The American Antiquarian Society’s historical periodicals collection includes full page images of more than 6,500 titles selected from the American Antiquarian Society’s rich holdings. The collection includes popular magazines such as Harper’s Weekly and Godey’s Lady’s Book, as well as more specialized periodicals covering subjects ranging from phrenology to farming and tailors to the timber industry. The earliest titles date from 1691 and the collection comprises more than ten million pages of fully-searchable original material.
The American Antiquarian Society was founded as an independent research library in 1812. Its original purpose as expressed by its founder, the printer Isaiah Thomas, was ‘to encourage the collection and preservation of the Antiquities of our country’. To this day, it continues an omnium gatherum of material representative of all aspects of American life from first contact to 1876. As the Society’s current president has put it ‘throughout our history we have purchased things not from the perspective of connoisseurs or because of high taste but rather in a quest to have a rich representative sampling of everything . . . We’ve always been interested in the lives of ordinary Americans and what they might have been reading or writing. There’s hardly a topic of American history that can’t be researched here.’
Anyone for the American magazine of wonders & marvelous chronicle or the Carpet trade review?
Image: Trade card advertisement, Melville Garden, Hingham, Massachusetts, courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.