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

Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather

A "Doubtful and Dangerous Practice": The 1721 Boston Inoculation Controversy, and Uncovering African Medical Knowledge in Early American Newspapers

Medical-Encounters-cover-sm.jpg In 1721, residents of Boston began to fall ill with smallpox, in what would become the city’s sixth such epidemic since 1630. At this time, neither physicians nor laypeople conceptualized disease in terms of discrete entities such as germs or viruses; instead, they held that illness originated in physical...

Pirates, Spies and Dark Nights of the Soul: Entering the Wacky World of Early American Studies

A few years ago, a graduate student told me, "I'm changing fields. I'm switching to the wacky world of Early American Studies." A few weeks earlier, I had sent her to the microfilm rooms in the University of Minnesota's library with assignments she could complete only by plunging into documents...

"Behold and Wonder": Early American Imprints as a Tool for Students' Research

Teaching the history and culture of early America to undergraduates is challenging on many fronts. Students' familiarity with the best-known documents of the Revolutionary period can breed either contempt or a reverential awe indistinguishable from ignorance and boredom. The lesser-known material from earlier years presents formidable conceptual obstacles and seldom...

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