Rare printed items from Library Company of Philadelphia enhance a venerable resource

To enrich the digital edition of Early American Imprints, Readex is offering Supplements from the Library Company of Philadelphia, a unique resource featuring newly discovered materials. These rare holdings from the Library Company form the largest collection of early American imprints to have been identified and cataloged during the last 40 years.

Spanning from 1670 to 1819, these remarkable printed items, particularly valuable for studying popular culture, offer new terrain for exploration and teaching. Available now are sample documents in such categories as Death, Captivity, Ballads, X-Rated, Entertainment, Politics and more.

Faculty in English and American History departments are eagerly awaiting the pending release of the new collection:

Rare printed items from Library Company of Philadelphia enhance a venerable resource

The Pope’s Stone: Part One

From the Serial Set: History of the Washington National Monument and Washington National Monument Society. Compiled by Frederick L. Harvey, Secretary Washington National Monument Society. February 6, 1903

In the late 1840s the Washington National Monument Society, a private civic-minded organization, continued its program of soliciting funds from across the country for building the nation’s monument to its first president and added a request for something in addition to monies.

"With a view of having the States of the Union properly represented in the Monument, the Society extended an invitation for each State to furnish for insertion in the interior walls a block of marble or other durable stone, a production of its soil, of the following dimensions: Four feet long, two feet high, and with a bed of from twelve to eighteen inches, the name of the State to be cut thereon in large letters, and, if desirable to the donor, the State's coat of arms also. Later, this invitation to contribute memorial blocks of stone was extended to embrace such a gift from a foreign government." (p. 49, see Harvey citation below)

The Pope’s Stone: Part One

If At First You Do Not Succeed: Walt Disney Introduces Mickey Mouse (May 15, 1928)

To say that iconic brands are prevalent in today’s society is a bit of an understatement. Everywhere you look, there’s a sign for a name brand, a store, a large company. It may be hard to imagine a time when this wasn’t the case—when not only was that big name unknown, but it was rejected.

Take Disney for example: Can you think of a time when Mickey Mouse wasn’t an icon for family fun? If you’ve grown up in the United States within the last, say, 70 years or so, chances are that you may have seen this mouse a time or two!

Looking back at those early years though, Walt Disney didn’t always find success. In fact, in the late 1920s the combination of Mickey Mouse and Disney was a gamble that few were willing to take.

From the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, May 1, 1955

At the time when silent films were coming to an end, and talking pictures were poised to become the newest thing, even Mr. Disney couldn’t successfully peddle Mickey’s debut film: "Plane Crazy." Most theater owners had no interest in this silent, unfamiliar mouse, believing that Felix the Cat, already a hit cartoon, was more than enough to satisfy their theatergoers.

Poor Mickey’s introduction to the screen on May 15, 1928 is usually forgotten. Instead, popular history—and even the Walt Disney Company itself—looks ahead to October of that year when "Steamboat Willie," Mickey’s third film, and his first with sound, debuted. Today, Mickey’s first two films are still largely forgotten, even after their re-release with an added soundtrack.

If At First You Do Not Succeed: Walt Disney Introduces Mickey Mouse (May 15, 1928)

ETC (Enhancements, Training and Content): 2010 Update 2

ETC (Enhancements, Training and Content) is an ongoing, multifaceted program that provides Readex customers with one-of-a-kind historical content unavailable online elsewhere. In addition, the ETC program ensures the latest and most useful features and functionality, and provides guidance and suggestions for making the most of your Readex collections. ETC also covers online access and storage support.

The second ETC release for 2010 was completed in April and included:

Releases will continue throughout 2010 on a bi-monthly basis, including additional content for Early American Newspapers, U.S. Congressional Serial Set and Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to post them here or email me directly at bkolcun[at]readex[dot]com.

ETC (Enhancements, Training and Content): 2010 Update 2

Defying Destiny, Dirty Politics, Revolutionary News and 19th-Century Mummymania: The Readex Report, Volume 5, Issue 2

In the current issue of The Readex Report...

Tom Standage, Economist business affairs editor, describes how nineteenth-century newspapers survived a disruptive technology in Defying Destiny;

LeeAnna Keith, history teacher at New York City's Collegiate School, pieces together dirty politics in Reconstruction-era Louisiana in Following the Trail of a Deep South Massacre;

Goucher College history professor Matthew Hale explores the relationship between English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and American newspapers during the French Revolution in Measuring Time in a Blissful Dawn;

Defying Destiny, Dirty Politics, Revolutionary News and 19th-Century Mummymania: The Readex Report, Volume 5, Issue 2

Join Readex to Hear James McGrath Morris and Steven Daniel at the 2010 American Library Association Annual Conference

Will you be attending the American Library Association conference this summer?  If so, make a date with Readex to attend a special breakfast event focusing on the use of digital resources for historical research.

Photo by Michael Mudd

Join Readex to Hear James McGrath Morris and Steven Daniel at the 2010 American Library Association Annual Conference

Hocus Pocus: An Example of Bibliographic Legerdemain

Page 3

For many years people have probably thought that the following entry from the catalog of the American Antiquarian Society, which describes an item in the Readex digital edition of Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, was the last word on the first, the earliest Hocus Pocus or conjuring book printed in the United States. Here is the entry in full:

Title: Hocus pocus; or The whole art of legerdemain, in perfection. By which the meanest capacity may perform the whole without the help of a teacher. Together with the use of all the instruments belonging thereto. To which is now added, abundance of rare and new inventions. By Henry Dean.

Date of Publication: 1795

Early American Imprints, 1st series, no. 28540

Author: Dean, Henry.

Subjects: Magic tricks.

Edition: The eleventh edition, with large additions and amendments.

Publication Information: Philadelphia: Printed for Mathew Carey, no. 118, Market-Street., 1795.

Physical Description: [2], 106 p. ill. 14 cm. (18mo)

Additional Index Points: Art of legerdemain; or, Hocus pocus in perfection.

Printers, Publishers, Booksellers: Carey, Mathew, 1760-1839, publisher. Folwell, Richard, 1768?-1814, printer.

Hocus Pocus: An Example of Bibliographic Legerdemain

The More Things Change: Selected U.S. Congressional Serial Set Documents, 1983

Twenty-seven years ago, the government publications listed below were published in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. They came from the 1st Session of the 98th Congress, 1983.

When I scan the titles of these publications, I have to wonder whether they really were published that long ago because the issues are just as relevant today, if not more.

Here are a half dozen that strike me as particularly timely:

What changes are most needed in the procedures used in the United States justice system? (Serial Set II Vol. No. 13497 98th Congress, 1st Session S.Doc. 5 945 p. 1983)

Should producers of hazardous waste be legally responsible for injuries caused by the waste? (Serial Set II Vol. No. 13527 98th Congress, 1st Session H.Doc. 93 594 p. 1983)

Emergency mathematics and science education act. (Serial Set II Vol. No. 13533 98th Congress, 1st Session H.Rpt. 6 121 p. February 17, 1983)

The More Things Change: Selected U.S. Congressional Serial Set Documents, 1983

Instant Access to our Award-Winning Civil War Collection Still Available

From The Daily Picayune; 04-15-1865; New Orleans

One hundred and forty-five years ago this month, two of the most critical events in American history occurred within five days of one another. On April 9, General R. E. Lee surrendered the battered Army of Northern Virginia to Union forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant. Five days later, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth and died the next day. Learn about these events and many more in The Civil War: Antebellum Period to Reconstruction—a Choice 2010 Outstanding Academic Title.

Instant Access to our Award-Winning Civil War Collection Still Available

Take a Sneak Peek at The Civil War, a 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Readex’s first thematic Archive of Americana collection, The Civil War: Antebellum Period to Reconstruction, was recently ranked among the “Best of the Best” electronic resources reviewed by ChoiceMagazine last year. In the May 2009 issue, Arkansas State University's James Foreman wrote:

A comprehensive database of Americana covering the antebellum period through the Civil War and Reconstruction .... allows users to fully research this important era of American history .... excellent coverage of the social, political, and cultural aspects of this momentous time period. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers.

Take a Sneak Peek at The Civil War, a 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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