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American Literature since 1865: Primary Materials


Accessible Archives Full-text of Godey's Ladys Book (1830-1880), The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1880), The Civil War: Newspaper Perspective (1861-1865), African American Newspapers: the 19th century. Full Text.

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries knits together more than 400 sources of diaries, letters, and memoirs to provide fast access to thousands of views on almost every aspect of the war, including what was happening at home. The writings of politicians, generals, slaves, landowners, farmers, seaman, wives, and even spies are included. The letters and diaries are by the famous and the unknown, giving not only both the Northern and Southern perspectives, but those of foreign observers also. The materials originate from all regions of the country and are from people who played a variety of roles. The collection includes approximately 100,000 pages of published memoirs, letters and diaries from individuals plus 4,000 pages of previously unpublished materials. Drawn from more than 400 sources, the collection provides in-depth coverage of all aspects of the war. More than 1,000 biographies will enhance the use of the database.

American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography  Contains the collection of over 2,000 interviews conducted in seventeen states between 1936 and 1983 under the Federal Writers' Project of the Work Progress Administration, as published in 1972 in The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography edited by George P. Rawick. The site contains links to the narratives and Rawick's analysis of the collection, From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community. Each entry links to an Adobe PDF version of the narrative as contained in the Rawick print collection, including any handwritten editorial comments made at the time.

Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Online Catalog provides a search interface to the CRL makes "vast collections of newspapers, microform, journals, dissertations and other materials". Materials are "available via interlibrary loan, through electronic document delivery or in its reading room". The University Libraries is a member. 

Chicago Defender Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded the Defender in May 1905 and by the outbreak of the First World War it had become the most widely-read black newspaper in the country, with more than two thirds of its readership based outside Chicago. When Abbott died in 1940, his nephew John Sengstacke became editor and publisher of the Defender, which began publishing on a daily basis in 1956. Coverage 1910-1975.

Chicago Tribune This database gives access to a full-text backfile (excepting paid advertising) of the Chicago Tribune from 1985 to the current issue, Keyword searching can be free text or customized and limited to the previous three months, six months, or one year in addition to total holdings.

Early Encounters in North America, Economist Historical Archive The database offers a wide range of images and full-text materials relating to the early exploration and settlement of North America. The collection has been compiled by consulting a number of bibliographies, including: A Biobibliography of Native American Writers, 1772-1924 by Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. and James W. Parins. Sources for the ethnography of northeastern North America to 1611, by David B. Quinn. The French image of America: a chronological and subject bibliography of French books printed before 1816 relating to the British North American colonies and the United States by Durand Echeverria and Everett C. Wilkie, Jr. Wagner & Camp's The Plains and the Rockies, a critical bibliography of exploration, adventure and travel in the American West, 1800-1865. Robert Rogers Hubach's Early Midwestern Travel Narratives, An Annotated Bibliography, 1634-1850., (, a full-text online collection that contains documents about Canada's history from the first European contact to the nineteenth century. Bibliography of Native North Americans, Human Relations Area Files, 1976.

Economist: Historical Archive 1843-2006  Delivers a complete searchable copy of every issue of The Economist from 1843 to 2006. New full-color images, multiple search indexes, exportable financial tables and a gallery of front covers highlighting a key topic of each week - all combine to offer a primary source of research covering the 19th and 20th centuries.

Gilded Age  The Gilded Age brings primary documents and scholarly commentary together into a searchable collection that is the definitive electronic resource for students and scholars researching this important period in American history. In addition to an extensive selection of key treatises that reflect the social and cultural ferment of the late nineteenth century, The Gilded Age offers a wealth of rare materials, including songs, letters, photographs, cartoons, government documents, and ephemera. This primary content is enhanced by video interviews with scholars and numerous topical critical documentary essays specially commissioned for the project by Alexander Street Press. Covering such themes as race, labor, immigration, commerce, western expansion, and women’s suffrage, these essays illuminate the rapidly changing cultural landscape of America during the decades between the end of the Civil War and the election of Theodore Roosevelt.

Harp Week HarpWeek is a database of images and indexing to the 19th century issues of Harper's Weekly. At present the Civil War Era: 1857-1865 is complete. HarpWeek has begun indexing Reconstruction: 1866-1877, which will be the second segment of a project that will ultimately provide users with a cumulative index from 1857 through 1900. Full Text. Harper's Monthly began in June 1850. The database can be searched by date, indexes (Subject, Illustrations, Literature & Publishing, Advertising), Literary genre, or occupation/role.

Making of Modern Law Trials The database comprehends an extremely diverse array of trials pleaded throughout the British Empire, the US and the world. The trials are of more than merely legal interest--those studying history, politics, economics and society in general will find the database furnishes a vast storehouse of primary documents.

Making of the Modern World This unrivaled online library offers instant access to the theories, practices, and consequences of economic and business activity in the West, from the last half of the 15th century to the eve of World War I. It combines the strengths of two pre-eminent collections — the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature at the University of London Library and the Kress Collection of Business and Economics at the Harvard Business School — along with supplementary materials from the Seligman Collection in the Butler Library at Columbia University and from the libraries of Yale University

New Republic Archive For ninety years The New Republic has provided in-depth examination of American politics, foreign policy and culture with an uncanny ability in covering issues before reaching the mainstream. The New Republic continues to be the leading journal of opinion and covers topics from a variety of viewpoints. This database offers complete indexing & abstracting and full text for all issues back to the journals inception in 1914.

New York Times Historical This database offers full-text and full-image articles for newspapers dating back to the 19th century. For most titles, the collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--in downloadable PDF® files. Coverage spans 1851 to 2001.

Sabin Americana 1500-1926 The database is founded on Joseph Sabin's renowned Bibliotheca Americana. Sabin touches upon the political and religious life in North America and at times South America and the Caribbean. It features American and European views of the colonization of the Americas, the American Revolution, the days of the early Republic and Jacksonian period, the antebellum period, Civil War, era of Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction, the settlement of the West and the onset of the Gilded Age. Through published pamphlets, tracts, memoirs, congressional legislation, correspondence, broadsides, biographies, histories, fiction and poetry, eulogies, sermons and innumerable other genres, Sabin opens a window onto the Americas through which few get to glimpse.

Sanborn Maps Illinois Sanborn Insurance Maps. Founded in 1867, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for a century, with maps created every five to ten years, eventually covering 12,000 communities on over 660,000 individual sheet maps. Each map set was a large scale plan of a city or town, drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch, originally created to aid insurance firms in property risk assessments. Street blocks and building numbers in use at the time of publication are listed and cross-referenced to other maps in the set. Illinois Sanborn Insurance Maps offers genealogists local historians, geographers, city planners, environmentalists, architects and other researchers of city, town and neighborhood development access to those sets created for communities within the state. Browsing is by city and date, and all maps may be printed or downloaded.

Times Supplement Historical Archive  The TLS is one of the premier contemporary literary reviews. This mirror to the cultural history of our century - fully indexed with most of the original contributors now revealed for the first time - delivers unparalleled research information to scholars, students and librarians. Coverage is 1902 to 2006.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set  The database--comprehending more than twelve million pages of text--offers an unparalleled view of the activities of the United States federal government from the founding of the Republic through most of the twentieth century. The Serial Set is invaluable for research in political history, social history, cultural history, military history, ethnic history, international relations, explorations, commerce, industrial development and much more. Formerly, much of the material embodied in the Serial Set was difficult to locate, and the majority was available only on microform. The Serial Set includes scores of publications along with thousands of maps, illustrations and statistical tables. Materials prior to the 1838 are included in the American State Papers, 1789-1838.

Subject Guide

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Beth McGowan
(815) 753-0255

FML 4th Floor Rare Book Room
Subjects: English, Medicine