Digital Resources for Early American Studies

Exploration, Discovery, and Contact

1492: An Ongoing Voyage, The Library of Congress
"1492: An Ongoing Voyage addresses such questions by examining the rich mixture of societies coexisting in five areas of this hemisphere before European arrival. It then surveys the polyglot Mediterranean world at a dynamic turning point in its development. The exhibition examines the first sustained contacts between American people and European explorers, conquerors and settlers from 1492 to 1600. During this period, in the wake of Columbus's voyages, Africans also arrived in the hemisphere, usually as slaves. All of these encounters, some brutal and traumatic, others more gradual, irreversibly changed the way in which peoples in the Americas led their lives."

American Journeys, The Wisconsin Historical Society
"American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later."

Cultural Readings: Colonization and Print in the Americas, University of Pennsylvania Library
"The web site is grouped into six broad categories; it also includes scholarly essays on topics related to the exhibition and a brief bibliography and list of web links. . . . The web site originates from two exhibitions of rare printed and manuscript materials held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the Fall and early Spring of 1997-1998." (John Pollack, Department of Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania Library)

Early Visions of Florida
"Considered a borderland, La Florida also yielded a rich literature, composed of both utilitarian and belletristic writings. This website is an ongoing project that provides a summary view and verbal archive of a contested region. Supported by the Florida Humanities Council, the website was developed by students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. For more on the project, see Thomas Hallock, "Think Globally, Dig Locally: Pedagogy and the Archive in Early Florida Literature," (Camino Real 2:3 [2010])." (Thomas Hallock, Associate Professor of English, University of South Florida St. Petersburg).

Historic Jamestowne, Preservation Virginia and The National Park Service
"Historic Jamestowne is owned and managed through a private/public partnership. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Preservation Virginia) acquired 22.5 acres in 1893. The National Park Service acquired the remaining 1500 acres in 1934. During the early decades, the activity on the Island could be characterized as quiet but cooperative in welcoming visitors, providing research and interpretation."

Virtual Jamestown
"Virtual Jamestown is a product of collaboration between Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia."

Thomas Harriott, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1585), Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Library

John White Drawings/Theodor De Bry engravings, Virtual Jamestown
"Virtual Jamestown is a product of collaboration between Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia."

The Literature of Justification
Part of the new Lehigh University digital project, "History on Trial" Literature of Justification is an ongoing project by students at Lehigh University that takes as its provocative starting point the "gigantic question" that Washington Irving asks in his 1809 History of New York (Book I, chapter v): "What right had the first discoverers of America to land, and take possession of a country, without asking the consent of its inhabitants, or yielding them an adequate compensation for their territory?"