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Books for Everybody – The ALA in 1920

How the American Library Association Is Educating the Nation by Furnishing Out-of-the-way Villages and Isolated Farming Districts with Worth-While Literature

By Charled Aubrey Eaton,
Associate Editor of Leslie’s

ON a bleak and blustery day in February I was journeying down the Hudson River from Albany. The weather was bad, so bad that it furnished the chief topic of conversation throughout the car. Our train was hours late, every one seemed weary, and the dreary chill outside found reflection in the minds of the travelers. I fell to thinking of the affairs of the nation and the world as illustrated by conditions which seemed to depress the minds of my fellow travelers Everywhere it was stormy weather. Life had become strangely difficult and uncertain. Progress was slowing down. The minds of the people were distressed and dissatisfied. I began to wonder if there were any ameliorating circumstances, any light to relieve the dismal shadows. As my mind turned in this direction, I was almost surprised to find many hopeful things to think about, and, yielding to a journalistic instinct, I began to map out a series of what might be called “Cheer-up Articles.”

My cogitations at that point were interrupted pleasantly. A sweet-faced little woman came down the car aisle and, after a moment’s hesitation, stopped and spoke to me. She had listened the night before to an address which I had delivered in Albany and she wished to express her appreciation. It was certainly a welcome relief from the universal chorus of disapproval as to the weather and other human ills which had been sounding in my ears during our journey. Besides, the lady with her sweet, intellectual face, crowned by a wealth of white hair, looked like the fine old-fashioned New England women whom I had learned to reverence in my youth. And I was glad for the privilege of speaking with one of her type.

Soon we were deep in talk and I found that I had been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of one of the nation builders, Miss Mary L. Titcomb, Librarian of the Washington County Free Library at Hagerstown, Maryland.

The ALA Working in America

The ALA Working in America

What One Community Is Doing

Here was my first “cheer-up” article, for from Miss Titcomb I learned of the great constructive work being done by the American Library Association and of its plans for still greater things in the near future. I was almost ashamed to admit that I knew nothing of the County Library work until Miss Titcomb placed in my hands the facts.

In 1900 the Washington County Library was organized at Hagerstown, the county seat, in western Maryland. The original Board of Trustees were a German Reformed minister, two lawyers, a banker, a paper-maker, a farmer and a merchant. They had in mind the diffusion of information and culture by cultivation of the reading habit, especially among the rural sections of Washington County which has a population, including the county seat, of some fifty thousand people, almost exclusively engaged in agriculture.

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AbrahamLincoln_PresidentialLibrary_and_Museum

Accessible Archives and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Enter Into a Publishing Partners Agreement

Malvern, PA (January 29, 2015)Accessible Archives, Inc., a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases has signed an agreement with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to preserve in digital format a number of primary source collections relating to President Lincoln and the State of Illinois.  Once the materials have been digitized and made fully searchable, they will be available to genealogists, scholars, students, and those studying historical issues of personal interest as new databases by Accessible Archives.  This collaboration was coordinated through Unlimited Priorities LLC, a firm specializing in support for small and medium-size companies in the information and publishing industries.

Established in 1889 as the Illinois State Historical Library by the Illinois General Assembly, it later was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to reflect its essential role in telling the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life.  The library holds an impressive collection of Lincoln materials, among them Lincoln family letters and a prized collection of Lincolniana and assassination materials.  In addition, the library contains the premier collection of materials on Illinois history, including myriad books, original maps and thousands of boxes of personal papers and other records relating to Illinois’ political, business, and cultural leaders.  The county history collection provides at least one history from each of Illinois’ 102 counties, which over time will become available through Accessible Archives.  The Library also stages exhibits that showcase its impressive historical holdings relating to all aspects of Illinois history, including an extensive Civil War collection and strong offerings on slavery and abolition, early settlement, church and community histories, and Illinois coal mining.

Kathryn M. Harris, Library Services Director, commented on the recently completed agreement: “The partnership that we have entered into with Accessible Archives will benefit not only the Presidential Library, but also genealogists, historians, researchers or anyone interested in Illinois or Lincoln history.  We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship!”

Tom Nagy, Accessible Archives COO, responded: “These unique materials will be a great addition to our historical offerings, both as stand-alone collections and as enhancements to those databases we have already.  Our initial commitment will be the conversion of the Illinois county histories as one of the final steps in completing our American County Histories collection which soon will cover the entire country.”

About Accessible Archives, Inc.

Founded in 1990, Accessible Archives utilizes computer technology and a team of conversion specialists to provide vast quantities of archived historical information previously available only in microformat, hard copy or as images only. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across 18th and 19th American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current. Accessible Archives will continue to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars and students at all academic levels. Unlimited Priorities LLC is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives.

About Unlimited Priorities LLC

Unlimited Priorities is attuned to the management requirements of organizations in the information industry, both commercial and not-for-profit. We provide executive-level support services by utilizing a highly skilled group of professionals with abundant experience. Our practice specialties include Sales and Marketing, Business Development, Financial Services, Operations Management, Production, Information Technology, Social Media, and Content Development and Licensing. Our Archival Initiatives Division offers advice to libraries, historical societies and industry associations in selecting, distributing, and monetizing their valuable archival content. Our goal is to enhance our clients’ abilities to succeed, offering solutions that are realistic, practical, achievable and affordable.

Contacts

Tom Nagy, COO
Accessible Archives, Inc.
tnagy@accessible.com
866-296-1488
www.accessible-archives.com
Iris L. Hanney, President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com

 

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Accessible Archives MARC Records Added to WorldCat and Digitized Collections Added to WorldCat Discovery Services

Historical databases now accessible to libraries through
WorldCat and WorldCat Discovery Services

Malvern, PA (January 28, 2015) — Accessible Archives, Inc., a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases, has entered into an agreement with OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative providing research, programs and services for libraries, to add MARC records from hundreds of digitized historical book resources to WorldCat for discovery of these valuable resources worldwide. Accessible Archives’ diverse primary source collections, which now are available through WorldCat Discovery Services, also include newspapers and periodicals from Colonial and Early America. Unlimited Priorities LLC is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives, and also facilitated the negotiations for this agreement.

The Accessible Archives collections that have been added to the central index used by WorldCat Discovery and WorldCat Local previously were available only as single centrally indexed collections. Libraries currently accessing these collections through the Accessible Archives database (target ID 1940) should switch from that collection to the appropriate individual collections(s). Instructions for configuring the individual collections in the OCLC Service Configuration module are available on the WorldCat Local User Support Center. Further information may be obtained directly from OCLC.

Accessible Archives and OCLC also have partnered to add these collections to the WorldCat knowledge base. This direct feed will save libraries time and will result in fast, easy and reliable access to these critical e-collections for library users.

About Accessible Archives, Inc.

Founded in 1990, Accessible Archives utilizes computer technology and a team of conversion specialists to provide vast quantities of archived historical information previously available only in microformat, hard copy or as images only. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across 18th and 19th American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current. Accessible Archives will continue to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars and students at all academic levels. Unlimited Priorities LLC is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives.

Contacts

Tom Nagy, COO
Accessible Archives, Inc.
tnagy@accessible.com
866-296-1488
www.accessible-archives.com
Iris L. Hanney, President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com

 

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manifestdestiny

Accessible Archives Adds Last Two Regions to American County Histories Database

Part VI: Central States and Part VII: Midwest
States Available Soon

Malvern, PA (January 27, 2015)Accessible Archives, Inc.®, an electronic publisher of full-text primary source historical databases, has announced the expansion of its American County Histories collection. The addition of the Central and Midwest regions will further the massive undertaking that began with the Mid-Atlantic states and now encompasses the New England, Southeast, Southwest and West regional collections. Included Central states are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Midwest covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Published primarily between 1870 and 1923, county histories are a cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. They provide historians and genealogists with regional overviews and general community conditions. Ancestor research often yields collateral information about neighbors, friends and associates. Additional areas include government, medical and legal professions, churches, industries, schools, fire departments, cemeteries, transportation, and local and regional geological conditions. For an overview of non-traditional uses and original sources, please see our whitepaper on the topic.

As with all Accessible Archives databases these volumes will be carefully imaged and each article keyed and XML-tagged rather than using dirty OCR. Instead of plowing through as many as 50 separate sites with untagged images and multiple formats the user can search not just the only site with nationwide coverage in a unified manner, but is able to cross search through multiple related databases, as well.

Tom Nagy, COO of Accessible Archives, commented, “We’re very proud and, frankly, quite relieved to be nearing the end of this commitment. County histories are used on a daily basis in many libraries, but leafing through the individual volumes is a time-consuming effort. As the foremost digitized source for nationwide coverage of county histories we are gratified to be able to aid users as they conduct searches across a county, a state or the entire country in a matter of minutes rather than hours, days or weeks.”

In its role as exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives, Unlimited Priorities LLC® helped expedite this project by providing technical and production assistance and product development while also arranging multiple license agreements and sourcing all content.

About Accessible Archives, Inc.

Founded in 1990, Accessible Archives utilizes computer technology and a team of conversion specialists to provide vast quantities of archived historical information previously available only in microformat, hard copy or as images. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current. Accessible Archives will continue to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars and students at all academic levels. Accessible Archives has retained Unlimited Priorities LLC as its exclusive sales and marketing agent.

Contacts

Tom Nagy, COO
Accessible Archives, Inc.
tnagy@accessible.com
866-296-1488
www.accessible-archives.com
Iris L. Hanney, President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com

 

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soldiers-reading

Books for the Troops in World War I

The books found in our American County Histories collections are a wonderful source of information about local issues prior to the 1920s. This story — How Yakima Helped Distribute Books to Soldiers and Sailors was prepared by librarian Miss Eleanor S. Stephens for The Honor Roll 1917–1918–1919 in the Washington (State) collection.

How Yakima Helped Distribute Books to Soldiers and Sailors

As early as June, 1917, the American Library Association decided, at its annual meeting at Louisville, Kentucky, to take an active part in supplying reading matter to soldiers and sailors. In August, 1917, the Association received the official request from the Secretary of War asking that the A. L. A. undertake the work in cooperation with the Fosdick Commission. The A. L. A. then began to collect books and magazines throughout the nation with the assistance of the Public Libraries. Portland was the first distributing center for the Northwest and in the summer of 1917, some 200 books and magazines were collected by the Yakima Public Library and forwarded to Portland for distribution.

The camp library is yours - Read to win the war (1917)

The Camp Library is Yours (1917)

Although there were many gifts of fine books, the volumes donated were largely fiction. The workers realized that they needed funds with which to purchase specialized technical books, and the work had grown so that buildings for the Camp libraries and money to pay salaries of the librarians were wanted. The A. L. A. decided that it would institute a nation-wide campaign for one million dollars, which money would be used to carry on the work they planned. If every community in which there was a public library would raise five cents per capita the fund was certain to be raised in full. To this end the Library Board of the Yakima Public Library asked the following persons to serve as leaders in the local campaign: Wilbur Crocker, W. S. Bronson, F. F. W. Jackson, James Leslie, Mrs. C. E. Keeler, Miss Anna Whitney, Mrs. F. J. Mynard, W. L. Steinweg and Charles Lombard, with Robert Rundstrom as campaign manager and Eleanor Stephens as publicity manager. Through the efforts of these workers 781 people donated $900 toward the $1,500,000 that was raised October, 1917, for war library work.

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