, maps, summaries of events and diverse other material, this collection from the rich FO 371 and FO 262 series unites formerly restricted Japan-centric documents, and is enhanced by the addition of a selection of FO 371 Western and American Department and Far Eastern sub papers.

The Royal Naval Museum, in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, is one of Britain's oldest maritime museums. The Museum's aim is to preserve and present the history of the 'Fleet' - the ships and the men and women who manned them.

Access rare and original documents on naval history.

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fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

The national record of over 60,000 biographies, 72 million words, 11,000 portraits of significant, influential or notorious figures who shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century - extremely useful for detailed biographies about literary figures.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

This collection provides researchers with the opportunity to explore a unique period in China’s struggle toward a modern existence through the International Settlement in Shanghai.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

The Municipal Gazette provides a unique window into the workings of the Shanghai International Settlement during the period of revolution, the Republic, internationalization of Shanghai, national uprising, and world war.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

A wide ranging archive which includes US Supreme Court records, books, pamphlets, newspapers and facsimiles of letters by the English abolitionist William Wilberforce etc

This key resource for the early modern period brings you original historical documents ranging from high level international politics and diplomacy to the charges against a steward for poisoning people. The correspondence, reports, memoranda, and parliamentary drafts from ambassadors, civil servants and provincial administrators present a full picture of Tudor and Stuart Britain in terms of domestic and foreign policy. In addition, Eighteenth Century Part 1 gives you access to State Papers Domestic, Military, Naval and Registers of the Privy Council 1714-1782, so naval historians can read all papers covering Lords of the Admiralty and Naval Commanders, plus casualty lists.

Watch this video showing you how to work effectively with State Papers Online.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

If you want advice about using this source, watch this video (although the screen initially says "No content", move to the play button and the video will start)

Wiley Digital Archives comprises unique or rare historical primary sources, digitized from leading - mainly scientific - societies, libraries, and archives around the world. All Archives are cross-searchable, and contain tools for searching, browsing, analyzing and visualizing primary source content.

We have access to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Collections on the History of Science: 1830-1970)

Additional access instructions:

Authentication required for off-campus access


Your Subject Team

 Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian

email Anne.Worden@port.ac.uk

phone (023) 9284 3243

 Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian (Humanities, Law, & Criminology)

email sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

phone (023) 9284 3234