Monday, December 12, 2005

Free index: In the First Person

As of September 2005, Alexander Street Press gave free access to In the First Person, a database that indexes letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives in English from around the world. More than one million pages, some with photographs, of editorially selected materials spanning 400 years: "Among these accounts, you'll find people in 1930 remember their conversations with Crazy Horse; a British nurse writing in 1945 upon hearing the news of Hitler’s suicide; [...] a firsthand account of a smallpox outbreak in Virginia in 1792; women columnists describing in the 1990s what it took to break into journalism."

And if your institution subscribes to the following Alexander Street databases, your users will be able to hyperlink directly to the full-text within:

  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries

  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries

  • Oral History Online

  • Black Thought and Culture

  • Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment

  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories

  • The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries

  • Women and Social Movements in the U.S.

  • North American Indian Biographical Database

  • Latino Literature

  • Libraries, museums, and archives will also be able to post primary materials to the site and suggest that specific links be indexed (a group of internal and external editors will moderate the process).

    Even though this index is not an open access resource but rather a freely available resource over the web, it is deemed of general interest to the Library Community and deserves to be highlighted.

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