The AAS Historical Periodicals Collection contains more than 6,500 historical periodical titles dating from 1691 to 1877. The Collection was released in five series. All five series are simultaneously searched on this site. Users can also search specific series. From the search screen, click on “Choose Databases,” and select specific portions of the series.
Series 1: 1691-1820 subject strengths include but are not limited to Afro-Americana, agriculture, children's literature, education, eighteenth-century imprints, leisure and hobbies, Masonic works, medicine, religion, science and technology, the trades, and women's literature. Long runs of popular magazines as well as unusual and short-lived titles can be found. The collection includes an early millennial publication, satirical serials, music journals, and titles printed and edited by women.
Series 2: 1821-1837 documents the growth and expansion of the new nation during the Jacksonian era, from the aftermath of the Panic of 1819 through the Panic of 1837. Topics cover agriculture, entertainment, literary criticism, domestic arts, technology, medicine (both traditional and alternative), and politics. The periodicals in this database reflect the important beginnings of the social movements and economic trends that set the stage for events that would come to define America in the nineteenth century.
Series 3: 1838-1852 reveals a rapidly growing young nation where industrialization, the railroads, regional political differences, and life on the western frontier were daily realities. Subjects covered in the collection reach into every facet of American life, including science, literature, medicine, agriculture, women’s fashion, family life, and religion, slavery, agriculture, children's literature, education, leisure and hobbies, medicine, religion, science and technology, the trades, and women's literature. The collection covers a broad range of geography (from Bangor, ME, to Madison, WI) as well as a diversity of languages (French, German, and Welsh), reflecting the rapid westward expansion that characterized the time period.
Series 4: 1853-1865 focuses on the Civil War, both leading up to and during, and also offers a diverse record of the continuance of daily life for many Americans. More detailed subject matter includes psychiatry, gardening, freed African Americans, temperance, the Irish question, Freemasonry, the U.S. Postal Service, and dentistry. The breadth of subject matter represented in the collection reveals the increasing diversity and affluence of the American population coupled with all of the political difficulties and the rising tensions that led to the Civil War.
Series 5: 1866-1877 reflects a nation that persevered through a most difficult set of circumstances: a bloody civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, the incorporation of the recently freed African Americans into American life, and a population that rapidly expanded into the Western territories. Broad subject areas covered in the collection reach into every facet of American life, including science, literature, medicine, agriculture, women’s fashion, family life, and religion.