Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – August 2014 – Volume III Number 3

August 2014
Volume III. Number 3.

In this Issue


Bethune-Cookman UniversityBethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida was the winner of the raffle drawing conducted in the Accessible Archives exhibit booth at the ALA Annual Conference held this past June in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Carl S. Swisher Learning Resources Center will receive a one-year subscription to the complete collection of seventeen databases containing archival materials from 18th and 19th century America. Helen Morey, Collection Development/Acquisitions Librarian, was delighted at the prospect of having access to Accessible Archives’ database collection. She said, “We are excited to be able to offer these historic databases to our faculty and students during the next academic year. We were looking to add additional primary resource materials to our electronic resources collection and this wonderful gift of a free one year subscription comes at just the right time. The scope and span of the collections is impressive, and we know our users will be able to find content that otherwise would not be available to them.”


We’re always pleased to hear about public library patron usage of our databases, particularly when it involves searching our extensive American County Histories collection. Elizabeth Cronin, Information Services Coordinator at Ocean County Public Library in Toms River, New Jersey passed along the following tidbits:

“A patron came in researching a “founding family” of Ocean County. We showed him he could get to American County Histories, Pennsylvania Gazette, etc. through Accessible Archives. He left extremely pleased that he could use it all at home through remote access rather than having to use our databases on site, as he lives more than 20 miles away. We’re a large county and many of our patrons live even further from the library.”

“A graduate student was researching the history of the tanning industry in Delaware. Not a topic we had much or anything on at all as a New Jersey public library. She had basic information, but needed information specific to Delaware. A search in American County Histories for Delaware using three keywords – tanning, tanneries, tannery – yielded more than twenty hits, most of which told of a local person establishing a tannery. She was very happy because the information gave her several ideas of where to look next.”

Godey's Lady's BookGodey’s Lady’s Book also gets a lot of play at the library:

“A member of our local genealogy society was working on a scrapbook page for one of her 19th century female relatives. She needed images of women at different points in their lives. She wanted to start with weddings. When I showed her the way to limit results by image type, and we figured out that we should search for ‘bridal dress’ as well as separate searches for ‘wedding’, she said she was going to have a lot of fun.”

“A woman from the local history society was working on an exhibit on women in the late 19th century. She was very happy when I showed her Godey’s Lady’s Book. When I told her that this is the Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, Atlantic and more combined for the bright American woman of the 19th century, she got it. She also loved the fashion engravings since they are also very interested in clothing and costume.”


Sally Helvenston Gray, Associate Professor at Michigan State University, asked if it was possible to secure a high resolution image from Godey’s Lady’s Book to use in a scholarly publication. Her article “Short Report: The Shawl-Patterned Gown” will be published in DRESS, the journal of the Costume Society of America (Vol. 42 no. 2) to be out in October of this year. We were able to enhance the requested image for publication, and Sally deemed the result as excellent.

She went on to say: “My library doesn’t have this issue of Godey’s so it is very helpful to be able to access the complete set online. I can tell you from experience how difficult it is to find the library that owns a particular volume and then go through the process of purchasing rights to use the image for publication. I’m looking forward to seeing the article in print. By the way, I have seen at least one other article that has used an Accessible Archives image. I’m not sure how often this occurs, but it is really a help.”

Thanks, Sally, we were happy to assist your publishing effort. Site Images often can be enhanced, and may be used for publication as long as a citation is included referencing Accessible Archives.


We received a request from Charlene Harvell at the New Bern Historical Society in New Bern, North Carolina for a different kind of use for an image from a book in our Civil War collection. The society is creating interpretive panels to be placed at the New Bern Battlefield, and they wished to use a photograph of Kady Brownell, “The Heroine of New Bern”.

Kady Brownell (1842–January 14, 1915) was a vivandière (a French name for women attached to military regiments as sutlers or canteen keepers) who helped the Union army during the American Civil War. She was an active participant in the First Battle of Bull Run (1861), where she held the flag high even as Confederate bullets were flying and, after re-enlisting into the 5th Rhode Island Infantry with her new husband, Robert Brownell, at the Battle of New Bern (1862). Following the Civil War, Kady was the only female to receive discharge papers from the Union Army.

Brownell Exhibit

Brownell Exhibit

The illustration was from Women of the War: Their Heroism and Self-Sacrifice by Frank Moore, one of the books contained in our collection The Civil War Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective. We were able to supply an enhanced cropped image for the society’s use. Again, an acknowledgement referencing Accessible Archives is required in these instances.


In our last issue we announced a number of improvements to our MARC records offerings. Chris Fox in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University contacted us with some specific questions regarding downloading only the records for those databases held by the library, updating of records for newly added resources and delivery notifications. In this issue Howard Shatz, our MARC expert, addresses those areas.

The MARC records provided for the Accessible Archives materials are primarily modified MARC records for the original printed material. The modifications reflect the fact that the material is now available as an electronic resource by Accessible Archives and contains links to the electronic book and collection. Other modifications include removing non-standard fields and fields with information not relevant to the material and Accessible Archives.

When updates are completed the new MARC records can be downloaded either as a zip file containing one file with all MARC records or as a zip file with a file for each collection containing all records for that collection, enabling the library to obtain just the new and updated records for its collection. We are working on developing a regular delivery schedule. In the meantime, all clients will be notified when there are updates to the MARC records.

Chris responded to the information we provided her with the following: “Thanks to both you and Iris for your prompt and very helpful replies. I love great customer service – thanks for providing it!”

Thank you, Chris, for the compliment and for raising the questions that prompted us to expand the information we provide to our customers about our MARC records.


Over the years Accessible Archives and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation have negotiated a mutually beneficial relationship whereby CIC members have access to special offers and additional discounts when acquiring permanent access to Accessible Archives’ databases. Earlier this year an agreement was reached whereby CIC members were able to acquire access to Frank Leslie’s Weekly at an extremely generous rate, along with additional Purchase Bonuses.

Accessible Archives always is willing to develop similar alliances with other organizations, while still maintaining competitive pricing and providing special opportunities to individual and independent universities, colleges and public libraries. Please contact us for further information.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Positive SSL