posted by Sakura Christmas
A review of the National Institute for Defense Studies, Ministry of Defense (Tokyo, Japan).
The National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) in Tokyo houses a sizeable repository of archival materials essential to scholars who do not necessarily focus on the military history of Japan. Those interested in the expansion of the Japanese empire from the late nineteenth century to the early 1940s may also find this collection of immeasurable value. I visited the military archives throughout the fall of 2012 in search of documents on the Japanese occupation of Inner Mongolia, and came across a range of files in varying degrees of significance,...
posted by Erin Woodruff Stone
A review of the General Archive of the Indies (Archivo General de Indias) (Seville, Spain).
My dissertation, entitled Indian Harvest: The Rise of the Indigenous Slave Trade and Diaspora from Española to the Circum-Caribbean, 1492-1560, examines the growth and height of the Circum-Caribbean indigenous slave trade. My project seeks to capture the scope of this slave trade and resultant Indian diaspora for the first time. In tracing the diaspora I also try to reveal the hidden consequences of the slave trade, including the indigenous experience of movement and displacement across the Caribbean. While I look at archaeological and...
posted by William Noseworthy
A review of the Center for Khmer Studies Library (Siem Reap, Cambodia).
The Research Library of the Center for Khmer Studies (CKS) in Siem Reap, Cambodia is among the nation’s top educational and research resources for foreigners and nationals alike. The research library is open M-F 8:00am-12noon and 1:30pm-5:30pm, as well as Saturday from 8am to 12noon. Since general information regarding the library is frequently published in the Center for Khmer Studies Newsletter, which is available on the center website (http://khmerstudies.org/), this review is more concerned with some overlooked details of the collections at the research library....
posted by Christopher Laursen
5 Archives in which to explore the Modern Metaphysical
Increasingly, scholars have been exploring the modern metaphysical — what has been considered on the fringes of human interests but (as these scholars have shown) actually constitute a significant part of people’s lives, past and present. The study has been propelled by documentation left behind by the historical actors who have studied and pursued the metaphysical — heterodox religions such as occultism, Spiritualism, and Theosophy, and controversial sciences such as psychical research and parapsychology. Here, I will review five archives that provide excellent entries into the...
posted by Anjali Vithayathil
A review of The Institute of Experimental Medicine (Научно-исследовательный институт экспериментальной медицины) (St. Petersburg).
In November of last year, I had the opportunity to visit a small but well-equipped research institute in St. Petersburg, the Institute of Experimental Medicine. Formerly known as the Imperial Institute of Experimental Medicine, the medical center was built in 1890 by a distant relative of the Tsar, Prince Aleksandr Oldenburgskii, in response to a series of devastating cholera epidemics in the Russian Empire and rumors of an outbreak of plague in China. The...
posted by Ghassan Moazzin
A review of the Federal Archives – Berlin-Lichterfelde (Bundesarchiv, Berlin-Lichterfelde), Berlin, Germany.
The Federal Archives are the largest public archives in Germany and are made up of nine different branches. Two branches, the Federal Film Archives (see review by Kristen Ehrenberger) and the Federal Archives Berlin-Lichterfelde, are located in Berlin. During a longer research trip to Berlin in June and July 2013 I spent two weeks at the Federal Archives Berlin-Lichterfelde. These archives are the biggest of the several branches of the Federal Archives and hold files that go back as far as the year 1495. However, the main...
posted by Catherine Rushmore
A review of the History of Advertising Trust Archives, Raveningham, Norfolk, United Kingdom.
In March 2013, I spent a couple of days looking at books and marketing material relating to everyday chemical products used in the home. I was interested in the archives that History of Advertising Trust (HAT) holds relating to Thawpit, a carbon tetrachloride preparation used as a dry cleaning chemical, and for some household disinfectants and bleaches made by Reckitts. I wanted to write this review because whenever I have mentioned the HAT to other researchers working on British domestic life, brands, consumers or business histories, they have never...
posted by Ghassan Moazzin
A review of the Political Archive of the German Foreign Office (Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes), Berlin, Germany.
In July 2013 I spent three weeks at the archives of the German Foreign Office in Berlin — officially called “The Political Archive” — to collect materials for my dissertation on German banking in late Qing and early Republican China (see the archive’s webpage in German and in English). While I was mainly interested in the files on Sino-German relations, the archives with their large collection of foreign office records, German embassy and consular files and private papers of former diplomats are of...
posted by Joel Blanco-Rivera
A review of the National Security Archive, Washington DC, United States of America.
On January 19, 1989, a lawsuit was filed against the Executive Office of the President of the United States and the National Security Council, seeking the preservation of electronic messages created during the Reagan administration through IBM PROFS (Professional Office System). The emails saved in backup tapes included messages from Oliver North concerning the Iran-Contra scandal, among other emails from the NSC. The electronic messages were successfully preserved.
One of the plaintiffs was the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research...
posted by Philip Hatfield
Digital Collaborations: Taking a Collection Online
This review takes a slightly different angle from some of its predecessors in this section, embarking on a review of one part of the digital domain. The British Library is already famed for its physical collections (some of which have been reviewed before here: http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/3487) but as of April 2013, it is responsible not only for collecting the print published output of the UK but also the UK’s digital publishing, meaning that the horizons of the Library and its collections increasingly open up beyond the reading rooms and into the digital domain...
posted by Jennifer Griffiths
A review of the Central State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Центральный государственный архив Республики Казахстан / Қазақстан Республикасы Орталық мемлекеттік мұрағаты), Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s Central State Archive (TsGARK) is the largest archive in the country, and essential to any researcher working on Kazakh history. With almost two million dela, the archive mainly covers the Soviet and pre-revolutionary periods, and has particularly strong holdings relating to nineteenth-century imperial administration, thanks in part to...
posted by Isabella Jackson
I recently spent three weeks researching in the Shanghai Municipal Archives, following a three-year gap since I was last there, and there are some important recent changes in regulation for researchers. I read Steven Pieragastini’s review of the archive from earlier this year, but his visit was also evidently before the new regulations came into force:
1. All foreigners are now required to provide a letter of introduction from a Chinese danwei. The fact that I had a card for the archives from previous visits did not exempt me from this requirement. They were willing to allow me access for one day without a letter of introduction, but it...
posted by Rebecca Nedostup
Researchers planning to visit the Nanjing Municipal Archives in late 2013 would be well advised to check ahead for updated information, as the archives will move to new facilities in the western part of the city. As of an August 2013 visit, the move was planned for October, and is estimated to take three months.
[Ed. Note: This is an update to Vivienne Xiangwei Guo's review of the Nanjing Municipal Archives. Be sure to visit the NMA website for regular updates.]
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