Thursday, 19 April 2018

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

This is being held in London this week.
It is a is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations
The official website has agendas, press releases and documents.
The UK government has a website of information on the British government persepctive. It includes transcripts of speeches from the Prime Minister.

Background information on the role and governance of the Commonwealth
The main Commonwealth website has at the foot a timeline of events.
Recent publications and reports can be read free online via the Commonwealth ilibrary. Subscribers ahve a wider range of services including downloading.
The Queen is the head of the Commonwealth and the Royal family website has details of  her role, lists of visits and some recent speeches

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
aims to connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarian in Commonwealth nations.
It website has a section for women parliamentarians with useful articles and fact sheets on Gender.
It also offers free acess to its magazine the Paliamentarian. Ther are also online lectures from political leaders. There is a specific 2018 meeting section.

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
independent NGO founded in 1987 which seeks to promote human rights in the region. Its website has news and aces to publications. Including a page on its work at the 2018 meeting.

Royal Commonwealth Society
was founded in 1868 .It is a registered charity comprised of a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Its website provides information on its activites plus research reports- including a special 2018 report

Overseas Development Insitute website explores hiow the Commonwealth can assist with future development studies issues

Archbishop of Canterbury is attending the summit.

The Anglican Communion has called for urgent climate change action.

The Round Table Commonwealth Journal of World Affairs - has an interesting blog summarisng and analysing events

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Syria and chemical weapons get some facts and comment with our academic resources.

Syria and chemical weapons.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has created a special section on its website
that covers its work with Syria. This includes press releases and reports

The purpose of this organisation is to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention

It has been collaborating with the main UN who has issued press releases on its website.

Syrian Civil Defense Organisation.over 3,000 volunteers. Funding received via Mayday rescue and chemonics from European governments.

Syrian Network for Human Rights.independent non-governmental organisation often cited by the United Nations.

Which monitors human rights violations in the region.

It has daily monitoring reports, lists of casualties, statements and images.

Other sources of reports include Human Rights Watch

Amnesty International

World Health Organization.

Also useful for background is the Syrian Center for Policy Research which has background reports on the socio economic impact of the conflict on Syria. This includes assessments on the loss of GDP, impact on the infrastructure.

For a different perspective see the Syrian Arab Republic official news service in English.

Chinese Language Day - celebrate the work of Chinese scholars

April 20th is designated by the United Nations as Chinese Language day
it seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity.

Here are some recommended free sites:

National Social Sciences Database China

Free database of government-funded Chinese social sciences journals. Coverage varies, but includes in most cases materials post 2012 . Individual registration required.

Find some recent research papers (covering all topics) from the Hong Kong Scholars hub maintained by the University of Hong Kong. Note that some items have full text restricted to members only.

You can even download the full text of recent PhD and masters theses.

Government publications.
Chinese Government website
An official Chinese government website which provides free access to the recent government documents including: statistics, legislation, policy and budget materials. Many are full text. There is an English language version.

State Archives Administration has some earlier online historic materials.

Digital archives of documents.

Other key materials include:

Chinese Foreign Policy Database (Wilson Center)

Great website from the Wilson Center which provides a marvellous reference source fro Chinese foreign policy from 1949 onwards. It includes a timeline and chronology of key events. Thematic sectiosn and biographies. It includes hundreds of full text chinese and international government documents offering a range of perspectives on events. Mainly 1949-2000. Some are declassified materials.

Chinese Digital Archive 1966-1976 (ANU) More than 400 digitized documents dealing with the Cultural Revolution free online.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Good Friday Agreement - 20th anniversary - try our free academic services.

Its the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
 the Belfast Agreement paved the way for a relatively peaceful end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Find out more using these resources.

The peace agreement and its implementation.

Read the full text of the original agreement on the UK government website.
The UN Peacemeaker database has a number of full text treaties and documents between the British and Irish government

read many full text  official documents and commentaries  on the Irish peace proces from the great CAIN archive based at Ulster University.
they include the Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Reports (2012-), published by the Community Relations Council.
The ARK Qualitative Archive on Conflict - a searchable database of information about qualitative material related to the Northern Ireland conflict.
Incore - oral archive of accounts of the conflict maintained by Ulster University.

Bodies created by the agreement.

The North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) was established under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (1998), to develop consultation, co-operation and action within the island of Ireland. Its website has information on its areas of work and progress.
The British-Irish Council was established as part of the multi-party agreement reached in Belfast on 10 April 1998. Its membership comprises representatives from the Irish Government; UK Government; Scottish Government; Northern Ireland Executive; Welsh Government; Isle of Man Government; Government of Jersey and Government of Guernsey. It aimed to promote good relations

20th anniversary resources and anlysis

political parties.
Sinn Fein 

A podcast from the Conversation blog discusses the 20th anniversary.
LSE Blogs discussion 
Slugger o'toole blog
it includes some videos from an Agreement 20  conference at Manchester.
Belfast Telgraph
Irish Times Analysis
Guardian Editorial
Queens University Belfast has a facebook live debate on the  proces and impact with key figures.
they also have discussion on their blog
Institute for Government live stream event.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Remembering Martin Luther King 50 years later- free academic resources

 On April 4th 1968. Martin Luther King as assassinated. 
Read his original obituary from the New York Times
The New Yorker Magazine has some articles honouring his contribution.

King spoke on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ Headquarters) in Memphis, Tennessee. On the following day, King was assassinated.This is his famous I have been to the Mountaintop speech which is reproduced  in the King Encyclopedia from Stanford University
This also has a timeline of events, access to full text speeches and documents relating to the civil riughts movement in the USA.
Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change also has an extensive online digital archive  about the life and impact of Dr King. These include manuscripts, speeches and letters.
National Archives has a page with resources for teachers.

In terms of the assassination Shelby County have an online archive of police records.They include crime scene evidence, James Earl Ray documents and sheriff's notes.
There were reports of a conspiracy in 2000 this was investigated by United States Department of Justice. The report is online.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

What gift should a man give a woman (in 1912)? find out in our Chocolate/ Easter Food in popular women’s magazines list!

Just for Easter a special feature on Chocolate/ Easter Food in popular women’s magazines.

Here are some quick links to interesting academic resources most of which are free
They are great for those studying images of gender and popular culture/ advertising.
For those lucky enough to have access to the American Vogue archive
It has images of chocolate advertising and recipes.
Which are great for those studying gender

What gift should a man give a woman (in 1912)?
The social code prescribes only candy, flowers and books!

Features: Gifts from a man to a woman. (1912, Dec 15). Vogue, 40, 32-32, 106. Retrieved from
A hostess for a suffragette luncheon in 1910 was advised to serve chocolate cigars with the coffee !

For the hostess: A suffragette luncheon. (1910, Jun 15). Vogue, 35, 32. Retrieved from

But for those needing free resources. Here are some quick and hopefully interesting links!

The Beetons produced the
Englishwoman's domestic magazine
Which contained recipes and household advice.
The Haithi trust has some online volumes. In this one from 1856 I can’t see any mention of chocolate at Easter but there are some tasks that should be done in April at Easter time including how to roast a suckling pig and prepare Rhubarb. page 202 of the journal also has some commentary on the New Divorce bill 1856-5

Ladies' Home Journal
is an American magazine published by the Meredith Corporation. It was first issued on February 16, 1883, and eventually became one of the leading women's magazines of the 20th century in the United States. The 1901 edition is also free on Haithi trust. See the many online recipes including these

Illustrations of festive cakes. The Easter ones are cream with what look like cherries on top! There are also many features on Easter brides.

The edition of the Vote (Produced by the Women’s Freedom League) nearest to Easter in April 1911 had no actual coverage of Easter. Its content was not focussed on entertaining, craft or recipes It focused on debates relating to the boycott census campaign, debates and a discussion of the role of militancy.

Although there are some fascinating contemporary adverts on page 303 se the Corset Question of Today in which the advertiser confidently predicts it will be a topic of concern for all the suffragist readers!

The feminist magazine Spare Rib from the 1970s Also took a different approach to domestic skills

‘If I want to live off Easter Eggs for three days then I’ll do it’

This 1973 article Focussed on wages for women’s work. Not cards or flowers for mothers

In December-January 1989 published complaints about Cadbury flake and other advertisements not suitable for TV (p.50)

And from May 1973 discussions in the article how vital are your statistics on diet eating and pressures on women

in contrast popular magazines Australian woman’s Weekly (available free from 1930s-1980s) via Trove focusses on recipes, brides and fashion. From 1941 an Easter Parade of Fashion

From the 1970s some very alarmingly brightly coloured Easter novelties, including bright pink Easter bunny biscuits.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Today is World Water Day - check out our free resources for academic research

World Water day is marked on the 22nd March
In 2018 the theme is Nature for Water – it  explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century including floods, polution, drought
This fact sheet from UN water describes the problems and also the concept of natural solutions.

The 2018 World Water Development report describes in technical detail Nature based solutions.
World Water council is an international organisation whose publications address issues relating to water policy and the environment
WaterLex is an international public interest development organization based in Geneva. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its website has publications on human rights and access to water.It also has a legal database of case law, policy documents and reports online

data on water supply
The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s global information system on water and agriculture.
IWMI Tools and Resources
Data, maps, and drought monitoring tools from the International Water Management Institute.