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Archive of Americana transports you through time into 18th- and 19th-century America

Posted on 10/28/2011

As a Readex account executive, I enjoy the opportunity to help bring our digital collections to the attention of students and scholars at some of the smallest four-year colleges. Occasionally, this extends to working collaboratively with librarians and faculty.

Among my accounts is Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. At this liberal arts institution known for its strong commitment to undergraduate education, I consulted closely with Ruth Shoge, Associate Professor, College Librarian, and Adam Goodheart, Director of the College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, among others, to help bring the acclaimed Archive of Americana collections to their campus. The Archive of Americana was used extensively by Adam Goodheart in writing his highly praised new book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening (Knopf, 2011). Reviewing 1861 recently, the Boston Globe wrote, “Goodheart shows us that even at 150 years’ distance there are new voices, and new stories, to be heard about the Civil War.” The New York Times review said, “1861 creates the uncanny illusion that the reader has stepped into a time machine,” and Pulitzer Prize winner James M. McPherson describes its author as “a Monet with a pen instead of a paintbrush.”

Last month Adam sent me these comments about our Archive of Americana, and encouraged me to share them further:

"Readex's databases transport you through time into 18th- and 19th-century America. The eloquent, cantankerous voices of the young nation come through loud and clear in literally millions of speeches, sermons, editorials and newspaper ads. The most remarkable thing is that just a few years ago, reading many of these publications would have required traveling hundreds of miles to rare-book libraries or waiting weeks for microfilm reels to arrive. Now you can summon them up instantly without getting up from your chair. My own book would not have been the same without Readex. “Best regards to you—and thanks to all those at Readex who work hard to create these tremendous resources.”

I was pleased to also learn that our databases are now helping Adam research his second book. Does your institution have research needs that Readex digital collections might help fill? Please let me know. My e-mail address is   

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