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Inside the Archives – Autumn 2018 – Volume VII Number 3

Autumn 2018
Volume VII. Number 3.

Your New Issue of the Accessible Archives Newsletter Continues Our Blogathon!

The impact of Women’s political and social activities throughout American history has been the focus of increasing scholarly attention for many years. Accessible Archives recognizes this and helps to stimulate interest and research in our primary source databases by maintaining an extremely active blog presence. In the Fall newsletter, we are continuing our Blogathon and have pulled together a selection of seven postings highlighting 19th and early 20th Century Women’s Rights and Suffrage events and thinking. We have asked our guest writer Jill O’Neil to wrap a narrative around them. We’re sure you will find her coverage both insightful and informative.

Contemporary Coverage of Women’s Historical Events and Thinking

By Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill is the Educational Programs Manager for the National Information Standards Organization

Incremental shifts in attitudes held regarding a political movement or social cause can frequently only be seen in retrospect. The variety of Accessible Archives collections of primary source materials allows users an excellent means of observing attitudes that may have existed at a specific point of time, but which are subsequently modified. The same set of publications may allow users to note differences in those attitudes on a regional basis or other point of differentiation.

As an example, in this issue of the Accessible Archives newsletter we reference published items from 1870 through 1919 that show efforts to legalize votes for women in the United States. In a piece dated 1911, the Western Woman Voter notes the following with some pride:

“In five states of the Union, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, women vote for President, Vice-President, Congressmen and all state, county and city officials.”

Users may well be surprised at that listing of five states ahead in granting the right to vote.

The datelines provided before each item below indicate the publication in which the piece was published. We also indicate the collection from which each item was drawn. (more…)


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Summer 2018 – Volume VII Number 2

Summer 2018
Volume VII. Number 2.
One way in which Accessible Archives helps to stimulate interest and research in our primary source databases is by maintaining an extremely active blog presence. During June we will distribute a comprehensive blogathon with a second scheduled for this Fall. In this newsletter we have pulled together a selection of six postings – a “Best of the Blogs”, if you will – from the twelve provided in the initial blogathon and asked our guest writer Jill O’Neil to wrap a narrative around them. We’re sure you will find her coverage both inciteful and informative.

Contemporary Coverage of Historical Events and Thinking

By Jill O’Neill

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).

One of the extraordinary experiences one has in working with collections of primary source documents is tracing from one document to another the unfolding of events as noted in newspapers and other periodicals. Dipping into a variety of the Accessible Archives collections, the reader can follow in half a dozen articles a full century of American history. As these article datelines show, such contemporary news accounts present the frictions of a social order struggling to come to maturity.

Dateline: December 8, 1730, The Pennsylvania Gazette

Our selected century opens with an account of Native Americans meeting King George in September 1730. Accorded a certain degree of dignity, the chiefs were conducted to the Plantation Office in Whitehill in order to be presented to King George II and to formalize a treaty. The ceremony included recognition by Frederick, Prince of Wales. The event was intended to mark the end of hostilities between those tribes and the English colonists.

Yesterday the Indian Chiefs were carried from their Lodgings in King street, Covent Garden, to the Plantation Office at Whitehill, guarded by two Files of Musketeers. When they were brought up to the Lords Commissioners, they sang 4 or 5 Songs in their Country Language; after which the Interpreter was ordered to let them know that they were sent for there to join in Peace with King George and his People; and were desired to say, if they had any Thing further to offer relating to the Contract they had before entered into.

 Upon which the King stood up, and gave a large Feather he had in his hand to the Prince, who thereupon spoke to the Lords Commissioners to this Effect.

That they were sensible of the good Usage they received since they came here, and that they would use our People always well; that they came here like Worms out of the Earth, naked, and that we had put fine Cloaths on their Backs, (pointing to the Cloaths) and that they never should forget such king Dealings, but should declare the same to their Countrymen.

King George II

King George II

And thereupon the Prince laid the Feather with a Bit of Skin upon the Table, saying, It should be as good as the Bible to bind the Contract with King George; and said also, that a Feather should not better love his Son, than they would do us: So made a Peace.

The Commissioners then told them they should have a Copy of the Contract, with the King’s seal to it; and the Governor should entertain them; upon which the King got up and kiss’d the Commissioners, as the Prince had done before; the other Chiefs also did the same; whereupon they sang some more Songs, and then returned home.

This account appeared in The Pennsylvania Gazette, a prominent newspaper published from Philadelphia by owner and frequent contributor, Benjamin Franklin. The Pennsylvania Gazette provided its readership with awareness of activities in the Canadian Maritime Provinces through the West Indies and North and South America. Throughout the course of its publication run the newspaper played an important role in directing colonists’ thinking about politics, including the famous political cartoon by Franklin (Join or Die), as well as novel research, including Franklin’s account of his experimental use of a kite to study electricity.

Dateline: January 21, 1773, The Virginia Gazette

An opinion piece in The Virginia Gazette indicates a growing disenchantment with the British Crown’s handling of colonial interests. By this point, George III had been on the throne for more than fifteen years. The economic policies of his ministers would in a matter of months allow the passage of the Tea Act in May 1773 with the result of a protest by local merchants in the form of the Boston Tea Party. Still the language of this piece makes clear the discontent in Colonial America even as the respect due a sovereign suffuses the expressed reproach.

How poor is that Prince, amidst all his wealth, whose subjects are only kept by a slavish fear, the gaoler of the soul. An iron arm, fastened with a screw, may be stronger, but never so useful, because not so natural as an arm of flesh, joined with muscles and sinews: So loving subjects are more serviceable, as being more kindly united to their Sovereign than those which are only forced on with fear and threatening.

Further on, the anonymous author writes:

Let that Prince, who would beware of conspiracies, be rather jealous of such whom his extraordinary favours have advanced than of those whom his displeasure hath discontented: These want means to execute their pleasures, but those have means at pleasure to execute their desires. A Sovereign being the father of his people, he is bound to treat them as his children, and fear makes them only masters of the body, whereas love makes them rulers over the heart. The crown and scepter are things most weighty: If a Prince be good he is laden with labour; if evil, with infamy. Kings should observe the example of celestial bodies, the sun, moon, and the rest, which have great glory and veneration, but no rest or intermission, being in a perpetual office of motion for cherishing of inferior bodies, expressing likewise the true manner of the motions of government, which, though they ought to be swift and rapid in respect of occasion and dispatch, yet are they to be constant and regular, without wavering or confusion…They likewise are to imitate the Heavens, who do not enrich themselves by the earth and seas, nor keep no dead stock, or untouched treasure, of that they draw to themselves from below, but whatsoever moisture they do levy and take from the inferior elements in vapours they return in showers; only storing them for a time to issue and distribute in season. To search into the actions of Princes dilates more curiosity than honesty; for that which is expedient in a Prince, in a lower fortune, is utterly unmeet.

The piece closes with this final piece of counsel:

Kings rule by their laws as God does by the law of nature, and ought as rarely to put in use their supreme prerogative as God doth his power in working miracles.

Of equal status to The Pennsylvania Gazette, The Virginia Gazette covered the region south of the Potomac River, informing the populace of events affecting the English colonies. The Virginia Gazette was at this time still published from offices in Williamsburg, Virginia although it would later be relocated to the city of Richmond, when that city became the new state capital.

Dateline: August 12, 1778, The Gazette of the State of South Carolina

That the economic model of the colonies was itself exploitative is revealed by looking at the classified ads that ran in this newspaper.  Five notices published in that August issue note the label of property applied to human labor in that state. The initial ad offers for sale (though not due to fault of the individual) a male slave used to working in the field. The second offers a reward for the return of Sam, “a dark Mulatto” shoemaker. In the third item, we learn of a runaway wife but the reward goes for the apprehension of one Peter Bourdaju, a deserter who is blamed for the theft of 800 pounds.  Both the runaway wife (Angelica Elizabeth Baour) and Mr. Bourdaju are described in great physical detail:

He is about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, thin faced, has a long nose, black curled hair, brown complexion, is slim made, and speaks both French and English; my wife is a short thick made woman, brown complexion, red faced, marked with the small-pox, and has black hair she speaks good English, and a great deal of French when she pleases, and is very bold.

The bilingual couple had lived in Hillsborough Township in South Carolina.

Also listed in the classified ads as runaways are a woman of yellow complexion, Clarinda, formerly belonging to a Mrs Gordon, and a skilled cabinet maker, Henry, who has escaped the ownership of Mrs. Sophia Desering.

The full text is rather harsher:

RUN AWAY the 4th of August, a negro wench names Clarinda, of a yellow complexion, had on when she went away a cross-bar check coat, a coarse white linen shirt, and a blue handkerchief on her head, and formerly belonged to Mrs. Gordon, Whoever will deliver the said wench to the warden of the work-house in Charlestown, or to the subscribers in King-street, shall receive a reward of fifty pounds currency and all reasonable charges; and whoever harbours or entertains her, may depend upon being prosecuted to the utmost rigor of the law.

RUN away from the subscriber, a negro man named Harry, who was sent to me by his Mistress, Mrs. Sophia Desering, to go to Combahee, but he has taken the advantage of his Mistress’s letter,and gone to work at the cabinet marker’s business in Charlestown, upwards of six weeks since. I do offer a reward of one hundred pounds to any person that will give information of his being employed or harboured by a white person, and twenty if by a negro; or the reward of ten dollars to any one that will deliver him to the Warden of the Workhouse, or to me at Combahee.

The Accessible Archives collection of South Carolina Newspapers contains four newspapers covering that region — The South Carolina Gazette, The South Carolina and American General Gazette, the South Carolina Gazette & Country Journal, and the Gazette of the State of South Carolina — collectively encompassing the years 1732 -1780.

Dateline: September 1778, American County Histories

Others were fleeing the authorities for other reasons. A history of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey tells the story of a young Stephen Edwards who was hiding from cavalry officer Captain Jonathan Forman. Forman tracked Edwards to his father’s farm, entering the bedroom of Mrs. Edwards at midnight with a party of men. Forman challenged the woman:

“Who have you here?” said Forman.

“A laboring woman,” replied Mrs. Edwards.

The captain detected the disguise, and on looking under the bed, saw Edwards’ clothing, which he examined, and in which he found the papers given him by Colonel Taylor.

He then said, “Edwards, I am sorry to find you! You see these papers? You have brought yourself into a very disagreeable situation— you know the fate of spies!”

Edwards denied the allegation, remarking that he was not such and could not so be considered.

The author of the county history goes on to note:

The guilt of Edwards was conclusively proven; deep sympathy was felt for his parents and wife, but the perils of the patriots at this time were so great that prompt and decisive action was necessary for their own preservation.

The foolhardiness of Edwards in keeping treasonable papers about him was remarkable. Some features of this affair will remind the reader of the unfortunate Major Andre. It is probable that Edwards was executed about September, 1778.

The American County Histories collection covers counties from across the United States in nine groupings including: Central, Mid-Atlantic Part 1, Mid-Atlantic Part 2, Midwest, New England Part 1, New England Part 2, Southeastern, The Southwest, and The West. Edwards’ story appears in the digital edition of A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Embracing a Genealogical Record of Earliest Settlers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Their Descendants, The Indians: Their Language, Manners and Customs, Important Historical Events.

Dateline: August 18, 1832, The Liberator

By the time of this final item in our “century of history”, Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, would be dying. Andrew Jackson was closing out his first term as President of the United States and John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. There was a cholera pandemic weighing down on the Eastern seaboard, but at the same time the larger problem of the “Slavery Question” was beginning to be publicly articulated.

In the pages of The Liberator, an important advocate for the abolition of slavery, the following report appeared of prophetic remarks made by Mr. Gaston to the youth of the University of North Carolina.

On you will devolve the duty which has been too long neglected, but which cannot with impunity be neglected much longer, of providing for the mitigation, and (is it too much to hope for in North Carolina?) for the ultimate extirpation of the worst evil that afflicts the Southern part of our Confederacy.

Full well do you know to what I refer, for on this subject there is, with all of us, a morbid sensitiveness which gives warning even of an approach to it. Disguise the truth as we may, and throw the blame where we will, it is Slavery which more than any other cause, keeps us back in the career of improvement.

It stifles industry and represses enterprise – it is fatal to economy and providence – it discourages skill – impairs our strength as a community…

The Liberator would continue to publish through the end of 1865. The full run of issues is available from Accessible Archives.

Connect to our Blog Archive
at https://www.accessible-archives.com/blog/

Imaging for American County Histories Completed

We have finalized the imaging portion of our massive American County Histories collection. The project culminated with the inclusion of the last volumes from the expanded portions of the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions. Imaging previously was completed for the original coverage of these areas as well as for the Southeast, Southwest, West, Central and Midwest regions. As with all our collections, we are providing customized MARC records, and these free records are now fully available for all completed images. As a reminder access to this database – and to all our collections – is supported through all discovery services.

License Agreement Term Improvements for Accessible Archives June 2018

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License Agreement Term Improvements

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Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Winter 2018 – Volume VII Number 1

Winter 2018
Volume VII. Number 1.

Many Thanks for a Wonderful Year from Accessible Archives!
We wish you the Best for the Coming One!

Happy New Year

Great News That Will Help With Your 2018 Library Budget Plan!

Cost SavingsAccessible Archives understands the financial constraints occurring across America, particularly within the Library Community. So, in the spirit of the New Year we are holding 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 2018 budget.

The Role of Research Guides in Supporting Interdisciplinary Research

By Jill O’Neill

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.[

The increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary research in higher education is likely to drive change in the information community. In order for our understanding of complex problems to progress (and in order to identify a viable solution of such problems), research must frequently focus on the fringes of established knowledge within a particular discipline. By definition, interdisciplinary research requires study of two or more distinct fields of knowledge by domain experts seeking to identify connections or patterns across the distinct fields. At the same time, the highly specialized information products that serve scholars in one field (such as economics) may not be suited to the needs of the non-specialist — whether that non-specialist be an advanced practitioner in another field or a college student with a major in biology trying to complete a requirement in art history.

Non-specialists will be unfamiliar with specific vocabulary common to a particular field of study. They may need guidance in navigating information resources, even if the resource includes a well-honed taxonomy or thesaurus as an aid. An individual studying the pros and cons surrounding nuclear energy may need guidance in identifying the relevant specialized publications in health care or law before he or she will be able to successfully integrate the available knowledge and develop meaningful insights.  Information professionals are already providing support for this type of work.

Interdisciplinary Support in the Library

As a preliminary example, one might look at an interdisciplinary research guide developed by librarians at Pennsylvania State University on the topic of Three Mile Island. At first glance, the guide might seem somewhat ordinary; its top-level menu directs the user to the usual books, scholarly articles and reports, news sources and additional archives that might be useful. However, the guide serves non-specialist needs when one drills down into those menus by recommending specific terms applicable in searching various resources. When searching for business information, recommended terms and phrases include “nuclear accidents” and “radiation” whereas directions for searching specialized engineering resources recommend using more specific concepts such as “core meltdown” and “fission reactor”. In searching databases more oriented towards the social sciences, the information seeker concerned with community or societal impact might include such phrases as “industrial accidents” or “antinuclear movement”. (See http://guides.libraries.psu.edu/tmi/articles)

Interdisciplinary Support in the Library

While some research guides may simply break out the types of available resources assembled by the institutional library — encyclopedias, primary sources, articles, or websites — the more indications provided by a subject specialist on appropriate terminology and concepts well-suited to the particular resource, the likelier it is that a non-specialist user will be appropriately directed.

A more useful approach might be one such as can be seen in a guide developed by the libraries of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. A guide for work in American Studies characterizes available resources not just in general terms but in terms of long-standing areas of friction that require a broad array of perspectives — Current/Social Issues, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Native American Resources.

Interdisciplinary Support in the Library 2

For graduate students, appropriate guidance may be directed at ensuring awareness of available special collections and digital archives. For students of fashion law, Harvard’s Law School Library offers pointers to such world-class resources as the Vintage Fashion collection from British Pathé on YouTube and the University of Wisconsin’s digital collection on millinery, dressmaking, clothing and costume. Another link directs the user to the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in American and specifically to their Fashion Research Guide.

Non-specialists may readily come across some content through initial searches of Google, usually a first point of investigation. Such a search might immediately turn up library research guides that link to major collections of primary source materials.

In a Schlesinger Library research guide on Women’s Suffrage (see https://guides.library.harvard.edu/schlesinger/suffrage), the approach adopted was to spotlight specific suffragists whose papers are held at Harvard — such names as Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The online guide’s menu also points the user to individuals and organizations that were part of the anti-suffrage movement — Ernest Bernbaum or the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women. This organizational approach makes sense if the key objective is to spotlight primary documents sought by specialists working with the library’s own set of collections. But there is no support — even under the subheading Research Tips — for guiding the non-specialist. The user is referred to the library’s catalog with no recommendations (beyond the word “suffrage”) as to terms or phrases that might be used for searching any of that library’s remarkable collections.  Nor is there any indication of how a user might leverage those collections in examining larger issues to which the suffrage movement lent its weight.

Interdisciplinary Support in the Library 3

Complicating the Issue

As noted in the 2017 Oxford University Press research report, Navigating Research, the nature of reference work in the library is changing. (See https://global.oup.com/academic/librarians/navigatingresearch/?cc=us&lang=en&)  Rather than holding physical print product in a separate library setting, research collections have moved into the digital environment. Items that might have been held on reserve now circulate; other information resources are exclusively online, making it more difficult for users to browse or experience serendipitous discovery. Since the advent of the Web, librarians have worked to develop easily accessible research guides to point patrons working outside of the library to available and relevant materials. Such research guides improve user navigation in accessing resources, clarify the nature of the resource and showcase materials and collections held by the library.

As this article’s earlier examples might suggest, the presentation of research guides differs dramatically from institution to institution. Some institutions have focused on tying the material to course content; others (like Princeton at https://libguides.princeton.edu/) offer guides not tied to specific disciplines (see the guide for Data Analysis or Citation Management) or guides specifically characterized as being interdisciplinary. Elsewhere, some basic research guides present materials according to type — books, articles, databases. While students find such break-outs familiar, such approaches don’t readily accommodate the interdisciplinary researcher’s requirements. Faculty may visit Google Scholar as their initial point of departure while students tend to glance at Wikipedia for identifying general search terms. But there is little support for recognizing the differences in how distinct domains of knowledge are presented via terminology, umbrella concepts or philosophy.

Discovery systems, currently in place at institutional libraries, adequately recognize the differences encountered between disciplinary communities. Where subject specific resources may have highly refined taxonomies and extensive thesauri for purpose of search, discovery services are brute tools of retrieval. Ambiguous terms and phrases may mislead or confuse the novice investigator.

In the context of interdisciplinary research, such guides may need to be revisited with an eye to   highlighting specific topics that may be touched on in such primary collections. Having a wealth of available information resources to offer to patrons, how might a librarian best spotlight content with broad applicability and usefulness? Rather than reliance on scope notes describing an available database, an innate interest in a topic as well as a spark of creativity may be called for as librarians think about the next generation of research guides.

Enhancing the Research Guide

Take a look at a recent entry that appeared on the Accessible Archives blog. Entitled “The Right of Boycott” https://www.accessible-archives.com/2017/10/right-boycott-1913/), The content of the post was directly taken from a news story appearing in the January 1913 issue of The Western Woman Voter.  That particular extract is contained in Accessible ArchivesWomen’s Suffrage Series, but the applicability of the content is broader than women’s suffrage. Scanning it, there are references to liquor licensing in Canada, to the Steel Trust in the United States and to a variety of worker strikes in Europe. But would a non-specialist working in the realm of economic inequality think to search material from a newspaper devoted to women’s suffrage?

By drawing attention to the specific availability of unique content contained in a digital collection rather than generic descriptions of content, users may be drawn to explore resources that otherwise would have been dismissed as irrelevant. While information professionals are always cautious about exerting undue influence over the user’s selection of materials in pursuing a research question, a serendipitous glimpse of interesting and potentially relevant content may be precisely the spark needed to invite the non-specialist’s interest.

Revisiting the American Studies research guide at Dickinson, a similar kind of blog content surfaces if the user looks under the Gender tab (http://libguides.dickinson.edu/americanstudies/gender).  The Women’s Experiences at Dickinson College blog (http://coeducation.dickinson.edu/) listed under “Other Relevant Databases” refers the reader to the availability of commentary from a 1911 news correspondent for the female residence on campus, Lloyd Hall, having to do with women’s suffrage. Because the metadata associated with the entry is limited and because the content is (apparently) not yet digitized, such available primary documentation would be unlikely to appear in a Google search.

In order to justify continued library investment in subject specific and potentially niche information resources, librarians need to showcase the kind of unique materials that may be held there. Interdisciplinary research broadens the audience for any given collection of content. Frequent updates to interdisciplinary research guides directing attention to relevant but otherwise obscure material may drive much needed user engagement with otherwise static content.

Take-aways

  • The current emphasis on interdisciplinary research continues as systems (social, technological, etc.) become increasingly complex and interdependent. While information resources in the sciences may be ahead in awareness of and accommodating the need to support non-specialist exploration, those working in the humanities and the social sciences may increasingly seek aids to discovery and navigation of unfamiliar terrain.
  • Organizational structure of research guides and discovery services may provide insufficient guidance for non-specialists in a given field. Offer tabbed navigation to larger conceptual areas.
  • Support for interdisciplinary investigations can be readily provided and integrated into existing research guides through suggestions for appropriate terminology and phrases for use in constructing search queries.
  • Spotlighting not just unique collections but also specific instances of content may be a means of engaging users’ interests in exploring materials that might otherwise be viewed as irrelevant by a non-specialist. Frequent updating of guides, including where feasible unique portions of vendor-supplied content, as seen in the example from the Accessible Archives blog entry, may be used to attract interest.

Stay Tuned for Jill’s Next Article in the Spring 2018 Edition of the Accessible Archives Newsletter.

Great News About American County Histories!

Texas County Histories Is Now A Major Collection in the    University of Texas Digital Library!

 From Library NewsUT Southwestern Medical Center, Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center: “ALCEP Funding Highlights—Texas County Histories”

 Posted on November 29, 2017 by Library News Editor

A wide group of online resources was recently purchased by the University of Texas Digital Library with Academic Library Collection Enhancement Program (ALCEP) funds. The UT Board of Regents allocates ALCEP funds for one-time collection purchases to broaden the research and scholarly capabilities of the System’s fourteen institutions. The UT Southwestern Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center now offers online access to…history-centric resources through an ALCEP purchase: Texas County Histories

The Library now has perpetual access rights to Texas County Histories, a major collection from Accessible Archives. Accessible Archives comprises full-text, searchable databases that include serial publications such as newspapers and magazines, as well as books and county histories.

Some of these Texas County Histories …provide information on the history of medicine in Texas. The Encyclopedia of Texas, written in the 1920s, has a chapter on the history of the Texas medical profession, written by R. W. Knox, M.D., who had been a president of what is now known as the Texas Medical Association. Another chapter highlights Dallas as the medical center of the Southwest.

Accessible Archives Finalizes Imaging of American Military Camp Newspapers

Accessible Archives has announced that all images in the American Military Camp Newspapers component of its America and World War I series have been mounted on the website and that the XML-tagged text will be fully available early in 2018.

Camp Bragg News1917 marked the one-hundredth anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. The arrival of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe helped turn the tide in favor of France and Britain, leading to an Allied victory over Germany and Austria in November, 1918. By the time of the armistice, more than   4 million Americans had served in the armed forces and 116,708 had lost their lives. While in-depth perspectives of actual combat are plentiful, information about the soldiers themselves prior to deployment is not so well known. A vast number of troops received their initial combat training in military camps, and camp newspapers chronicle their experiences.

Camp Sherman NewsAmerican Military Camp Newspapers makes important original source material – much of it written by soldiers for soldiers – readily available for research and fresh interpretation of events pertaining to The Great War. These newspapers carried articles on what it was like to leave home by both recruits and draftees, the initial excitement of training, the drudgery of camp life, attitudes toward officers and fellow soldiers and ongoing news about the enemy. Also included were non-war related advertisements, poetry, short stories, memoirs, jokes and cartoons.  Photographs and sketches portrayed life in the various camps, on the home front and at the battlefields. Camp personnel, places, and events are described with a richness that brings new credibility and perspective to scholarly research.

There is truly not one part of the nation that was not touched by World War I. American Military Camp Newspapers provides the potential to remind people of the war’s far-reaching significance and perhaps uncover new stories about the American soldier’s experience that we have not yet heard.

As American Military Camp Newspapers enters its final completion stage we are pleased to offer generous pre-publication pricing.

Check Out Our Women’s Suffrage Series!

Read about the impact of Women’s political and social activities
throughout the 19th and early 20th Century!

Accessible Archives makes an essential set of Women’s Suffrage newspapers and periodicals 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 these essential resources This Series covers more than 50 years of primary sources and includes the mainstream movement newspapers and periodicals as noted below.  In addition, our Series includes the most popular anti-Suffrage periodical from the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women – The Remonstrance.

The Collection

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction Is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

When a student needed the exact date for Frederick Douglass’ speech ‘What the Black Man Wants,’ given at the 1865 annual meeting of the Mass. Anti-Slavery Society — was it before or after Lincoln’s assassination? – the only reference with the actual speech and date was Accessible Archives’ The Civil War. Thank you! –Edward C. Oetting, History/Political Science Bibliographer, Arizona State University

 “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

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

American County Histories Webinar Coming!

American County Histories: A Unique Research Resource – 11am, January 23, 2018

American County Histories provide vivid portraits of people, places and events, putting a state’s local history into current context with the examination of demographic, social, economic, and cultural transformations. This webinar explores the question — Why should researchers, historians, and librarians encourage on-going preservation and use of a publication genre like county histories? It also discusses publication trends, library user cases, the scope of online resources, and more.

Register Now

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Visit us at booth #2211! We would love to get together with you!
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© 2018 Accessible Archives, Inc.

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

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Product Development
Unlimited Priorities LLC
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Unlimited Priorities LLC

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Inside the Archives

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 — https://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


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