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Harper’s Weekly: 1857‐1912 (Harpweek)

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The Harper’s Weekly: 1857-1912 site, which provides fee-based access to all content of all issues of the highly influential Harper’s Weekly from 1857-1912 as well as free contextual resources including essays by scholars and educational websites, is an invaluable resource for students and researchers interested in studying developments in American as well as international political, social, and cultural history. Users can search and browse editorials and commentary, articles, illustrations, cartoons, advertisements, biographical sketches and travel narratives, fiction and poetry, and maps and portraits by viewing page images and searching full text by word or phrase; they can also search through over 3,500 synopses describing the publication’s prose fiction pieces from 1857-1903. Beyond this, users can take advantage of the site’s major, and defining, feature, its extensive manual indexing, performed by subject experts who have constructed a thesaurus enabling topical searches of articles, editorials, illustrations, cartoons, and advertisements. Also available are searches of advertisements by manufacturer and retailer, cartoons by subject and character, literature by author, title, or genre, and much more.

Other boons to researchers include the site’s high-quality imaging, the capacity to download and print content, and the high degree of accuracy of the text, which has been double-keyed rather than simply OCR’d from the original microfilm. Despite a few problems with navigation, primarily to free websites provided as contextual material, the site provides unique possibilities for discovery of the content of this invaluable periodical.

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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