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Inside the Archives – Autumn 2017 – Volume VI Number 4

Autumn 2017
Volume VI. Number 4.

Hey, it’s that time again, time to catch you up on the latest doings at Accessible Archives. The information in this edition of our newsletter is critical as it’s all about saving you money! So let’s get started.

 

Hold that Price

Accessible Archives’ approach to our permanent access customers always has been to provide top quality data at an affordable price. As a “differentiator” our policy is to capture images at the highest resolution while re-keying and XML-TEI Lite tagging the text, as opposed to using dirty OCR. And we’ve been able to maintain a degree of flexibility in working out the most advantageous manner in aiding libraries interested in acquiring our collections, including the fact that our modest annual maintenance fee covers all of our databases to which a library has permanent access.

Like you, we’re aware of the many problems facing our country and the rest of the world – floods, hurricanes (a hurricane in Ireland??? What’s that all about!!!), forest fires, volcanos, terrorism. Any of them could have a negative effect on the information community. We can’t solve these, but we can offer you a small ray of sunshine. In the spirit of our collaborative policies we have made the decision to hold the line on pricing for 2018. That means no increase in cost for permanent access to our databases, for our subscriptions, and even for our maintenance fee. So now you can lock in one small part of your budget for 2018.  Hurrah!

And Then, There’s a Sale!

We’re excited about our progress with our American County Histories collection, and want to share that excitement with you by announcing a SPECIAL SALE! The purchase of any portion of American County Histories earns a 25% discount. And if you are attending the Charleston Conference and visit us at Table #32 we’ll take an additional 10% off (if you’re NOT attending simply mention the conference and you’ll still get the extra 10%!).

What Else is Going on?

2017 continues to be a busy year at Accessible Archives – a new webinar in November, monthly content updates, exhibiting at the Charleston Conference, and more!  We are moving closer to the completion of our American County Histories and America and World War I collections!

Our Senior Research Editor, Jill O’Neill, has composed a very informative White Paper on American County Histories. It provides insights into the variety of uses of county histories – personal, historical, and cultural, sample use cases, and accessibility. –Check out the White Paper below!

Accessible Archives has become a full member of the COUNTER Project and is moving forward with the implementation of Release 5. See full information later in this newsletter.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to contribute or have an article suggestion for the Accessible Archives Newsletter. Keeping you informed is our goal!

American County Histories: A Unique Research Resource

County histories — publications that document and commemorate a specific region — represent a valuable information resource for patrons. They may be useful to the scholar chasing down a familial relationship for a particular historical figure, to the student researching an educational assignment, to the local authority seeking awareness of a particular population’s points of pride, need and understanding.

Those studying a local region have a broad diversity of available information resources. These may be found on the open web, as part of a university’s special collections, or via commercial services. The issue is not whether the user will find something useful, but rather how best he or she can tap into the specific resource best suited to task requirements.

Because so much information exists in both print and digital formats, examples of useful information resources are included here to provide a better understanding of the range of available materials. It is important that each be considered for appropriateness to the specific needs of the user, whether performing casual or scholarly investigation. That appropriateness may be determined through a sense of the scope of materials included in the resource, the available formats and the functional support for use (such as discovery, search and retrieval).

Download the Whitepaper

Accessible Archives Announces COUNTER Membership – Implements Release 5 of COUNTER

Accessible Archives, an electronic publisher of full-text primary source historical databases, has joined COUNTER as a full member and announced its intent to become fully compliant with the new COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources: Release 5.  Learn more here.

Check Out Our Open-Access E-Books and Databases!

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction Is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

“UNC libraries and their users consider Accessible Archives products to be important e-resources for supporting research in African American studies and on the history of the American South and, as a consequence, consistently have made their acquisition a priority.”

-Luke Swindler, Coordinator of General Collections,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

 “…all of you have been so great to work with. I just created a Sushi account, could not have been easier with your instructions.  Thanks!”

-Alice Eng, Electronic Resources
Librarian, Wake Forest University

 “I was talking to the Library Director here at Sewanee this morning, and telling her how much we love your database and knew that they used it as well.”

-Gentry Holbert, Director, Library &
Instructional Resources, Spring Hill College

 “…I remain an appreciative customer of Accessible Archives…”

 -Jack Robertson, Fiske and Marie Kimball
Librarian, Jefferson Library at Monticello

 

Upcoming Conference Events


Will you be at the Charleston Conference? 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 at Table #32. Let us know and we will make a date!

Charleston Gaillard Center - Table #32

Charleston Gaillard Center – Table #32

Will you attend ALA Midwinter in Denver February 9-12, 2018?  We would love to get together with you!  We are in booth #2209. Let us know and we will make a date!

Colorado Convention Center – Halls A-C - Booth #2209

Colorado Convention Center – Halls A-C – Booth #2209

© 2017 Accessible Archives, Inc.

Download as PDF

Download Newsletter

Unlimited Priorities is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives:

Iris L. Hanney
President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com
Robert Lester
Product Development
Unlimited Priorities LLC
203-527-3739
robert.lester@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.accessible-archives.com

Unlimited Priorities LLC

Publisher and Editor of Inside the Archives


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Summer 2017 – Volume VI Number 3

Summer 2017
Volume VI. Number 3.

Summer is a time for reviewing, catching up and planning. Also for rest and relaxation. The Summer Edition of our Newsletter has a lot of that (well, not so much of the rest and relaxation!). Read on!

Summer has been a very busy time at Accessible Archives with our June webinar and the planning for more in the Fall, exhibiting at ALA in Chicago – check out our ALA Raffle Winner below – and the completion of three regions in our acclaimed American County Histories collection – details also below. Demand for the recent additions to our African American Newspapers and Women’s Suffrage collections has been amazing!

In this issue, we present a new article by our guest writer, Jill O’Neill, discussing Discovery Tools in the Library. Check it out as it provides a variety of insights into ways of encouraging students to explore the content of the library’s database offerings.

The goal of the Accessible Archives Newsletter is to keep you informed! Drop us a line and let us know if we are meeting your needs, have an article suggestion, or just to say hello!

Stellar Charleston Advisor Review: African American Newspapers!

Accessible Archives is pleased that a review of our African American Newspapers: The 19th Century collection was selected for inclusion in the inauguration of the new database, “Choice Charleston Advisor (CC Advisor).”  We thank the reviewer, Lauren Stern, SUNY Cortland, for her assessment of one of Accessible Archives’ most popular collections.

This unique collection of African American Newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 19th century and is rich with first–hand reporting on the major events and issues of the day, including slavery and abolition, religion, the Civil War, Presidential and Congressional addresses, business and commodity markets, the humanities, and world travel. 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.

COMPOSITE SCORE: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Comments from the Review include:

“[the] database provides access to full-text transcriptions and digital scans of primary sources…The included transcription are, overall, of excellent quality, and the user interface is uncluttered and straightforward.”

“…both novice and advanced users will find this collection straightforward to search, browse, and read.”

“The Accessible Archives database emerges as a clear leader in this Area [Library Integration], due to its compatibility with several discovery services and the availability of MARC records and standardized usage statistics.”

Read the full review.

For more information on our African American Newspapers collection — http://www.accessible-archives.com/collections/african-american-newspapers/

Discovery Tools: Fostering a New Way of Seeing the Library’s Wealth

Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill is the Educational Programs Manager for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). She has been an active member of the information community for thirty years, most recently managing the professional development programs for NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services). Her publishing expertise was gained working for such prominent content providers as Elsevier, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, now Clarivate Analytics), and John Wiley & Sons. Jill writes for a diverse set of publications, including Information Today and the Scholarly Kitchen blog.

French literary giant Marcel Proust wrote that “the real voyage of discovery consisted not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”.  With the library implementation of discovery services, search has become a mechanism for developing new eyes.

Thousands of libraries worldwide have implemented discovery services in order to streamline their users’ experiences in finding useful and relevant information. When a library licenses a robust discovery tool, such as ExLibris’ Primo or OCLC’s Worldshare, awareness and usage of the high-quality information resources found within that library’s collection are maximized.

According to Marshall Breeding, founder and editor of Library Technology Guides, a discovery service offers “an interface with search and retrieval capabilities” with additional features that allow a user to swiftly discover, navigate to, and access relevant content licensed or owned by the library. What the ordinary library patron does not see is the index that underlays the discovery index that consists of metadata for a massive spectrum of locally and remotely hosted content.

Those encountering a single-search box on a library’s home page will often not recognize the sophistication of the information architecture that is operating. Breeding’s 2017 Library Systems Report, published in American Libraries in May, documents thousands of academic libraries that currently license such products across the globe.

Single Search Box IA State University Library

Single Search Box IA State University Library

The User Experience
The Iowa State University undergraduate working on a paper for a class on labor relations may have decided to focus on the Pullman Strike of 1894. That strike was so violent and so disruptive to the nation’s transportation needs that President Grover Cleveland was obligated to form a National Commission to study both the causes and the consequences of the American Railway Union (ARU) support for and coordination of such a massive work stoppage. Both Eugene Debs, President of the ARU, and George Pullman, President of the Pullman Palace Car Company, were called to testify before that commission.

What queries might such a student think to use in that single search box? She runs the risk of being overwhelmed with results if she uses too broad or too simple a query. Sure enough, this student encounters more than 700 items in running [Pullman strike 1894], a variety of items including books, articles and more granular content characterized as reference entry. Clicking on a link to that granular piece directs the user to a record indicating that it’s drawn from a specialized encyclopedia from a larger virtual library. The user can capture an appropriate citation or click on a link to access the content. Only then does the system seek verification of her right (as an institutional user) to review the licensed material hosted on a vendor’s remote platform.

What if she alters her query a bit? She’s primarily interested in what Eugene Debs said before the Commission in August of that year.

[Debs “National Commission” strike] as a query retrieves a highly relevant result immediately at the top of the result page. A newspaper headline – Debs on The Stand. The Strike Leader Before the Commission. Why the Strike Was Declared!  Clicking through reveals that the material is from The Christian Recorder, a newspaper included in the African American Newspaper Collection from Accessible Archives.

Christian Recorder Record - Discovery Item

Christian Recorder Record – Discovery Item

In this instance, the Iowa State patron clicks on the link and is taken to a transcript of the primary news article from the well-received African-American Newspaper collection hosted by Accessible Archives. The item is precisely what the user is seeking – contemporary coverage of Eugene Debs’ testimony, including the specific quip from Debs in response to one of the commissioners concerned question as to Debs’ views on government ownership of the railroads.

Accessible Archives Debs Record Search

Accessible Archives Debs Record Search

Responds Debs, “I believe that government ownership of railroads is decidedly better than railroads ownership of the government.” It’s a pithy remark and one that may motivate the student to further investigation of her subject.

The Library Experience
Three value-add elements contributed to the ease of retrieval within the discovery service for our user:  The first was the quality of the metadata associated with the retrieved item. In a digital environment, metadata must be accurate and it must be complete. In this context, the headline text is complete, with the publication date and the original source newspaper in which the article was found.

The second value add is the generation of the full-text transcript of the primary source material by Accessible Archives, coding from scanned images of The Christian Recorder utilizing the XML TEI Lite DTD, then keying the text to an accuracy rate of 99.5%, or better.

Third, the complete indexing of that transcript enabled the system’s relevancy algorithms to recognize multiple occurrences of the user’s key search term and rank it as being highly relevant to the query.

When a library is enabling a unified approach to search, one that incorporates owned and licensed content in a variety of formats, the process takes time. Diverse sources of data must conform to specifications from the selected discovery service provider in order to ensure that those resources in which the library has invested are recognized and readily retrieved. When a content producer – such as Accessible Archives – has made substantive efforts toward ensuring that its material is compatible with the major discovery services requirements, that makes the librarian’s task that much easier.

Basic Tweaks and Other Refinements
Is it important that users understand the full scope and depth of the content that they’re searching from that single search box on the library home page? A quick review of library home pages seems to suggest that the jury is still out. The initial presentation in our previous example of a search via Iowa State positioned the single search box above a separate block that broke out content types – article indexes and databases, ejournals, course reserves, etc. – and linked to browsable directory pages. There is no specific indication to the user that searching will encompass all of those content types and formats, although it may be inferred.

Other universities adopt a different approach. The single search box appears, but with tabs so that the user may limit his search to just the library catalog or other resources. In this example from Michigan State University, the labelled tab, SearchPlus, indicates the breadth of the discovery tool although the library provides a LibGuide, as well.

MSU Single Search

MSU Single Search

However, once the user has run the query, there are options for tweaking his search by specifying a preference for seeing only materials that are full-text online or limiting the result to a particular content format such as newspaper articles.

MSU Debs National Commission strike 1894 MSU Libraries

MSU Debs National Commission strike 1894 MSU Libraries

It’s worth noting that the same high-quality metadata from the African-American Newspaper Collection displays as well in a different discovery service here at Michigan State as it did in the example from Iowa State.

A third approach may be seen at the University of Arizona, where the library has chosen to spotlight to include two branded products – Summon (from ProQuest) for their discovery layer and OCLC’s WorldCat Local for the institutional catalog.

SUMMON Search

SUMMON Search

Discovery services commonly rely on the harvesting of metadata in creating the central indexes used in search.  Differentiating between the different data sources may increasingly make sense as larger institutional libraries make linked data openly accessible. Open access content from multiple diverse providers is another area of expansion for both libraries and service providers.

Google’s Impact
Research shows that many researchers and students begin their initial forays into a research problem using resources like Google Scholar. In discussing the 2016 US Library Survey results from Ithaka S+R, Christine Wolff-Eisenberg noted that increasingly library directors were aware of the trend. “After faculty members expressed strongly preferring starting their research with specific e-resources and databases in previous cycles of the survey, they now report being equally as likely to begin with a general-purpose search engine as they are with a specific e-resource and database, and are increasingly likely to begin with the library website or catalog.” (see http://www.sr.ithaka.org/blog/library-directors-and-discovery-a-changing-perspective/) That same library survey shows that, having implemented robust discovery services, library directors are comfortable with that. They know that when researchers do arrive at the library home page, they will readily navigate to much of the high-quality content that is neither discoverable nor accessible from Google.

Stay tuned for our next article on American County Histories in the Fall edition!

ALA Conference: Accessible Archives Raffle Winner Announced!

Sonoma County LibraryAccessible Archives is pleased to announce the winner of our raffle drawing conducted in the exhibit booth at the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago – Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA, has been drawn as the winner!  They will receive a full one-year subscription to all of the Accessible Archives 18th and 19th century full-text searchable digital collections, as well as the monthly content updates!

The winning entry was submitted by Suzanne Silva, Human Resources Manager.

Our Recently-Added Women’s Suffrage Series Collections!

 Part IV: Western Women’s Suffrage:  

  • The New Citizen, Seattle, WA – October, 1909 – January, 1912
  • Western Woman Voter, Seattle, WA – January, 1911 –  January, 1913

Part V: The Remonstrance

American County Histories Update

American County Histories for The Southeast, The Southwest and The West — ARE NOW COMPLETE!!!  With Ongoing Monthly Updates!

These three regions in our acclaimed American County Histories are now totally complete:  The Southeast comprising: AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA & WV; The Southwest comprising: AZ, AR, NM, OK, & TX; and The West comprising: AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, & WY. Accessible Archives continues to add new content on a monthly basis, and MARC records are being updated on a regular basis. Content Images for all remaining states will be available by year-end.  For more information on American County Histories.

We Have Updated Our Administrator’s Page!

Being able to reach out to our customers is essential and so we have made some changes to the contacts listed on your Administrator’s Page!  Now when you send us changes to your library’s contacts – we can make them quickly. This change will insure that we will always be up-to-date! Check the contacts listed on your Administrator’s Page and let us know what you think. Also, while you are there, feel free to look at the other benefits that we make available for our customers – MARC records, your COUNTER access, and more.

More Open-Access Collections!

The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue and The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County!

  • The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue provides a listing of marriages, deaths and obituaries, but also includes information about emigration patterns, customs and traditions, important events, medical history, biographical data, and more.
  • The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record documents the move to industrialization from a predominantly agrarian culture established by Quaker farmers in the 18th century. It 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.

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction Is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

… all of you have been so great to work with. I just created a Sushi account, could not have been easier with your instructions.  Thanks!” – Alice Eng, Electronic Resources Librarian, Wake Forest University

I was talking to the Library Director here at Sewanee this morning, and telling her how much we love your database and knew that they used it as well.” – Gentry Holbert, Director, Library & Instructional Resources, Spring Hill College

…I remain an appreciative customer of Accessible Archives…” – Jack Robertson, Fiske and Marie Kimball Librarian, Jefferson Library at Monticello

The resources you have are very helpful! I just wanted to thank you and thought you should know how useful it is as it’s made collecting information a lot easier.” – Debbie Reynolds, Teacher, The After School Center

New Webinars Are Coming in the Fall! Stay Tuned!

What is COUNTER? (including an update on Release 5) – 11am, October 3, 2017
Accessible Archives
recognizes the importance of usage reporting and we have made a commitment to provide COUNTER compliant usage reporting to our subscribers. Working with Scholarly iQ Accessible Archives provides librarians with access to their COUNTER reports through an intuitive web portal as well as a SUSHI web service for harvesting reports from multiple discovery services. This webinar will also provide an update on COUNTER Release 5. Hosted by Bob Lester, Product Development & Strategy Consultant, Unlimited Priorities, LLC, presenters will include: Lorraine Estelle, COUNTER Project Director, and Stuart Maxwell, Vice President, Business Development, Scholarly iQ.

Text and Data Mining: The New Gold Rush – 11am, November 2, 2017
Explore how text and data mining opens up large and high-quality historical datasets for your users. This webinar will provide an update on how scholars understand content in ways that only computational research makes possible which increases the value of library resources. Hosted by Bob Lester, Product Development & Strategy Consultant, Unlimited Priorities, LLC, presenters will include: Jill O’Neill, Educational Programs Manager, NISO and Darby Orcutt, Assistant Head, Collections & Research Strategy, North Carolina State University Libraries

AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS COLLECTION, PART XIII: The Negro Business League Herald

The NNBL was an important social and economic organization among African Americans in the early years of the twentieth century. Its credo of black self-assurance and intra-racial cooperation drew on a wide segment of the African American community. The local Negro Business League in Washington, D.C., led by Booker T. Washington‘s son-in-law, architect William Sidney Pittman, started publication of The Negro Business League Herald in 1909. This short-lived periodical provides insights into the activities and accomplishment of both the local NNBL office in Washington, D.C. and the organization in general.

Part XIII also includes the post-bellum periodical The Freedmen’s Record

Upcoming Conference Events

Will you be at the Charleston Conference? 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 at Table #32. Let us know and we will make a date!

Charleston Conference 2017

Charleston Conference 2017

 Charleston Gaillard Center
Table #32

© 2017 Accessible Archives, Inc.

Download as PDF

Download Newsletter

Unlimited Priorities is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives:

Iris L. Hanney
President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com
Robert Lester
Product Development
Unlimited Priorities LLC
203-527-3739
robert.lester@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.accessible-archives.com

Unlimited Priorities LLC

Publisher and Editor of Inside the Archives


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Spring 2017 – Volume VI Number 2

Spring 2017
Volume VI. Number 2.

Welcome to Spring 2017!
We hope your academic year wrap-up is going well!

2017 is another great year at Accessible Archives!  We have added new content to our African American Newspapers and Women’s Suffrage Collection, and have inaugurated a new series entitled America and World War I. Our acclaimed American County Histories database is growing monthly.

We are also expanding our Newsletter to discuss issues of relevant interest to the Library Community written by Library industry practitioners! This month we will broach the topic of Fake News and Information Literacy with our guest writer, Jill O’Neill.

Information Literacy: Applying the CRAPP Test to Historical Accounts

Propaganda. Misinformation. Fake News.
Such characterizations suggest an intent on the part of a writer or reporter to influence an unseen reader’s interpretation of the information being presented. A library’s historical archive can hold numerous contemporary accounts of an event that might readily be viewed as propaganda or “fake news” by a later generation of readers. One narrative may present the event in vocabulary with a particular appeal for its readers while another may appear to offer specifics without supporting corroborative materials. From the perspective of a scholar or specialist, the study of such multiple and varying accounts offers the opportunity to more deeply grasp the underlying attitudes of one particular group set in conflict with another.

However, when less-experienced users encounter the same conflicting accounts in an information resource such as Accessible Archives, they may be taken aback. How can the multiplicity of the accounts (frequently conflicting) be useful? How can one recognize the factual material and set it apart from the expression of opinion or deliberate attempt to mislead? It’s easy for individuals to overlook substantive reporting because of the distractions presented by “fake news” or other forms of misinformation encountered daily. Mastering the research process as part of an assigned paper or project enables students to develop those information literacy skills required in evaluating any primary content for reliability and bias.

The CRAAP test (developed by the Meriam Library, California State University – Chico) provides many of the touchstones that readers must use in building their research skills as well as their awareness of what might constitute “fake news”.  CRAAP is an acronym for specific criteria that are useful in evaluating a document. The “C” is for currency, the “R” for relevancy, the double occurrence of “A” is for accuracy and authority while the final “P” stands for Purpose (whether to inform, persuade, sell, entertain, etc.).

Depending upon the target audience, it can sometimes be easier to identify issues of bias or authoritativeness by looking at an historical event (distanced from immediate emotional response) and how that event was covered or presented in then-contemporary accounts rather than trying to sift through more immediate events burdened with unexamined or unconscious attitudes.

Allowing a less-experienced user to explore digital images and collections of historical data such as those found in Accessible Archives may cause that individual to employ (and unconsciously absorb) the habit of applying those CRAAP criteria. Reading contemporary accounts written by private individuals regarding public events or in response to coverage appearing in newspapers of the time can illuminate how best to consider conflicting views of those events. An account may indeed reveal bias while still making it clear how the author felt about the information being presented. Again, is the purpose of the presentation to inform the reader about an event or to influence the reader’s perception of the event? Bias may be present in a document, but the document may still be a valid source of information.

Jill O’Neill is the Educational Programs Manager for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). She has been an active member of the information community for thirty years, most recently managing the professional development programs for NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services). Her publishing expertise was gained working for such prominent content providers as Elsevier, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, now Clarivate Analytics), and John Wiley & Sons. Jill writes for a diverse set of publications, including Information Today and the Scholarly Kitchen blog.
Jill O’Neill

What might be such an example?
Because it was the first illustrated weekly in America, Frank Leslie’s Weekly is a source readily encountered in many reference collections covering the nineteenth century, and it is just one source of many included in Accessible Archives’ collections. Searching for information about conditions in Civil War prison camps, a student might easily encounter an article from that periodical noting differences between conditions in the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville (built in early 1864), and those in prison camps in the North. One such account found in the October 8, 1864 issue of the newspaper contains specifics about the daily rations issued to imprisoned Confederate soldiers, information that may be verified through other sources such as public records.  The news item admits that this is less than the daily ration provided to Union soldiers but finds that justifiable given that the prisoners “really do no hard work”.  That phrase might signal to the reader a slight hint of biased reporting or propaganda, but more obviously subsequent paragraphs make clear the reporter’s view that the Northern prison camps clearly maintained superior conditions and treatment to those existing in Southern camps:

But notice the petty annoyances, the absence of provisions for cleanliness and comfort, the pillaging of boxes sent from the North, the heartless insults of the guards…How does the management of a Southern prison contrast with that of a Northern? In the one the unhappy inmates are treated as brutes—in the other as men.

The last line clearly makes the claim that the Northern prison camp was more enlightened in its care of prisoners than those on the Southern side. The final paragraph of the article states authoritatively that the Confederate prisoners in the Northern prison camps received better medical care than did many of the poor in Northern cities.

Clearly, the purpose of the article was to inform Leslie’s readers of conditions in the prison camps, but in present-day thinking the article can justifiably be characterized as propaganda, intended to persuade a Northern audience of readers of the moral superiority of its behaviors. The accuracy of the itemized ration list may be verified through public records elsewhere as corroborated fact, but the language of subsequent paragraphs establishes a case for bias.

And just as we discuss/explain with regard to click-bait headlines and “fake news” in modern media, the commercial success of this 19th century newspaper depended on attracting the attention of subscribers to its coverage of current controversies associated with the war.

How might a more niche-oriented newspaper of the time have presented conditions in Civil War prison camps? A search of The Christian Recorder found in Accessible Archives’ African American Newspapers brings up a clip regarding such camps located in Texas. Published in 1865, an article notes that conditions in the Texas camps are better than those at Andersonville, that prisoners had plenty to eat and drink, “but though well treated, our men took every opportunity to gain the liberty for which they naturally yearned”. There is a brief reference to attempts made at tunneling under stockades surrounding both Southern and Northern camps, while one escaped prisoner from a Texas camp writes of the ordinary farm cart used to smuggle out 300 prisoners during a two-week period. The language in this article (relatively contemporaneous with that of the Leslie’s Weekly piece) overall presents a more moderate tone about prisoner treatment without specifying as much detail as the Leslie article. It offers the reader an opportunity to consider or question why that might be the case.

As would have been common in newspapers of the time, neither article carries a byline of the reporter responsible for the account. However, the appearance of such a story in a recognized newspaper publication might mean that the information contained therein would be automatically accepted as both authoritative and accurate.

Why would The Christian Recorders account of prisoner treatment (written a year later than the account appearing in Frank Leslie’s Weekly) express little or no outrage, instead focusing on means of escape? Was it due to the currency of the report? Had the furor over conditions at Andersonville already died down? (Unlikely. Captain Henry Wirz, responsible for prisoner welfare at Andersonville, was tried in a well-publicized military tribunal in 1865 and subsequently hung.) Was the relevance to a Texan population less immediate? Would hostility about the War and associated events linger or would it dissipate over time?

Perhaps not immediately. Among materials in the Accessible Archives’ collection, Reconstruction of Southern States: Pamphlets, we find the name of Andersonville grouped with the casualties buried in Arlington as well as those buried in Gettysburg: “Alas! we cannot give our thanks to the gallant dead. Three hundred thousand torn by shot or shell or bayonet, or destroyed by disease, ‘sleep the sleep that knows no waking’ at Arlington, Andersonville, Gettysburg, and on the soil of a hundred battle-fields.”  Such rhetoric is purposely intended to persuade, perhaps to inflame. Any characterization from Frank Leslie’s Weekly suddenly looks quite mild and reasonable.

Turning to a fourth Accessible Archives collection, American County Histories provides a third perspective on the impact of experiencing the Andersonville prison. Pulling up a page from The History of Centre and Clinton Counties in Pennsylvania, the reader is provided with a succinct description of the loss of one of Pennsylvania’s citizens – William Corbin, captured on picket duty in July of 1863, died at Andersonville, Georgia in August of 1864. Another citizen, Andrew Yeager, captured in May of 1864 similarly died in Andersonville.  In the History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania (also contained in American County Histories) the reader is faced with this account:

Capts. Binner and Freeman, Lieuts. Beegle and Heppard, and Adjt. Longenecker, less fortunate, were apprehended and returned to captivity. The enlisted men were closely held in that dreadful, ever to be remembered prison-pen, Andersonville, until the latter part of the summer of 1864, when a part of them were taken to Millen, and a few to Savannah, where some were exchanged. With the exception of a few retained at Andersonville, and who were afterward sent north by way of the Mississippi river, nearly all met at Florence, South Carolina, and were exchanged in the spring of 1865, at Wilmington, North Carolina, and sent to Annapolis, Maryland, in ocean transports. In a word, all who survived were exchanged in March, 1865; but before that time, more than half of those captured at Plymouth had died, or in other words had been maltreated and starved to death.

Published in 1884, that record still conveys bitter resentment of those deaths.

Even a short excursion into the many collections contained within Accessible Archives can reveal the parallel between the sensational coverage of the nineteenth century with the sensationalism that fuels “fake news” in the 21st century. The capability for identifying in newspapers – whether those of the 19th century or the 21st century — the currency of the information being published, the relevancy and accuracy of that information, the authority of the sources on which the report relies, and the purpose behind the crafting of its presentation is not a literacy skill to be lightly dismissed.

Every information resource may be used to develop and practice that skill. Accessible Archives offers numerous avenues of approach to train it into a rising population of workers constantly in touch with the flow of information.

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

Our Facebook and Twitter pages provide unique forays into the diverse 18th and 19th Century collections at Accessible Archives. Topics range from political discourses of the time, specific events occurring during the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I, social and cultural issues from Godey’s Lady’s Book, the march to Women’s Suffrage, and the growth of America in American County Histories. Antebellum slavery and abolition are staple topics from our African American Newspapers collection.

These unique nuggets of information open up the rare primary source newspapers, periodicals and print collections essential for teaching and researching the history of America. Check out our latest posts and subscribe here:  Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/accessiblearchives and Twitter at https://twitter.com/accessarchives

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.

Great News! New MARC Records Are Available!

MARC records are now available for our new collections and more states in American County Histories! These include: African American Newspapers, Part XIII: The Freedmen’s Record and The Negro Business League Herald; America and World War I: American Military Camp Newspapers; and Women’s Suffrage, Part IV: The New Citizen and Western Woman Voter, and Part V: The Remonstrance. The records are provided in two ways – as complete sets and as only new 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 institution’s Accessible Archives Administrators/Account Information Page. The images for all of the content in the new products is now available and can be viewed in the Browse the Archives page. We are adding the XML and re-keyed text for complete searchability of these products monthly!

American County Histories Continues to Grow!

Three More States and the District of Columbia Have Been Completed!
More Being Added Monthly!

Accessible Archives continues to add new content to our acclaimed American County Histories database. The District of Columbia, Florida, Montana, and Nevada are the latest states to be completed in their entirety, with more to come. Stay tuned for monthly content updates.  For more information on Accessible Archives’ American County Histories.

We have also added additional MARC records for the following states: Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.

New Open-Access Collection! Reconstruction of Southern States: Pamphlets

The Reconstruction of Southern States: Pamphlets joins our open-access collections. This collection provides unique insights into the Reconstruction Era in American history. Reconstruction encompassed three major initiatives: restoration of the Union, transformation of Southern society, and enactment of progressive legislation favoring the rights of freed slaves.

This collection provides an assortment of representative pamphlets that highlight these initiatives.  They were collected by the Department of State Library and comprise speeches, debates, political statements, legislative bills, and more. These pamphlets range in date from 1865 to 1869 and 1877.

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction Is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

“…I remain an appreciative customer of Accessible Archives…” -Jack Robertson, Fiske and Marie Kimball Librarian, Jefferson Library at Monticello

“The resources you have are very helpful! I just wanted to thank you and thought you should know how useful it is as it’s made collecting information a lot easier.” -Debbie Reynolds, Teacher, The After School Center

“Dear Accessible Archives, I am so thrilled that Indiana University has added access to Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly through Accessible Archives. I’ve been waiting for this for years, and I am already eager to begin using this material in my scholarly publications right away.” -Melody Barnett Deusner, Assistant Professor of Art History, Indiana University, Bloomington

New Webinars Are Coming! Stay Tuned!

  • Text and Data Mining: The New Gold Rush – Early June – Explores how text and data mining opens up large and high-quality historical datasets for your users. This webinar will provide an update on how scholars understand content in ways that only computational research makes possible and increases the value of library resources.
  • Using Your Discovery Services – October 3, 2017 – Discovery services have become a critical component within most academic libraries, playing a vital role in the effort to showcase the value of a library’s collection and changing the way resources are searched.  This webinar will be hosted by Sarah Joy Arnold, Instructional Technology Librarian, User Experience Department, UNC Chapel Hill Libraries, and Scott Anderson, Information Systems Librarian, Millersville University. They will provide valuable insights into the various discovery services — how they help researchers discover content that might be otherwise missed while improving a library’s return on investment.
  • What is COUNTER? – Fall 2017 – Accessible Archives recognizes the importance of usage reporting and we have made a commitment to provide COUNTER compliant usage reporting to our subscribers. Working with Scholarly iQ Accessible Archives provides librarians with access to their COUNTER reports through an intuitive web portal as well as a SUSHI web service for harvesting reports from multiple discovery services.

African American Newspapers Collection: The Freedmen’s Record

The Freedmen's RecordProvides a unique look at the issues faced by freed slaves and the efforts to provide opportunities for Freedmen entering American society.

The New England Freedmen’s Aid Society published the Freedmen’s Record in an effort to expose the conditions of Freedmen to the Northern public and promote charitable contributions for use in the Society’s Freedmen’s programs and to fund relief efforts in the postwar South.

Activities included the collection and distribution of food and clothing; monetary support; creating hospitals and temporary camps; the location of family members; collecting text books and building schools; the provision of legal representation; and alerting local and regional governments about various racial confrontations, including discrimination and voter intimidation.

Upcoming Conference Events

Will you be at ALA in Chicago? Lots of new and exciting things are going on at Accessible Archives and we would love to get together and share the news. We’ll be in booth #1713. Let us know and we will make a date!

Find us in the McCormick Center at Booth #1713

Find us in the McCormick Center at Booth #1713

© 2017 Accessible Archives, Inc.

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Iris L. Hanney
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iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
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Robert Lester
Product Development
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robert.lester@unlimitedpriorities.com
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Unlimited Priorities LLC

Publisher and Editor of Inside the Archives


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Winter 2017 – Volume VI Number 1

Winter 2017
Volume VI. Number 1.

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Winter 2017 edition!

2017 is starting off to be another great year for Accessible Archives and you. Accessible Archives continues its commitment to enhancing the user experience and content of our digital collections.

We will be rolling out several new products in the next few months. In addition, we have completed more states in our landmark American County Histories program. To ensure our customers are receiving a complete picture of their usage data, Accessible Archives has commissioned a new COUNTER compliant report from our COUNTER vendor, Scholarly iQ. (more…)


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Autumn 2016 – Volume V Number 4

Autumn 2016
Volume V. Number 4.

Welcome to the Autumn 2016 edition!  The new school year is in full swing!

2016 continues to be a great year for Accessible Archives and You. Just in time for the new school year, Accessible Archives has released our new faceted search page and increased content for the American County Histories. Accessible Archives continues its commitment to enhancing the user experience and content of our digital collections.

Accessible Archives’ New Content This Fall

New Content for American County Histories

American County HistoriesAccessible Archives continues to add new content to our acclaimed American County Histories database. Among those states with recently expanded holdings are Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, California, with more states to follow. Stay tuned for monthly content updates.

County histories have long formed the cornerstone of local and regional historical and genealogical research. Encyclopedic in scope and virtually limitless in their research possibilities, they provide a wealth of information for students and researchers of all types, as well as for general interest readers. The variety of topics covered in American County Histories include:

Aboriginal Populations
Archeology
Associations
Banking
Buildings & Construction
Celebrations
Community Development Programs
Crime Statistics
Educational Programs
Entertainment and the Arts
Ethnic History
Geological Descriptions
Growth of the Press
Health and Vital Statistics
Native Flora & Fauna
Participation in Revolutionary & Civil Wars
Photographs of Individuals and Events
Political Events & Elections
Population Shifts
Religious Trends and Migrations
Settlement Patterns
Transportation Systems
Urban/Rural Migration
Weather Patterns

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county through 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. The Table of Contents is hyperlinked to each chapter as well as to each individual illustration. The user can select a particular graphic from the List of Illustrations and proceed immediately to it by clicking on the highlighted text.

Learn more at Accessible Archives’ American County Histories.

Fall Special on Accessible Archives Collections Coming!

Accessible Archives will be offering one of our best sales of the year soon! Check out the Accessible Archives’ Collections for details on our primary source collections and start your list now. Stay tuned!

Accessible Archives Is Pleased to Support the “New York at Its Core” Exhibition

NEW YORK AT ITS CORE“Five years in the making, “New York at Its Core” presents the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World,” a preeminent global city now facing the future in a changing world. The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over.” Check out the exhibition beginning November 18, 2016 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd Street). Follow the progress of the exhibition at http://www.mcny.org/nyatitscore

Accessible Archives is providing the Museum of the City of New York with material from our National Anti-Slavery Standard database for use in the exhibition. The image from March 3, 1855, highlights Caroline Steadman’s experience.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, 1855-1922
Frank Leslie’s WeeklyIn 1855, Frank Leslie founded Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, America’s first weekly illustrated newspaper. Because news illustrations were novel to journalism in America, they intrigued the public and stimulated sales of Frank Leslie’s papers. News stories were illustrated within a couple of weeks of their occurrence, and in addition to news there were features on music, the stage, fine arts, sports, and literature, including serial fiction. No other publisher could match Leslie’s speed of production, and so he captured a market of both barely literate readers, who appreciated having the news presented in pictures, and more sophisticated subscribers, who appreciated his coverage of the arts and sports.

Have You Subscribed to the Accessible Archives’ Blog Yet?

The blog provides a unique look into the diverse 18th and 19th Century collections at Accessible Archives. Blog topics range from political discourses of the time, specific events occurring during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, social and cultural issues from Godey’s Lady’s Book and other publications, to slavery and abolition. Frank Leslie’s Weekly provides insights into a variety of unique topics beyond these time periods, including sports, the arts, and persons and events of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

These unique nuggets of information open up the rare primary source newspapers, periodicals and print collections essential for teaching and researching the history of America. Check out our latest posts.

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century
Frederick DouglassThese African American newspapers provide important original source material—written by African-Americans for African-Americans—readily available for research and fresh interpretation by historians, sociologists, educators and students. They contain a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s, rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day including slavery and abolition, presidential and congressional addresses, business and commodity markets, the Mexican War, society and culture, religion, and more.

These Webinars are coming!

Frank Leslie’s Weekly (November)

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. By unlocking the immediate past scholars can better understand the events leading to our present day concerns and issues.

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (December)

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 as they related to the African American community.

Did You Know That Accessible Archives Provides Open Access Publications?

Accessible Archives has digitized for open access three seminal works on 19th century America.

  • The first book, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, written by Sarah H. Bradford, covers the life of the African-American abolitionist, humanitarian and Union spy from before the American Civil War until her death.
  • The second book, Twelve Years A Slave, is Solomon Northup’s first-hand account of how fugitive slave laws allowed African Americans who could not prove their free status to be taken into slavery, and how this affected his own life.
  • The third book, History of Woman Suffrage – Volume III, was edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage. This history of the American women’s suffrage movement is a major source for primary documentation about the movement from its beginnings through the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

In addition, we have made available via open access, two database publications essential to the study of Pennsylvania genealogy, industrialization, and 18th and 19th century American history:

  • The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record 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.
  • The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue is primarily a listing of marriages, deaths and obituaries from six local newspapers published in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Users will also find information about emigration patterns, customs and traditions, important events, medical history, biographical data, and more within this collection.

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

Liberty University“I really appreciate your quick response and timely resolution on this.  I deal with a lot of our electronic content vendors when problems arise, and your team’s support is head and shoulders above the rest! Thanks again.”

— Angie Thompson ’08, Cataloging Assistant, Jerry Falwell Library, Liberty University

Newspapers of Colonial America
colonial-newspapersAccessible Archives makes an essential set of newspapers available in an easy-to-use online research and teaching tool designed to assist scholars and students on all levels achieve faster and easier access to world class resources. Comprising the Pennsylvania Gazette, South Carolina Newspapers, and the Virginia Gazette, these newspapers provide unique first-hand stories and news reports on life in Colonial America, including politics, society and culture, economics and trade, agriculture, religious activities, events in Europe, relations with Native Americans, military activities, including the French and Indian War, and culminating in the American Revolution.

Discovery Services and Accessible Archives Are A Match!

Many of you may have taken advantage of some of Accessible Archives’ free services.  This month we are pleased to remind our customers that we currently have strategic alliances with EBSCO Discovery Service, ExLibris Primo Central, OCLC WorldCat, and ProQuest Summon.

Discovery ServicesThese Discovery services help you to maximize the value and usefulness of your Accessible Archives databases. They can increase the value of your library by delivering a rich research experience that increases usage of these collections while strengthening your library’s role in meeting user expectations.

Upcoming Conference Events

Charleston ConferenceFrancis Marion Hotel, Table #19

ALA Atlanta Midwinter
Georgia World Congress Center, Booth #1249

Download as PDF

Download Newsletter

Unlimited Priorities is the Exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives:

Iris L. Hanney
President
Unlimited Priorities LLC
239-549-2384
Email
Peter Stevens
Sales
Unlimited Priorities LLC
215-947-0282
Email
Robert Lester
Product Development
Unlimited Priorities LLC
203-527-3739
Email

Unlimited Priorities LLC

Publisher and Editor of Inside the Archives