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. 

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.

We have added a reverse chronological date sort and moved the sort prompt up higher on the search page so that is more apparent to the user. In addition, the sort order used will be noted on the results page.

Sort Order

Sort Order

In order to better utilize the search screen space, the Publication Type limit options (All, Newspapers and Magazines, Books, American County Histories) now will appear as checkboxes arranged horizontally, rather than as a drop-down.

Search Limits

Collection Search Limits

We have enhanced the date limit by adding “Before date” and “After date”.  The user can choose the type of date limit (before, after, specific, range) from a drop-down menu and then provide an appropriate box or boxes. Dates may be entered as year-month-day or month-day-year in order to better accommodate our non-US users.

Date Limits

Date Limits

Search results with an associated image will be identified by a camera icon. The associated image may not be the first page of the document.

Associated Image

Associated Image

On image pages the “Bigger” and “Smaller” buttons have been replaced with the word “Zoom” followed by small “+” and “-“ buttons. Where appropriate, the “Zoom” command will appear on the same line as any “Previous” and “Next” prompts to save screen space.

Image Zoom

Image Zoom

Upcoming Webinars

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

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.

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.

The Civil War Collection
The Civil War collection includes essential newspapers, personal narratives and regimental histories. We will highlight the use of these diverse materials to study all aspects of the war including the soldiers’ and generals’ perspectives, state and regional histories, and the political questions that arose. This collection provides users with a richness that brings new credibility and perspective to scholarly research.

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.

Supporting Research and Publishing Projects

We receive numerous requests to use materials from our collections in support of outside projects.  We are happy to comply with a majority of these requests, usually requiring only a credit in the article, book or media project.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Manisha Sinha is a Professor and Graduate Program Director in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She recently contacted us requesting permission to use an image from our African American Newspapers: The 19th Century database in an article for the Spring issue of the online journal of the American Antiquarian Society, Common-place. The image is the front page of the Christian Recorder for September 27, 1862.

Professor Sinha told us “This image is vital to my article as it contains a forgotten article written by the black abolitionist feminist France Ellen Watkins Harper. It is a forum on Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
responding to an article by my doctoral student Johanna Ortner that came out in the fall. The title of my piece is “The Other Frances Ellen Watkins Harper” that looks at her less as a writer, a common approach,
and more as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist.”

Of course we were happy to grant permission for the use of this image.

Manisha Sinha is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities among several other organizations. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina. Her most recent book is The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.

Accessible Archives’ additional databases supporting research into early feminism and abolition include The Lily, National Citizen and Ballot Box, The Revolution and The Civil War, Part VII: Abraham Lincoln Library Abolitionist Books.

University of California, Davis

Gregory Downs is an Associate Professor in the History Department of University of California, Davis. He studies the political and cultural history of the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Particularly, he investigates the transformative impact of the Civil War in the end of slavery and the establishment of new meanings of freedom. He utilizes Accessible Archives’ databases for much of his research.

Professor Downs told us: “I am working on a book on the U.S. Civil War in the context of the mid-19th century crises in Mexico, Cuba, and Spain.  The Accessible Archives holdings on newspapers, including The Liberator, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, and Frederick Douglass’ publications, make it particularly easy to hone in on the role of Cuba in anti-slavery political discussion before the Civil War, and I find Accessible Archives to be particularly useful because of the ease of working with the text.”

Thanks for those kind words, Professor Downs!

Gregory Downs has published two other books and a large number of articles. Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 examines the wartime creation of fantastic views of government among black and white Americans. .His new book, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War examines the immediate period after Confederate surrender as an extension of wartime and through the lens of occupation. Additionally, he helped the National Parks Service put together a public history handbook on Reconstruction to be sold at National Park Service sites that relate to Reconstruction, as part of an effort to educate park-goers and other members of the public about the members of the public about the period.

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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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