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Dredges, Gunboats, and Mosquitoes: The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the Building of the Panama Canal

Posted on 07/06/2010

A Readex breakfast event during the 2010 American Library Association annual conference included a presentation by Steve Daniel, an internationally known authority on government documents. In "Dredges, Gunboats, and Mosquitoes," Daniel traced the history of the idea of a water route through Central America as it is documented in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Daniel writes:

"The building of the Panama Canal was without doubt one of the great engineering and technological achievements of the modern era, equal in every respect to the first transcontinental railroad and putting a man on the moon. Its completion in 1914 was the realization of a dream that dates back to the early years of European settlement in the New World. "Because of the Serial Set’s importance as a collection of legislative history materials, the even greater importance of the 19th and early 20th century Serial Set as a fundamental resource for research on the major and minor issues of American political, economic and social history is sometimes overlooked.  Highlighted here are only a small number of the hundreds of publications in in the Serial Set that might be cited on the Panama Canal." 

Here is Daniel’s PowerPoint. A video of his live presentation will be available here soon. Dredges, gunboats & mosquitoes ALA June 2010 Daniel adds:

"Whether it’s biographical research on Civil War generals and politicians, the history of civil rights and women’s suffrage in America, or the building an interoceanic canal, the Serial Set is a logical place to begin."

More about Steven Daniel: Steven Daniel is Senior Editorial Consultant for the Readex digital edition of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Daniel has delivered more than 40 lectures on research using government publications and related archival materials during the past several years, including Around the World in 80 Days: 19th-Century Publications on Europe, Africa and Asia in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set; Conducting Biographical Research in Government Publications: John C. Frémont and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set; A Pigeon, a Beaver, and a Buffalo Go Into a Bar: 19th-Century Endangered Species and Full Text Searching of the Archive of Americana , and The Serial Set Goes to the Movies: Movie Screenplays and the 1912 Senate Titanic Hearings. He is the former Editorial Director of the Congressional Information Service (CIS) and LexisNexis Academic and Library Solutions.

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