Category: History

“The Pressure of Military Service”: The Great War’s Impact on Scholarly Editing Projects
21 November 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“The Pressure of Military Service”: The Great War’s Impact on Scholarly Editing Projects

The First World War affected the world in profound and irrevocable ways, not least the field of literature. The impact of the Great War on literature has been well-documented, both in terms of how changes in outlook were reflected in the books, poems, short stories, and articles produced by during and after the war, and in terms of the generation of authors destroyed by mechanized warfare on a large scale.1 Perhaps less-studied is how the war’s effect reached the publishing industry (read more)




“A Deficiency in our Political Annals”: Rivals of Early Congressional Reporting
27 September 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“A Deficiency in our Political Annals”: Rivals of Early Congressional Reporting

Exploring the Register of Debates and the Congressional Globe… Today we will look at two mainstays of early Congressional reporting: the Register of Debates and the Congressional Globe. Both dominated the journalistic world of Congress and politics in the decades before the Government Printing Office began producing its official account of Congress—the Congressional Record—in 1873. And because the two overlapped in coverage, many assumed they were partisan rivals. But (read more)




Sources as Windows to Narrative: Periodical Indexes – Harder to Access, Highly Insightful
05 September 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


Sources as Windows to Narrative: Periodical Indexes – Harder to Access, Highly Insightful

Periodical indexes are not often considered valuable source material unto themselves. There is a tendency to see them simply as neutral orderings of objective reality. After all, how can a list of sources be anything more than a means to more (and better) sources? How can a list of sources contain an agenda or narrative? Quite well, it would seem. As curated lists of source material, indexes are susceptible to internal biases and narratives as least as much as the editorial cartoons we (read more)




Sources as Windows to Narrative: Political Cartoons – Easy to Access, Easy to Deceive
16 August 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


Sources as Windows to Narrative: Political Cartoons – Easy to Access, Easy to Deceive

The primary source is the historian’s most prized asset. However, sources taken on their own are not necessarily interesting; it is how the researcher can see in them and through them, placing them in context to piece together historical narrative, that makes them intriguing. When used effectively, sources can truly be windows into history, and—like windows—they can be clear, dirty, foggy, even distorted and deceptive. Political cartoons are an example of a relatively (read more)




“The Honeypot Approach”: The Origin and Development of the NYPL Public Domain Collection
26 July 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“The Honeypot Approach”: The Origin and Development of the NYPL Public Domain Collection

Exploring the NYPL Public Domain Collection… Today we will look at the New York Public Library’s Public Domain Collection. The NYPL recently made approximately 190,000 digitized public domain items from their special collections available online for unrestricted use. Why does the NYPL have such a large library of digitized material? Why do they have such a large special collection at all? To answer these questions, we have explore  the genesis of the NYPL collection in (read more)




Why Another Magazine Index, Mr. Faxon?
28 June 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


Why Another Magazine Index, Mr. Faxon?

Exploring the Annual Magazine Subject-Index… Our "Exploring" series continues with Frederick Faxon’s Annual Magazine Subject-Index, which ran from 1907 until 1949. When Faxon started his index in 1907, several large and mostly-comprehensive periodical indexes already dominated the library market. So why did he bother starting yet one more? As it turns out, this was a question front and center in Faxon’s mind from the outset—and one to which he had a (read more)




Discovering Medieval Florence and the Donati through Subject Encyclopedias
19 June 2018 by Eric Calaluca


Discovering Medieval Florence and the Donati through Subject Encyclopedias

My interest in specialized subject encyclopedias predates Reference Universe. I was assigned a weekly task in my high school library of re-shelving books. It turns out that our school librarian had made a substantial investment in what were—at the time—an emerging genre: specialized subject encyclopedias. The idea of broad general encyclopedias dates to the eighteenth century. However, the publication of specialized subject encyclopedias expanded dramatically in the 1970s (read more)




“A Trifling Return…for the Great Service”
06 June 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“A Trifling Return…for the Great Service”

Exploring the Industrial Arts Index... Continuing with our “Exploring” blog series, today we will look at the Industrial Arts Index. Before the current-day crowd of scientific and engineering online discovery services existed, staying up-to-date in one’s field involved visiting the reference section of the local library and using their subject indexes. The Industrial Arts Index was one such tool, designed to make it easy to find the most widely-used and useful articles in (read more)




“A High Indignity…and Notorious Breach of Privilege”
23 May 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“A High Indignity…and Notorious Breach of Privilege”

Exploring Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates... At Paratext, historical sources—primary, secondary, and tertiary—are our business. Not all historical sources are immediately intuitive, and many hide fascinating stories. This is the first post in our “Exploring” blog series, which will delve into various useful sources available to researchers and scholars at all levels. We address issues of historical context, illuminate methods of use, and parse out biases (read more)




Largest Repository for History of Science Periodicals Now Online
30 November 2016 by Paratext Editorial


Largest Repository for History of Science Periodicals Now Online

356 years after The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge held their first 'learned society' meeting in 1660, Paratext announces the addition of The Society's International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, 1901-1914 to 19th Century Masterfile: 1106-1930. This is the continuation of the monumental Catalogue of Scientific Papers 1800-1900, which Paratext deployed in 2012.   The International Catalogue is the largest single editorial (read more)




Adam Matthew Content Now Accessible via 19th Century Masterfile: 1106-1930
21 June 2016 by Paratext Editorial


Adam Matthew Content Now Accessible via 19th Century Masterfile: 1106-1930

Paratext is pleased to announce that extensive content from Adam Matthew is now accessible via 19th Century Masterfile: 1106-1930. Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE, is an award-winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences, covering subject areas from medieval family life to 20th-century history and culture. Nearly 100,000 links from 33 collections are being added to 19th Century Masterfile’s Image/Media section, broadening research (read more)




150 Years Later: Researching the Civil War in 19th Century Masterfile
12 April 2011 by Paratext Editorial


150 Years Later: Researching the Civil War in 19th Century Masterfile

On the 150th Anniversary of the commencement of the United States Civil War, we are reminded of the great value of primary sources in helping us better understand the experiences of those that came before us. New research and analysis is emerging all the time to provide new perspective on the events and players in the war.  It is our goal to ensure that you and your patrons can find the most valuable documents available for offering insight into the experiences of early (read more)




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