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(318) 257-2935
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Friday, December 17, 2004

Early American Imprints, Series 1 & 2 - tsoto

Two important, though currently underutilized, resources available in the Louisiana Tech Department of Special Collections are the Early American Imprints, Series 1 and 2. Early American Imprints is a microcard collection produced by the Readex Corporation, a company that specializes in the digital and microform reproduction of primary source material for American and British History.

Early American Imprints, Series I (1639-1800) is based on the celebrated American Bibliography, by the famous nineteenth century American bibliographer Charles Evans, as well as later additions and supplements to Evansí work. The breadth of this collection is massive. Series 1 contains roughly 36,000 different items, approximately 2.3 million total images. The subjects dealt with by the documents reproduced in this series cover virtually every aspect of American life during the colonial, revolutionary, and early post-revolutionary periods including agriculture, foreign affairs, music, religion, literature, politics, slavery, and much more.

Early American Imprints, Series II (1801-1819) is equally impressive. This collection is based on Ralph B. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemakerís American Bibliography, 1801-1819. The Shaw-Shoemaker bibliography was intended as a continuation of Evansí work. As such it was similar to the previous bibliography in format, breadth, and size. Like Series 1, the second series of American Imprints also contains roughly 36,000 different items, though the total number of images is much larger, about 4 million. The range of subjects covered is equally wide-ranging. Unfortunately, the Special Collections Department does not have all of Series 2. Our collection stops in the year 1812. Nonetheless, the part of Series 2 that we do have is still quite extensive, including some 26,700 items out of 36,000 in the total collection. Although we do not have the complete second series, we do have the bibliographies written by Evans and Shaw and Shoemaker.

While no collection of this scope can be 100% exhaustive, Early American Imprints, Series I & II represents the most comprehensive collection of published American literature for the colonial period through the early United States period. Any student, faculty member, or researcher doing a project requiring primary source research in early American History will find consulting these collections well worth their time.

Written by Matt Hernando, Graduate Assistant
Edited by Tom Soto

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