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HIST2600: Historical Methods (Colonial America Focus): Web-Based Digital Collections

Web-Based Digital Collections

American History Online
American History Online, a project of the Andrew W. Mellon foundation and the University of Illinois, provides scholars with access to distributed historical digital library collections. OVer 360 collections are currently accessible through this search and browse portal, and over 416,000 items - representing over 70 percent of all materials in these collections - are from the 20th century. The primary source materials available through this portal include photographs and cultural materials, books and pamphlets, journal articles, maps, short music videos, data sets, political cartoons and posters, and oral histories.

AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History
A large and growing directory of links to historical documents on the web, organized chronologically. Maintained by by George Laughead Jr., manager of the World Wide Web Virtual Library for United States History.

American Archives: Documents of the American Revolution, 1774-1776
Beginning in 1837 the printer Peter Force, who also served as mayor of Washington, D.C., devoted sixteen years to collecting thousands of pamphlets, booklets, and newspaper articles pertaining to the "Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America" from the Revolutionary Era in order to preserve them for future generations. He published them in a set of nine large volumes that he called the American Archives. By the late twentieth century Force's collection of materials from the years 1774-6 had become a valuable scholarly resource, as it contained the only surviving copies of many important documents. This site will allow its users to use sophisticated search and indexing software to explore Force's volumes. The site also provides a thematic indexing scheme describing the contents of every individual text in the American Archives collection. Together, these tools will offer scholars, students, and lifetime learners with unprecedented new access to these important primary source materials from American history.

American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
American Memory is a large-scale project of the Library of Congress to make available multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library's Americana collections. Over 100 historical collections are now available through this site, including over seven million digitized items (e.g., maps, pamphlets, sheet music, photographs, broadsides, films, sound recordings, notebooks, periodicals and manuscripts). Among the many notable collections in American Memory is Working Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting.

American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
This site "contains a slightly expanded and fully searchable version of the print publication 'American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States' ... with added illustrations and links to existing digitized material located throughout the Library of Congress Web site." Includes books, maps, manuscripts, music, images, and other research materials. Browsable and searchable. From the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress. [Librarians' Internet Index]

The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
The Avalon Project is digitizing documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government. Most of the documents pertain to American history and range from the colonial period to the present. To date, 53 major document collections are available. The documents can be browsed and searched, and bibliographic records for the print sources are also included.

Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873
This site "brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75." Find congressional journals, debate proceedings, statutes, bills, official reports, and much more. From the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.

The James Madison Papers, 1723 - 1836
The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital images. They document the life of the man who came to be known as the "Father of the Constitution" through correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous manuscripts. The collection is organized into six series dating from 1723 to 1836.

New Jersey Digital Collections (New Jersey State Library)
The New Jersey State Library has begun a number of important digitization projects to make some of its important document collections and related historical publications available online. As of early 2006, 24 digital collections are available on the Library's web site, including: More collections will be added as time goes on.

New Jersey Searchable Databases (New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management)
The New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management provide access to over one million database entries (indexing names and other information) in nearly 500,000 documents and photographs in the State Archives' collections. The databases currently available include: More collections will be added as time goes on.

Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
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Electronic Resources Librarian
Reference and Information Services Office, Room 107g
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470