Territorial Papers of the United States
- The most important early American content not yet digitized—until now
- The history of more than half of America’s states when they were still territories
- A crucial resource for anyone seeking to understand the formation of modern-day America
More than half of America’s states began as territories. From the 1760s to the 1950s the United States of America expanded southward and westward, acquiring territories that spanned from Florida to California to Alaska. Before they evolved into twenty-seven American states, these territories were managed by the U.S. State and Interior departments. The official history of their formative territorial years is recorded in the “Territorial Papers of the United States”—a collection of Native American negotiations and treaties, official correspondence with the federal government, military records, judicial proceedings, population data, financial statistics, land records, and more. For the first time, the Territorial Papers are available in a digital online collection, offering unparalleled research opportunities for anyone interested in the creation of modern-day America.
Never before digitized records from the American frontier
Until now, researchers who wanted to explore the rich history captured in the Territorial Papers were forced to dig through a multitude of disparate collections at the National Archives, or were resigned to using a 28-volume collection of transcribed records that left out nearly 98% of the original source material. By contrast, Readex’s Territorial Papers contains the entire corpus of the official papers held by the Departments of State and Interior—the two largest such collections in Washington, D.C.—as well as the U.S. Senate records on affairs in the territories. Instead of transcripts, the Readex edition features high-resolution images of the original sources—many of which are hand-written documents—ensuring that scholars don’t miss a single detail from this vital period in American history.
Designed to make the content easy to find, and to use!
A product comprised chiefly of digitized manuscripts does not respond to “search and retrieve” interface models the same way as a product comprised of printed books or newspapers. Why? Because there is less “text” to search. The solution? Metadata—and user tools to make metadata meaningful. To make Territorial Papers easy and efficient to use, Readex has incorporated metadata from a range of authoritative sources, including the National Archives and Records Administration, the invaluable “Parker Calendar,” and Readex’s team of editors who assign subject terminology (and more) to the records.
A wealth of multi-disciplinary research and teaching opportunities
For political historians the Territorial Papers include all of the official correspondence between territorial officials and the federal government, providing insights into how actions in the territories related to political forces in the capital. For scholars of Native American history they contain not only tribal treaties but the correspondence related to their negotiation and signing. For military historians they provide detailed records related to official orders, troop movements, and battle accounts. For economic historians they contain detailed reports on agricultural, mining, and industrial production, land ownership, and shipping. In addition, researchers looking for firsthand accounts of life on the American frontier will find a wealth of information in letters, petitions, judicial records, and population data.
An essential addition to any American history collection
Readex publishes many widely-used American history collections of primary source research materials, including Early American Imprints (Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker), Early American Newspapers, and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Territorial Papers of the United States can be easily cross-searched with these and related collections using Readex AllSearch.