Detail of the header for The Illustrated London News showing the word "News" over part of the London skyline

The Illustrated London News

In sum, the archive has a variety of delights for the historians to search through, and a well-organized website, though no great depth of coverage or supporting material.

The Indochina War

Beyond providing an excellent suite of resources on the First Indochina War (as it is more popularly known), it also serves an important function of recovering a difficult moment in the histories of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and France that does not receive as much attention as it should.
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Although the most immediate threats to the security of the Republic—foreign invasion, the civil war in the Vendée, the Federalist uprisings, the grain shortage in Paris, and hyperinflation—had abated by June 1794, Robespierre and his allies on the Committee of Public Safety argued all the more strenuously that virtue needed to be enforced through terror. To this end, on 22 Prairial (10 June),... Read More »

The Marseillaise (War Song for the Army of the Rhine)


Composed by Joseph Rouget de Lisle when he learned that France had declared war on Austria, the Marseillaise quickly became the anthem of the republican Revolution. it remains the French national anthem today. A republican anthem, the Marseillaise was considered suitable for all sorts of revolutionary events. While it was often sung casually in streets and parks, its learned composition also... Read More »

The Moscow Campaign 1812

The Moscow Campaign 1812


Map depicting Napoleon's 1812 Russia campaign.

This source is a part of the The Napoleonic Experience teaching module.

The Russian Campaign as Seen by a Female Russian Soldier


Fighting under the name Alexander Durov, Nadezhda Durova was the daughter of a Russian officer who dressed as a man to join the Russian army in 1806. Although it became known that she was a woman, she was allowed to serve until 1816 when she retired as a captain of the cavalry. Her memoirs were first published in 1835.

This source is a part of the... Read More »

The Russian Campaign as Seen by an Ordinary Soldier


Adrien-Jean-Baptiste-François Bourgogne (1785–1867) was the son of a cloth merchant from northern France. He fought in Poland in 1806; in Austria, Spain, and Portugal in 1809–11; and in Russia in 1812–13. His memoirs were first published in 1857. In his accounts of the Russian campaign, he tells how the snow and cold hampered French progress almost as much as Russian ferocity on the... Read More »

The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan


On 25 December 1979, the Soviet Union deployed its army in Afghanistan, in support of the Afghan Communist government against a group of Muslim opponents. For the next nine years, only the active military involvement of the Soviet Union maintained any political control in Afghanistan, primarily through their control of the capital city of Kabul and its airport. With a long-drawn out military... Read More »

Photo of a battleship at sea

The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures

The collection calls attention to the way in which the emergence of the American Empire coincided with—and was in important ways shaped by—the birth of the cinema.
Image of the website header reading "The Story of Africa: African History from the Dawn of Time"

The Story of Africa

Each segment provides a selection of quotes from primary sources that illuminate specific issues. There are many gems to mine. They range from original lyrical quotations that capture the arresting images of initiation rituals and political power.