Friday, November 15, 2013

spotlight database: The American West

The American West is a unique resource which will allow scholars to explore tales of frontier life, Native Americans, vigilantes and outlaws, and more recent topics of interest such as urban centres, the environmental impact of westward expansion and life in the borderlands.

Through a mixture of original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources, this collection will act as a dynamic teaching and research resource.

  • Papers of early pioneers, explorers and hunters are well represented, including items such as the original manuscript journal and papers of James Audubon.
  • Canada and the Pacific Northwest are well documented including accounts of the Gold Rush and of the landscape.
  • The evolution of Western towns can be seen through materials such as prospectuses and city directories.  
  • The growth of railway and road networks can be explored through maps and through records of key railroad companies.
  • Emigrants guides, manuscript travel journals, store catalogues, illustrations and maps enable scholars to understand the phenomenon of Westward expansion.
  • Accounts of ranches and of the prairie lands document the agricultural transformation of the West.  
  • There are rich resources for the study of Texas, Mexico and the South. 
  • Literary and historical works – as well as contemporary newspapers and posters - enable a better understanding of the real and mythic West – with first hand accounts of the lives of vigilantes and outlaws.
  • Native American history and culture is also very well documented.
  • Original manuscripts, ephemeral material (trade cards, wanted posters, photos, claim certificates, news-sheets etc), maps, and rare printed works.

The American West can be accessed through the TexShare databases found from the Friendswood Public Library website. Contact Friendswood Public Library to receive username and password. 

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