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Browns’ Gift Provides Important Database of Nineteenth-Century America

A gift from Professor Emeritus Roger Brown and Nancy Brown has provided AU scholars with an important new database that opens access to key primary source materials on the early nineteenth century.

The Brown’s gift of Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801–1819 (Shaw-Shoemaker), in effect, adds more than 30,000 new titles to AU Library collections. It is available through the ALADIN catalog. These primary source materials were previously difficult to find and obtain through interlibrary loan due to their age and scarcity.

This new resource covers a relatively overlooked period in U.S. history. Its great advantage is that it contains the works themselves—complete images of more than 36,000 books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in the United States from 1801–1819, a period that included the presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.

Additionally, the database includes published reports and the works of European authors reprinted for the American public, and a large number of state papers and early government materials, including presidential letters and congressional, state, and territorial resolutions.

The Browns’ gift makes AU Library the only library within the Washington Research Library Consortium that has the three most important databases of primary resources for U. S. history: Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639 to 1800 (over 36,000 printed works); Early American Newspapers, Series I, 1690–1876; and the new Shaw- Shoemaker.

Roger Brown, professor emeritus, history, College of Arts and Sciences, and past chair of the Steering Committee of Friends of American University Library, and his wife, Nancy, have also endowed the Roger and Nancy Brown Library Fund and have been active in the Friends organization.

ALADIN catalog enhancements

Researchers can now find colorful images and links to Google Previews for individual titles whenever those are available. View these titles for some colorful examples: The Demon and the Damozel or The Arrow and the Olive Branch: Practical Idealism in U.S. Foreign Policy.

  • Catalog users now can send catalog entries to mobile devices.
  • The link to the consortium loan request form is more visible as a kind of online post-it note.
  • The ALADIN “AU holdings” display information for magazines and journals has new user-friendly features.

For more information about new features or assistance with their use, please contact the Reference Desk at 202-885-3238 or research@american.edu or askaulibrary.

Clement Ho contributed to this column.