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Two trials to University of Virginia Rotunda Digital Collections

The Papers of John Marshall
John Marshall was the longest-serving chief justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and arguably the most influential. Under his direction, the judicial branch achieved equality with the other branches of government and constitutionality was established as the crucial element in court decisions. This digital edition of Marshall’s papers includes the complete contents of the print edition and presents them in a fully searchable online environment. For students and scholars of law and history, this is the most powerful and accessible way to study the legacy of the “Great Chief Justice.”


People of the Founding Era: A Prosopographical Approach (BETA VERSION)
PFE is a scholarly reference work that provides biographical information on over 25,000 people born between 1713 (the end of Queen Anne’s War) and 1815 (the end of the Napoleonic War), drawn from the digitized papers of the Founding Fathers and other documentary editions of the Founding Era. It has two components. First, it provides fully searchable biographical statements that vary greatly in scope and extent. Second, it provides identically structured data for each person allowing for group, or prosopographical, study. The editors invite users to contribute information on new people records as well as corrections and new information on people already in the system.

Trials end around December 15, 2015.  Feedback welcome:  vac11 at

Global Commodities Energy Data Visualization Tool from Adam Matthew –trial

Free 30 day access to the Global Commodities energy data visualization tool.

From 15th September to 15th October 2014, Adam Matthew is granting free access to the BP Global Energy data visualization tool from Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange.

The tool utilizes the latest Statistical Review of World Energy data to allow users to identify major energy developments over the past 27 years. The globe transitions to flat inset maps with bar graphs for a more detailed view and allows users to map an extensive variety of energy production and consumption data over several decades. The visualisation covers oil, gas, coal and renewables.

Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange provides a vast range of visual, manuscript and printed materials sourced from over twenty key libraries and more than a dozen companies and trade organisations around the world.

Four digital collections trials from Adam Matthew

The following collections are available:

  • American Consumer Culture, 1935-1965 (new)
  • American Indian Histories and Cultures
  • The First World War Portal (part 3: Visual Perspectives and Narratives is new)
  • Global Commodities


The resources will be available at the following URL for the next four weeks (ending on the 13/10/2014):


Please feel free to share these details with Cornell students and colleagues.

You can also gain access via the ‘trial access login’ link, which is located on the homepage and throughout the website at (Please ensure that you select the ‘Access Via IP’ option).

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

*Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

Welcome new library home page

As of  July 1 the new Cornell Library website went live.

This new website is going to be much better. It has a responsive design for ease of use on mobile devices, a new catalog, and a new single search interface with combined search results page. (It’s been publicly available on the beta site at since January.) Making the change now, gives us time over the slower summer months to respond to feedback and make adjustments before the fall semester begins.

This transition will include the following changes to existing systems:

  • The new catalog is an easy to use, powerful catalog (using open source software called Blacklight which is very sophisticated and customizable) and we think you will like it a lot. It draws its information from the Classic Catalog (still the “real” catalog) and other library systems.
  • The familiar and powerful Classic Catalog will remain as a link off the new [Blacklight] Catalog main page as we continue to work to include all functionality of the Classic Catalog into the new system.
  • The current catalog so prominently featured on the library home page (WorldCat Local) will still be available for easy requesting of non-Cornell items and will be more integrated into the system as a secondary search under a Libraries Worldwide link.  This link will show up in the single search box results screen as well as in the new [Blacklight] catalog.

And later this summer, the following changes will be implemented:

  • “Database Names” is being rebuilt, but will maintain the same structure and functionality, with the added benefit of being able to highlight the top databases in each subject category. You may find that the new catalog does an excellent job at getting you into your favorite databases quickly and easily.
  • “E-journals” will also transition, but will maintain the same searching functionality, and add more browsing options.

Please feel free to contact me, or the Library Discovery & Access Implementation Team directly at with any concerns you may have, including feedback about any potential loss in functionality you anticipate.

30 day trial: Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO)

Gale’s Nineteenth Century Collections Online is a rich digital collection of primary source material. Rare primary sources, curated by an international team of experts, provide access to important works sourced from leading libraries worldwide. Users will find millions of full-text, fully searchable pages.

The trial runs roughly March 18-April 18, 2014.

Access via:


This group of 12 primary source databases includes the following collections:

1:  British Politics and Society

2:  Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange

3:  British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture

4:  CORVEY Collection of European Literature:  1790-1840

5:  Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925, PART I

6:  Photography— the World through the Lens

7:  Women: Transnational Networks

8:  Europe and Africa: Commerce, Christianity, Civilization, Conquest

9:  Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925, PART II

10:  Children’s Literature and Childhood

11:  Mapping the World

12:  Religion and the Periodical: Point of View and Perspective

Please send any comments to Virginia Cole, history librarian (vac11).

New at Cornell: Black Abolitionist Papers


Black Abolitionist Papers is now available at Cornell.

This digital collection consists of primary sources. It presents the international impact of African American activism against slavery, in the writings and publications of the activists themselves. Covering the period 1830-1865, the approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 Black abolitionists show the full range of their activities in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany.

New at Cornell: British Periodicals


This just in:  British Periodicals!

This digital collection allows searching full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.

More information and complete title list and coverage (as an Excel spreadsheet)

Explore Victorian Popular Culture

We’re excited to announce Cornell access to Adam Matthew’s Victorian Popular Culture, a unique archival resource for four fascinating areas of 19th British century life: (1) Spiritualism, Sensation & Magic; (2) Circuses, Sideshows & Freaks; (3) Music Hall, Theatre & Popular Entertainment; (4) Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments & the Advent of Cinema.  In addition to printed and visual material from the period (books, magazines, pamphlets, posters, photographs, postcards, advertising), VPC offers audio and video files as well as 360-degree views of optical devices, toys, and other artifacts of the era.  With its amazing range and depth of heretofore inaccessible material, VPC should prove to be a treasure trove for Victorianists.

For more literature resources, see English Literature bibliographer Fred Muratori’s blog EnglishLit @ CUL

New Resource: Eighteenth Century British Journals


Eighteenth Century Journals, A portal to Newspapers and Periodicals, c.1685-1835

This resource focuses on the British Empire.

It consists of five sections. Currently Cornell only subscribes to Section III. Materials for this section are drawn from two sources: the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, London and Cambridge University Library. This section focuses on journals published outside of London– Canadian, Caribbean and Indian, Irish journals and British provincial publications.

For more information: overview of the five sections  and publication title list of all five sections

Announcing “Slavery and the Law”


Proquest History Vault:

Slavery and the Law: Race, slavery, and free Blacks petitions to southern legislatures and southern county courts.

Announcing the arrival of this new digital collection.

The Slavery and the Law collection provides testimony on a broad range of subjects by a variety of southerners—Black and white, slave and free, slaveholder and non-slaveholder, man and woman.

The documents vividly portray the contrasts, ambivalences, contradictions, ironies, and ambiguities that comprise southern history. They reveal not only what southerners were saying, but what they were doing; not only what happened to slaves, but how the slaves responded. They show how complex political, economic, legal, and social conditions affected the lives of southerners, Black and white, male and female, slave and free. This unparalleled resource offers topical, geographical, and chronological breadth and penetrating depth of this subject matter. Responding to a specific event, situation, or danger, petitioners realized that it behooved them to be as forthright as possible. They often discussed their circumstances with remarkable candor. Included are rare biographical and genealogical details—how slaves, as chattel, could and often did find themselves sold, conveyed, or distributed as part of their master’s estates; and the impact of market forces on the slave family. The guardianship and emancipation petitions present an unusually clear picture of the association between whites and free Blacks; and the divorce petitions provide a unique picture of slaveholding white women.
Series I: Petitions to State Legislatures offers access to important but virtually unused primary source materials that were scattered in state archives of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The collection includes virtually all extant legislative petitions on the subject of race and slavery.

The documents in Series II: Petitions to Southern County Courts were collected from local courthouses, and candidly document the realities of slavery at the most immediate grassroots level in southern society.
It was at county courthouses where the vast majority of disputes over the institution of slavery were referred. The petitions that were filed provide some of the most revealing documentation in existence on
the functioning of the slave system. Slavery and the Law also includes State Slavery Statutes, a master record of the laws governing American slavery, covering 1789–1865. Materials in the collection cover virtually every aspect of the regulation of Blacks of the period. With the slavery statutes available digitally, historians will have convenient access to revealing legislation on African American and southern history and culture.

In some cases,only  abstracts of the documents are full text searchable. The documents themselves are handwritten manuscripts available for download as pdfs.

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