‘Defining Moment’ Drawing Prize Information

A few folks have asked about Personal Subscription prize we are giving to one of the people who submit their “defining moment in American history” on our Facebook page.

A Personal Subscription to Accessible Archives gives the holder access to the complete text in the collections listed below via our powerful search interface.  After a the winner receives their subscription they will use their personal login on the Accessible.com website to access the materials.

Browsing the Liberator by Page Image

Browsing the Liberator by Page Image

They can then search for specific words, names, locations, etc… within specific collections or across ALL collections.  They also have the option to browse the collection day by day, book by book, in text form as extracted from these primary sources or, in most cases, by viewing high resolution images of the original pages.

These two methods, combined, make it easy to gain a deeper understanding of the materials since it is easier to read the material as text while also looking a the images to put the news and information in its proper historical context the way people living at the time would see it.

The list below contains the full listing of our current collections.  The one year Personal Subscription winner will also have access to any and all new materials added over the course of the next year.

If you have not yet entered the drawing, it is very easy to do so.  Just visit this status update on Facebook and tell us what you think is the ‘defining moment’ in American History in a comment.  There are no right or wrong answers since this is just each person’s opinion.  On July 5th we will select, at random, one of people who commented on that status update and they will win the Personal Subscription.

For more information see Drawing: The Defining Moment in American History.


The Civil War Collection

Coverage in relation to the Civil War is both informative and eclectic. In-depth articles discuss trade with foreign countries, and how their governments viewed the United States in light of the Civil War. There is information on specific industries of the time, such as the oyster trade in New York. Slavery is an important topic, and countless editorials discuss pre- and post-war attitudes from both sides, as well as troop movements during the war.

  • Part I: A Newspaper Perspective
  • Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective
  • Part III: The Generals’ Perspective
  • Part IV: A Midwestern Perspective
  • Part V: Iowa’s Perspective

American County Histories

These books include chapters with detailed coverage of local history, geology, geography, weather, transportation, lists of all local participants in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, government, the medical and legal professions, churches and ministers, industry and manufacturing, banking and insurance, schools and teachers, noted celebrations, fire departments and associations, cemeteries, family histories, health and vital statistics, roads and bridges, public officials and legislators, and many additional subject areas.

Mid-Atlantic States

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York I – Southeast
  • New York II – Central
  • New York III – West
  • New York IV – North
  • Pennsylvania I – East
  • Pennsylvania II – Central
  • Pennsylvania III – Southwest
  • Pennsylvania IV – Northwest

New England States

  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

The Virginia Gazette, 1736–1780

The Virginia Gazette was the first newspaper published in Virginia and the first to be published in the area south of the Potomac River in the colonial period of the United States. Issues have the following subtitle: “Containing the freshest advices, foreign and domestick”.

Published weekly in Williamsburg, Virginia between 1736 and 1780, The Virginia Gazette contained news covering all of Virginia and also included information from other colonies, Scotland, England and additional countries.

  • Part I: 1736-1745
  • Part II: 1746-1755
  • Part III: 1756-1765
  • Part IV: 1766-1775
  • Part V: 1776-1780

African American Newspapers

This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day, including the Mexican War, Presidential and Congressional addresses, Congressional abstracts, business and commodity markets, the humanities, world travel and religion.

  • The Christian Recorder
  • The Colored American/Weekly Advocate
  • Frederick Douglass’ Paper
  • Freedom’s Journal
  • The National Era
  • The North Star
  • Provincial Freeman

Godey’s Lady’s Book (1830–1898)

This collection provides the complete run of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and is the only one containing the color plates as they originally appeared. The Accessible Archives search and retrieval system allows searchers to limit by “Image Type,” which includes chromolithograph, color plate and color plate fashion, as well as advertisement, cartoon, drawing, engraving, fashion plate, illustration, map, mezzotint, portrait, sheet music, table and woodcut.

The Liberator (1831–1865)

On January 1, 1831 the first issue of The Liberator appeared with the motto: “Our country is the world—our countrymen are mankind.” Garrison was a journalistic crusader who advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves and gained a national reputation for being one of the most radical of American abolitionists.

After the end of the Civil War in December, 1865, Garrison published his last issue of The Liberator, announcing “my vocation as an abolitionist is ended.” After thirty-five years and 1,820 issues, Garrison had not failed to publish a single issue. He spent the final 14 years of his life campaigning for woman’s suffrage, pacifism and temperance.

Browsing The Liberator

Browsing The Liberator

The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728–1800)

Published in Philadelphia from 1728 through 1800, The Pennsylvania Gazette is considered The New York Times of the 18th century.

On October 2, 1729, Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meredith bought the paper. Franklin not only printed the paper but also often contributed pieces under aliases. His newspaper soon became the most successful in the colonies. This newspaper, among other firsts, would print the first political cartoon in America, “Join, or Die,” authored by Franklin himself. The Pennsylvania Gazette ceased publication in 1800, ten years after Franklin’s death.

The Pennsylvania Gazette is divided into four separate folios. The periods covered by these folios include:

  • Folio I: “Benjamin Franklin`s Newspaper” (1728–1750)
  • Folio II: “The French & Indian War” (1751–1765)
  • Folio III: “The American Revolution” (1766–1783)
  • Folio IV: “The New Republic” (1784–1800)

The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue

This database primarily is a listing of marriages, deaths and obituaries from the Village Record, published in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Also included, however, is information about emigration patterns, customs and traditions, important events, medical history, biographical data, and more.

The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County (1819–1870)

This database documents the move to industrialization from a predominantly agrarian culture established by Quaker farmers in the 18th century. The collection contains full-text transcriptions of articles, advertisements and vital statistics, providing insight into technology, business activity and material culture in a down-river milling and manufacturing community at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

This collection includes material from the following newspapers:

  • Delaware County American, Media, PA (1851–1871)
  • Delaware County Democrat, Chester, PA (two issues)
  • Delaware County Republican, Darby & Chester, PA (1833–1870)
  • The Post Boy, Chester, PA (few issues)
  • The Upland Union, Chester, PA (1825–1835; 1850–1852)

South Carolina Newspapers 1732–1780

This collection contains a wealth of information on colonial and early American History and genealogy, and provides an accurate glimpse of life in South Carolina and America, with additional coverage of events in Europe, during the early days of this country.

  • The South Carolina Gazette – 1732–1775
  • The South Carolina & American General Gazette – 1764–1775
  • The South Carolina Gazette & Country Journal – 1765–1775
  • The Gazette of the State of South-Carolina – 1777–1780

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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