State Papers Online unlocks the vault of history


Gale/Cengage Learning announces today the release of State Papers Online, a cornerstone digital resource for all historians and students of Early Modern Britain and Europe.


[UKPRwire, Tue Nov 18 2008] The equivalent of today’s papers from the Home and Foreign Offices and the Royal Archives, these historic State Papers are the most valuable and reliable records available for understanding every aspect of Tudor and Stuart government and society.

By bringing the State Papers together online linked to the Calendars of the Papers themselves, State Papers Online 1509 – 1714 creates a completely new resource for understanding the two hundred years from the time of Cardinal Wolsey to the Age of Enlightenment.

When completed, State Papers Online will contain almost three million pages of correspondence, reports, memoranda and parliamentary drafts from civil servants and provincial administrators, and intelligence reports from foreign ambassadors. All offer a vivid portrait of the British monarchy, internal strife and religious conflict, as well as details of daily life and events across every level of society.

In Part I, historians can delve into important themes including Henry VIII’s break with Rome, the Reformation, the issue of Elizabeth I’s marriage and succession, and conflict with Spain and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Introductory essays by leading historians further enrich State Papers Online, illustrating current historiography and critical perspectives.

Gale’s specially developed platform links the original historical manuscripts to fully searchable Calendar entries, simplifying the process of research and interpretation of these key historical materials. Users can carry out basic and advanced searches with limiters, view illustrations and maps, magnify or rotate images and view two manuscripts or calendar entries side-by-side to draw comparisons.

The National Archives, London has played a vital role in the creation of State Papers Online, which signifies the online publication of one of its key collections. Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives comments: "The State Papers are The National Archives' bedrock early modern collection, and represent the authentic, original workings of government at the birth of the modern state. Cengage Learning is to be congratulated for building such an innovative online environment in which to read, search, share and collaborate in research, and we are proud to have facilitated the project".

Dr Garthine Walker, Senior Lecturer in History at Cardiff University, comments: “Any early modern historian would ‘give their right arm’ for the State Papers Online. Containing facsimile manuscript material as well as the printed calendars, it is an absolutely fantastic – and unrivalled – resource for early modernists working on a huge range of topics.”

Mark Holland, Publisher at Cengage Learning, comments: “State Papers Online offers much more than the re-integration of materials which once belonged together alongside the fully-searchable Calendars. Researchers and teachers are given the means to update scholarship by adding their own comments, corrections and transcriptions for the permanent benefit of future generations”.

Due to be released in four stages, Part I of State Papers Online is now live and covers the complete collection of State Papers Domestic for the Tudor era (1509 – 1603). Part II is due for release in early 2009 and will include the Tudor State Papers Foreign, Ireland, Scotland, Borders and Registers of the Privy Council as well as State Papers in the British Library’s Cotton, Harley and Yelverton Collections.
Parts III and IV containing the 17th century State Papers Domestic, Foreign, Ireland, Registers of the Privy Council as well as those in the Harley Collection will follow in 2010 and 2011.”

State Papers Online is available at present to users in subscribing research libraries. Members of the public can now access State Papers Online by personal visit to The National Archives in Kew, Surrey.

For further information about State Papers Online, please contact Nicholas Berg at Gale/Cengage Learning, Tel: 020 7067 2552, E-mail: nicholas.berg@cengage.com or visit the web site at http://gale.cengage.co.uk/statepapers

Company: Cengage Learning


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