A launch of the new Taylor & Francis digital resource Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War took place at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on February 16.
Thirty leading academics and librarians from Australian and New Zealand universities boarded HMAS Vampire to listen to RMIT professor and media personality, Joseph M. Siracusa. Siracusa, Professor of Human Security and International Diplomacy, explained how this new resource provides a ground breaking revolution in historical study for students and researchers of history and international relations worldwide.
Secret intelligence has long been regarded as the ‘missing dimension’ of British international relations. An almost mystical source, kept deliberately hidden by government. This veil has left historians to recognize in military and foreign policy decisions the influence of what is termed the known unknowns, but without any definite evidence of what those unknowns were.
Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War now reveals what was hidden, providing researchers and students access to 144,000 pages of British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files dating from 1873 to 1953. Advanced search functionality enables users to carry out in-depth investigation of the optical character recognized documents from their desk. No expensive trip to the National Archives, the only other place where you can see the documents, is required.
Institutions across the world are now beginning to explore the resource and are discovering its potential for new areas of research, and the real possibility of making new discoveries that could re-frame understanding of this highly significant period in twentieth-century history.
Kim Brooking, Senior Sales Manager for Australasia, commented “it was a very special evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all; we couldn’t have wished for a better outcome. We are already receiving trial requests from the institutions who were represented at the event”.