Every February, ProQuest, the online subscription service for journals, archives, and other historical delicacies unlocks its African American digital archives for Black History Month. This year is no exception, with open access in the month of February for the following ProQuest products: Historical Newspapers™ – Black Newspapers, Black Studies Center (primary and secondary resources), as well as its Civil War Era (newspapers and pamphlets) and African American Heritage (family-related records) databases. It would be hard to overstate the incredible range and depth of material available and it’s well worth taking some time to dive into what’s available even if this isn’t your main area of research, before it gets locked down again at the end of the month.
A continuation of the Oct. 16th post Archives-wiki, Part I: A Proposal
How it will work:
Over the past few years, Internet programmers have developed a new open source program called “wiki,” which creates an online environment in which users can add content and the larger community can edit and update. This collaborative process will allow the Archives-wiki to harness the local knowledge of tens of thousands of researchers and archivists, allowing them to provide the kind of inside information that researchers need.
One of the more ambitious projects that we hope to unveil this winter is Archives-wiki—a web-based guide to archival collections by and for researchers on historical subjects. Even for someone well-practiced in archival research, going to work in an archives for the first time can be fraught with an array of unique problems and challenges, many of which have to be assessed and determined from afar. This can range from large questions about who to contact and where to stay, to more specific questions, such how many boxes you can access at a time and the institution’s photocopying policies.