Category Archives: Websites

Frederick Douglass Newspapers and other Abolitionist sources

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Frederick Douglass was a great orator, eloquent writer, and the publisher of three newspapers supporting the cause of Abolition. After escaping enslavement, his own freedom was bought with funds raised from his speaking tour of Europe. Douglass championed African-American owned newspapers as essential, declaring that:  “the man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand redress,—that the man STRUCK is the man to CRY OUT—and that he who has endured the cruel pangs of Slavery is the man to advocate Liberty.”

The Library of Congress has now digitized their entire Frederick Douglass Newspaper Collection and made it freely available and searchable online. This is a subset of the Frederick Douglass Papers collection which they also curate. Although the Library holds the largest collection of his newspapers, it does not include every issue, because the Douglasses’ house was burned (by suspected arson) destroying part of his library where archival copies were stored.

Douglass was involved in publishing newspapers from the 1840s into the 1870s. These are powerful primary sources for learning about the experiences of African Americans in the United States from the antebellum era through Reconstruction. The Library of Congress provides freely downloadable teaching kits for the Frederick Douglass Papers, and for other primary sources from this time.

Other digital collections of Frederick Douglass papers are at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; and in the New York Heritage Digital Collections.

In the Frederick Douglass collections one can find connections to Fort Wayne and the African-American and Abolitionist communities here. Henry Ward Beecher was a correspondent of Douglass; his father Lyman Beecher headed Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati during the period it was splintered by abolitionism. Henry Beecher visited Fort Wayne in 1843 and convinced members of the First Presbyterian Church – until then served by the abolitionist pastor Alexander T. Rankin – to split off and form another abolitionist congregation, which his brother Charles served as pastor for its first six years. Indiana was not a slaveholding state, but the position of African Americans was precarious within its borders. Rankin’s house in downtown Fort Wayne has been identified as a stop on the underground railroad.

Among our books dealing with abolitionist activism in Fort Wayne are:

The Underground Railroad and the Antislavery Movement in Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana by Angela M. Quinn – View Record in IvyCat

Slavery and the Meetinghouse: The Quakers and the Abolitionist Dilemma, 1820-1865 by Ryan P. Jordan – View Record in IvyCat

Indiana, 1816-1850: The Pioneer Era by Donald F. Carmony – View Record in IvyCat

Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless: The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana compiled by Ronald L. Baker – View Record in IvyCat

A trove of primary sources relating to the Underground Railroad in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio is The Wilbur H. Siebert collection, available online from the Ohio Memory Network. Professor Siebert, of Ohio State University, began the project with his history students in the 1890s. They were able to interview former fugitives, “railroad agents,” and others for whom escapes were living memory. The Siebert collection includes this map of escape routes through Indiana on which Fort Wayne is a node.

SiebertUGRRmap2-1

Image courtesy of the Ohio History Connection

Beautiful News

Looking for an uplift to combat the depressing effects of shorter days and colder temps? Each day the website Information is Beautiful posts an infographic about an uplifting fact on their blog Beautiful News.

I’ve linked to the Health section here, but there are many others to explore. You may not agree with their perspective on every topic, but there is more than enough good news posted here to go around. So take a look, and share!

The graphics are all free to use according to their Creative Commons license, clearly marked. They will be useful for class presentations in many of our curricula.

(I’ve previously mentioned David McCandless, the founder of Information is Beautiful, in a post about data visualization)

National Book Festival 2019 Videos released

The Library of Congress is currently rolling out videos from author talks at the 2019 National Book Festival. This annual event is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place in Washington, D.C. at the end of August. (It is much more comfortable to view these talks online – August in D.C. is truly swampy!)

This year, there are many wonderful videos from the Science stage reporting current research, as well as popular writers on history, politics, biography, and of course fiction and poetry and children’s books. We have books by most of these authors in our collection.

Click on this link to access the list of videos. The easiest way to browse the list is to click on Sort by Title to see author names interfiled with titles.

Image showing how to sort the list by title

Constitution day September 17th

Celebrate Constitution Day by spending some time with the document that grants US citizens their rights and privileges. An annotated online version is available from Congress.gov that aims to increase understanding of the Constitution and how it affects our society.

Constitution Annotated allows users to browse through all the Articles and Amendments, providing links to Supreme Court decisions based on each. Users can also perform topic searches and find all the passages in the Articles and Amendments and the Supreme Court cases dealing with that topic. For example, I searched “religion” in the topic search bar at the top of the page, and a list is generated of all passages in the Constitution and in Supreme Court decisions that include the term.

Notice that all the State and federal laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court have been tabulated for easy cross-reference.

On the same site are links to digitized primary source documents from the Constitutional Convention. View George Washington’s copy of the constitution draft annotated in his own handwriting! Read a broadside “Ode” celebrating the Constitution. Peruse pamphlets published in state and national newspapers arguing for and against the national Constitution and its ratification process. There is a very helpful “Historical Note” on the formation of the constitution, that places all of these documents in context.

With all these resources, we can surely go forth and “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

March is Frozen Food Month

An email from the Census Bureau alerted us that March is “Frozen Food Month.” Frozen food is easy to cook, but a complex topic. The frozen food industry was born in the USA and continues to develop globally, involving agriculture, food science, logistics, and refrigeration engineering – all subjects taught here at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

Frozen foods have both responded to, and influenced, our culture; from the way we cook to our transportation infrastructure. The contribution of this industry to our economy is massive. We have assembled some statistics in our library displays marking this month.

Tucked in among the charts, books, and journals are some themed treats, while supplies last … and yes, you can chew gum at the computers!

 

Global Market Finder: new tool from the Census Bureau

This new interactive tool is so easy to use! It will be helpful for anyone researching exports of US products. Indiana grows a lot of popcorn. What are our international markets for popcorn? Let’s take a look.

Go to https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/export-markets.html

Simply enter a keyword in the search box and wait for the site to retrieve the Schedule B Code.

screenshot-www.census.gov-2019-02-20-15-34-17

Then, click on the code and wait for the site to retrieve the data on this product. There are four different views; the default is a map of the world, with the top five markets highlighted. I prefer the table view as it shows more precisely what countries are our top markets.

screenshot-www.census.gov-2019-02-20-15-33-20

From this table, you can also select a country – (All) is the default – to see only further data for that market.

Click on the Methods of Transportation tab to see how our popcorn gets to these markets. Let’s see how we get popcorn to Mexico, as it could be trucked or flown or shipped:

screenshot-www.census.gov-2019-02-20-15-53-05

It is all trucked!

You can also look at sales in a time series and see the unit price paid for each market.