About Us

Accessible Archives, Inc. was founded in 1990 with the goal of utilizing computer technology to make available vast quantities of archived historical information, previously furnished only in microformat, hard copy form or as images only. In pursuit of this vision, primary source material has been selected to reflect a broad view of the times, and has been assembled into databases with a strict attention to detail allowing access to specific information with pinpoint accuracy.  Our online full-text search capability and digital imaging permits the user to search and manipulate this information in ways never before possible.

This approach has been highly acclaimed and Accessible Archives’ titles are now in use by universities, historical societies, primary/middle/secondary schools, individuals and research libraries throughout the world. Titles will continue to be added, covering important topics and time periods for scholars, professors, students, genealogists and historical societies. Accessible Archives has retained Unlimited Priorities as its exclusive sales and marketing agent.

Company History

Founded in 1990 by John Nagy, Accessible Archives began as a hobby based on his deep-seated interest in American history and eventually blossomed into a self-sustaining business. Currently, Accessible Archives is a privately-held Pennsylvania corporation, Federal ID 232590869.

John Nagy was born in Connecticut, but raised in Broomall, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University where he received a BS in chemical engineering in 1960. Following graduation John took a position with Allied Chemical in Royal Oak, Michigan, where he and his wife set up house and where their three children were born.

In 1965 John returned to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he worked in the family business founded by his father, New Era Ribbon and Carbon. This company was one of the largest providers of supplies to the business community, and eventually to the computer market. Settling in Willistown Township, John began to cultivate his love of local history by investigating everything he could about the area and soon became known as the unofficial historian of Willistown.

One source of local historical information was non-electronic copies of The Pennsylvania Gazette. Based on his business background, John reasoned that it would be easier to access this material if it was available on a computer. He therefore began to key information into a database, proofing everything as he went along. His ongoing efforts afforded the opportunity to develop personal relationships with history scholars, primarily those at the University of Delaware. These associations led him to assemble his second database, Civil War Newspapers. He then began offering his creations in CD-ROM format to other universities and, as both local and national institutions began to subscribe, Accessible Archives was born.

As the company grew more of the family joined John in furthering this enterprise. As they assumed larger roles in the company’s operation, John was able to devote more time to his passion for history. This culminated in a commission from local government to create the volume A History of Willistown Township, a project that took three years to complete. When the senior Nagy passed away in May 2006, his ongoing relationships with local and national history scholars were assumed by the next generation.

Today, Accessible Archives continues to further John Nagy’s vision. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. These collections are encyclopedic in scope and allow full Boolean, string and truncated searches. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books and periodicals of the time. No other medium can so immerse the user in the experience of a moment in time, or provide the opportunity for new insights into the course of American history. The horizons for research and interpretation are limited only by the universe of the database and the reader’s imagination.


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