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A biannual publication offering insights into the use of digital historical collections

Bruce Roberts

Bruce Roberts

Articles by this author

Two Women Who Spied During the American Civil War: Going Undercover with Belle Boyd and Pauline Cushman in the Archive of Americana

In July 1861—just three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter—unabashed Southern sympathizer Rose O’Neal Greenhow of Washington, D.C., was already engaged in espionage on behalf of the Confederacy. Well-placed in Washington society—and adept at bleeding information from the many men who found her attractive—Greenhow learned that Union troops under...

Ford Fiasco: Tracking the Rise and Fall of the Edsel in American Newspaper Archives

Automotive sales tracker R. L. Polk & Co. recently announced that the Ford Focus was the best-selling passenger car in the world in 2012. Impressive! By contrast, Ford Motor Company’s ill-fated Edsel, sold for the 1958-1960 model years, is a dark icon of product failure even today. Ford sunk $250...

Images of Women on Clipper Ship Sailing Cards

Introduction In the mid-nineteenth century, ship owners and shipping lines used sailing cards to advertise voyages of clipper ships. These cards, slightly larger than today’s postcards, announced that Ship A would leave Departure Point B for Destination C on or about Date D, and that you should contact Agent E...

The Development of the American Advertising Card

Advertising cards, also known as trade cards, were issued by businesses to advertise their wares and services. They appeared in England in the seventeenth century, eventually following the colonists to America and coming into use here in the early eighteenth century. Advertising cards changed little for more than 100 years...

Images of American Historical Figures on 19th-Century Clipper Ship Cards

Most of us are familiar with clipper ships, if only from Currier & Ives prints. Beginning in the 1840s, these beautiful sailing ships plied the seas, bringing goods and people from coast to coast and often to other countries. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, the ensuing demand...

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