History of the Dragon Boat Festival

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

Today marks the annual Dragon Boat Festival, commemorating the dead, observed primarily in central and southern China. It occurs on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and falls between 28 May and 25 June in the Western calendar. During this festival, people along the sea coasts and major rivers compete in races in boats made from wooden planks and carved with dragon heads and tails.

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“The Great Binge”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

by Seth Cayley
Seth Cayley is the Director of Research Publishing at Gale International, a part of Cengage Learning. He and his team are responsible for commissioning and creating Gale’s award-winning digital archive products.

Can cocaine really cure sea-sickness? Something tells me that very little peer-reviewed research has been done on the subject in recent years. But that didn’t stop the Victorians. From around 1870-1915 a large number of narcotics, including heroin, were widely and legally available, and often packaged as medicines. Historians have dubbed this period before the first international drug control treaties as “The Great Binge”.

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Supporting Your Local Data Miner

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

By: Dr. Dallas Liddle, Associate Professor and Chair of English, Augsburg College

Marshall McLuhan is supposed to have said that “the content of a new medium is always an old medium.” He intended the observation as wry cultural criticism, but as a literary historian I am grateful every day that so many new research media are now brimming with the contents of great past media: newsstands, theatres, libraries, music halls, stereopticons, and magic lantern shows. Lately I have started to hope that the benefits of these research tools may go far beyond the convenience of having so many original texts, images, and artifacts instantly available. New methods of “data-mining” using database archives, if we do them creatively and well, may help researchers better understand how the old media forms themselves worked and developed.
The hope grows from recent experience. I started “data mining” the Gale Times Digital Archive not long ago, after struggling for nearly twenty years with questions about Victorian newspapers that traditional archival research had been unable to answer.

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Race & Gender in the Carceral State

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Jen Manion
Jen Manion, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of History and Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at Connecticut College. Manion is author of Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) and co-editor of Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism, History as Activism (Routledge, 2004). Jen has also published essays in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Journal of the Early Republic, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, and Radical History Review. 

Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920 is a trove of material for scholars and students interested in the history of gender, gender expression, and sexuality. Criminal accounts provide an illustrative window into the culture of the time by highlighting the lives, actions, and motives of those who crossed the line of so-called acceptable behavior. Women’s participation in illicit activities such as theft, robbery, assault, or murder were generally sensationalized in both trial and newspaper records, giving such accounts a sexual tinge no matter how seemingly mundane. The range of source material—from newspaper accounts to trial manuscripts to organizational records to sensational dime novels—allows readers to approach a singular topic from different perspectives. Historians can examine the treatment of people along lines of race, class, and gender, or chart changes in such regulations over time.

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Tiradentes in Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture: The Oliveira Lima Library

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Lourdes Mena
I have a degree in marketing and have experience as a university lecturer. I joined Gale in 2012 as Marketing Manager for Latin America. My role in Gale has allowed me to develop my twin passions: design and research. I enjoy the opportunity of putting these at the service of the academic community.

On 21 April, Brazil celebrates the Tiradentes Day, commemorating the anniversary of the death of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier (1792), considered by many to be the first martyr of the Republic of Brazil. But who is this man, who only began to be considered a national hero a century after his death? To find out more, we take a look through Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture: The Oliveira Lima Library, one of the finest collections of Luso-Brazilian materials available to scholars.

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The Story behind Pure Brightness Festival

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

Chinese people celebrate the Pure Brightness Festival each year, they largely take it as an occasion to offer sacrifice to ancestors. I was unclear of its origin but through Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Gale’s ebook platform, I found out the fascinating legend behind it.

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Peaceful and Quiet Conduct on the Streets of the Village: New York City in the Years following Stonewall

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Caitlyn Colman-McGaw
I’m the Young Adult Educational Programming Coordinator at the New York Public Library, which means I get to work with teens and rad teen librarians all over the city. I’m a huge fan of graphic novels, young adult literature and coffee. I live in Brooklyn with my archivist roommate. We try not to spend too much time nerding out over history but sometimes it is inevitable.
Find me on Twitter

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Victorian Secrets: Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Dr Lucy Jane Sussex
Honorary Associate, La Trobe University and Honorary Associate, Federation University

The term ‘Victorian values’ reappears every now and then in twenty-first century media. Usually, it is politically charged, signifying a nostalgia for better days, to be found in the long nineteenth century (1790-1914). Here be, like dragons, the virtues of hard work, morality, piety, and none of this new-fangled debauchery.

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