Access to History

Martin Luther King, Jr.

photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Today we commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and what better way to do so than to take a look at some of the words and photos that tell his story. The King Library and Archives in Atlanta has a fascinating digital collection of Dr. King’s writings, as well as photographs and documents associated with him. As stated on the Digital Collection homepage, “There are nearly a million documents associated with the life of Martin Luther King Jr.” so what’s online is just a snippet, albeit a fascinating one.

Being able to access a fascinating primary sources online is a result of the hard work of diligent archivists, librarians, interns and technicians who not only preserve historical documents but ensure that they are accessible to the public. Our own St. Mary’s Archives include several digital collections like the Historic Campus Photographs Collection and the St. Mary’s Student Newspaper Archive. The library also provides access to historical documents and primary source materials through online databases like Everyday Life and Women in America, the Picture Post Historical Archive, Victorian Popular Culture, and Historic Documents Online.

So the next time you feel like accessing a piece of history, why not at a library?


Online now, the Point News (etc.)!

When was the Point News not the Point News?

For most of the 1940s and ’50s the St. Mary’s student newspaper was called “The Signal News.”

Signal News 1953

Tom Barrett plans orientation

It first became “The Point News” in 1959.

Point News 1961

A recurring theme

Then for most of the 1970s and into the ’80s it was “The Empath.”

Empath 1973

Another recurring theme

Empath 1979

Uncharted territory

Empath 1984

Not to be confused with the mac lab

Much to the dismay of some 1970s and early ’80s alumni, the name “The Point News” returned in 1985.

Point News 1989

Witnesses to history

Point News 1998

First report on the storied Riot of ’98

Point News 2000

Going green in 2000

Whatever the name, St. Mary’s student newspapers  from 1952 through 2002 have been digitized and are now available online, fully word-searchable, via the Archives web site!

And because we take our duty to preserve our historical record seriously, physical copies of all these papers (as well as those from the 1940s and from 2002 to date) are safely tucked away in the College Archives.  Hard copies of issues from 2002 to date are also available in the Library.

Happy reading!

New Online Resources from Gale

Three new archival collections from Gale are now available to St. Mary’s students, faculty and staff:

Picture PostPicture Post Historical Archive, 1938-1957
This collection is a searchable archive of the British photojournalism newspaper (think England’s version of Life magazine). If you’re looking for photos or stories to give you a sense of British culture and popular sentiment from the pre-WWII years to first years of the Cold War, this is a great resource for you.

19th Century U.S. Newspapers19th Century U.S. Newspapers
This online resource contains over 1.7 million pages of U.S. newspapers from the 19th century. Major newspapers along with regional and special interest papers are all represented. Take a break from the microfilm reader and click on over to this collection.

The Times The Times of London Digital Archive, 1785-1985
The access provided by this online collection is amazing! I think the product description from the Gale site says it best: “Every complete page of every issue of The Times (London) from 1785 to 1985. Every headline, article and image. Every front page, editorial, birth and death notice, advertisement and classified ad”

Victorian Popular Culture

Victorian Popular Culture

There’s a new archival collection in town, and its name is Victorian Popular Culture by Adam Matthew. This online resource is full of primary source documents perfect for History, English, or Women and Gender Studies students and faculty interested in this time period.

Major topics covered in this collection:

  • Spiritualism, Sensation & Magic
  • Circuses, Sideshows & Freaks
  • Music Hall, Theatre & Popular Entertainment

Documents include posters, playbills, postcards, photos, illustrations, rare books, periodicals and so much more! Take a few minutes and explore Victorian Popular Culture. For more information, visit the Adam Matthew site or talk to a reference librarian about how to use and incorporate this resource into your class or research.