Accessible Archives

Accessible Archives is an incredible database of American primary source materials from the 18th and 19th century. There are two main sections of content, the first is of 19th century histories of Pennsylvania counties—dozens of them, the second of newspapers. You might already be familiar with some of the newspapers.

Read this on the early Quakers in Delaware County from Ashmead’s History of Delaware County, 1884:

“THE only hamlet in Pennsylvania which had received a distinctive name that was known to persons in England at the time Penn acquired title to the territory was Upland, and that that had done so was doubtless due to the fact that Robert Wade had already made it his home. He being a Friend in communication with members of that religious sect in the mother-country, that circumstance directed the attention of the Quakers, “a society,” says Acrelius, “that the realm could well spare,” to the little cluster of rudely-fashioned dwellings on the banks of the Delaware. Hence Friends (whom, fortunately for the United States, could be spared from Europe to plant on this continent those seeds of political truths and religious liberty which, germinating, have grown into a nation on the maintenance of which the future continuance of constitutional representative government on the earth largely depends), or Quakers, as popularly known, desiring to flee from persecution and ignominy at home, gladly availed themselves of the liberal conditions which Penn offered to persons anxious to leave England, and particularly did the latter meet the approval of those people whose poverty had been largely produced by reason of the heavy fines imposed on them simply because of the religious sentiments they maintained.”

The newspapers included in Accessble Archives include the Pennsylvania Gazette (the NYT of the 18th century), seven African American newspapers of the 19th century, a bunch of small Delaware County newspapers of the 19th century, and finally a genealogical catalogue from 19th century Chester County. Below is an 1854 advertisement for different sorts of buggies, you know, as in horse and buggy.

March 10, 1854

READY MADE CARRIAGES. – The subscribers have now on hand at
their Coachmaking establishment at Media, an assortment of
ready made vehicles, comprising one Germantown Wagon, a Jenny
Lind, three trotting Buggies, and one three post Boat Wagon,
which they offer for sale on reasonable terms. Also, several
second hand wagons of different kinds for sale. The
subscribers are constantly making to order, and have for sale
all kinds of vehicles now in use. Having none but good workmen
in their employ, they are able to turn out their work in the
best manner, and on terms as reasonable as any other
establishment in the county. Both the undersigned are
practical mechanics, and persons who purchase their work may
depend on its being as represented. Jobbing of all kinds, and
repairing done at short notice. DERRICK & FRYER.”

—Fred Rowland

Lesbian Herstory Archives Subject Files

I am pleased to announce a major acquisition on microfilm, the Lesbian Herstory Archives Subject Files. This is a huge collection of 150 reels of microfilm. An additional reel provides a guide to the collection. The Lesbian Herstory Archives started in 1974 at a time when gay men and lesbian women began actively and vocally and sometimes militantly organizing to demand and defend their right to an equal place in American society. A newsletter of the Archives in 1975 explained:

“The Lesbian Herstory Archives exists to gather and preserve records of lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have ready access to materials relevant to their lives. The process of gathering this material will also serve to uncover and collect our herstory denied to us previously by patriarchal historians in the interests of the culture which they serve…”

The intention from the start was to represent the lives of all lesbians which meant that the Archives itself would have to be very diverse and open to both mainstream and specialized publications as well ephemera. In 2004 the “Archives housed 20,000 volumes, 12,000 photographs, 400 special collections, 2000 periodical titles, 3000 organizational and subject files, thousands of feet of film and video footage, art and artifacts, musical records and tapes, posters and t-shirts, buttons, and personal memorabilia…”

The Subject Files of the Archives are a subset of the complete Archives. The selection process for the Subject Files is based on “relevancy, rarity, and research need”. Items need to be relevant to lesbian history and life in America, rare enough that they are not likely to be easily found elsewhere, and fill a genuine research need of writers and scholars. Since this collection represents a slice of American life during the late 20th and early 21st centuries any number of departments and programs will benefit from it.

If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the microform readers in Paley Library, let me know and I can help you get set up. Often people need a gentle push when working with microfilm.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

—Fred Rowland

Online Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

The Online Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) contains almost the whole corpus of Greek literature in full-text from the age of Homer through the fall of Byzantium in 1453 AD to the Ottoman Turks. This scholarly tool has very quickly become essential for studying Greek history, literature, and philosophy. Since its origins classical studies has been strongly influenced by language and linguistics. TLG allows researchers to examine Greek at both a broad and a fine-grained level. Scholars can effortlessly search across the database to look for word frequencies and unusual words, concepts and phrases, or they can examine just a single text. You can limit your search to specific centuries, use abbreviated subject and geographic categories, or search a selected group of texts. Using one of the many kinds of Greek fonts, you can not only retrieve texts but also input searches in Greek font. It’s very cool.

Imagine the riches this collection contains: the Presocratics with their focus on the natural world, the Platonic dialogues with their emphasis on ethics and morality, and Aristotle’s wide-ranging and multidimensional gaze. The Greek tragedians Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. The writers of the Hellenistic period when Greek learning spread to most of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds. The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, plus the Acts of the Apostles and the letters. Ancient Hebrew wisdom transmitted through the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures. And don’t forget the apocrypha, like the Gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Barnabas, and the Apocalypse of Daniel. Or the Greek Fathers, or the commentators on Aristotle like Alexander of Aphrodisias.

This is a great scholarly collection and the Temple University Libraries is happy to bring it to faculty, students, and staff.

—Fred Rowland

Library Prize Winners Interviews

On April 27th, 2007, the awards for the 2006-2007 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research were presented to the winners and honourable mentions. In the weeks following, Fred Rowland, one of Temple’s reference librarians, spoke with the three winners and their faculty sponsors about the prize winning research. These discussions were recorded and are now presented as three audio files (10-12 minute long mp3 files, 2.5-3MB each):

Joseph Basile on his “Ending the ‘Inhuman Traffic’: The Role of Humanitarianism in the British Abolition Movement.”
With Dr. Travis Glasson.

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Clay Boggs on his “The Jews and the Pharisees in Early Quaker Polemic.”
With Professor David Watt.

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Matthew M. Rodrigue on his “Rethinking Academia: A Gramscian Analysis of Samuel Huntington.”
With Professor Kathy Le Mons Walker.

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Whether you are a faculty member or student, keep the library prize in mind for next year!

(You can subscribe to our podcast feed for future audio content from the Temple University Libraries.)

SAGE Journals Online

The Library has added the SAGE Journals Online to its subscriptions. The SAGE Full-Text Collections are award-winning, discipline-specific research databases of the most popular peer- reviewed journals in Communication Studies, Criminology, Education, Health Sciences, Management & Organization Studies, Materials Science, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Urban Studies & Planning published by SAGE Publications and participating societies. This database includes more than 246 journals, 240,000 articles, book reviews, and editorials, with all the original graphics, tables, and page numbers. The Collections provide researchers and students with a research environment that is easy to use and complete with the most up-to-date content and backfiles back to volume 1, issue 1. —Al Vara

African American Experience

The Library is pleased to announce online access to The African American Experience. The resource is described as:

The widest-ranging and easiest-to-use online collection on African American life ever assembled, The African American Experience is the definitive electronic research tool for African American history and culture from one of the most respected publishers in the field. The two primary goals: to provide rock-solid information from authorities in the field, and to allow African Americans to speak for themselves through a wealth of primary sources. Drawing on over 300 titles, and designed under the guidance of leading librarians, this database gives voice to the black experience from its African origins to the present day.

It includes:

*Brand new material from major multivolume print reference sets, such as The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore, Encyclopedia of Racism in the United States, Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights, African American Religious Experience in America, and Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture
*A deep backlist of reference books and monographs, many now available in electronic format for the first time
*A vast collection of hundreds and hundreds of primary documents: manuscripts, speeches, court cases, quotations, advertisements, statistics, and other papers
*Over 4,000 interviews with former slaves—the WPA slave narratives—from the acclaimed The American Slave: A Composite
*Autobiography, now re-indexed and for the first time fully searchable
*Sixty-seven Negro University Press texts from the late 1700s to the early 1970s—classics in black scholarship.

Enjoy! —Al Vara

POIESIS: a full-text philosophy database

Much of the scholarly communication in philosophy takes place in small journals run on a shoestring out of academic departments, scholarly societies, and associations. Although there’s a lot to be learned from philosophy, there’s not much money in it unless you leave it to, say, get a law degree. Online resources are rather slim compared to many other disciplines. But there are some good ones turning up and the Temple University Libraries is working to make them available to faculty, staff, and students.

Our most recent new resource is Poiesis, a full-text database that makes many of those small underfunded philosophy journals available online. To my knowledge, it’s the only full-text database that narrowly focuses on philosophy. In order to have access to the online editions in Poiesis, a library has to also hold a print subscription to the journals as well. Temple subscribed to around forty new philosophy journals this year in order to bring Poiesis to the campus.

Here’s a list of the journals available through Poiesis. From the Temple web site, Poiesis can be accessed from the All Databases or the Arts and Humanities list. Individual titles are available through Journal Finder. Poiesis currently contains 50 journal titles for a total of 2200 issues and 330,000 pages. Eventually it should contain 100 journal titles. The primary users of this database will be philosophy faculty and students, but there is also relevant content for students of related disciplines like religion and literature. The interface of this database is a bit quirky and takes a bit of time to get used to, so better start using it today! Please contact me with any questions.

Our other new electronic resources for philosophy are the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Cambridge Companions Online. All together these three new resources make philosophy research at Temple quicker and easier.

—Fred Rowland

Digital National Security Archive

If any of you are dealing with issues concerning US foreign policy since WW II you need to know about this database, it’s really a wonderful tool. Run out of George Washington University in DC, the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) uses the Freedom of Information Act to collect government documents on US national security policy and then provides those documents in full-text online. It also provides bibliographies, chronologies, and glossaries related to the documents. Of course, many parts of the documents have been blacked-out by the government before they reach DNSA.

They have also put together Collections for easy access. If you are interested in US involvement in Iraq you can search the Iraq-Gate file for national security documents and also retrieve a bibliography, chronology, and glossary on it. If you wanted to limit your search to just those instances of the file that mention Saddam Hussein, you could search the Iraq-Gate file for all instances of “saddam hussein”. 108 documents are retrieved, one of which is a 1980 intelligence report stating that Iranian air attacks make the stability of Saddam Hussein’s government uncertain. You’ll also find six documents related to Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to Iraq in 1983.

Take a look. Let me know if you have questions.

—Fred Rowland

More Online Music Resources

For your listening pleasure (and maybe some more scholarly pursuits), I just wanted to let you know that we now have access to Naxos Music Library and Naxos Music Library Jazz, which include classical, jazz, world, folk, and pop music selections. See the blog post by Temple music librarian Anne Harlow for more information. And don’t forget that you can also listen to the Classical Music Library which I wrote to you about in the fall.

—Fred Rowland

eHREF (Electronic Human Relations Area Files)

HRAF is an acronym for Human Relations Area Files, a non-profit institution founded in 1949 at Yale University. HRAF is a consortium of educational, research, and cultural organizations, and government agencies; its mission is to encourage and facilitate the study of human culture, society, and behavior. This mission is accomplished mainly through the compilation, indexing, and distribution of a collection of ethnographic and other texts that are indexed by culture and subject. eHRAF brings these files to the online environment.

Look here for information on the cultural practices (marriage, fertility, death, birth, work, family, etc.) of different religious and ethnic groups. For instance, a search for “reproduction and judaism” leads to an article titled “Reproducing Jews: a cultural account of assisted conception in Israel”. A search for “marriage and iraq” leads to an article titled “The Kurdish woman’s life: field research in a Muslim society, Iraq”. A search for “masculinity and puerto rico” leads to an article titled “In search of masculinity: violence, respect and sexuality among Puerto Rican crack dealers in East Harlem”. Browsing the cultures lists, choosing “Maasai FL12” leads to 20 articles on the Maasai, one of which is “The Masai penal code”.

You get the idea. Do a little exploring if this sounds like something that would add to your research.

—Fred Rowland