Empire Online

Resource Type: 

Empire Online features a wide variety of material including:  Exploration journals and logs; Letter books and correspondence; Periodicals; Diaries; Official Government Papers; Missionary papers; Travel writing; Slave papers; Memoirs; Fiction; Children's Adventure Stories; Traditional folk tales; Exhibition Catalogues and guides; Maps; Marketing Posters; Photographs; and Illustrations, with many in colour.  All of the items featured are covered in their entirety.  All of these have been indexed in detail, enabling students to find relevant materials easily.

The images are sourced from libraries and archives around the world, including a strong core of document images from the British Library.

The project is divided into five sections covering varying aspects of the colonial experience.  These are:

  • Section I: Cultural Contact, 1492-1969
    • manuscript sources such as the diaries and eyewitness accounts of European travellers, correspondence and periodical literature
    • evidence from native populations and indigenous tribes in Africa, India, Canada, Australia and the South Pacific
    • examines how attitudes changed over time as well as the manner in which Europeans worked both with and against indigenous groups in the quest for independence and self-government in the twentieth century
  • Section II: Literature and Empire
    • important texts describing the outreach and impact of colonial endeavour
    • writings by both pro- and anti-imperial authors, by agents of empire, by controllers of empire, and by imperial subjects
    • poetry, prose and drama
  • Section III: The Visible Empire
    • provides photographs and illustrations (over 5% of the images in this section are in colour) that relate to the art, architecture, representations of indigenous peoples, landscapes and natural history of colonial territories throughout the world
    • also focuses on the perception of Empire at home and how Britain was perceived by its visiting colonial subjects
  • Section IV: Religion and Empire
    • features material on encounters with local religious beliefs, missionary work, the development of indigenous churches, and the annexation of existing local beliefs and customs
    • documents on different regions in India and Africa, and on work amongst the Native American Indians in Canada; Maoris, Aborigines and other tribes are covered in records on Australasia and the South Pacific
  • Section V: Race, Class, Imperialism and Colonialism, c1607-2007
    • Colonialism created a new world order in which Europeans asserted their right to intervene and impose conditions of modernity on the subject peoples of their empires. Imperialism as the bearer of modernity, or what the Victorians called the civilising mission, constructed new identities of race, class and gender
    • looks at concepts of America and Imperialism from colonial time to Iraq

(From the website)


Includes images: maps, photographs, and illustrations.

Available from Adam Matthew Digital through a CRKN agreement (June 1, 2008 - May 31, 2011).

Stable URL: 

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A persistent link in this database is the link to the .pdf document.

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