University Special collections
10/18/2011
University libraries are particularly noted for special collections of government documents, microfilm, microfiche, rare books or manuscripts. Some universities have an archives housed separately from the general library. Here's a sampling of microform collections especially interesting to family historians: Samford University
  • American Culture Series, 1493-1875 (University Microfilms): publications on all aspects of American life. Here you'd find, for example, History of the Old Cheraws, about South Carolina, 1730-1810, originally published in 1867. The American Farrier and Family Medical Companion, published in 1852, gives advice on popular medical remedies.

  • Confederate Imprints (Research Publications): official and unofficial publications of the Confederacy. It contains such items as the organization of the army, instructions for mail carriers, hymn books and sheet music.

  • History of Women (Research Publications): publications by and about women up to about 1920. An Essay on the Education and Genius of the Female Sex (1795) and The Good Housekeeper (1839) are just two examples.

  • Western Americana (Xerox University Microfilms): publications about and contemporary with each successive frontier. The Navigator: Containing Directions for Navigating the Monongahela, Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers..., published in 1814, was a guide for travelers. Miners and Business Men's Directory for the Year Commencing January 1st, 1856 could help trace a participant in the gold rush.

Special collections often aren't indexed in the library's catalog. Be sure to ask a reference librarian about any special holdings that may aid your research.

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