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Doherty Gains Americana Collection

Learn what John F. Kennedy told newspapers about the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the untold stories of Harriet Tubman and the daily life of Benjamin Franklin at the University of St. Thomas Doherty Library. Doherty recently gained online access to the John O. Whitney Readex Archive of Americana Collection. This premier collection of American history primary source material enriches the University’s ability to serve the research needs of the UST community. 

The collection is a gift from NewsBank, inc. in honor of John Whitney, a UST professor who has served on NewsBank’s Board for more than 25 years.

Dean of Libraries James Piccininni said Readex, a division of NewsBank and a leading publisher of digital historical collections, and John Whitney have given UST students, faculty and staff an extraordinary gift.

“The Archives of Americana gift places the Doherty Library as a leading destination for American history primary source material and Americana, along with a rich collection of historical periodicals worldwide,” he said. “This is an unbelievably generous gift that will promote the best of scholarship in our students and faculty.”

The Archive of Americana puts tens of millions of pages of primary documents at researchers' fingertips. The acclaimed Archive of Americana enables students and scholars to explore virtually every aspect of United States history, culture and daily life across several centuries spanning from about 1500-1900s. It provides unprecedented online access to newspapers, books, broadsides, ephemera, government publications and more. Allowing cross-collection searching, Archive of Americana collections offer fully searchable facsimile images, superior authority-based indexing, bibliographic records and PDFs that can be quickly downloaded and printed.

It includes material often unavailable to scholars such as imprints held in private collections and other material not typically found in university libraries. With the acquisition of the Archive of Americana, UST is certainly standing in rarified company – with select major academic research libraries, doctorate-granting institutions and top liberal arts colleges.

The comprehensiveness of the gift, and the fact that it has been given to Doherty in perpetuity, ensures that St. Thomas students and faculty will benefit from this resource for generations to come.

“Our sincere gratitude is extended to Mr. John Whitney and NewsBank, inc. for arranging this extraordinary and generous gift to our library,” Piccininni said.

The gift is comprised of more than 30 collections including African American Periodicals, World Newspaper Archive and Foreign Broadcast Information Service.

Faculty, staff and students can access the archive while on campus and through the University’s library database list.

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