American historical periodicals archives digitised

A partnership between Gale and the American Antiquarian Society will provide researchers and academics with new technology to analyse and explore American history

The American Antiquarian Society has partnered with Gale, a Cengage company, to make the world’s largest collection of Americana from the Colonial period through the 20th century more accessible to researchers. As part of the partnership, Gale has released American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society, Series 6, a newly digitised series of nearly 200 titles that provides researchers with a history of the American people, offering multiple perspectives on the thought, culture, and society of North America through the eyes of those who lived and experienced it. 

“Over the years, we have been impressed by Gale’s leadership in the library market, the strength of their editorial process, and their innovative approach to the development of digital technology tools,” said Ellen S. Dunlap, President of the American Antiquarian Society. “American Historical Periodicals is an important project for the American Antiquarian Society, representing decades of collecting, cataloguing, conserving and digitising, and we are pleased to have a solid partner in Gale to help us take it to the next generation of researchers.”

Series 6 includes unusual and short-lived magazines as well as better-known titles with long runs. Topics cover a broad spectrum including: agriculture, anthropology, art, archaeology, education, family life, fashion, industrialisation, literature, medicine, music, photography, politics, religion, science, sport and temperance.

This new series brings the collection more firmly into the 20th century. It extends coverage and fills gaps in approximately 45 titles from Series 1-5enabling researchers to explore a more comprehensive documentary history of American life. Additionally, Gale is offering free access to more than 6 million pages of American periodicals in Series 1-5 to any U.S. or Canadian institution that owns a Gale Primary Sources archive.

Examples of newly acquired titles in Series 6 include:

  • Tachymathist (Philadelphia): Nov. 1, 1845. Issue No. 1 (only two issues ever published).
  • New-York Weekly Review of Music, Literature, Fine Arts and Society (NY): 42 issues from 1867-1868.
  • Agriculturist, and Journal of the State and County Societies (Nashville, TN): 6 issues from 1842, 1843.

Titles that extend coverage or fill gaps in Series 1-5 include:

  • Banner of Light (Boston, MA): 1,010 issues from 1876-1906.
  • Grumbler (Toronto, Canada): 13 issues from 1858 and 1859.
  • The Woman’s Journal (Boston, MA): 1,715 issues from 1878-1911.
  • Scientific American (New York, NY): 933 issues from 1878-1900.
  • Southern Cultivator (Augusta, GA): 26 issues from 1844.

To provide a better research experience, the entire American Historical Periodicals collection (Series 1-6) has been integrated into Gale’s new Digital Scholar Lab. This integration allows researchers to apply natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR) from the periodicals or Gale Primary Sources archives and perform textual analysis on large corpora of historical texts. Now researchers can analyse and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights and content sets not previously possible.

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society, Series 6 offers:

  • Nearly 200 newly digitised periodical titles, with more than 150 new to the program, providing researchers with expanded knowledge of American history.
  • Extended coverage and gap filling of 45 titles from Series 1-5, providing researchers with a more comprehensive history of American life.
  • Complementary access to more than 6 million pages of historical periodical content in Series 1-5 to U.S. and Canadian institutions that own a Gale Primary Resources archive.
  • Cross-searching and textual analysis with Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab and Gale Primary Sources, opening new research opportunities.

American Historical Periodicals represents one of the most comprehensive libraries of American periodicals in the world,” said Seth Cayley, Vice President of Gale Primary Sources. “Through our partnership with the American Antiquarian Society, Gale provides a unique documentary history of the American people and nation from the Colonial Era through to the Civil War, Reconstruction and the early 20th century.”

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society, Series 6 is currently available. Gale will showcase the new series at the Charleston Conference, November 6 in Charleston, South Carolina at Gale booth #141.

To request a trial, visit the American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian SocietySeries 6 webpage.