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. 

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Today we’re looking at : Archives Unbound

Archives Unbound is a Gale electronic database made up of hundreds of resources, many previously unpublished, from the Middle Ages through to 20th century political history. 

The collections are organized under broad research topics  Each topic is then further organized by collection subsets arranged under “Explore Collections”. This facilitates more focussed / narrower searching of topics.

Let’s look within Archives Unbound under the topic International Relations at the Global Financial Crisis Collection and the Origins of the Cold War Collection

Global and Financial Economic Crisis 

Image of notes & coins for Global  Financial & Economic Crisis
Image of currencies within Archives Unbound

This collection is also accessible within the Business & Economic History topic which has massive resources relating to the United States’ historic relations with other countries such as China, Japan and Russia.

The collection examines significant global economic and financial crises, especially over the last few decades, which have impacted significantly on the quality of life of individuals in many countries around the world.

The collection includes papers and reports published by organisations of influence in the financial industries such as: The World Bank; International Monetary Fund (IMF); Federal Reserve Board & Federal Reserve Banks.  The documents are mostly unpublished manuscript records covering the period 2006-2009 held in the U.S. National Archives Library.

The collection looks at Banking and Business Cycles, Inflation, Investments, Monetary Policy, Labor & Employment  and a vast range of factors which impact the financial and economic industries.

Origins of the Cold War –date range :1893-1949

Origins of the Cold War
Image of meeting between U.S. and Soviet leaders during Cold War era- from Archives Unbound

The Origins of the Cold War is another important collection under the International Relations topic. Though often quoted these days in many conflicting contexts, it would be well to recall that the concept of “the Cold War” had its origins in the political conflict which arose between the United States and the evolving Soviet regime.  Over half a century of archival material from a range of sources provides insightful information for students and academics on the political rivalry between these two powerful nations. 

Most of the resources are manuscripts located in the U.S. Archives- originating from a broad range of U.S. Government departments and agencies, such as Foreign Relations; Department of State, National archives. These  include correspondence between the heads of government from different countries, minutes of meetings, memoranda etc.


You can also search the collection using keywords. Note that in the simple search box you need to join keywords with AND otherwise the search function will assume consecutive words are a phrase. So Communism AND United States AND McCarthy rather than Communism United States McCarthy (which yields no results).

The Advanced Search offers different options for searching specific parts of an item record.

Your search can be further narrowed using the “Filter Your Results” options.

Filter search options
In this example the results from the search can be narrowed to “Person About”

Of course, beyond this database our Library has considerable resources in these subject areas, both print and online, covering historical information as well as more current information, all of which complement Archives Unbound

We hope you enjoy using the Archives Unbound database.

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials let us know what you would like to see. Have a research query or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a librarian

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