Gift in honor of Rhatigan will help researchers

4:20:00 PM CDT - Thursday, February 01, 2007

With an anonymous donation of $150,000 in honor of James J. Rhatigan, the university's former longtime vice president for student affairs and dean emeritus of students, WSU Libraries has purchased three digital historical collections.

These resources provide access to online digitized versions of historic newspapers and to U.S. Congressional Serial Set historic documents.

The donation supports the libraries' "Preserve Our Resources" campaign. It's fitting that Rhatigan, now a consultant for the WSU Foundation, received this well-earned recognition in light of his tireless efforts to promote the campaign, according to Pal Rao, dean, University Libraries. More information about the campaign may be found at http://library.wichita.edu/colldev/preservewishlist.htm.

The new resources are available to WSU faculty, staff and students with on- and off-campus Internet access and to community users who visit the library. Permanent links to the projects are found on the University Libraries database Web page at http://library.wichita.edu/colldev/databases/alphadatabase.htm.

The three historical archives are:

  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980, from the publisher Readex. The Serial Set contains journals, documents and reports of the Senate and House of Representatives, and covers all aspects of American life. It is invaluable for research in many areas including political history, explorations, military history, genealogy, ethnic and cultural history, international relations, social history, commerce and industrial developments.
     The Serial Set comprises about 13,900 volumes with more than 12 million pages from 350,000 publications, including 52,000 maps (many in color), illustrations, and statistical tables. All materials were digitized from original paper documents. The archive also includes the American State Papers, 1789-1838.
  • America's Historical Newspapers: Early American Newspapers Series I, II, and III, 1690-1876, also from Readex. This archive offers fully searchable reproductions of more than 500,000 issues from more than 1,000 historical American newspapers. Digitized primarily from the extensive historical newspaper holdings of the American Antiquarian Society, Wisconsin Historical Society, and the Library of Congress, this archive is an important resource for researching American history, culture and daily life since the 17th century.
  • Century U.S. Newspapers Digital Archive from Thomson Gale. This archive provides access to approximately 1.5 million pages of primary source newspaper content from the 19th century. It features full-text content and images from hundreds of newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the United States, including several Kansas newspapers. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century, with an emphasis on such topics as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history, Western migration and Antebellum-era life among other subjects.

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