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Gale Primary Sources Adds New Archives Focused on Histories of Underrepresented Communities

Library provider and publisher Gale has added to its Primary Sources research platform six new archives focusing on the stories and histories of global LGBTQ+ communities, women, Native Americans, and other underrepresented communities.

Gale, a division of Cengage Group, said the new archives aim to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in academics and “provide librarians, students, and scholars with historical context on controversial issues from a wide range of perspectives underscoring how the past has shaped today's political and civil rights movements across the globe.”

“With the steady increase in misinformation on campus about diversity, social justice and political issues, these archives change the conversation by providing access to original historical primary sources that enable researchers and students to compare resources and make key connections,” Gale said in a news release. “These latest archives from Gale promote open dialogue and teach critical thinking skills that inspire change and cross-cultural awareness.”

The newly published archives were curated with input from researchers, librarians, and students, and their requests for more DEI in Gale’s content, according to the news release, and more projects are in the works to provide “greater representation” of the history of minority groups and underrepresented communities, Gale said.

New Gale Primary Sources Frontlist Archive Titles

The new archives just published on Gale Primary Sources’ Frontlist include:

  • Archives of Sexuality and Gender: L'Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France: Wrapped inside the fifth installment of Gale’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender series is one of the “most-storied, famous and sought-after private case collections in the world,” Gale said. “L'Enfer” (which translates as "Hell" or "Inferno") refers to the library designation created in the 1830s to protect and isolate works “considered contrary to the morals of the time.” The entire collection was locked away in the library because of the erotic or pornographic nature of the works and because of their rarity and value. The collection of more than 3,000 books dates from the 1530s to 2010s and enables researchers to “explore the full scope of human sexuality.”
  • China and the Modern World: Imperial China and the West Part II, 1865–1905: This collection consists of digitized files of the British Foreign Office in series FO 17, along with volumes of law officers’ reports from the FO 83 series, offering researchers deep insights into all aspects of Chinese-Western relations 1865–1905. It includes key primary sources on international diplomacy, trade and economy, politics, military affairs, Chinese emigration, and law, Gale said.
  • Declassified Documents Online: Twentieth-Century British Intelligence, Monitoring the World: This archive includes the files of the Government Communications Headquarters, offering extensive detail on the GCHQ’s work, considered vital to understanding military history, intelligence and security, international politics, and diplomacy in the 1900s century, as well as the global history of World War II as recorded by British intelligence agents around the world.
  • Indigenous Peoples of North America, Part II: The Indian Rights Association, 1882–1986: This collection includes nearly all the papers of the first organization to collectively advocate for Native American interests and rights, digitized recently for this archive. The papers “illustrate and contextualize over a century of history of Indigenous peoples in the United States with a depth and breadth of content that is unprecedented,” Gale said. Handwritten text recognition technology has been applied to the documents, enabling full-text searches of the early history of the Indian Rights Association.
  • The Making of the Modern Law: Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, Part II, 1891–1950: This collection includes records and briefs from 1891 to 1950 that until now were “nearly impossible to access,” in cases most influential in modern American law and legal history. It contains briefs filed with the U.S. Courts of Appeals address a wide range of issues such as voting rights, the treatment of minority communities, political sedition, obscenity laws, and workers’ rights, Gale said.
  • Women’s Studies Archive: Female Forerunners Worldwide: In the fourth installment of Gale’s Women’s Studies Archive series, historical documents from around the world highlight individual women and women’s organizations who “broke new ground in the areas of business, social reform, popular culture, health care, and more,” Gale said. Among the archive are the papers of Black women trailblazers; nursing journals from Britain, Australia, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere; popular magazines for women or about women from Australia and New Zealand; and collections on women’s roles in the supernatural and in crime.

The new archives are now available on the Gale Primary Sources platform and through the Gale Digital Scholar Lab. With its digitization technology, HTR, and natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR), Gale said, “researchers can analyze and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights and content sets not previously possible.”

Learn more at the Gale Primary Sources Frontlist website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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