Multi-State Digital Libraries

The following resources are projects that range from the efforts between two states to larger collections that focus on the development of the entire U.S.

American Centuries: This site features a digital collection of approximately 2000 objects and transcribed document pages from Memorial Hall Museum and Library. The focus is a view from New England on the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.

American Journeys: This site contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later.

Boston Library Consortium: The list found through this link contains universities and institutions located in the New England area, and each link leads to digitization projects that are currently underway. Some of those projects are listed in this article, but you’ll find many more sites at this resource.

Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive: CRBEHA is a project of Washington State University Vancouver, the Idaho State Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society, and Washington State University Pullman. This site brings together selected highlights of the ethnic collections from leading repositories in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Combined Arms Research Library: These electronic collections are largely composed of digital versions of paper documents from the Combined Arms Research Library collections (CARL). The researcher can discover texts that reach from obsolete military manuals to WWII operational documents.

Digital Archive of American Architecture: This archive is maintained by the Fine Arts Department at Boston College, and examples and accompanying text range from the seventeenth century to current urban projects.

Digital Library of Appalachia: The DLA provides online access to archival and historical materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region. The contents of the DLA are drawn from special collections of Appalachian College Association member libraries located in states such as Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky.

Documenting the American South: DocSouth is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes ten thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs. University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports this site. Although some collections focus entirely on North Carolina, other resources, such as “Southern Homefront: 1861-1865″ provide materials from across the south.

Early Americas Digital Archive: EADA is a collection of electronic texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820. Open to the public for research and teaching purposes, EADA is published and supported by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland.

Fish and Wildlife Digital Library System: Use the search engine or browse list of hyperlinked keywords to find recent images of Alaska, the northeast U.S. and in other regional categories, and historic images as well. Most, if not all, the images are 5″ x 7″, suitable for printing, and free for public use.

Library of Congress: Although this site is widely known for its popular American Memory project, there’s more to this site and it’s worth the time to explore their digital collections. Their “Chronicling America” project, for example, allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

Making of America: This link will take you to Cornell University’s collection, which contains almost 1,000 volumes of 22 journals from the 19th century. This is a collaborative effort with the University of Michigan.

Matrix: With the support of MSU faculty, the College of Arts and Letters, and the H-Net Council, a Center was established to host all of H-Net’s computing and administrative facilities at Michigan State and to pursue a broad research program in humanities computing. Currently, the project extends beyond this collaboration to bring audio, video, text, and image files to the general public on subjects such as the African e-Journals Project, American Voices, and more.

Mountain West Digital Library: This site contains an aggregation of digital collections from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. The Mountain West defines the region of contributors, but the content extends far beyond the Mountain West and into different fields.

National Archives: This link will take you to this site’s online exhibits, but you can find more resources throughout this site that lean toward genealogical and social history research.

National Park Service: This government organization provides a growing collection of thousands of images, documents, drawings and maps about the cultural and natural resources maintained by the National Park Service across the U.S. and its territories.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery: The digitization process is ongoing at this site, but they invite you to peruse the newspaper issues that they have put on line including the Civil War and the Turn of the Century 1900-1907. They also include a section on antique books that they are in process of digitizing.

Oyez: This project provides access to more than 2000 hours of Supreme Court audio. All audio in the Court recorded since 1995 is included here. Before 1995, the audio collection is selective.

Rocky Mountain Online Archive: RMOA is serving as a repository for archival collections in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Northwest Digital Archives: The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) provides enhanced access to archival and manuscript collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington through a union database of Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids. These materials include correspondence, diaries, or photographs, and digital reproductions of primary sources are available in some cases.

United States Digital Map Archive: The United States Digital Map Library is a USGenWeb Archives project, developed in April of 1999. This project and its all-volunteer staff are dedicated to free, online access for the general public. The maps usually are large, and they offer images for every state and often for many counties within these states.

Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Archive: This collection features a digital image archive that showcases the Mississippi River region along the Illinois/Iowa border. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs were gathered from the collections of Davenport Public Library, Augustana College, and Musser Public Library in Muscatine.

USC Digital Library: The University of South Carolina provides resources for the general public, including broadsides from the Colonial Era to the present, the travel journal and album of collected papers of William Tennent III, 1740 – 1777, and more.

Valley of the Shadow: This is a project produced by the University of Virginia, and it details life in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

Western Waters Digital Library: WWDL contains government reports, classic water literature, legal transcripts, water project records, personal papers, photographic collections, and video materials about the Columbia, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande river basins. This site is a collaborative regional project created by twelve university libraries in eight western states.

WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections: Washington State University offers textual, image, and photographic collections online and to the general public. Some materials are merely described rather than offered online, such the audio collections (although you can find abstracts on some of these materials).