Chloe Dobson: my favourite online collections

By Chloe Dobson – Collection Development Librarian

Part of our role in Collection Development is to find online resources which support the teaching of the University. I am going to be highlighting two of my favourites in this week’s blog post (to discover your own search our Online Resources A-Z or Online Subject Guides).

Screenshot of the University of Sussex's Library online resources homepage
The Library’s online resources home page

Along with my colleagues I get excited when we discover an online resource which is packed full of beautifully scanned images of incredible collections, like Nineteenth Century UK periodicals and the Women’s Magazine Archive, both of which provide a unique insight into our social and cultural history via articles, adverts and stunning hi-res imagery.

Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals is a joy to use and covers 90 titles published during the popular magazine publishing boom of the 19th Century. It is strong in publications aimed at women and children from all walks of life and includes intriguing titles such as; The British Mothers’ Magazine (1845-1863), the Girls’ Own Paper (1880-1900) Myra’s Journal of Fashion and Dress (1875-1900) and the Union Jack: Tales for British Boys (1880-1883)

Screenshot of Nineteenth century UK periodicals front page
Nineteenth century UK periodicals

Searching with keywords is straightforward and you can limit by type of document, or publication, which is great for looking at adverts, illustrations or editorial pieces, as well as allowing users to compare and contrast their results across publications.

The Women’s Magazine Archive is another gem, featuring seven leading publications with a U.S focus spanning the entire period from the late 19th century to the early 21st. Issues are scanned cover-to-cover, with excellent image quality and full-text searching. They are an amazing resource for both advertising, and articles. We have been known to spend many an hour getting lost in the world of corset advertising (but don’t tell anyone).

Screen shot of Women's Magazine Archive front page
Women’s Magazine Archive

The publications available in this archive include Better Homes and Gardens (Jul 1922 – Dec 2005), Good Housekeeping (May 2, 1885 – Dec 2005), Parents (Oct 1926 – Dec 2005) and, the Ladies Home Journal (Dec 1885 – Dec 2005), which provide detailed insights into home life, fashion and culture of the times. As a compliment to this fabulous online resource we are lucky to hold printed copies of Woman’s Own magazine (1941-74) which can be consulted in the Reading Room at The Keep. Special Collections’ Rose Lock has written about the collection here which includes a link to the full catalogue record.

For students to be able to easily access authoritative content online has always been incredibly important to us, but the events of this year have further highlighted how valuable they really are – so do check out our full Online Resources A-Z or Online Subject Guides to find out what the Library has to offer.

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Posted in Collection Development, Special Collections, The Keep

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