Accessible Archives

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Description: The Accessible Archives databases contain the full text of important American newspapers from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They include the Pennsylvania Gazette from 1728 to 1800, which was the leading English-language newspaper of the continent. This newspaper contains over 40 million words and provides a first hand view of colonial America, the American Revolution, and the New Republic, and it offers important social, political and cultural perspectives of the period. Thousands of articles, editorials, letters, news items, and advertisements cover the entire hemisphere and give a detailed glimpse of issues and lifestyles of the times.

The Civil War segment has the full text of major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and The Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865. Coverage begins with the events preceding the outbreak of war at Fort Sumter, continues through the surrender at Appomattox, and concludes with the assassination and funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Included are descriptive news articles, eye-witness accounts and official reports of battles and events, editorials, advertisements and biographies. A great effort has been made also to include articles that describe military concerns of the day as well as such topics as travel, arts and leisure, geographical descriptions, sports and sporting, and social events. Since the major events are reported in detail by both Union and Confederate papers, their opposing perspectives are readily available for comparative evaluation.

The third major segment of the database contains twelve million words from several of the major African-American newspapers of the nineteenth century. Together they provide a wealth of information about the cultural life and history and provide first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day. This segment also contains large numbers of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements that embody the African-American experience.

The fourth segment is Godey's Lady's Book from 1830 to 1855. Intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America, it contained fashion descriptions and plates, biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies, and extensive book reviews and works by 19th century authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Full text: yes
Access:  UNC-CH campus. Students, faculty, and staff or AHEC users affiliated with UNC-CH with an AHEC Digital Library account may access from off-campus.  (instructions)
Medium:  web
Coverage:  1728-1800; 1860-1865
Language:  English