February 2016 Webinar Schedule

This month we are hosting three free webinars on two topics:

Frank Leslie’s Weekly

February 17th, Wednesday, 10am EST
February 18th, Thursday, 1pm EST

This 30-minute webinar will trace America’s development in the 19th and early 20th centuries through this complete collection of the nation’s first illustrated weekly. It will highlight every phase of the evolution of American popular culture over 70 years. In addition, the webinar will illustrate how the Weekly chronicles the nation heading into the catastrophic conflict between North and South, postwar industrial growth and the rise of cities, and the movement westward. By unlocking the immediate past scholars can better understand the events leading to our present day concerns and issues.

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Use of Primary Sources and Interface/Searchability

February 24th, Wednesday, 10am EST

This 30-minute presentation will focus on the importance of using primary sources and how to locate those documents that will provide the best opportunities for reference librarians, faculty and students to “dig into the past” and discover the essential history that defines our society.

Register Now

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February 2016 Webinar Schedule
January Webinars

January Webinar Registration is Open

Learn how our databases can help your organization by attending a free webinar presentation. Learn about the latest content developments in our collections of 18th and 19th century books, periodicals, and newspapers.

This month we are hosting four thirty-minute webinars on two topics:

American County Histories

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 10am EST
Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 1pm EST

Black History/Abolition Collections

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 10am EST
Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 1pm EST

It’s a great idea to have multiple attendees participate so they can experience it first-hand and discuss next steps as a team.

Register Now

Our webinars are created and hosted by Unlimited Priorities LLC, exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives.

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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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Presidential Elections: The Primary Law Humbug

One hundred years ago, America was on the road to electing a new president. In 1916, only 25 states held primaries. Primaries were controlled by state law and had detractors as well as supporters. The 1916 Primaries were not considered the bell weathers of popular opinion of the candidates as they are today.

The 1916 primaries did highlight some of the same issues that we are seeing in 2016. These issues include: serious internal divisions within the Republican Party, concerns regarding the economy (in 2016, there have been rumblings that a recession is possible), and concern over America’s position in the spreading worldwide conflict (in 1916 it was the Great War and in 2016 it’s the War on Terrorism and the conflicts in the Middle East).

In Frank Leslie’s Weekly’s “The Trend of Public Opinion” editorial column, read a view on the presidential primaries and whether they provide the best candidates for the electorate written by journalist Charlton Bates Strayer.

Researchers interested in the history of America’s political process and the role of popular culture will find Frank Leslie’s Weekly full of unique information covering many phases of America’s presidential and political legacies.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.


By Charlton Bates Strayer

Will You? - February 7, 1916

Will You? – February 7, 1916

The new system of nomination by primaries is not proving itself to be the route to a political millennium. Using her state-wide primary law for the first time, Indiana finds that it plays into the hands of the rich candidate. Each candidate was compelled to make his own organization all over the State, practically on a scale to correspond with a political party organization. The Presidential primary offers a fertile field for “favorite sons” to get on the list to the future embarrassment of their State delegations, but men of real presidential calibre, such as Root, Hughes and Roosevelt, have shown remarkable interest in keeping their names off the primary lists.

In Minnesota the bewildering and contradictory provisions of the primary law have produced a situation whereby Senator Cummins, “favorite son” of another state, stands alone on the Republican ballot. The Minneapolis Tribune declares, however, that if the Minnesota voters thought that other States concluded from this that Minnesota was for Cummins, they would proceed to “knock the harm out of harmony.” The predicament in Ohio and Massachusetts is even worse. There a candidate for delegate is required to obtain the consent of the candidate for President to whom he pledges his support.

“If the Legislature doesn’t repeal the law,” says the Ohio State Journal, “and make a nomination a matter of honest judgment, instead of a bucked and gagged affair, it will be universally discredited.” The Ohio delegate in the national convention will be bound to vote for the first choice of the primaries until he is chosen, or withdrawn, and after that for second choice, whether his name is before the convention or not.

Adopted in the name of progress and with the purpose of securing the will of the people, the Presidential primary in its practical working confuses the situation by multiplying the number of candidates and binds the hands of the people.

Source: Frank Leslie’s Weekly, March 23, 1916

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The Lincoln Family at Barnum’s

In our Civil War: Part I: A Newspaper Perspective collection subscribers can find news coverage of the events leading up to the war as well as reports on battles, recruitment, troop morale, and logistics.  When the newly elected Abraham Lincoln and his family’s travel towards  Washington, the New York Herald ran several days of human interest stories describing the events and festivities surrounding the new First Family as they passed through New York and saw some of the sights.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

The Lincoln Family at Barnum’s

On Tuesday afternoon, soon after Lincoln arrival in the city, Mr. Barnum, the ‘Prince of Showmen,’ waited upon him at the Astor House, and invited him to visit the Museum. Mr. Lincoln said that he would certainly attend some time during yesterday. ‘Don’t forget,’ said Barnum. ‘You ‘Honest Old Abe;’ I shall rely upon you, and I advertise you.’The advertisement appeared, but Mr. Lincoln didn’t. A great many people took this opportunity of seeing the President elect, together with the other curiosities, but they were unfortunately disappointed. They saw the great Lincoln turkey, however, and looked as though they enjoyed it. They didn’t, though, for how can one enjoy the sight of a fine fowl fattened for another person to eat?

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln

During the morning Bob Lincoln, the rail prince, dropped into the Museum and looked through its spacious halls. The ‘What Is It’ enjoyed his distinguished consideration; the Aztec children looked wilder than ever as he faced them, descendants of a long and thin line of kings as they are; the lightning calculator dropped his chalk, and for the first time made only a small mistake in his addition. The young Prince wanted to consult Madame Delmonte, the fortune teller, upon the future of the country, but having connection with extremely Southern latitudes, she rather favored secession. If Mr. Barnum had only left young Lincoln to himself, no one could have recognized him as the son of the President.

Mrs. Lincoln, a handsome matronly lady, paid the Museum a visit, also, and sent her children, with their nurse, to see the ‘Woman in White’ and sit with Mr. Barnum in his private box. Such of the party as could write inscribed their names upon the visitors’ book, under the signatures of Tommy and the Prince of Wales. There was no extraordinary crowd, and very little attention paid to the distinguished visitors. The manner in which the brass band executed the national airs was the most remarkable event of the day at the Museum.

Source: The New York Herald , February 21,1861
Top Image:  Sleighing in New York by T. Benecke 1855.

Barnum Museum Ad

Barnum Museum Ad, Frank Leslie’s Weekly

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Yesterday’s Weather Today…

Last month, the weather was a major topic in the news media, as well as social media. Images of snow measured in feet were broadcast from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and even Glengary, WV.  These images and news stories will become a part of the historical record of states from New York to Kentucky to South Carolina.

American County Histories offer in great detail the various weather patterns of counties and regions. They highlight the many natural disasters that a county has suffered, especially violent storms, extended weather patterns and other natural disasters.

In addition, the full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to review detailed coverage of local history, geology, geography, 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.


The climate of this region is very pleasant most of the year, and well calculated for the fullest development of all the common crops of this country. There has not been kept within the limits of Daviess County what is called a “meteorological station,” but we are exceedingly fortunate in being offered the use of an extraordinary diary, faithfully kept by Mr. Joseph Thomas, of Owensboro, for about thirty years, commencing with Jan. 22, 1844, the Monday after his first marriage. This diary is a marvel of a daily record of events, of the weather, and of fine penmanship and correct spelling. Little did he think, thirty-eight years ago, that he would live to see the substance of it or any part of it in print like this, in a large book!

As he generally kept his thermometer in an unoccupied room in the house, or in the entrance hall, about ten to fifteen degrees must be subtracted from the figures in the first part of the following record, for the winter months, to obtain the true temperature out of doors. We have selected and compiled from the diary; to print all of it would make nearly two volumes the size of this. The war record and miscellaneous matters appear elsewhere in this work.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.


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A Year in the Home: February

Godey’s Lady’s Book played an important role in shaping the cultural customs in 19th century America. The “Queen of Monthlies” is best known for the hand-tinted fashion plate that appeared at the start of each issue, which provide a record of the progression of women’s dress.

Beyond clothing fashions, the articles and editorials in Godey’s included descriptions of current trends and acted as an arbiter of manners and helped shape many of the traditions practiced by American families today.

This was part of an 1890 series of articles covering a year of American domestic traditions and lore.

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.

A Year in the Home: February

By Augusta Salisbury Prescott

What are you going to do this year to keep alive the memory of Saint Valentine? Do you know who he was and why he is peculiarly entitled to be held in loving family remembrance?

He was a bishop who dwelt in Rome, and who made it his special care to look after the happiness of married couples, and to assist the young in their matchmaking. So it would be more than a pity if we were to allow the good old custom of celebrating his birthday to fall into desuetude. And then, too, the early months of the year are so long, and ofttimes tedious, that one may be glad to enliven them by taking advantage of every festival possible.

The old idea of sending a valentine in the form of a painted square of paper, containing a sentimental verse and, mayhap, a little looking-glass, has entirely gone out. But in place of this style have come others that make of valentine offerings. things of beauty and a joy as long as they last. They are souvenirs similar to those of Christmas, birthday and Easter, save that they differ in the sentiment, having on them a light line or two, or even no inscription at all save the date.


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Inside the Archives – Winter 2016 – Volume V Number 1

Inside the Archives

Winter 2016
Volume V. Number 1.

Welcome to 2016!  We hope the remainder of your academic year will prove to be positive and enjoyable.   We would like to thank those of you who visited our booth at ALA Midwinter in Boston and we look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Conference in Orlando.

Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Georgia Baugh, Electronic Resources/Research Librarian at St. Louis University. She won the drawing for a one-year subscription to all 24 Accessible Archives databases for the Pius XII Memorial Library. Could the lottery be next?

Accessible Archives had many of our own positive experiences during 2015 – completion of the databases, Frank Leslie’s Weekly and National Anti-Slavery Standard, expansion of The Civil War and American County Histories, and the implementation of many navigation and presentation enhancements including moving to the new COUNTER Release 4 (R4) standards – to name just some.  We will be adding new content during 2016, and a number of additional system enhancements, some of which are described later in this newsletter.

Bob Lester Joins Unlimited Priorities LLC

Bob Lester

Bob Lester

Unlimited Priorities is pleased to welcome Robert E. Lester to its team of industry experts as Product Development and Strategy Consultant. Unlimited Priorities is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives and Bob will play a major role in this relationship.

Bob Lester has more than 32 years of experience in publishing with a variety of companies such as University Publications of America, Congressional Information Service, LexisNexis Academic and Library Solutions, and Gale Cengage Learning.

As an accomplished publishing professional Bob has extensive microform, print, and digital product development and strategic management experience. Throughout his career, he has acquired a superb knowledge of historical/archival collections worldwide, created dynamic marketing and sales plans and programs, and gained an effective knowledge of other industry players and their offerings. In the rapidly changing information world, Bob believes strongly in consistent innovation in publishing methodologies to meet the evolving needs of customers.  (more…)

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