Monday, December 20, 2010

The New York Sun and other Newspapers at the Library of Congress

Heather Cox Richardson

Source material is springing up on the web so quickly that I find I miss important things. Still, how I missed this one is beyond me.

The Chronicling America project at the Library of Congress is putting American newspapers on-line. The collection so far has clearly been determined by something other than historical significance, but its quirks will be godsends for some historians. There are a host of papers from Arizona, for example, as well as Kentucky. Sadly, there are currently no newspapers from Maine—a pet peeve of mine, since Maine was a pretty crucial state for nineteenth-century politics, and the Kennebec Journal was an important newspaper that tends not to show up in libraries outside of Maine.

Anyway, some of these papers may not get much traffic, but there is at least one major draw. The project has put up much of the New York Sun. Edited by Charles A. Dana in the late nineteenth century, this paper was enormously important, but has been quite hard to find, at least on the East Coast.

The website is:

It’s worth a look.


Randall said...

Wow! I missed this one, too. Was browsing around on the site and saw some very interesting things. Plus, this is not blocked off from researchers who do not have library access, as with Readex's America's Historical Newspapers (1690-1922). That collection has quite a few Maine newspapers, but, again, it's only accessible with a library card. The Boston Public Library has it.

Thanks for alerting us to the LOC trove. I think I'll use this some in my spring course, Forging of an American Nation, 1783-1865.

Unknown said...

It is extremely cool that this can be accessed without academic privileges.

Also probably worth mentioning, for people who live outside Boston, but within Massachusetts, that you can get a BPL e-Card online, and then access their electronic resources.

We should all keep big bookmarks-pages of our sources, and compare them with each other from time to time. There have got to be a lot more surprises like this out there, as quickly as everything changes...

Lisa Clark Diller said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. What a treasure! It's nice to remember that not everything worthy that's online is on an expensive database. I also like to remind my students that sources such as this one are what raise the bar for scholarship. Great new work can be done with fun, diverse resources like these newspapers. Thanks, Heather.