Primary Sources: Caribbean Newspapers, Series 1, 1718-1876

Caribbean Newspapers, Series 1, 1718-1876, is a fully searchable collection of over 130 18th- and 19th-century newspapers from twenty-two Caribbean islands. Most newspapers were published in the English language, but a number of Danish-, French-, and Spanish-language titles are included. Essential for researching colonial history, the Atlantic slave trade, international commerce and relations, New World slavery, and related topics.

This resource has only recently been released and new content will be added each month until the end of 2014.

Caribbean Newspapers can also be searched as part of Archive of Americana, a collection of primary source collections that include Early American Imprints, Early American Newspapers, American State Papers, and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.


Trial: Caribbean Newspapers, Series 1, 1718-1876

The Library has arranged a trial of the online database Caribbean Newspapers, Series 1, 1718-1876. This resource was created in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society and will provide access to “more than 150 years of Caribbean and Atlantic history, culture and daily life. Featuring publications from 22 islands, Caribbean Newspapers will provide complete facsimiles of every available issue, including eyewitness reporting, editorials, legislative information, letters, poetry, advertisements, obituaries and other news items. Most of these newspapers were published in the English language, but a number of Spanish-, French-, and Danish-language titles are also provided. Countries represented include Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, CuraƧao, Dominica, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Bartholomew, St. Christopher, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, and the Virgin Islands. Also found within this resource are newspapers from Bermuda, an island not technically part of the Caribbean, but situated on shipping routes between Europe and this region and integrally related to its history.”

Readex just released this product and will be adding content each month. The trial provides access to the first release and will run through 11/30/13. Please send your comments on the value and usefulness (or not) to me or post them here.

The link will take you to a list of resources we get through Readex and you can find Caribbean Newspapers in the section Archive of Americana.


Resource Trial: Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Parts 5-8

Until October 17, The Library has a trial of parts 5-8 of Nineteenth Century Collections Online. Parts 1-4 were acquired last year by CDL for all of the UCs.

Note that these new modules are still being built and are not complete. Your comments on whether you found useful sources in the new modules would be welcome.


Resource Trial: 19th Century Masterfile

The UC Libraries have arranged a trial of 19th Century Masterfile, which provides a single access point for over 70 indexes of 19th century newspapers, periodicals, books, and UK and US governement documents. Records in the search results include the UC e-Links button to provide easy access to full-text content that The Library pays for. Other links to resources we may subscribe to (like Readex) or freely available resources (like HathiTrust or Google Books) are also provided.

The trial runs through 3/30/13. Your comments on the resource are welcome. You can leave them here or send them to me at jdorner@library.berkeley.edu.


Primary Sources: NCCO – Asia & West Diplomacy & Cultural Exchange

Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange is one archive of the newly acquired digital resource, Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO). It is primarily made up of documents generated by diplomatic missions of the United States and Britain to Korea, Japan, China, and other East Asian nations. Some missionary records and publications and a collection of periodicals related to Asian culture and society are also included. Each of the collections in the archive is browseable. Basic and advanced searching of the collections is also possible, although the results will vary from collection to collection depending on how much machine-readable content is included. The full text of handwritten documents is not searchable.

Researchers of U.S. and British foreign policy and diplomacy; Asian political, economic, and social affairs; missionary activities; the Opium Wars; the Boxer Rebellion; and the Philippine Insurrection will all find a rich body of sources to explore. There are probably few topics related to East Asia and its early interactions with the West that would not be informed by resources in this collection.

Search tip: In advanced search, you have the option to “Allow variations.” This is a good option to choose, since it will look for British and American spelling variations (harbor/harbour) and also may compensate for some Optical Character Recognition (OCR) errors that inevitably occur during the scanning process.

Let me know in the comments or by email if you make any interesting discoveries in the collections or have any particular search tips you want to share.