Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

September 26, 2002

New Online Collections Debut from Library of Congress and Other Repositories

American Sheet Music, Utah and the Pacific, and Florida Everglades

The award-winning American Memory collections at www.loc.gov make freely available more than 7.5 million items from the Library of Congress and other institutions. Three collections have recently been added: An American sheet music presentation draws from the unparalleled resources in the Library's Music Division; the two other collections, which draw from other repositories, are reflective of the local history and culture of Utah and Florida.

"Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music 1820-1860" offers more than 15,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the pre-Civil War years. This collection complements earlier American Memory collections, "Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music 1870-1885," "Band Music from the Civil War Era" and "Sheet Music from the Civil War Era."

Complete page images for all the sheet music items are included in this new online collection, which also features two special presentations: a list of the "greatest hits" of 1820-1860 and a historical background essay on the development of American music in this period by noted scholar and longtime Music Division specialist Wayne Shirley.

The two "Music for the Nation" collections, for 1820-1860 and 1870-1885, are both available through a new, common "Music for the Nation" page at memory.loc.gov/ammem/mussmhtml/mussmhome.html. Here, sheet music items are searchable by title, composer or subject.

With a gift from Ameritech in 1996, the Library of Congress sponsored a three-year competition ending in 1999 to enable nonfederal public, research and academic repositories to create digital collections of primary resources. These digital collections complement and enhance the American Memory collections. The most recent collections funded through this initiative are "Trails to Utah and the Pacific: Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869" and "Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's Natural History, 1884-1934."

"Trails to Utah and the Pacific: Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869" incorporates 49 diaries of pioneers trekking westward across America to Utah, Montana and the Pacific between 1847 and the meeting of the rails in 1869. The diarists and their stories are the central focus and the important voices in this collection, which also includes 43 maps, 82 photographs and illustrations, and seven published guides for immigrants. Twenty-three writers were travelers along the Mormon Trail, while 20 were chroniclers of the California Trail, and three wrote about their travels to Oregon. Stories of persistence and pain, birth and death, God and gold, trail dust and debris, learning, love, and laughter, and even trail tedium can be found in these original "on the trail" accounts. The collection tells the stories of Mormon pioneer families and others who were part of the national westward movement, sharing trail experiences common to hundreds of thousands of migrants.

The source materials for this collection are housed at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Utah State University, the church archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Utah State Historical Society, the University of Nevada at Reno, the Churchill County Museum in Fallon, Nev., and Idaho State University.

"Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's Natural History, 1884-1934" includes a rich diversity of unique or rare materials: personal correspondence, essays, typescripts, reports and memos; photographs, maps and postcards; and publications from individuals and the government. Major topics and issues illustrated include the establishment of the Everglades National Park; the growth of the modern conservation movement and its institutions, including the National Audubon Society; the evolving role of women on the political stage; the treatment of Native Americans; the rights of individual citizens or private corporations vs. the public interest; and the accountability of government as a trustee of public resources. The materials in this online presentation are drawn from the collections of the University of Miami, International University and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. These collections are normally available only by appointment. "Reclaiming the Everglades" now makes these valuable materials freely accessible to users worldwide.

American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. Its more than 100 collections-which range from papers of the U.S. presidents, Civil War photographs and early films of Thomas Edison to papers documenting the women's suffrage and civil rights movements, Jazz Age photographs and the first baseball cards-include more than 7.5 million items from the collections of the Library and those of other major repositories. The latest Web site from the Library is aimed at kids and families. The colorful and interactive "America's Library" (www.americaslibrary.gov) invites users to "Log On ... Play Around ... Learn Something."

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PR 02-135
09/26/02
ISSN 0731-3527

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