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American History
Archiving Early America


At Archiving Early America, you will find a wealth of resources we hope are informative, instructive and entertaining.
Our main focus is primary source material from 18th Century America -- all displayed digitally. A unique array of original newspapers, maps and writings come to life on your screen just as they appeared to our forebears more than 200 years ago.
As you browse through these original documents, you will find it easier to understand America's early residents, those who shaped and created the early Republic. These archival materials-- forming as they do an historical record of a significant time in the American experience-- are displayed in their original formats so they can be read and examined close-up....in detail.
This unique resource is made available at no charge for personal use only. All of the materials found here are proprietary and protected under the copyright laws. Their use for any commercial or for-profit purpose....or their display or reproduction on any other media or format (such as another Internet site, distance learning course, an intranet or CD-ROM) is strictly prohibited and a violation of the copyright laws (see Rules of Use). However, commercial use of the images at this site or any of the images in our library is available through license. For information, please see The Early American Digital Library.
Of special interest is the Maryland Gazette containing George Washington's Journal of his historic trip to the Ohio Valley. It is the only original copy privately held. Because of its historic significance and its rarity (most Americans are unaware of its existence), the March 21 and 28, 1754 issues of The Gazette can be viewed here in their entirety-- exactly as Washington wrote it, down to the last comma, apostrophe and period. It is available in the Milestone Documents section at this site.
The availability to view these historical documents on-line 24 hours a day, literally at one's leisure, would have been considered no small miracle a few years ago. Today, this capability allows us an opportunity to see--- for the first time in many cases--- the way in which the colonists and early Americans expressed themselves...and the kinds of media they utilized in the process.
Displaying documents from America's historical past achieves the following:

1) Provides open access of historic documents to the greatest number. Private collections by definition are closed to the public, and can be seen only by family and close friends. Institutions, for a variety of reasons, all too often make their historical collections difficult, if not impossible, to access by the public-at-large.

2) Re-awakens, encourages and maintains an interest in this country's early history--- the roots of American society. Original two-century-old newspapers, maps and books that faithfully chronicle the events of the day track the beginnings of The Republic as few history books alone are able to do. These historical documents are an important adjunct to the study of early America.