Tonight’s BBC4 documentary, Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home (10pm) reveals just how many ‘innovative’ domestic products and gadgets harboured deadly poisons and diseases.
Researchers from Modern TV spent several days in Special Collections and Archives consulting illustrated Victorian periodicals, gathering stills for the documentary. Many useful images, often adverts, were found in Punch, the Illustrated London News, The Graphic, and magazines aimed at the Victorian housewife, such as The Sketch, The Queen, and Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Over 1000 images were gathered in the research process.
The documentary explores the presence of arsenic in Victorian wallpaper, lead in toys’ paint, the unsafe use of gas and electricity, and unsterilised babies’ feeding bottles. It also explores the detrimental effect that the introduction of metal eyelets had on corsetry. The eyelets allowed women’s corsets to be pulled even tighter in the indulgence of fashion, causing considerable damage to the back and internal organs, and increased the risk of miscarriage, as many women continued to wear restrictive corsets throughout pregnancy.
Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home is available on iPlayer until 11th April 2013.
Special Collections and Archives is marking International Women’s Day 2013 with the launch of its latest resource guide on women’s history and gender studies. The guide covers sources from the 16th-21st centuries, including:
- Bibliographies and reference works on British women’s history and writing;
- Biographies of the lives of women;
- Gendered children’s literature and comics;
- Conduct, etiquette and advice manuals;
- Broadsides and ballads relating to women as both victims and perpetrators of crime;
- Memoirs, diaries and autobiographies of women;
- Sources relating to women teachers, and girl’s eduction;
- Journals, magazines and ballads on fashion and dress;
- Historical works on women’s health and medical treatment, including the history of midwifery, gynaecology and obstetrics; the history of nursing as a profession; and reports of the Medical Officer for Cardiff, including data on maternity and child welfare;
- A range of material relating to women’s lives around the world, including newspapers from Indian women’s organisations, Spanish Civil War sources related to women, sources relating to women in Australia, European Union and United Nations reports on women, and papers of female slavery abolitionists;
- A wide range of women’s journals and magazines, from society pages to radical suffragette publications;
- Literary works by women, including the papers of Ann Griffiths (poet), Joan Reeder (journalist), Maria Edgeworth (novelist), Felicia Hemans (poet), Mary Tighe (poet), and Lady Sidney Morgan (novelist). Information on female applicants to the Royal Literary Fund, and women writers published by Longmans;
- Musical scores and archives from Morfydd Llwyn Owen (1891-1918), Grace Williams (1906-1977), and Nancy Storace (1765-1817);
- Press cuttings from late 20th century Welsh newspapers on women’s issues;
- Political papers from the British Labour Party and Newport Labour Party on women’s issues; papers of the Labour MPs Ellen Wilkinson and Marion Phillips; the diary of social reformer Beatrice Webb; archives of the Women’s Labour League, journals by Sylvia Pankhurst, and a range of suffragette magazines;
- Books by and archives belonging to female travellers;
- Papers relating to the history of female students at Cardiff University and its predecessors;
- Sources on witchcraft and those accused of its practice (commonly women), in Europe and America;
- Sources on women’s societies
Posted in Alison Harvey
Tagged archives, children's literature, fashion, illustrations, literature, medicine, music, newspapers, periodicals, travel writing, witchcraft, women's history
Special Collections and Archives’ series of lunchtime workshops continues in December with sessions on women’s history and gender studies sources. The workshops are intended to raise awareness of the breadth of material available to support research in this area, and as a general introduction to using Special Collections and Archives.
The second workshop on women’s history sources will be led by Assistant Archivist, Alison Harvey. Topics will include: biography; children’s literature; conduct/advice manuals; crime; diaries and autobiographies; education; fashion; health and medicine; international affairs; journals and magazines; literature and journalism; music; newspapers; politics, suffrage and the labour movement; travel; University history; witchcraft; and women’s societies.
Workshops will be held in Special Collections and Archives, on the lower ground floor of the Arts and Social Studies Library, Corbett Road, Cardiff. The women’s history workshop is scheduled for 12-1pm on Thursday 6 December, and will be repeated at 1-2pm on Friday 7 December.
Workshops are open to all, but places are limited, so if you would like to attend either session, please email HarveyAE@cf.ac.uk, stating your preferred time.
Posted in Alison Harvey
Tagged archives, biography, children's literature, crime, diaries, education, fashion, journals, literature, medicine, music, newspapers, periodicals, rare books, suffrage, travel writing, witchcraft, women's history
This year, SCOLAR is offering a pilot series of lunchtime workshops on subjects relevant to a range of disciplines. Workshops on illustrated sources and women’s studies will run this autumn, with sessions on historical travel literature and World War One sources in the spring. The workshops are intended to raise awareness of the breadth of material available to support research in these areas, and as a general introduction to using Special Collections and Archives.
The first workshop on illustrated sources will be led by Assistant Archivist, Alison Harvey. It will introduce a range of illustrated material from the SCOLAR collections, including literary, scientific, medical, and women’s periodicals and miscellanies, newspapers, children’s literature, art and architecture, novel, plays and poetry, travel literature, ballads and almanacs, and prints, posters and propaganda.
Workshops will be held in Special Collections and Archives, on the lower ground floor of the Arts and Social Studies Library, Corbett Road, Cardiff. The illustrated sources workshop is scheduled for 12-1pm on 22 November, and will be repeated at 1-2pm on 23 November. Places are limited, so if you would like to attend either session, please email HarveyAE@cf.ac.uk, stating your preferred time.
Download a copy of the workshop poster
Posted in Alison Harvey
Tagged book illustrations, engravings, illustrations, literature, newspapers, periodicals, pictures, print culture, rare books, woodcuts, workshops
A rare copy of an early number of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine has recently been found in SCOLAR.
The issue, from the 1817 edition of the magazine, was printed in small numbers before being suppressed due to its scandalous and inflammatory content. The issue was censored and reprinted, and it is this reprint, containing the following apology from the Editor, that is most likely to be found in libraries today.
SCOLAR is fortunate to have a copy of the original issue, which contains the offending item: the “Chaldee MSS”. This was purported to be a translation from a newly discovered Biblical text, but was in fact a thinly veiled satire of the Edinburgh literary scene, written by James Hogg.
Blackwood’s was relying on the outrage the piece would cause to promote their new magazine, and they were not disappointed. Its irreverence caused offence far beyond the bounds of Edinburgh, and made Blackwood’s name notorious throughout the UK.
It was not to be Blackwood’s last brush with scandal. In 1821, John Scott of the rival London Magazine accused Blackwood’s of libel, and challenged its editor to a duel. John Scott was shot during the duel and died of his wounds ten days later. His opponent was acquitted of any wrongdoing.
The existence of such variant editions are of great value to literary scholars, especially since the editor took the opportunity of reprinting the issue to rewrite and tone down several critical articles which appeared in the suppressed version.