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Inside the Archives – Summer 2016 – Volume V Number 3

Inside the Archives

Summer 2016
Volume V. Number 3.

Welcome to the Summer 2016 edition!  We hope you have enjoyed the downtime!

The new school year is about to begin!

2016 continues to be a great year for Accessible Archives and You! Just in time for the new school year, Accessible Archives is pleased to announce the release of our new faceted search page – see the details below! Accessible Archives is committed to enhancing the user experience and searchability of our databases. (more…)

Inside the Archives – Spring 2016 – Volume V Number 2

Inside the Archives

Spring 2016
Volume V. Number 2.

Welcome to Spring 2016!  We hope the wrap-up of your academic year is going well!

2016 is proving to be a great year for Accessible Archives!  We are adding new content to our acclaimed American County Histories database. We are developing and acquiring content for several new database products for Fall 2016! Stay tuned for more details as we firm up the publishing and content load schedules for these new databases. 

Accessible Archives is committed to enhancing the user experience and searchability of our databases. The latest enhancements are described later in this newsletter.

Annual ALA Conference in Orlando

Will you be at ALA in Orlando?  Lots of new and exciting things are going on at Accessible Archives and we would love to get together and share the news.  We are in booth 612.  Let us know and we will make a date!

The Colored Conventions Project

Colored Conventions“The Colored Conventions Project is delighted beyond measure to have an agreement with Accessible Archives; it remains the most popular site for searches for the more than a twelve hundred students across the country who have used CCP’s curriculum. We have national teaching partners in Ohio and California creating exhibits now which will feature images from the database—and many more coming on this year as UD graduate students partner with scholars whose essays will appear in our forthcoming collection Colored Conventions in the Nineteenth Century and the Digital Age. Indeed, we just got a highly sought after NEH grant to facilitate the creation of 15 exhibits. So this agreement could not be better timed! “

Visit the Colored Conventions webpage.

One hundred years ago, America was on the road to electing a new president. In 1916, presidential campaigns and voters addressed many 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 a 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). Check out more on America’s political cultural development and the challenges of selecting a President in Frank Leslie’s Weekly.

MOBIUS and Accessible Archives Join Forces

MOBIUS and Unlimited Priorities, the sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives, have signed an agreement to bring to the MOBIUS member libraries rich online databases that allow students and scholars to access essential primary sources. Working with member libraries in Missouri and Oklahoma, MOBIUS is the preferred gateway to the global information environment and the challenges of ever-changing technology for over 70 academic, public, and special libraries.

Congratulations to Avila University!!  They are the first of many MOBIUS member libraries to purchase an Accessible Archives subscription, which includes access to all 24 Accessible Archives databases, monthly content additions, and new databases released during the term of their subscription.

Check with MOBIUS for the Accessible Archives sales promotion for member libraries!

New MARC Records Available

There are now American County Histories MARC records for books from every state. In total, there are now 1600 of the soon to be 3000 records available. The records are provided three ways – as complete sets, as only new records, and as only corrected records. As always, for each set you can download either a zip file that has one file with all MARC records or a zip file that has one file for each collection. The MARC FTP link can be found on your organization’s Accessible Archives Administrators/Account Information Page.

Accessible Archives — Search Enhancements

Accessible Archives is excited to provide additional updates on the continuing enhancements we have made to the searching functionality on our website.

Hovering over “Help” in the Search screen – a drop-down menu provides links to the relevant sections of the User Manual on the Tech Support page. Each link provides essential assistance/explanation prior to the user actually searching.

Search Enhancements - Figure 1

Search Enhancements – Figure 1

Hovering over “Help” on the Results Page — a dropdown menu provides links to the relevant sections of the User Manual on the Tech Support page. Each link provides essential assistance/explanation on viewing the results of your search, viewing and browsing documents, and printing, and emailing a document.

Search Enhancements - Figure 2

Search Enhancements – Figure 2

The link on display pages has been changed from “Search” to “Revise Search”.

Search Enhancements - Figure 3

Search Enhancements – Figure 3

In the decade following the end of the Civil War, a great many former abolitionists turned their attention to the question of political equality for women. A recurring theme that held the public’s attention all the way through the 20th century, when women finally succeeded in gaining voting rights nationally, was the idea that men and women had “natural” roles and “spheres” of influence and that tampering with the system would result in chaos or the destruction of the existing way of life.

Questions of Importance

“Two questions are now stirring public thought. That men are not women, and women are not men, will, we think, be admitted by the warmest advocates of extremes on either side. Then, however equal in ability and worth the sexes may be, there must be some difference in their offices and their daily employments…”

Learn more about Godey’s Lady’s Book (1830–1898)

Upcoming Webinars

We will be conducting a series of collection-specific webinars during the coming months.

Newspapers of Colonial America

The newspapers comprising this webinar contain a wealth of information on colonial and early American History and genealogy, and provides an accurate glimpse of life in America, with additional coverage of events in Europe. Includes: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1800 (with the Pennsylvania Packet and Maryland Gazette); South Carolina Newspapers, 1732-1780 (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); and, Virginia Gazette, 1736-1780.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly

We will trace America’s development in the 19th and early 20th centuries through this complete collection of the nation’s first illustrated weekly. We will highlight every phase of the evolution of American popular culture over 70 years. In addition, we 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.

In support of Canada’s Women’s History in October — Women’s Studies Collections

These collections comprise a unique selection of 19th Century women’s newspapers and periodicals whose diverse views helped define the roles of women in society, government and business.  They offer the opportunity to interpret social, political, economic, and literary matters during the 19th Century. Domesticity columns, suffrage and anti-suffrage writings, and literary genres are discussed, along with the ability of reference librarians, faculty, and students to assess the connotations of letters to the editors, news stories, articles on society and morality, essays, poems and short stories. Special focus will be on Canada.

African American Newspapers: 19th Century

This unique 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 collection also provides a great number of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements all of which embody the African-American experience.

Use of Primary Sources and Interface/Searchability

These presentations 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.

Accessible Archives’ Library Support Services

Many of you may have taken advantage of some of the Accessible Archives free services listed below, but we wanted to bring you up-to-date on all of our available support services. These free services will promote and increase the usability of your organization’s Accessible Archives holdings and enhance the user experience.

Most of the services listed below can be accessed through the “Account Information” link in the upper right-hand corner of the Accessible Archives search page. Your COUNTER User ID and password can be used to access your full Account Information. This link will take you to an administration page, which includes specific information on: customer ID, type of service, and annual term; Branding information; IP authentication entries; content access rights; the COUNTER sign-in link; and the MARC FTP link.

Who and What is being searched?

Accessible Archives understands that usage numbers are critical in analyzing and justifying ongoing expenses. We have made available two resources through our partner, Scholarly iQ, to provide you with the most current usage statistics.

COUNTER: You now have access to COUNTER 4. This will provide you with an opportunity to review your organization’s usage statistics on a regular basis. To access your COUNTER usage information, click on the Account Information link in the upper right-hand corner of the Accessible Archives search page and it will take you to the Administrator Log-in page. Type-in your user ID and password for access. On the Administrator site, you can see the COUNTER link in the upper right corner. If you don’t have your COUNTER password, please contact us at 239-549-2384 or

SUSHI: We have implemented SUSHI into our statistics system as part of our compliance with COUNTER 4, allowing you to automate your statistical gathering process.  We also work with ExLibris, Serial Solutions and EBSCO on providing SUSHI.

Promote your library’s acquisitions effort

BRANDING: Accessible Archives has a simple and user-friendly branding process that promotes the library and increases usage.

The top of the welcome screen will consist of a column for your logo, another for your greeting, and a third with an Accessible  logo and a brief note that the service is being provided via Accessible Archives.  The bottom of the screen will provide a selection list, and users will be able to select any combination of the resources to which you have purchased access.  We need two things from you to set up Branding – a logo file and a Greeting Message that will appear at the top of the page to the right of the logo.  We can accept either a .gif, .png or .jpg file.  The logo should not exceed 100 pixels in height or 300 pixels in width.  The greeting should be anywhere from 2 to 5 lines.

Searchability and Discovery

MARC: Accessible Archives can provide your library with customized MARC records. Our FTP site provides a convenient way of retrieving the latest updated records.  A user-friendly process allows users to follow a URL link directly to a publication or collection title for searching or browsing.

DISCOVERY: Accessible Archives currently has strategic alliances with EBSCO Discovery Service, ExLibris Primo Central, OCLC WorldCat,  and ProQuest Serials Solutions Summon.

When there are questions — Library and User Support

TECH SUPPORT WEB PAGE: Accessible Archives provides you with on-demand tech support at This web page provides a user manual that highlights all aspects of searching in your new product, direct links to our services, a detailed FAQ, and telephone number for access to a live contact for immediate attention

WEBINARS: We continue to offer free Webinars on a monthly basis.  If you are interested in learning more about our collections watch your e-mail for upcoming dates and sign-up information.  We also can create a customized Webinar for you and your staff geared to your specific collections.

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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…)

Inside the Archives – Fall 2015 – Volume IV Number 2

Inside the Archives

Fall 2015
Volume IV. Number 2.

Accessible Archives – Interface and Navigation Changes

 This year Accessible Archives embarked on a project to upgrade our interface and navigation capabilities.  To this end we conducted a survey of some 14 libraries of all types – plus three consultants close to the library and information science industry – regarding the feasibility of our search interface.   It has been an ongoing process as we interviewed a cross-section of librarians – both from schools with annual subscriptions and those with permanent access to the collections – to learn what they liked and didn’t like about it, and received a large amount of valuable input.  Four members of the interview group then agreed to support us further as part of an informal Advisory Board as we worked to make enhancements to our service.  We would like to thank:

  • Scott R. Anderson – Associate Professor, Information Systems Librarian, Millersville University, PA
  • Clinton Baugess – Reference and Instruction Librarian, Gettysburg College, PA
  • Jane Hutton – Associate Professor, Electronic Resources Librarian, West Chester University, PA
  • Terry Simpkins – Director, Discovery and Access Services, Middlebury College, VT

 We now have completed a major analysis of our product feature-set, and through the close of the year and beyond we will be deciding on a further group of changes to deliver an even better user experience.  This entire project was coordinated by Unlimited Priorities LLC, a firm specializing in support for small and medium-size companies in the information and publishing industries, and whose Archival Initiatives Division (AID) provides support services to the library and archives communities.  Unlimited Priorities is the exclusive sales and marketing representative for Accessible Archives.

We are excited to update you on the navigation and presentation enhancements made to date to the Accessible Archives interface and functionality.  We take our customers’ questions and corrections very seriously, and we invite you to comment on any of the changes and upgrades we have made.

Searching subscribed content directly from the product description pages

We have added a Browse and Search button for users with IP access that launches a new tab/window directly to the specified collection.  Users who review our Collection information and other marketing materials can now quickly move to the search screen:

Interface and Navigation Changes

Interface and Navigation Changes

Helping users recognize and understand the content they are selecting and searching

We have made several connected changes to the visual aspects of Accessible Archives.  Most noticeably we have given each of our Collections a distinctive subject icon which is displayed when users browse titles and review search results.

Collection Indicators

Collection Indicators

In addition, we have provided mouse-over descriptive text to provide context for each Collection:

Mouse Over Information

Mouse Over Information

Providing more helpful results messages

Nobody wants a flood of search results but when large results sets are generated it is good to know what is happening and we have ensured that our on screen messages are as helpful as possible.  For example, a search resulting in an inordinate number of hits will generate the following message:

11888 is too many documents to format in a result list.  Formatting the 200 most relevant for display. (Please consider narrowing your search criteria.)

Redesigning the look and feel

We have made a set of generally subtle updates to the look and feel of the Accessible Archives interface to bring it into line with our marketing livery and to freshen up some of the design elements

The first thing to notice is that the screen background is now white. We had grown rather attached to the parchment background, but our research showed a strong preference for a simple, clean approach and we think the new design works well

We have also tightened up the design components and the layout to work with different screen sizes and resolutions – this ensures that even on the largest displays the interface will fill the screen and use the available real estate effectively.


We have created an entirely new area in the interface specifically for library administrators – away from the search area. This is where we provide support and deliver account information. A direct link from the main menu bar provides access to:

  • Accessible Archives recorded account contact information
  • access to downloadable MARC records
  • announcement details, e.g. about product updates
  • annual maintenance fee dates for customers with permanent access
  • begin and end dates for customers with annual subscriptions
  • branding indication
  • the COUNTER site via log-in to COUNTER
  • IP range definitions
  • Username/password login definitions
Administrator Login

Administrator Login

Remove unnecessary clutter

 We removed Announcements from the search interface, and also removed the Site Map button from the menu bar.  At the same time we instituted some general housekeeping methodologies to update the accuracy levels.


We have created a new place for product and other announcements, such as Webinar dates, new MARC records availability, etc.

Search response time

In order to increase search speed we have updated the public domain software packages upon which the Accessible Interface and functionality is built and embarked on application changes to enhance our interface.  The underlying software packages that were upgraded to the latest stable versions include Apache, Java Dev Kit, Tomcat (Java Server Pages), Lucene search engine software, Shibboleth and ActiveState Perl.

In addition, the server hardware was significantly upgraded and newer server software (operating system Windows 2012) was implemented by our service provider. Future changes will continue the upgrading of our Public Domain software package base to newer stable versions and both server hardware and server operating system upgrades as needed.

Improved Navigation

We improved navigation between the product (Search) and marketing (Collections) pages by:

  • Adding a Search Database button to the product description bar
Search Databases

Search Databases

  • Opening a new tab when the user moves from marketing to product pages, and vice-versa
  • Clarifying what the search box on the marketing screens actually searches by re-wording the explanatory text
Search Box

Search Box

  • Re-naming Previous Document/Next Document links to Previous Result/Next Result in order to avoid confusion when going to the next search result instead of the next page of the current result – or vice-versa.
Previous - Next Result

Previous – Next Result

Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godeys Ladys BookWe have made several fixes and enhancements to our Godey’s Lady’s Book product based on user feedback and comments.  In particular, we were informed that we were missing some thumbnail images that should appear in articles when the article is displayed.  And, some thumbnail images linked to an incorrect (larger) cropped image that displays when the thumbnail image is clicked or the cropped image was simply missing when the thumbnail was clicked.  These issues have been resolved.

In addition, users wanted the issue page images for the years 1830 through 1885 made available (they were already available for the years 1886 through 1898).  Issue page images for the years 1831 through 1885 have been added.  Other enhancements are forthcoming.  As a reminder, our collection is the only one that contains all the color plates.


 Several Webinars are conducted each month, highlighting recent updates to our collections and search tools.  General webinars provide an introduction to and an overview of our databases.  Subject-specific webinars focusing on particular areas of history such as the Revolution, the Civil War, Women’s History, etc., are under development.

Collection Updates

Frank Leslie’s Weekly

Frank Leslies WeeklyThis collection has been completed with both images and keyed text now available.  Generous pre-publication pricing still is available, but will expire at the end of 2015.

 Now students, faculty and teachers, historians and researchers, using Frank Leslie’s Weekly, can trace the development of America in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Researchers interested in popular culture will find unique information covering every phase of America’s evolution for more than 70 years. Because more than 80 percent of the material in Frank Leslie’s has never been reprinted or anthologized, this collection creates endless possibilities for new and more thorough research.

A diverse variety of writers published their stories in Frank Leslie’s Weekly, including Louisa May Alcott, H. Irving Hancock, Helen R. Martin and Ellis Parker Butler. In addition, several notable illustrators worked for the publication, including Albert Berghaus, Norman Rockwell – who created covers for the magazine in its latter years – and Fernando Miranda y Casellas.

Unquestionably, this digital collection illuminates numerous aspects of American life, but its relevance is not confined to the past. Frank Leslie’s Weekly chronicles the nation heading into the catastrophic conflict between North and South, the postwar growth of industry and the rise of cities, and the movement westward. Frank Leslie’s records American popular culture, unlocking the immediate past so scholars can examine the nation’s history, helping us better to understand our present concerns and issues.

National Anti-Slavery Standard

National Anti-Slavery StandardThis collection is nearing completion, and both images and keyed text will be available in December.  Generous pre-publication pricing still is available, but will expire at the end of 2015.

American County Histories.

This collection continues to expand, with three regions now complete: Southeast, Southwest and West. American County Histories We are processing a massive number of books in the Central and Midwest, and these regions are scheduled for completion by mid-2016.  In addition, we have located and are adding large numbers of books to the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.

Pre-publication pricing remains available in a number of these areas.


Charleston Conference

Frances Marion Hotel, Table 19 Frances Marion Hotel, Table 19

Boston Convention Center, Booth 1645

Boston Convention Center, Booth 1645

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Back Issues

Back Issues

Inside the Archives – Spring 2015 – Volume IV Number 1

Inside the Archives

Spring 2015
Volume IV. Number 1.



In our constant striving for excellence we review our current collections on a regular basis.  During one such review we uncovered additional text and images for PROVINCIAL FREEMAN, one of seven newspapers comprising African American Newspapers: The 19th Century.  We have added these materials to the collection, providing them at no additional cost to our customers.


 Accessible Archives recently signed an agreement with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois 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, professors, students, and those studying historical issues of personal interest as new databases by Accessible Archives.  This collaboration was coordinated through Unlimited Priorities LLC.


The first collection from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to be made available through Accessible Archives is Part VII of our Civil War collection: Abraham Lincoln Library Abolitionist BooksThis unique collection brings together a disparate group of abolitionist era reference materials.  Ranging from memoirs to speeches, biographies to essays, sermons to proceedings minutes, these publications provide the user an intimate insight into the social, political and religious natures of those contentious times. The diversity of the materials allows the user to access information reflecting both points of view on the abolition of slavery.