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Making of America

Making of America is a digital library of historical materials collaboratively developed by the University of Michigan and Cornell University. The collection consists of “primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.” It is an extensive group of digitized pages of 19th century books and journals.

Each university supports its own collection and search options. The Cornell site offers several search options to access the collection. The basic search is a clean interface that allows the researcher to select specific books and journals. Other search functionality includes Boolean, proximity, or bibliographic searching. Researchers can review their prior queries by selecting the “history” tab. The FAQ page provides additional details about the project, printing images, the current size of the collection, and other useful topics.

The University of Michigan site offers a simple keyword search box or the ability to browse by subject from the home page. Find other search options by choosing “other searches in MoA.”

The journal articles and books cover a wide range of topics. Some interesting subjects that I came across include – diseases of women, water filtration, geography dictionaries, and railroads. Examples of specific journal available for searching include “Living Age” (1844-1900), “United States Democratic Review” (1837-1859) and “North American Review” (1815-1900).

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