Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

September 17, 1998

"Pioneering the Upper Midwest" Goes On-Line

Materials Document History of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910

"Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910" will be released on- line on Sept. 28 through the support of a generous grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich. The collection will be added to American Memory (, which is making available on-line the most interesting and important American history materials in the Library.

"Pioneering the Upper Midwest's" 138 volumes, some of which are from the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division, paint a panoramic portrait that brings alive the history of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the 17th to the early 20th century. Many of the books in the collection are first-person narratives about events and places in the region's history. Others are biographies of notable individuals, promotional literature aimed at immigrants and tourists, or accounts of state and local history.

The collection's highlights include:

Autobiographies by such well-known figures as the Progressive statesman Robert M. La Follette, the African American feminist and antislavery activist Sojourner Truth and the pioneering wilderness conservationist John Muir

Newsman Eric Sevareid's exciting account of a 2,250- mile canoe voyage he made just after graduating from high school

Classic volumes of 19th century wilderness exploration and Native American ethnography by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, including his memoir of the discovery of the source of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca, Minn.

Published collections of unique manuscripts that document the complicated economic, social and political interchanges among Native, British, French and American peoples that shaped the region's early history

Vivid eyewitness accounts of frontier and pioneer life

Many works in the collection are illustrated with photographs, prints and paintings. There is even a volume of cartoon caricatures of notable Michigan businessmen, c. 1905. To ensure maximum access and flexibility to on-line users, the Library is making these books available both as facsimile page images and as transcribed, searchable text. An interactive regional map and a brief illustrated essay outlining the Upper Midwest's geography and historical development accompany the collection.

American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program, which, in collaboration with other major repositories, will make available on-line millions of materials relating to American history by the year 2000, the bicentennial of the Library of Congress.

More than 40 collections are now available in media ranging from photographs, manuscripts and maps to motion pictures, sound recordings and presidential papers. Other collections being made available this month include "Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present," "Buckaroos in Paradise: Folklife on a Nevada Cattle Ranch, 1945-1982," "An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera," "Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-85" and "American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920," a collection from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, made available through an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition.

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PR 98-143
ISSN 0731-3527

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