Friday, 2 March 2012

More full-text Chartist resources

There has been a very welcome increase in the volume of materials about Chartism available online in recent months.
In part this is thanks to the efforts of people like Richard Brown, whose blog generously shares a career-worth of expertise with the wider world.  In addition to a great deal of biographical material on individual Chartists, and discussion of the many variations on Chartism, his blog also has a particularly useful guide to the different ways historians have understood Chartism down the years.
But those of us interested in Chartism and the Chartists have also benefited from wider projects.
Efforts by NCSE partnership to digitise a number of 19th century publications, including the complete run of the Northern Star newspaper are especially exciting. Having spent days in the past peering at microfiche readers at the British Library’s newspaper library at Colindale, I look forward to the prospect of being able to search, download and really get a grip on the most important newspaper chronicling the Chartist movement from the comfort of my own home.
More incidentally, but no less valuable, Google Books has set out to digitise as many books as it can lay its hands on in order to make them available online. This is controversial in many respects, but for those of us with an interest in original Chartist material that is long out of copyright, it is a boon.
I have now added a series of links from Chartist Ancestors to the most valuable volumes. Among them are The Trial of John Frost for High Treason, published in 1840, and Feargus O’Connor’s own Practical Work on the Management of Small Farms – a fascinating read for those with an interest in the Chartist Land Company.
I have also added links to many other full-text resources on the ever excellent Minor Victorian Poets website.
The Chartist Ancestors further research page has links to these and many other Chartist resources.

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