The Chatham House Online Archive
Since its founding in 1920 as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London-based Chatham House has been a leading center for policy research on international affairs. In 2013, an online searchable database integrating a large extent of Chatham House’s publications and archives will be available for the first time. Gale Cengage will release the first module of The Chatham House Online Archive, covering the years 1920–79, in spring 2013. The release date for the second module, covering the years 1980–2008, is to be determined.
This review is in progress. CRL is working to gather more information and critical assessment. We encourage our community to submit comments on their experiences with the database. Also note that the review was written in advance of the database launch. Trial access was not available.
This resource is currently offered to CRL libraries at favorable terms. Representatives at each library have been sent login access to view purchase or subscription offers.
Sources for this review include information publicly posted or obtained directly from the publisher, data collected by CRL staff and members, and examination of the digital collection when possible. Other sources are noted where cited.
Since its founding in 1920 as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London-based Chatham House has been a leading center for policy research on international affairs. In 2013, an online searchable database integrating a large extent of Chatham House’s publications and archives will be available for the first time. Gale Cengage will release the first module of The Chatham House Online Archive, covering the years 1920–79, in spring 2013 (c. 410,000 pp.). The release date for the second module, covering the years 1980–2008 (c. 179,000 pp.), is to be determined.
Gale Cengage anticipates that The Chatham House Online Archive will offer nearly 600,000 pages of multiple content types, covering most regions of the world. Briefing papers, special reports, pamphlets, conference papers, and monographs generated in connection with Chatham House will be subject-indexed and cross-referenced. Full runs of searchable text content will be included for two notable Chatham House serial publications already accessible in JSTOR—the journal International Affairs (1922–2008) and the monthly The World Today (1945–2008)—as well as Bulletin of International Affairs (1925–45), and the important annual reference sources Survey of International Affairs and Documents of International Affairs. According to Gale, approximately 17% of the text content has not been previously published, and 80% has not been previously digitized; none of the audio has been published or digitzed.
Key topics covered in the archive will include: diplomacy and international relations; energy, environment, and development; international economics, trade, and business; international and national politics; international security and law; and global health issues.
The archive will also include over 8,000 hours of audio recordings along with searchable transcripts of Chatham House lectures from such figures as: Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Willy Brandt, King Hussein of Jordan, Henry Kissinger, François Mitterand, Prof. A. J. Toynbee, Chaim Weizmann, Dr. Andreas Papandreou, Caspar Weinberger, Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, HE Yousuf Al-Alawi Abdullah, Dr. Zhores Medvedev, and Hans Blix.
Gale has provided a detailed breakdown of content planned for the two modules: see Appendix A.
Gale reports that features will include:
- Transcripts of speeches/meetings
- Indexing of speakers and authors by nationality and profession
- MP3 audio recordings of meetings from 1966 onward linked to the transcripts
- Indexing of documents and articles by author, topic, and region
- Cross-searching cability and linking across journal articles, reports, books, conference papers, and Chatham House speeches or meetings
- Linking between an article in Survey of International Affairs with its referenced document in Documents of International Affairs
- Faceted results lists
Strengths and weaknesses
The two chief journals from Chatham House are already accessible online through JSTOR and in part through other aggregators (according to Gale), and 80% of the print content has been previously published (but less than 20% of that digitized). Nevertheless, this database should provide a unique opportunity to follow connections between significant documents and analysis reflecting a specific 20th-century world view. The content extends over a long period: some publications run up through 2008. In addition, the opportunity to hear a range of political leaders' voices in recorded speeches will be valuable for students as well as scholars. More than 7,000 speeches will be accessible not only through audio format but also through searchable transcripts and links between the original speeches and subsequent published articles.
Direct from Publisher
|Subjects covered||Diplomacy, international relations, energy, environment, development, economics, trade, business, politics, international security and law, global health issues|
|Geographic coverage||Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia|
|Chronological coverage||1920–2008 (first module covers 1920–79, second module to cover 1980–2008)|
|Content types||speeches, documents, articles|
|Source formats||paper, audio recordings|
|Total titles||Module 1: c. 500 monographs, 220 reports, 4,000 speeches, 8 journals; Module 2: c. 480 monographs, 900 reports, 3,000 speeches, 2 journals|
|Total pages||Module 1: c. 410,000 pp. and 1,160 hrs. audio; Module 2: c. 179,000 pp. and 3,550 hrs. audio|
|Digital collection launch date||Module 1: June 2013|
|Collection ongoing||Y (second module to be issued later)|
|P||Browser compatibility||IE 7.x+; Firefox 3.x to 3.5.x; Safari 4.x; Opera 9.x; Chrome 5.x|
|P||Authentication options||IP; password; Barcode; Athens; Shibboleth|
|P||Archiving solution – master files||Master files are archived|
|P||Archiving solution – derivative files||Copy of product file is archived; purchase customers receive JPEGs and XML files|
|P||Availability in web discovery tools||N|
|P||Open URL target||Y|
|P||Federated searching, z39.50||Y|
|P||Local host option||N|
|P||Full text displayed||Y (transcripts of speeches)|
|P||Color images||Y (very little)|
|P||Search full text||Y (for journal titles and speech transcripts)|
|P||Search within results||Y|
|P||Limit results by dates and/or document types||Y|
|P||Display highlighted search terms||Y|
|P||Display snippet -- search term in context||Y|
|P||Print full document||Y|
|P||Restrictions on use||Must respect copyright, educational fair use and customer license|
|Publisher / Distributor||Gale Cengage Learning|
|Address||Gale 27500 Drake Road Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535|
|Contact||http://gale.cengage.co.uk/the-chatham-house-online-archive.aspx ; http://gdc.gale.com/|
|CRL Profile of Publisher||NA|
|Multiple year payments option||NA|
|List of purchasers available||NA|
|Sample license available||Y|
|MARC records purchase fee||NA|
|Price tier basis||Y|