June 15, 1775: George Washington Commissioned as Commander in Chief

June 15, 2012 – 3:53 pm

The Library of Congress, as part of the their Creating the United States Exhibition, posted the commission of George Washington as Commander in Chief by the Continental Congress on June 15, 1775.

You can view the original document here.

Hidden Images Provide Clues to the “Lost Colony”

May 4, 2012 – 3:48 pm

Using infrared light, X-ray spectroscopy, and other imaging techniques, historians have revealed markings on an Elizabethan map that may provide clues to the fate of the “Lost Colony” in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  The 100 or so English settlers disappeared from the Tidewater coast of North Carolina in the late 1500s.

According to the New York Times:

The analysis suggests that the symbol marking the fort was deliberately hidden, perhaps to shield it from espionage in the spy-riddled English court. An even more tantalizing hint of dark arts tints the map: the possibility that invisible ink may have marked the site all along.

The findings were made available through the British Museum and the First Colony Foundation.

The Blog of 1812

April 9, 2012 – 4:01 pm

The Blog of 1812 is a running documentary account of the War of 1812.  Participating sites and sources include The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson, Montpelier, Home of President James Madison, and the Ohio Historical Society.

The site includes essays and letters from the era, and will include accounts of the War in chronological order.  Watch the War of 1812 unfold before you.

Early American Maps

November 30, 2011 – 5:41 pm

Donated to George Mason University Libraries in September 1978 by the Mann family, the C. Harrison Mann Jr, Map Collection comprises ninety-six maps and eighteen rare atlases ranging from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries and is housed in the Special Collections & Archives department. Though the majority of the maps Mann collected are of Virginia, there are many pertaining to other parts of the United States and the world in the collection.

New Supplements to Early American Imprints from Library Company of Philadelphia

August 26, 2010 – 7:32 pm

Recently the Mason University Libraries added new supplements to the Early American Imprints Collections from Readex. (See announcement from Readex.)
These collections are supplements to the Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker and add nearly 2,000 additional titles to this indispensable collection. Mason users may access the combined holdings from the Libraries database page under the title America’s Historical Imprints.

The collection is based on Charles Evans’ American Bibliography and contains the full text of all known existing books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed in the United States (or British American colonies prior to Independence) from 1639 through 1800. It reproduces every nonserial item listed in Evans and an additional 1100 titles from Bristol’s supplement to Evans. Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819 provides a comprehensive set of American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the early part of the 19th century. It is based on the noted “American Bibliography, 1801-1819″ by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker. With more than four million pages from over 36,000 items—including 1,000 catalogued new items unavailable in previous microform editions.

New tools to explore old questions

August 25, 2010 – 8:51 pm

This article uses the Early American Imprints databases in an interesting way. By using the phrase searching capabilities of the database the author looks for the occurrences of the phrase “bear arms” in order to better examine the notion of originalism and the 2nd Amendment. He suggests that the digitized content allows for a new analysis of historical questions. The citation is below. Both the Journal of the Early Republic and Early American Imprints are available from your library at Mason.

KOZUSKANICH, NATHAN. “Originalism in a Digital Age: An Inquiry into the Right to Bear Arms.” Journal of the Early Republic 29, no. 4 (Winter2009 2009): 585-606. http://search.ebscohost.com.mutex.gmu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ahl&AN=44876765&site=ehost-live