Readex Announces The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922
January 16, 2014
(NAPLES, FL) — Produced from the acclaimed holdings of one of the world’s great repositories, The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society will be introduced in March 2014 by Readex, a division of NewsBank. This fully searchable digital edition will offer access to approximately 3,500 works on nearly every aspect of slavery and abolition. Printed over the course of more than 100 years, these diverse materials include books, pamphlets, graphic materials, and ephemera, all filmed in full-resolution color.
“This splendid new addition to the rapidly expanding Archive of Americana collections is thick with every possible genre; from politicians' speeches and prize essays, to slave rebels' trial transcripts, antislavery fiction and juvenilia, graphic arts and ephemera,” says Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland. “The geographical coverage is equally broad, encompassing publishing centers from Williamstown to Washington, D.C., and the West Indies. The presence of so many southern imprints, in particular, will prove invaluable.”
The newly digitized materials in The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922, will provide countless new research and teaching opportunities. “Now any scholar or student interested in abolition, the politics of slavery, the coming of the Civil War, and emancipation can easily access this vast and invaluable collection thanks to its digitization by Readex,” writes Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies and History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “This project is nothing less than a windfall for historians of 19th-century American history.”
Coverage ranges from the Missouri Compromise and the founding of Liberia as a colony for blacks fleeing America to the birth of “Jim Crow” and the expansion of segregation through the early 1920s. “The American Slavery Collection exposes a wide range of voices, including those of pro-slavery ideologues, free people of color, black and white abolitionists, fiction writers and visual artists, and the enslaved themselves, providing a fuller picture of how people navigated their lives and imagined their futures within and beyond systems of servitude,” writes Dawn Peterson, Assistant Professor of History, Emory University.
Specific subjects covered include religion, freedmen, suffrage, insurrections, the slave trade and many others. Genres range from personal narratives to children’s literature to black authors, including Denmark Vesey, Olaudah Equiano, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles Ball, and dozens more. “Readex has done it again. By digitizing the American Antiquarian Society’s American Slavery Collection, Readex has not only ensured that future research within antislavery studies will be far more efficient and thorough, but also enabled educators to implement dynamic curricula within the classroom,” says Radiclani Clytus, Assistant Professor of English and American Studies, Brown University. “Now that digitization has helped eliminate the need to scan reel after reel of microfilm and comb through mounds of unrelated materials, one can only imagine how such searchable databases will inspire a new generation of 19th-century scholars.”
The newest addition to the Readex Archive of Americana, The American Slavery Collection will be fully integrated into America’s Historical Imprints for seamless searching with Afro-Americana Imprints, American Broadsides and Ephemera, The American Civil War Collection, American Pamphlets, Early American Imprints, and related online resources.
About the American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS library houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, sheet music, and graphic arts material printed from first contact through 1876 in what is now the United States, Canada, and the West Indies. The AAS collections also contain manuscripts and a substantial collection of secondary works, bibliographies, and other reference works related to all aspects of American history and culture before the twentieth century. The library contains more than two-thirds of all known imprints created in America before 1821, making it the single greatest repository of such materials in the world. Additionally, the Society’s holdings of American printed materials dating from 1821 through 1876 are among the strongest anywhere.
About Readex, a division of NewsBank
For more than sixty years, the Readex name has been synonymous with research in historical materials and government documents. Recognized by librarians, students, and scholars for its efforts to transform academic scholarship, Readex offers a wealth of Web-based collections in the humanities and social sciences, including the Archive of Americana, a family of historical collections featuring searchable books, pamphlets, newspapers, and government documents printed in America over three centuries, and the World Newspaper Archive, created in partnership with the Center for Research Libraries. Also available are the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports and the Joint Publications Research Service Reports, two of the U.S. government's fundamental sources of foreign intelligence gathered from publicly available media during the second half of the 20th century.
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