Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – November 2014 – Volume III Number 4

November 2014
Volume III. Number 4.


As we move toward the close of 2014, with Thanksgiving on the horizon and Christmas just a few weeks away, Accessible Archives’ END-OF-YEAR SALE still is going strong. From The Revolution through the African American Experience and Civil War to Women’s History and beyond, individual and packaged collections are available at very special prices.  Whether you’re looking at individual permanent access or prefer an annual subscription to our complete collections, please contact us with your interests and we will be happy to review all options with you.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly — We continue to load keyed content onto the website, with a completion goal of early 2015.  As we remain in pre-publication mode, special pricing still is available.  Whether your interest lies with the complete collection or just in specific areas – The Civil War or World War I, for example – we are offering extremely favorable terms.

National Anti-Slavery Standard — While complete page images are already on the website, as are those for Frank Leslie’s weekly, the number of keyed issues increases on a regular basis.  Again, pre-publication pricing is in effect, with a very special offer for those who own the Standard’s sister publication, The Liberator from any source.  Please contact us and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and we’re  “talking turkey”! 


Accessible Archives will exhibit at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, January 30 – February 2, 2015.  Please visit us in Booth 3626.  We look forward to meeting with current and future customers, and invite you to contact us for an appointment.  We have several new things to talk about and some special offers.  See you in Chicago!


With the Civil War Sesquicentennial in full swing, research for papers, presentations re-enactments and celebrations is at a heightened level.  One excellent original source is Frank Leslie’s Weekly.  While the digitization of this large database is not yet complete, due to the time necessary to double-key each entry rather than utilizing dirty OCR, Accessible Archives has made the years encompassing this period fully available, including the 16 to 32 images – photos, renderings, maps, illustrations – contained in each issue.  Because the collection will be completed early in 2015 pre-publication pricing still is available, as it is for National Anti-Slavery Standard, 1840-1870, sister publication of The Liberator. Owners of The Liberator receive a special discount when acquiring National Anti-Slavery Standard.


1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

Interest in Civil War individual participants is at an all time high.  In one example, a century and a half after his valiant death in the Battle of Gettysburg, 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who was killed standing his ground against Pickett’s Charge, recently was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, this nation’s highest military decoration.  A search across Accessible Archives’ databases yielded a number of references to 1st Lt. Cushing, most prominently in The Civil War: 1855-1869, but also in the American County Histories collection.  These descriptions of his heroism stand in stark contrast to the bland official government announcement.


Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing commanded a battery on General Webb’s line, and in the cannonade preceding the great charge on the third day all his guns but one were disabled, and he was mortally wounded. When the charging column approached, he exclaimed: “Webb, I will give them one more shot!” ran his gun forward to the stone wall, fired it, said “Good-bye!” and fell dead.

These types of references help historic events to come alive for the student researcher. Perhaps Senator John McCain said it best: “…it’s one thing to talk about the Civil War [and] it’s something else to talk about the people who were engaged in it and what happened to them, and, in other words, kind of personalize it. . But how do you get people interested? You give them the examples of people who were actually engaged in war, but … you also try to give them the context of the conflict … and that way, I would hope, more young people might be more interested in [it].”


Moving backward through time we are very proud to share the news that two of America’s premier research centers on the Founding Fathers are recent subscribers to Accessible Archives’ complete collection of 20 databases.

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon is a new center for compelling, ground-breaking scholarship about George Washington, colonial America, and the Revolutionary and founding eras. Mark Santangelo, Chief Librarian and Archivist, said: “We are delighted to be able to search through an enormous quantity of newspapers across several states, which is a powerful tool for our Fellows, staff, and scholars.”

The Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello’s research center on Jefferson’s life, times and legacy, welcomes all researchers interested in learning about Thomas Jefferson and his world.

Jack Robertson, Foundation Librarian, was pleased by the purchase: ” I am glad that we have finally added Accessible Archives to our list of databases!”


In its ongoing support for smaller libraries, organizations, and historical and genealogical associations, Accessible Archives was pleased to offer two personal subscriptions as door prizes at the October meeting of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Debbie McGinnis and Janet Larimer will have full access to 20 historical databases through October of 2015. Both winners said they truly appreciated our generosity.


The University of Wisconsin recently acquired the complete collection of African American Newspapers: The 19th Century from Accessible Archives. As a member of the CIC – Committee for Institutional Cooperation – the university received an extremely favorable purchase rate due to a long-standing agreement with Accessible Archives.. Susan Barribeau, Collections Librarian English Lit/Comm/Arts/Film/Media/ Journalism/Linguistics/Theatre, reviewed the purchase: “Historical newspapers are a fundamental source for primary research at all levels of scholarship and teaching on this campus. Adding African American Newspapers to our online newspaper offerings makes a very considerable new body of content accessible for students and scholars. These newspapers provide a rich record for historical, cultural, economic and literary study across many disciplines. Having access to these publications of 19th century African American communities allows for new types of scholarly discovery and analysis.”

Faculty member Prof. Brigitte Fielder described her planned use of the database: “African American Newspapers will make my writing and teaching on texts originally published in early African American newspapers much easier. One particular text is the weekly newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the Christian Recorder. I’ve written about children’s stories published in the paper’s “Child’s Cabinet” section for a volume on early African American Children’s Literature and am conducting additional research on depictions of black motherhood. I’m also looking forward to using this database in my classes. I often teach texts from the Christian Recorder and other early African American newspapers, including novels by African American women that were originally published serially in the Christian Recorder, such as Julia C. Collins’ Civil War novel, The Curse of Caste; or, The Slave Bride, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s temperance novel, Sowing and Reaping. I assign archival research projects in several of my classes, which ask students to research texts that include writing by and about African American people in nineteenth-century American newspapers. I am especially looking forward to incorporating class use of this database into discussions of the recovery of African American women writers.”


Accessible Archives would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers a very happy Thanksgiving and a joyous upcoming holiday season!

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.

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