American MemoryThe National Digital Library Program: Archived Documentation

The Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (1996-1999)

Image from collection

University of Chicago Library with the Filson Club Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky

The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820

Amount of award: $145,596

This collection assembles 745 items (15,050 pages) from the rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, prints, and manuscripts collected by Reuben T. Durrett and by the Filson Club Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky, which he founded in 1884 and named after John Filson, author of The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke (1784), a promotional tract recognized as the first history of the state. These materials present a rich picture of the Ohio River Valley from the dawn of its Euro-American settlement to the passing of the frontier beyond the Mississippi River. Collectively these items will take the reader on a textual and visual journey through the Ohio River Valley from 1750 to 1820, providing insights into a society in transition on the frontier.

Online Collection

Image Caption: this cropped digital image of a "photostat of Boone's 23 August 1785 letter to [Col] William Christian stating that his father's land business is done" (The Filson Historical Society, Daniel Boone : miscellaneous papers, 1774-1928) was included in early proposal materials but was not later included in the final online collection.