Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Using Cornell University Library's "New York State Historical Literature" Digital Collection

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site

On June 20, 2005, I published a Blog posting entitled "Using Cornell University Library's 'Making of America' Digital Library of Primary Sources to Perform Research Regarding Pelham". Cornell University Library has another wonderful digital library that those interested in local history should learn to use. It is the "New York State Historical Literature" digital library. Today's posting will describe how to use that resource to perform research regarding the history of Pelham and surrounding areas.

The home page for the Cornell University Library "New York State Historical Literature" collection is located at http://historical.library.cornell.edu/nys/index.html. Currently the collection contains 655 individual items totaling 81,861 pages.

You will observe on the home page of the site that by clicking on links you can learn more "About" the collection, obtain "Help" regarding the use of the collection, "Browse" the collection, and "Search" the collection. Click on the "Browse" link and you will observe that the entire collection can be viewed sorted alphabetically by author or sorted alphabetically by title.

Click on the "Search" link and you will observe that you can search the entire collection by author, by title and by full text. The system allows exact phrase searches by placing the phrase in quotation marks. Wildcard searches are permitted using the asterisk.

Try a full text search for the phrase "Thomas Pell". The search returns 14 results sorted by author. Most of the results are relevant either to Thomas Pell (the so-called First Lord of the Manor of Pelham) or descendants of his nephew, John Pell, who were given the same name. Many of the results are from published abstracts of wills on file in the Surrogate's Office of the City of New York. Likewise a search for the phrase "Westchester County" returns 75 results.

Like the "Making of America" digital library, Cornell University Library's digital collection of "New York State Historical Literature" is an important research tool for local historians interested in understanding the history of Pelham, lower Westchester County and, of course, many other locales within New York State.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
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