This blog post was written by the Archives Hub team. It is one of a series of blog posts on the theme of Magic and the Supernatural, as part of History Day 2017, where you can find Archives Hub and ask them any questions you have.
The Archives Hub is a service allowing you to explore materials held in over 300 archival institutions across the UK through a single website. It helps students, researchers and academics at all levels to locate primary sources relevant to their work, and saves them time in defining research topics, identifying key materials for study and planning research trips.
Much of the material described on the Archives Hub is little known, or has only just been catalogued and made discoverable online. The service therefore supports original, cutting-edge research, by connecting researchers with hard-to-find and often unstudied materials.
The collections represented cover 2000 years of history and include the archives of people, organisations and businesses. You will find a huge diversity of primary source material described, including (but not limited to) family papers, letters, photographs, printed ephemera, publication drafts, lectures, research notes and financial documents. The Hub supports historical research in a wide range of areas, but also research in subject areas beyond history, including the sciences, social sciences, media, performance and design. Whatever your specialism you are likely to find something of interest.
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The Hub team are looking forward to meeting attendees at History Day 2017, and explaining how the Archives Hub can support research, so please do come and find us on the day. If you can’t make it, why not follow us on Twitter (@archiveshub) or Facebook (@jiscarchiveshub), sign up to our mailing list, or send us an email.
Reflecting the theme of the event this year, we’ve brought together below some of the descriptions on the Hub we’ve found relating to ‘Magic and the Supernatural’, to give you a sense of the breadth and interest of the materials the Hub can help you find. This is only a sample though, and we’re sure there’s much more to be discovered!
Magic and the Supernatural on the Hub
- The papers of Montague Rhodes James [M.R. James] – famed writer of ghost stories – at King’s College, Cambridge
- Papers of C. Anne E. Moberly and Eleanor F. Jourdain, the Oxford academics and authors, who believed they had seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette at Versailles in 1901. Held at the Bodleian Library
- The Anderton and Rowland Collection in the National Fairground and Circus Archive at the University of Sheffield. Contains photographs and cuttings relating to this famous family circus, founded by the magician and illusionist Albert Haslam, also known as ‘Professor Anderton’
- The Catherine Crowe Collection at University of Kent Special Collections and Archives. Novels and papers by and about the Victorian spiritualist and writer, who was also an early advocate of women’s educational rights
- Records of the Scottish Conjurors’ Association, held at University of Glasgow Special Collections. The association was founded in 1924 and was open to all interested in the art of magic
- A 19th century manuscript treatise on magic by ‘W.H. Ibbett’, held at the University of Manchester Special Collections
- Papers on Demonology c.1735-c.1920, held at University of Southampton Special Collections, and including a manuscript on ‘The incubus and succubus’
- Description of a Batak pustaha (magic book) from Northern Sumatra, formerly part of the library of the Orientalist and linguist William Marsden (1754-1836), now held at SOAS Archives
- Italian text of the Clavicola di Salamones (or Clavicula Salomonis) held at University of St Andrews Special Collections. The Key of Solomon is a famous grimoire or handbook of magic dating back to the 15th century
- Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library relating to accusations of witchcraft made by women in the 19th century in the empire of New Spain (probably Mexico)
- Papers relating to the ‘Witch of Monzie’, Kate McNiven, one of the last women to be executed as a witch in Scotland in 1715. Held at University of Dundee Archive Services
- Judge Hale’s papers concerning witches, part of the Richard Baxter Collection at Dr Williams’s Library, containing the depositions of witnesses, respecting witchcraft, alleged to have been committed upon the children of Samuel Pacey of Lowestoft, and other particulars of the trial at Norwich on 13th March 1661/2