It’s International Archives Day and we’re asking: are you the type of person to exclaim “curiouser and curiouser!”? Do you love to solve the mysteries of history? If so, put on your white gloves and come with us on a journey into the Wonderland that is Archives Unbound.

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from Librarians.

Not a member yet? Sign up online first and reward your curiosity.

Today we’re looking at Archives Unbound.

Search interface for Archives Unbound. It shows an image of rows of shelves housing cardboard pamphlet folders with pieces of paper spilling out

Archives Unbound is a Gale database containing documents that relate to the history of humankind. Content ranges from the Middle Ages right through until the end of the twentieth century. It houses several collections some of which we will outline for you here.

Women’s Periodicals: Social and Political Issues

This is a key collection which boasts periodicals for women and, more importantly, periodicals by women. A publication of note is the Women’s Suffrage Journal which details suffrage campaigns and the ideals of women trying to secure the vote. Women’s Suffrage Journal features influential women like Emily Pankhurst and Vida Goldstein, documenting an important moment in the history of politics across the world.

If you were intrigued by the Teal Independents’ victories in the recent Federal Election, go back to where it all began and read about the first campaigns for suffrage from women who led the way.

Politics, Social Activism and Community Support: Selected Gay and Lesbian Periodicals and Newspapers

June is Pride Month so what better time to brush up on your LGBTIQ+ history than with Archives Unbound?  This collection offers an insight into a history that is often shrouded in secrecy and has only recently made its way into public consciousness. You will discover a rainbow of content including the Queer Activist archives which house letters and event programs from queer activists in the 1990s. The collection also sheds some light on issues facing the queer community at that time and chronicles intersectional activism as well.

Image of a rainbow flag being held in a street crowd
Image of a Pride Flag from Archives Unbound

If you’re planning a trip to World Pride in Sydney next year, stay ahead of the game by learning about LGBTIQ+ activism. Whether you identify as LGBTIQ+ or you’re an ally, you will love exploring this collection.

Shakespeare Collection

Want to know more about the War of the Roses? Dying to recite Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be?” soliloquy? The Shakespeare collection has everything you need! It includes first Folios of Shakespeare’s plays and annotated works with instructions for stage managers. Whether you’re an aspiring actor or an experienced stagehand, a tragedy tragic or comedy fan, this collection will delight Shakespeare enthusiasts of all ages.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1965, from Archives Unbound

This is just a snapshot of what you can find in Archives Unbound. So enjoy and have a happy International Archives Day!

More to explore

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