Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where some of your midwesterners went

Delia Cothrun Bourne, writing in "Genealogy Gems" #56 (31 October 2008) from Indiana's Allen County Public Library, points us to an eight-volume resource I had never heard of: News of the Plains and Rockies, 1803-1865: Original Narratives of Overland Travel and Adventure Selected from the Wagner-Camp and Becker Bibliography of Western Americana, compiled and annotated by David A. White (978 N474), with 168 original narratives and historians' commentary, arranged topically, with topics including "early explorers, fur hunters, Santa Fe adventurers, settlers, missionaries, Mormons, Indian agents and captives, warriors,
scientists, artists, gold seekers, railroad forerunners, and mailmen."

This isn't in most libraries, according to Worldcat (if you're closer to Chicago, check it out; it is in the Newberry). Ideally these volumes would be useful for general background, or for filling in your research target's likely experiences in the absence of his or her own first-person story. (That's why it's going on my list for my next visit.) But if you're in search of a particular name or names, it is on Google Book Search, in snippet view only.

And apparently it's not the last word. Allen County also has Plains & Rockies, 1800-1865 : one hundred twenty proposed additions to the Wagner-Camp and Becker bibliography of travel and adventure in the American West : with 33 selected reprints. Hi ho, researchers away!

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