American Periodicals from CRL

This initiative expands digital access to CRL's American historical journals, helping to ensure the survival of these important primary source materials. Use of this material has increased in recent years.   At the same time, the originals are becoming more rare and fragile.  To protect the originals from harm or loss, CRL worked with ProQuest on a  project to digitize a significant portion of the collection.  The resulting database completed in 2012, “American Periodicals from the Center for Research Libraries” (APCRL),  provides full text and full-color scans of just over three million pages of CRL journal content.

Collection Contents

The collection is made up of general interest magazines and trade journals from the period 1850-1920. Technology, industry, agriculture, medicine, and architecture are strongly represented. Titles were chosen in part because of their frequent use by researchers at CRL libraries. The University of Pennsylvania helped to fill holdings gaps and contributed several additional titles not held by CRL.

From the selection list notable titles include:

  • American Annual of Photography
  • American Artisan and Hardware Record
  • The American Builder
  • American Gas-light Journal
  • Concrete
  • The Craftsman
  • Electrical Age
  • Hamptons Magazine
  • The Labor Journal
  • Woman’s Protest against Woman Suffrage

Access to APCRL

For libraries licensing the database: access directly to the ProQuest interface

For CRL libraries that have not licensed the database: All of the journals digitized are available in digital format to CRL libraries, on a volume-by-volume basis through interlibrary loan request. Contact CRL's Access Services

Information on licensing APCRL:   CRL libraries are entitled to a discount on purchase of this collection, which augments ProQuest's broader nineteenth-and early twentieth-century holdings. See offer information in eDesiderata

Archiving the Collection

As with its JSTOR collection, CRL is systematically archiving all print volumes of the journals included in this collection. This will ensure that “last copies” of these important materials will continue to be held for the CRL community. CRL also welcomes contributions of volumes from member libraries to fill gaps in these holdings and in the corresponding archive. This arrangement offers two benefits to CRL libraries: it will make important but fragile materials more easily available to students and researchers in the CRL community, and the CRL archive will offer relief from the costs of local storage, preservation, and replacement.

The APCRL initiative has augmented the ongoing digitization of CRL collections in response to researchers' requests, and the systematic digitization of foreign newspapers in partnership with NewsBank for the World Newspaper Archive.


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