American Memory:   Technical summary

URL for collection

Collection Overview

Books that document the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts. The collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams. The books provide detailed information about localities and people important to the state during the latter half of the nineteenth century, when large numbers of English-speakers flowed into the far West, encountering a variety of Native American groups and the Spanish-speakers who had preceded them to the region. The accounts convey a sense of America's westward movement in the post-pioneer era and offer the emigrants' reactions to the wilderness environment they traversed and settled. As the Gold Rush ended, California began to attract people for reasons unrelated to mining and overnight wealth. Climate and natural beauty drew a new generation of "pioneers" hoping to recover their health and to explore the picturesque terrain of the still-wild West. By the 1880s, California had become the romantic destination of choice for thousands who came to "take the waters" at mountain resorts or to tour Yosemite and other natural wonders. Settlers also continued to arrive, hoping to take advantage of the state's continuing development.
Source collection
Technical features
Searchable text for book-length documents (average about 170 pages) written by different authors in different periods, diverse vocabulary offers challenges in pinpointing paragraphs on same (detailed) topic. Images of illustrations and tables available in two formats, for display and for printing. No page-images.
Original material formats
Number of original items
Status of collection
Available online as of November 1997.
Public access:
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright or any other restrictions on the materials in this collection. See notes on rights and restrictions provided by the Library to users of this collection.

Aids to intellectual access

Type & granularity
MARC bibliographic records. Each bib. record describes a single item.
Sample bibliographic display in American Memory.
Linking to digital reproductions
Bibliographic record contains identifier used in "directory name" for each metaobject representing a document. [Sample directory] Numbering system in place to link searchable text to illustration images.

Digital reproductions

Total file-space for digital reproductions: 749 Mbytes

Printed Matter (documents) Archival text file Printing-quality service images for illustrations and tables Inline service images for illustrations and tables
Marker Filename extension ".sgm" Filename includes hyphen, extension ".pcx" Filename includes hyphen, extension ".gif"
DTD American Memory
(TEI conformant)
n/a n/a
Tonal resolution n/a 1 bit 4 bit
Spatial resolution
n/a 300 dpi (may include random-pattern dithering) 250x350 pixels
Quantity (approx) 191 3,000 3,000
File size 200-1,000 Kbytes 4-500 Kbytes 10-30Kbytes
Sample Sample SGML document Sample printing illustration Sample inline illustration

Note: Small PCX images of illustrations are also stored in the directory for each book.

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