Disability in the Modern World

A database reminder

One person in seven experiences disability (World Bank, World Report on Disability, 2015, Washington, DC). Yet the story of this community and its contributions is largely absent from the scholarly record. Disability in the Modern World: History of a Social Movement is an online collection that fills the gap, with a comprehensive and international set of resources to enrich study in a wide range of disciplines from media studies to philosophy.

Disability in the Modern World is a work in progress and when complete will include 150,000 pages of primary sources, supporting materials, and archives, along with 125 hours of video. The content is essential for teaching and research—not only in the growing disciplines of disability history and disability studies, but also in history, media, the arts, political science, education, and other areas where the contributions of the disability community are typically overlooked.

Content includes historic periodicals, brochures, advertisements, diaries and poetry, as well as documentaries, interviews and performances.

You can find this database on most of the Subjects pages within Creative and Cultural Industries.

For example:

Media Studies – look for the section towards the bottom of the page entitled ‘Themed Archive Collections’.  There are plenty of other e-resources to browse too.

This database will be useful for students of Film & Television, Media and Journalism as there is a section on ‘Disability and Media Bias’. There is also the complete run of The Disability Rag and its successor The Ragged Edge which provides a lens through which the entirety of the disability rights movement’s history and challenges can be seen. Sociology and History students will find this useful too.

See here for a full list of subject areas with relevant resources attached.

Don’t forget our Ibby Books display this Wednesday between 13:00 and 16:00 in the library atrium. The theme is ‘outstanding books for young people with disabilities, 2017’.


Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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