Genealogical research has a passionate following outside of the academic world, a fact that is reflected in the often impressive genealogy collections of public libraries. Now Villanova faculty members are planning to add genealogical research projects to their undergraduate history syllabi. Welcome to the digital new world of genealogy: like in so many other areas of research, the time of dusty old books and reels of microfilm has passed and online databases have taken their place.
Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest are two of the major genealogical research tools currently on the market. Both are available on trial basis until March 15 to Villanova faculty and students. Discover a wealth of genealogical materials such as U.S. census data (1790-1930), church records, county census data, immigration ship lists, passport applications, Freedman’s Bank records, Revolutionary War pension applications, even international data from the UK, Canada and Germany.
I strongly encourage you to evaluate both resources and send me feedback about their usefulness in the classroom. For more detailed information about the contents of ancestry library edition and HeritageQuest Online, please consult the comparison chart provided by Proquest. Contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post your comments online.
The Historical Periodicals Collection of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is currently available on trial basis. Described as “the most comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1691 and 1877,” the collection includes more than 7,600 magazines and journals with more than seven million digitized pages. The digitization of series 5 which extends coverage up to 1877 has just been completed.
Series 1: 1691-1820
Series 2: 1821-1837
Series 3: 1838-1852
Series 4: 1853-1865
Series 5: 1866-1877
Series 1-5: 1691-1877
Don’t miss the twelve collection overview essays which can be found on the lower right hand corner of the results screen via the Reference Shelf link. The essays discuss the research value of the AAS periodicals collection. Included are titles such as Doing Women’s History at the American Antiquarian Society and An Overview of the American Antiquarian Society Periodicals Collection. The essay on the periodical literature in the Revolutionary War Era includes detailed descriptions of selected periodicals.
The Publications link at the top of the search screen brings up a complete title list with publication start and end dates. Search results can be limited by types of publication, document and image. The collection is available on the familiar EBSCO platform.
The trial will run until April 2. Give the AAS Historical Periodicals Collection a try and let me know what you think. Your feedback is important. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.