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 three year project to digitize a 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.
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
- The Craftsman
- Electrical Age
- Hamptons Magazine
- The Labor Journal
- Woman’s Protest against Woman Suffrage
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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