Join us at ALA Annual 2015!

AC15_WereExhibitingWe hope to see you in the exhibit hall at ALA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco later this month.  You can find us in the Exhibit Hall at booth number 2107 in the Moscone Center’s South Hall  near the Post Office and the What’s Cooking @ ALA Stage.

With hundreds of exhibiting organizations and stages featuring the hottest authors, and numerous related fun events, the exhibit floor is an integral part of your learning, professional development, and networking that takes place at the conference. The Exhibit Hall offers you the opportunity to explore and discuss with expert vendors the breadth and depth of new and favorite library products, services, books, online services, tools, and technologies.

ALA Annual 2015 map

Find us at booth #2107 in the South Hall


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New American County Histories Online

One of our major efforts this year is the expansion of our American County Histories collection to cover the nation from coast to coast.  Our most recent update brings four books online as full text searchable material and thirty more as page images.  As each page is converted to text and double checked, they will become searchable too.

The Browse and/or Search links below are for visitors on networks with institutional access to this collection. Individuals with personal subscriptions must login at to access the Browse and Search features.

Full Text Online

Page Images Online

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Pickle Recipes: Godey’s Lady’s Book

These recipes appeared in the November 1862 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.


The flavoring ingredients of Indian pickles are a compound of curry powder, with a large proportion of mustard and garlic.

The following will be found something like the real mango pickle, especially if the garlic be used plentifully. To each gallon of the strongest vinegar put four ounces of curry powder, same of flower of mustard (some rub these together with half a pint of salad oil), three of ginger, bruised, and two of turmeric, half a pound (when skinned) of eschalots slightly baked in a Dutch oven, two ounces of garlic prepared in like manner, a quarter of a pound of salt, and two drachms of Cayenne pepper.

Put these ingredients into a stone jar, cover it with a bladder wetted with the pickle, and set it on a trivet by the side of the fire during three days, shaking it up three times a day; it will then be ready to receive gherkins, sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, button onions, cauliflowers, celery, broccoli, French beans, nasturtiums, capsicums, and small green melons. The latter must be slit in the middle sufficiently to admit a marrow-spoon, with which take out all the seeds; then parboil the melons in a brine that will bear an egg; dry them, and fill them with mustard seed, and two cloves of garlic, and bind the melon round with packthread.

Large cucumbers may be prepared in like manner.

Green peaches make the best imitation of the Indian mango.

The other articles are to be separately parboiled (excepting the capsicums) in a brine of salt and water strong enough to bear an egg; taken out and drained, and spread out, and thoroughly dried in the sun, on a stove, or before a fire for a couple of days, and then put into the pickle.

Anything may be put into this pickle, except red cabbage and walnuts.

It will keep several years.

Observations: — To the Indian mango pickle is added a considerable quantity of mustard-seed oil, which would also be an excellent warm ingredient in our salad sauces. (more…)

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17th Century Swedes on the Delaware

The first white settlers within the present bounds of Delaware, as has already been shown in the preceding chapters, and the only white settlers previous to the coming of Penn who made any distinct and durable impress upon the country, were the Swedes. Their first, second and third colonies arrived in 1638 and 1640.

Landing of the Finns and Swedes in Delaware

Landing of the Finns and Swedes in Delaware

The Swedes on the Delaware have sometimes been reproached as a lazy people because they did not clear the forests at a rapid rate, nor build themselves fine houses. But this is not the character which Penn gives them, nor that to which their performances entitle them.

Penn says, “They are a plain, strong, industrious people, yet have made no great progress in the culture or propagation of fruit-trees as if they desired to have enough, not a superfluity.” He speaks also of their respect for authority, adding, “As they are a people proper and strong of body, so they have fine children, and almost every house full; rare to find one of them without three or four boys and as many girls; some six, seven and eight sons. And I must do them that right, I see few men more sober and industrious.”

In speaking of their lack of diversified husbandry, Penn forgot that their leading crop was tobacco, which, being without slaves almost entirely, they had to cultivate with their own hands. Their intelligence must have been at least equal to their loyalty, for they were more than fully represented, on the basis of comparative population, in all the early assemblies, councils and magistrates’ courts, under Lovelace and Penn, and they were the only interpreters Penn could get in his intercourse with the Indians. They were not devoid, moreover, of what would nowadays be esteemed remarkable industrial enterprise.


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Hints for Home Comforts from 1855

This list appeared in the November 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Hints for Home Comforts

  • A short needle makes the most expedition in plain sewing.
  • When you are particular in wishing to have precisely what you want from a butcher’s, go and purchase it yourself.
  • One flannel petticoat will wear nearly as long as two, if turned behind part before, when the front begins to wear thin.
  • People in general are not aware how very essential to the health of their inmates is the free admission of light into their houses.
  • A leather strap, with a buckle to fasten, is much more commodious than a cord for a box in general use for short distances; cording and uncording is a nasty job.
  • Sitting to sew by candlelight by a table with a dark cloth on it is injurious to the eyesight. When no other remedy presents itself, put a sheet of white paper before you.
  • People very commonly complain of indigestion; how can it be wondered at, when they seem, by their habit of swallowing their food wholesale, to forget for what purpose they are provided with teeth.
  • Never allow your servants to put wiped knives on your table, for, generally speaking, you may see that they have been wiped with a dirty cloth. If a knife is brightly cleaned, they are compelled to use a clean cloth.
  • There is not anything gained in economy by having very young and inexperienced servants at low wages; they break, waste, and destroy more than an equivalent for higher wages, setting aside comfort and respectability.
  • No article in dress tarnishes so readily as black crape trimmings, and few things injure it more than damp; therefore, to preserve its beauty on bonnets, a lady in nice mourning should in her evening walks, at all seasons of the year, take as a companion an old parasol to shade her crape.
  • A piece of oil-cloth (about twenty inches long) is a useful appendage to a common sitting-room. Kept in the closet, it can be available at any time to place jars upon, etc, which are likely to soil your table during the process of dispensing their contents; a wing and duster are harmonious accompaniments to the oil-cloth.
  • In most families many members are not fond of fat; servants seldom like it—consequently there is frequently much wasted; to avoid which, take off bits of suet fat from beefsteaks, etc, previous to cooking; they can be used for puddings. With good management, there need not be any waste in any shape or form.
  • Nothing looks worse than shabby gloves; and, as they are expensive articles in dress, they require a little management. A good glove will last six cheap ones with care. Do not wear your best gloves to concerts or assemblies where full dress is not required— the heat of the gas, etc, gives a moisture to the hands, that spoils the gloves; do not wear them in very wet weather; as carrying umbrellas, and drops of rain, spoil them.
  • A given quantity of tea is similar to malt— only giving strength to a given quantity of water, as we find therefore any additional quantity is waste. Two small teaspoonfuls of good black tea, and one three parts full of green, are sufficient to make three teacupfuls agreeable, the water being put in, in a boiling state at once; a second edition of water gives a vapid flavor to tea.
  • It may sound like being over particular, but we recommend persons to make a practice of fully addressing notes, etc, on all occasions; when, in case of their being dropped by careless messengers (which is not a rare occurrence), it is evident for whom they are intended, without undergoing the inspection of any other parties bearing a similar name.
  • Children should not be allowed to ask for the same thing twice. This may be accomplished by parents, teacher (or whoever may happen to have the management of them), paying attention to their little wants, if proper, at once, when possible. The children should be instructed to understand that, when they are not answered immediately, it is because it is not convenient. Let them learn patience by waiting.
  • We know not of anything attended with more serious consequences than that of sleeping in damp linen. Persons are frequently assured that they have been at a fire for many hours, but the question is as to what sort of fire, and whether they have been properly turned, so that every part may be exposed to the fire. The fear of creasing the linen, we know, prevents many from unfolding it, so as to be what we consider sufficiently aired; but health is of more importance than appearances; with gentleness, there need be no fear of want of neatness.
  • If the weather appears doubtful, always take the precaution of having an umbrella when you go out, particularly in going to church; you thereby avoid incurring one of three disagreeables: in the first place, the chance of getting wet— or encroaching under a friend’s umbrella— or being under the necessity of borrowing one, consequently involving the trouble of returning it, and possibly (as is the case nine times out of ten) inconveniencing your friend by neglecting to return it. Those who disdain the use of umbrellas generally appear with shabby hats, tumbled bonnet ribbons, wrinkled silk dresses, &c. &c., the consequence of frequent exposure to unexpected showers, to say nothing of colds taken, no one can tell how.
Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.
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Bald Eagle Tales from 1911

This is from Chapter XVII of History of Walton County by John L. McKinnon in our Florida County Histories:

The Great American Bald Eagle

This bird, symbolical of American liberty, is a great bird, and develops a faculty, or instinct, very near akin to reasoning. They give much trouble in the range to sheepmen. Since I have lived in DeFuniak, J. Love McLean, Bazey Andrews (a colored man) and myself were on a cow hunt in the southern range. We were on horseback, each had a dog, but no gun. As we passed up east of the scrub and near the “scrub pond,” we heard a great noise in the air. We looked to our right and there was one of these great bald eagles, swooping down on a fleet-footed doe, striking her at one time on the head, and then on the rump, tearing the flesh each time with his great beak and talons, repeating these blows. On nearing us, the scared doe saw us on the slant of the hill, ran to us, stopped in our very midst, looked up to us with her soft, dreamy eyes, as much as to say, “will you not protect me from this terrible bird of prey?”

Bald EagleThe eagle poised in mid-air for a moment just above us, then flew away across the pond and lighted on the lowest limb of a very low pine, under which were ewes and lambs feeding. When our dogs came up they chased the panting doe from our midst into the “scrub” that was close at hand, where she was safe from all. We passed through the pond, rode immediately under the bird, hollowed and squalled at him until we found that there was no use wasting our breath, and could never make it fly away. It would move sideways back and forth along the limb looking at us, as much as to say, “you kept me, through your dogs and the “scrub” from dining on venison, I will see to it that you will not keep me from dining on tender lamb. I am the great bald eagle, symbol of American liberty. This is my country, where in the mischief are you from?”

We had to go on and leave him there, knowing well that he would soon dine on lamb meat. We reported that evening to the sheep men and they went in quest of the saucy rascal. Are we not reminded here that there is a Refuge for us when we are pursued by the evil one, that is more secure than the “scrub” was to that stricken, soft-eyed doe?


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