Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Making of America" Digital Library

I'm like a kid left alone in a candy store sometimes. One of my society colleagues tipped me to this, and I spent an enjoyable hour this afternoon reading and searching.

The University of Michigan and Cornell University have been working on the "Making of America" digital library for some time. One site is at

The web site describes the project as:

"Making of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. For more details about the project, see About MoA. Making of America is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. "

This resource had not caught my sttention previously, but it is certainly a worthwhile free resource for 19th century books about the building of the USA.

You can enter search words into the search box; quote marks for phrases are not allowed, but an asterisk (*) wild card is permitted (one letter minimum at start of a word, no * allowed in the middle of a word). A search for "norman seaver" resulted in 4 hits that reflect some of the available books:

1) Speeches of Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third president of the United States; : a complete collection of his public addresses from February, 1888, to February, 1892.

2) A municipal history of the town and city of Boston, during two centuries. From September 17, 1630, to September 17, 1830. By Josiah Quincy.

3) Memorial. Genealogy, and ecclesiastical history [of First Church, New Britain, Conn.] To which is added an appendix, with explanatory notes, and a full index ... By Alfred Andrews

4) The Presbyterian memorial offering, 1870-1871.

Interesting records, all! This collection is worthy to be right up there with the other online digital libraries for history and genealogy. I imagine that many of these books are in one of the subscription site digital libraries, but this one is FREE.

Pardon me for awhile, I'm going back to the candy store...

1 comment:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Cornell University also has an MOA collection. Both University's also have other helpful and free collections on my link list.