Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection
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These items have a broad appeal for researchers, students, and the general public. Lively, colorful, and appealing, they allow a direct link to the past. Current users of the collection include students, faculty, and visiting scholars who come to the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell. Historians and political scientists are not the only ones interested in the collection. Graphic artists and art historians, for example, find outstanding examples of printing, engraving, and other arts of the period in the collections. Political Americana items from the collection have been exhibited on campus, and loaned to institutions ranging from the Smithsonian Institution to the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City and Bonwit Teller, a New York department store.

A searchable online file with linked images will dramatically increase the availability of these artifacts and printed materials to both scholarly and popular communities. The fragile nature of many of these objects makes the use of the originals difficult and time-consuming. Standard catalogs primarily provide black and white images of materials for which color is a crucial component. They are also restricted to a linear arrangement, with only a page index for access. The ability to search by year, by candidate, and/or by object type, and to see the high-resolution color images of the items, brings the full riches of this collection to anyone with access to the Internet.

Of special interest is the use of this material in K-12 education. Students are often asked to study previous Presidents as part of their mandatory history requirements; the site provides them with the raw materials to understand how political figures, events, and issues were observed and represented by their contemporaries.

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Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

Copyright 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524

For information regarding copyright issues and securing permission to publish digital reproductions of images from the Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, please consult our Copyright & Permissions Page.

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