Primary Sources: Original Documents in Electronic Format
American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement, produced by the Wisconsin Historical Society, provides full text for over 150 books, manuscripts and travel narratives dating from 1000 to 1844. Images are searchable independently.
Memory compiled by the Library of Congress National Digital Library,
is a gateway to primary source materials regarding the history of the
United States. Over nine million items are available through this project,
and the ability to keyword search across all collections is available.
Examples of specific collections follow. For broadsides and printed ephemera,
American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and other Printed
Ephemera. For 19th century periodicals, see The
Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals.
For over 100 pamphlets and books concerning the experiences of slaves
in the American Colonies and the United States, see Slaves
and the Courts: 1740-1860. The Library of Congress also has a number
of online exhibitions.
Records (1636-1776) provides access to the public
records of the Colony of Connecticut, including wills and inventories.
Curtis Botanical Magazine (1787-1807) is an online version of the first 26 volumes of this journal, presented by the National Agricultural Library, ARS, USDA. This searchable site provides 1,048 plates and 1,456 pages of text.
Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture Electronic Facsimiles
is a collection of digitized texts from the University of Wisconsin Libraries
and the Chipstone Foundation. [BROWSE] [SEARCH] [ABOUT] [SUBJECT GUIDES]
the American South from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill is a collection of digitized primary source materials focusing on Southern history and culture.
Although not specifically concerned with the decorative arts, this site
is useful for the history and literature of the area.
Eighteenth-Century E-Texts is a listing of publicly available electronic texts, maintained by Prof. Jack Lynch of Rutgers University. Browse list by author name.
ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers
of Diderot and d'Alembert (1751-1772), the massive reference work of French
Enlightenment knowledge in 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates,
is available in a searchable online version under the auspices of the
ARTFL Project. To browse a list of all illustrations: (1) select "advanced search," (2) in the "type of entry" box type: plate_legend, (3) hit search. Alternatively, add additional French search terms, e.g. meubles (for furniture), for focused results. Some of the Encyclopedie is also available in English at a companion project
in process. See the collaborative
Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne (Furniture Repository, Ancient and
Modern) was a 19th-early 20th century French periodical consisting entirely of illustrations
of designs for furniture, window treatments and room settings. This online
document presents the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' nearly complete
set of the early (1841-1851) issues.
Selections from Godey's
Lady's Book are available via a University of Vermont website. UW-Madison researchers have access to a licensed version (Godey's
Lady's Book 1830-55).
Excerpts from A
Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones (London, 1856) are provided
by James Rowan, Boston College. Also see the online full text version of a 1910 edition at: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/DLDecArts.GramOrnJones. A second text by Owen Jones, "Examples of Chinese Ornament," is at http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/DLDecArts.JonesChinOrn.
Historical Maps of Pennsylvania
presents maps of Pennsylvania from the 16th through the 20th centuries.
The quality of the digital images varies.
Internet Archive's Ebooks and Texts is a searchable database of digitized books dating as early as 1800, from libraries including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, and the Winterthur Museum. For example, see "The Footman's Directory and Butler's Remembrancer" (1823).
of Early Journals provides full text for large runs of 18th and 19th
century British journals including the Annual Register, The
Builder, Gentleman's Magazine and others.
Modern History Sourcebook, edited by Paul Halsall of Fordham University,
is a metasite for history documents. The site provides links to publicly available historical texts. The texts are not specifically
concerned with decorative arts but are useful for historical perspective
and context. Information on the Internet History Sourcebook Project is available at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/.
London Lives 1690 to 1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis is a searchable edition of 240,000 archival manuscripts. The documentary material enables reconstruction of the lives of thousands of 18th century Londoners, including artisans and tradesmen. Browse biographies compiled from the data.
Making of America
is a collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Cornell University to provide primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. Over
10,000 books are included.
MESDA Craftsman Database is a collection (in process of digitization) of primary source information on 80,000 artisans practising 127 trades in the early South. Only the index is currently available.
Colony Archive Project provides access to court records, colony laws,
17th century journals and memoirs, probate inventories, wills, town plans,
maps, and more.
Inventory Database, Gunston Hall Plantation provides transcriptions
of over 300 Virginia and Maryland probate inventories between 1740-1810.
Winterthur Museum Library's online collection of trade and retail catalogs can be browsed by subject via the Internet Archive.
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Secondary Sources: Journals and More
Archaeology Newsletter provides full text online articles for 1994-2000
American Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum includes full text or
abstracts of the current issue, as well as indexes to past issues. Those with access to (licensed) JSTOR may have complete full text.
Antiquity is the principal journal for the Society of American Archaeology.
Tables of contents from 1995, with abstracts from 1999 to present, are
available. Journal is included full text in (licensed) JSTOR.
Furniture, published yearly by the Chipstone Foundation, provides full text
online for articles from 1993-2000, and selected full text in recent issues. Additional online access is provided as permissions are obtained.
Historical Review is the journal of the American Historical Association. Tables of contents and the most recent issue are publicly available. Full text of back issues is available in (licensed) JSTOR.
and the Arts Online is a newsletter for the arts and antiques market,
primarily concerned with American art and decorative art. Articles, book reviews, a
calendar of events and an on-line discussion forum are available through
Ceramics in America, published yearly by the Chipstone Foundation, provides full text online for most articles from 2001-4, with selected full text more recently. Additional online access is provided as permissions are obtained.
of American History provides selected articles online. Full text is included in (licensed) JSTOR.
of Material Culture contains tables of contents and abstracts from 1996 to current issue. Full text is available in UW-Madison licensed databases.
Antique Digest is a print publication for the art and antiques market
with an online supplement. Access to some information may require registration
and/or a print subscription.
Pennsylvania Magazine of
History and Biography is a scholarly journal published quarterly by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Recent issues display tables of contents. Issues from 1907-2003 are publicly available in full text through the Penn State University Libraries' digital collections. Full text is also available in (licensed) JSTOR.
Resource Library, from the Traditional Fine Arts Organization, is a collection of online articles and essays dealing with American representational
visual arts, including decorative arts.
Magazine provides browsable/searchable tables of contents for issues from 1968-present.
in the Decorative Arts (1993-2009), from Bard
Graduate Center, provides tables of contents online. This journal ceased and is being replaced by West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, beginning in 2011.
William and Mary
Quarterly, a journal devoted to early American history to 1820, published by the Omohundro Institute, provides tables of contents online from 1999-present and full text of book reviews. Full text is available via (licensed) JSTOR.
Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture
provides some tables of contents and current issue online. Full text is available via (licensed) JSTOR.
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